Sweet potato, sausage and white bean stew

I try to use almost everything I have in the pantry and refrigerator before I head to the store. I do it partly for the challenge, and partly because I don’t always feel like going to the store. This process has turned out all kinds of food combinations I wouldn’t ordinarily mix, but it also keeps me from churning out the same old dishes all the time.

Yesterday I found myself with one sweet potato (lots of nutritious bang for your buck – they should have a label that reads, “eat me”), a package of light Hillshire Farm (Go meat!) sausage, and white northern beans. Also on hand (because I always need them) was onion, garlic, canned tomatoes, chicken broth, and, of course, a plethora of seasonings. Since I’m writing about it, you have already guessed that the result was delicious.

A few notes about this dish before we get to the recipe:

  • Don’t add salt. Between the sausage and the canned beans and tomatoes, you don’t need it.
  • Don’t serve it over rice or pasta. You wouldn’t serve mashed potatoes that way, so don’t serve sweet potato stew that way.
  • You could also make this in the slow cooker.
  • I don’t have a photo because we were really hungry from smelling it, and we ate too fast for my shutter.

Sweet potato, sausage and white bean stew

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 pkg. light smoked sausage
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp dried basil (or a handful of the fresh stuff if you’ve got it handy)
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped (1 inch chunks work)
  • 1 can of whole tomatoes
  • 1 can white great northern/cannellini beans (drained)
  • 2/3 cup chicken broth

In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Add onion, cook for 3 minutes, then add sausage and garlic. Cook another 3 minutes and add potato and seasonings. Cook 3 minutes, stirring well, then add tomatoes and stir/smash to blend. Finally, add beans. Cover and cook for 20-30 mins, adding chicken broth as needed too keep it from getting to thick and sticking to the skillet.


Roasted sweet potato and pineapple

I ran across this delicious side dish in Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food magazine and enjoyed it so much I wanted to share the recipe.

Sweet potatoes have a lower glycemic index score than other potatoes, making them a good carb, and they come loaded with cartenoids, vitamin C, fiber and potassium.

Pineapple is another nutritional powerhouse with a natural sweetness that only gets better when roasted.

Don’t be shy about the cayenne used in the recipe. I would not categorize this as a spicy dish.

The basic recipe for this dish calls for preheating the oven to 450F and roasting the potatoes and pineapple for 30-35 minutes, stirring every ten minutes. The night I made this I was also cooking a pork loin and wanted to roast everything at the same time, so I actually cooked it all at 400F for 40 minutes, stirring at the halfway point. It made for a very easy dinner all-around.

Without further ado, here is the recipe.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Pineapple

  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch pieces, or one 20 oz can of chunks in natural juice (drained)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Few cracks of sea salt

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss sweet potatoes, pineapple, oil, salt and cayenne pepper together and spread evenly on baking sheet. Roast until sweet potatoes and pineapple are tender and golden, 30 to 35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

Mashed sweet potato with roasted banana

Mashed sweet potato with roasted banana is easy to make, delicious, and healthy to the nth degree. One sweet potato and one banana is all you need. One large potato is usually large enough to feed two, or you could do a small one per person. You’ll need one banana to each potato.

Sweet potatoes are nutritional rockstars. They’re lower on the glycemic index than other potatoes, making them the “good carbs,” and they’re loaded with carotenoids, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Unfortunately, we love them with butter and sugar, which add back in the same things we were trying to avoid.

Bananas are low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium, and they’re also a great source of fiber, vitamin C, potassium, manganese, and vitamin B6. They are higher in sugar than some fruits, but natural sugar is better for you than refined and bleached sugar or artificial sweeteners.

When you roast a banana the skin turns black, and the inside becomes sweet and gooey, like sweetened butter. Thus, sugar and butter, without the actual sugar and butter. Get excited.

Try this recipe next to a spicy steak, chicken/pork with a peach-balsamic sauce, or even as baby food. It’s a very versatile dish.

Mashed sweet potato with roasted banana (You’re not going to believe how easy this is!)

Preheat oven to 350F.

Scrub potato(s) and pierce a few times with a fork. Bake for one hour. Forty-five minutes into baking, place banana(s), skin on, in oven. After the final 15 minutes, remove potato(s) and banana(s). Slice potato and scoop out filling. Mash in a large bowl. Make a slit in your banana and scoop contents out with a spoon over the potato. Mash and mix together. That’s it! Enjoy!