The beautiful islands of Hawaii are always full of surprises and tonight’s trip to the local supermarket proved to be no exception. I selected a couple of fat, juicy and innocent looking sweet potatoes that I was going to oven roast for our evening meal. Back home I quickly realised I had returned with the purple sweet potato variety, aka Okinawa sweet potato, instead of the regular orange kind. They look like normal sweet potatoes but when you cut them up you are met with bright purple flesh. What to do? After a bit of research I managed to find out that the purple sweet potato was a staple of the Hawaiian kitchen and jam-packed full of nutrients such as Vitamin C and Antioxidants. The good news was that I could still treat it as any other sweet potato, i.e. roast it, mash it etc. which was a relief as I was preparing the infamous Buddha platter for dinner – a mixture of various veggies and grains, topped with a dressing/sauce for Uncle G and myself.
A Buddha platter can consist of pretty much anything you happen to have in your fridge but is made extra interesting if you have a variety of colours and flavours to play with. A dollop of quinoa, some grated carrots, a handful of spinach, a piece of salmon, cucumber, tomatoes, humus, roasted veggies and so on. The sky is the limit and you can be as imaginative as you like. Here is the Saturday recipe we used tonight:
Hawaiian Buddha Platter
1 large purple sweet potato or regular sweet potato, cubed
1 can chick peas (or Garbanzo beans as they are known in the US), rinsed
1 cup quinoa
2 carrots, grated
8-10 asparagus, lightly steamed
1/4 cucumber, sliced
Heat oven to 180C. Peel and cut up sweet potato in small cubes and place on baking tray. Using your hands add a good dollop of olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika to the cubed sweet potato and mix well until all pieces are coated. Place in oven and roast for about 1 hour. If you are using the purple variety you may have to cook it slightly longer as they are slightly firmer than the orange variety.
20 minutes before sweet potatoes are done, take out baking tray and add the chick peas, making sure they get a good coating of oil and spices. In the meantime, rinse and cook the quinoa. Steam the asparagus for about 5 minutes until just softened – you still want to retain a crunch. Get everything on stand by, ready for dishing up.
On two plates I added little equal mounds of the various dishes I’d made. A dollop of sweet potato/chick peas, a dollop of quinoa, grated carrots, asparagus sliced cucumber, sliced avocado, a large spoonful of hummus and garnished with flat leafed parsley. As I am always keen on a little juice I needed to add some vinaigrette to sprinkle on the veggies that I made with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, a hint of Dijon mustard, salt and pepper to taste. Happy Saturday x