[Fantastically versatile, high fiber and low(er) fat. . . savory spread, here on a raw veggie cracker.]
It was while lunching with a friend in New York last weekend that I first had the inspiration for collard rolls with sweet potato spread.
Okay, maybe it wasn’t exactly while we were lunching, but more like a day or two later. And oh, all right, maybe it wasn’t specifically collard rolls with sweet potato that I ate back then, but more like nori rolls with pumpkinseed pâté. Oh, and sure, maybe I wasn’t hit with inspiration, exactly, but perhaps something more like. . . a touch of indigestion? But you know, it’s taken me thirteen years to wend my way back to New York since my previous visit, and I feel I should now milk that trip for all it’s worth. Besides, I’ve always wanted to say something like, “It was while lunching with a friend in New York last weekend that I first had the inspiration. . . . ” Makes me sound rather the jet-setter, don’t you think? Or maybe like a younger (of course that would be much younger) version of like Ina Garten.
(I know. But just indulge me).
Although I tend to eat raw foods fairly regularly, a dinner of entirely raw nourishment requires a bit of forethought since the HH generally won’t partake (or, if he does, it’s just a side dish for him). However, I was on a raw roll both in New York and immediately afterward. It began with that lovely lunch before I left the city, followed by a raw dinner that same evening back in Canada. Then, this past Saturday, the HH and I went out for a birthday dinner. My choice of venue? Rawlicious.
The best part of eating at a raw food restaurant, for me, isn’t the food–though food is paramount, of course. No, the best part is that someone else prepares it, expending all the time and effort that entails. Since I’ve created a few elaborate raw meals at home myself, I am aware of how much preparation precedes a multi-textured, multi-seasoned and veggie-rich dishl such as the ones the HH and I enjoyed.
First up, we shared a platter of “nachos,” served with a trio of “sour cream,” guacamole and salsa. Heaven! Then the HH feasted on a raw bolognese “pasta” (made from spiralized zucchini), while I chowed down on a raw “tortilla”–a collard wrap filled with a hunk of nut “meat” along with a variety of colorful shredded veggies and sauce. I fully admit to being a poor, poor food blogger (though so far, anyway, a fairly good Vegan MoFoer) since I was so excited about the prospect of finally eating at the place that I forgot my camera at home!
[My version of raw collard wraps. . . I guess Valerie and I had the same idea! 😉 ]
Since I can’t offer you photos of my professionally-prepared collard wrap, I thought I’d share pics of my own creation. My wrap is an amalgam of the nori roll I had in New York crossed with the raw collard wrap from Rawlicious. With one important diversion: I added a spectacular spread made from sweet potatoes.
Sweet potatoes are such a regular fixture in the DDD household that even The Girls receive their portion almost every day; I regularly grind up raw sweet potato along with cauliflower, greens, or apples to add to their dinner. And while I am happy to consume the sweet spuds in their uncooked state as well, this spread adds a bit of cooked yam to the otherwise raw roll.
I’ve tried the spread in both a sweet and a savory incarnation, and both are spectacular. Blending the sweet potato purée with either nut or seed butter results in a smoother, lighter spread, and one with less than half the calories and only 1/3 the fat of plain nut butter. After noshing on this spread on crackers, scones, a chickpea pizza and straight from the jar for the past 4 days, I’ve concluded that I might just like this better than straight almond butter (gasp!).
You can play around with the varieties of nut or seed butter you use as well as with proportions of sweet potato vs. butter. I’ve found the 2:1 ratio works best for me, but do what pleases you most.
This is also my first submission to this month’s SOS Kitchen Challenge hosted by Kim and me–our ingredient this month is (you guessed it) sweet potatoes. It’s also linked to Allergy Friendly Fridays, Healthy Vegan Fridays, and Whole Foods Fridays.
Sweet or Savory Sweet Potato Spread (suitable for ACD Stage 1 and beyond)
from Diet, Dessert and Dogs (http://rickiheller.com0
I used the savory version as the base in raw collard wraps, and the sweet on an amazing breakfast “pizza” (recipe coming up soon). Use the savory spread as the base for sandwiches, on polenta rounds, tossed with pasta, or wherever you want to add some creamy texture. The sweet spread is perfect on muffins or scones, toast, or even pancakes.
1 cup (240 ml) packed sweet potato purée
1/2 cup (120 ml) natural unsalted sunflower seed butter (or another nut or seed butter of your choice)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp (5 ml) freshly squeezed lime juice
1 to 1-1/2 tsp (5-7.5 ml) garam masala, to your taste (or substitute 1/4 tsp/.5 ml ground ginger, 1/2 tsp/2.5 ml cinnamon and a pinch of cloves)
1 Tbsp (15 ml) fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped
1 cup (240 ml) packed sweet potato purée
1/2 cup smooth natural unsalted almond butter (or another nut or seed butter of your choice)
1 tsp (5 ml) cinnamon
10-20 drops plain or vanilla stevia liquid, to your taste
1/8 tsp (.5 ml) fine sea salt
For both versions: Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth and well combined. Transfer to a clean jar and store in the refrigerator. Makes about 1.5 cups (360 ml). Will keep, covered in the refrigerator, up to 5 days. I haven’t tried freezing it, but am guessing it would hold up well if defrosted overnight in the refrigerator.
Last Year at this Time: Roasted Red Pepper and Apple Dip
Two Years Ago: Roasted Garlic and Pumpkinseed Pesto
© 2010 Ricki Heller
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