Apr 02, 2015

Caribbean Sweet Potato Salad + My Caribbean Cruise

Greetings, beautiful readers! Gosh, I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve posted a recipe for you. Alas, I was sailing the big, blue sea! My lovely mother treated me to a cruise for my birthday this year. How awesome is she?! It was my first time aboard a “luxury cruise liner” and it was quite an experience…

First, an interesting thing: I LOST weight on the cruise!!! Gee, Helyn, how can you lose weight on a cruise with all that amazing food?  Well, I lost weight BECAUSE of all the “amazing” food, which was not exactly amazing in my book. Amazingly unhealthy, yes. But I basically lived on fruits and salads. I did partake in a couple of sinful desserts and once I had lobster. Yes. I did. But, for the most part, it was a very challenging culinary experience for this nutritarian. By the end of the week, I had finally figured out a few things… I found that I could get gluten-free bread and waffles at the waffle bar. And I discovered a little fridge near the coffee and beverage area that contained soy milk and rice milk. Score! I also discovered that I could ask for plain beans at the salad bar (most of the prepared bean salads had oil or mayonnaise and meat, of course). There was a vegetarian menu at the dinner restaurant, which I ordered from a couple of times but was disappointed.

The best part of the whole cruise was spending time with my dear Mamma. And it was fun in many other ways—we did some excursions and attended some wonderful shows on board. And the staff pampered us like we were queens… wait a minute, we are! 🙂 See below for some photos from the trip.

While on this beautiful ship, I was able to garner a couple of ideas for new recipes! This salad was served at a barbecue on the beautiful Half Moon Cay, a small island in the Bahamas. Theirs had white potatoes and no doubt, oil. It was super yummy though, so I’ve recreated it here for you, omitting the white spuds and adding black beans and coconut. It’s simple, hearty and very tasty!


  • 3 medium sized sweet potatoes
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen and thawed corn niblets
  • 2 cups cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup coconut flakes
  • juice of one lime
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 TBS chopped green onion
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • a few twists freshly grated black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Peel and cube the potatoes into about 1″ pieces.
  4. Place the potato chunks onto the baking tray and lightly spray coat the cubes with oil (optional).
  5. Bake for 45 minutes until tender and a little dry on the edges.
  6. Sprinkle on the coconut flakes and bake for another 5 minutes to toast lightly (your kitchen will smell like heaven!).
  7. Remove and let cool.
  8. Add remaining ingredients and toss well to combine.

Serves 6 as a side dish. Enjoy!

Healthy trails,

Our stunning ship… the ms Westerdam!
Mom and me, ready to set sail!
The chef’s attempt at Pad Thai… not the greatest but A+ for effort!
A dessert which I did not have… lemon jello topped with lemon mousse and 
whipped cream. I thought the presentation was amazing in the champaign glass!
This gluten-free bread on the ship rocked!!! WHERE do I find it? Not in the states, sadly.
Formal dinner night!
Met this adorable guy on our kitchen tour… what a gorgeous veggie arrangement! 
Our lovely stateroom.
I could have had the entire gallon of this freshly squeezed passion fruit juice on the island of St. Thomas!
Sunset from the observation deck.
St. Thomas from the top of the mountain!
Chillin’ on Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas!
Thanks for viewing!

8 responses to “Caribbean Sweet Potato Salad + My Caribbean Cruise”

  1. How wonderful that you and your mom had the opportunity to take a cruise together! You both look healthy, happy, and rested. Good for you that you made good healthy food choices with all the temptation the cruise. Your salad looks amazing. You should send your recipe to the chef!

  2. Helyn says:

    Aw, thanks Judee! Yes, the chefs need some better vegan recipes, that's for sure!!

  3. The pictures of you and your mother are gorgeous! (Will that happen to me? :^D) I'm more psyched to visit my nephew in Hawaii now, and enjoy all the tropical fruits. It sounds like you did a fairly good job of navigating rough terrain and getting yourself fed semi-properly.

  4. Helyn says:

    Thanks you, Bethery! Yes, it got easier towards the end of the trip 🙂

  5. Rose Weiss says:

    I made this delicious dish yesterday cut down to serve two, but I didn't have any coconut, which I'm sure adds a special flavor. I added crushed unsalted peanuts to help balance the sweetness of the sweet potato. The other small change was that I didn't peel the potato before roasting it. I started peeling it, then thought, "Wait, I usually eat all the peel of any potato!" so I left more than half of it on. It was a white-skinned potato, so that didn't mar the appearance of the finished dish. Oh, and I added a couple of dashes of cayenne. Thanks for your creative recipes.

  6. Helyn says:

    Oh, I love the idea of adding the peanuts, Rose! Thanks for your feedback! 🙂

  7. Rose Weiss says:

    I bought some unsweetened coconut shreds today and added a little to my left-overs. Wow! The coconut, even a small amount, really adds a special touch! I'm sure it's even better when the coconut is roasted with the sweet potatoes. I'm keeping this dish in mind for the next potluck I attend… There are always omnis present who are suspicious of any vegan dish, and this will knock their socks off!

  8. Helyn says:

    Yay! Thanks, Rose!

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