Sweet Potatoes Part 2


Recipes included at this site do not appear in
A Worldwide Vegetarian Journey to Discover the Foods That Nourish America’s Immigrant Soul.


October 2016



Canadian Potato and Sweet potato Scallop
Vegetable Slow Cooker Ragoût in the Style of Argentina
Casserole of Winter Vegetables


     One of the great innovations of the Anderson Stove Company, a post-World War II stove manufacturer based in Indiana, was a deep well that could slow cook, unattended, for hours. In the late 1940s we had an Anderson stove with the cooking well. Early on a Sunday morning my mother would put a roast into the well with vegetables. When we came home from church, the house was filled with the aroma of our dinner. Today the slow cooker, introduced as the Crock Pot in 1971 by the Rival Company, provides the same slow, low-temperature cooking as did the enamel-ware well in my mother’s stove.

The oven well and the slow cooker can be traced back to the tagine cooking of North Africa and the Cypriot tavvas, early examples of a cooking technique we now take for granted. The Iroquois people of North America made slow-cooked casseroles too by combining ingredients in a clay pot which they buried over hot coals; a technique they taught to the European settlers. The Cypriots, to this day, use a similar cooking procedure which reduces the amount of cooking fuel required, an important consideration to this island nation. Centuries of deforestation limit the use of wood for heating and cooking requiring costly importation of fuel.

The Dutch oven is a more direct connection to the modern casserole concept. The Dutch oven really was Dutch. In the 1500s, the Dutch produced cooking vessels using their advanced sand-casting technique. So fine were their metal pots that they were imported into England. By the 1700s the British were producing a similar cooking vessel which continued to be called a Dutch oven. The British shipped their cooking pots to the American and Canadian colonies.

By the twentieth century the concept of a whole meal baked in a single cooking pot blossomed; whether it be in a Dutch oven, in a soufflé dish, or in another oven-to-table baking vessel. The one-dish meal became a part of American cuisine, a family dish that fits into the American way of life.

Last month I discussed the true classification of the sweet potato. We do not need to wade through that again so let’s move on and visit three favorite casseroles.

Sweet potatoes and potatoes are both tubers but of unrelated plants as I discussed in my last column. They, however, meet beautifully in a casserole which my family often served. When you grow up in upstate New York, the border to our neighbor to the North gets blurred; nobody ever mentioned that this casserole was Canadian in origin. It was too good to quibble.

In the second casserole presented here both sweet potatoes and white potatoes are also combined. It is an Argentine casserole that I have adapted to the slow cooker. We rarely think to add fruit to our entrée casseroles here in the United Sates but all over the world cooks enhance the taste and texture of their dishes with fruits.

Adding cranberries to an assortment of winter vegetables seems a perfect first step if you are venturing into this concept for the first time. The third casserole presented below is a perfect autumn or winter side dish.



TPT – 1 hour and 35 minutes


Sweet potatoes or yams, as they have come to be called in North America, are neither potatoes nor true yams and are members of the Morning Glory family while potatoes are members of the Nightshade family. Classification not withstanding, they pair well with potatoes in this dish


2 medium Idaho potatoes––peeled and thinly sliced
2 medium sweet potatoes or yams––peeled and
 thinly sliced*
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground white pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1 cup one-percent milk
2 large shallot cloves––finely chopped
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare a ceramic quiche dish or au gratin dish by coating with non-stick lecithin spray coating.

Working from the edge of prepared baking dish, arrange thinly sliced potatoes in a spiraling pattern, alternating rows between white potatoes and sweet potatoes. Sprinkle lightly with salt and white pepper. Repeat spiraled layers, if necessary.

In a saucepan set over LOW heat, melt butter. Remove from heat and, using a wire whisk, make a roux by beating in flour. Return to heat and, stirring constantly, cook for 2 minutes, scalloped potatoes
being careful not burn or over brown the roux.
Remove from heat and gradually beat in milk. Return saucepan to heat and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Pour prepared white sauce over potatoes.

 Scatter finely chopped shallots over. Grate nutmeg over.

 Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake in preheated 325 degree F. oven for        1 hour. Uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Serve directly from baking dish.

 Yields 6 servings
adequate for 4 people

Note:            This recipe is easily halved or doubled, when required. Use an appropriately smaller or larger baking dish when doing so.

 1/5 SERVING – PROTEIN = 3.5 g.; FAT = 2.5 g.; CARBOHYDRATE = 23.0 g:



Carbonada Crioli sin Carne de Vaca

TPT – 7 hours

2 hours = dried fruit soaking period;
[slow cooker:              2 hours at HIGH;
2 hours at LOW]

 “What is carbonada criolla? “. . . meat, vegetables, and fruits.” “Well, can we just ditch the meat?” “Oh no, it is a beef stew.” . . . a conversation? No, this became more like a challenge. This is a stew, popular in Argentina and usually served in a hollowed-out pumpkin or squash, but, yes, it is a beef stew filled with vegetables and fruits . . . and why not ditch the beef? To enjoy it we did make some changes and when cooked in a slow cooker, it can be easily ready for a same-day dinner or for the next day’s lunch.


