Eat Better Week: Spicy Sweet Potato Wedges

So it's officially back in the swing of things. We're into 2010 and I, for one, am thrilled and excited for the possibilities that lie ahead in the coming year. First on my list, however, is the post-holiday detox. While I may have (waaaayyy) over-indulged over the holiday, contrary to popular belief, I don't actually eat that way all the time. The truth of the matter is that while it seems like I eat pastrami sandwiches and chocolate and cupcakes all day long...well...I don't. (Not regularly anyway). Don't get me wrong, I have been known to eat rice pudding til my heart's content or crash a fancy pizza joint, but on a regular, day-to-day basis, I try to keep my diet (mostly) free of the not-so-good for you foods. It just might not seem that way since, let's face it, the delicious, indulgent foods are way more interesting to eat and, in turn, write and read about.



But it's back to reality and that means healthier foods. Sure, there's the liquid diets, the low-carbs, the low-fats. I, for one, do not believe that just because something tastes delicious means that it must be packed with calories. In fact, I bet there are lots of ways to eat better without sacrificing taste. So this week at Between JC & Manhattan, it's Eat Better Week and we'll be bringing you some ideas and tips for cutting the fat out of your life...literally. Each night this week, I'm going to try my hardest to put together meals that are tasty but still on track to shed some holiday poundage. Sound good? 


First up in this week to better eating: fabulous, spicy sweet potato wedges. Don't be deterred by the name, these taters are anything but actually spicy. Instead, they're a mouth-watering mix of a sweet and savory coating on a roasted sweet potato wedge. I tried this recipe after reading about it at Real Simple and even served it at my holiday cocktail party where it got rave reviews. Since Shaun was freezing at the Jets game and I was on my own for dinner, I cut down the recipe for a 1-2 person serving. Let's check it out, shall we?


Spicy Sweet Potato Wedges
Adapted from Real Simple
1 sweet potato, skin on or off, cut into wedges
1 1/2 tsp olive oil 
1 tbsp brown sugar (or brown sugar substitute, like Splenda brown sugar, but use less than real brown sugar...it's super sweet!)
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut potatoes to desired wedgeness (it's a technical term).

In mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil, brown sugar, nutmeg, kosher salt, cumin, and cinnamon. 

Add sweet potato wedges and toss to coat. On a foil-lined baking sheet (trust me on the foil-lining, it makes clean up a snap), spread out wedges. Roast in oven for 25 minutes, then turn them and continue roasting 10 minutes more. For a crispier wedge, roast even longer until desired texture is reached. As always, serve on a pretty plate for even more pizzaz. 



The result? A sweet 'n savory (not so much spicy, but I suppose you could add in a pinch of cayenne pepper to get that effect) potato wedge, without its fried, greasy counterparts. Try this for a change from your usual baked potato and I promise, you won't be disappointed! It's simple, quick and delicious to boot.


So that's the first recipe in the series. Now I want to know from all of you - how do you cope with holiday detox? Do you start training for a marathon? Eat only fruits and veggies? Crash diet? Stop eating altogether for a few days? Please share your thoughts with me and others on how you get it done. I, for one, could use the motivation and tips to keep me going!