Have you taken a look around you lately? It’s like fall threw up everywhere. I can’t beleive how quickly the summer ended and fall took over. Halloween decorations have been out for a couple weeks, some stores even dare selling Christmas decor; the weather and the leaves are turning, and the pumpkin flavours and smells are back in full force. I can’t help but be inspired to feature fall friendly beauty foods as my meals change with the season. First round, sweet potatoes.
Sweet potatoes are nutrient packed vegetables that have definitely earned their “healthy food” badge. They are a great source of fibre to keep your gut and heart healthy, as well as providing you with complex carbohydrates which are released at a steady pace to provide a sustained source of energy (awesome as part of a post-workout meal!).
Sweet potatoes are a rich source of beta-carotene (Vitamin A) which puts them on the list of foods that promote youth and natural beauty. Vitamin A from sweet potatoes acts as an antioxidant that fights off the damaging effects of free radicals that cause visible signs of aging. It is also an important part of normal growth and development, and promoting health of your immune system and vision.
I love roasting sweet potatoes with a bit of olive oil (the fats helps you absorb the Vitamin A), cinnamon, cumin and garlic. They have a lot of flavour on their own so you may find that eating them plain is totally fine too! For this feature I ended up making a casserole type dish since it was cold and wet today and I wanted something to warm me up from the inside. Voila- Vegan Sweet Potato”Shepherd’s Pie.” High in beautifying ingredients and makes lots of leftovers. Enjoy!
Vegan Sweet Potato”Shepherd’s Pie”
vegan, gluten free
1 tsp coconut oil
1 white onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 head cauliflower, cleaned and grated like rice
1 cup chopped celery
1 tsp dried parsley
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 pinch red pepper flakes
3/4 cup low sodium vegetable stock
1 cup no salt added diced tomatoes
2 1/2 Tbsp chia seeds
1 cup frozen shelled edamame
1 cup cooked chickpeas (if using canned, drain and rinse before using)
1 large sweet potato, peeled
salt and pepper to taste
1. Roast sweet potato in oven at 450 °F for 45 minutes. Take out of oven and let cool.
2. In a large pan, melt 1 tsp coconut oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion, garlic, cauliflower and celery. Saute for 5 minutes. Add in oregano, parsley, basil, red pepper flakes and season with salt and pepper. Saute until celery and onions are tender.
3. Add in the rest of the ingredients except the sweet potato and let simmer stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.
4. Heat oven to 400 °F and prepare a 6-quart casserole dish with coconut oil or non-stick spray.
5. Place mixture into prepared dish. Slice cooked sweet potato and layer over mixture as top crust. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
6. Place dish into heated oven and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let set 5 minutes before serving.
Left overs means I have my lunches packed for the week!