Baked Sweet Potato with Shiitake Bacon

We got ourselves a surfeit of sweet potatoes this week. We decided to dice and roast some for adding to grain bowls, but we were still left with a few big ones. Jocelyn had the brilliant idea for a baked sweet potato recipe, covered with toppings that feel decadent but are actually really healthy.

Baked Sweet Potato: A Sweeter Take on a Classic

Turns out a baked sweet potato is just like a baked potato! People probably already knew this, but I’m slow. Don’t judge me. Anyway, we all know that what makes a baked potato isn’t the potato itself, but the toppings. We were determined to find a combination of toppings that felt rich and delicious, but was also decently healthy. We settled on some “cheese” sauce, avocados, crispy fried onions, and some shiitake bacon.

Now I, like all right thinking people, was skeptical of this whole shiitake bacon idea. Before we started eating vegetarian, I was a fan of bacon. The internet’s extreme enthusiasm for bacon in everything ever blunted my appreciation, but I still had fond memories of it. I was skeptical that making something out of mushrooms and calling it bacon would be anything but a cruel joke.

Guys? This shiitake bacon is no joke.

For real, it’s meaty and salty and smoky and just really wonderful. Much more than I could ever have imagined. So run, don’t walk, to your nearest sweet potato monger and demand several of his or her finest sweet potatoes. You’ve got a meal to make.

Baked Sweet Potato

Ingredients:

Two big sweet potatoes
One batch nacho cheese sauce
4 oz shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tsp smoked paprika
Avocado, cubed or mashed
As many crispy fried onions as you can handle

Directions:

Bake sweet potatoes (about an hour at 350° F, or you can microwave if you’re in hurry).

While the potatoes are baking, marinate mushrooms in soy sauce, olive oil, and paprika for about half an hour. Sautée until crisp (about ten minutes). This is the shiitake bacon.

Cover the sweet potatoes with all the toppings and shove in your face.

Vegan Tacos with Cornmeal-Fried Portobello Mushrooms

I think I’ve made clear before that we like tacos. But in case you didn’t know, man, tacos are great. Just everything about them. The flavors, the way you get to eat them with your hands, the way your hands get super messy and you just don’t even care because they taste so good. Tacos are just the best.

It’s a common misconception that tacos have got to be full of meat and cheese. These vegan tacos, like the other ones we’ve featured on the blog, are completely plant based and healthy and absolutely delicious. They’re super light and fresh, and a perfect way to use some end-of-the-summer fresh vegetables.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup brown rice or spelt flour
1/2 Tbsp Old Bay seasoning
Pinch of salt
1 cup almond milk
3 portobello mushrooms, sliced, with gills removed
Oil for frying
2 ears corn, kernels cut off
1 red bell pepper
1 avocado, sliced or mashed, as is your preference
Cashew sour cream
4 corn tortillas, toasted

Directions:

Mix together cornmeal, flour, and seasoning in a medium bowl. Pour the almond milk into a separate bowl. Dip the portobello slices into the almond milk and then coat them with the cornmeal-flour mixture. Heat about 1 inch of oil in your preferred frying pan at medium high heat. When hot, fry the portobello slices until golden brown, about 5 minutes.

Saute the corn and bell peppers with a touch of oil in a nonstick pan. When done, assemble tacos with all ingredients. Put the tacos into your face and, with permission, into your loved ones’ faces as well.

Eating Local – Pepper and Lobster Mushroom Sandwich with Pecan Pesto

Parenting can be exhausting. You always want to expose the kids to new things, new experiences, and aid their development through healthy and edifying consumption, but sometimes you also just want them to go to sleep so you can have a glass of wine and stuff your face with delicious food. This recipe makes use of both of those impulses. On the parenting side, we took our kids to experience the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of the Baltimore Farmers’ Market. On the food side, behold.

The other day we showed you some pictures from our trip to the Baltimore Farmers’ Market. With the food we bought there, we put together a delicious vegan (not gluten free this time, but easily adaptable) meal, along with a wonderful local wine. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 large bell peppers
1 basket of lobster mushrooms
1/2 cup pecans
1 cup basil, packed loosely
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt to taste
Bread of your choice

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425° F. Chop peppers roughly and spray them and mushrooms with cooking oil of your choice. Place on a lined baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes.

In the meantime, to make pesto, pulse the basil and pecans in a food processor until finely chopped. Slowly add the oil in a thin stream as the food processor runs until everything is incorporated. Add salt to taste.

Toast four pieces of bread, spread some pesto on each, and split the mushrooms and peppers in two portions to make two sandwiches. Serve with a refreshing local Vidal Blanc.