Candied Yams (or Sweet Potatoes)

_MG_2321Last year I made a good candied sweet potato recipe.  However, I wanted to make an easier and better-for-you version of the side dish I grew up loving during the holidays.  This new recipe is so much simpler and contains far less sugar.  I even like the flavor better.  It’s still sweet, has a hint of orange and cinnamon flavor.  I love it. Although I prefer yams, feel free to use either yams or sweet potatoes in this recipe.  Also, this recipe can be made oil-free.  I added the oil just to give these sweet potatoes a glossy sheen.

My friend, Jasmine, and I created a bountiful feast for our readers to enjoy, which consists of 13 deliciously tantalizing recipes that will make everybody’s taste buds dance for joy! We’re referring to this collection of recipes as our Sweet Eclectic Thanksgiving celebration! We hope you and your family love it!

Photo Credit: Jasmine Briones

Please make sure to tag us on Instagram: @yvonne_deliciously_vegan  @sweetsimplevegan  Twitter: @yvonnemrod  @sweetsimpleveg and hashtag #SweetEclecticThanksgiving #MyEclecticKitchen if you recreate any of our recipes!  We would love to see your photos and Thanksgiving feasts!

Candied Yams (or Sweet Potatoes)
Servings: 6-8
Time: 1 hour
Diet: V, GF, GFV, DF, SF, SRF, NF

 Ingredients

4 cups sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes

3/4 cup orange juice, fresh

1 ½ cup filtered water

1 cup medjool dates, pitted

¼ tsp cinnamon, ground

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 Tbsp coconut oil (or grapeseed oil)

 

Directions

Note: Best made a day or a few hours in advance.

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Wash, peel, and cut the sweet potatoes or yams. Place them in an 8”x8” or 9”x9” casserole dish, and place the casserole dish in the center of a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper or a silicon mat.

3. In a blender, add the remaining ingredients: orange juice, filtered water, pitted medjool dates, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and oil. Blend well, until the dates are pulverized. If the mixture is a little chunky, that’s fine.

4. Pour the wet mixture over the sweet potatoes or yams and toss to coat. Place in the oven for about 45-55 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes, and cook until the sweet potatoes or yams are fork tender.

5. If made a day in advance, remove from the refrigerator and place in a 350 degree F oven for about 20 minutes.

 

 

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Gazpacho

gaspacho

This recipe is my adaptation of a former bosses, Chef Julie Robles, at Tavern.  She created this when she worked at Lucques.  It’s a fool proof recipe that tastes so much more complex than it is to make.  I changed it up by making it oil-free, you can use whatever ripe tomatoes (not just ripe yellow tomatoes) you fancy for the base of the soup, I no longer use red wine vinegar to make it, and I don’t peel the cucumbers or strain the soup to retain the insoluble fiber content.  It’s a rustic cold soup, rich in the vital anti-oxidant lycopene, vitamins A and C.

What I love most about gazpacho is that it is raw and not cooked so this soup retains so much of its beneficial enzymes, making it easier to digest.  Another reason I love making gazpacho is that it is oh-so easy to make!  In the past, I made gazpacho for my clients using red wine vinegar but for this recipe I swapped it out with raw coconut vinegar because it is alkaline and has more health benefits.  I personally feel that coconut vinegar tastes much better than apple cider vinegar, plus coconut vinegar has more nutrients—17 amino acids, minerals, vitamin C, broad-spectrum B vitamins, and has a nearly neutral pH.   It is also an excellent source of a prebiotic,  Fructooligosaccharide (FOS), that promotes digestive health.

I hope you enjoy this refreshing and delicious, cold soup along with all of its benefits!

Enjoy and cheers to good health!

 

Gazpacho

Servings: 2 to 4

Time: 10 minutes

V, GF, DF, GFV, NF, SF, SRF, R

 

Ingredients

Garnish:

1 1/2 Tbsp of red bell pepper, chopped

1 1/2 Tbsp of red onion, diced

1 1/2 Tbsp cucumber, seeded and diced

9 small cherry tomatoes, cut in half

6 cilantro leaves

big pinch sea salt
a pinch freshly ground black pepper
Soup:

1 1/4 pounds ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped

1 1/2 Persian cucumbers, coarsely chopped

1/4 jalapeno, seeded, and cut in half

2 sprigs of cilantro

1 clove of garlic, chopped

3 Tbsp vegetable stock or filtered water

1 Tbsp of coconut vinegar (can substitute with raw apple cider vinegar)

3/4 tsp sea salt

cayenne pepper, as needed

 

Directions

1. In a small bowl, toss together 3 Tbsp of diced cucumber, 3 Tbsp diced red bell pepper, and 1 1/2 Tbsp diced red onion.  Season with a couple pinches of salt and pepper.  Toss again.  Set aside

2.  Place all of the soup ingredients into a high-powered blender.  Blend well.  If the soup is too thick, adjust the consistency with the vegetable stock or filtered water.  Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly.

3.  Pour the mixture into 2-3 soup bowls and scatter the garnish over the soup equally.

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