19 October 2010


Training: Swim / Run

Today started with an early morning swim session, in which I completed 2km of 'mixed drills' including:

  • 300m warm up
  • 500m quad breathing
  • 500m tri breathing
  • 500m pull buoy
  • 200m cool down

Did I tell you that I purchased a pull buoy??

The idea behind these little flotation devices is to provide support to the body without kicking the legs, allowing for you to focus on your arms, rotation and technique. I have a strange habit of crossing my arm into the "centre" on the longest part of the forward stroke (resulting in zig-zagging up the lane) so I am really trying to work on straightening my arms. The pull buoy really helps as all I need to focus on is my arm technique without worrying about the kicking part! Plus it is nice to have another set of 'drills' to break up the monotony that is lane swimming.

This evening ended with a 7km run, on my favourite flat course near the lake. It is amazing how different my body feels when running the flat course, as opposed to my 'hilly' course near home. My calves were screaming during yesterday's run, and yet today they were 100% fine. Note to self - must do more hill sessions!

Mystery Box

When I drew tonight's Mystery Box ingredient, my problem was choosing one dish out of the many that came into mind....


Sweet potato!


Did you know? Sweet potato, often also referred to as kumara or yam, is native to the tropical parts of South America although the majority of sweet potatoes are now produced in China. Besides simple starches, sweet potatoes are rich in complex carbohydrates, dietary fibre, beta carotene, vitamin C and vitamin B6. But sweet potatoes are not just for eating - in South America the juice of red sweet potato is combined with lime juice to make a dye for cloth.

Now it is pretty obvious that I am a lover of sweet potato. Be it roasted into fries, used to top a pie, made into a soup, stuffed, used in a salad or even as a pizza topper!

So working out how to use this wonderful ingredient tonight was a challenge in terms of narrowing down my options.

I started by selecting 3 sweet potatoes, one of each colour.


Purple, white and orange.


Then selected a variety of spices.


Nutmeg, paprika and mustard powder.


I sautéed the potatoes in a little oil, then added the spices and ground ginger.


Followed by water, lite coconut milk and a tin of borlotti beans. After simmering for 30 minutes, until most of the liquid had evaporated, I added broccoli and stirred to combine.

While it may not have been the prettiest of dishes, it was packed full of flavour.


I particularly loved the sweetness of the potatoes, with the creaminess of the coconut.


A tasty and healthy meal to end a long day!


Sweeeeeeeet Stew (serves 3-4)

  • 1tbs olive oil
  • 3 sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into large cubes
  • 1 tbs minced ginger
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tbs paprika
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup water
  • 270ml lite coconut milk
  • 1 tin borlotti beans, rinsed
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
  1. Heat oil in large pan over medium heat.
  2. Fry ginger and spices until aromatic (20 seconds or so).
  3. Add potato and stir to coat in the spices.
  4. Add water, milk and beans.
  5. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes or until the sweet potato is cooked.
  6. Add broccoli, and simmer un-covered until the sauce has thickened.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

What about you? What is the most unusual way that you have used sweet potato?

Happy Baking :)


  1. mmm

    I love sweet potato chips

  2. I like my sweet potatoes simple: roasted with coconut oil and cinnamon. That's all I can ask for!

  3. I LOVE my pull buoy!! Its so fun to use. I should probably use it less, haha.
    And sweet potato, well stew is just about my favorite. That or using it to make protein pudding, yumm!

  4. I've never tried purple or white sweet potatoes - they look awesome!

    I love sweet potatoes in soup and in a wrap with black beans - YUM. :)

  5. YUM! I love sweet potatoes!

    That pull bouy contraption sounds like a great idea! :)

  6. Fascinating! I've grown up eating roasted sweet potato but we've only ever had the orange ones in my house. I didn't even know we could get purple ones in Canberra!

  7. Yummy. I really like to bake my sweet potatoes and serve them with vegetarian baked beans. It's simple, but delicious.

  8. You've inspired me to start running as well! I started doing my C25k training today since I haven't run a step since .... primary school.

  9. Mmm I love thinly sliced (as in mandolined as I'm not that skilled) sweet potato chips baked-I even love the burnt ones! :P

  10. I love sweet potatoes! I put them in everything from pancakes to baked goods. Yum!!

  11. Sweet potatoes are hands down one of my favorite foods ever. I like your idea with the mix of spices. Yum!

  12. Oh man! I am in LOVE with sweet potatoes. They are so wonderful. Last night I ate the best sweet potato fries too. I'm converted!

  13. My most unusual way would have to be mixed with yoghurt and made into overnight oats. It is definately one of my favourite veggies.

  14. yum i love sweet potato especially um deep fried :P

  15. Lovely photos of the coloured sweet potatoes. I love sweet potato but often overlook it - love it in soda bread but recently loved it in risotto with brussels sprouts and feta cheese - yum

  16. that dish looks awesome! i love sweet taters... used them in everything but can't think of anything particularly unusual!

  17. Ccan I just say that your dinner sounds so yum! I might have to have a go of re-creating it!

    I love your mystery box idea!

    Goodluck with improving your swimming :-)

  18. I love sweet potato. Not so unusual, but i make: baked sweet potato fries and sweet potato mash - mmm I eat it like a lollypop, licking the spoon :)
    This looks delicious!
    Heidi xo

  19. Your dinner looks really awesome.

    I love sweet potato. I'll eat it any way, mashed, fries, chips, baked... all delicious options. :)

  20. My favorite ( and my dog's favorite ) is to boil one slice into thick rounds and dehydrate - sweet tater jerky

  21. Have you tried the sweet potato fries from Woolies? They are sooo good. Yumm...

  22. OMG!!! its totally like my last post when i talked about the tri-fecta of sweet potatoes.. and the importance of having all 3 colors together!! im so happy u can buy the 3 varieties where u live too! our cravings are in-synch haha <3 <3

  23. oh what a great idea for sweet potatoes!

  24. Sweet potatoes are just so versatile aren't they.

  25. Yum! Have you tried Okinawan sweet potatoes? They are amazing - white on the outside and bright purple on the inside, and so sweet and delicious!