Roasted Sweet Potatoes And Figs

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and FigsThe number on producer of sweet potatoes in the United States alone, is the state of North Carolina, planting and harvesting more than 40% of the national supply.

3 popular sweet potato varieties sold at market

Image Credit: Saveur Magazine

The website for the sweet potato industry, North Carolina Sweet Potatoes say that the list of sweet potato varieties changes rapidly and new varieties are released almost annually.

The most popular varieties sold at your local market are, Covington Sweet Potato, O’Henry Sweet Potato, and the Japanese Sweet Potato.

The popular food magazine, also found on line, Saveur says that shopping for sweet potatoes, particularly during the Thanksgiving holiday (USA), you can came across a surprising range of varieties, 16 to be exact.

They go on to say that a consumer can find both heirlooms and new hybrids alike, all which are being grown in the United States.

Our feature recipe – Roasted Sweet Potatoes And Figs – uses three different types of sweet potatoes, which are the speckled purple sweet potato, which is named because of their flecked magenta flesh.

An heirloom variety with pale orange skin and flesh, and not to forget the Hannahs varity which has tan skin and an off-white interior. When roasted the flesh takes on a yellow cast, a lightly sweet flavor, and a dry texture.

Here is what you will need to prepare – Roasted Sweet Potatoes And Figs in your own kitchen.

2 1/4 pounds sweet potatoes, different colors

5 tablespoons olive oil

Himalayan salt and fresh black pepper to taste

6 dried figs

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

2 peeled coins fresh ginger

2 1/2 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons dark balsamic vinegar

12 scallions or green onions (white and green parts), cut into 1 1/2 inch segments

1 red chili,halved, seeded, thinly sliced

My mother had two fig trees in her garden, both a black and green variety. Fresh figs can be very fragile, and need to be eaten within a day or two of harvesting. We used dried figs in our recipe because they are just as versatile as fresh figs when re-hydrated.

Read more here about the Benefits Of Figs Help Fight Against Common Ailments.

Recipes directions:

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Scrub potatoes and slice each one into wedges.

roasted sweet potatoesToss wedges with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, s teaspoons of Himalayan salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Spread on a baking sheet. Sprinkle and roast until soft, about 25 minutes.

rehydrating fdried figs with lemon zest, juice, sugar and fresh gingerMeanwhile, place the dried figs in a medium saucepan with lemon zest, juice, ginger, and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Cover with fresh water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil and simmer until figs return to plump fig pose.

dried figs rehydratedScoop figs from saucepan with a slotted spoon and drain on some paper towels. Let dry, and quarter the figs, cutting away the stems.

In a small saucepan, stir together the balsamic vinegar, and remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 4 minutes.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Figs - close upArrange roasted sweet potatoes on a serving platter. Pour remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a sauce pan and heat. place in onions, and chili. Fry for about 4 to 5 minutes, stirring often. Spoon the oil, onions, and chili over the sweet potatoes.

Nestle the figs among the wedges and drizzle with the balsamic reduction. Suggested to serve at room temperature.

Ginger and Lemon Juice WaterMaybe you are wondering what to do with the water solution that was used to dehydrate the figs? Put it into your Nutri-Bullet or blender, and blend for about 30 to 40 seconds and drink down a nutritious anti-inflammatory drink.

What Others Are Reading:

Reaping the Benefits of Gardening Your Own Onions

Reaping the Benefits of Gardening Your Own Onions

Onions have great nutritional value and are a perfect addition to so many of your favorite lunch, dinner, salads, and side dish recipes. Onions can be stored in a cool dark area of the kitchen for several weeks, though they should not be stored with potatoes.

If you like vegetable gardening, then onions is a great addition as they are easy to grow.

Planting Onions

planting onionsYou can plant onions as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring, which for most areas  it can be late March or April (make sure the temperatures are not dropping below 20 degrees F).

Plant the onions sets 1 inch deep, with about 4 to 5 inches between each plant, depending on the size of the onion when mature, and in rows 12 to 18 inches apart.

