March 29, 2012

Two Meals of Greens and Sweet Potatoes

Last week, we treated ourselves to a little stay-cation. While it involved one car breaking down, a 20-foot limb falling in the yard after a storm, and days upon days of hard work around the house, we surely ate like kings, going out for every meal. There were fancy drinks, tacos, queso, two separate tuna fish sandwich situations, multiple beers, veggie burgers, and more. 

So this week, our goal has been to eat clean. See that colorful bowl of dinner above? Clean, wholesome food never felt so good. 

While most of our winter gardens are gone, we have one bed still producing mounds of kale and collard greens. Snails have infiltrated enemy camp, but I've let them have go to town on some of the bigger leaves and have made a point to harvest every other day, so that new growth can have a chance to thrive. Stubbornly, I've resisted the urge to put out shallow pans of Lone Star.

After our week of pizza, we were craving beta carotene-rich foods and dark, leafy greens, and by golly that's what I made two nights in a row. In fact, they were two nearly identical dinners; one was met with gusto and praise by my dear husband, and the other was given a shrug and the aside, "It's tasty, but I won't be willfully requesting it."

That said, I loved both of the similar meals for different reasons. 

Sunday night, inspired by Smitten Kitchen's roasted sweet potato stacks, I sliced the sweet potatoes into half-inch-thick rounds with the peel, and roasted them at 425 for about 40 minutes (I flipped them once, halfway through). They were melt-in-your-mouth tender, and the peel was crisp and flavorful. I served them with a huge batch of kale chips—one of our new favorite foods. Kale chips are so easy to make and so healthy. They satisfy a salty craving while filling you full of vitamins and nutrients.

Monday evening, in an attempt to use up the rest of the sweet potatoes and finally eat some non-snail-slimed collards, I turned to this recipe from Whole Foods for Sweet Potatoes With Collards.

Happily, I had green onions from the garden and organic peppers from another grocery run still in the fridge; we lacked aduki beans but the can of kidney beans in the pantry stood in just fine. I loved this recipe because it was chock-full of nutrients and protein, low in fat, and had an interesting twist at the end with the lime juice. Better yet, it reheated perfectly for leftovers the next day at lunch. I didn't have sunflower seeds, but that extra crunch would've been fantastic.