Healthy sweet poato skins with chili con carné filling and with chimichurri dip

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Chimichurri 016No one’s ever accused potato skins of being healthy until now! Nutty, nutricious sweet potatoes are the stars in this recipe.

Yam/batata or sweet poato is the most common food in many African countries where it is regarded as a staple food crop but it is also native to the tropical regions in America.

In Africa it is mainly served for breakfast, eaten with peanut sauce. In Asia it is a street food during winter. In Japan people like sweet potato soup very much which consists of boiling sweet potato in water with rock sugar and ginger. Steaming sweet potatoes is also a common cooking method in Japan. Also, the use in vegetable tempura is common. Because it is sweet and starchy, it is used in imo-kinton and some other sweets such as wagashi, ofukuimo or daigaku-imo which is a baked sweet potato dessert. Shōchū, a Japanese spirit normally made from the fermentation of rice, but it can also be made from sweet potato, in which case it is called imo-jōchū.

In Philippine sweet potato is also used in a variant of halo-halo, where it is cooked in coconut milk and sugar and mixed with a variety of rootcrops, sago, jackfruit and bilu-bilo. In USA bread made from sweet potato flour is gaining great popularity.

For the chimichurri dip:

6 garlic cloves, minced

2 jalapenos, minced

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

1 handful fresh oregano, finely chopped

2 limes, juiced

1 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns

1 bunch of fresh coriander

4 pieces yams or sweet potatoes

Extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the chili con carné: 200 gr minced meat (or only kidney bean), 1 tbsp of olive oil, 1 small onion, 1 clove garlic, 1 red bell paprika, 1 can of kidney bean, 200 ml tomato juice or 3-4 tbsp of ketchup, 4 ounces low-fat Feta cheese, 1 teaspoon salt, freshly ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and onto an oven rack. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until fork tender.

2. Meanwhile in a deep sauté pan heat olive oil and cook the onion and the finelly chopped red bell paprika for 2-to 3 minutes until soft. Add the garlic too and cook for one more minute. Add the minced meat and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Finally pour over kidney bean and flavor dish with oregano, coriander and parsley. Salt and pepper to taste and add some tomato juice.

3. For the dip combine the garlic, jalapeno and vinegar in a bowl. Stir in the parsley, oregano, coriander and lime juice or raspberry wine vinegar. Whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Mix well and set aside at room temperature to allow the flavors to marry.

4. When the sweet potatoes are cooked let them cool for 5 minutes. Carefully slice each one in half and scoop out inside of potato flesh. Add to the chili con carné, salt and pepper and mix together. Place potatoes onto plates fill with the bean or bean and meat chili con carné and serve with the chimicurri sauce.Chimichurri 026


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