Sweet Potato Tricks \\\ Trucs de Patates Douces

(version française plus bas!)

Sweet potatoes are a staple in my kitchen, and I find myself putting some in everything I eat these days. That’s why I had to come up with some tricks to make sure that I always have some yummy sweet potatoes ready to be eaten. It’s probably the simplest part of my meal prep, so I thought I would share it with you!

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  1. Choose your sweet potatoes well. Make sure they are firm and even-toned: you don’t want too many black spots on them. To help the cooking process, try to select sweet potatoes that are similar in size. That way, they will all be cooked in the same amount of time. I usually buy 5 to 7 at a time as this is enough for me and my boyfriend for an entire week.
  2. Wash them just before you cook them. Using a gentle bristle brush, clean the sweet potatoes under water to help get all the dirt out. Doing this will enable you to keep their skins on which will help make the cooking mess-free, and you will also get a ton more of nutrients that are in the skin. Avoid cleaning them unless you are ready to cook them as the humidity will accelerate their decay.
  3. Cook them all ahead of time. Nothing is more simple. It’s oil free, mess free and will guarantee that you always have healthy carbs on hand. Poke your sweet potatoes with a fork all the way around. Line a cookie sheet with some aluminum foil and place all your sweet potatoes on it. Place that into your oven set at 350F and bake for 60 to 75 minutes, or until you can poke them with a fork right to their center without any resistance. Let them cool in the oven, wrap them up in the aluminum foil you used for baking and keep them in your fridge. Ta-daaa! Sweet potatoes available and ready to be eaten!
  4. Use sesame seeds to pan-fry them. This is what I do when I want to warm up the sweet potatoes. Just add 1 tsp of sesame seeds per sweet potato you are frying up to a non-stick pan. Warm up on medium heat and add your sliced sweet potatoes in a single layer. Let sit for 5 minutes on each side and enjoy delicious slices of goodness.

That’s it! I hope you will use these tips to add more sweet potatoes into your life! They are so rich in vitamins and minerals and are a healthy source of carbs and fibers. Plus they add so much colour to any of your meals. Let me know what your tricks are!


On retrouve toujours des patates douces dans ma cuisine, et, ces jours-ci, j’en mets un peu partout dans mes recettes. C’est pourquoi j’ai dévélopé quelques petits trucs pour être certaine que ces délicieuses patates soient toujours disponibles et prêtes à être mangées. C’est probablement la partie la plus simple de mes préparations de repas, alors je me suis dit qu’il fallait que je partage!

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  1. Choisissez bien. Assurez-vous d’acheter des patates douces bien fermes et dénuées de taches noires ou brunes. Pour aider à la cuisson, choisissez-les également de tailles comparables. Comme ça, elles seront toutes prêtes en même temps. J’achète habituellement 5 à 7 patates douces à la fois comme cela suffit pour une semaine à deux personnes.
  2. Lavez-les seulement avant de les faire cuire. Utilisez une petite brosse douce pour nettoyer vos patates douces sous l’eau. Cela enlevera les residus de terre à la surface de leur peau tout en préservant cette dernière qui est pleine de nutriments. Garder la peau facilite également beaucoup la cuisson. Évitez de les nettoyer si vous ne les cuisez pas tout de suite: vous les garderez ainsi plus longtemps.
  3. Cuisez-les à l’avance. Rien n’est plus simple. C’est sans huile, sans dégats, et cela guarantie que vous aurez toujours des patates douces à disposition. Faites des trous tout autour de vos patates douces propres à l’aide d’une fourchette. Placez du papier d’aluminium sur une plaque à biscuits et placez vos patates douces dessus. Enfournez dans un four préchauffé à 180C (350F) pour 60 à 75 minutes, ou jusqu’à ce que vous pouviez les transpercer de part en part, sans résistance à l’aide d’une fourchette. Laissez-les refroidir dans votre four éteint, enveloppez-les dans leur papier d’aluminium de cuisson et gardez- les au frigo. Ta-daaa! Des patates douces prêtes à être mangées!
  4. Utilisez des graines de sésame pour les réchauffer. Voici ce que je fais lorsque je veux réchauffer des tranches de papates douces. J’ajoute 1 c. à thé de graines de sésame par patate coupée en tranche à une poêle anti-adhésive que je chauffe à feu moyen. J’ajoute mes tranches de patates douces en une seule couche et je les laisse chauffer 5 minutes de chaque côté. Savourez!

