Hello and happy Thanksgiving. I hope you all are getting ready to enjoy the holiday. Holidays can be a tricky time, so hopefully you can do whatever it is that serves you best this year. I am going to my Mom's to share the day with family. I am looking forward to a few days off, cooking, and enjoying the time with people I don't see nearly often enough! I am thankful that holidays allow us to put obligations aside and spend some time together. I have so many blessings this year. Family, friends, my sweet house with the renovations almost complete, a new community that I love, a job that is challenging yet satisfying, the opportunity to travel.....
You probably have already planned your Thanksgiving dinner, but if you haven't, this salad is a great addition. (sorry for the dark picture!) I made this for the church retreat a few weeks ago, and again for our work Thanksgiving potluck. Everyone seems to like it. Steamed sweet potato cubes are mixed with red onion, dried cranberries and pecans, and then all is tossed in a honey-mustard dressing. It is simple yet delicious. It is easily made the day before and the flavors actually get better as it sits overnight. A few hints: if you make it the day before, add the pecans the next day, just before serving. They get soft as they sit so adding them at the last minute ensures you get some crunch in the salad. Also, be careful with the potatoes. If you cook them too long they will not hold their shape and you will get mashed sweet potatoes. Cook just until they are fork tender. I also used a rubber spatula to mix everything as it was gentler and didn't tear up the potatoes. I didn't try it but I bet this would be great with some finely chopped tart apple added in. It can get a little sweet and the crunch and sour flavor I think would be nice.
Let's see what else. I had a pretty unwelcome surprise in my house this week....
Isn't this just the worst? It was dead thankfully and small. It looks big in the picture, but it was only about the size of half my palm all coiled up. I had to pick it up with a kleenex. I have no idea how it got in the house but hope he has no family with him. It creeps me out.
I went out for a walk with friends on Veterans Day and then out for dinner. They had a special free milkshake for veterans. We split this for dessert....strawberry, blueberry and vanilla with sprinkles on top. I'm not a huge milkshake fan but this was a nice treat.
Let's see...I met my friend Caryn and two of her three children for the farmer's market in Carrboro and then for lunch. We had a great time. I had a fabulous Greek grilled cheese for lunch. I bought lots of great local stuff at the market....delicata squash and lacinato kale for Thanksgiving, a local cheese, two kinds of sourdough bread, the best broccoli I have ever eaten, local brown sticky rice and dried beans, and some speckled lima beans to put in the freezer. It is a really great market and so nice to support local agriculture and businesses. It is not that "local" for me (about 80 miles) but I think it counts.
And lastly here a photo of my sweet kitties. They are the best companions. They are so glad the construction is finished and hopefully they won't be in kitty jail all day any more. I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving. Thank you for reading along with me. I'm getting back into the swing again and hopefully will have some more inspiring posts over the next months!
Sweet Potato Salad
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Keywords: steam salad side gluten-free vegan vegetarian sweet potatoes Thanksgiving fall winter
Ingredients (6 servings)
- 4 medium Sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- ¼ cup cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup honey
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ⅔ cup red onion, diced
- ⅔ cup dried cranberries
- ⅔ cup pecans, toasted and chopped
Bring water to a boil in a vegetable steamer. Add the sweet potatoes, cover, and steam for about 20 minutes, until just fork tender. Check them often as it gets close as you don’t want them too soft. They need to hold their shape.
2. While the sweet potatoes are cooking, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, honey, and oil together in a small bowl until smooth.
3. When the potatoes are tender, carefully scoop them out into a large bowl and let cool about 10 minutes. Add the red onion, cranberries and about 2/3 of the dressing and lightly toss to combine. (using a rubber spatula helps ensure you don’t smash the potatoes!) Add more dressing as needed. Chill or set aside for an hour before serving.
4. Just before serving, carefully stir in the pecans. Taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper and any remaining dressing as needed.