Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Sweet Potato... A Super Food!

I love it when I stumble upon a food that I love and then discover that it is also good for me. I shunned sweet potatoes all my life because my only experience with them was the (disgusting) super-sweet casserole version on our Thanksgiving table. A few years back I decided to try them with a more savory twist and they've quickly become my new favorite vegetable. The health benefits of the sweet potato are substantial, elevating it to super-food status with the likes of broccoli, blueberries, spinach and salmon. Rich with fiber, complex carbohydrates, vitamin E and beta-carotene, the sweet potato is being heralded for its disease fighting properties.

I serve this chicken sausage and sweet potato hash on its own, or topped with an egg for breakfast.

3 small-medium sweet potatoes, peeled. Cut in half length-wise, then again length-wise, then into thin slices.
1/2 large red onion, diced
1 bell pepper, seeded and diced
salt, pepper
4 fully-cooked chicken or turkey sausages, diced
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

In microwave-safe dish, place potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Add a tablespoon or two or water, cover, and microwave on high power for 5 minutes. Stir and return to microwave; microwave for another 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In large skillet heat one tablespoon olive oil. Add onion and bell pepper, season with salt and pepper, and saute until translucent. Remove from heat.

In another large skillet heat one tablespoon olive oil. Add sausage pieces and saute until lightly caramelized, remove from skillet and drain on paper towel.

To that same skillet add the final tablespoon of olive oil. Add in drained sweet potatoes and season with cumin, oregano, garlic powder, paprika and red pepper flakes. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Allow potatoes to finish cooking until soft and lightly caramelized, then stir in veggies and sausage pieces. Continue cooking for another five minutes or so to allow flavors to combine. Garnish with sliced green onions, if desired.

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