Thursday, January 21, 2010

Spicy Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

The days are noticeably longer now; I have recently realized that evening doesn’t begin to creep in to my life until well after 5pm. We have experienced two partly sunny days so far this week. For two days, instead of a solid winter-white sky, there have been glimpses of bright blue in between puffy clouds, and this makes all the difference in my mood as we reach the end of January.

Spooky appreciates the sun, as well. He spends his mornings on the front porch, napping in full sun. I open the door to ask if he wants to come into the house and he lifts his head, for a few seconds coming out of a heat-induced coma, and blinks sleepily at me. I reach down and stroke his very warm, soft fur. This morning it was quite cold, but sunny, and the snow had already melted on my running paths around the fields, so we took a short walk. It was a pokey sort of a walk, but it was nice to be outdoors.

At the grocery store the other day I noticed that catfish fillets were on sale. I had been craving them lately, simply dunked in milk and then seasoned cornmeal and pan-fried until golden, so I bought a couple of pounds (what would I do without my freezer?).

To serve with the catfish I decided on cornbread and stuffed sweet potatoes. The sweet potato recipe below was adapted from Vegetarian Times. I believe that recipe this might have been meant as a main course because it included 1-1/2 ounces of cheese per serving, plus each serving also contained ¼ cup of whole milk sour cream (but who would eat one medium stuffed potato as their whole meal?). To turn it into a side dish, I decreased both the cheese and the sour cream, and also the butter.

On my first glance at this recipe I looked at the ingredients and just assumed that the bell pepper, onion, lime juice, and sour cream would be included in the sweet potato “stuffing”, but that was mistaken. The peppers are to be used as a topping, before the potatoes are baked for the second time, and the sour cream is to be mixed with the lime juice and, along with the onions, used as a garnish.

I’m just thinking…1/4 cup of sour cream per person, mixed with lime juice, to garnish one potato? And the peppers were to be “diced”, but if they were diced too large they wouldn’t cook during the short time in the oven. So my changes to this recipe reflect these issues which I had. :)

I also added some ground chipotle pepper because I did not have Pepperjack cheese (I used lowfat cheddar, instead, and much less of it than the recipe originally called for), and also decreased the amount of butter, adding a little skim milk to keep the filling moist. Check out the nutritional info at the end of the recipe

These turned out to be so good, they will be on our regular rotation. All of the flavors combined nicely, and made a perfect addition to this menu.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Spicy Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Recipe By: Vicci

Servings: 2

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

-------- ------------ --------------------------------

2 large sweet potatoes

2 teaspoons butter

2 tablespoons skim milk

1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 cup diced red bell peppers -- (very small dice)

1/4 cup diced yellow bell pepper -- (very small dice)

1 1/2 ounces lowfat cheddar cheese -- shredded

1/4 cup light sour cream

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon minced onion

1 tablespoon minced cilantro

Wash the sweet potatoes, prick with a fork in a few places, and microwave until done. Cool slightly.

If using an oven (regular or toaster oven), preheat it to 350F.

Slice the very top off of each potato and scoop out the flesh, leaving about 1/4" as a "shell", into a medium bowl. Scoop the flesh out of the cut piece as well and add to the bowl. Add the butter, skim milk, chipotle, cumin, and some salt and pepper to taste and mash a little (leaving the pieces slightly chunky). Stuff evenly back into the potato shells.

Mix red and yellow bell pepper on a small plate and carefully turn over the stuffed potatoes, pressing the tops into the peppers. Turn upright and place any remaining pepper mixture on top. Sprinkle with cheese, press into the top onto the peppers, spray with cooking spray, and place in oven. Heat for about 12-15 minutes, until cheese is melted and peppers softened.

While peppers are baking, mix the sour cream with the lime juice until creamy.

Serve the potatoes drizzled with the sour cream mixture, sprinkled with the onion and cilantro.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per serving: 237 Calories (kcal); 6g Total Fat; 4g Saturated; (23% calories from fat); 9g Protein; 37g Carbohydrate; 17mg Cholesterol; 202mg Sodium

Food Exchanges: 2 Grain(Starch); 1 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates

My changes to the recipe, which I did not consider to be drastic, significantly changed the nutritional information. Doing only three things, decreasing the amounts of the butter, cheese, and sour cream, and also subbing lower fat versions of both the cheese and sour cream, knocked off half of the total calories, 84% of the total fat, and 83% of saturated fat. Enough said.