Posts Tagged ‘sweet potato’

Life wasn’t meant to be easy

July 5, 2008

It’s tough.  Health issues.  Relationship issues.  Emotional issues.  Financial stress.  Mortgage stress.  Fuel prices.  Rising prices.  Prices.  World food shortage.  Global warming.  The future.  Our kids. Their problems. Their future?

We were never promised an easy ride.    But I guess without trials and testing we don’t develop character, are never stretched to grow and learn and become more compassionate, more resilient, more loving human beings.  But that’s little comfort in the midst of hard times.

What can we do to get through the arduous times?  Live each day as a gift.  Each day IS a gift.   Talk, laugh, sing, dance, pray, enjoy the sunshine and the rain.   Nurture and value each other and ourselves.  Give thanks for our many blessings. Remember the hope we have.   Celebrate with each meal.

That sounds trite but the little pleasures do add up.  Real food.  Cooked with love.  Real coffee.  Music which lifts the spirits.  A fat sun-warmed purring cat. (Or dog or or child grandchild – but of course, children and dogs don’t purr!)  A hug and an encouraging word.  A meal eaten enjoyed outside in the sun, or the cool (whatever you need!)

I recently bought a 2kg bag of sweet potatoes and we have enjoyed a number of great dishes.  Some new, some family favourites.  I don’t recall where I got this recipe.  It’s a satisfying, healthy, honest, simple-to-make but complex-in-taste, delicious salad.  It’s a meal in itself but those of you who are meat-addicted could add some crumbled crisp bacon or a grilled minute steak or even some lamb kofte.

Sweet potato and chickpea (garbanzo) salad

Peel and cube a couple of sweet potatoes, toss with oil and put in a baking dish.

Drizzle with sweet chili sauce, then roast.

Toss (when cooled a bit) with a tin of drained chickpeas, some onion (either finely sliced red or spring onions or shallots) and baby spinach leaves or other dark leaves (rocket is good too).

Add the dressing of your choice. I use extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar with some chopped garlic.  The original recipe suggested a yoghurt dressing, but that would negate the taste of the caramelised sweet chili sauce, I thought!

Toasted pine nuts are a nice addition too!

More sweet potato recipes to come!

A song which has lifted my spirits this week is Love Came Down by Ben Cantelon.

The Comforter has come – sweet potato risotto

May 1, 2008

It’s distinctly wintry in south eastern Australia this week.  Snow fell in Orange (about 3 and a half hours away over the Blue Mountains) on Monday – rather early as it was still April.  Time for warming comfort food!  I made this  healthy but satisfying risotto last night.  Risotto is almost nursery food.  It’s sophisticated but there is something very satisfying about bowl and spoon food (which is the kind I mostly cook!)  Kerri asked me on Twitter for my risotto recipe.  So here it is –  it’s not really a recipe – more a method.


Saute 1 small chopped onion and 1 sliced leek in 1 TBS olive oil and 1 TBS butter.  Add 1 small sweet potato, quite finely diced (sweet potato needs a fair bit of cooking so it needs to be finely diced,  or you can precook it in the microwave) or butternut pumpkin.  Stir in 200g arborio rice and stir for a minute or so until all the grains are glistening.  


Have about 750ml of hot stock ready.  I used home made vege stock but I usually use Plantaforce (an organic vege concentrate).  Add about 2 cups and stir cook it on a medium heat, stirring frequently.  When the stock is almost absorbed, add more, about a cup at a time.  Keep taste-testing the rice to see when it’s done.  There should be a bit of a bite left in the grain – you don’t want mushy risotto.  You probably won’t need all the stock.  Season with freshly ground black pepper and salt.  You may not need salt if your stock is salty (and most bought stocks have salt as a main ingredient – read the label!)

Stir in about 1/3 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and serve with extra Parmesan at the table.

Serves 4.

We can’t eat risotto morning, noon and night.  Or chocolate.  But we are promised a continual Comforter who will never leave us. 

“And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.”

John 14:16

What is your favourite comfort food?