Meet the Allium Family

The Allium family of vegetables includes the onions, scallions (green onions), chives, leeks, shallots, and garlic. The onion along with its cousin the garlic are grown and used both for medicinal properties and for cooking.

The Rainbow of Onions

There are many types and colors of onions. There are the smaller green onions, yellow onions, purple onions, red onions, white onions.

Depending on the color of the onion, they can have a sweet flavor or can have a spicy, pungent, and sharp flavor.

The Health Benefits

Onion bulb with green leaves and rootsOnions are so ubiquitous in cooking that it is hard to remember that they also have medicinal properties. The health benefits of onions include:

  • High in fiber, help with digestion and do not spike blood glucose
  • They have about 15 grams of plant carbohydrates per onion and no raw sugar.
  • Onions have no fat
  • Onions contain no cholesterol
  • Their mineral content includes iron, folate, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium
  • Onions are high in antioxidants, including sulfur and quercetin
  • Help to improve emotional wellbeing, and are healthy for your hair and skin
  • Reduce colon cancer risk
  • Onions can help fight obesity
  • Any onion because of its nutritional content can reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome, which includes heart disease, and diabetes

Now let us examine in more detail some of the onions health benefits.

The Onion – Your Allie Against Cancer

It is the sulfur compounds of onions help reduce the risk of several different cancers. They inhibit cancer through several different methods. They can prevent oxygen free radical formation by being a potent antioxidant.

Animal and human studies have shown that all the Allium family of vegetables inhibit tumor growth and reduce the risk of stomach cancer, esophageal cancer, and prostate cancer.

The sulfur compounds can help block the growth of tumors and can prevent normal cells from mutating into cancer cells.

Antioxidants

Onions are rich in the antioxidant vitamin-C, which is important for cellular health as it can help stop the cascade of oxygen free radicals that are a by-product of cellular metabolism. Oxygen free radicals can damage or compromise the cell wall structure if they are not, neutralized by an antioxidant.

Your skin, bones, and ligaments, all rely on the vitamin-C, which helps to make collagen and maintain its health. Use vitamin-C rich onions in your salads or other dishes for the best in connective tissue health.

Folate for Mood and Sleep

Onions have a beneficial effect on your mood and sleep, as onions are rich in folate. This B-vitamin has shown to reduce the risk of depression by Eating fresh onions from your garden decreasing homocysteine levels in the body. High levels homocysteine has shown to conflict with the production of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine, all of which are essential for emotional wellbeing.

Onions have the most nutrition in them, when freshly harvested, and you cannot really say that about the onions you purchase at the market.

This means it is best to start your own organic garden, incorporating a row of onions you can pick all season long.

 

What Others Are Reading:

Bacon Wrapped Garlic Lemon Stuffed Chicken Breast

Bacon Wrapped Garlic Lemon Stuffed Chicken BreastThe website Yummy, features about 136 different ways to prepare a Boneless Chicken Breast Wrap. Our featured recipe consists cutting the chicken breasts horizontally and rolling them up with a garlic lemon cream cheese filling and wrapped with a non-cured pork shoulder bacon for a rich and savory dish.

organic garlic lemon seasoningThe garlic lemon is a seasoning we purchased at the Whole Foods Market, and it was a worth while purchase as it added splendid flavor to the dish.

chopped green onionsTo move things along in the preparation of the ingredients, such as the green onions, we used kitchen shears.

The photo at the start of the post looks to mouth watering, lip smacking good to write more about stuffing a chicken breast, so let’s get to cooking.

