Never fear my friends, the tour is coming to an end and not a moment too soon is all I can say. My blog will soon be back on track and I will be back home and in my kitchen – whoop, whoop!! The PeaSoupEats adventure will continue, as if this weird, traumatic blip never happened….I hope. I’m sure by now you are sick and tired of my whining and I do feel really bad about that – this is supposed to be a food blog not a moaning minnie one.
Moaning Minnie will be banished after these two (hopefully short) weeks are completed and I will return to my cheery, if not complicated, self, all content with my Hubbie, my flat and my food.
As it is for many people, food is such a comforter for me and I’m with Nigella when she says she never wants to waste a meal – meaning every mealtime is the opportunity to create something wonderful. It doesn’t have to be complicated or fussy. I find that sliced avocado on toast with a sprinkling of salt, a good grind of pepper and maybe a splash of tabasco is enough to send me into head spins. Simpler definitely can be better.
Some dishes, of course, are a little more involved and take a bit more care and effort and that’s fine. I’m into slow food too. I love the prep, don’t mind the waiting and adore the end results because what is cooking without the eating afterwards? The fruits (or veg) of our labour as it were.
Sweet potato casserole is such a dish – one that can’t be made in an instant. Mostly associated with Thanksgiving or Christmas I personally think it can be and should be enjoyed anytime of the year but especially during those winter months following Christmas when everything seems a bit more gloomy and dull. January and February are strange months to me. Apart from Valentine’s welcome interjection they are a bit blah really, wouldn’t you agree? They are ‘in between’ months that we need to get out of the way before enjoying the joys of Spring and Easter when the world suddenly awakens and becomes brighter.
We must do all we can in that case to make these boring months bearable and what better way to add a splash of colour to our lives than by making a bright orange side dish that acts as both comfort food (mashed anything will do that) and as a dash of optimism in these bleak days before the flowers bloom and we can venture outside once more.
Forget convention and replace that boring old mash potato with this exquisite sweet potato version this coming Sunday. I guarantee it will make you happy, if not just for the wondrous colour but the gloriously sweet and savoury taste too.
inspired by a recipe found on fatfreevegankitchen
sweet potato casserole
2 large sweet potatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
splash of soya milk
2 tablespoons soya/sunflower spread
1 tsp vanilla extract (not essence)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
salt and pepper
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup muscovado sugar
1 heaped tablespoon flour
2 tbsp soya or dairy free sunflower spread and a little more dotting on top
1 or 2 tbsp date syrup
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degress celsius/390 fahrenheit. Treat the sweet potato as you would a normal baking potato by pricking it all over with a fork and rubbing it with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Place directly on to the oven shelf for at least an hour until the skin is soft and you can see caramelisation happening (the potato will excrete gorgeous dark sugary juices).
Set to one side until cool enough to handle. Lower the temperature of your oven to 175 degress celsius/350 fahrenheit. Halve the sweet potato and scoop out the flesh into a large bowl. Season with the salt and pepper, add the splash of soya (or any non-dairy) milk, soya butter, vanilla extract, cinnamon and nutmeg and mash. You could for ease put it in a blender but I prefer it not to be puree like consistency.
In another bowl mix together all the topping ingredients using a spatula.
Transfer the mashed sweet potato to a casserole dish and spread evenly using the back of a spatula. Pour over the rumble topping and dot with a little more ‘butter’. Bake in the oven for 30-40minutes.