In case you haven’t figured it out… breakfast is my favorite meal of the day! The other thing is; I could eat “breakfast-like” food for breakfast, lunch & dinner. I take my brunch seriously, thank you very much. For many years, I used to skip breakfast altogether. It simply saved money on my student budget, and I thought I could save the calories and “cash them out” at lunch or dinner. Big mistake. Big. Huge. (Oh, & am also a total book & movie aficionado/encyclopedia and I’ll often throw in my favorite lines/quotes into my writing.) P.S. If you catch them here and there, I hope they fall on the realm of endearing vs annoying!
Skipping breakfast made me “hangry” which can be defined as a state of anger caused by lack of food. When lunch time arrived, I was: starved, wired on coffee, I had just finished work and was about to start my steady stream of classes. I made poor lunch choices; think plenty of starch & energy drinks that are so popular among students. After a plate of pasta or curry, naan and rice or two slices of pizza- the starches made me feel groggy, sleepy & super exhausted. Everything I ate literally had white, refined carbs. I was constantly fighting the urge to sleep during afternoon classes. Surprisingly, I was always a good student. Enough to warrant scholarships and bursaries to help me complete my degree.
I would love to travel back in time 10 years ago. To stroll leisurely into the Bronfman Business Library where I worked every day and have a chat with then 20 year-old Aleyda. I would probably find her sipping on her 3rd cup of coffee and hurriedly scanning & shelving books. Or perhaps overseeing the computer lab while fighting the urge to get completely engulfed in a cheesy novel. “Oh hi there! Am you, 10 years down the road; 5 sizes smaller, 2 children later, & a big battle with autoimmune disease behind me. You really need to smarten up and make some changes to your diet, because life’s about to get much, much harder”.
Aleyda would’ve probably (1) spilled her coffee (quite likely on a book) OR (2) blatantly throw it at me and blame the lack of sleep for bringing on hallucinations. She was also stubborn (& still is) and would probably give me the evil eye… “Do you realize people have been eating bread and white carbs for like centuries?-she would’ve replied assertively. But that was me: waaaaay before autoimmune disease became intolerable or even showed up. I was 20, I was healthy- or so I thought.
Nowadays, my brunch plate is still dreamy; but packed with substantially different things. Long-gone are croissants (both chocolate or cheese, for that matter), dense starchy bagels of all varieties, morning glory muffins, sugary cereal, white not-so-wonder-jul bread and all sorts of cream cheese spreads and processed orange cheese. I now fancy juicy tomatoes, avocado, curried sweet potatoes, fried eggs, & this one platter had baked organic bacon (for my bacon-loving, meat-eating husband). He absolutely loved this dish, and said he didn’t even miss the bread or notice it was missing. Big win. These amazing curried sweet potatoes take about 40 mins from start to finish- but active prep time is like 10 mins tops. So you can do everything else while these cook themselves, quite literally. Crunchy on the edges, soft in the center- they’re the best of both worlds. A fry meets a baked potato.
Crispy Curried Sweet Potatoes
- 1 large sweet potato or 2 small ones
- sea salt & ground pepper to taste (about 1/2 tsp each or less)
- 1 tsp of ground sumac
- 1 tsp of yellow curry powder
- 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
- A garnish of golden raisins, cranberries & walnuts go really well with these curried sweet potatoes.
- Wash the sweet potato with water. Bring a pot filled 3/4 way with water to a boil. When boiling, throw the sweet potato in (skin-on, put on the lid & boil for about 10 mins. The center does not need to be fully tender- they will go into the oven.
- Warm up the oven to 400F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Place the sweet potato at the middle of the tray & use a pairing knife to cut across it horizontally, thin-wedges. Do not cut all the way to the bottom, just to expose the middle. The point is for it to roast upright. It also makes for a nice presentation.
- Garnish the sweet potato with the 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, sea salt & pepper, the 1 tsp of ground sumac & the 1/2 tbsp of yellow curry. Add optional ingredients.
- Roast for 20 mins or until crispy outside & tender inside. Serve immediately! It’s delicious. This boil & then crisp technique gives you the best roasted sweet potatoes.
Camotes Crujientes Al Curry
- 1 camote grande o dos medianos
- 1 cucharada de aceite de olivo extra virgen
- 1 cucharadita de polvo de curry amarillo
- 1 cucharadita de sumac
- sal y pimienta al gusto
Al momento de hornear se le puede agregar pasas, arándanos o walnuts (nueces) y quedan muy bien!
- En una olla sopera, poner a hervir agua. Lavar el camote con agua y cuando el agua en la olla esta hirviendo, se deja caer y tapar la olla. Que hierva unos 10 mins para suavizar la papa, no importa si el centro todavía no esta completamente suave.
- Encender el horno a 400F y alinear un tray para hornear con papel de pergamino.
- Se coloca el camote en el centro, y con un cuchillo con buen filo hacer incisiones horizontales, no verticales (o queda en forma de papa frita). La verdad, la forma no importa.
- Sazonar con aceite de olivo, sal, pimienta, sumac y polvo de curry y cualquier ingrediente opcional como los que sugerí.
- Hornear por aproximadamente 20 minutos o hasta que el camote este crujiente por fuera, y completamente suave por dentro.
- Servir inmediatamente y disfrutarlas! Me gusta servirlas con el desayuno, almuerzo o cena. Es un plato muy variable, un comodín. Para cenar, acompañan muy bien pollo o carne como guarnición.