How to make healthy choices every day

Sweet Potato Skillet Hash


Rituals. With the holidays coming up, I can’t help but think about them, the role they play in all of our lives, and how grateful I am for them.

Every month (or as often as our schedules allow) my little family and two others get together for brunch. It’s pretty much like a scene from Thirty Something (remember that show?!), babies crawling around under the table, toddlers walking into walls and disintegrating into fits of hysteria, but somewhere in between diaper changes and breastfeeding, the grown-ups feast. We always do this potluck style, that way the couple who is hosting doesn’t have to sacrifice their entire week planning and cooking for Sunday, because that is laughably unrealistic. And even though we never talk about what we’ll be bringing, the spread is always totally rad and over-the-top. And just what the adults need.

The first time we got together, I made this dish. It was about this time of year, and I felt like something savoury, spicy and just plain yum. Sweet potatoes, believe it or not, are kind of a special thing in Denmark (especially organic ones!) so upon finding a few at my local health food store I knew that they were destined for Jacob and Mille’s skillet with some eggs, and chilies and herbs. The dish was a hit, and so it has become kind of expected that aside from the other amazing things that turn up, that I bring the ingredients for this too, nearly every time. It’s a good “social” meal to make because most of the cooking time is largely unattended, allowing one to indulge in too many of Silla’s raw cake bites before even sitting down. It’s also fun to have this piping hot centerpiece on the table and let everyone just dive right in.

Sweet Potato Skillet Hash // My New Roots

The dish opens with caramelized onions, so right off the bat, you know it’s gonna be good. Lots of cumin and coriander take things to best-buddy spice town, with chili flakes giving some heat and a good dose of sea salt to help those onions melt down. Honestly, you could just turn off the stove after the onions are caramelized and eat these on toast with poached eggs, they are that good. But wait! Sweet potatoes join the party, and cilantro and whatever else you think you’d like to nosh on. It’s great with avocado, lime, some sprouted corn tortillas, hot sauce…you see where I’m going with this.

Although it’s a fabulous thing to serve at a brunch, this hash also makes a pretty delicious weeknight dinner. If you want to make a vegan version, simply leave out the eggs – it’s wonderful this way too. I’ve seen other kinds of sweet potato hash, but for some reason the recipes always suggests roasting or boiling the sweet potatoes first, then putting them in the skillet and then cooking more? Too much work, I say! This recipe is all on the stove, one pan, no fuss, just tasties.

Sweet Potato Skillet Hash // My New Roots

Lessons in Lecithin
Have you heard of lecithin before? My guess it, probably not.

Well, I bet if you were to go into your fridge or pantry right now, you could find at least one packaged food that contains this stuff, especially if you’ve got some ice cream lurking around, yoghurt, cheese, margarine, even bread or granola bars.

But what the heck is this stuff? Lecithin is a nutrient produced by the liver, and is found in both whole and processed foods. Its function in the body is to emulsify fats, and enhance the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, namely vitamin A. The big reason for consuming lecithin however is the fact that nearly 1/3 of your brain is made of the stuff. Did you get that?! 30% of your brain’s dry matter is lecithin. Seriously. You can imagine then, that lecithin is rather vital to proper brain function, increasing mental activity and enhancing memory. Lecithin also exhibits a calming effect and can be helpful in reducing hyperactivity. What’s more, lecithin protect against gallstone formation, high blood pressure, and cholesterol excesses.

Whole food sources of lecithin include egg yolks, rice bran and soybeans. Processed foods often contain soy lecithin (does that ring a bell?) to ensure that the fats and water-based substances do not separate, and to make the food creamier.  It is added to baked goods to prevent the dough from sticking and to improve its ability to rise. Because soy is a very inexpensive and widely cultivated crop, it makes sense to use its byproduct in food processing (soy lecithin comes from the production of soy oil).

The lecithin found in eggs is of high quality and should be eaten with enthusiasm, not fear! Does this mean that egg white omelets are a thing of the past? In my opinion, yes. So much of the good stuff is contained in that gorgeous yolk, but here’s the kicker: you have to keep those bad boys runny. Lecithin is a very delicate nutrient and is destroyed with heat. You know that when the yolks are hard, as in very cooked scrambled eggs or hard-boiled eggs, you’ve gone too far and the lecithin is no longer viable. Poaching, soft boiling, and steaming are therefore your best choices for preserving the many health benefits of that precious lecithin.

