Tag Archives: sweet potatoes

Nourishing Soups for Wintery Nights

I’m teaching a class on Jan 10th at Harvest Moon Co-op in Long Lake, “Hot, Healthy Soups for Cold Wintery Nights”. You’ll make 3 tasty soups, all low in fat, high in fiber and full of veggies. All are dairy-free, grain-free & gluten-free, low-glycemic and Paleo-friendly.

  • Pureed Kale & Sweet Potato w/ Sage (gluten-free & vegan with 2 super-foods!)
  • Vegetarian Butternut Tortilla (gluten-free & vegan)
  • Coconut Thai Chicken & Veg (gluten-free & dairy-free, we’ll include a super-food too)
  • Cooking class with teens: prepping sweet potatoes.

    Cooking class with teens: prepping sweet potatoes and chicken (photo by Nicky Patnaude).



We’ll also review knife skills, bulk cooking, and ways to modify soups for your own dietary needs. You’ll go home with 2 containers of soup ($16 value) and honed knives.

Cost: $35 Harvest Moon Members/ $40 Non-members. Register through Orono Community Education www.orono.k12.mn.us/ops/ce

TELL YOUR PEEPS in the western burbs!


As with all my classes & demos, these will feature mostly vegan, gluten- & dairy-free dishes, seasonal ingredients and bulk cooking tips.

  • Two hands-on classes at Valley Natural Foods in Burnsville, Thu Feb 21st and Thu Mar 14th. More info to come.
  • Hands-on classes at the super-spacious GIA Kitchen in St Paul (my own rented facility) starting this winter. Dates TBA. I plan to offer a series on Paleo meals as well !  Stay tuned.
Tracy's cooking class w/ 8 men

 Tools make the man! My cooking class always starts with knife how-to’s. 




Cooking Classes at The Grove: Kale. It’s What’s for Dinner.

I will be offering a couple more cooking classes this winter at Inver Grove Hts Community Center (south east suburb). I taught some this past fall (see previous posts from Oct). We’re going to be focusing on Kale and possibly Quinoa. I’m always advocating for the leafy green veggies like kale, collard greens, turnip green, beet greens, et al. Check out my Delivered Dish of the Week menu archives: I’ve served up dozens of dishes with these greens this past year, and more are coming!

Clockwise from top: "Dino" Lacinato kale, collard greens, turnip greens, red radishes in center. Photo by Brad Dahlgaard 2009.

These sturdy greens, many in the cabbage (cruciferous) family, are much more nutritious than salad greens, which are mostly water. There’s so much you can do to incorporate these versatile and super-nutritious greens into easy dishes & soups, and, to enjoy all by themselves.

For instance, see my recipe for Super Green Split Pea Soup (scroll down a few entries). Another really nice one is Kale & Yam pureed soup which I got from the “Love Soup” cookbook and made for DDoW clients in November.

I love to pair kale/collards with yam aka sweet potatoes — the sweetness and starch of yam complements the greens. And, you get 2 superfoods in one dish. The upcoming Mafe Stew for DDoW is a good example.

The cooking class students will make 4 different Kale dishes in one session, such as raw in salad, braised with beans, and also baked kale ‘chips’. Kale is also used in fruit & veg smoothies, and no, they don’t taste like pureed salad!

The Grove has a big community room with a kitchen, mostly used by IGH’s senior center programs. The downside is this kitchen lacks a stove!  It does have an oven. I’ll be bringing a large electric wok and probably a hot plate to cook the kale.

Lean & Green

Lots of lean & green dishes on offer this coming month!  The Green Tamale casserole this week was very green due to tomatillos, collards & spinach mixed into the black beans. You see how you can put collards into everything? It is a super food, remember, so half a cup is more nutrient-dense than other veggies. More of these greens coming this week and throughout winter.

Oh and btw, I put diced choy sum, a type of Chinese green related to Chinese broccoli (gai lan) in the Lentil Stew (2 weeks ago). Choy sum has thinner stalks and yellow flowers. Like many green leafy veg, it’s a cool weather plant and is plentiful at the market right now. Steam or stir-fry it and drizzle with sesame oil & soy sauce.


Succulent roast beets and sweet potatoes. Try them w/ a simple squeeze of lime juice or orange juice.

OCT 22 – 28

1) Roast Beets & Parsnips in Orange-Balsamic Vinaigrette. Vegan and gluten-free. Rutabagas too if they’re at market. Did you know that beets have 6 times more iron than carrots?
2) Super Green Split Pea Soup. Vegan and gluten-free. Chopped kale & collards add mega vitamins to this comfort soup, while smoked paprika adds a meaty flavor. This thickens as it sits. Add a little water when you heat it up.

OCT 30 – Nov 6

1) Sauteed Cabbage & Edamame w/ Fennel Seed & Cranberries. Vegan and gluten-free. Yummy side dish that is both pretty to look at and easy to make. Kids should like this mild, sweet & sour dish.

2) Barley Pilaf w/ Leeks, Mushrooms and Thyme. Vegan; contains gluten.  When it’s autumn I think “Barley”. Another comfort food.

