Tag Archives: beta-carotene

Sweet potato crab cakes and lettuce pilfering


Not only is this recipe extremely appetising, it also has the advantage of being very nutritious: sweet potatoes are bursting with vitamin C and are also high in calcium, folate, potassium and beta-carotene. They have a low glycemic index, far lower than that of regular potatoes. Crab meat is high in protein and Omega 3, as well as being a potent source of vitamins and minerals.

Young delinquent horses, on the other hand, are less beneficial from a nutritional standpoint, particularly if they break into your vegetable garden and steal all your salad while you’re out to lunch. In an ideal world (a world in which horses do not kick down fences), a crisp green salad makes a delicious accompaniment, but they may also be served alone with a spicy chilli sauce.

Ingredients (serves 4)

350g sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

¼ red pepper, diced

2 cloves of garlic, peeled

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

olive oil

350g crabmeat (I used tinned)

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

2 spring onions, chopped

Flour for coating the ‘cakes’ (I used quinoa flour)

2 tablespoons peanut oil for frying

Place the sweet potatoes, red pepper and garlic cloves on a roasting tray and douse with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in an oven preheated to 180°C for about 25 minutes. Mash the vegetables with a potato masher until you obtain a rough purée. Add the crabmeat, parsley and chopped onions, mixing well. Shape into individual cakes (roughly 8 cakes 5cm in diameter) and coat with flour. Fry in peanut oil (you could use another oil but I find peanut oil gives a lovely crisp result) until golden brown on both sides (roughly 4 minutes on each side). Serve with or without salad, depending on  your animals’ disposition. 😉

Chicken curry with mango, carrots and sweet potato

We had a ten-month old labrador bitch to stay for the weekend; a real doll.  My husband, who can never resist a doll, invited her based on the assumption that such chaos would ensue, I would give him a break from my constant whining for another dog (yellow labrador girl puppy, not that I’ve given it any thought or anything :-). Anyway, ha ha! Big miss on his part. There is nothing like the satisfaction of having a sleeping labrador on either side of your feet in the evening. I do admit that the frenzied partying beforehand was slightly more wearing but, all things considered, all this weekend did was make me even more entrenched in my opinion that owning fewer than two dogs should be illegal 😉

This was concocted whilst dodging eight furry and frenetic legs in the kitchen. Never let it be said that I’m not a skilled multi-tasker. It is full of beta-carotene, making it an excellent dish for the winter. Beta-carotene enhances the immune system by increasing the number of infection fighting cells. It also helps protect the respiratory tract. Foods rich in beta-carotene include sweet potatoes, carrots, mango, apricots, kale, spinach, turnip greens, winter squash, collard greens, cilantro and fresh thyme.

Ingredients (serves four)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon coconut oil

4 chicken thighs

1 onion, thinly sliced

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

6 mushrooms, peeled and sliced

1 mango, peeled and sliced

4 carrots, peeled and cut

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

2 green chillies, chopped

1 tablespoon of peeled, grated fresh ginger

1 cinnamon stick

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

3 teaspoons cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground  black pepper

200ml chicken stock

Preheat the oven to 150°C. Take a medium-size casserole dish and fry the onion, garlic, mushrooms and chicken in the olive and coconut oils for a few minutes, until they start to brown. Add the seasoning (cumin seeds, salt, pepper, ginger, turmeric, cinamon stick…) and continue to brown stirring frequently to avoid sticking. Add the carrots, sweet potato, mango and chillies and then the chicken stock. Bring to a gentle simmer, stir and put the casserole in the oven for about two hours, checking from time-to-time that there is enough liquid. The result should be tender and just beginning to caramelise.