BLACK FOODIE BATTLE Recap: Sweet Potato Edition

a round waffle on a white plate topped with sugar and strawberry halves.

The BLACKFOODIE BATTLE: Sweet Potato edition was fierce. Each dish was a unique reflection of the diaspora and we were surprised there wasn’t a pie in sight. Check out the recipes from our challengers below.

Kirbee’s Sweet Potato Waffle

Kirby sweet pot waffle


  • 1 cup Sweet Potato
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract


  1. Boil Sweet Potatoes (about 2 medium sized sweet potatoes)
  2. Heat waffle iron
  3. Sift all dry ingredients except cinnamon twice
  4. Mix Cinnamon, whipping cream, vegetable oil and eggs
  5. Combine dry ingredients and wet ingredients together in a bowl.
  6. Grease waffle iron and cook to your preferred texture
  7. Top with cinnamon, powdered sugar  and vanilla whipping cream
  8. Enjoy!

Chef Simeon’s Sweet Potato Grits Bowl 



(Serves 2 entrée or 4 appetizers)

1 ½ lbs sweet potato

¼ cup diced white onion

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 ½ cups heirloom grits

1/ cup cooked seasoned blackeye peas

4 sprigs fresh thyme

1 cup coconut milk

¼ cup popcorn kernels

1 cup local greens (I used ramps as those are in season. Collards, mustards or kale can be substituted)

2 ½ cup virgin unsweetened coconut oil (Substitute peanut or vegetable oil)

2 cups Distilled water for the grits (You may need a little more according to the type of grits you use)

Salt and Pepper to taste


For a sense of nostalgia, I use a cast iron pot handed down to me, but any heavy bottom pot will do.

Wash and peel the potatoes well. (For this recipe we are going to use the potato 3 ways)

Firstly, slice ½ lb. of potato very thinly using a mandolin or a sharp knife. Run the slices under cold water for about 1 minute.  Then medium dice 1 lb. of the potato uniformly. Just like Mamma taught us do not waste anything. Take the trimmings and fine dice those to add to the “sofrito” of the dish.

In a hot skillet a1/4 cup coconut oil then the onion and garlic. Add the minced potato, peas, trimmings and dice potato as well. Sautee for about 4 minutes. Add the coconut milk and the water. Bring to a boil. Gently add the grits and stir vigorously. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Keisha’s Sweet Potato Beef Patties 

Keisha Cook Sweet Potato Beef Pattyjpg 1


1 Tbsp Curry Powder

1/8 Cup Caribbean Seasoning

Ground Beef

½ tsp sugar

½ tsp salt

2 cups flour

1 sweet potato

½ cup cold cubed butter

1 ½ cup water (or less)

¾ cup red onion diced

1 egg


  1. Wrap sweet potato in foil and place in 425 degree oven for 1 hour (or until soft). Next, add the sweet potato to a food processor until you have a smooth puree.
  2. For the dough, mix together the flour, curry powder, salt, and sugar. Add the cold butter and mix until chunky. Add ½ cup of the sweet potato puree to the flour and butter mixture. Once combined, add small amounts of water until the mixture forms into a dough. Cool in fridge for 25-30 minutes.
  3. For the meat, heat a pan with 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Add the ground beef and the Caribbean seasoning. When the meat is halfway done, add the red onions. Cook until finished. Place in the fridge for 25 minutes.
  4. Flour a clean surface for your dough. Roll out the dough into a thin layer. Use a bowl to cut circles in the dough.
  5. Beat the egg in a bowl. Place meat mixture in the center of the dough, and brush the edged with the egg wash. Fold the dough over and use a fork to press the edges down.
  6. Place patties on a greased cooking sheet for 20-25 minutes.
  7. Enjoy

Gladys‘ Sweet Potato SAMBUXAS

Sweet Potato sambusa

Ingredients for Pastry:

  • 1  sweet potato
  • 2  cups flour
  • 4 tsp  vegetable oil
  • ½ cup  warm water

Ingredients for fillings:

