Monday, December 2, 2013

December is a very important month.  It is the holidays!  But what else is the month known for?

December is also known as National Write a Business Plan Month, and Gluten Free Baking Week of Dec 12-20 and National Cookie Day which is December 4th.  But it is also Root Vegetable and Exotic Fruit Month.  What the heck is a root vegetable?

A ‘Root Vegetable’ is any underground part of a plant—the root.  This part is the starchy tuber or taproot of the plant.  If we let them be they would provide the plant with needed nourishment to thrive.  Instead, we pull them up and eat them.  What are a few examples of root vegetables?  Sweet potatoes, white potatoes, turnips, rutabagas, yams, and carrots to name just a few.  I know I discussed the rutabaga several months ago, so let’s take a closer look at the sweet potato and what we can do with that. 

This is one of my favorite stews.  The chicken and sweet potato blend well and really make the stew delicious.

Chicken and Sweet Potato Stew

6 chicken thighs, skin removed and trim the fat
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in strips
½ cup mushrooms, sliced thin
6 large shallots, peeled and cut in half
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup white wine
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped (or ½ teaspoon dried
2 Tablespoons wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Put all ingredients to a large soup pot with medium heat.
Stir occasionally for 5 minutes then lower heat.
Cook for 2 hours slowly or until chicken is cooked.
Serves 6

Here’s a second recipe that you can use as a snack or a dessert.

Sweet Potato Pecan Bread

This moist sweet potato bread is low in fat and easy to make. Besides the fact that it tastes really great.

1 ½ cups all purpose flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mace
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
½ cup chopped dates or raisins
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup applesauce (makes it really moist)
4 Tablespoons milk
1 cup cooked and mashed sweet potatoes

Grease bottom of a loaf pan approximately 9- x 5- x 3-inches.
Stir together flour, baking powder, salt and spices in mixing bowl
Stir in the sugar, pecans, and raisins or dates.
In a separate bowl, combine eggs, applesauce, milk, and mashed sweet potatoes
Stir to blend well.
Add wet mixture to the dry ingredients and mix with a large spoon just until the mixture is moistened.
Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake at 325° for about 1 hour and 10 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool in pan on a rack for 15 minutes.
Remove from pan and continue cooling on wire rack.