Many people think of sweet potatoes as a winter vegetable reserved for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners.

In truth, these golden gems are available year-round, and they hit the nutritional jackpot: One half-cup of sweet potatoes contains 90 calories, no fat or cholesterol, 380% of your daily vitamin A requirement, 35% of your vitamin C requirement and 3 g fiber (about 11% of your daily requirement).

Our weekend “steak” recipe replaces meat with sweet potatoes. Prep time is only 10 minutes, and cook time is just shy of 90 minutes.

All of the ingredients should be available at your local natural and organic food store.

Grilled Sweet Potato Steaks with Maple Pecan Butter

Makes 6 to 8 servings

4 large sweet potatoes
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Maple Pecan Butter
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons chopped pecans
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt

Wash sweet potatoes, and wrap each one in a single sheet of aluminum foil.

Preheat your grill to approximately 400°F.

Place wrapped sweet potatoes on the grill. Close lid; cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes with indirect heat, or until sweet potatoes soften.

While potatoes cook, prepare Maple Pecan Butter. Melt butter in small saucepan. Add maple syrup, pecans, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and salt. Heat mixture on low for less than 1 minute or until a layer of bubbles forms over the surface. Remove from heat, and set aside until needed.

Remove sweet potatoes from grill. Unwrap and halt cooking process by dipping them into a bowl of cold water. Place sweet potatoes on a countertop and let them cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting into 1/2-inch thick medallions.

Coat each sweet potato steak with olive oil, and lightly season with salt and pepper. Grill each steak for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Remove potato steaks from grill and serve drizzled with warm Maple Pecan Butter.

Recipe created by World Champion Pitmaster Chris Lilly. Photo courtesy of Kingsford.