My take on the traditional potato salad pairs the natural sweetness of cinnamon with the tanginess of Dijon mustard.
Letting the salad set up in the refrigerator for as long as 24 hours prior to serving allows the flavors to mingle perfectly. Cinnamon is one of humanity’s oldest known spices, dating back to at least 2,700 BC. Prized for its medicinal properties in ancient China, it is now used the world over. Cinnamon is an excellent source of manganese, which helps grow strong bones, maintains skin integrity, helps to control blood sugar and protects against free radical damage.
Thaw and shell edamame. Dice sweet potatoes. Grate ginger. Juice lime. Thinly slice onion and celery. Finely chop dill.
In a medium saucepan with a steamer basket and 1 inch of water, steam sweet potatoes until tender, 10 – 15 minutes. Allow to cool.
Whisk together lime juice, mustard, ginger, cinnamon, salt and pepper.
Combine onion, edamame, celery and dill in a large bowl. Stir in sweet potatoes and toss with dressing.
Cover and refrigerate at least two, and up to 24 hours.
Preparation: 20 minutes, plus 2 hours to set
Coconut oil is a healthy fat, which has been shown to have numerous beneficial effects on the aging brain.
Coconut oil is made of medium chain fatty acids that have been shown to help improve cognitive functioning in older adults with memory disorders. Sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamins A and C and antioxidants. Ginger supports digestion and also has anti-inflammatory properties. This is a mild, lightly sweet soup that is popular with the whole family. I serve it over the holidays and it is always well received.
In a soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add shallot and a splash of broth and sauté about 2 minutes. Add ginger, sauté another 2 minutes. Add curry powder and stir until fragrant.
Add remaining broth, carrots, and sweet potatoes, and simmer on medium-high heat until vegetables are tender (about 15 minutes). Add coconut milk, and salt and pepper to taste.
Use an immersion blender or blend in batches, making sure blender is not more than half full. Return to soup pot and reheat.
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges
Serve piping hot, in bowls, garnished with cilantro and fresh lime wedges.
Preparation: 30 minutes
This is a mellow yet pleasing curry.
This recipe is a lovely way to introduce cabbage into the diet. Cabbage has numerous health benefits, not the least of which is the abundance of vitamins K and C. You’ll notice that there are very few wheat-based products in this cookbook. Occasionally, though, I do like to offer couscous and other pastas for a bit of variety. Of course, if you are avoiding wheat or gluten, feel free to substitute quinoa. When paired with the bountiful benefits of the vegetables and healing spices in this recipe, couscous offers a delightful texture as well as the trace mineral selenium, which is essential for the body and difficult to find in food sources.
Cook couscous according to package directions to make 4 servings. Chop cashews and toast in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently. Set aside.
Chop onion, cabbage and cilantro. Finely dice sweet potato. Pit and chop dates. Grate ginger. Mince or press garlic. Cut lime into wedges. Rinse and drain chickpeas.
Sauté onion, cumin, coriander, turmeric and pepper in a large skillet over medium heat, until onion begins to soften. Stir in cabbage, sweet potato, chickpeas, dates, ginger and garlic. Sauté an additional five minutes. Add broth, reduce heat and cover.
Simmer until sweet potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in coconut milk, warm a few minutes longer.
Serve over couscous, topped with cashews, cilantro and a squeeze of lime.
Preparation: 45 minutes
The natural sweetness of sweet potatoes, along with the protein of black beans give this hearty soup a satisfying heft that will sustain you between meals.
This soup is loaded with vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. Cabbage is also prized for its cholesterol lowering properties. Red cabbage offers additional nutritional benefits, including a high amount of protective phytonutrients. Enjoy this soup any time of year, and take it with you in a thermos for a burst of energy and protein during the day.
If you’re using dried beans, soak half a pound of beans overnight. Otherwise, drain and rinse two cans of beans. Peel and chop the shallot, garlic and sweet potatoes. Chop the cabbage. Juice the lime.
In a large soup pot, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add in the shallot, garlic, pumpkin seeds and cook until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in sweet potato. Cook for 5 minutes. Add in broth, water, lime juice, black beans, and red cabbage. Stir well. Add the turmeric, cumin, chili powder and coriander. Stir. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer on medium-low heat until sweet potatoes are soft, about 30 minutes.
Remove 2 cups of soup; blend with a countertop or immersion blender. Return to soup pot, stir in salt and pepper.
Peel and cube avocado, chop cilantro. Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with avocado cubes and cilantro.
Preparation: 1 hour
I like eggs and the protein they provide, but I’ve gotten a bit tired of them.
I find this dish more interesting and enjoyable, and I like the added dimension of red potatoes. Spinach is high in antioxidants and is a rich source of folate and vitamin C. Folate is the form of folic acid found in food. Folic acid is a member of the B vitamin family. Low folate levels are connected with poor cognitive function and dementia in the elderly. Spinach also contains a wide variety of phytonutrients, including flavonoids and carotenoids. Spinach’s flavor compounds have been shown to have powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
Finely chop shallot and cilantro or parsley. Coarsely chop mushrooms and spinach. Thinly slice sweet potato.
