Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

I have already expressed my love for diced baked sweet potatoes. When I found this recipe on Instagram I tagged my sister because I thought she would like it. I also added it to my virtual menu ideas list but hadn’t made it yet. On Monday I got an email from my sister saying that she had tried “it was DELICIOUS” (the all caps are from her!).

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

It just so happened that we had been invited to a dinner at our neighbors house the next night and I needed something to bring. Hello this!

Side note about the dinner: some Navy Seals live across the street from us and 2 of them are going on deployment to South Africa next month. They hosted a Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years event since they won’t be back until after the first of the year. The event was complete with:

  • Halloween candy bowls which included mini airplane liquor bottles. I joked that Hudson wasn’t allowed to treat or treat at their house!
  • a full on Thanksgiving dinner with turkey, ham and all the sides
  • Christmas garland, lights, Christmas music playing and Elf on the Shelf AND
  • New Years party hats and champagne

Such a fun idea to also do with family or friends that you can’t spend every holiday with.

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

Since I have all of the ingredients and only got a small bite yesterday, I think I’m going to make more for dinner!

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

  • about 1 1/4 pounds sweet potatoes (about 2 jumbo), washed, peeled, and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • one 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced (or sub 2-3 tablespoons of chopped chives)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced small
  • 1 cup corn (I use frozen that I allowed to thaw)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, minced (about half of 1 bunch)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (lime juice may be substituted)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste

Method

  • Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or spray with cooking spray and add the sweet potatoes in an even, flat layer. Evenly drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and bake for about 45 minutes, or until fork-tender and done. Halfway through baking flip potatoes to ensure even cooking. Baking time will vary based on size of potatoes, oven and climate variances, and I recommend starting to check at 30 minutes for doneness. While potatoes bake, prep and chop the remaining ingredients.
  • To a large bowl, add the black beans, green onions, red pepper, corn, cilantro; set aside.
  • To a large measuring cup or small bowl, add the honey, dijon mustard, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and whisk to combine; set aside.
  • After potatoes are cooked, add them to the bowl with the beans and vegetables, add the sauce and toss to combine. Taste, check for seasoning balance (add more salt, pepper, touch of honey, lemon juice, etc.), make any necessary tweaks and serve.
  • Potato salad can be served warm, at room temp, or chilled and will keep airtight in the fridge.

Recipe from Averie Cooks

Baked Sweet Potato Bites

Before I started making sweet potatoes like this about six months ago I may have eaten them 2-3 times a year. I baked them whole and I would eat it but I would get grunts and groans from the guys in the house. Then the only other time was at Thanksgiving or Christmas when they were covered with yummy walnut topping in the form of a casserole.

Once you prepare them this way I promise you’ll want them more often!

diced sweet potatoes

I use a veggie peeler to remove the skin but I’m not super careful about it. You could probably even skip that step. Then I slice the sweet potatoes in 3-4 sections lengthwise (depending on the size). Then cut them into a dice and try to keep them about the same size. Otherwise you’ll have mushy pieces and burnt pieces 🙂

melting coconut oil

Before baking melt a tablespoon of coconut oil (per 2 sweet potatoes) in the microwave and drizzle it over the diced potatoes. Season with salt and a bit of pepper and toss around with your fingers to coat. Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. A shorter amount of time will work if you have diced them very small and bake longer for a more crunchy result (but be careful not to burn!).

baked diced sweet potatoes

I like to have these as a side for lunch or dinner. Here I had them for lunch with some leftover thai rice noodles and peas. They are also great with scrambled eggs, black beans and salsa for brunch. Make extra because leftovers are amazing!

Thanksgiving Menu 2014

It’s almost here!

Eatwhateveryouwantday…I mean Thanksgiving.

So who’s coming? My 2 sisters and their husbands. My 2 nephews. My 2 brothers (one is bringing a girlfriend I haven’t met!). My Mom. My fiance and son. I can’t wait to see everyone! The only partial bummer is that we have to wait to have Thanksgiving until Friday because my sister Angela has a fire-fighter husband 🙂

The not bummer at all is that my new house has a second fridge. It’s SO frivolously wonderful not have one fridge sopackedthatyoucantshutthedoor! We’re living the good life I tell you!!

