Sweet potatoes can supercharge a salad

Bright, beautiful spring days often call for fresh, delicious meals that give you energy to enjoy the great outdoors. Whether you’re hitting the pavement for a run, powering up for an afternoon at the office, or picnicking, nutrition and flavor can go hand in hand with an easy-to-make salad.

Lean on a versatile ingredient like sweet potatoes as a key ingredient in this Sweet Potato Power Salad, a light yet filling solution. They can be used in sweet, savory, simple or elevated recipes. Plus, they can be prepared on the stove, baked, microwaved, grilled, or slow-cooked as a natural sweetener without added sugar.

According to the American Diabetes Association, sweet potatoes are a “diabetes superfood” rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber, all of which are good for overall health. Due to their high carbohydrate content, they’re ideal before and after exercising, with complex carbohydrates that provide sustained energy. Additionally, the antioxidants help reduce inflammation and aid in muscle repair, meaning sweet potatoes can help both your endurance and recovery.


Sweet Potato Power Salad

Servings: 6


4-6 North Carolina Sweetpotatoes, peeled and diced (6 cups)

2 teaspoons, plus 1 tablespoon, olive oil, divided

3/4 teaspoon salt, divided

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 1/2 bunches curly kale, rinsed and chopped (7-8 cups)

1/2 large lemon, juice only

1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

1 large avocado, pitted and diced

1/2 cup cranberries

1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds

1/4 cup red onion, chopped

1/2-3/4 cup feta or goat cheese


2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup balsamic or white vinegar


Preheat oven to 375 F. Place sweet potatoes in large bowl. In small bowl, lightly whisk 2 teaspoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Toss on sweet potatoes and place potatoes on large sheet pan. Bake 35-40 minutes until tender, flipping once during baking. (Note: Sweet potatoes can be baked and refrigerated 1 day in advance).

  • Place chopped kale in large bowl. In small bowl, lightly whisk remaining olive oil, remaining salt and lemon juice. Pour over kale and massage with hands until mixed, about 1 minute.
  • To make dressing: In bowl, whisk syrup, olive oil and vinegar.
  • In bowl with kale, add garbanzo beans, avocado, cranberries, almonds, red onion, sweetpotatoes and cheese. Toss with salad dressing and serve.
Sweet potatoes add vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber to a salad.

Source: Family Features

Egg shortage is proving hard to crack


Egg shortages in Washington are expected to continue

Grocery shoppers looking for eggs to buy sometimes find signs like this one at a Trader Joe’s store in Seattle’s University District.
(Sophia Sun for Crosscut)

d. And according to one Seattle environmental microbiologist, the timeline for that is unknown.

Chicken eggs have almost always been an easily available and relatively inexpensive staple, but the shortage that began last year with the latest sweep of avian flu has made them increasingly expensive and difficult to find. According to the Consumer Price Index, nationwide egg prices have gone up 60 percent in one year.

As with other rising food costs, the high price of eggs results from shortages. Avian flu has been the major reason, because so many birds have been affected and killed. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that over 58 million birds have been affected in 47 states. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife reported 151 cases of avian flu in Washington in December 2022.

To control the potential spread of avian flu in Washington, the state Department of Agriculture has established policies for quarantine and the elimination of infected flocks. Farmers have been forced to destroy entire flocks of chickens if even a single bird tests positive.

“Many farmers spent years building up their flock,” said Kevin Scott-Vandenberge, the owner of Portage Bay Grange, a small chicken farm in Seattle. “Now bird flu has become their most sensitive topic. Once their chickens were infected with the virus brought by wild birds, they lost everything they had.”

According to Vanderberge, wild pigeons are one of the most persistent avian flu threats.

John Scott Meschke, an environmental microbiologist and associate chairman of the University of Washington’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences, sees avian flu through an ecology lens.

“Climate change has altered the flight paths of many bird species,” Meschke said. “As a result, the species of birds that come to Seattle have become unpredictable, and these exotic birds bring more potential viruses with them.”

The National Audubon Society reported that over the past 40 years, more than 60 percent of North American bird species have shifted their ranges northward, by an average of 35 miles.

Seattle grocery stores have managed the current egg shortage through their long-term collaborations with food distributors that work with a wide range of suppliers and have the resources to quickly identify alternative supply sources when shortages occur.

“We haven’t predicted this crisis, but our routine of forecasting the egg demands and pre-ordering helps us maintain our supplies,” said Nihad Delic, a warehouse manager for District Market in Seattle. While stores like Fred Meyer and Whole Foods have limited egg purchases to one or two cartons per person, District Market’s egg display has never been empty and the price has not gone above $2.99 a dozen, according to Delic.

“As farmers kill birds carrying the virus and businesses raise the price of eggs, there is too much focus on how to minimize their harm from avian bird flu when the results have already been produced,” Meschke said. “People should put more attention on how to control avian bird flu.”

While the U.S. Department of Agriculture is monitoring avian flu, including developing guidelines for controlling outbreaks in commercial poultry operations, these efforts can’t control the illness in wild bird populations and among birds that don’t appear to be sick.

“There is still a long way to go to effectively control bird flu,” said Meschke. “More people should be involved in this project.”


Source: Crosscut.com, a non-profit Pacific Northwest news site and part of Cascade Public Media.

Cookbook takes healthy hearts to heart

Heart disease is the number one killer of Americans, affecting an estimated one in four adults. But the good news is that lifestyle changes can lower the risk.

Enter the new, fourth edition of “Cooking a la Heart” (The Experiment Publishing and Hachette Book Group). Authors Linda Harchfield and Amy Myrdal Miller share 500 recipes, as well as tips from medical doctors to promote cardiovascular wellness.

The Mediterranean, DASH, and MIND diets are explored as ways to help ward off heart disease, stroke, and diabetes through food. Emphasis is on plant-based ingredients, healthy fats, and thoughtful use of dairy, poultry, and lean red meat. The cookbook also includes nutrition facts for calories, protein, total carbs, dietary fiber, added sugars, total fat, saturated fat, omega-3s, sodium, and potassium.

“Cooking With a Heart” has 500 recipes to go along with advice from doctors, all on eating in a way that helps ward off heart disease.
Something new that goes with wine

State Rep. Kelly Chambers holds one of the newly minted specialty license plates that support Washington’s wine and tourism industries.

State Rep. Kelly Chambers is the prime sponsor of legislation creating the placards that cost $40 apiece and feature a scenic landscape of Washington wine country.

Proceeds from the initial sales of each plate and their $30 renewal fee will go into state coffers to promote the tourism industry statewide, including “small mom-and-pop shops, local restaurants, hospitality businesses, and retail businesses, many of which sell Washington wines,” Chambers said.

Nearly 4,000 Washingtonians signed a petition calling for the new specialty license plates, according to Chambers, who represents the 25th Legislative District in Pierce County.