Spicy Sweet Potatoes


Lime Chicken with Spicy Sweet Potatoes is a fan favorite from my cookbook Healthy Palate.  Sweet potatoes have gained in popularity in recent years.  You can even find sweet potato fries in your freezer section and in restaurants as well. Don’t be fooled; frying sweet potatoes only adds more calories and is not a healthy alternative.  Instead sprinkle them with a spicy seasoning and roast in the oven.  Soon you will have plenty of great flavor, taste and a lot less calories.   


These are a just a few key nutrients and health benefits that sweet potatoes provide:
• Potassium which helps lower high blood pressure.
• Vitamin A which is essential for good vision.
• Vitamin B6 needed for immune function and during pregnancy and infancy for its critical role in brain development.
• Fiber which helps you maintain your weight.   

Eat them for the nutrition, but Love them for the taste!
While you are cooking these great sweet potatoes you can make some Lime Chicken that cooks in separate pan right along the Spicy Sweet Potatoes.  Season the chicken with lime, garlic, cumin and mint and you have the perfect dish to accompany the Spicy Sweet Potatoes.  Now that is a real time saver.    


Lime Chicken with Spicy Sweet Potatoes

Lime Chicken

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 lime, grated lime peel
1 tablespoon lime juice
11⁄2 teaspoons ground cumin
1⁄2 teaspoon dried mint
1⁄8 teaspoon each of salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Preheat oven to 400°. Choose two baking dishes (one larger for the vegetables and a smaller one for the chicken) that will fit in the oven at the same time. Generously mist both dishes with cooking spray. 
Arrange chicken in the smaller baking dish. In the small bowl combine the garlic, grated lime peel, lime juice, cumin, mint, salt and pepper. Top chicken with garlic mixture. Cover dish with foil.
Servings: 4   

NUTRITION INFORMATION FOR 1 SERVING CHICKEN: 177 calories, 27g protein, 3g carb, 2g fat, 66mg chol, 0g sat fat, 0g trans fat, 1g fiber, 149mg sodium   

Spicy Sweet Potatoes and Peppers:
2 small sweet potatoes, (about 1 1⁄2 #), peeled, quartered and sliced 1⁄2 inch thick
1 red bell pepper, cut into 2 inch chunks
1 green bell pepper, cut into 2 inch chunks
2 teaspoons chili powder
1⁄2 teaspoon onion powder
1⁄2 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 limes cut in half 

Place sweet potatoes and peppers in the larger baking dish. Combine chili powder, onion powder and red pepper in small bowl. Sprinkle spices over potatoes; toss to coat. Do not cover baking dish.   

Place both dishes in the oven at the same times. Stir potatoes once or twice while cooking. Bake for 40 minutes or until vegetables are tender and chicken reaches an internal temperature of 170° F. Garnish plates with fresh limes, so you can squeeze additional juice on chicken and vegetables.   

NUTRITION INFORMATION FOR 1 SERVING POTATOES: 77calories, 4g protein, 42g carbs, 1g fat, 0mg chol, 0g sat fat, 0g trans fat, 8g fiber, 110mg sodium


Carrot Soup with Yellow Split Peas

Outside it is cold and rainy, so tonight is the perfect night for a hearty soup.  Carrot soup is usually light but this heartier version has yellow split peas and will really satisfy on a blustery day.  Top your bowl off with fresh cilantro; its bright flavor and hint of citrus lets you know you are in for a treat.   This recipe is from my cookbook Healthy Palate 

Hearty and Satisfying

Many soup recipes leave you enough to feed a small army and take a long time to prepare.  This recipe serves four and only takes 30 minutes to cook.  However, this recipe can easily be doubled if you want more.  Cooking with split peas has many advantages.  They cook more quickly than most legumes; they need only 30 minutes to cook; they are economical and are heart healthy plus  a great carbohydrate choice for those with diabetes.  I use yellow split peas purposely creating a monochromatic hue of the yellow split peas, orange from the carrots and white from the parsnips.   

Soup Ingredients

This soup is delicious and the nutrition value is excellent.  This soup provides protein, vitamin A, thiamin, folate, potassium, manganese and magnesium.  Tonight make this soup and you won’t believe how good healthy eating can taste!  

Carrot Soup with Yellow Split Peas


Carrot Soup with Yellow Split Peas

4 cups chicken or vegetable broth, low sodium
3⁄4 cup yellow split peas, rinsed and picked over removing any small stones
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion (about 1 cup), chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
1⁄4 teaspoon turmeric
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced thin
1 parsnip, peeled and sliced thin
1⁄4 cup of cilantro, chopped

Heat in a large sauce pan broth, split peas and bay leaf over medium-high heat; bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover pot and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat; add onions and sauté until golden brown, about 7-10 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, and turmeric; stir for about 1 minute.  

After broth and split peas have cooked at least 20 minutes, add in onion mixture, carrots and parsnip slices. Increase heat to medium-high heat.  Once soup begins to boil, reduce heat to low and cover. Cook until carrots are done and the split peas have softened, about 10 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Just before serving add cilantro.
Servings: 4  

NUTRITION INFORMATION FOR 1 SERVING: 210 calories, 11g protein, 34g carbs, 4g fat, 0mg chol, 1g sat fat, 0g trans fat, 12g fiber, 180mg sodium