Sweet Potato Skillet Hash // My New Roots

What rituals mean a lot to you? What ceremonial events see you through the year? With American Thanksgiving in just a couple days, I’d hope that many of you will be gathered around a table celebrating your own special times with people who you care about. As a Canadian living in Denmark, I’ll be celebrating the glorious in the every day, and looking forward to the next brunch.

Happy holidays. All love and light,
Sarah B

110 thoughts on “Sweet Potato Skillet Hash”

  • Tried this a few weeks ago and really enjoyed it! Great combination of flavors. My mouth is watering just remembering it! Thanks for the great recipe!

  • Home with a sick toddler and just made this for lunch. It was quick enough to make during a short nap, and delicious (I threw some leftover steak into the mix too). When she woke up, even my 19 month old wanted some.

  • Hi Sarah,
    Yep love a silky, creamy yolk!
    Our family has incorporated our own rituals into our family life. They are important for a few reasons: weekly rituals give you something in your week to look forward to, rituals bring people together, they create memories which are good, help create positive stuff in our lives which can only be a good thing.
    ‘Mother-son-time’ is one of my rituals with my sons, I take each of them on their own every now and then to have coffee or a snack and its good.
    Another ritual is everytime I have Gelato I send one of my nieces a photo and get her to guess what flavours I’m having, a little bit of fun.
    Birthdays are always a great ritual and no matter how you celebrate, small or large, it’s a good, good thing to celebrate a persons life.
    Our Easter egg hunt with a rhyme as a clue for the next hide spot has continued even though our kids are adults.
    Rituals are a great and important part of creating traditions and memories and a great way to bring people together.
    Julie Lanham

  • Actually I do have lecithin. A lot of new mothers do as well. It’s a common household item for the already healthy and knowledgable 🙂

  • Just made this for the second time for brunch after a long night out with the roomies (first being last year on Christmas for my fam, made with the works). So good. This time I didn’t have any cilantro or lime so I topped it with sprouts and some salsa. Such an easy recipe that really wows people.

  • I found your recipe and your website and love both! I am making the hash as we speak. I can’t wait to eat it!

  • For some reason, 10 MNR posts from 12/14 through 3/15 only showed up in my RSS feed today, so I’m late to this post but I do have a question, and hopefully it will be answered!

    Thanks to a milk industry commercial and my observing of labels on commercial almond milk, I now notice lecithin in the ingredients for almond milk of just about every brand. I don’t recall if soy lecithin is typically an ingredient for every brand of almond milk, but I do wonder the following:
    1. are there other kinds of lecithin aside from what’s found in egg and soy that could be added to almond milk?
    2. would you consider soy lecithin an ingredient we should all consume, given the tricky nature of soy-based consumption to begin with?
    I admittedly don’t know a whole lot about soy, so I was just wondering if you could share your opinion on this one ingredient as well as the ingredient found in almond milk. Thanks!

    • I have seen sunflower lecithin in the store as well, no need to buy soy! I would avoid it – as a general rule of thumb I try to only eat soy if it has been fermented (and is organic!) to make it more bioavailable and break down estrogen inhibitors (and to limit how much soy I eat since it is snuck in to so many foods nowadays)

  • This looks beautiful. I am off eggs at the moment, just one of these moods, but regardless…YUM! What I really love are your plates in the captures, could you share where you got them from?

  • Sarah, this recipe is so absolutely flavorable-it packs a wallop of flavor! Such a great combination with the spices!

  • Sarah, this is an amazing recipe. It has become a favourite weeknight dinner at my house. We love to serve it with a big kale salad and a fresh loaf of organic rye sourdough! Thanks so much for the information about lecithin, too!

  • Just finished eating it, this is just SOOOO good and easy to make. I added some nuts and served it with green onions and toasted bread, avocado and lime. Just perfect !

