Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Sweet Potato Salad

Happy Fourth of July!  I hope everyone has a great day and takes some time to honor the men and women who have fought for our country to give us the freedoms we enjoy every day. 

The recipe for today features a favorite food in our household: sweet potatoes.  They didn’t used to be a staple in our pantry (we used to eat mainly white potatoes) but over the past few months we have started to cook with them often!  We eat them baked, steamed, grilled, in chili, and in a variety of cold sweet potato dishes, including this sweet potato salad.  We also love the fact that they are full of nutrients, supplying high amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, vitamin B6, potassium, and fiber. 

This is definitely not a “traditional” potato salad recipe in any way, but it does fit the bill for a great summer side dish that is perfect for a cookout or picnic.  Although you’ve probably already planned what you’re making for any Fourth of July parties today, this would be a great option if you haven’t decided!  This salad has quickly become one of our favorite dishes with its great blend of texture and flavors.  The combination of sweet and spicy with smooth and crunchy makes it delicious!  If you’re not a huge fan of spicy, just leave the cayenne pepper out, but do try the combination of cumin and cinnamon.  It is the perfect spice set for sweet potatoes. 

 Fair warning, this recipe requires a LOT of chopping, so enlist some help when you go to make it.  It will save you tons of time if you have two people prepping instead of one!  Also, when we made this the first time, we added about 6 chopped hardboiled eggs to the mix to add more protein.  It was good, but I prefer it without the eggs. 

Sweet Potato Salad

8 large sweet potatoes
8 slices bacon (I use applewood smoked turkey bacon from Trader Joe’s)
2 granny smith apples
1 green pepper
6 green onions
5 celery ribs
1 tsp coarse salt
A few shakes cayenne pepper
Liberal amounts of: ground cumin, cinnamon, freshly ground pepper
Lemon juice

Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1 inch cubes.  Place in large pot of water and bring to a boil.  Once the water starts to boil, cover the pot and cook until potatoes can be easily mashed with a fork.  Drain and leave in colander to cool.  As the potatoes are boiling, cook bacon however you like it best (baked, broiled, cooked in a skillet, etc.)  When the bacon is done cooking and cool enough to handle, chop it into small pieces.  Meanwhile, dice apples, green pepper, green onions, and celery.  Combine cooked sweet potatoes, bacon, apples, green pepper, green onions, and celery.  Add spices and stir everything together.  Drizzle with some lemon juice to keep the apples from turning brown.  Refrigerate.  The salad stays good in the fridge for up to 5 days. 

*Note: I’ve never actually measured the spices for this recipe, so go light at first, and add spice until the salad suits your taste. 

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