Sweet Potato Coconut Curry

Hi there–  Do you feel like you’ve been in an eating marathon??  Me too.  With family and friends in the door and lots of reasons to celebrate this month– well, it’s been too delicious!

So if  you’re ready for a simpler meal, satisfying, but not too heavy, and full of flavor, here you go!  This curry is bright and light and just right about now…

1  1/2 cup brown rice
1 large sweet potato, cut into thirds
2 tab. olive oil
1 yellow onion, peeled & chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. powdered ginger
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. garam masala
6 oz. can tomato paste
14 oz. can coconut milk
14 oz. can vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
2 cups water
1 cup red lentils
garnish: red onion & cilantro

Put the brown rice on to cook according to the directions on the package.

Set the 3 chunks of sweet potato into a shallow bowl with a 1/2″ of water and microwave for 8 to 10\\ minutes until it is tender.  Peel it and cut it into small chunks.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.  Drop in the chopped onion and cook until it is tender and begins to brown.  Turn the heat to low and stir in the garlic, curry powder, ginger, turmeric, garam masala and tomato paste.  Stir to blend.

Then turn the heat to high and pour in the coconut milk, both and 2 cups of water.  When the mixture comes to a boil, stir in the lentils and simmer uncovered for 15 to 17 minutes until the lentils are tender but not yet mushy.

Stir in the chinked sweet potato and serve over the brown rice.  Garnish with red onion and cilantro and serve up with some hot naan.*

* Frozen nano at Trader Joe’s is pretty  good!


Maple Chicken with Sweet Potatoes


Hello all–  I’m up in San Francisco, spending some stormy days with the new grand-girl Lois, while her mom is off to work.  It’s been quiet and cozy in the house.  Today we baked a birthday cake (actually Lois mostly just looked on from her little chair!).  So this has nothing to do with maple chicken– just wanted you to know how much fun I’m having!!

The Maple Chicken with Sweet Potatoes came out of the kitchen last week– made it for a friend who is having shoulder surgery next week, after a bad fall.  Praying she comes through this all strong and back on the run.  Love her so.

The coating is sweet and peppery, makes the chicken bright and tasty– with those smoshey sweet potatoes, a good winter evening meal.


Sweet potatoes:
2 large-ish sweet potatoes
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tab. butter
2 tab. olive oil
2 to 3 tab. steak seasoning (such as Montreal)
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 green onions, sliced to small bits

Pierce the skin of the sweet potatoes and set them on a baking dish lined with foil (for easier clean up). Put them in a 350 degree oven fro 50 to 60 minutes, until the sweet potatoes feel tender when poked with a fork.

Let them cool for a bit, then peel off the skin.  Put the sweet potato flesh in to a mixing bowl along the the milk, salt and vanilla.  Beat it all with an electric mixer until it’s smooth and fluffy. (You can reheat these easily in the microwave when the chicken’s done).

Slice the chicken breasts horizontally to cut each of them into two thinner cutlets.  Coat the chicken with a sprinkling of the the steak seasoning.  Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet.  Cook the chicken cutlets 3 to 4 minutes on each side on medium high heat– unitl they are nicely browned and cooked through.

Take the chicken from the pan and add the maple syrup to the chicken drippings.  Let it all simmer on low for 2 minutes to thicken the sauce.  Return the chicken to the pan to coat the pieces in sauce.

On a platter heap the sweet potatoes next to the chicken cutlets.  Scrape the extra sauce from the pan onto the chicken and then sprinkle the green onion slices over the chicken.  Enjoy!


Pork & Sweet Potato Thai Curry



Hello all– Last weekend we got a Friday afternoon call from Micah, Jodi and the girls saying they were coming down for the weekend.  Love that.  It was a pretty tranquil visit.  No big outings or even trips to the yogurt shop.  We just stayed around the house and played and talked.

