December 3, 2015

The Vestal Vegan does Sweet Potato for One.

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So, several things happened on the way to Thanksgiving.

We had ours, actually, last Saturday (the Saturday before the actual Thanksgiving Day). Because of an amalgam of in-laws, out-laws, et cetera, we have had the not-uncommon situation of families having to decide where to spend the holiday, or eating two Thanksgiving dinners in one day.

Yes, we could alternate, but my mother, who’s our “elder,” is the last of the generation, and it’s good to figure out a way to spend the time with our family without everyone rushing away to other dinners.

And so we did our dinner. But the Hubby and I had a turkey stashed in the freezer, and we thought we’d get a jump on cooking for days when neither of us felt like doing too much in the kitchen. I’ve got two turkey carcasses in the freezer now, and eventually I’ll be doing broth. We did an abbreviated version of the full dinner, though, without all the fixings.

However, Hubby doesn’t like sweet potatoes. Never has.

I, on the other hand, will tell you that the sweet potato is in my top five favorites. I’ve been the one who’s done them for the family over the years. I’ve brandied them, I’ve candied them (sans marshmallows, please!), I’ve double-baked them and I’ve mashed them with ginger, clove and orange peel.

This year, since we’re empty-nesters and everyone else had somewhere else to be, I had to figure out a way to make sweet potato for one. I was, frankly, tired of the “nuke it with butter” thing, and I’ve done a really cool sweet potato hash browns thing.

But I wanted something different.

My lovely brother-in-law did the sweet potatoes this year, and he glazed them with what seemed like two pounds of sugar and at least one pound of butter. I wanted something a little lighter, but with the same feel. And of course my own twist.

So here goes:

Glazed Sweet Potato for One


1 medium sweet potato, trimmed and peeled
3 T butter
Pink salt and pepper (just a dash of each)
1/8 t. cinnamon
5 small pieces of candied ginger (or take one 1” x 1/8” slice and dice it up)
3 T pure maple syrup

Slice the peeled sweet potato into ¼-inch slices. Melt the butter in a frying pan on the stove over medium-high heat. Lay the potatoes in one layer into the pan. Cover and let them caramelize for a little bit—about 2 minutes, lowering the heat if the butter starts to brown too quickly. This is not a recipe where you can walk away!

Turn the slices. Sprinkle the ginger, cinnamon, salt and pepper over the top and cover. Set the timer for about 5 minutes. Lower the heat if necessary, but keep it about medium or so. You can now help your spouse with the dill-butter baby potatoes he’s making…

When the timer goes off, test the sweet potatoes with a fork. If they’re not tender, flip them again and put the lid back on for 1 to 2 minutes. Test again. Are they tender? Good!

Pour the maple syrup over them and give them 1 more minute on low heat, covered.

Shut off the heat and flip them once more so that every side is coated with the butter/syrup glaze. Spoon them onto your plate or into a separate serving dish if it’s a “big” medium yam. Drizzle with the pan glaze.

Serve ‘em up and enjoy!

Serves: 1 – 2 people

My Notes: You know I can’t do this without giving you alternatives…
*You can use a little brown sugar if you don’t like or don’t have maple syrup, but don’t drown it in sugar. They’re plenty sweet as they caramelize.
*You can use powdered ginger, but just a tiny bit; it’s pretty potent. If you want a little freshness, then add a few bits of orange peel with the powdered ginger.
*You can use clove here, if you want. Sweet potatoes can handle it.
*No marshmallows. Ever.

I know it’s a regional thing to really augment sweet potatoes, but try these and I think you’ll enjoy them. I hope they become a family favorite!

And of course, these are good any time you want to serve them. Don’t ignore the sweet potato during the year. Potassium, the B vitamins, fiber—what’s not to love?


More Sweet Potato Recipes:

Smooth & Creamy Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Nutmeg. {Vegan, Gluten Free Recipe}

Baked Sweet Potato Fries. {Gluten Free, Vegan Recipe}

The Art of the Stress-free Happy Hour: Olive Oil & Salt Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Beets. {Vegan Recipe}


Author: Pat Perrier

Editor: Toby Israel

Photo: Author’s Own


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