#2 - Page 49 Easiness: 5 Tastiness: 5++

Also known as grilled sweet potato tortillas! These were so very good.

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I’ve never really used sweet potatoes much before. The whole sweet potato/yam mix up that seems to be pervasive really confused me. I’ve seen recipes (even in veganomicon!) that refer to the same ingredient as both yams and sweet potatoes. My main veggie source only has yams, and before veganomicon I didn’t have much experience with any vegetables, so I really didn’t understand the difference nor why it mattered.

So anyway, I now don’t understand how the two vegetables ever get confused! Yams are bright orange, and very sweet. Sweet potatoes on the other hand just look like lighter potatoes. They are sweeter than normal potatoes, but not like yams are. I guess they are fairly interchangeable, besides the color, but in cases like this recipe, a yam filling would have been very weird.

Sweet potato filling on the other hand (as a substitute for yuca) was delicious!

I steamed the potatoes in the microwave, sauteed the rest of the veggies, mixed everything together and had fantastic quesadillas in a fairly short amount of time. I added some tomatos and mushrooms to our filling mixture, but I could see the optional corn and red pepper also being very good. You could put just about anything in this tortilla without screwing it up - which makes this recipe a great new staple.

Update: Okay, so now I understand a bit more about why sweet potatoes vs yams is a confusing topic. Turns out the yams I use are a variety called garnet yams. Technically, this garnet yam is a sweet potato. And a true yam, or tropical yam, comes from a different plant family. Apparently this is an American thing, and our garnet yams are just called sweet potatoes elsewhere.

The whole thing is just made more confusing by the fact that the USDA requires the garnet yams to also be labeled as sweet potatoes (presumably to distinguish them from the true yams).

There is still a great deal of difference between a white sweet potato and the softer orange sweet potato, so it’s important to get those right. I’m guessing I’ll never cook a true yam, as they aren’t too popular around here, so I think I have everything straightened out enough.

The more you know!