What do you do when those sitting around your holiday, or every day, dinner table follow different eating styles? Jeff Kontur has an answer. “Holiday meal planning and preparation can be stressful enough. When roughly half the people at your table are vegetarian, it can be downright frustrating. Thanksgiving is the worst.”
Yet, this man of many hats – from business writer to home chef — comes through. “I try to bring a creative touch to our meals,” he says. “This year, I managed to concoct a dish that incorporates most of the traditional Thanksgiving offerings – minus the meat, of course.”
As a kitchen guru, family man Jeff cooks up both sweet and savory foods, some of them from recipes he develops, like this one. During the concocting process, Jeff always keeps an eye out to make dishes that suit his family’s varied tastes and eating styles. For instance, in today’s new recipe, he combined the “principles” of vegetarian eating, while staying true to the familiar tastes we expect at holiday time. Jeff notes that it’s particularly tough to make sure animal products — such as in gravy — don’t sneak onto the dinner table.
Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
- 6 medium sweet potatoes or yams
- 1 box stuffing mix
- 1/2 red onion, chopped coarsely
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped coarsely
- 2 garlic cloves, minced finely
- 1/2 cup corn
- 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
- 1 Tbs slivered almonds
- 1-1/2 cups vegetable broth, optional
Start with half a dozen medium-sized sweet potatoes. They’ll take about an hour to bake, so wrap each one in foil and get them into a 350-degree oven right away.
When the timer shows the potatoes have about 15 minutes of baking time left, coarsely chop the onion and sauté in butter. You’ll want to do this in a medium or large sauce pan so you can use just one pan for the entire stuffing mix. Finely mince the garlic and add to the onion. Pour 1-1/2 cups of water (or vegetable broth) over the onions. Add about a half cup of fresh cranberries and bring to a boil. Add in a half cup of corn and a tablespoon of slivered almonds. Then add stuffing mix. Remove from heat and stir until all ingredients are well-mixed and the stuffing is moist.
Remove the potatoes from the oven, unwrap and place each in an oven-safe casserole dish.
Slit each potato lengthwise, spread it open and cram it full of stuffing.
Place the stuffed potatoes back in the oven under the broiler for 3 to 5 minutes until the top of the stuffing just starts to crisp. Serve warm.
Voila! Just look at that scrumptious-looking dish in the photo! Looks irresistible to me. In fact, it’s on the menu for later this week. My hunch is that it’ll become a regular at our house.
Thanks to Jeff, a lot of us looking for exciting, new ways to prepare sweet potatoes as the main event can now head to our kitchens and try his new concoction.
Jeff delivers for another reason. Whether we’re vegan or meat-lovers who take a day or two off each week from meatless dishes, this recipe is welcome because root veggies are nutritiously filling. They’re the comfort foods of winter.