  • I just made this today. I loved it. First time I’ve ever eaten hash. This was awesome! My husband normally opens a can of hash & it totally grosses me out. I’ve never had a recipe for it. I know this is something I’ll make again!!

  • I’m surprised that after two months there are so few comments on this compared to some other recipes. My hubby and I have had this hash numerous times. It’s delicious and our new go-to satisfying treat on the weekend. I even made it with bacon once, mmmm. : ) And interesting info about the lechitin in eggs!

    • Hi Luna,

      I use coconut oil after every use. Just about 1/2 tsp. rubbed in while the pan is still warm.

      xo, Sarah B

  • Hey, this looks so well! I would like to cook this soon. I find this is a so beautifull meal. Potatoes are the best meal ever! Uli

  • Mmm, sweet potatoes are my favorite. This looks delicious, and I especially love the way you elaborate about the nutrition and backstories of ingredients.

  • This recipe looks beyond amazing, I love everything that has sweet potato in it. And I wanted to say one other thing: Your writing style is so beautiful, you put so much effort into every blog post. Truly an art!

  • My goodness, I cannot wait to try this recipe, it looks absolutely to die for!
    I’d like to say a massive thank you to you, Sarah, for your beautiful blog which inspires me so much to eat a healthier and kinder-to-the-environment diet. I am especially in love with your philosophy of I am a person who eats, not a label, which has definitely helped me with my constant internal debate.
    To say thank you for your inspiration and your awesome blog, I nominated you for a Very Inspiring Blogger Award. You can read more about it here:

    Thank you again for your amazing blog,
    Have an awesome weekend

  • This recipe is definitely my next ‘must try’. We love sweet potatoes but not the sweet / gooey / marshmallow type lots of folks make at Thanksgiving. We simply bake ours in the oven like a baked potato. Split the skins open, lots of butter and s & p and you’re ready to eat. Not the skins though. We save those for our chickens, they love them. Another great recipe for vegans is African Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew. Love those sweet potatoes.

  • I DO know about lecithin! It helps that I worked at a health food store for some time. I love that you touch on all these points. People need to hear this! Thank you for your voice.

    Sending love this holiday season and always (you stole my heart!),

  • This looks absolutely delicious, what a fantastic mix of spices. Thank you for the information on lecithin too. I didn’t know that this was in egg yolks. What was really interesting is what you said about leaving the eggs runny – I don’t normally, but now I’m always going to eat them that way.

  • Just finished eating this with my vegetarian daughter. We wolfed it back it was so delicious! I’m going to make it again and try and do some slow eating! Thanks.

  • We make this here in Hawaii too, but instead of the spices use a balsamic vinaigrette and add, craisins and cubes of feta. Your spiced version looks great so will try that next time, thank you!

  • So I’d heard of lecithin before but had no idea that our brains were primarily composed of the stuff and that you denature the nutrient when you cook it too long! Luckily, I’m a poached egg girl myself.. and this looks just gorgeous. A perfect lunch.

  • Oh, cool! I eat this for breakfast almost everyday, and have so for about two years.
    We gave it the wonderful name “gøgge” in norwegian. (Pspsps: It’s also really nice to add some smoked&dried peppers and a little splash of coconut milk.)

  • Thanks for another fantastic recipe. I made this for a cozy Saturday dinner and it tasted so good! And leftovers of the sweet potato mix the next day tasted even better.

  • I’ve made this twice now. Once with pre-ground cumin & coriander and once with the whole seeds ground in mortar. Much better with the whole seeds! Quick question, do you have any thoughts on how I might get a nice crisp on the sweet potato? For example, would putting the pan under a broiler crisp the potatoes? Thanks so much for this delicious recipe.

  • I just made this and it is to DIE for…….I will probably eat the whole thing myself…esp since I am the only one here 🙂

  • Hi, Sarah,
    I can’t wait to try this, looks scrumptious! One quick question: you don’t say if you want the red onions chopped or sliced. I’m guessing sliced as better for being caramelized?
    Thanks, Annie

  • Thankyou, Sarah! I made this last night for dinner and it was exactly the warming, comforting meal I needed on a cold, drizzling night here in the UK. I adapted and added paprika and spinach… OMNOMNOM.