3 dried preservative-free apricot halves                                Reserved fruit soaking water
2 dried, pitted, preservative-free prunes
1/2 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 medium onion—chopped
1 large garlic cloves—finely chopped
1 large bay leaf—broken in half
2 whole cloves
1 tablespoon dried oregano—crumbled
2/3 small red bell pepper—well-washed, cored,
seeded, and chopped
1 cup diced, canned tomatoes with liquid
1 small golden Yukon potato—peeled and diced
1/2 small sweet potato—peeled and diced
1 cup canned kidney beans—well-drained

1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1/2 medium zucchini—diced
3 firm, canned pear halves—chopped
The neck of a butternut squash, peeled and
sliced into six 1/2-inch slices



In a small bowl, combine apricot halves, prunes, and boiling water. Allow fruits to rehydrate for at least 2 hours. Drain, reserving soaking water, and chop fruit. Set aside until required.

Preheat the slow cooker set at HIGH.

 Add olive oil, chopped onion, finely chopped garlic, bay leaf pieces, whole cloves, and crumbled dry oregano. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion begins to soften. Remove and discard bay leaf pieces and whole cloves.

 Add chopped pepper, diced tomatoes with liquid, diced potato and sweet potato, and drained kidney beans. Stir gently. If and when more water is required, add the fruit soaking water that has been reserved. Allow to cook for 2 hours.

 Reduce slow cooker temperature to LOW. Add corn, diced zucchini, and chopped apricots and prunes. Cover and allow to cook for 2 hours more.*

Set up the steamer. Steam butternut squash slices until tender.

Add chopped pears to ingredients in slow cooker bowl. Cover and allow to cook for 15 minutes more.

Turn ragoût into a heated serving bowl. Place a squash slice onto each heated dinner plate or large soup plate.

Ladle some of the ragoût over each squash slice. Pass the rest of the vegetables to accommodate individual tastes.

 Yields 6 servings
adequate for 4-6 people

 Note:          *This can be prepared to this point the day before it is to be served. Add pears and reheat about 1 hour before serving.Black Bean Mexican Soup
When served for dinner, you may want to serve it in a baked pumpkin        shell or squash shell. It is a dramatic presentation.
Leftovers can be frozen but should be defrosted completely before reheating to preserve the vegetable textures of the original.

 1/6 SERVING – PROTEIN = 5.5 g.; FAT = 2.5 g.; CARBOHYDRATE = 36.4 g.;








TPT – 1 hour and 17 minutes

 When this vegetable dish appears on the table, we all know that the sun will be setting early for many months to come.

 1/2 pound sweetpotatoes––pared and sliced into
1/8-inch slices
1/2 pound parsnips––pared and sliced into 1/8-inch
3/4 pound butternut squash––pared, halved, seeded,
and cut into 1/8-inch slices
3 quarts boiling water
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon corn starch
3/4 cup canned whole cranberry sauce*
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Prepare an au gratin dish, ceramic quiche dish, or other shallow oven-to-table baking dish by coating with lecithin spray coating.

Parboil sweet potato slices for 5 minutes in boiling water. Using a slotted spoon, remove sweet potato slices to a plate. Parboil parsnip slices for 6 minutes in boiling water. Using a slotted spoon, remove parsnip slices to a separate plate. Parboil butternut squash slices for 2 minutes in boiling water. Using a slotted spoon, remove squash slices to a plate.

Arrange vegetables in concentric, overlapping circles in prepared baking dish.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a small dish or cup, combine lime juice and corn starch. Stir until corn starch is completely in suspension.

In a saucepan set over MEDIUM heat, combine whole cranberry sauce, butter, and ground ginger. When simmering, stir in corn starch and lime juice. Cook, while stirring constantly, for a minute or two, until thickened slightly. Spoon cranberry mixture over arranged, parboiled vegetables. Cover with aluminum foil.

Bake in preheated 375 degree F. oven for 35 minutes. Uncover and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

Serve hot.

  Yields 6 servings
adequate for 4 people


Notes:          *I included a number of cranberry sauces in A Worldwide Vegetarian Journey to Discover the Foods That Nourish America’s Immigrant Soul and I have used several of those to make this recipe at one time or another.

This recipe may be doubled, when required.

1/6 SERVING – PROTEIN = 2.6 g.; FAT = 4.4 g.; CARBOHYDRATE = 27.2 g.;





Next month I plan to share some recipes for celery and fennel,

both of which have much more possibility than I could ever have imagined

when confronted with the ubiquitous relish tray of the 1950s.

If you’re not too busy, drop by,



Please note that all food value calculations are approximate and not the result of chemical analysis.

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