Voila! J’espère que ces petits trucs vous aideront à incorporer plus de patates douces dans votre alimentation. Elles sont si riches en vitamines et en minéraux, et elles ajoutent une belle touche de couleur à toutes vos assiettes. Et vous, quels sont vos trucs?

 

Food Prep: avoid waste, save time + money!

Sometimes I feel like I spend my entire days in the kitchen either preparing something for the blog or something for lunches or dinner. It can be annoying to realize how much time you have to spend daily in the kitchen! A simple trick that I love is to food prep on Sunday afternoons. It really helps with avoiding food waste, with the cooking of the week, and it reduces food waste: if everything is ready to be eaten, you’ll eat it up! At first, you’ll think that spending an entire afternoon in the kitchen is really long, but it’s actually much more efficient and when you realize that you can spend about 5 minutes in the kitchen on busy weeknights, you’ll be convinced! It’s also a gentle transition from the weekend into the week. You’ll feel a lot more relaxed if you know that there is food already ready in your fridge come Monday. Here is what I do on Sunday afternoons.

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  1. Prepare your vegetables: Cut, wash, cook!
    • I love grating carrots and beets in big batches that I keep in my fridge. I can then add some to salads, stir fries, fancy bowls or smoothies. It’s much more simple to have them ready to go in the fridge then having to grate one carrot at a time as I need it. I do the same with lettuce, kale and any other veggie that I want to keep on hand. This makes eating healthier so much easier!
    • I also cook vegetables ahead of time. Onions, broccoli, asparagus, zucchinis, and potatoes will go in the oven before they find a home in containers. It’s much more efficient to cut everything up and to place everything at once in the oven time and energy wise. You can also batch-boil vegetables reusing the same boiling water. It is super practical: toss your veggies with some rice and you practically have a complete meal ready any day of the week!
    • I usually wash any vegetables that I’ll eat raw during the week. Cherry tomatoes are perfect for this. Just place them in an air-tight container with some paper towel at the bottom to absorb extra water and they’re ready to go!
  2. Get your proteins ready: Marinate, broil, cook!
    • I like to marinate tofu ahead of time as it really makes it so much tastier. I like to cut my tofu up and prepare a few marinades in containers. I toss the tofu in, stir it up, and forget about it in the fridge. This is perfect because it will be ready to go for stir-fries or anything else I might be needing it for during the week. I also like to throw some in the oven and roast it so that my proteins for the first few meals of the week are ready. You can do the same thing with canned legumes.
    • If you are using dried legumes and beans, this is the perfect time to cook them up! I usually like to let them soak in water from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon, cook them up and then freeze them in individual portions. That way, it’s just like using canned beans!
  3. Take care of sauces: mix it up!
    • Sauces are an easy way to make simple vegetables more exciting or the key to creating fancy vegan bowls. It’s also really fun to have a few alternatives ready to make each meal different. In air tight container, I find that most sauces or salad dressing will keep longer than a week, so you’re safe to go!

I hope these tips help you out! I really like putting some Gilmore Girls on (am I the only one who is crazy excited about the upcoming season?) and prepping everything up. Let me know what you like to prepare weekly and how you organize your food in your home! Oh, and don’t forget to participate in my super giveaway!

 

 

Simple Curry (for busy nights)

This is the recipe I fall back on when I’m feeling like having some comfort food. It is very quick to make, looks impressive and is really delicious! It also makes for a great lunch!

