Healthy Eating

Roasted Roots with Ginger & Lime Juice

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

with Ginger & Lime Juice

Here is the suped up version of my Roasted Winter Squash with a Twist.

In this version I use Jewel and/or Garnet Yams and/or Sweet Potatoes and mix in Butternut Squash and/or Acorn Squash (whatever is available). Although, did you know, that the “Yams” we consume in North America are actually Sweet Potatoes? To get true Yams, apparently requires some effort, one must source them from a market that specializes in Tropical produce. This link: Sweet Potatoes & Yams gives the breakdown for anyone interested in clarifying the confusion.

For me it was particularly interesting because I am exploring Eat Right 4 Your Type. For me as a type O, Sweet Potatoes are beneficial and Yams are Neutral. Turns out, the Yams I thought I was eating are actually ALL sweet potatoes (Yay!), but are labeled as Yams at the grocery store. It all kind of makes my head swim though.

UPDATE: Recently, I got the results from the Secretor Test. Turns out I am a Non-Secretor, which means that both Yams and Sweet Potatoes are neutral for me. I’ll still keep eating them, but maybe not quite as often!

Anyhow, this recipe has become quite a staple. I love it! And now that I’ve made it so often, I can whip off a batch in no time. Sadly, it disappears just as quickly. The kids will sample it from time to time when they are feeling adventurous, but mostly it’s a dish that my husband and I eat. Lucky for my husband, who is an AB – Secretor, both Yams and Sweet Potatoes are beneficial.

It’s good cold, but outstanding when served warmed up – which brings out all the flavours.

Kitchen Supplies:

  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Bowl for mixing
  • 2 Cookie Sheets
  • Parchment paper (optional)
  • Grater

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 Sweet Potato Tubers (mix of varieties) peeled & cut into chunks
  • Butternut Squash or Acorn Squash (optional) peeled & cut into slices
  • 1 tsp. Fresh Ginger peeled and grated Or 1 Tsp. ground ginger root (more or less depending on how spicy you like it)
  • 1 tsp. or less of Dried Red Chili Pepper Flakes
  • 1 – 2 TBSP. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Juice from 1/2 to 1 Fresh Lime
  • 1 Cup Fresh Cilantro, leaves plucked from stems & finely chopped
  • 3 Scallions (green onions), chopped

Instructions:

  • Preheat Oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Wash, peel and cut sweet potatoes and squash into desired shapes and sizes. Enough for two cookie sheets or more for batches.
  • Place in large mixing bowl. Add approximately 2 TBSP. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I usually just make a splash with it into the bowl).

Peel & grate, 1-2 inches of fresh ginger.

I use a spoon to peel the ginger. It works much better than a vegetable peeler.

1 tsp. grated – depending how spicy you like it 🙂

Add approximately 1 TBSP. of Dried Red Chili Pepper Flakes to the mixing bowl.

Here is a picture showing 1 tsp. dried ginger, less than 1 TBSP. chili flakes and a 1/2 tsp. ground Himalayan Salt.

However, of late I’ve not been adding any salt.

Stir to combine and coat the vegetables.

Transfer to parchment lined cookie sheets.

Place into pre-heated oven for 30 minutes (depending on oven). Check periodically. I find that the sweet potatoes need 10 additional minutes for a nice roasted appearance. For the squash, I usually roast them 20 additional minutes (but turn them over when I take the sweet potatoes out of the oven), to achieve the same roasted appearance on both sides.

Once the vegetables have been removed from the oven I allow them to cool slightly before returning them to the mixing bowl.

While the vegetables were roasting I would have added to the mixing bowl:

1. Separated 1 Cups worth of cilantro leaves from their stems and chopped them.

2. Cut up the scallions

3. Squeezed the juice from 1 fresh lime

Note:  I usually only add the juice from one lime and see how it tastes. It’s easy enough to add more the next day. I’ve made the mistake of adding too much lime juice and regretting it, but easy enough to remedy by adding more roasted vegetables.

Also, I’ve noticed that not all limes are juicy, so I always buy 4 or 5 limes at a time. A few times I’ve cut open limes and though they ‘feel’ perfectly juicy from the outside, they are completely dry; it’s disappointing when you need them right then and there.

Finishing Up:

Depending on how things look I may add a splash of Extra Virgin Olive Oil to the bowl and mix it with the lime juice, cilantro and scallions. Then I toss in the Roasted Vegetables and gently combine to coat the vegetables well. I then cover the bowl or transfer to a food storage container and refrigerate overnight or for a few hours.

Reheat before serving.

Dedicated to my friend V, whose husband isn’t fond of cilantro, but he gave the dish a try when they visited us last month – and he said he liked it. So maybe for all those averse to cilantro, give this recipe a try…(?).

Roast Turkey

This post is for anyone who has never roasted a Turkey.

It is really easy once you do it a few times and gain some experience – much like learning a new exercise! Repeat, Repeat, Repeat.

I used to think I was a lousy cook, but I just never gave myself a chance. I’d try something once or twice and if it didn’t work out I figured that I just wasn’t cut out for cooking. But, I’ve learned that finding the right recipe is more than half the battle. I often chose recipes that looked amazing – some complicated, others simple but if the flavours didn’t appeal to me, then in the end it would feel like quite the disappointment, a waste of time and waste of ingredients. Now, from reading a recipe I know if it’s worth the attempt. And I’m figuring out how to use a recipe as a template and work with the ingredients that are compatible for me.

