Monday, January 30, 2017
Sweet Potato and Greens Cakes Recipe- Paleo, Vegan, Gluten Free, with Foraged Ingredients
A few years back, if you asked me what was the best way to serve bitter greens (as a large percentage of wild greens are), I would have told you with fried onions, lemon and garlic. Don't get me wrong- it tastes delicious that way, but I've since come up with an even more winning combination- sweet potatoes with bitter greens. And if it is creamy, even better!
I made this dish with wild mustard greens and cream sauce with sweet potatoes a bit back, and since then have tried to combine the flavors whenever possible, since it tastes so good. Recently I made a dish for my family with potatoes and sow thistle (recipe to come soon), but since I can't eat white potatoes, decided to make these sweet potato cakes for myself. They were so delicious, quite possibly my favorite way I've ever eaten wild greens, and if not that, then way up there. Everyone in the family loved these, including my kids who generally make a fuss over eating cooked greens.
These sweet potato and greens cakes are vegan, paleo, allergy friendly (unless you're allergic to all nuts and seeds), gluten free, and not too hard to make. I made mine with foraged greens- wild mustard and a bit of sow thistle, but you can use any greens you want for this, whether foraged or store bought, and bitter greens or mild ones.
Everything about these sweet potato and greens cakes is perfection. Saying I highly recommend this recipe would be an understatement.
3 cups mashed baked sweet potatoes (approximately 2 extra large or 3 large sweet potatoes)
1 large bunch raw greens (bitter greens or non bitter) or 1 cup chopped softened greens (see below). You can make these with mustard greens, sow thistle, dandelion greens, broccoli rabe, collard greens, kale, swiss chard, beet leaves, radish or turnip greens, etc...
1 medium onion
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
5 tablespoons ground flax seeds or ground chia seeds (I use these as an egg replacement; alternatively, I'd suggest 2-3 eggs instead)
1/4 cup roughly ground nuts or seeds (cashews are my preference, but you can also use almonds or sunflower seeds)
2 tablespoons oil of choice
1/2 teaspoon white or black pepper (optional)
1. If using bitter greens, you can either debitter them or leave them bitter. To debitter, chop up and seep in boiling water for approximately five minutes. After these five minutes, you can either strain (leaving them somewhat bitter) or squeeze them out to remove as much bitterness as possible. Depending on how bitter these greens start, after doing the latter they may be anywhere from mildly bitter to a touch bitter to non bitter at all. Which one you choose is a matter of personal preference. Note that the sweetness of the sweet potato balances out the bitter, so you can leave the greens more bitter than you otherwise may have chosen.
If using non bitter greens, chop up and saute for a minute or two to soften, or seep in boiling water for one to two minutes before straining, or use defrosted frozen greens.
2. Peel your baked sweet potatoes and roughly mash them. You don't need these to be perfectly smooth; in fact leaving it a bit chunky makes it more enjoyable to eat, in my opinion.
3. Dice your onion, and mix it and your softened greens with the sweet potatoes. Add everything else and mix until uniform.
4. Fill 12-18 muffin tins (silicon is my favorite for this, but you can also use well greased regular muffin tins, or lined muffin tins).
5. Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes, or until solidified and dry on top.
6. Let cool before removing from muffin tins. To remove, slide a knife around the edges first to loosen, and then flip over carefully. These are not very solid, however they will retain their shape if handled gently. To eat them hot, first remove from the tin when cold, and then reheat on a flat surface.
7. Serve hot or cold.
P.S. My plans were to put some of these in the freezer to defrost for quick breakfasts or other "on the go" meals, but they were so tasty that they were all eaten before I could do that. I'll have to double or triple the batch next time.
What are the standard greens you use in your house, either store bought, garden grown, or foraged? Do they tend to be bitter or mild? If you eat bitter greens, what is your favorite way to prepare them so they are tasty? Does this look like a recipe you'd try, and if so, with what greens?