I am taking advantage of my stint as a solo parent by experimenting with cooking and food prep. I have two intentions for my cooking during these few weeks. First, I want to use whole ingredients as much as possible, meaning few things out of packages or boxes. Second, I want to eliminate meat as much as I can get away with. To clarify, I am happily an omnivore, but I am increasingly weary of “ethical meat” and I know that there are a lot of loopholes manufacturers can follow in order to get certain certifications on products. Fortunately, this is a great time of year for produce, and I have been able to add a lot of great vegetables in to my repertoire. The star of the week so far has been the garnet yam. My trick with yams is to bake them in their own skin (brushed lightly with olive oil) at the beginning of the week, after which I score their skin and put them away in the fridge. This way, throughout the week, I have tender roasted yam, easy to peel and ready to eat. I find that ingredients like yam offer a nice filler where meat would usually be used. Mashed yam, for example, can be used as a type of glue for veggie patties, enchiladas, and other types of recipes.
Yesterday, I used a yam to make some stuffed peppers. I stuffed two bell peppers (four halves) with a mixture of cooked yam and quinoa, seasoned to my liking. Before baking, I topped all of the stuffed peppers with a nice layer of chèvre. After around 30 minutes in a 350 oven, they were cooked to perfection. I am a big fan of the flavor combination… and the quinoa along with the vegetables and cheese is quite filling and energizing.
Happy Cooking, and Happy Trails!