But really, the entire point of roasting the turkey is to be able to make homemade turkey stock – to make the best turkey soup you’ve ever tasted! Really, before Winter comes to an end you will want to learn this and be ready for next Fall.

First make sure you have all the necessary kitchen supplies at hand. Lay everything out ahead of time – like a cooking show – it really does make everything run that much more smoothly.

The kitchen supplies and preparation:

  • Washed sink and surrounding work surface clean and clutter free
  • Cutting board
  • Pre-cut paper towels
  • Roasting Pan
  • Roasting Tray (which fits inside roasting pan)
  • Turkey baster (optional)
  • Aluminum Foil (oiled)

After Roasting:

  • Large Platter or Carving Block with grooves for catching cooked turkey juices
  • Tea Towels

Ingredients:

  • Turkey! (in this example I used a 13.26 lb. Turkey)
  • Remove Turkey from refrigerator approximately 1 hour prior to the time you want it in the oven to ensure that it won’t be too cold going into the oven
  • 1 tsp. Salt + 1/2 tsp. Freshly Ground Pepper set aside in bowl (more or less depending on preference)
  • 3 to 4 Tbsp. melted unsalted butter (I used Ghee)
  • 1 onion, washed, cut into quarters keep skins on – cut & discard ends – Place into the Roasting Pan (optional)
  • 1 large carrot, washed, cut in half lengthwise – keep skins on – Place into the Roasting Pan (optional)

How To:

Preheat Oven to 425 F.

With a garbage can by your side, place Turkey (which is still in it’s sealed bag) into the clean sink. Remove the Turkey from the bag. Turkey is now sitting in the clean sink. Discard the bag to the garbage.

If your Turkey has the neck in it’s cavity, remove, rinse and dry it. Place the neck into the Roasting pan to the side of the roasting tray – along with the carrot and onion. You  won’t be eating the neck, carrot or onion – rather they will provide nice flavour for the gravy – later.

Inside the Turkey’s cavity you may also find a plastic bag holding the giblets (the heart, liver and kidneys)…I discard these along with the outer bag.

With cold water, rinse the Turkey well, inside and out. Be sure to drain all the water from the cavity before placing it on the paper towels which are covering your clean counter or cutting board.

Dry the Turkey well, inside and out with paper towels. You won’t see any pictures of this…sorry, you’re on your own. Try not to splash your entire kitchen in the process. And make sure to not leave any paper towels inside the cavity! Double check.

Once dry, I find it easier to just place the bird on the tray.

Rub the melted butter all over the outside of the Turkey. Try not to let it all run into the pan! Your Turkey will still be cold from the refrigerator, so the butter will harden slightly as you rub it on – that’s ok. Then, rub some of the salt and pepper all over the outside of the Turkey and into the cavity. You can experiment with different herbs – this time I forgot to add any – but you can add fresh sage or a few rosemary sprigs into the cavity.

That’s it. Now it’s ready to go into the oven.

I lightly sprayed the shiny side of a long sheet of aluminum foil with Canola Pam.

Then I tented the foil over top of the Turkey (oiled side on bird), trying not to let the foil sit on the Turkey – hence ‘tent’. The oil is to help prevent the foil from sticking on the skin should the two come in contact.

Oven Instructions:

 

  • First 45 Minutes at 425 F.

  • Then lower the temperature to 325 F for the remaining time.

  • For this Turkey, it was 2.75 hours @325F.

General rule is 15 Minutes per pound unstuffed and 20 minutes per pound stuffed. But everyone you talk to will have a pattern that works for them. So far this has worked wonderfully. The skin gets nicely browned and crispy (though I don’t eat the skin – looks pretty though). You may want to pull the roasting pan from the oven periodically to check on the turkey and baste it if necessary. This size of Turkey roasted perfectly on its own. I didn’t have to baste it.

Take the foil ‘tent’ off the Turkey one hour prior to the end of cooking, depending on how the skin is browning. Reserve the foil for later. If it’s looking like it is getting too dark then you may decide to leave the tent on. Experiment.

Place a platter or carving block with grooves for catching the juices onto the counter beside the stove top. Once the Turkey has finished roasting, place the roasting pan onto the stove top elements. Transfer the roasting tray on to the platter or carving block. Cover the Turkey with the foil used for tenting, plus another piece if necessary then cover the foiled turkey with a few clean tea towels to keep the heat inside the bird. Let the Turkey rest for at least 20 minutes before carving. The resting time allows for the juices to settle back into the meat, which is what you want. Make sure the tea towels don’t fall into the platter or carving board – the towels will absorb any juices that can be poured into the gravy.

Juices from the Turkey should have dripped into the roasting pan. Remember to discard the onion, neck and carrot from the roasting pan. You will have a nice collection of fat and juices for gravy. I’ll have to show you that another time. It’s pretty easy to make the gravy.

Below, is the amount of Turkey I was able to cut away. Each of these glass dishes holds seven cups! We ate some for dinner that night, and most of the leftovers was reserved for Turkey Soup.

Now you’re ready to make the turkey stock. But wait till I post those instructions before you run out and order your turkey! Coming soon!