Food

How to Veganize National Cook a Sweet Potato Day in 8 Ways

We’re cooking sweet potatoes every way we know how to celebrate National Cook a Sweet Potato Day.

Sweet potatoes are a craveable everyday staple in any healthy diet because there’s nothing like that gooey caramelized sugar erupting from a roasted sweet potato, or that satisfying creamy texture of a good sweet potato mash. Plus, sweet potatoes are packed with nutrients such vitamin A, vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber, which make them ideal for regulating blood sugar, boosting immunity, and maintaining excellent eyesight. In honor of National Cook a Sweet Potato Day, we’ve compiled a list of inspirational recipes and ideas to ensure you enjoy a sweet potato at every meal.

1. Sweet-potato pancakes
Start the sweet-potato celebration with a tall stack of amazing sweet potato pancakes from Sweet Simple Vegan. Adding mashed sweet potato gives these breakfast favorites some nutritional bulk, which will keep you full and satisfied throughout your morning. Plus, the sweet-potato spices will make your kitchen smell amazing.

2. Sweet-potato nacho fries
Part nachos, part loaded sweet-potato fries, this dish by Minimalist Baker is everything your inner sweet-potato fan could ask for. We love that there’s no recipe required—just a few store-bought ingredients and a bit of inspiration to help build your sweet potato mountain. Start with store-bought, baked, or air-fried sweet-potato fries or wedges, and pile on nacho toppings such as vegan cheese, beans, salsa, guacamole, red onions, jackfruit carnitas, and soyrizo.

3. Mexican sweet potato
A more humble variety of the sweet-potato nacho fries, this Mexican take on a sweet potato is perfect for a quick weeknight meal. Roast a medium-to-large sweet potato (or steam in the microwave) until tender. Slice the potato in two, lengthwise, and top with vegan refried beans, shredded lettuce, and salsa. This dish is so simple and incredibly affordable, and reminds you that you don’t need much when the sweet potato is the star of the show!

4. Greek sweet potato
This Greek sweet potato is a terrific dinner-for-one because it provides complex flavor and interesting textures without spending hours in the kitchen. To make, roast your sweet potato, and then use it as a canvas for your personal mezze plate. Slather your favorite hummus, and top with tabbouleh, cherry tomatoes, diced cucumbers, and Kalamata olives. To elevate this dish, add some tofu-based feta or vegan goat cheese.

5. Caesar sweet-potato salad
A roasted sweet potato is the perfect vessel for Caesar salad because the creamy, sweet texture balances the saltiness of the salad dressing, and you get that awesome hot/cold effect when you combine the chilled salad with the steaming potato. Try Oh She Glows' protein-packed Caesar to create a full meal. The recipe includes roasted chickpea croutons, umami-packed dressing, and a nut-and-seed-based parmesan you’ll want to sprinkle on everything.

6. Fruit and nut-butter sweet potato
For a quick afternoon pick-me-up, try a roasted sweet potato slathered with your favorite nut butter and fruit. Opt for a classic combination (such as almond butter and banana), or recreate a portable version of the sweet-potato casserole by spreading pecan butter and topping it with shredded, toasted coconut. Cashew butter with strawberries is another surprisingly delicious combination. As a rule of thumb, if it sounds good on a sandwich, it’s probably spectacular on a sweet potato.

7. Sweet-potato soup
During the chilly winter months, everyone needs a go-to sweet-potato soup recipe to warm you up at night, which is why we recommend this Sweet Potato Soup with Ginger and Vanilla by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. The sweet yet spicy soup requires minimal ingredients, and it’s quick to throw together (minus the roasting time)—simply roast or microwave-steam your sweet potato and purée it in a high speed blender with some vegetable broth, salt, and spices.

8. Sweet-potato pie
We’re finishing our celebration of National Cook a Sweet Potato Day with a generous slice of vegan sweet potato pie! For the recipe, we recommend following the self-proclaimed queen of sweet potatoes, Jenné Claiborne of Sweet Potato Soul. Make sure you have some vegan whip handy!

Tanya Flink is a certified Master Personal Trainer based in Orange County, CA and host of the The Vegan Potluck podcast.

Photo courtesy of Minimalist Baker

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