I am constantly looking for ways to incorporate nutrient dense foods into my family’s diet. And while I have no problem eating salads, soups and smoothies for every meal; my family has a different idea of what that looks like.
For all the cooking I do, my kids are still kids; they would prefer to dunk all their vegetables in ranch dressing and that’s on a good day. They regularly refuse the dinners I make and complain that everything is ‘gross’ and ‘looks weird.’
And that’s ok, because I know they’ll grow out of it eventually. I keep making the food I think we should be eating and shrugging my shoulders when it’s refused. Sometimes they eat a banana and call it dinner, sometimes they grudgingly try the food in front of them and surprise surprise, at least 50 percent of the time they end up liking what they initially deemed inedible.
I tend to rely heavily on pastas and grains for quick weeknight dinners. Pasta tossed with a little pork or turkey Italian sausage and some kind of vegetable hidden under parmesan cheese is quick, easy and usually everyone at the table will eat it.
But in the last year or so, I’ve tried to get away from that as much, looking to help my family (and myself) eat more vegetables, especially at dinner time. I still love a one-pot meal, but I’m finding more and more that a flavorful roasted vegetable is just as satisfying and so much better for our overall health than that pasta dish.
These roasted sweet potatoes are the perfect crowd-pleaser and easy weeknight side-dish. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A and C, potassium and fiber. Tossed in a little pure maple syrup and a chipotle pepper in adobo sauce the result is a sweet and spicy ‘french fry’ with just a hint of smoky flavor. This recipe works well with pork and chicken, wrapped up in a tortilla as a base for vegetable tacos or saved for morning when you can enjoy them with a fried egg.
Maple Chipotle Sweet Potatoes
· 3 large sweet potatoes, cut into ½ inch wedges
· 2 tablespoons olive oil
· 2 tablespoons corn starch
· 2 tablespoons maple syrup
· 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, seeded and finely diced
· 1-2 teaspoons adobo sauce
· 1 teaspoon coarse salt
· ½ teaspoon black pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment pepper. Wash, peel and dice sweet potatoes. The thinner you cut the potatoes, the quicker they cook. Thicker potatoes keep their shape a little better, but take longer to roast.
In a large bowl, toss sweet potatoes in olive oil and cornstarch. Allow the potatoes to rest for 10 to 15 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Seed and dice the pepper. Drizzle the maple syrup, chipotle pepper and reserved adobo sauce over the sweet potatoes. Salt and pepper the potatoes and mix well. Spread the sweet potatoes evenly on the baking sheet and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the edges of the sweet potatoes are crispy and golden brown. Make sure to flip the potatoes half way through the cooking time to ensure they cook evenly.
Save the remaining chipotle peppers in a container and stash in the refrigerator or freezer.