There are some foods I like so much that I could cheerfully eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. One of those foods is sweet potatoes, which is handy, as I was challenged to make a breakfast, lunch and dinner dish containing the most orange of potatoes as part of International Sweet Potato Week, which takes place from 1-13 April. Nope, I'm not sure why it's a 13 day week either. Maybe the greatness of sweet potatoes cannot be contained within one of your earth weeks, ever think of that?
I absolutely loved doing this challenge. I've been cooking a lot of the same meals lately - good meals, but samey - and it gave me a little nudge out of my comfort zone and I discovered some new recipes that will definitely enter our regular rotation. Just wait until you get to my dinner recipe, because daaaamn.
Breakfast - Sweet Potato and Chorizo Rosti
2 large sweet potatoes
1 red onion
75g goats cheese
2 eggs, beaten
Salt and pepper
Makes 4-8 rosti
1. Preheat the oven to 220c / gas mark 7.
2. Grate the sweet potatoes using a food processor, and then place in a clean tea towel and squeeze out any liquid.
3. Chop the chorizo and goats cheese into small pieces and place into a big bowl along with the sweet potato.
4. Dice the onion and crush the garlic, then heat a little oil in a frying pan and saute them for 3-4 minutes until soft.
5. Add to the sweet potato mixture, along with the beaten eggs and a teaspoon of salt, and stir well.
6. Either drizzle a baking tray with oil or cover with foil, then use your hands to shape the mixture into rough cakes with your hands (we went for 4 big ones, but 8 small ones would be good too). It will look a little messy and loose, but cooking will bind it together.
7. Pop in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown and a little crispy.
8. Serve immediately and top with a fried or poached egg, and serve with a healthy dollop of smashed avocado.
Lunch - Sweet Potato Burgers
6 large sweet potatoes (about 1.5kg)
2 red onions, finely chopped
2 red chillies, finely chopped and deseeded
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp salt
340g can sweetcorn, drained
small bunch coriander, chopped
Buns, salsa, onion and salad, to serve
Makes 10 burgers (but you can freeze them!)
2. Pierce the potato skins and bake for 45 mins until soft and squidgy.
3. While the sweet potatoes cool, heat a little oil in a pan and cook the onions and chillies for 8-10 minutes until soft.
4. Peel the potatoes and add the flesh to a bowl with the onions and chillies, ground cumin, ground coriander and salt, then mash together until smooth.
5. Add the sweetcorn, fresh coriander and half the breadcrumbs and mix together with your hands.
6. Shape the mixture into 10 burgers, and carefully dip each one into the remaining breadcrumbs until they're fully coated. I gave them a double coating.
7. Wrap the burgers in clingfilm and freeze at this stage, if you're not eating them now. Otherwise, chill for 30 minutes and then cook on a lightly greased baking tray in the oven for 15 minutes.
8. Fry some onions for the top, then finish off the burgers in the frying pan for 5 minutes or so until browned and crispy.
9. Serve in buns with salsa, fried onions and salad leaves. I would also recommend halloumi. And lots of napkins - these are messy, but delicious.
Dinner: Moroccan lamb and sweet potato pie
2-3 sweet potatoes
500g minced lamb
1 can chickpeas
1 can chopped tomatoes
2 red onions, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
6-8 mushrooms (a handful), chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 thumb sized piece of ginger root, finely chopped
120ml beef stock
30ml semi skimmed milk
50g raisins or currants
30g fresh coriander, finely chopped
1 tsp ras el hanout paste
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
Peel and chop the sweet potatoes, and boil for about 15 minutes until tender, then drain and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, brown the lamb in a large pan on a medium high heat, then remove and set aside.
3. In the same pan, heat a little oil and cook the onions, pepper and mushrooms with the garlic, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne, 1 tsp of the salt and of the cumin and cook for about 10 mins until the vegetables are soft.
4. Return the meat to the pan, and add the tomatoes, stock, sweet chilli sauce and ras el hanout paste.
5. Bring the sauce to a boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes until the sauce is thickened and reduced.
6. Add the chickpeas, raisins and coriander and season with salt and pepper to taste, then remove from heat. It's good, right?
7. Take the pan of sweet potatoes and mash with a potato masher, then add the remaining tsp of cumin and salt, the garlic powder and the milk, and stir together until it reaches a creamy consistency. Add more milk if needed.
8. Pour the meat mixture into a lasagne dish, then spread the mash on top.
9. Bake for 40 minutes until the topping is beginning to brown and the sauce goes all seepy round the edges.
10. Serve with fresh green vegetables, and freeze the rest for another delicious day.
NB: This can be made with Quorn mince, and the coriander could be left out if you're not a fan!