Here is what you will need for our Bacon Wrapped Garlic Lemon Stuffed Chicken Breast

2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless, cut horizontally

1 pound cream cheese, room temperature

3 green onions, chopped

1 tablespoon garlic lemon seasoning

12 pieces bacon, partially cooked

Several tooth picks

Heat oven to 375 degrees

green onion garlic lemon cream cheese mixPrepare chicken breast by cutting each breast horizontally into two pieces, and set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl cream the cheese and add the chopped green onions and garlic lemon seasoning. Set aside.

partially cooked pork shoulder baconIn a large ceramic coated frying pan partially cook the bacon over medium heat.  Set aside in a separate plate.

chicken breast spread with cream cheese  Spread a layer of cream cheese mixture over one side of each breast section, but not to thick. Roll chicken breast up to conceal cream cheese, and secure with toothpicks.

prepared Bacon Wrapped Garlic Lemon Stuffed Chicken Breast for bakingRap two pieces of bacon diagonally and keep in place with toothpicks. Rap one piece of bacon long ways or horizontally and keep in place with toothpicks.

Place all four bacon wrapped chicken breasts into a medium sized glass baking pan. Place pan into heated oven and bake for 30 minutes. Place under broiler for 5 minutes to crisp bacon.

Plated Bacon Wrapped Garlic Lemon Stuffed Chicken BreastPlate and serve.

Green Beans with Coconut and PecansThe side dish is a Green Bean with Coconut and Pecans. Here is what you will need.

3 cups of fresh green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 tablespoon of coconut butter

1/2 cup pecan pieces

1/4 cup dried shredded coconut

Steam cut green beans. Add steamed beans and coconut butter to a serving bowl, and mix till beans are well coated with the butter. Next add dried coconut and pecans and mix in. Enjoy.

 

What Others Are Reading:

Oriental Chicken Wraps

Oriental Chicken Wraps

Do you want a slow, steady energy supply?  Would you like to prevent chronic disease? Eating the recommended three servings per day of this food has been shown to reduce heart disease by 28 percent, stroke by 36 percent and type II diabetes by 30 percent.

Substituting this food 3 times a day for its processed counterpart will help you manage hunger, eat less and ultimately maintain your weight.

You eat to derive energy from protein and carbohydrates you eat, right? You need to eat this food with its fiber intact as it has Manganese, and it plays a key role in the synthesis of fatty acids to receive that energy you’re looking for when you eat.

What is it, you ask with enthusiasm? It’s 100% whole wheat, and brown rice, and here is a recipe from Splendid Recipes and More that will provide you with 1 of those 3 servings per day, plus your Manganese for energy: Oriental Chicken Wraps.

Here is what you will need.

ingredients-for-Oriental-Chicken-Wraps

 

8 (7-8 inches) whole wheat tortillas

1 cup frozen string green beans

1 cup frozen mix peas and carrots

1 cup brown rice, cooked

1 lg. chicken breast, cooked and cut into small chunks

2 green onions, diced

2 cups chicken broth, no salt added

1/2 cup peanut sauce

diced-cut-chicken-breast-and-diced-green-onions-and-heating-tortillas

Dice two green onions and chop chicken breast into 1 inch pieces and set aside.  Heat oven to 300 degrees. Wrap tortillas in foil and warm for 10 minutes. Shown here in the image, we are using our counter top Nuwave oven. Cook rice according to package instructions with 1 cup of chicken broth and 1 cup water.

 

with-slotted-spoon-spoon-chicken-and-vegetables-to-large-bowl

In a small sauce pan bring 1 cup chicken broth to boiling. Add frozen vegetables and turn heat to low. Simmer 2 to 3 minutes. Just allowing vegetables to thaw out and warm up. Turn off heat and set aside. Next add chopped chicken breast to a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook chicken until no longer pink and cooked through.

Spoon the warmed vegetables to a medium boil along with the cooked chicken pieces.

 

adding-diced-green-onions

Next add cooked chicken, rice and vegetables to a large bowl.  Add green onions, and mix till well incorporated.

spread-peanut-sauce-on-warm-tortilla

Next, spread peanut sauce on one side of warm tortilla. Fold in half, roll up into a cone shape and fill with chicken mixture.

serving-a-plate-of-Oriental-Chicken-Wraps

 

Plate and serve. Serve with additional peanut sauce, if desired.

 

What Others are Saying About Chicken and Brown Rice, and Tortillas:

Enhanced by Zemanta