  • 1  sweet potato
  • 2  red onions
  • 4  garlic cloves
  • 3 tbsp seasoning(cumin, salt, pepper)
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • ½ cup red bell pepper
  • ½ cup carrot
  • 2 cups  ground beef
  • 1 cup  scallions


Directions for Pastry

  1. Dough: Into a stand mixer, mix 1 cup of mashed sweet potato, 1 cup of flour and 4 tbsp of vegetable oil. Add a 2nd cup of flour and ¼ cup of warm water and mix thoroughly until a dough is formed. Let the dough rest for 20 min at room temperature.
  2. Cut dough into 8 pieces and form into balls. Use a rolling pin to stretch out dough and cover flattened dough with flour. After all 8 balls are flattened, stack them on top of each other and add a generous layer of flour in between. Use a rolling pin to further stretch out dough while stacked.
  3. In a preheated oven (350°) bake dough for 5min on each side.
  4. After the dough has cooled down, gently separate 8 layers of pastry.
  5. Restack the 8 layers of thin pastry and cut vertically approximately 4 fingers wide.

Directions for fillings

  1. Boil sweet potatoes until fully cooked. Peel and mash sweet potatoes.
  2. Finely dice onions, garlic, carrots, red bell peppers and finely chop cilantro, scallions and spinach.
  3. In a heated pan add vegetable oil and saute the onions. Add cumin, salt, pepper and garlic. Remove half of the onions and save for beef filling.
  4. Vegetable filling: Add carrots, red bell peppers and spinach to a hot pan and saute until spinach is cooked. Add sauteed vegetables to half of the mashed sweet potatoes. Add finely chopped scallions.
  5. Beef filling: Into a hot pan add sauteed onions, ground beef and seasoning (cumin, salt, pepper). Cook beef thoroughly. Add cooked beef to mashed sweet potatoes. Add finely chopped scallions

Let fillings cool down & fill pastry – see video for sambuxa flooding directions.

Giselle’s Sweet Potato Chickpea burger 

Screen Shot 2020 05 07 at 7.24.01 PM


2 to 3 medium sweet potatoes

1 Tin canned chickpeas aka channa

2 to 3 medium sweet potatoes

1 Teaspoon garlic powder

1 Teaspoon chilli powder

1 Teaspoon all-purpose seasoning

1 Teaspoon lemon and chilli powder

1/4 Cup to 1/2 cup of cornmeal (can use bread crumbs)

1 Teaspoon tomato paste

1 Teaspoon blended ginger

Salt to taste

1 Teaspoon black pepper

3 Teaspoon of blended green seasoning (blend in 200 mls of water,this consists of spring onions, spanish thyme, small leaf thyme 1/2 onion, 1 head of garlic seasoning peppers or pimento pepper, 1/4 scotch bonnet pepper, coriander, celery and parsley) then use 3 teaspoon or more to your liking.


1.Scrub sweet potato skin clean,use a metal fork and poke 4 to 5 times

2.Place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper

3.Place in preheated oven at 200°C fan assisted oven or 400°F

4.Allow to bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour allow to rest for 5 mins

Pre heat oven for baking burgers at 190°C or 360°F

5.Open Chick peas aka channa, drain and place in mixing bowl

6.Use a spoon or scoop and scoop out the insides of the baked sweet potato,

7.Place in bowl with chickpeas and use a potato crusher to crush ingredients together crush until combined,but rustic

8.Add blended green seasonings,dry seasonings and herbs mix well with spoon

9.Add cornmeal mix and together until mixture forms

10.Use a 1/2 cup scoop to scoop out mixture onto a grease proof pre-lined baking tray

11.Place on a pre-heated oven and bake for 45minutes at 190°C in a fan assisted oven or 360°F check after 30 minutes to ensure it is not burnt turn over to allow finish cooking

For salads:

Your choice of lettuce,cucumbers, sweet peppers ,green,red or yellow,onions either raw or sautéed

Cabbage and carrot slaw

1/4 Small white cabbage shredded with one carrot,mix together adding three drops of distilled vinegar

Sauces can include vegan mayo, ketchup  and hot sauce or any other condiment  burger bun is optional , suitable for vegans Enjoy !!!!!

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