The grand-girls and I made a birthday cake since it had been Jodi’s birthday that week.  And I had gotten a new little table and chairs from Ikea for our backyard and you know what that means!!–construction!  So Micah and Jodi pulled out all the pieces and put them together, while I cooked up lunch.  (thanks you two!!)  And this is what we ate, out in the sunshine on the new table. I thought it was rather delicious.

2 cups brown or white rice
2 tab. olive oil
1 pound pork tenderloin chops, cut to smallish chunks
1 small onion, chopped fine
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut to small chunks
3 tablespoons curry powder
14 oz. can coconut milk
1 cup water
4 cups baby spinach, cut to shreds

to garnish:
1/2 cup peanuts, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro chopped

Put the rice on to cook according to the package directions.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil.  Then drop in the pork and stir to brown all on all sides– about 5 or 6 minutes.  Remove it from the pan and set aside.

In the same pan cook the onion just until it starts to brown and then all in the sweet potatoes and curry powder.  Stir it up until the sweet potatoes and coated with oil and curry.  Then pour in the coconut milk and water.  Cover with a lid and let it simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the sweet potatoes are tender.

Then return the pork to the pan, as well as the spinach.  Let it simmer a couple minutes and the sauce will thicken.

Layer the curry with white rice and sprinkle on the chopped peanuts and cilantro and serve it nice and hot.  Enjoy!


P.S. Here’s a couple obligatory grand-girl pics.  Charlotte putting candles on the cake and Maryann creating a ball gown on her sister Jobay from from discarded Ikea packaging and scotch tape– Jobay was pretty patient while Mary colored marker hearts all over the dress!
IMG_4161     IMG_4165


Peanut Sweet Potato Chicken Stew

Hello all-  I have a new favorite soup.  Love this savory bowl of stew– right up there with steamy pozole or a spicy cup of chili.  It has some of my favorite flavors all simmered up together– sweet potato, curry powder and surprisingly peanut butter!  –with just enough red pepper to give is a little bit.

The recipe I worked from said it was a stew from west Africa.  It’s just different and so delicious.  I’m imaging a tableful of friends over to try it out on a chilly evening soon.

1 medium sweet potato
4 cups chopped cooked chicken (1 roasted chicken)*
1 cup peanut butter
2 14oz. cans petit cut tomatoes with garlic
1 tab. curry powder
1/4 tsp. red pepper**
6 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
chopped cilantro for garnish

Cut the sweet potato into large chunks, and cook them in the microwave 8 to 10 minutes, until they are tender, but firm.

Then in a soup pot, mix the chicken, peanut butter, tomatoes, curry powder, red pepper and chicken broth.  Bring it to a low simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

When you are ready to eat, shake the cornstarch along with 1/2 cup water in a container with a tight fitting lid until it’s thoroughly blended.  Stir it into the simmering soup and stir about 3 or4 minutes until it thickens.

Serve it up hot garnished with peanuts and cilantro.

*You can cook up your own chicken, but I am happy to pick up one all cooked for me at the market.
**I thought this was plenty of spice, you can add more to taste if you like a real kick.



Roasted Sweet Potato

IMG_1929Hey cooking friends– There’s a certain “effort to result ratio” in making food.  You know–the complicated recipe with 27 ingredients that takes 3 hours to prepare and you hope, really hope, in the end, it will be deliciously worth all the time and effort!  On the other hand, there are foods with 4 ingredients that take 6 minutes prep and in the end you know it will be scrumptious!  This is one of later types of recipes, quick and with a high return for the minimal effort.  Who doesn’t love that?

1 large sweet potato (a little over a pound)
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. dried basil

This couldn’t be simpler.  Peel the sweet potato and cut it into nice little chunks.  Toss the potatoes in a bowl with the olive oil, garlic salt and basil.  Scrape it out with a rubber scrapper (be sure to get all that salty oil) onto a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  And bake it up at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes til the sweet potatoes are toasty, salty good!

We had these potatoes with spiced salmon skewers on the grill and a green leafy salad. Summery and just plain good (and easy).