Moment of truth – I eat A LOT of sweet potatoes. Actually chicken and sweet potatoes ERR’DAY. My Mum even asked me the other day after reading my recipes if all I eat is chicken. I was like “Nooo, I also eat sweet potatoes!”. I felt slightly pressured that I wasn’t “branching out” enough. And then I remembered how much I love chicken…and sweet potatoes. If I could pick two foods to eat for the rest of my life it would probably be these two. Don’t judge me. At least it’s not pies.
Anyway, what I love about sweet potatoes is that they are so versatile. Name one other vegetable you can eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner AND dessert. OK now that I wrote that, all these other vegetables are coming to mind…carrots, zucchini, avocado, pumpkin. But there’s nothing quite like the good ol’ potato that is delightfully sweet. Problem is, I tend to get in a rut of doing them the same way. So I decided to “branch out” and try some new combinations of flavors.
When I think of roasting anything, rosemary always comes to mind. So into the oven went the sweet potatoes with coconut oil and rosemary. I roasted this in an oven dish for just over an hour, splashing the potatoes intermittently with the oil in the pan. The more you do this, the crispier it becomes.
And to avoid any further “all you eat is chicken” judgement, I decided to throw some bacon into the works. You know what goes well with bacon? Hah! Tricked you – what doesn’t go well with bacon? But I’ll tell you what I put with my bacon…asparagus. Fresh, crunchy asparagus. I like bacon that still has fat on it and so should you. The fat that gets drained from the bacon after cooking can be kept to use for cooking later (delicious flavor for cooking any meat in). I didn’t drain the oil however, I just added it later to the sweet potatoes to enhance the flavor. Just before the bacon turned crispy, I added the asparagus and sauteed together for a couple minutes. You want the bacon to be crispy and the asparagus to still be crunchy, so timing is paramount ;).
When the potatoes were done, I added the bacon and asparagus to the roasting dish and tossed altogether. Be sure to get that good bacon grease all up in the potatoes.
This dish works wonderfully as a side dish. My husband was very pleased when I unveiled tender chicken breasts (lol you didn’t think that I left out chicken altogether did you?) accompanied by this bacon, asparagus and sweet potato surprise!
- 4 medium sweet potatoes (cut into quarters with skin on)
- 200 g bacon (chopped into small pieces)
- 200 g fresh asparagus (chopped into 8cm/3in pieces)
- 2-3 Tbs coconut oil
- Fresh rosemary
- Salt to taste
- Preheat oven to 180 deg C/ 365 deg F
- Wash the sweet potatoes, dry and cut into quarters, leaving the skin on
- Place in an oven dish and drizzle with coconut oil, shake the dish to ensure all potatoes are covered in oil
- Sprinkle with salt
- Break off the leaves of a few sprigs of rosemary and sprinkle over potatoes
- Bake at 180 deg C/ 365 deg F for an hour
- Be sure to splash occasionally with the oil in the pan to ensure crispiness
- While the potatoes are in the oven, get started on the bacon and asparagus
- Fry the bacon over medium heat until almost crispy
- Add the asparagus and cook for a couple minutes - make sure the bacon is crispy but the asparagus is still crunchy
- When the potatoes are golden brown and crispy, add the bacon and asparagus
- Toss together and serve warm either as a side dish or as a light meal
- Buy bacon that is slightly fatty, the fat from the bacon crisps it up and any left over bacon oil can be used another time to cook a savory dish.