  • Dear Sarah,
    I just wanted to say that I love your blog. I enjoy watching you do what you so obviously and naturally love doing and I can’t stop reading one post after another, jumping from kale to broccoli to cake – you have such a great way of putting things into words. You just LIVE it – and every sentence gives you away. 😉

    I wish you and your dear little family ♥ lots of luck and happiness and please do keep up writing and inspiring us through mynewroots.

  • This is such a simple and yummy recipe! I love how the spices make it a warm dish and the runny yolk is just… the way to make it perfect <3 Thanks for sharing this and your lovely rituals as well. I don't have any set for the moment but I am sure that I get used to have some funny ones 🙂

  • Wowza! To the recipe & to your lovely site, in general. As an ihn-alumni who’s also found herself on the euro-side of things (switzerland), I totally feel both ritual & lecithin (runny eggs 4eva) talk. <3

  • Looks so delicious. But I gotta ask who HASN’T heard of lecithin?. Back in the early health food movement (many decades ago and since) it’s been a standard topping over cereal and in protein drinks. The best source of lecithin is of course a good fertile egg yolk since lecithin granules are highly processed. This dish is making me seriously hungry.

    • I haven’t heard of it … and probably many others like me who are new to this healthy way of thinking about food and life. Sarah’s introduction to great information like this is precisely why I love her blog so much. Just because you know something, it doesn’t mean everyone else does.

      Thank you, Sarah!

  • I will definitely try this recipe. Sweet potatoes are very healthy to eat. Looks delish! Thanks for the recipe!

  • Ooh yeah, this is my kind of cold-weather comfort food for sure. But of course most everything you make is right up my alley. And I agree, dinners with good friends is so special, and I love your idea to make it a potluck so the burden of hosting is spread out. I’m going to start doing this!!

  • It looks so good and so comforting, exactly what’s needed this time of the year.
    Rituals are so important, one of my favourite is having a little bit of cheese on top of bread with my husband while we are chatting about our day and how it went.
    Just simple and mandatory.

  • Guys even though naturally occurring lecithin is good for us, soy lecithin is completely awful and should be avoided. “Soy lecithin comes from sludge left after crude soy oil goes through a “degumming” process. It is a waste product containing solvents and pesticides and has a consistency ranging from a gummy fluid to a plastic solid. Before being bleached to a more appealing light yellow, the color of soy lecithin ranges from a dirty tan to reddish brown.” It’s important to be wary of packaged foods that contain soy lecithin, as marketing companies can get away with just writing ‘lecithin’ even if it’s actually toxic soy lecithin. And then there’s the issue of how genetically modified most soy products are.

    I love hash pans and can’t wait to try this! I currently have some pumpkin in the oven to make your pumpkin bread <3

  • I made this to go with dinner tonight, sans the eggs. It was delicious and satisfying! I’ll have leftovers for breakfast tomorrow with a couple of soft-boiled eggs. Thanks for the inspiration! And info on the importance of keeping the egg yolks runny.

  • Sarah – this looks oh-so-savory and delicious! My kids love eggs and sweet potatoes so I think this will be a hit in our house! We get our eggs from my aunt’s hens so we always have a large supply 🙂 Thanks, as always, for the inspiration!

  • I can totally imagine that being a great centre-of-the-table meal, and perhaps even a decent dish if you’re having friends over for breakfast or brunch! Every Saturday, rain or shine, my parents and I go to the local growers market and load up on fresh produce, then go to the library and eventually a cafe – always in that order. It’s such a comforting, familiar ritual that we just can’t do without. Lucky for us it’s a healthy one, too!

  • One of my kids is in grad school, one a senior in college. So now, whenever we are together, it feels like an important ritual to me. Even if it’s just a goofy group text thread about someone’s dinner or a big paper, the unity of our family of four remains sacred to us all. We will overcome a November blizzard to come together for Thanksgiving, the best ritual of all.
    Sarah, your blog is wonderful, your pictures are full of the light that emanates straight from your pure heart. I am grateful for you this year!

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  • We definitely eat this at least once a month in my household. But we alter it sometimes to use up the contents of our fridge. I often add portobello mushrooms, potatoes, kale. Delicious!

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