Recipe | Apple Mallow Sweet Potato Bake


Among other things, November is Better Nutrition Month and sweet potatoes are one of the easiest–and tastiest!–ways to get some solid nutrition on your plate.

Sweet potatoes are a good source of fiber, vitamins A & C, and Potassium. They’re also a complex carb–the “good” kind of carbohytrate–that your body takes its time breaking down so you feel full longer. And I think they take a lot less work to taste good compared to a russet potato.

But just because I can eat a baked sweet potato with absolutely nothing on it and be perfectly happy with its natural sweetness, doesn’t mean I don’t like to mix it up with sweet potato dishes.

For Thanksgiving it’s tradition, at our table, to serve candied sweet potatoes: planks of boiled sweet potato layered with butter and cinnamon, then covered with a brown sugar glaze and baked until nice and gooey. You might be a little more familiar with the ubiquitous sweet potato casserole topped with toasted marshmallows.

This recipe (courtesy of Princella canned sweet potatoes) put a different spin on that sweet potato casserole, interleaving sliced apples and pecans with the sweet potatoes, adding a fun texture change to the usual casserole.

Apple Mallow Sweet Potato Bake

Apple Mallow Sweet Potato Bake

1/2 cup Brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
2 Apples, sliced
1/3 cup Pecans, chopped
2 15 oz. cans Princella or Sugary Sam Cut Sweet Potatoes, drained
1/4 cup Margarine
2 cups Miniature marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In large bowl, mix brown sugar and cinnamon. Toss apples and nuts with combined brown sugar and cinnamon.

Alternate layers of apples and sweet potatoes in 1 1/2-quart casserole. Dot with margarine. Cover and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

Sprinkle marshmallows over sweet potatoes and apples. Broil until lightly browned.

This casserole made a fabulous side dish to an open-faced sandwich supper. And I really enjoyed the toasted marshmallow topping–we had some pumpkin-flavored marshmallows leftover from Halloween and combined those with the usual mini-marshmallows and it gave the topping a different flavor.

For more tasty recipes, check out the resources at Allens Vegetables.

Fabulous Fennel


Fennel is one of those tastes that most people either love or hate. If you don’t like black licorice or other anise-flavored foods, straight-up fennel might not be for you, but there’s more than one way to eat this bulb.

Recently we spied some in our local grocery store and decided we’d work it in to the week’s menu at some point. Almost anything you can do with celery works well with anise so I thought wrapping it in bacon and braising it (as I recalled from a surprisingly delish dish during the classical French module at school) might be a nice way to go.

Braised Fennel
(serves 4)

2 medium fennel bulbs
8 strips bacon
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil
Vegetable stock

Trim away the very bottom of the fennel bulb, the green, ferny leaves and cut each bulb in half. Wash each bulb thoroughly but being careful not to dislodge any of the layers. Salt and pepper the fennel and wrap each half in 2 strips of bacon, covering as much of the vegetable as possible.

Pour a bit of olive oil in the bottom of a small clay roaster or casserole dish and arrange the bacon-wrapped fennel inside. Pour in enough vegetable stock to make about a half-inch pool of broth around the bulbs and place in a 375-degree oven, covered, for 30 minutes.

Remove the cover and allow the fennel to continue to cook until a knife easily pierces up and the bacon has crisped.

We had a package of turkey bacon in the fridge, so used it instead of pork bacon, and if you also opt for this substitution, sprinkle a little olive oil on top of the wrapped fennel as well to keep the turkey bacon from drying out. The combination of bacon and fennel reminded Todd, who couldn’t recall ever having it before, of sausage and that makes sense: fennel seeds can often be found in bulk Italian sausage, especially the kinds used on meaty pizzas.

As we ate, though, we brainstormed some other ways to use fennel. Here’s our top 3 ideas, what other ones can you think of or have tried?

  • Pureed with leeks and potatoes, for a different type of mashed side-dish.
  • Roasted until nicely caramelized along with parsnips, rutabagas, onions and turnips.
  • Skewered with chunks of lamb as a kebab, brushed with a sweet and spicy sauce and grilled.