Sweet potato, red cabbage + edamame bowl with ginger peanut dressing

The humble sweet potato remains one of the culinary world’s most underrated vegetables. Granted this starchy root has made some progress, migrating from its once-a-year {often marshmallow-cloaked} appearance on the Thanksgiving table to being a frequent flyer in most restaurants’ fry-o-laters; but I fear that nowadays most people encounter sweet potatoes on their plates in deep-fried form and not much else. And that makes me sad. Dense and creamy, earthy, and subtly sweet, these brightly-hued, antioxidant-packed and beta-carotene-rich tubers are ultra-versatile and make a welcome addition to any meal.

A few examples: sweet potato hash with eggs for breakfast, warm sweet potato salad for lunch (if you’re looking for that recipe, you’re in the right place), chili-stuffed sweet potatoes for dinner. See where I’m going with this? And I’m only getting started. They’re quick cookers, too: a whole sweet potato roasts in 45 minutes at 375F; diced it’s tender and crisp-edged after about 20 minutes in the oven, and bite-sized cubes are tender and creamy after just 10 to 12 minutes in a steamer.

On days when I lunch at home, simple and easy to prepare one-bowl meals are my thing. I scan the fridge and pantry for veggies, fresh and dried fruits, proteins, herbs, spices, nuts and nut butters that make sense together and build my bowl from there. I almost always have leftover roasted or steamed sweet potato in the fridge (this is a great item to include in your weekend batch cooking if you’re into that sort of thing) or a sweet potato in the pantry, so that often makes an appearance in these Crazy Bowls, too.

This warm sweet-potato-based salad pulls together some of my other favorite wintry vegetables — crisp red cabbage, protein-rich, snappy edamame (I always keep a bag of shelled edamame in the freezer), and crunchy red radishes, with one of my all-time favorite sauces, a creamy peanut dressing spiked with fresh ginger, turmeric and chile flakes. With a squeeze of lime and a scattering of scallions and cilantro you are good to go for a satisfying and balanced lunch or light dinner.

Sweet potato, red cabbage + edamame bowl with ginger peanut dressing
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1/4 cup creamy natural peanut butter (can sub other nut butter, i.e. almond or cashew, or sesame tahini)
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
1 small garlic clove, peeled
2 tablespoons coconut aminos (can sub tamari — start with 2 teaspoons since it is more salty, and taste as you go)
1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
pinch of red chile flakes
1/4 of a large purple cabbage, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)

juice of 1/2 lime + 1 lime cut into wedges, for serving
1 medium sweet potato, diced into 1/2 inch cubes (about 2 cups)

1 cup frozen shelled edamame
2 scallions, thinly sliced
3 radishes, thinly sliced
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
sea salt

Method:
Combine peanut butter, ginger, garlic, coconut aminos, rice vinegar, honey/maple syrup, turmeric and chile flakes in a blender. Add 2 tablespoons of water and blend until smooth. If needed, add water 1 teaspoon at a time to achieve a pourable consistency. Taste and season with salt, if needed.

Place red cabbage in a large bowl. Add juice of 1/2 lime and 1/4 teaspoon salt, toss to combine and set aside to marinate.

Steam sweet potato cubes until tender, 10 to 12 minutes, and set aside. While sweet potato cooks, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook edamame until crisp-tender, 5 minutes. Drain.

Add sweet potato and edamame to bowl with red cabbage along with half of the peanut dressing. Toss gently to coat vegetables. Serve warm or at room temp, drizzled with remaining dressing and garnished with scallions, radishes, cilantro, and lime wedges.

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