Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie with Lentils, Mushrooms, and Sweet Potato

When I saw this recipe for Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie with Lentils, Mushrooms, and Sweet Potato in one of my emails from The Kitchn last week, I swooned. I really did. One of my goals for 2013 is to eat “healthy” during the week, then have fun with a new recipe on the weekend — nutritional emphasis encouraged, but not required. This recipe has it all covered. Filling, tasty, healthy, and promising leftovers to enjoy and share.

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Baked Sweet Potato Fries

baked sweet potato fries

Unless you’re talking about pizza or an enormous bowl of pasta (and aren’t all bowls of pasta enormous?), I don’t think one item covers it as a complete meal.

It’s like in sugar cereal commercials where at the end of the spot you see a brief flash of the cereal bowl alongside a pitcher of milk, toast, a glass of juice, and some fruit while a rushed voice says “part of this complete breakfast”.

Of course, in that example the extra things are there for “complete nutrition” purposes, but it’s a concept I am on board with.  A sandwich can’t be a meal unless it has something on the side to round it out.  A handful of baked chips, cut up fruit, or three-bean salad works well for me.  So do these baked sweet potato fries.

baked sweet potato fries

Hot, salty, and full of flavor – they partner with the sandwich to convince me that yes, I have a complete meal in front of me, and I shouldn’t let my mind wander to the possibility of a “second supper” a few hours later.

I let it wander to dessert instead.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Adapted from Simply Recipes

Ingredients
2 sweet potatoes, average size
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. seasoning of your choice (I used cumin and smoked chipotle powder)
1 Tbsp. sugar (optional)
Sea salt

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil.  Put the baking sheet into the oven to heat up while you get the sweet potatoes ready.
  • Peel and cut sweet potatoes into wedges or sticks.  Try to keep the shapes relatively the same size so they will cook evenly.
  • Place sweet potatoes in shallow bowl (or if you’re like me, in a skillet) and add olive oil, seasoning, and a few dashes of sea salt.  Toss to coat, making sure all of the pieces are seasoned.  If you add sugar, it should help the fries get extra brown and crisp when they are in the oven.
  • Carefully remove the hot baking sheet from the oven and arrange the potatoes on it in an even layer, leaving space between each piece.
  • Return the baking sheet to the oven and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Flip all of the pieces and return to the oven for another few minutes until they are lovely and browned.

Makes 2 side servings.

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