You can garnish this casserole with chopped raw pecans.
Remove skin from the baked sweet potatoes.
Add pineapple, cinnamon, salt and a little vegan buttery spread.
Naturally Sweet and Creamy
I've always wondered why so many sweet potato recipes add large amounts of sugar, syrup, butter and cream. To me, this healthy root vegetable is amazingly sweet and creamy just baked in their skins. It's especially important not to overdo the fat and calories in each of the many side dishes during the holidays and this is a popular side dish on Thanksgiving and other winter holiday meals. (For other healthful Thanksgiving recipes, check out my 2009 Thanksgiving Menu and my 2010 Thanksgiving Menu).Every time you can keep yourself from adding a stick of butter or a cup of sugar in a recipe, you are way ahead of the game. And in this dish, it isn't needed at all. Sweetness comes from the sweet potatoes and pineapple. With only 2 teaspoons of a vegan buttery spread, this dish is very low in fat and has no cholesterol.
It's a Meal by Itself
One of our favorite mid-week meals is a huge baked sweet potato and a head of steamed broccoli tossed in lemon juice, olive oil and a little sea salt. We occasionally top the sweet potato with chopped nuts or for a hearty meal, we top it with vegetarian baked beans. Sweet potatoes have no fat and are a good source of fiber, vitamin B6 and potassium. They are a very good source of vitamin A, vitamin C and manganese. Only one cup of cooked sweet potato gives you almost 8 times your daily requirement of vitamin A.
Sweet Potato Casserole [serves 8]
4 large sweet potatoes (about 3 1/2 pounds)
1 8 ounce can of unsweetened crushed pineapple
2 teaspoons of Earth Balance or other vegan buttery spread
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
1/4 cup raw pecans, chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash sweet potatoes and place them on a foil lined shallow roasting pan. Do not peel. Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until a fork easily pierces the potatoes. Let cool enough so that you can handle and remove potato skin. Drain the pineapple but reserve the juice in case you need more moisture for the casserole. Add crushed pineapple, buttery spread, cinnamon and salt to the potatoes and mash until smooth. If needed, add some or all of the reserved pineapple juice. Place in a lightly greased casserole dish and warm (covered) in a 350 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes. Or, you can cover and refrigerate and warm it the next day. Garnish with pecans right before serving.
Per serving: 153.6 calories, 1.6 g fat, 0.3 g saturated fat, 0 g cholesterol, 2.6 g protein, 33.3 g carbohydrates and 2.4 g of fiber.
Per serving with pecans: 177.2 calories, 4.1 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 0 g cholesterol, 2.9 g protein, 33.7 g carbohydrates and 2.7 g of fiber.