Inspired by Sweet Potatoes

Deciding what to make for dinner can often be an indecisive circling that ends with frustration and spaghetti with pesto.  Some people plan their meals a week ahead.  Once in a blue moon I get myself together enough to do that.  My pantry however is fairly well stocked and once I do decide on something I usually only need to pick up an extra thing or two, usually fresh vegetables or meat.

Most of the time when I’m inspired to cook, I’m inspired by a single ingredient or dish and then I scour my cookbooks or for supporting dishes.  I usually consider the meal as whole and try to balance taste, colour and texture.  Rarely do I discuss the fact that I try to balance the colour of a meal.   It’s pretty important to me but I feel it’s a bit of a personal quirk.  I’m also not a stickler for following a recipe, especially with foods that I feel familiar with, and I feel free to substitute and improvise.  I do use and follow recipes, but that requires a little more planning and time.

For this meal, I started with two sweet potatoes that I purchased at lunch at the local Turkish vegetable shop.  A quick search of epicurious yielded a recipe for Whipped Sweet Potatoes that sounded good.  Next I wanted to use the blood oranges I had at home.  Blood oranges were in season when I made this meal and I had been having them nearly everyday.  (Aside: Fresh blood orange with cottage cheese!) Between epicurious, the internet at large and a porkchop consultation phonecall to Tiffany, I planned and made the following meal.  All ingredient measurements are “add to taste”.

Blood Orange and Avocado Salad

  • avocado
  • blood orange supremes
  • red onion
  • habanero chili
  • brandy vinegar (I would have used limes if I had had any)
  • salt

Served on a bed of lettuce.

Whipped Sweet Potatoes

  • roasted sweet potatoes
  • butter
  • salt
  • chipotle en adobo

Seasoned Pork Chops

  • pork chops rubbed with a mixture of fleur de sel and five-spice powder, pan fried

Other than the sweet potatoes, I bought a ready-to-eat avocado and pork chops.


The whipped sweet potatoes were amazing: smooth and slightly spicy with a hint of smoke.  The orange and avocado salad was delicious but I think lime juice really was missing.  The pork chops were a bit on the salty side for my taste but I think that might have been avoided if I’d seared them better.

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