This roasted sweet potato and broccoli is oh so much more than roasted sweet potato and broccoli. It’s step one in my quest to cook a new dish every week during 2017. If you read regularly, you know my One Little Word for 2017 is Savor. (Savour for those of you in the UK.) And part of savoring is eating good clean food like a civilized human being at the table using one of the many, many dishes I hoard.
Yay me. Celebrate the little things, y’all, because little things add up to big things and big things change everything all around.
I was sick (like so many) during the first week of 2017. A bad cold with all the ugly components. So I didn’t do much other than read, write, and ingest vitamin C in various forms. At some point, I had a weak spell from lack of real food and thought, I should eat something substantive.
Substantive for me doesn’t mean a hamburger and fries. It means veggies. Or comfort food like soup. Something that will stick with me, give me energy, and make me feel better.
My cupboard was nearly bare, but I had a single sweet potato and half a head of a broccoli left over from our New Year’s Eve veggie plate. And since ours is a rice farmer family, I always have Arkansas rice…
So I consulted my favorite flavor bible which is called The Flavor Bible. This bible, written by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, is organized alpha by food (rather than testaments) and is my go-to resource for creating flavor combinations. Along with each food, such as broccoli, there is a list of what pairs with said food.
It eliminates the guess work as it relates to cooking. Just like the real Bible as it relates to living.
The Flavor Bible paired both broccoli and sweet potato with citrus. And oranges, I had.
Hallelujah. Another goal for this particular week was to NOT go to the grocery store because a) sick, and, b) baby, it was freakin’ FRIGID outside. (As in 5 degrees, feels like -15 frigid outside.)
When it’s that cold, we’re splitting hairs.
But what about spice?
The proper spice can make or break a dish. No worries. The Flavor Bible provides spice recommendations, too. I debated between ginger and cayenne and settled on cayenne but could have probably added both. And of course, I added sea salt and pepper. That’s a given for me.
- 1 medium sweet potato, diced into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 1 cup cooked jasmine rice
- 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice (juice of 1/2 medium orange)
- drizzle of olive oil
- dash of cayenne
- sea salt
- Heat over to 450 degrees.
- Add diced sweet potato and broccoli in a medium bowl. Add orange juice, drizzle of olive oil and dash of cayenne (or more to turn up the heat). Stir to coat.
- Cover cookie sheet in aluminum foil and spread veggies into a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Roast 12-14 minutes, turning once, until sweet potatoes are fork-tender.
- Crank heat to broil for an additional 2-3 minutes to get more crispy edges. Yum.
- Serve over a scoop of Arkansas rice! Add a little orange zest, if you like.
The power of color.
Color is good on such a white, cold, snowy day, whether it’s seeing a cardinal at the bird feeder or swiping on a little pink lipstick. And in food? Color is important, too.
Nutrient power bowl right there. One thing I’ve learned in my fifty-four years is that the more colorful your plate is, the more vitamin and antioxidant loaded it is. (Unless said color comes from M&Ms or rainbow sprinkles, you know?)
Broccoli has more vitamin C than an orange.
In fact, broccoli protects against obesity, cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
Add in sweet potatoes, and, well, yeppers, good stuff inside and out.
And see, I used a nice vintage napkin. I hoard those, too.
Happy eating and stay healthy wherever you are!
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
Leonard Cohen, Famous Blue Raincoat