Friday, March 16, 2012

Is it Thanksgiving? Sweet Potatoes Everywhere!

Growing up Until the last few weeks, sweet potatoes were an ingredient that I saw one of 3 places...

1. Thanksgiving
2. Long Horn Steakhouse (Random?)
3. Baby food jars

Sweet potato casserole was and is my favorite side item for the holidays. Although now that I am grown and make it myself, I cringe knowing exactly how LITTLE nutritional value remains after all the sugar/butter/cream! Maybe it is just me, but these beauties were not a staple in our weekly meal plan. That all changed when we started our "Almost" vegetarian journey. I started researching meatless meals and the delicious orange vegetable showed up everywhere!

In the last month I have now used sweet potatoes in Mexican, soup and thai! Who would have thought? Which brings me to my new recipe of the week.... Sweet Potato and Chickpea Curry! I originally found the recipe here. Their pictures are much better than mine... but mine include a cute baby. Bonus points? I think so!

I already had all the ingredients except the coconut milk and ginger, so I knew it was going to be a very budget friendly add to my menu.

I even had a little helper while I did my chopping. Typically, I do my prep work while he is napping, but alas... the time change has stolen my two hours of afternoon freedom. Yep.... no nap since Sunday. Clearly he has forgotten how glorious naps can be (and sleeping through the night for that matter... YES he is 6 months and no he still doesn't sleep through the night... On the plus side, I like the snuggles... Maybe it is because I have forgotten how much I would like a full night of rest).

Ingredients (for 6 servings):
  • Cooked brown rice (I used jasmine rice)
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (I used green chilies since I had a half open can)
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1 large sweet potato, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (I used two)
  • 15-oz can chickpeas
  • 15-oz can coconut milk, solid and liquid parts mixed (just shake the can)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas (not pictured... hey-I'm learning!)
  • 1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
In a heavy saucepan (Dutch oven if you have it!), heat the oil over medium-low heat.  After the pan has heated up for a few minutes, add the onion, garlic, ginger, and jalapeno.  Cook for about 5 minutes until everything is softened.  Add the curry powder and stir for 30 seconds.  Add salt and pepper (I added a lot of salt, almost a tablespoon).

Add the sweet potato, chickpeas, coconut milk, and water to the pan.  Increase the heat and bring to a boil.  As soon as it starts boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sweet potato is tender.  It took about 15 minutes for me.  Add the peas and tomatoes; stir occasionally until they’re heated through, about 4 more minutes.  Serve over brown rice.

Next time I will omit the cup of water and use an additional can of coconut milk. Thanks to my handy dandy recipe creator on My Fitness Pal I calculated that there are 177 calories per serving so the extra can wont dent the calorie allowance too badly and I think the extra would make it so much creamier! My recipe served six and equaled about 1 1/2 cups of curry. I put it over a half cup of jasmine rice at 100 calories. Totaling 277 for the meal. Not bad :) And very filling!

On a fun side note... the weather in Georgia has been amazing the last few days. Clearly we just skipped over winter and spring. We took full advantage of the weather and went to the park. Carter loved his first time in the swing. I think more than anything he loved that his big sister was pushing him! Warms my heart to see that relationship blooming.  Glad we made it out since yesterday my little red head came home with a 103* fever. 

Her favorite spot. Gives me a heart attack every time she climbs up and down. It is much higher than it looks here. 

 HAPPY FRIDAY... Helllloooooo weekend... and the return of my Hubs from his business trip! This momma is ready for a break :)

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