Welcome to Direct Your Dining! This cooking series will introduce you to energy efficient recipes full of tips to keep your meals delicious without using every appliance in the kitchen. Preparing recipes with energy efficiency in mind at least once a week will make cooking a little easier, and may even help reduce your monthly electricity bill. Check in every week for a new recipe full of flavor and creativity that will surely impress your friends and family.
This week’s recipe is a flavorful side dish perfect for any fall table. My easy microwave technique will lower your energy usage and overall cooking time – which will come in handy when you start cooking for your holiday meals.
The dish delivers engaging texture contrasts and a delicious flavor profile from the combination of sweet, tangy, and savory ingredients like fresh apple, crunchy nuts, feta cheese, and fresh herbs.
Don’t worry about baking your sweet potato in the oven on high heat for at least an hour. Just poke a few holes with a fork, wrap them in very damp paper towels, and microwave them seven to eight minutes (depending upon size), and they will be perfectly cooked for this recipe. And as each of the sweet potatoes cooks in the microwave, you can do all the other side work like making the dressing, completing the prep work, and preparing the potatoes that are already finished.
Thanks to the ease of preparing the sweet potatoes in the microwave, this is an excellent option for a Thanksgiving side dish next month! Think about it: with the stove and oven filled with turkey, dressing, and other dishes, you need all the time and space you can get. So this year, skip the classic sweet potato casserole and make this low energy use sweet potato recipe instead!
Autumn Apple-Berry Sweet Potato Salad
- 3 Large sweet potatoes
- ½ c. Dried cranberries and/or blueberries
- ½ c. Diced Honeycrisp apples
- ½ c. Honey roasted pecan pieces
- ¼ c. Salted roasted almonds, chopped
- ¾ c. Feta cheese crumbles
- ¼ c. Fresh basil, sliced
- ¼ c. Fresh mint, sliced
- ½ c. Mayonnaise (can substitute olive oil)
- 2 tbsp. Apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp. Honey
- ½ tsp. Black pepper
- ¼ tsp. Sea salt
1) Wash the sweet potatoes. Use a fork to poke a dozen holes in each one. Wrap each potato in two or three very damp paper towels.
2) Microwave each potato one at a time for seven to eight minutes (until it can be easily sliced). Peel and dice each potato as it comes out of the microwave.
3) Prepare the ingredients as directed in the list above.
4) Combine the mayonnaise (or olive oil), vinegar, honey, pepper, and salt into a small bowl. Whisk until smooth.
5) Add the diced potatoes to a large mixing bowl.
6) Add the apples, nuts, berries, herbs, and dressing with the sweet potatoes. Mix until the ingredients are evenly distributed.
7) Fold in the feta cheese. Add your desired amount, up to the ¾ cup listed in the ingredients. You could also serve on the side to be sprinkled on top of individual servings.
I hope this recipe helps you enjoy fall even more than usual!
Check back in every week for more Direct Your Dining recipes to help reduce your energy use in the kitchen while getting creative with delicious dishes!
Recipe and Images by Stacie Morgan