It’s a phenomenal career trajectory for Natalie Leticia Morales, who went from East coast to West coast as the anchor of the Today Show, and just came out with a gorgeous cookbook titled At Home with Natalie (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2018).
Wait. Natalie Leticia Morales? Yes, we share the name Leticia! And that’s just the beginning, we also share a passion for Brazilian culture and cooking!
At Home with Natalie, features recipes like Tortilla Espanola, Huevos Rancheros, Ropa Vieja, Brazilian Style Kebabs, Black Bean Veggie Burger, Berry Parfait with Coconut Granola Crumble to name a few.The book really feels like a rare invitation to her home, to meet her family and cook recipes that belong in her cultural backround.
The first time I went on the Today Show, I was promoting my own cookbook The Brazilian Kitchen. I was incredibly nervous and excited to do a segment with Natalie, whose mother is Brazilian and speaks fluent Portuguese and Spanish. She also lived in Brazil, Panama, and Spain as a “U.S. Air Force brat”, so I knew I had to make things right.
I was wondering if she would make me feel nervous during the segment. She didn’t. I was wondering if she would be as kind in person as she appears on TV. She was. I was wondering if she would look as beautiful in person as she is on TV. Even more! I was wondering if she would write a blurb for my book. She did! And it helped me tremendously!
With Natalie, it’s like this: What you see is what you get!
If you are as big a fan of Natalie as I am, you can get more of her in the cookbook. I have been making the recipes mentioned above and I’m delighted to share one my favorite recipes from her book here on my blog. This Healthy Sweet Potato Salad is pretty easy to prepare and already became part of my lunch repertoire.
To know more about Natalie, visit her web site Natalie Morales.me
Healthy Sweet Potato Salad
4 large sweet potatoes (2 ½ to 3lbs), peeled, and cut into 1-inch cubes
½ cup + 3 tablespoons EVOO
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup tiny sliced celery (about 3 stalks)
½ small red onion, thinly sliced
½ cup thawed and shelled frozen edamame
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
- Pre-heat the oven to 400˚F.
- Put the cubed potatoes on a large baking sheet, drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil, ensuring all of the cubes are coated. Spread the potatoes in a single layer. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and browned, stirring them halfway through roasting time. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, stir together the celery, red onion, and edamame. Stir the potatoes into the onion mixture and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ¼ cup olive oil, lemon juice, and mustard. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the potatoes and toss gently. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the parsley and chives and serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate, adding the herbs just before serving. Sprinkle with pepitas if you like to add crunch.