Tag Archives: sweet potato

Lau Lau

18 Sep

Lau Lau’s are leaves stuffed with sweet potatoes and steamed.  This is a very typical luau dish in Hawaii.  I have made plenty of times stuffed cabbage leaves (not to self…  share these recipes on the blog), but I have never worked with collard greens, as the recipes I found on the internet called for.   I was prepared to make this recipe with large kale leaves or even cabbage.  I was so pleased to see collard greens in the supermarket. Yay!!!!

Again… this recipe is not difficult at all.  It just has a few steps to it to ensure the end result looks and tastes as good as it can be.

I don’t know how large they make these in Hawaii…  but I had to cook for at least 40 people, and we had 10+ dishes for people to choose from, so I made them small.  I used half a collard green leaf for each lau lau packet.  If the leaf was small, I used one whole leaf.  You can certainly make them as large or as small as you wish.

The folding takes a little getting used to just until you figure out the best way to keep all the delicious sweet potato mash inside the green leaf.

Recipe from KarmaFree Cooking

LAU LAU

10-12 collard greens leaves

2 medium-sized white sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-2 inch chunks

10 cremini mushrooms – chopped

2 cups frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

1 large onion, chopped small

1 red bell pepper, chopped small

2 cloves garlic, chopped finely

1 vegetable bouillon cube

About ½ cup coconut milk

Olive oil

Salt and Freshly cracked Black Pepper

  1. In a medium saucepan, add sweet potato pieces and salted water to a boil.  Cook until they’re cooked and can be pierced easily with a fork.  Set aside leaving them in the cooking water to maintain warm.
  2. Fill a large but shallow pot with about 2 inches of water and bring to a boil.  Salt water heavily, as if you’re cooking pasta.  Place a few collard greens leaves at a time and cook for about 1-2 minutes or until slightly soft and color gets bright green.  Transfer to a bowl filled with salted ice water for leaves to cool and stop cooking.  This will also preserve the bright green color.  When leaves are cool, transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.  Set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, drizzle a little olive oil and sauté onions, peppers, garlic with the vegetable bouillon cube.   Add cremini mushrooms and cook until they get a little color.  Add spinach and combine all the flavors together.  Season with salt and pepper one last time and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, add the boiled sweet potatoes and mash them with a drizzle of olive oil.  Add the cooked mushrooms, spinach and veggies to the sweet potatoes and mash it all together.  Soften the mash by adding coconut milk.  Go little by little to make a soft mash.  Try not to add too much coconut milk or it might get soupy.
  5.  Pat dry the collard greens leaves.  Cut away the stem from each leaf.  I then cut each leaf, which are generally pretty large in half, along the same line where the stem used to be.
  6. Place about ¼ cup of mash in the bottom part of the leaf, leaving about 1 inch border, and roll it like you would a burrito…  fold bottom edge   of collard green over filling, fold in sides and roll away from you, creating as tight roll as possible.  Do this until you run out of leaves and/or filling mash.

At this point… you can save them to steam later or you can steam right away.  For the Hawaiian Festival, we rolled them the night before and steamed them the morning of our lunch festival.

  1. Set up a steamer pot with boiling water.  Transfer rolls to a steamer basket, cover pot and steam for 2-3 minutes.  Increase steaming time to 5 minutes if you made these in advance and are coming cold out of the fridge.  Transfer to serving platter carefully with tongs.

The collard greens are hearty, but are already tender enough that they cut easily.  The filling is sweet and savory.  This is great new way to enjoy cooked greens that still look vibrant green.

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Flip Burger @ Bloomingdales 59th Street NYC

5 Feb

It was the first snow storm of 2014… We wanted to get out of the house, but did not want to manage the snow and cold outside. I suggested: “Let’s just take the subway and it can take us right underneath the belly of one of my favorite department stores in NYC – Bloomingdale’s. Deal??“ They all agreed…

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The day BEFORE the storm… but the same cast of characters.

When we arrived it was already 3PM and we were HUNGRY!!! Who can shop while hungry?? I sure can’t. So we looked at the store directory but there were many options to choose from. Let’s just go checking them out floor by floor as we encounter them and we’ll decide what works best, OK?

Flip was the first option available… right up the stairs from the level where the 4-5-6 subway leaves you. When we discovered it was a burger joint, Tere and my mom were discouraged as, more often than not, burgers means meat burgers only. But we were in NYC after all and I said to myself… “Madelyn, read thru all the burger options before dismissing this restaurant”. And there they were!!!! VARIOUS, not just one, various vegetarian options!!!!

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I wish I had taken a picture of the menu for you… I was sure I was going to find it online, but unfortunately that is not the case. The menu presented a veggie burger and a Portobello Mushroom burger option, my favorite. We sat down and ordered… You could have your pic of bread, burger, and toppings. The vegetarian options come with 2 toppings included beyond the lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle. My burger was a Portobello mushroom burger on a whole wheat/multigrain roll with goat cheese and avocados. YUM!!!

