A Winter Dinner – Roast Beef & Baked Yams

By Bev Laumann, Author of A Taste of The Good Life: A Cookbook for IC & OAB


As a kid I looked forward to winter. Though a cold wind-driven rain made getting me to school a challenge for the adults in my life, it offered my childish mischievousness an outlet: puddles to stomp and splash in. So what if I got wet and cold? “Your hands are like ice!” my mom would exclaim as she shoved another layer of warm clothing on me. “Cold? Really?” I thought to myself. I suppose they were cold although the sensation didn’t bother me. But as an adult I think I somehow became more sensitive to cold. And since my IC set in, just the thought of shivering outside in cold weather makes my muscles tighten and my bladder ache.

These days I nervously scan my wardrobe on winter mornings wondering if I can layer on enough clothes to keep warm without looking silly. An IC friend recently confided how she discovered the drawbacks of a too-short coat: a frozen backside that brought on a major case of aching bladder. Just today another fellow IC patient was reminiscing about how her bladder symptoms first came on during a skiing trip. And for the last ten years my IC has helped spawn “thermostat wars” at our house every winter: Charlie feels the place is roasting hot. Sweating, he turns the heater thermostat down as he walks by. Two minutes later I walk by and turn it up. Brrr… it’s cold in here.

If watching snow settle from a house warmed by baking is your idea of wintertime enjoyment too, then you might like this oven-baked winter dinner. Almonds and fragrant orange combine with yams in a delightful Southern dish. The recipe makes an ample amount for two family dinners. A beef roast is a wonderful complement to the yams and also a way to solve a lot of food-related problems with minimum work– buy a big roast that allows enough for two dinners on the weekend and some leftovers to slice thinly for sandwiches the following week. (A home-cooked roast is an easy way to supply yourself with preservative- free lunch meat.)

Just add some steamed green beans and warm french bread to the roast and the yams to round out a great winter meal.

Nutmeg-Rubbed Beef Roast

  1. In a small dish combine 2 teaspoons of cooking oil, 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon of ground allspice. Rub the spices liberally over the surface of the meat. Pierce well with a fork on all surfaces. Oven-roast as usual.

Orange-Almond Yams

– serves 8

  • 3 lbs. sweet potatoes, cooked; or two 15-oz cans cooked yams
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup apricot nectar
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 3 tsp. grated orange peel
  • 1 Tbsp. margarine
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  1. Place cooked, sliced yams or sweet potatoes in a 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a saucepan combine brown sugar, cornstarch, salt and cinnamon. Stir in apricot nectar, hot water and orange peel. Bring to a boil and, stirring constantly, cook for two minutes. Remove from heat; stir in margarine and almonds. Pour over yams. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Notes: This is a great recipe for winter dinners. It can be made ahead and refrigerated, then warmed in the oven or microwave. Some people can get away with the apricot nectar and some can’t. If the apricot nectar is too acid for you, substitute pear nectar or try adding 1/8 teaspoon of tsp. of baking soda to the apricot nectar.