Our cookbook of the week is The School Year Survival Cookbook: Healthy Recipes and Sanity-Saving Strategies for Every Family and Every Meal (Even Snacks), by Laura Keogh and Ceri Marsh of Sweet Potato Chronicles. Over the next four days, we’ll feature recipes from the book and an interview with one of its authors.
“We weren’t always fans of leftovers. Now we live for them,” Ceri Marsh says.
In The School Year Survival Cookbook, Marsh and co-author Laugh Keogh take an inventive approach to extending leftovers in a section called Transformers. With minimal extra cooking, meal components such as spicy beef (recipe follows) and pulled pork form the basis of two new meals.
“As much as leftovers are great, we all know that sometimes your family can push back against eating the leftover in its original shape again,” Marsh says. “We have a mother recipe that we start with in each of (the Transformers) and that’s one meal. And then there are two more choices that can be made from those leftovers.”
In this recipe, spicy beef becomes tacos with roasted sweet potatoes. With the rest of the seasoned meat mix, you can then choose between making easy beef and black bean enchiladas or couscous stuffed peppers (recipes are in the book). “It helps you when you’re meal-planning,” Keogh says. “It’s one less idea that you have to come up with for a meal.”
SPICY BEEF TACOS WITH ROASTED SWEET POTATOES
Makes: 4 servings
GET AHEAD: Save 10 to 12 minutes by completing step 2 in advance; store the potatoes in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Save another 5 minutes by completing step 3 and storing the onion mixture in the refrigerator. Save a further couple of minutes by mixing up the spices in step 5; store in an airtight container.
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into bite-size cubes
1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) salt, divided
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced and rinsed in very warm water
1/4 tsp (1 mL) sugar
1/3 cup (75 mL) rice vinegar
2 lb (900 g) organic lean ground beef
2 tbsp (30 mL) chili powder
2 tsp (10 mL) ground cumin
1 tsp (5 mL) ground cinnamon
1 tsp (5 mL) dried oregano
1 tsp (5 mL) pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup (125 mL) grated Monterey Jack cheese
Handful of chopped cilantro
8 corn tortillas, warmed according to package directions
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a bowl, toss the sweet potatoes with the oil and 1/2 tsp (2 ml) of the salt. Spread potato pieces in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes. Toss, then bake for another 5 minutes, or until fork-tender. Transfer potatoes to a bowl; set aside.
In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar and a pinch of salt in the vinegar and then add the onions; set aside.
In a large skillet, cook the beef over medium heat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in another small bowl, blend the chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, oregano and pepper.
Stir the garlic, spice blend and remaining 1 tsp (5 mL) salt into the beef; cook for another 2 minutes. Transfer half the beef to a serving dish. Put the other half in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator to use for another dinner.
Place the beef, sweet potatoes, onions, cheese, cilantro, salsa and tortillas on the table for taco assembly.
Excerpted from The School Year Survival Cookbook: Healthy Recipes and Sanity-Saving Strategies for Every Family and Every Meal (Even Snacks) by Laura Keogh and Ceri Marsh. Copyright © 2017 Sweet Potato Chronicles. Photography copyright © 2017 Maya Visnyei Photography. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.