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They also have fries to accompany your burger… we went for the thin crispy fries and the sweet potato fries. They were both superb… But I should warn you, those thin fries don’t seem to ever end. The more you eat, the more they seem to be in your plate. I ate and ate and we still brought the leftovers back home with us.

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Even though Flip @ Bloomingdale’s is not a vegetarian place… in true NYC fashion they have meat-free options for us vegetarian gals. Who wants to go shopping on an empty stomach?? Not me for sure… and the next time I visit Bloomie’s, I know I’ll have a craving for a burger.

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Chili Verde

13 Mar

A few weeks ago my Serious Eats Water Cooler group issued a challenge… let’s make CHILI!!!

I am not a chili girl at heart, as my introduction to chili was Wendy’s chili with meat and beans. Never a fan of beans, therefore never enchanted with chili.

Wanting to partake in the chili challenge, I decided to give a stab to a vegetarian chili recipe. Mixing my Puerto Rican root vegetable “roots” with a few Mexican flavors, this vegetarian chili recipe is hearty and filling like a sancocho but with a nice spicy kick from the salsa verde. This is certainly something you can adjust to your taste.

In regards to the chili debate – beans vs. no beans – this is certainly a bean-less chili that I hope will satisfy the most avid bean eater too. Enjoy…

chili verde 2 KFC

CHILI VERDE

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
One large Yukon gold potato, peeled and cut into cubes
One white sweet potato, peeled and cut into cubes
1 large parsnip, peeled and cut into cubes
1 tbs sofrito
½ large green bell pepper
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup whole kernel corn, I use frozen
1 vegetable bouillon cube
1 1/2 cup water
½ of a can salsa verde – I used Herdez brand
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Garnishes, such as crumbled cheese, chopped green onions, sliced avocados, lime wedges)
  1. Heat the oil in a heavy, large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, vegetable cube and sofrito. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Cover and sweat until the onions are tender, stirring often to prevent browning, about 8 minutes. Mix in the cornstarch. Add the corn, the water and bring the chili to a simmer.
  3. Place the green bell pepper in a processor and mix with the salsa verde. Blend just until smooth. Add the sauce to the pot.
  4. Cover and simmer the chili 30 minutes, until the potatoes, sweet potatoes and parsnips are tender and the chili is reduced to a thicker consistency. Season with more salt and pepper if desired.

The Shape of Foods Help our Organs?? – SWEET POTATOES

23 Nov

This is part of a series on how our food can help certain organs that resemble their same shape. I already shared with you how carrots benefit the eyes, how tomatoes and grapes benefit the heart, how walnuts are essential for brain health, how celery and other stalky veggies are great for bone health and how beans are super beneficial for “kidneys”??? Yep…

Japanese Sweet Potatoes Photo Courtesy of AnniePickns's Blog

Sweet potatoes are a great source of beta carotene, due to its orange color. This means it’s great for keeping ourselves young. Because of its elongated shape its beneficial for our pancreas…

But what I really think it means is how some studies have shown that sweet potatoes can help stabilize blood sugar levels and lower insulin resistance. It actually helps the pancreas do its job… And steamed/cooked sweet potatoes seem to make more available these blood-sugar effect benefits.

Here are a few recipes with sweet potato you can try soon:

Sweet Potato Pastelón

Fried White Sweet Potato

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Onions

Sweet Potato Flan

Fried White Sweet Potato

21 Apr

There are two kinds of sweet potatoes – white sweet potato and the orangy sweet potato we call batata mameya.  Most Americans are familiar with the orangy kind, which I believe can also be called yam.

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                                                             batata-blanca

The white sweet potato, or batata blanca, is much sweeter and versatile than its mameya counterpart.  I really like it baked in the oven, which is a very traditional side dish to eat at BBQ rotisserie chicken stands.  But my grandma also used to make it for us fried… it’s a nice alternative to a plantain tostón or french-fries…                

 

 batatas-fritas

FRIED WHITE SWEET POTATO

1 white sweet potato, peeled and sliced thin
Canola oil for frying
Salt, optional

 

  1. In a large skillet, pour about ½” of oil…  heat it at medium-high heat.
  2. While the oil heats up, prep the sweet potato… I peel it using a vegetable peeler because I am not too good peeling using a knife.  The sweet potato will start to get dark after being exposed to the air a few seconds.  Don’t worry, it’s normal and it will not change the texture or taste of the sweet potato.
  3. After you’ve peeled and sliced the sweet potato and the oil is hot enough…  start frying.  The sweet potato will take a while to fry because of its moisture content…  but with patience, it will cook on the inside and get crispy on the outside.  The thinner you slice the potato, the faster they will cook and the crispier it will be.  They should be golden brown, without any burned spots.
  4. Drain them onto a plate with paper towel and sprinkle with some salt if you want…  I usually do not salt them.
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