by Sam Edelman

Before heading on a quick trip up to the Yosemite Valley last weekend, I decided to hit the farmers market to stock up on some healthy ingredients and a couple bottles of local wine to take along. While it is nice to eat out when on a short vacation, staying at a place where you have access to a kitchenette can save money and allow you to continue making nutritious home-cooked meals. I wanted to get items for my trip that would travel well and provide a great mix of flavors. As I passed by the Her Family Farm stand, I saw the first sweet potatoes of the season piled high on their table. Along with some sweet yellow onions, hot and sweet peppers, bok choy and a head of garlic, a great meal was not far off. I decided to hold off on the main protein source until I hit the mountain, just in case I was able to catch a trout or two in the river (no luck, so I decided to get a pack of pork chops from the local market).

Sweet potatoes are a versatile ingredient that go great with fish, chicken, pork or beef. They are regularly harvested this time of year. There are two main types of sweet potatoes you will find at the farmers markets and local grocery stores: yellow and orange. You are probably most familiar with the orange. They are often referred to as yams, although a true yam (botanical family Dioscoreaceae) is a large (up to 100 pounds) root vegetable grown in Africa and Asia and rarely seen in the western world.

» Read More