Beat together eggs, cheese, turmeric, and salt. Set aside.
In large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil and broth over medium low heat. Add shallot, and stir often until soft (3–5 minutes). Add mushrooms and sauté until tender (3–5 minutes). Stir in spinach and cilantro and sauté 2 minutes, and then add mixture to egg mixture.
In large skillet, heat remaining oil over medium heat, fully coating bottom of skillet. Spread sweet potatoes over bottom of skillet in one or two thin layers and cook 5 minutes over medium heat. Pour egg and vegetable mixture over potatoes; turn heat down to low medium, and cover. Cook about 20 minutes, periodically checking to see if eggs are firm.
When done, run rubber spatula around edge of frittata, cut in wedges, and serve.
Preparation: 45 minutes
Quick and easy to prepare, this delicious dish is a great way to introduce Brussels sprouts into the diet.
Brussels sprouts have many heath benefits, not the least of which is their abundance of vitamin antioxidants, such as vitamins C and beta-carotene, as well as the antioxidant mineral manganese. Brussels sprouts are also powerful anti-inflammatories, due to the presence of glucosinolates, vitamin K and Omega 3. The anti-inflammatory nature of this dish is further enhanced by the presence of turmeric.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Trim and quarter Brussels sprouts. Dice sweet potatoes. Peel and quarter shallots. Slice lemon into thin pinwheels. Stem rosemary and finely chop leaves. Peel and mince garlic.
Combine Brussels sprouts, sweet potato, shallots, lemon, 2 tablespoons oil, ¼ teaspoon pepper, ½ teaspoon salt and cumin in a large baking dish.
Mash garlic and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt with side of chef’s knife to form a paste. Combine with rosemary, turmeric, thyme, remaining ¼ teaspoon pepper and remaining 2 tablespoon oil. Rub paste over chicken. Nestle chicken in with Brussels sprouts and sweet potato.
Roast, lightly covered with foil, until done, about 20 minutes for bone-in, and 10-12 minutes for boneless.
Serve chicken with Brussels sprouts and sweet potato.
Preparation: 45 minutes
Baked sweet potatoes plus healing herbs make a deeply satisfying dinner or lunch the next day.
White beans, also known as white navy beans, offer numerous health benefits. They are filled with anti-oxidants and are a good source of fiber and protein, and they rank low on the glycemic index. White beans are one of the most concentrated food sources of molybdenum and other trace minerals and are extremely important for good health. Molybdenum is a relatively unknown trace mineral with detoxifying properties. It also aids in the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates. White beans also provide magnesium. One of my daughter Madeleine’s least favorite foods are sweet potatoes. When she was asked to take a taste in the spirit of supporting my cookbook—she loved this dish and she keeps asking for it!
4 sweet potatoes
4 tablespoons coconut oil
1 cup walnuts
2 shallot, diced
2 garlic cloves
1 can or 2 cups cooked white beans
2 bags raw baby spinach
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Coat sweet potatoes with 1 tablespoons coconut oil. Prick with a fork, and bake, uncovered, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Finely chop walnuts and toast them in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, set aside. Peel and dice shallot. Peel and mince garlic. Rinse and drain beans. Chop spinach. Juice lemon. In a small dish, combine 3 tablespoons coconut oil, cinnamon and nutmeg, set aside.
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
¼ cup chicken stock
freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoon coconut oil
Start the beans about 15 to 20 minutes before the sweet potatoes are done. In a large pot or skillet, heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and rosemary and cook, stirring, for about a minute. Add the beans and stock, cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the spinach, cover the pan, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes or until the spinach is soft. Remove the rosemary sprigs, stir in the lemon juice, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup parmesan or goat cheese (optional)
To serve, slice each sweet potato lengthwise and open. Spoon cinnamon mixture on each potato, and then spoon on the beans. Sprinkle shredded coconut, toasted walnuts and cheese, if desired, on top.
Preparation: 20 minutes prep; plus 1 hour baking
This is a pretty, warm dish, perfect for entertaining or enjoying at home on a cold day
The sweet potatoes pair beautifully with the mushrooms and the rich coconut milk sauce. This dish is comprised of healing ingredients that will delight your entire family and impress your guests. You will get plenty of essential amino acids from the quinoa. Chicken and cremini mushrooms provide B-vitamins, particularly B3 (Niacin), which is a powerful antioxidant. Spinach provides vitamins K and A, in addition to calcium, magnesium and zinc. This combination promotes tissue repair and helps to alleviate the damage associated with the aging process.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Cook quinoa according to package directions, enough to make 6 servings.
Slice chicken into strips. Slice mushrooms. Peel and slice shallot. Dice sweet potato.
In a frying pan, brown chicken in coconut oil on both sides. Add broth, mushroom and shallot, and continue to cook a few minutes longer, stirring frequently.
In a small bowl, whisk coconut milk and another cup of broth.
Place sweet potato in baking dish, add chicken mixture, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour coconut milk and broth over. Cover and bake 20 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are soft.
1 tablespoon capers
2 cups baby spinach
Just before serving, stir baby spinach into warm chicken and sweet potato mixture. Spoon over quinoa and sprinkle with capers.
Preparation: 45 minutes