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Here is what you need:

Part 1: The protein:

  • 1 cup TVP (texturized vegetable protein; I used big pieces. You can find this in Asian grocery stores or in health food stores.)
  • 1 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp miso

Part 2: The sauce:

  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 tbp corn starch
  • 2 tbs tamari or soy sauce

Part 3: The vegetables:

  • 1 tsp coconut oil (you can replace this with some water)
  • 1 minced onion
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 zucchini squashes
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbs garram massala

Here is what you do:

  1. Dilute the miso paste in the warm water and place the TVP in so that it can soak up all the water. Put aside.
  2. Mix all the sauce ingredients and put aside.
  3. In a large sauce pan, heat up the coconut oil, and stir the garlic and onion until golden and fragrant. Add the spices and give a good stir.
  4. Cut the zucchinis into bite-sized pieces and add to the pan. Mix well.
  5. Add the TVP and the remaining water and stir everything until well coated in spices.
  6. When everything is cooked and ready to serve, add the sauce ingredients and stir until the sauce becomes thick and glossy. Serve with warm rice or noodles.

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I really like this dish because I can pretty much make it with anything on hand: eggplant, chickpeas, mushrooms, tofu or even tempeh! It is also very easy to prepare and quite quick to make. It is supper flavourful and so comforting!

Let me know if you give it a try!

Corn Chowder, the ultimate comfort soup?

The weather over here has been a little bit moody: rain, snow and fog. Spring is clearly waiting to make a grand entrance. Any day now! (I really hope!) So, with this going on outside, I really felt like some comfort food. And what is more comforting than some chowder?

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This soup does the trick! It is thick, spicy, creamy and simply amazing! It is also extra easy to make and is fairly quick to prepare. I really like that with the corral lentils, this soup makes for a complete meal. How easy!

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Here is what you need:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 3 cans of corn niblets, drained ( I use 341mL/ 12 oz cans, about 5 cups)
  • 2 cups of red corral lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tbsp dark miso paste
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp of red chili pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Toasted sesame seeds to garnish

Here is what you do:

  1. In a large pot, sauté the onion and garlic with 1/3 cup water.
  2. Add the potato chunks and mix well. Let cook for a few minutes.
  3. Add the corn and mix well. Pour some water so that the vegetables are just covered. Bring to a boil.
  4. Add the lentils and the hot pepper flakes. Give a quick stir. Add 4 cups of water. Let boil on medium heat until the lentils are completely cooked. Remove from the heat. Mix in the miso paste, and add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. With a wand mixer, pulse until most of the potato chunks are creamed. I like to leave some corn and potato chunks whole, but you could of course grind everything up.
  6. Serve hot with some sesame seeds.

You really have to try it out! It is so simple and incredibly delicious! This will definitively be a staple in our house from now on. I made enough so that we could bring some for lunch this week: yum!

Let me know if you try this out and what’s your favourite soup!

Corn Bread!

Corn bread has one of my favourite flavours: rich and corny I find it perfect with a warm cup of tea.

It is also so ridiculously easy to make.

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 cups of corn meal (the texture and amount of liquid added will change with the size of the corn meal)
  • 1.5 – 2 cups of plant milk (I used almond)
  • 2 tbs of ground flax seeds + 6 tbs water
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 1 tbs baking powder

Here’s what you do:

  1. In a small bowl, mix the flax seeds with the water and mix well. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix in the corn meal, sugar, salt and milk. Stir well.
  3. Add the flax mixture and stir until well combined.
  4. Let this sit for 20 to 30 minutes. This will help the corn meal absorb the liquids and make your bread softer.
  5. Mix well to see if your it needs some liquid: you want your mixture to have mostly absorbed the milk, but you don’t want dry patches. In doubt, add a few tablespoons.
  6. Mix in the baking powder.
  7. Oil your pan and preheat the oven to 400F.
  8. Pour in the bather and let cook for 30 minutes.
  9. Let cool before removing from the pan.

That’s it! It really is that simple, and the authentic corn flavour is just delicious. I really like using stone ground meal for this as it adds a crunchy texture to the bread, but this recipe also works with finer corn meal.

Of course, you could add hot peppers, nuts or chocolate chips to the mix, but I like the simplicity and unique flavour of this. Let me know if you try it out!