Kon’nichiwa from Japan!! Yes, Japan! The land of the starchy and sweet Japanese yam 🙂
How did I end up here? It all happened so very quickly. One day I was planning on spending the winter in New Orleans, and the next thing I know I’m on an airplane flying to the other side of the world. It has been my dream to visit this country ever since I stepped foot in the Tokyo Narita airport on a layover to Thailand over 3 years ago. Though I’ve dreamed of spending time here, I know so little about it. I guess that’s why when my New Orleans plans didn’t work out, I quickly shifted my focus to visiting my #1 spot, Japan, and making my dream come true!
I just spent 4 days in Tokyo. Calling this city crazy is an understatement. I really don’t have the vocabulary to describe how this place makes me feel. Being here is like being in a parallel universe from NYC with its big buildings, elaborate subway system, bright lights. However, almost everyone is Japanese and polite, and despite the enormous population the city manages to stay fairly clean. Much much cleaner than my city of New York.
The tall buildings make me feel claustrophobic––something I don’t usually feel at home––and getting lost in the Ikebukuro train station, then the adjacent department store on Valentine’s Day, nearly sent me into a panic attack. Then I thought I would like to walk through one of the thousands of the arcades, or stroll through Shibuya crossing a couple of times, but the energy of these places has proven too much for me. The loud noises, bright lights, and this indecipherable language send met to bed exhausted each night.
Tomorrow I’m going to Kyoto.
Tokyo is definitely not my favorite city. It makes NYC feel like a small town, and me feel utterly invisible and lost. Still, being here is a blessing, and already an experience I won’t soon forget.
I have so much I want to tell you about my trip so far! Make sure you’re following me on Instagram to get daily photo updates.
Today let me share with you one of my absolute favorite ways to prepare my hands-down perfect comfort food: sweet potatoes roasted to perfection! Thankfully Japan is full of Japanese sweet potatoes (yams), so I’m able to satisfy me comfort cravings everyday 😉
Roasting sweet potatoes is one of the easiest kitchen activities. As long as you can cut a potato and turn on an oven, you can make these. They make for the perfect side dish, or healthy snack. Even more, these can be added to your salads, or bulked up with legumes, greens, and grains to make a complete and delicious meal.
Sweet potatoes make life so much better!
- 3 medium sweet potatoes, cubed
- 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Toss the sweet potatoes in a mixing bowl with the coconut oil.
- Combine the spices in a small bowl, then sprinkle them over the sweet potatoes,and toss to make sure the spice coats the potatoes evenly.
- Evenly spread the potatoes onto the baking sheet.
- Roast for 40 minutes, or until they are tender.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before eating.