Let’s talk sweet potatoes.
Wait, scratch that. Let’s first talk about meal prep.
One of the most challenging things about healthy living for many is lunch time, when you’re so used to going out to lunch with co-workers and friends, or just getting away from the office. And, while a few have taken to hitting the gym – and hopefully, the showers – instead of the bar top, you’ve still gotta eat something.
Hence, week-long lunchtime meal prep. Prepping a few things that you can put together all at the same time all while you’re in the kitchen doing something else gives you the opportunity to ensure that you always have a healthy lunch time option, something that is delicious enough to deter you from hitting up a fast food joint.
Well, let me see if I can help you with the delicious part.
Roasted sweet potato wedges – can’t really call them fries, can I? – can be heavenly…. if you do them right. The right amount of heat, the right amount of oil, a little creativity with the spices and a pinch of salt? Linda, honey, listen. They’re amazing.
Roasting applies a dry kind of heat to an item, drawing out the water and, depending on the food, causing the evaporating water to steam the inside of the item, leaving it soft and light on the inside. With root vegetables like sweet potatoes, as they roast, their flavor concentrates and some of that starch converts into a sugar, brightening the taste and causing the proteins in the sweet potato to brown.
Naturally, they become softer, chewier, more flavorful, and – thanks to that stomach, kidney, and intestinal love it gives you as well as that vitamin A, vitamin C, and thiamine it lays on you – much healthier.
And, lucky for you, they’re terribly easy to turn into sweet potato wedges.
Pre-heat your oven at 450 degrees, and rinse and dry your sweet potatoes. Make sure there’s no residual dirt on your potatoes.
Take your sweet potato, and – with a chef’s knife – cut it in half. Then cut the half in half. The trick to roasting veggies – especially these – is trying to get them as close to equally-sized as possible. You want every piece to be as close to identical as possible, because this is how to prevent burning pieces of your sweet potato.
Have a few tiny pieces if you must, but the overwhelming majority of your chunks should be equally sized.
Grab your wedges, and place them on a baking pan.
Drizzle two teaspoons of oil – I chose peanut oil for this, but a non-extra virgin olive oil would also be great – across your wedges. (If you’re making more than one potato at a time, add a teaspoon for every two sweet potatoes you’re roasting.)
You’ll want to toss your sweet potatoes around the pan a bit, coating them a little bit better in your chosen oil. Sprinkle them with salt. Slide ’em in the oven.
Give it 15 minutes. Pull out your pan, flip your potatoes over. Give it another 10 minutes.
Not to mention, any number of spice combinations work, here – cinnamon and chipotle, smoked paprika, ancho powder with a little cilantro, maybe even cocoa powder (the spice, not the drink mix), cumin and cloves – and can turn your wedges into something completely unique from the day before.
Let your wedges cool before storing them away with a sealed top, otherwise they’ll create condensation on the inside of your container and leave you with soggy wedges. Open cover, lots of air, can easily be made in bulk, reheat easily, taste delicious?
Yes, I’d say that’s a #mealprep win!
What are your favorite things to include in your meal prep?