The Mancunion

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Veg of the Week: The Humble Sweet Potato

Often in the shadow of their starchy distant relative the potato, sweet potatoes are just as cheap, versatile and delicious as the mighty jacketed staple food. At around 79p per kg at Lidl (that’s about 3 big ones), there is no excuse not to have a go at some of our tasty and cost cutting recipes. Don’t be put off by their coloured skin and mutated shapes; it’s what’s inside that counts. Equality for the potatoes!

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1. Spicy & Sweet Wedges.

Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:

-Sweet potatoes (obviously). Allow one large per person.

-Sprinkling of salt

-Lashing of oil

-Rosemary

-Paprika

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Directions: Preheat the oven to 200C, drizzle around 1 tablespoon of oil per potato into a roasting tin and let heat up while you slice the potatoes into wedges. Toss into the pan and sprinkle with herbs, spices and seasoning. Roast for around 25 mins until lightly browned and soft when pressed with a fork. Experiment with spice combinations and enjoy with mayo or as a healthy side dish.

2. Creamy Thai Satay Soup.

Difficulty: Easy, but you’ll need a few more slightly fancy ingredients and a blender.

Ingredients:

-Sweet potatoes again. 2 large ones should make about 6 servings.

-knob of butter/glug of oil

-3 tbsp Thai red curry paste

-1 1/2 tbsp peanut butter

-Can of coconut milk (very cheap in Curry Mile shops, avoid expensive brand name supermarket stuff)/cream of coconut & hot water also works well

-1 onion

-1 tsp minced garlic

-Nutmeg & paprika – use according to taste

-1 vegetable stock cube dissolved in 500ml hot water

-handful of chopped coriander (worth buying a plant if you have space on a windowsill, they’re normally a pound or less)

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Directions: Oven to 200C, chop and roast the sweet potatoes in oil/butter, sprinkle with the spices. While waiting, finely chop the onion and fry in a saucepan on low, adding in the garlic and curry paste when the onions have softened. Add the roasted sweet potatoes to the pan and cover with the stock and can of coconut milk, bring to the boil then simmer as you plug in the liquidiser/blender, or chop the coriander. Add all ingredients (don’t forget the peanut butter) except fresh coriander to the blender until smooth. If you don’t have a blender this soup is still delicious, and if you want a smooth consistency you could roast the potato whole, mash the insides and then add it to the onion mix. Top with a spoonful of natural yoghurt and sprinkle with coriander. Warning: This is DELICIOUS, you will probably struggle to restrain yourself from drinking the entire thing from the saucepan. It tastes like a soup version of satay dipping sauce. And it’s healthy!

3. Sweet Potato and Tangy Coriander Chickpea Salad.

Difficulty: Easy.

Ingredients:

-Sweet potatoes, 1 large per person. (Notice a theme here?)

-4 spring onions per person

-1/2 tin of chickpeas, drained

-sprig of celery, finely chopped

-juice and zest of 1/2 lemon (fresh is better)

-2 tbsps balsamic vinegar

-1stp oil

-1/4 grated nutmeg (or 1/2 tsp ground)

-1/2 tsp chilli powder

-salt & black pepper

-handful of chopped coriander

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Directions: You know the drill—roast those orange veggies (200C, 25 mins, toss in spices & oil). In the meantime, mix chickpeas with all of the other ingredients apart from  spring onions—char them with the potatoes 5 mins before they’re done. The end. That’s it. Really, so easy! This would be delicious served with a piece of white fish or bulked out with lettuce leaves and roasted peppers, experiment!

All three of these recipes contain similar ingredients which means that you can eat sweet potato all week, not get bored and not waste any food. YAY. Please let us know if you try these out, and post any alternative ideas in the comments below!