Sweet Potato

I spent last night cooking with my mother at her home in Murray. She recently discovered that she is dangerously close to developing diabetes (or, as Wilford Brimley might say, dia-beet-us), just as her father did around the same age, and she’s been put on a new diet that severely restricts what she can eat. All grains are out (she has a problem with wheat anyway, but it is surprising how many things out there contain some sort of grain – usually corn – and are therefore out of the game), no red meat, limited sugar, limited fruit (granted she’s allergic to most fruit, so that is a non-issue), and even no peanut butter. So essentially she has a new-found love affair with the nearby alternative foods “grocery store”:http://wildoats.com.

She’d received a meal recommendation from a nurse at her PT: Chicken and Sweet Potato. Based loosely on her memory of what the nurse had said, we went to work. Chicken (I believe about 2 medium breasts) was cubed, as were the sweet potatoes (also numbering two). Then we added said ingredients to an oven-save pot (I’m terrible with names of kitchen items that I do not personally own… let’s just say it was white, ceramic, and lidded), added rosemary and sage, and poured a liberal amount of olive oil atop the mix, stirring to make sure everything was coated evenly.

The lid went on, and we shoved it in a pre-heated oven (400° F, though next time we’re thinking 350° might be better). I honestly couldn’t say exactly how long it was in the oven, but 25-30 minutes is a safe bet, at which time we removed the lid to brown the chicken slightly. We realised the sweet potatoes (something, honestly, neither of us had ever cooked before) where a bit too crisp for our taste, so we removed the chicken, covering it and setting it aside, replaced the lid on the pot, and baked for another 10-15 minutes.

The end result, when mixed back with the chicken, was fantastic. It was sweet, flavourful, and most importantly, extremely easy to make. Our dinner conversation consisted mostly of discussing our culinary prowess, including high fives and not a grain of added salt (I was amazed, really… I’ve been known to add salt and pepper to almost anything). Our feelings of pride diminished, however, when it became apparent that we weren’t even sure if the orange tubers we’d just cooked were actually sweet potatoes. Due to what seems to be a rather common occurrence in grocery stores, the yams and sweet potatoes sat side by side, and according to my mother, both were mixed and jumbled together, so as to appear to be the same thing.

“Hmmm…” my mother said, “Maybe they were yams.”

p(note). As kind of an aside, if you like cooking shows, and also enjoy the indie rock, you should give “Dinner With The Band”:http://food.onnetworks.com/videos/dinner-with-the-band a spin. The production quality is phenomenal, the food looks great, and hey… live performances from cool bands like Tokyo Police Club. You can watch it on the site, or subscribe to one of the video podcasts, ready for your iPod, iPhone, or TV (The TV version is in 720p HD and looks amazing).