{sms} a sweet melissa catch up

I’ve been baking most of the Sweet Melissa Sundays recipes but haven’t had time to write about them. The purpose of this post is just to catch up a bit. (I will admit, though, I did not bake the Coconut Custard Pie nor the Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Caramel Rum-Raisin Sauce).

Peanut Butter Truffles

Butterscotch Pralines

Orange-Blueberry Mini-Muffins with Pecan Crumble

Sweet Potato Bread with Cinnamon-Orange-Rum Glaze (love boozy desserts!)


Southwestern Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad


The past few weeks I’ve been on a sweet potato salad kick. This week marks my 3rd week in a row making one. Last week I mentioned finding this recipe on Mark Bittman’s website, that it sounded delicious, and that I would make it in a couple of weeks. Well, I couldn’t wait–I made it this week.

In this salad, unlike the others I made,  the sweet potatoes are relegated to a supporting role. However, it doesn’t mean the salad is any less delicious. In addition to the sweet potatoes and quinoa the salad has: avocado, toasted pepitas, red onion, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper (my addition). It’s all dressed in a lime vinaigrette, spiced with chili powder, and flavored with cilantro. It’s a great vegan recipe, packs a punch, and is immensely satisfying.

Although I found the recipe online, it’s also in How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. I think you should all run out and make this as soon as possible.

You can find the recipe HERE. I want to try the original version and then try the suggested millet. YUM!


Sweet Potatoes!!


I heart sweet potatoes and was considering holding a Sweet Potato Week just like my recent Pumpkin Week. I decided against it because I didn’t want to get sick of sweet potatoes like I did with pumpkin. I’m just getting over my pumpkin ennui.

For a change, I’ve been going back to some of my cookbooks that I haven’t cooked or baked from in awhile. I recently made  Sweet Potato Muffins with Crystallized Ginger from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. I also busted out my book that started me off, the original version How to Cook Everything to make some of the sauces for my pizza party.

This week’s Vegan Tuesday recipe~Morrocan Sweet Potato Salad~ comes from The Art of Simple Food. I changed the recipe a bit. I added a red onion, used lime juice instead of lemon, and doubled the cilantro.  The salad is spiced with saffron, paprika, and cumin.

Moroccan Sweet Potato Salad

Adapted from The Art of Simple Food
  • 1 pound of sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 red onion, coarsely chopped
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pinch of saffron threads
  • 1/2 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  1. Toss sweet potatoes and onions with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place in 375º F oven and roast until sweet potatoes are tender. Remove from oven and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together saffron, cumin, paprika, salt, and lime juice. Slowly add in olive oil. Pour over sweet potatoes while they are still warm. Stir in cilantro. Let sit for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally. Serve at room temperature.

The salad is good, but not as good as Mark Bittman’s Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Black Beans and Chili Dressing. I made it for a pot luck a few weeks ago, took pictures, and never blogged it. So here it is:


While googling it for the recipe, I found another Mark Bittman sweet potato salad that sounds delicious: Southwestern Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad. I’m going to make this for another potluck in a couple weeks.

{twd} sweet potato biscuits

This is my ONE non-pumpkin recipe during Pumpkin Week. I’m sure I could have used pumpkin instead of sweet potato like some other Tuesdays with Dorie bakers, but I heart sweet potato and have never baked with it (well, other than the obvious baked sweet potato.)

These were okay. They had a great sweet potato taste–I used Trader Joes organic sweet potato puree–but I felt they needed a bit more spice. The recipe calls for only a pinch of cinnamon.

Every since I read that Sweet Potato Biscuits were the pick for this week, I’ve been wanting to make a shortcake with them. And that’s what I did. I made Buttermilk Ice Cream using a recipe from the October 2009 issue of Bon Appetit and swirled it with a white chocolate-peanut butter ganache (leftover from a cake I made for my niece’s 7th birthday) and chunks of peanut-sesame crunch (from the same cake, which I will write up sometime in the near future). I did Tweet about both the cake and ice cream.

Buttermilk Ice Cream

From Bon Appetit, October 2009
  • 2 cups  whole milk
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk

Combine all ingredients and stir until sugar dissolves. Chill in refrigerator for a couple hours. Churn in ice cream maker and transfer to container. Freeze until firm, at least 6 hours.

Thanks to Erin of Prudence Pennywise for hosting this week. If you would like the recipe, visit her blog or buy the book.

Creamy Wehani Rice Soup with Sweet Potato Croutons


If you want a warm, creamy soup then this is the soup for you. It also happens to be vegan, but you can’t tell. It gets it’s creaminess from coconut milk. The  recipe–Creamy Wild Rice Soup with Sweet Potato Croutons–comes from Super Natural Cooking and originally calls for wild rice.

I’m not a fan of wild rice and debated about using it. While at the health food store bulk bin section, I noticed Wehani rice right next to the wild rice. I decided to sub out the wild rice with Wehani. I’ve never had it before, but it looked like it had a hearty exterior like wild rice and would be a good substitution. Cooked Wehani has a pleasant nutty flavor and I can’t wait to use it again. It’s a brown rice because it still has its bran, but because it has a sturdier exterior (which pops open like wild rice when cooked) it has bit more crunch than regular brown rice.

Wehani Rice from gourmetsleuth.com

Wehani Rice from gourmetsleuth.com

The flavor base of the soup comes from onions, garlic, and shallots sautéed in coconut oil and red curry paste. The sweet potato croutons are made just like you would make home fries with a regular potato. Diced sweet potatoes are sautéed in coconut oil with a pinch of salt until nice and toasty on all sides.

Creamy Wehani Rice Soup with Sweet Potato Croutons

Adapted from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Cooking

Note: The orginal recipe uses wild rice and cooks for approximately 40 minutes. Also it calls for an additional cup of water added to the soup when the coconut milk is added. I like thicker soups, therefore I did not add it. I also used Sriracha as condiment, well, because I add it to everything. I’m addicted. 😛

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons red curry paste
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup Wehani rice, rinsed
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 orange-fleshed sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch dice
  • 2 teaspoons ground tumeric
  • 1 tablespoon natural cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon shoyu sauce
  • 1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
  • Squeeze of lime juice, to taste
  • Fine grain sea salt, to taste

1. Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil in heavy-bottom soup pot over medium-high heat. Add garlic, shallot, onion, and red curry paste. Sauté until onions begin to soften, making sure red curry paste is evenly distributed. Add rice and give a quick stir to coat the rice. Add water and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat, cover, and cook for approximately 30 minutes until the rice is cooked. When done, the Wehani will split a bit and be slightly chewy with a bit of a crunch.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the sweet potatoes. Heat remaining tablespoon of coconut oil in large skillet. Add sweet potatoes and a pinch of salt. Toss to coat and cook for a few minutes until they begin to get some color. Toss repeatedly until all sides are brown and crunchy. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt. Remove potatoes from pan onto a paper towel and set aside.

3. When rice is done, add tumeric, sugar, shoyu sauce, coconut milk, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir, return to simmer, and cook for 5 minutes or so for flavors to meld. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice.  Season to taste with salt.