We go through so many sweet potatoes in my house. Almost every week I pack a baking sheet full of them and cook them up. My husband loves them and takes them to school with him to eat with his lunch. He is weird and will hold one in his hand and eat it like an apple or something, skin and all. My daughter also loves them, so I keep them on hand as a healthy snack for her.
And when I say sweet potatoes, I am talking about the ones with brown skin and bright orange flesh. The last couple times I have visited my childhood home in Idaho, I have needed sweet potatoes for something. Once at at the store I became quite confused because the sweet potatoes were a light yellow and more starchy and firm than I was used to. Every time I left confused thinking, “do I really know what a sweet potato is?” and “what is a yam?” and “wait, have I been buying sweet potatoes or yams in Ohio all this time?”
I have done a little bit of research and this is what I have gathered: There are many varieties of sweet potatoes and yams. There are firm sweet potatoes that are light in color and they were the first ones to be sold in the U.S. Later on, the softer orange variety (the kind I always use) was introduced to market and people started calling them “yams” in order to differentiate between the firm, yellowish sweet potatoes and the soft, orange sweet potato. Which is why you will see a can of “Yams” with the subtitle “cut sweet potatoes”. True yams are found all over the world in different varieties and are not even in the same plant family as sweet potatoes. Confusing. Just so you know, when ever I refer to a sweet potato in my recipes I mean the ones with brown skin and orange flesh.
Whatever you call them, they are more versatile that you might think. I used to think the only way to eat them was covered in brown sugar and marshmallows. But I have come to embrace them as a staple in my kitchen. I put them in burritos, tacos, salad, soup, curry, pasta sauce, pies, muffins, and even straight through my juicer. Here are some of my favorite sweet potato recipes:
- Crockpot Red Thai Veggie Curry
- Fresh Raw Sweet Potato, Parsnip, and Apple Cinnamon Juice
- Black Bean, Corn, and Sweet Potato Flautas
- Sweet Potato Pie with Toasted Marshmallows
But my all time favorite way to prepare a sweet potato is to to load it up with toppings and a yummy sauce. Its one of the easiest meals I make and they are amazing with really any sauce and topping combo. One of my favorite sauce topping combos is creamy roasted red pepper sauce (vegan) with black beans, corn, and avocados.
Today’s recipe is basically just a baked sweet potato smothered in peanut sauce and covered in carrots, red peppers, edamame, corn, green onions, and toasted peanuts. So simple and so nutritious. Its vegan and gluten free, yet filling and hearty with peanut sauce, peanuts, and edamame to add some protein.
- 6-8 sweet potatoes
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 5 carrots, shredded (Sometimes I use my food processer and sometimes I just buy a bag of matchstick carrots. Either is fine.)
- 4 green onions, sliced thin (the green part)
- 1/2 C. toasted salted peanuts
- 1 C. shelled edamame, steamed ( I buy it pre-shelled from the frozen section. I get mine from Trader Joe’s, but I have seen it at other stores.)
- 1 can corn kernels
- 1 batch of peanut sauce (recipe below)
1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Scrub the sweet potatoes and poke a couple holes with a fork or knife in each one. Place them on a baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes, or until you can easily pierce them with a fork.
2. While the sweet potatoes are baking, prepare all the veggies. Drain the canned corn, steam the edamame, cut the green onions and peppers, and shred the carrots. Place all the toppings in separate bowls or on a serving platter so everyone can top their own sweet potatoes.
3. Once the sweet potatoes are cooked, slice them in half and load them up with all the toppings. Generously pour the peanut sauce over top. Feel free to add more sauce as you eat!
- 1/2 C. all natural peanut butter (the kind with just peanuts and salt in the ingredients list)
- 2 TBSP. rice vinegar
- 2 TBSP. soy sauce (or tamari)
- 1 TBSP. toasted sesame oil
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. sriracha sauce (you can add more if you want it spicier)
- 1 tsp. brown sugar
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 to 1/2 C. water
- salt to taste
1. In a small bowl whisk together the peanut butter, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil ,ginger, sriracha sauce, sugar, and garlic.
2. Add the 1/4 C. water and whisk. If you would like the sauce thinner, add more water a tiny bit at a time, whisking between each addition. You want it thick, but still pourable. How much water you add will depend on the viscosity of your peanut butter. If you end up adding more than 1/4 cup or if your peanut butter doesn’t have salt, you may need to add a little bit more salt.
3. Once the consistency is just right, taste and add salt and more sriracha sauce if needed.
This sauce can be made ahead of time and stored in an air tight container in the fridge.
Recipe by Edible Experiments