MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - Jan 19, 2012) - (Family Features) Can you really cook delicious, wholesome dishes that are also easy to make? It's not a trick question -- the answer, according to cookbook author Holly Clegg, is most definitely "yes."

"I'm all about no-fuss, flavorful and nutritious cooking," says Clegg, also known as The Queen of Quick. "And one of my go-to ingredients for that is the sweet potato."

Clegg says that sweet potatoes grown in Louisiana are also called yams. But no matter what you call them, they come in several convenient forms that make cooking great meals something that is truly sweet and simple.

In these recipes, Clegg has used Louisiana sweet potatoes in four convenient forms:
--Canned sweet potatoes -- for her Yummy Yam Quick Bread with Crumble Topping.
--Fresh sweet potatoes -- in savory Butter Pecan Roasted Sweet Potatoes.
--Bruce's Pancake Mix -- as the basis for her crunchy Sweet Potato Loaded Cookies.
--Alexia Frozen Sweet Potatoes -- in a hearty Southwestern Beef Casserole with Sweet Potato Waffle Fries Topping.

To get more easy and delicious recipes, visit www.sweetpotato.org.

Southwestern Beef Casserole with Sweet Potato Waffle Fries Topping
A fast-fix, meaty dinner made with pantry-friendly ingredients and flair.

Makes 6 servings
1 pound ground sirloin
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 14 1/2-ounce can chopped tomatoes (fire roasted)
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 10-ounce can 98 percent fat free cream of chicken soup
2 cups Alexia frozen sweet potato waffle fries

Preheat oven 375°F. Coat 9-inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

In large skillet, cook meat until done; drain any excess liquid.

Add black beans, tomatoes and corn to pan, mixing well. Transfer to prepared baking dish.

Cover meat mixture evenly with cream of chicken soup and top with waffle fries. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until fries are done and casserole is bubbly.

Butter Pecan Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Easier than a sweet potato casserole but with the same sweet flavors -- candied yams at their finest with a surprise of cayenne.

Makes 4 cups
6 cups peeled Louisiana yam cubes (about 1/2-inch cubes)
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/8 teaspoon cayenne

Preheat oven 400°F. Line baking sheet with foil.

Spread cubed yams evenly on pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, turning after 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and sprinkle with butter, brown sugar, pecan pieces and cayenne.

Return to oven and continue baking 10 to 15 minutes or until sugar is caramelized.

Yummy Yam Quick Bread
Yes, you read the recipe correctly, as these few ingredients create one of my very favorite moist lip-smacking breads.

1 18.25-ounce box spice cake mix
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 15-ounce can Bruce's Sweet Potatoes, drained and mashed
1/2 cup water
Crumble Topping, (see recipe) optional

Preheat oven 350°F. Coat 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In mixing bowl, mix together spice cake mix, cinnamon, sweet potatoes and water just until combined. Transfer to prepared pan. Sprinkle with Crumble Topping if desired.

Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Crumble Topping
This crumbly topping adds the ultimate finishing touch to the bread.
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In small bowl, mix together all ingredients.

Sweet Potato Loaded Cookies
Sweet potato pancake mix serves as a step saver and flavor booster to these outrageously delicious crunchy cookies.

Makes 3 1/2 dozen cookies
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup Bruce's Sweet Potato Pancake Mix
1 cup crisp rice cereal
1 cup oatmeal
1/3 cup flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray.

In mixing bowl, beat together butter, sugar and brown sugar until blended.

Add egg and vanilla and continue to beat on low speed until blended.

Stir in pancake mix, cereal, oatmeal and coconut. Drop by tablespoons onto lightly greased baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are light brown.

Sweet Tips for Cooking with Sweet Potatoes
--When selecting fresh yams, choose those that are smooth, plump, dry and clean.
--Yams should not be refrigerated unless cooked. Store at 55°F to 65°F.
--One cup of canned sweet potatoes equals one medium-sized, cooked fresh sweet potato.
--When using canned yams, add them at the end of the recipe because they are already pre-cooked.

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