Tag Archives: sweet potato

BBQ Sweet Potato and Kale Pizza

Remember when I went bananas over this sauce? Well it has made another appearance in my kitchen. This past weekend my advisor kindly held a lab summer get together at his house and the theme was vegetarian, so I was stoked. Therefore being the resident vegetarian, I had to bring my A-game. I thought long and hard about what to make, and in the end decided that a BBQ pizza would be perfect: I was thinking I could cut it up into smaller pieces, making it good finger food, and I would make it interesting and vegan so that I could blow people’s minds. But really, at a summer time gathering, who doesn’t love BBQ sauce and pizza? 

Well, I am lucky I made it as “gourmet” as a did… because when I rolled up to the gathering in some ripped jeans and a T-Shirt, I realized it was more of a summer cocktail party than a summer BBQ (which is due to my poor reading skills, the invite never actually said BBQ). My boss had put out quite the spread of fancy hors d’oeuvres and the wine was flowing, so I snuggled my pizza in between some veggie lasagna and Vietnamese salad. 

Speaking of flowing wine, we had a friendly wine tasting competition. He had us blind taste 4 under $15 red wines. We had to identify the grape type, rate it (according to NIH guidelines), and give other general notes. Now, a couple of things you should know about me before I continue the story: 


1) I am really not a huge wine person.
2) Since moving to California, I have tried hard to become a wine person.
3) I have been wine tasting in Napa/Sonoma twice in the last 2 months alone. 
4) When I lived in Italy I could (and often did) take an entire bottle of wine to the face. 


Ok, now that we have all of that clear, I would like to proudly gloat that I WON! While I am sure a lot of it was luck, let’s pretend there was a little bit of skill to it too :-). What put me over the edge to win was when he tried to sneak in a bottle of 2 buck Chuck, I just drew a big sad face on that line. So anyways, it is usually a good idea to impress your new boss with your drinking skills, right? 



But back to my cooking skills! I have made this pizza before, and enjoyed it immensely. It is a little spicy from the chipotle in the sauce, a little sweet from the sweet potatoes, and a little crispy and garden fresh from the kale. I finished it off with a cashew cream drizzle to cool down the spice and tie everything together. I thought it was great, every bite of pizza was gone, and people kept telling me they loved it (but then again, maybe they just wanted me to share my newly won bottle of wine with them ;-)). 

BBQ Sweet Potato and Kale Pizza



Materials:

  • 1 ball of your favorite pizza dough
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and sliced thin (about 1/4″)
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 batch smoked onion and chipotle sauce
  • 1/4 cup cashew cream (but leave out the chipotle quoted in this recipe)

Methods:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss the sweet potato slices with the olive oil and give a shake of salt and pepper.
  3. Arrange sweet potato slices on baking sheet in 1 layer and roast for 20 minutes, flipping once halfway through.
  4. Toss the chopped kale with the balsamic vinegar.
  5. Turn oven up to 450 degrees.
  6. Roll out pizza dough to about 12″, and pre-bake for about 10 minutes.
  7. Spread sauce on the hot crust, neatly lay sweet potato slices, and then cover with kale.
  8. Place back in oven for about 15 minutes. 
  9. Remove from oven and drizzle with cashew cream before serving.
  10. Enjoy!
    1. Best served with friends and coworkers with a full glass of wine. Talking about science is totally optional. 
 
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Obligatory Cinco de Mayo post

Seriously though, who doesn’t love Cinco de Mayo at least a little bit? An excuse to eat Mexican food and drink Margs? Deal. In fact, in college, my roommates and I were so fond of Cinco de Mayo, that we also celebrated Doce de Mayo, so we had an excuse to do it all over again the following weekend (a decision I think some of us were regretting the following morning).

I haven’t quite decided how I am going to spend it this year, but I know it started with these tacos. And that it is going to continue with burritos and street beers (Tecate, of course) for lunch tomorrow, per the request of a dear Mexican friend of mine. And these tacos were so good, that it might end with them as well. And since they are filled with only good things, I can eat them to my hearts content!

And then complain about how full I am… :-/

Filled with nutrients, that is! As luck would have it (well there is nothing lucky about it, nature knows exactly what its doing), sweet potatoes are actually the bomb diggity. One of the bomb diggityest, I would dare to say. Let’s work through it. First you see the sweet potato, and how orange it is… that right there is a good sign (the more colorful your vegetable, the better). Underneath that pleasing orange hue resides a great store of vitamin A, which helps your body regulate an innumerable list of important processes (a lab in my department has studied this extensively). Everyone knows how good vitamin A is for your eyes, but it is so much more than that! It literally helps your brain function. Mice that have a vitamin A deficiency are, to use a scientific term, dumb. They have trouble learning, orienting themselves, etc. Oh, and they are overweight too. Now, once your body takes up all the vitamins and cofactors, it is left with fiber, that then goes into the gastrointestinal track to act as fertilizer for your gut micro biome, the forgotten organ that you want to keep happy… but more on that another day.

So put down those french fries, and give the sweet potato a try! Preferably delivered to your mouth in these delicious tacos topped with a fresh mexican succotash (do people even eat succotash anymore?!) 🙂

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

 
Sweet Potato Tacos
Materials:
For the tacos
  • olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 1 sweet potato, diced
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
For the succotash
  • 1 cup lima beans, cooked
  • kernels from 1 ear corn
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • juice from 1 lemon (or lime)
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 avocado, diced
  • 2 tablespoon fresh mint, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
Methods:
  1. Heat up some olive oil in medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté for about 1 minute.
  3. Add the taco seasoning and cook for additional minute.
  4. Add the sweet potato and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Stir in the black beans and cook for additional 5 minutes, until the sweet potato is fully cooked.
  6. In the meantime, toss together all the ingredients for the succotash.
  7. To assemble: briefly heat tortilla either in microwave for 30 seconds or in dry skillet, top with sweet potato and beans, and spoon on succotash.
  8. Enjoy!
    • May a suggest with a side of margarita?