Apps

Veggie Tray with ranch dip. This is a must in our family. We eat on this ALL afternoon.

Thyme and Garlic baked Camembert. To be served with misc crackers and pita.

Dinner

Baked ham.

Roasted turkey. Butter under the skin (lots!). Rosemary, thyme, garlic and onion stuffed.

Arugula salad with beets, blue cheese, walnuts and shallots. Oil/vin dressing.

Mashed potatoes. Whole milk, butter…the norm.

Stuffing. Whole Foods organic in the bag kind. Dressed up with celery, onion, fennel and shiitake mushrooms.

My sister Angela’s fab 5 cheese mac-n-cheese.

Mom is bringing sweet potato casserole, collard greens and maybe something else.

Desserts

Candied Pecans.

Sweet Potato Cheesecake with Oat Pecan Crust. Whipped cream!

My sister Angela and my Mom will both bring surprise desserts to share.

I’ll take some follow up pics so you can see how awesomely amazing everything turned out!!!

Eating Lately

I didn’t mean for the whole summer to go by!

Just to break the ice after my long absence I thought I’d share what I’ve been eating lately.

Lunches:

Grilled cheese served with Roasted Tomato Basil soup.

Homemade Tarragon Chicken Salad (leftover chicken breast, celery, red onion, tarragon, Vegenaise, dijon) with a few rice crackers and diced, baked sweet potatoes.

Tarragon Chicken salad

Another day for lunch I had the same diced, baked sweet potatoes with about a 1/2 cup of black beans, a fried egg and some salsa on the side.

Hummus, tuna salad, sliced cucumber and rice crackers.

Dinners:

Shrimp, tarragon and arugula quinoa…based on this recipe. This time I didn’t chop the shrimp, added 4 cloves of garlic instead of 1 and I made extra quinoa for a quinoa pancakes recipe I want to try this weekend!

Shrimp tarragon quinoa mix

 

Grilled Sriracha Honey Mustard Beef Kebabs from this recipe. I made some beef and some chicken and also added mushrooms and peppers. I accidentally picked some fiery ones and my fiance and son (who normally put hot sauce on everything) said to never buy those again. Lots of water drinking happened!

Seared salmon and an iceberg salad with tomatoes, cucumber, green onion and feta.

Salsa Verde Sour Cream Enchiladas. I also made a batch of Southwestern Salsa with Corn and Black Beans. I ate scoop with the enchiladas but really it was a make ahead so I could have it with a fried egg for upcoming lunches.

One day after doing a weights workout in the morning and biking over 4 miles that afternoon we went out to eat for dinner at Dockside. I had a greek salad topped with grilled med-rare tuna.

After searching Craigslist and looking at new bikes in local shops, I bought a used Trek beach cruiser bike this past week. I had looked at it earlier that day and returned to the same store because it was my favorite of all the ones I’d looked at…one small detail…I didn’t know it was used. When I told the store employee I wanted it (a different guy than had helped me earlier) he said, “Did you know it was used, ma’am?”. I asked how much it was and immediately knew I’d made the right decision. Instead of the new price of over $450 I got it for $250! Of course then I had to go and buy a detachable basket!

Trek beach crusier

Trek cruiser on a trail

Sweet Potato, Walnut and Goat Cheese Quinoa Salad

quinoa and sweet potatoes

It’s snowing here and I’m ready for summer. Not gonna happen soon enough for me! Snow just makes you tired! Here’s proof…my fiance got off work, ate dinner and immediately fell asleep. This does-not-happen-ever when the weather is warm. Snow is the devil! 🙂

Travis and Randolph

At least quinoa can be amazing when everything else is dreary. Really, quinoa can be better than dessert. Well…ok…now you have lost faith and don’t believe me. Anyone there???

Sweet Potato, Walnut and Goat Cheese Quinoa Salad

Sweet Potato, Walnut and Goat Cheese Quinoa Salad

Sweet Potato, Walnut and Goat Cheese Quinoa Salad

  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 1/4 cups chicken stock (or water, veg stock etc)
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1-2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

For the dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons EVOO
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Method

  • Add water or chicken broth, quinoa and diced sweet potato to a small pot and bring to boil. Lower temp and let simmer for 15-20 minutes, checking periodically, until all water/broth is absorbed and quinoa has cooked.
  • Add cooked quinoa to a serving bowl and stir to fluff. Add walnuts and dressing and stir to combine. Top with goat cheese and a fresh ground pepper.