Nov  7 – 13

1) Pumpkin & White Bean Soup. Vegan and gluten-free. You knew pumpkin was coming. Cumin & coriander will dominate seasoning of this pureed soup. Sprinkle with roast pepitas. I don’t usually puree soups, but I got a new immersion blender!  :^) Btw, this is a very low-fat high fiber dish.

Spicy Cactus & Rice Salad w/ Lime & Cilantro Dressing. Vegan and gluten-free. Spicy pickled nopalitos come in jars or cans in the Hispanic aisle. Think pickled peppers. Celery & purple cabbage will add crunch.

Considering for the holidays:  Sauteed Collards w/ Cranberries & Red Peppers is a gorgeous dish that will convert those who’ve had negative experiences with collards, and Israeli Sweet Potato “Rainbow” Salad.

If you’re curious about past menus, click on the Dish of the Week Menu Archive page! It lists all DDoW menus from the entire year.

Demos & Classes

Aunty Oxidant and kids making salads at Farmers' Market (photo by Sharon Ramirez)

THIS SUNDAY Aunty Oxidant (that’s me) and the Little Locavore show ride again! I will be demo-ing healthful salads at the Kingfield Farmers Market, one of the best markets in town! Come see me at 10.30am down at 4310 Nicollet Ave, Mpls. It’s open every Sun 8:30 am -1 pm.

I am planning to make — with kids’ assistance — Firecracker Slaw, a gorgeous tasty salad of shredded raw beets, carrots, kohlrabi and apples tossed in a chipotle vinaigrette. It’s sweet & spicy, crunchy & filling and very ‘clean’. FULL of vitamins, antioxidants and fiber fiber fiber. 

Firecracker Slaw: the prettiest slaw you've EVER seen! (my photo)

As my clients and readers know, I am all about Fiber. Fiber is the key to a healthful food lifestyle and a healthy body. It improves heart-health by removing cholesterol & fat from your system, cleans out your colon and makes you feel better. Fiber comes from — surprise — natural whole grains, beans, veggies and fruits, which also contain vitamins and antioxidants. So there you go.

This week I taught a cooking class at the new Rice Street Teen Center run by St Paul Parks & Recreation Dept. My audience was St Paul teens and the topic, unbeknownst to them, was Healthful Snacks. It was a little challenging to come up with dishes that I thought teenagers — vs adults — could easily and inexpensively make at home, ie with readily available, cheap ingredients and short prep times.

This was the resulting lesson plan:
  • fresh salsa w/ market veggies
  • “Texas caviar” aka black bean, corn & veg salad w/ pineapple & lime juice dressing
  • pineapple cream cheese & banana quesadillas
  • banana, peanut butter & craisin balls rolled in sunflower seeds.
The nine teens divided into four teams to make the above, which we served with tortilla chips. We diced fresh green peppers, tomatoes & onions, minced jalapenos, garlic & cilantro and then divided these in half to use in both vegetable dishes. Corn (from frozen), fresh diced cukes and 2 cans of black beans made up the rest of the bean salad. Canned chunked pineapples were strained and mashed with cream cheese, while the pineapple juice went into the bean salad. 

It was lots of fun and the teens took many containers of food home. My next class at Rice Street is in mid-Sept. With the same goal of making easy & inexpensive healthful foods, I’m thinking about Seasoned Oven-fried Potato, Sweet Potato, Rutabaga and Zucchini Spears. Roasting is a wonderful & easy cooking method as well as a healthier (low-fat) way to enjoy root veg. Plus root vegetables are cheap and feed a crowd — you can buy 5# of potatoes for the price of a lg bag of Tater Tots.  So wish me luck! 
I’ll be posting soon about a series of cooking classes that I’m offering at Inver Grove Hts Community Center. They are scheduled on Thursdays from mid-September thru October, to coincide with the mini- Farmers’ Market held in the center’s parking lot! 

If you have any suggestions for foods/dishes that appeal to teens and kids, please include in a comment on this blog, or, email me at tracyksyue@yahoo.com. Thank you!

Gingery Roast Sweet Potatoes

This tasty superfood is one of the March 8-15 “Dishes of the Week” (aka “Chopped Salad of the Week”). #2 is Quinoa Veggie Salad in Lemon Mustard Vinaigrette. One dish is dense and soft, the other light and crunchy. Both are vegan, contain lots of fiber and complex carbs and no saturated fats (olive oil only).

The sweet potatoes can be eaten hot or room temp. Right out of the frig is OK too but the flavors will be less apparent. Both dishes are perfect for a brown bag lunch, as they don’t necessarily need to be refrigerated again for several hours.

I also love to microwave sweet potatoes for breakfast — satisfying and fuels you all morning. If you like them mashed, throw chunks in a crockpot overnight with some milk or soymilk, a little brown sugar if you wish. In the morn, they’ll be soft & creamy, and you can mash them easily. No butter necessary.

See previous post for newly reduced fees for Dishes of the Week, delivered to home or office.