Thursday, January 15, 2015

Ham, Apple & Sweet Potato Scramble- Not as Sweet as it Sounds

Between trying to eat unprocessed foods, eat within my 10 day cleanse restrictions (God, I miss coffee) and trying to please the whole family I have been struggling. I have felt like a short order cook this week, feeding the rest of the family one thing and eating something else myself. I pinned the Ham, Apple & Sweet Potato Scramble a few weeks ago when I was hunting Paleo friendly dinners and it sounded really simple and tasty. A few ingredients and you have a healthy low-carb brunchy type dinner. The original recipe is from Paleo Newbie.
Spices all set
  • Ingredients:
  • 1/2 lb ham steak, chopped into cubes
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1/4" to 1/2" thick cubes
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 4 eggs, scrambled
  • coconut oil, for sautéeing
  • Spices
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

I altered the recipe a bit, I used leftover spiral ham I had from Christmas instead of ham steak, I also was lacking allspice in the spice mix but I crossed me fingers wouldn't matter much (in the end I don't think it did). Of course I didn't notice that cayenne pepper was an included spice until I was already starting. I assumed 1/4 teaspoon wouldn't be that big of a deal, but you know what happens when you assume (more on that in a bit).
Sweet Potatoes and Onions Sauteing 
The onions cooked up much faster than the sweet potatoes did, so I wasn't sure why the recipe had the onions going in first. I would switch the order to give the potatoes more time to cook. They said to leave the two together for about 5 minutes but I probably did almost ten because the potatoes still seemed kind of raw.
Ham, Apples, and Spices Added
The instructions on the website don't pin point how long these should cook, just until the apples and potatoes are tender. As this was cooking I added around 4 tablespoons of water, I just thought it needed a little moisture added in and I think it was a good call. Once I tasted all of this together, I was unhappily surprised by how hot the cayenne pepper had made the dish One taste and I knew my daughter wasn't going to eat this. She thinks pepperoni on pizza is too spicy, so I knew this wouldn't fly. I don't think the pepper really added much to the overall flavor, it just seemed to make it hot.
All mixed up and ready to serve
The eggs are cooked separately and then added in to the rest of the mix (I used 4 regular eggs and about 1/4 cup liquid eggs whites), so I ended up saving some of the eggs and feeding the kids plain eggs and toast. I did make my daughter try some and her reaction was downing the rest of her grape juice and fanning her tongue for a few minutes (she may have been being a bit over dramatic). The husband was a trooper (he doesn't really care for sweet potatoes) and said he thought it was OK and agreed that the pepper didn't really help the flavor. 
Plated and Looking Pretty
I did like this, and plan on eating the leftovers for breakfast the next few days (since I obviously won't be fighting anyone over it). That being said I would definitely change it up if I made it again. I would take the pepper out entirely and I would have pre-steamed the sweet potatoes a bit before I put them in the pan. In this recipe the end up have the consistency of cooked carrots and I like my sweet potatoes to be a bit softer. I liked the sweetness from the apples, but most of that was drown out by the heat of the cayenne. This would be a great healthy brunch dish, and if you like heat keeping the original recipe would work, but I think it would be better without it. I think the flavors of the cinnamon and the apples would really stand out if they weren't being drown out by all of the heat. I would put this in the moderate win category but personally I think it needs some tweaks. If you make this let me know what you think? Was it too hot for you?

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