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Sweet on Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes
It’s hard to be indifferent about sweet potatoes.  Most people either love them or hate them.  I happen to adore them.  I love them baked and eaten “au natural” or maybe topped with a little vegan butter and ground black pepper.  I like to make them as oven-fries, nice and crispy on the outside and soft in the middle, or diced and roasted and then tossed with pecans and dried cranberries.

I never had the childhood misfortune of being forced to eat canned sweet potatoes, least of all topped with marshmallows – I can see where that would make anyone averse to sweet potatoes later in life.  Fortunately, my mother often made them sliced and sautéed in a little olive oil with onion, then tossed with some pitted black olives and lots of black pepper.  It remains one of my favorite ways to prepare them.

I also enjoy making a sweet potato salad, usually combined with green peas because I love the color combination.  In this recipe, they are also combined with toasted almonds and tossed with a luscious slightly sweet dressing made with almond butter. 

Note: The dressing is delicious, but if you prefer a more savory flavor, you can swap out the juice for water, or even omit the dressing entirely and just toss with a little olive oil and vinegar.  If you do so, you might want to also add some pitted kalamata olives. 

This dish is equally good served at room temperature or chilled and, since it can be prepared ahead of time, it makes a great Thanksgiving side dish. 


Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

This recipe is from Nut Butter Universe by Robin Robertson © 2013. Photo by Lori Maffei.

Gluten Free/Soy Free

Serves 4


1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup frozen baby peas, thawed

2 scallions, minced

1/2 cup pineapple juice; or orange juice; or cranberry juice (or water)

1/4 cup almond butter

Salt and ground black pepper

2 tablespoons toasted slivered almonds


Preheat the oven to 400°F. Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1/2-inch dice. Toss with the olive oil and spread on a baking sheet. Roast the potatoes until tender but still firm, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool, then place them in a large bowl. Add the peas and scallions and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the juice, almond butter, and salt and pepper to taste. Blend well, then pour the dressing over the potato mixture, stirring gently to combine.

Sprinkle with the almonds and serve right away, or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.



{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Mary October 21, 2013, 5:34 pm

    I also like sweet potatoes very much Robin!

    I’d like to ask you a question: in your book 100 vegan recipes, page 451 the apple lover’s cake. I made it and loved it but I had to add probably 1 cup of soymilk. Is there a liquid omission in the recipe? No liquids except oil and apple sauce are mentioned. Thank you!!

    • Robin October 21, 2013, 6:14 pm

      Hi Mary, I actually use more applesauce (instead of liquid) to give the cake more of an apple flavor — so the applesauce should be 1 cup (not 1/3 cup). Although, if it works for you with the soy milk, then that’s fine to add, if you prefer. Also, if you like, you can add a teaspoon of ground cinnamon and maybe 1/4 teaspoon each of allspice and nutmeg.

      • Mary October 21, 2013, 8:11 pm

        Thank you Robin! I really liked it with soymilk but next time I will make it with more applesauce and some cinnamon 🙂 Cheers!

  • Susan October 23, 2013, 3:30 am

    I love sweet potatoes! Thankfully you can’t even get sweet canned sweet potatoes here, and putting marshmallows on them doesn’t happen either.
    I remember the first time I heard of doing that a few years ago, I was so confused as to how anyone thought that was a good idea. 😉

  • Corrin Radd February 11, 2014, 6:49 pm

    Cool idea. Made this today.

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