Now that the month of March is in full swing, I’m longing to feel the smell of early spring in the air. But it seems spring is playing hard to get, no sign of warmer temperatures in the Paris region for the moment. In fact, there was a snow storm in Paris last week! Okay, okay, it lasted 15 minutes, but it was really snowing heavily for a quarter of an hour! Otherwise it’s been loads of rain, cold winds and the hope that, as the poet says, spring cannot be that far behind.
I’m finally over the flu but physically quite exhausted after a week of fever, stuffy head and runny nose. I’m hoping to get back to running soon but for the moment I’m taking it lightly. We made a big family walk on Sunday to get some fresh air – we ended up walking two and a half hours in the cold wind, all covered up in our parkas. Nature seems to be still sleeping, you’d think winter is never going to end… A little sign of life are the daffodils blooming in my garden but it was snowing on them again two days ago. Capricious, unpredictable March weather, please don’t let my favorite yellow flowers freeze!
So my dish today is still very much wintery – it’s not yet time for fresh radishes and tender asparagus to inspire us with spring recipes. These roasted sweet potatoes make a lovely vegetarian lunch of dinner. Now, I know sweet potatoes are a great alternative to regular potatoes as those regular ones are just pure starch while these orange-colored ones have a lower glycemic index. I also know they’re chock full of nutrients but I find them way too sweet for savory dishes. I really think they make a better dessert, as in those paleo cake recipes that are popping up everywhere on the net these day. So to avoid having the impression I’m eating dessert, I added garlic and onion, sprinkled the wedges with strong paprika and finally covered them in some lime juice. I find lime gives a tanginess strong enough to counteract the sweetness. Sweet potatoes are full of fiber, so along with the chickpeas this ends up being a really filling dish that guarantees you won’t be snacking between meals! Except for the kale which you’d end up burning, leftovers can be easily heated up in the oven which is – let’s be honest – the best thing when you’re short of time but want to avoid relying on quick junk food. Dig in and enjoy!
What you’ll need to serve 2 (or as a side dish serves 4):
- 2 medium orange-fleshed sweet potatoes (about 650 g)
- 1 small red onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 150g chickpeas
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ turmeric
- fresh rosemary
- Himalaya salt
- freshly ground pepper
- juice of half a lime
- a few kale leaves
- a good glug of olive oil
What you’ll need to do:
- Heat oven to 200°C. You’ll need two baking sheets, cover them with foil if you want to clean up faster when you’re done cooking.
- Clean your sweet potatoes by scrubbing well. Do not peel as the skin contains nutrients and is delicious when roasted. Cut them lengthwise into 8 wedges.
- Thinly slice the onion and chop the garlic.
- Cover the sweet potato wedges with olive oil, onion, garlic, lime juice and your spices: paprika, rosemary, salt and pepper. I also added a dash of turmeric just because I’ve been adding a little turmeric to everything since I learned about its anti-inflammatory benefits. Toss the wedges well making sure all sides are well covered with your oily dressing. Don’t be afraid to use your hands. Spread the potatoes on one of the baking sheets and roast in the oven for about 45-50 minutes, turning occasionally until potatoes are tender and the skin crunchy.
- Drain your cooked chickpeas and pat them dry in a clean towel. Cover chickpeas with some paprika, salt, pepper and olive oil, spread them on the second tray and roast them for about 15-20 minutes.
- Clean and chop the kale leaves into bite-sized pieces (try to chop them up evenly as possible). Rub some olive oil and salt in the kale leaves and about 5-10 minutes before taking out the sweet potato from the oven, add the kale leaves on your baking tray to make kale chips.
- Serve the sweet potatoes on a platter along with the lightly-toasted chickpeas. Check if more salt, pepper, olive oil or lime juice is needed. Add the kale chips. Serve as is, but you could experiment by adding some feta or drizzling over yoghurt with mixed with herbs and spices. Here I decorated my plate with some fresh radish sprouts.