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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sweet Potato Salad


Sweet Potato Salad is a nice change from or welcome addition to a classic potato salad.  Cooked sweet potatoes mix well with other salad vegetables and also with fruit and nuts.  Everything is combined with salad dressing or mayonnaise for a pleasing side dish for any family meal or barbecue.  For those of you who follow a vegan diet, just substitute a vegan dressing for the mayonnaise or salad dressing.  

I don't make this Sweet Potato Salad very often as we usually eat our sweet potatoes mashed hot with our dinner or supper but every once in a while I decide to switch up the salads and use the sweet potato instead.  

The other day when I was making this I was hit with a light bulb moment when I thought of adding the curry powder.  I was tasting the salad and chewing down on the raisins and apple and curry just popped into my head.  I rummaged through the cupboard and found a can of the stuff (that should probably be replaced with a fresh can) and added a teaspoon to the mix.  How nice!  Yum!  I asked Don if he liked the curry powder added but his taste buds are not overly developed and he didn't realize I'd changed anything, ha, ha. Curry powder is not particularly strong or hot so it only gives a nice hint of the flavour.  

Although I serve this as a side dish it also makes a nice light lunch or supper served in larger portions with bread or rolls to round out the meal. 

Sweet Potato Salad

3 cups cooked sweet potatoes, diced
2 medium unpeeled red apples, diced
1 cup celery, sliced
¼ cup red or mild onion, finely diced or minced
½ cup raisins
½ cup nuts, chopped (walnuts, pecans or almonds)
Juice of 1 lemon or 2 tablespoons
1 cup salad dressing or mayonnaise
1 teaspoon sugar if using mayonnaise, optional
½-1 teaspoon curry powder, optional
Salt to taste, if needed, optional

Mix all other ingredients together with the sweet potatoes, tossing lightly to combine. Refrigerate and serve chilled.

Makes 6-8 side dish servings.




Peel and dice sweet potatoes.  Measure with cup flowing over as the sweet potatoes shrink when cooked.


 Cook in lightly salted water until just tender. Drain and cool to room temperature.

Prepare the remaining ingredients by dicing the apples, slicing the celery, chopping the nuts and mincing the onions and measuring everything into a large bowl.


 Mix everything together.

 Add any optional ingredients like sugar, salt or curry powder.  

 Chill for a few hours and serve in a pretty bowl.

A delicious addition to your salad bar.




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Sweet Potato Salad
Sweet potatoes mixed with vegetables, fruit and nuts makes an excellent side dish for your next barbecue or picnic.
Ingredients
  • 3 cups cooked sweet potatoes, diced
  • 2 medium unpeeled red apples, diced
  • 1 cup celery, sliced
  • ¼ cup red or mild onion, finely diced or minced
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup nuts, chopped (walnuts, pecans or almonds)
  • Juice of 1 lemon or 2 tablespoons
  • 1 cup salad dressing or mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon sugar if using mayonnaise, optional
  • ½-1 teaspoon curry powder, optional
  • Salt to taste, if needed, optional
Instructions
Mix all other ingredients together with the sweet potatoes, tossing lightly to combine. Refrigerate and serve chilled.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6-8 side dish servings

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Creamed Greens



Creamed Greens is a delicious way to get in a serving or two of a leafy green vegetable.  A cream sauce is quick and easy to make and with a package of frozen greens ready in the freezer this dish comes together quite nicely.  

As a child, I was never a lover of greens on my plate.  I had the misfortune of choking on a long stringy mouthful when I was about 6 or 7 years old and it left me dubious about their benefits in my diet.  Don also had a similar experience as a child.  As I grew older and my tastes widened I again tried greens and actually liked them.  But because of childhood memories, I always chop them before serving.  Chopping really cuts down on the choking factor.  

In Newfoundland, when referring to greens, one usually means "turnip greens" or "turnip tops" as I grew up calling them. But this recipe for Creamed Greens can use any favourite green as an ingredient.  This is not a traditional dish in Newfoundland but it should be!  What a great way to serve greens, especially for a vegetarian meal.  Tradition would have the greens cooked with a big chunk of salt beef (or pork) and served along side potatoes, turnip and carrots.  

Today I used the traditional turnip tops for my Creamed Greens but any cooked green will be more than satisfactory.  Remember not to overcook the greens before stirring them in the cream sauce.


Creamed Greens
About 1 pound (454 grams) frozen greens or enough fresh greens to serve at least 6
2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, diced
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup full fat milk or for richer sauce use half and half
⅛ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon black pepper
Pinch nutmeg

Cook the frozen or fresh greens in lightly salted water until to desired doneness. (The greens can also be cooked in a little vegetarian chicken or beef bouillon.)  If you are using commercially prepared greens, follow the package directions. The time of cooking depends on the type of greens you use. Spinach will only take a minute or two but heavier greens such as turnip, chard, beet, kale or collards, etc. will take considerably longer–at least 20-25 minutes.  When cooked, drain and press out excess liquid.  You can even squeeze them dry with your hands if you let them cool down. Chop the greens into small pieces.  (This can also be done before cooking.)

In a medium saucepan cook the onions in the butter until translucent and just starting to caramelize. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute.  Gradually stir in the milk and bring to a low boil or simmer. Cook until the sauce becomes thick and there is no raw flour taste.  Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.  

Add the well-drained and chopped greens to the hot sauce.  Stir and let the greens heat through before serving.  

Serves 6.



Prepare the greens by cooking them in lightly salted water.  Drain when cooked and press out all the excess liquid.  Chop the greens either before or after cooking.  


If you wish you may start the cream sauce while the greens are cooking.  Cook the onions in the butter until translucent and a little caramelization is starting to happen.   Stir in the flour and  cook for a minute.  


Gradually stir in the milk and bring to a low boil or simmer and cook until thick.


 Add the seasonings.

A little ground nutmeg really brings out the flavour of the greens. Just a pinch will do.

Add the greens to the sauce or add the sauce to the greens. It really doesn't matter.  Which ever pot is larger.  


 Stir everything together and heat through before serving.


Yum, yum! Creamed turnip tops for my dinner.




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Creamed Greens
Your favourite greens will taste extra good in this well-seasoned cream sauce with onions.
Ingredients
  • About 1 pound (454 grams) frozen greens or enough fresh greens to serve at least 6
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup full fat milk or for richer sauce use half and half
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch nutmeg
Instructions
Cook the frozen or fresh greens in lightly salted water until to desired doneness. (The greens can also be cooked in a little vegetarian chicken or beef bouillon.) If you are using commercially prepared greens, follow the package directions. The time of cooking depends on the type of greens you use. Spinach will only take a minute or two but heavier greens such as turnip, chard, kale or collards, etc. will take considerably longer–at least 20-25 minutes. When cooked, drain and press out excess liquid. You can even squeeze them dry with your hands if you let them cool down. Chop the greens into small pieces. (This can also be done before cooking.)

In a medium saucepan cook the onions in the butter until translucent and just starting to caramelize. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually stir in the milk and bring to a low boil or simmer. Cook until the sauce becomes thick and there is no raw flour taste. Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

Add the well-drained and chopped greens to the hot sauce. Stir and let the greens heat through before serving.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6