In season: sweet potatoes
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CAPTION: In addition to providing more than an entire day’s worth of vitamin A and 35 percent of the daily-recommended allowance of vitamin C, sweet potatoes are an excellent source for other nutrients such as in beta-carotene, fiber, manganese, thiamine, niacin, potassium and copper.
Despite the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s demand for ‘yam’ labels in this country to include the words ‘sweet potato,’ most people still confuse the two vegetables and use the names interchangeably when referring to the orange-fleshed tubers that are at the peak of the season right now. Historians believe the misunderstanding dates back to the days of slavery when sweet potatoes were first called ‘yams’ by African slaves because they looked so much like the yams native to their home country. To this day, the terms persistently remain interchangeable. In truth, yams are seldom found in this country, and unless you are shopping in an international market, the yam you thought you were purchasing, is actually a sweet potato. Besides yams being more dry and starchy than sweet potatoes, the most significant difference between the two, lies in the nutrients they contain, such as vitamin A – a one cup serving of cooked sweet potatoes supplies a whopping 377 percent of our daily requirement of vitamin A, as compared to the meager four percent found in the same size serving of cooked yams. While Nigeria, the largest country in Africa, leads the world in the production of yams, in this country, North Carolina ranks first in the cultivation of sweet potatoes, where almost 50 percent of the U.S. supply is produced – roughly the same amount harvested by the states of California, Louisiana and Mississippi combined. From soups and fries, to puddings and pies, folks consume sweet potatoes in hundreds of ways, both sweet and savory, but I bet not too many of you have tried them as the main ingredient in a burrito. It was new to me, as too, and, not surprisingly, immensely filling and satisfying. The burrito recipe here comes from our friends at allrecipes.com, where it received a 4.5 (out of five) star rating and over 1,450 reviews. Enjoy them with homemade guacamole and salsa, and if you like, a side of Mexican-style rice.
Addictive Sweet Potato Burritos
Recipe courtesy All Recipes.com, used with permission
Submitted By: Karen
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CAPTION: “These unusual burritos are made with sweet potatoes, spices and kidney beans. They freeze well, and can be deep fried instead of baked.” – Karen (allrecipes.com recipe contributor)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups canned kidney beans, drained
2 cups water
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
4 teaspoons prepared mustard
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
3 tablespoons soy sauce
4 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
12 (10 inch) flour tortillas, warmed
8 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a medium skillet, and sauté onion and garlic until soft. Stir in beans, and mash. Gradually stir in water, and heat until warm. Remove from heat, and stir in the chili powder, cumin, mustard, cayenne pepper and soy sauce. Divide bean mixture and mashed sweet potatoes evenly between the warm flour tortillas. Top with cheese. Fold up tortillas burrito style, and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven, and serve. Makes 12 burritos.
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup uncooked rice
1 medium onion, diced
1 (10-ounce) can Ro*Tel Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, undrained
1 (8-ounce) can Ro*Tel Tomato and Green Chili Sauce, mild
½ teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups chicken broth
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add rice, cooking until golden brown, stirring constantly. Add onion and cook until softened, sprinkling with the cumin. Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth and salt to taste; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until liquid has been absorbed. Serves 4.
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CAPTION: Research indicates that the avocados in guacamole are great source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, the kind of fat that may help to raise levels of HDL, the good cholesterol, while lowering levels of LDL, the bad.
3 ripe Haas avocados
Juice of one medium lime
1 plum tomato, seeded and chopped (optional)
½ cup finely chopped sweet onion
1 tablespoon minced cilantro
Tabasco sauce, optional
In a medium bowl, mash together the avocados and lime juice. Mix in tomato, onion and cilantro. Add salt, to taste. If using Tabasco, add it one drop at a time. For best flavor, refrigerate for 1 hour before serving. Store leftover guacamole for up to 1 day in the refrigerator by pressing plastic wrap on top of the guacamole before covering. Before serving, remove brown layer that may form on the top. Makes 4 servings.
Stewed Tomatoes Salsa
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CAPTION: A blender is useful for making your own salsa. If you like your salsa hot, add some Tabasco, to taste.
2 (14.5-ounce) cans stewed tomatoes
1 small onion, diced
½ fresh lime, juiced
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup canned sliced green chilies
¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
Place tomatoes, onion, lime juice, salt, green chilies and cilantro in the glass container of blender. Blend on low, a few seconds at a time, until salsa reaches desired consistency. Chill salsa in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving to blend flavors. Makes about 3 cups.