Sweet Potato and Oatmeal Dog Biscuits

Why am I making dog biscuits? At least this is what I asked myself as I cleaned all the flour-y mess from my counter tops. Answer: because I saw the recipe, had all the ingredients and wanted to experiment! Walter and Randolph thank me!

my goldendoodle and labradoodle eating homemade treats

Here they are in an airtight container for storage:

sweet potato and oatmeal dog treats

Hungry yet? 🙂

sweet potato and oatmeal dog treats

Sweet Potato and Oatmeal Dog Biscuits

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, baked
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups white wheat flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a bowl mix peeled sweet potato together with the egg. Add flour and cinnamon and mix until combined. Fold in oatmeal. If dough is too wet add more flour.
  • Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick cut out with cookie cutter any shape. Fill your cookie sheets. Bake for 35-40 minutes until biscuits are hard to the touch. Let them cool and place in air tight container.
  • Makes 2 dozen large size dog bone shaped treats!

From Just A Pinch

Sweet Potato Biscuits

Sweet Potato Biscuits

If you have a leftover sweet potato and like biscuits you have to try these! I never, like ever, make biscuits. I think the last time I made them from scratch was when I was a kid and we would make them for dinner sometimes.

You don’t even taste the sweet potato but it adds a beautiful color and moistness to the biscuits!

Sweet Potato Biscuits

  • 3/4 cup mashed sweet potatoes (1 large or 2 medium sweet potatoes), baked and chilled in the fridge
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting if needed
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

Method

  • Preheat oven to 425º F. Mix the sweet potato purée with the buttermilk and honey. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and the salt, stirring to mix. Add the butter. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour until crumbly. Incorporate the sweet potato mixture until a soft dough is formed.
  • Form the dough into balls with your hands using a little flour if sticky. Place in a lightly greased baking pan and press down gently to flatten a little.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes until tops are just turning a golden brown along the edges. Remove from oven. Serve warm with extra butter and honey, if desired.
  • Makes 12-14 biscuits.

Recipe Slightly adapted from Food For My Family

 

BluePrint Cleanse – Preparation Day 1

Day 1 is about over and so far I’m feeling great!

Here’s what I ate:

Breakfast

  • 1 baked sweet potato sprinkled with cinnamon
  • 2 large cups Lemon Zinger tea
  • room temp water

Exercise

  • walked 5 miles

Lunch

  • 1 serving quinoa (1/4 cup), cooked in water and 1 leek (cut in half, washed thoroughly and cut into thin half moon shapes)
  • 1 can Whole Foods skipjack tuna packed in water. I planned to wait until dinner to have any fish but I was really hungry when I started cooking the quinoa (it takes about 15 minutes to cook).I had planned to do my shopping for the week at Whole Foods in the afternoon so the cupboards were bare.
  • 1 cup Lemon Zinger tea

Snack

  • My younger brother Isaac works at Whole Foods in Short Pump and I got to see him! Bonus! I bought a container of pre-cut organic pineapple while I was shopping and ate it after unpacking the groceries. 

Ingredients for Fennel and Orange salad

Dinner

  • Baked Salmon with a little pepper and a couple of sprays of Bragg Liquid Aminos.
  • Butter lettuce salad with pomegranate arils, shaved fennel, avocado, shallots and orange with a citrus dressing (orange zest, juice, extra virgin olive oil and a little kosher salt and pepper).

Salmon on Fennel and Orange salad

Today was a lot of work in planning what I was going to eat over the next couple days and then shopping for everything. One thing I didn’t realize until after I made my blog post last night is that I have to do a three day “post cleanse” after my three days of juicing. The suggested menu is about the same as the three preparation days. That makes a total of nine days of needing to be very conscious about what I eat. Apparently it’s really important to slowly introduce food back to your system.

