Author: Sweet Pepper

It’s Too Dang Hot: Amanda’s Red Cabbage Slaw

Even when it’s too hot to think about turning on the oven, we still want to help you keep cool and well-fed. Try one of our no-heat recipes, all of which are tried-and-true and come directly from members of The Yam Fam!

These are all no-heat, no stress recipe. If you don’t have the right quantities, work with what you’ve got. If you don’t have all the ingredients, go substitution wild. When it’s too hot to cook, it’s WAY too hot to stress!

Continue reading “It’s Too Dang Hot: Amanda’s Red Cabbage Slaw”

Help Us Help The Stop CFC!

Image courtesy The Stop Community Food Center / Zoe Alexopoulos

If you’re not familiar with them, The Stop CFC (community food center) is a really interesting organization. They started in the early 1980’s as a food bank, but have since transformed into… well, into a community food center! They offer cooking classes, community gardens, they offer support groups and community advocacy, they teach perinatal nutrition and host movie nights… the list goes on and on, but the main point here is that after adding all these other services, they are still also a food bank.

The Stop strives to increase access to healthy food in a manner that maintains dignity, builds health and community, and challenges inequality.

Here at The Sweet Potato, we are big fans of The Stop. Their mandate is actually very similar to our own, and they do amazing work in our community – which is why we support them as much as we can.

This December, we are again running our annual Food Drive in Support of The Stop.  We’ve got a bin set up inside the store for donations of dry goods, and we’re also matching all monetary donations dollar-for-dollar.

If you are able to give, they have provided us with a list of their most-requested items:

  • Canned fish
  • Peanut butter (or any sort of nut butter)
  • Dried beans (or canned beans) – especially Kidney Beans
  • Pasta
  • Gluten-Free pasta
  • Pasta sauce
  • Brown Rice

Anything you are able to provide would be great; we think they do really great work, and we are eager to support them as much as we can.  If you want to read more about them, you can visit their website, where you can sign up for an event, volunteer, or just learn about all the great stuff they do.

We hope you’ll help us help them make sure everyone has a warm, happy, and well-fed holiday season!

A Holiday for Everyone

There’s something special about the meals associated with winter holidays. Something about a set and laden table, with the cold dark just outside the windows – it makes things feel particularly comfy, and wholesome, and welcoming.

And with that spirit in mind, we want to make sure that our holiday meals are open and accessible to everyone, not just folks who share our personal preferences for what to eat and drink. We try hard to accommodate different diets and lifestyles, so that everyone we love can come together and be thankful in joy and deliciousness:

First, there’s always our perfect roast turkey recipe and delicious cranberry sauce. In addition to that, and the many yummy veggie dishes, we always like to have at least one more hearty main dish that isn’t meat based. We love the sound of this vegan meatloaf, but in a pinch we might just grab one of the frozen Vegan Roasts we sell at the store.

Like a lot of other of people, we like to cook our stuffing outside the bird – this allows the bird to cook more quickly and evenly, makes sure the stuffing itself is cooked properly, and most importantly lets us make several different kids of stuffing, including ones for our friends who are vegan and paleo or keto.

Many of our favourite veggie dishes are already totally vegan-friendly, like our Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Shitaaki Miso Gravy, Roasted Maple Delicata Squash, and Mashed Sweet Potatoes; others can be made so with just one or two easy substitutions, like our Crispy Brussel Sprouts, made with nutritional yeast instead of Parmesan, and our beloved Grean Beans with Garlicky Pine Nuts, in which we just omit the butter.

For dessert, we like to serve a variety of fresh fruit, as well as our vegan-friendly Peach Sorbet; this year we’re planning on making a paleo-AND-keto friendly avocado ice cream!

As well as food, though, it’s always important to us that our place be really accessible and inviting – both physically and emotionally. That is very much an ongoing process, and it starts by asking some simple questions about what we can do to help our guests (including the ones we don’t know yet!) navigate our space with ease and comfort. While this article is more concerned with having a large dance-type party, the questions it asks and points it raises are a great starting point to help you throw parties for everyone. Which is the goal, really – because aren’t good times even better when they’re shared?  

Happy holidays!

What’s YOUR Turkey?

Image by Flickr user Joyocity

Food means so much to us, in part because it’s delicious and in part because it’s so intimately connected to memory. That said, it’s also where we do some of our most delicious experimentation! In the spirit of the holidays, we love a roast turkey, but we also wanted to know what the alternatives are (especially because we might have so many guests that we can’t cook all the turkeys in our oven) – so here’s a few cool different ways to cook a bird:

 

  1. The traditional oven-roasted bird.
  2. Spatch-cocked. We’ve never done this, but our amazing butcher at The Sweet Potato will always happily spatchcock a bird for anyone, so we’re strongly considering it.
  3. Smoked. You don’t need an official smoker for this, you can do it on any bbq big enough to hold the bird (even a propane grill!)
  4. Deep fried. I know that sounds pretty extreme, but I have family who do this every year – they just set up outside with a big pot on a propane burner (like this one), and basically just sit around, enjoying a seasonal beverage, until it’s done.
  5. Poached! It might sound funny, but it’s guaranteed juicy, nearly impossible to overcook, and it’s a tremendously convenient way cook a second-turkey without a second oven.

If you try any of these, or you have your own atypical bird-cooking technique, we’d love to hear about it!  Let us know in the comments, below!

FERMENTATION, PROBIOTICS, and YOU!

What is Fermentation?

Fermentation is a metabolic process wherein, in the absence of oxygen, sugar is consumed to produce chemical energy. This occurs in yeast and bacteria, and also in oxygen-starved muscle cells (as in the case of lactic acid fermentation). The organic acids made during fermentation give fermented foods their characteristic tang and provide a number of benefits to our digestive system and immune health – including the creation of probiotics.   Continue reading “FERMENTATION, PROBIOTICS, and YOU!”

Buzz Off!

Bugs can be really annoying – that’s probably why they’re called bugs! While we all know the most effective way to avoid bugs (Stay inside! Use DEET!)… those are also either toxic, or just a pretty un-fun way to pass the summer. Luckily, there are a number of all-natural insect repellents and insect repellent products that we sell at The Sweet Potato, that will help you enjoy the summer un-bugged. Continue reading “Buzz Off!”

Make No Missed-Steak

These sweet steaks’ll have you coming back for second cuts… and second helpings!

As you gear up for your BBQ season grill-stravaganza, we implore you not to overlook cuts like flank, skirt and flat iron steak. Striploin and ribeye are nice, but second cuts are where it’s at for deep, bold beefy flavours, heavy marbling and melt-in-your-mouth tenderness. As our Master Butcher and Red Seal Chef James Tober says: “Second cuts are the first cuts of flavour.” Continue reading “Make No Missed-Steak”