Today we have another wonderful guest post as part of the $1 healthy dollar menu. Amy from Simply Sugar and Gluten Free shares a flavorful and frugal dish with us today. Make sure you check out her lovely blog and leave a comment here welcoming her to The Nourishing Gourmet! Also, don’t forget about Pennywise Platter Thursday coming up, and that this is one of the last days to sign up for the fabulous giveaway that US Wellness Meats is doing with me, so if you haven’t already go check it out.
When I saw that Kimi was putting together a series on a nutrition packed dollar menu, I immediately got excited. I frequently hear people tell me that they can’t eat healthier because they either can’t afford it or don’t have time. When learning to eat healthier, there is an initial learning curve which requires a little more time and effort than you might be used to. This is true about learning anything new, though, and quickly becomes second nature. There is also be a little more upfront cost as you stock your pantry with healthier foods, but this can be done gradually and the extra expense will eventually go away. My hope is that this series can help dispel this ugly myth.
Today I’m sharing a favorite in our house – gingered sweet potatoes. The sweetness of the potatoes and dried fruit is tempered by the warmth of the fresh ginger. Sweet potatoes are a much healthier alternative to white potatoes. They contain vitamins A and C, both of which are powerful antioxidants. Ginger is known to relieve upset stomachs and also has anti-inflammatory properties. So, instead of driving through your favorite fast food joint and getting a super sized fry why not try heath supporting gingered sweet potatoes instead?
Here’s the cost analysis for six servings:
- 2 organic sweet potatoes, about 1 ¼ pound – $1.25
2 large organic carrots, about ½ pound – $0.30
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil – $0.09
½ large onion – $0.25
10 organic pitted prunes – $1.00
2 tablespoons zante currants – $0.21
5 dried apricots – $0.28
1 tablespoon honey or agave – $0.11
1 teaspoon fresh ginger – $0.04
1 cinnamon stick – $0.05
juice of ½ lemon – $0.16
salt – $0.05
Total cost for 6 servings – $3.79
Cost per serving – $0.63
This recipe has been adapted from The Best Ever Book of Jewish Cooking by Marlena Spieler.
Gingered Sweet Potatoes
2 organic sweet potatoes
2 organic carrots
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon good quality extra virgin olive oil
½ large onion, diced
10 organic pitted prunes, cut in half
2 tablespoons zante currants
5 dried apricots, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon agave or mild-flavored honey
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1 cinnamon stick
juice from ½ lemon
salt to taste
Position your cooking racks so that your 4 – 6 quart dutch oven can fit inside the oven comfortably. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Bring a pot of lightly salted, filtered water to boil. Meanwhile, cut sweet potatoes in half and then in uniformly thick slices, about ¼ inch. Slice carrots into coins, slightly thinner than the potatoes. Once water comes to a boil, add sweet potatoes and carrots. Bring back up to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 3 – 5 minutes, or until potatoes are nearly tender.
Place a colander in a large bowl and dump the potatoes and carrots into the strainer, reserving the cooking liquid.
Heat olive oil over medium low in a large, oven proof dutch oven. Add onion and sauté until soft, about 8 minutes. Add 2 cups of the reserved cooking liquid, the nearly tender potatoes and carrots, prunes, currants, apricots, agave or honey, ginger, cinnamon stick, and lemon juice. Stir gently to combine. Cooking liquid should come up halfway up the ingredients – check the liquid level and add more if necessary. Bake for 30 minutes. Check liquid level. If there is too much liquid in the pot, remove lid and cook for 10 more minutes. Otherwise, replace lid and cook for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Carrots will be slightly less cooked than potatoes. Taste and add salt if necessary.
Note: If you don’t have a dutch oven, sauté onion in a skillet then transfer them to a covered casserole dish large enough to accommodate all of the ingredients.