The brand of juice I decided to go with is the BluePrint cleanse. I ordered three days of their Foundation Cleanse. It’s organic, raw and unpasteurized. There are a couple of reasons I decided to buy the juice instead of making it myself:

  • Reason #1: I don’t own a juicer. I have never juiced before and I don’t know how I will feel about it. I want to make sure that I like it. If this works out then I might do this every few months. In between it would be cool to make juices for breakfast or lunch.
  • Reason #2: It’s easier. My spring semester at school started last week and the BluePrint juices are bottled and numbered according to the order you need to drink them during the day. I can take them to class in a cooler bag if I need to…EASY!

Grilled T-bone Steak, Steamed Broccoli and Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Sometimes I wonder what I should post here on my blog and what I shouldn’t. Should I wait for a “great” recipe? Should I wait until everything on the plate is perfect? I think the answer is “no”. Tonight’s dinner was yummy! The T-bone steak was mainly for Travis but he shared a few bites with me (which is all that I wanted anyway). He decided to go play some basketball with Devin after I started cooking. By the time he grilled the steak, the broccoli (which had been staying warm on a low temperature) was slightly overcooked….but it didn’t stop us from gobbling it all up! It wasn’t perfect but it tasted good!

Here is the large T-bone waiting for seasoning.

The broccoli, right before I put the top on it so that it could steam.

Cooked, diced sweet potatoes.

Grilled T-bone Steak, Steamed Broccoli and Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 1, 1.5 pound T-bone steak
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • Kosher salt & pepper
  • 1 large head of broccoli
  • 3 average sized sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter (divided)
  • 1/2 cup lowfat sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons of chives

Preparation

  • For the steak: place the steak on a plate or platter. Sprinkle on both sides with salt and pepper. Crush the garlic with a garlic press using 2 cloves for each side of the steak. I use a fork to distribute the garlic over the steak and kind of press it into the steak. Let it sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes. Grill to desired doneness (we like medium-rare).
  • For the broccoli: Wash broccoli. Cut the stem ends off. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the outer layer off of the stem section. Slice the stem into rounds, then cut into florets. In a large sauce pan add about a 3/4 cup of water, bring to simmer and add broccoli. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and some salt and pepper. Put a top on the saucepan and let it simmer for 8-10 minutes.
  • For the sweet potatoes: Peel and dice potatoes. Add to a pan with cold water and then bring to a boil. Simmer until they are fork tender, drain. Add 1 tablespoon of butter, sour cream and salt and pepper, then mash. When ready to serve sprinkle with chives and stir to combine.
Had to take a picture of the chives. I love their light onion-y flavor!

Dinner time!

Sweet Potato Pound Cake

Do you ever make a recipe solely because you had an ingredient in your cabinet that needs to be used? I have had this can of pureed sweet potato that I bought at Trader Joe’s over a year ago. I pass by it every once and a while and always think, “I need to use this.” Well today I did the same thing (hello spring cleaning), except I also glanced at the expiration date and noticed it was July 2012. I hate waste and this was a great excuse to make cake!!!

I found Sing For Your Supper Blog while blog searching a couple of days ago while searching for Mexican food recipes and she has a recipe for a pumpkin cake that looked excellent. I decided to sub the pumpkin for sweet potato and go for it!

Sweet Potato Pound Cake

(Adapted from Sing For Your Supper Blog)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 can, sweet potato puree (15 ounces)
  • 1 package vanilla pudding mix
  • confectioner’s sugar, for dusting

Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix sugars and oil together. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well in between. Add sweet potato. Mix dry ingredients together including flour, spices and pudding mix in a separate bowl. Add about a cup at a time of the dry ingredients to the wet stirring to combine. Spray bundt pan using butter baking spray and pour mixture into pan making sure that it’s even. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 5 minutes (check with toothpick to make sure cake is done).
  • Cool for about 10 minutes before removing cake from pan. Let cool. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar.

After 10 minutes of resting it was time for dusting!

I made my son, Devin, take this picture. He did grunt first!

This cake recipe is a keeper. It is crispy around the edges and moist and gooey-good on the inside. Sweet enough to be a dessert but also light tasting so that you could have a piece with coffee in the morning!