Monday, November 28, 2011

Mashed Spiced Sweet Potatoes with Vegan Toasted Marshmallow Topping

Mashed Spiced Sweet Potatoes with Vegan Marshmallow Topping

My dad loves Sweet Potato Casserole. His version involves sweet potatoes mixed with brown sugar and, well, I'm not sure what else he puts in it. He's one of those "whatever-I-feel-like" chefs who doesn't use recipes or measurements much. But his sweet potatoes always have browned and melted marshmallows on top. This year I was in charge of cooking Thanksgiving for my parents. I had to make a healthier version of my dad's favorite entrees. And vegan versions, of course.

Mission accomplished. Essentially these are the Mashed Spiced Sweet Potatoes from Veganomicon placed into a casserole dish and topped with Dandies vegan marshmallows. I'm normally not particularly fond of sweet potatoes, but I really liked this version. A lot. And I had to share it.

Thanksgiving is over, but there are sure to be several holiday potlucks and dinners you will be attending, and these sweet potatoes are a great and easy dish to share.

Mashed Spiced Sweet Potatoes with Vegan Toasted Marshmallow Topping
(Adapted from Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero)

3 pounds sweet potatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil or other light vegetable oil (but not olive oil)
1 & 1/2 bags of vegan Marshmallows (I used Dandies from Whole Foods)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Place the sweet potatoes directly on an oven rack (no tray is needed and no need to poke holes in them). Depending on the size of the sweet potatoes, the cooking time will vary. An average-size sweet potato takes about 45 minutes but large ones can take longer, sometimes up to 75 minutes if they are the giant kind.

Once you can easily poke through the potatoes in the center, they are done. Remove from the oven and split them lengthwise; leave them opened to speed up cooling.

When still warm but not too hot to handle, scoop out the sweet potatoes with a spoon and place in a casserole dish. Discard the skins.

Add the salt, spices, maple syrup, and oil and mash everything with a strong fork. Once well incorporated, flatten mashed spiced sweet potatoes into casserole dish and top with vegan marshmallows as desired. When toasted they will expand and melt, so no need to cover all of the sweet potatoes. Place into still-warm oven and broil for a couple of minutes until marshmallows are toasted to a light golden brown. Watch the broiling carefully...they could blacken too much quite quickly. Serve warm.

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