Wednesday, September 23, 2009
In Praise of the Lowly Sweet Potato
I made hot dogs for dinner last night. My husband and kids all love hot dogs. I always thought they tasted gross. I was probably the only kid who went to a barbecue and only ate the bun with mustard when hot dogs were on the grill.
As I aged, rather than resist my hot dog hatred, I gave into it. It's enough of a bitch keeping weight off as it is without imbibing artificial casings full of mystery meat, chemicals and fat.
My husband and kids, however, love tubular meat, so I do, on occasion, indulge them. I, of course, buy them organic, nitrate free, natural casing dogs.
Hot dogs are an easy meal for me when time is limited. I just slap them on my grill pan for five minutes or so, throw them on buns and Viola! dinner is served.
When hot dogs are on the menu for the family, I take the opportunity to go completely vegetarian. If I'm trying to have a completely raw day (or just up my percentage for the week), I'll make a salad or have raw veggies and dip.
Other times I'll steam veggies and have them over brown rice, or, my favorite, I'll bake up a sweet potato.
Last night was a sweet potato night. I baked two sweets over an hour at 400 degrees until the insides were good and mushy and the skin extra crispy. Then I mashed up them with a little salt and cinnamon (no butter needed). It was really, really yummy. It was like eating desert for dinner without all the bad processed sugar and calories.
What's not to love about sweet potatoes? They're not only delicious, but full of all kinds of healthy stuff. The orange flavor is a sign that there is plenty of beta-carotene, an anti-oxidant that converts to Vitamin A which is marvelous for the skin, helping it remain clear and wrinkle-free.
There's also plenty of dietary fiber in sweet potatoes which is good for the digestive system, and all the Vitamin B6 protects against heart disease and stroke. Best of all, there's less than 100 calories in the average sized sweet potato.
So, have desert for dinner (or lunch). Eat a sweet potato. Just stay away from loading it with butter.