Tag Archives: sweet potato

Sprouted Lentil Loaf with Sweet Potato & Mushrooms, Vegan,GF

Say what? Lentils? Sprouted? Do I plant it?

I am guessing those who are new to lentils and sprouting are thinking some of those thoughts. Well, if lentils and sprouts are new to you, allow me to introduce you. Lentils are a seriously underestimated “superfood”. They are packed with protein, iron, b vitamins, fiber and lovely properties to help balance your blood sugar and lower cholestrol. Yeah I know, you have been missing out on a seriously healthy food. Plus it gets better. When you “sprout” things you can triple the amount of nutrients in them- without lifting a finger. No it’s not exactly magic, but just nature doing its thing.

You can sprout any seeds like sunflower or even quinoa as well as beans (not outta the can silly- gotta be uncooked) and lots of other things. All you have to do is soak the grain or seed overnight in filtered water, drain and rinse it well the next morning, and let it chill on the counter in a jar or mesh strainer. You can get a fancy sprouting jar but it’s not necessary if you have a strainer. Those lentils sprouted for I think 3 or 4 days, which just means every few hours I rinsed the lentils (which is especially why I like using mesh strainer) and just let it hang out on my counter in the strainer.

So when you are sprouting you are actually re-activating enzymes that had these “enzyme inhibitors” on them otherwise they would be sprouting all the time and go bad very quickly. That is another thing- when you sprout the amount will double in size and they only last about a week so make sure you are going to eat them!

So with all of these sprouts I thought I was going to do a sprouted lentil hummus but then I changed my mind and decided to try a lentil loaf. Which is kinda funny since last week I made a Spinach Turkey Meatloaf even though I didn’t show you guys ;) Plus I just got lots of great produce like sweet potatoes, carrots and mushrooms so the decision was made! Oh and you know I’m going to tell you this was super easy right? And I don’t think I need to tell you how healthy carrots, sweet potatoes and mushrooms are…

This is the perfect lunch or dinner for the week and if you have a food processor you just made your life a whole lot easier. Oh and did I mention it’s boyfriend approved? Yes I was not even going to ask him to try it but he did- and then took another taste. And then asked if he could have some for lunch. And we know he is a mans man when it comes to all things “loaf” so I encourage you to try this on your picky men. And if you don’t want to put the tiniest bit of effort in and sprout your lentils then just cook them according to the package. There are lots of different kinds so make sure you follow the directions! :)

Ingredients:

(If you sprout, take 1 cup raw lentils and follow the sprouting directions- will make 2-3 cups)

**Ignore the broccoli in the photo above, it didn’t survive

2 cups sprouted or 2 cups cooked

1/2 sweet potato, grated

1 cup baby carrots or regular

1 white onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves

1 package preferred mushrooms, I use baby bella

1 tbsp butter or butter sub

1 tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup vegetable broth

1/4 cup cashews

soy sauce

Chili powder, cumin and coriander to taste

Directions:

-Preheat oven to 350, grab loaf pan and lightly spray with non-stick

-Chop mushrooms, carrots, garlic and cashews by placing in food processor and pulsing till roughly same size as the lentil. If its powerful enough do your sweet potato as well, but I grated mine by hand.

-To a large, deep skillet add butter, oil and veg broth to medium-high heat. Add white onion and saute for 2 minutes. Add all processed vegetables.

-Season well with salt and pepper. I also added chili powder, dash soy sauce, cumin and coriander but feel free to season as you wish. (I had wanted to use sage and thyme but I have neither right now.)

-Pulse your lentils to desired consistency, I did it till them were fairly broken up but not completely. Add them to the skillet and continue to taste and season. No perfect measurements with these things just do what taste good :)

-Press into loaf pan and cook in the oven for about 15 minutes. {I bet this would be great in muffin tin to make perfect portion size! I would double the batch and freeze the rest!}

- It will crisp the top but the inside will remain soft. If you want a crispier loaf, I suggest using day old bread as you would with bread pudding or how I make regular meatloafs using Stoufers Stuffing Mix. I would use half of the package and just mix it in at the end, you may need more liquid so add small amounts of vegetable broth. ( I can’t vouge for results though I haven’t tried this, just a suggestion)

* I wanted to keep mine gluten free so I didn’t use any bread or bread crumbs.

This would be a great vegan option for Thanksgiving!

I sliced about 7 large slices and have my lunch packed for the week now. Yummy and comforting vegan superfood! I am going to try a BBQ version of this soon so stay tuned! :)

I am thinking of making some mashed cauliflower to go with this.  Talk about a nutrient dense meal!

20121021-144756.jpg

20121021-144832.jpgI am loving fall right now, how about you?

Spiralized Sweet Potato with Spicy Satay Sauce

Thanks for not leaving me.  I know its been awhile.  Don’t worry I haven’t stopped eating or cooking.  I’ve just been busy and there are lots of changes going on.  But the deliciousness is not changing, it is hopefully only getting better

;)

For one reason or another, sweet potatoes have been calling my name lately.  I just want to eat them in every possible way.  The one downside to preparing sweet potatoes or potatoes in general is they can take awhile to cook.  That is a big reason why I don’t have them often.  That is until I bought a vegetable spiralizer aka my new favorite toy.  Actually I got it with Amex points (love that) and it was so worth it.  I was able to spin this lovely sweet potato in under a minute and then throw it into a saute pan with some lovely satay.  Good thing too because I had just spent roughly 5 hours in the car and I was in no mood to make anything.  It’s times like these when I just want to make a yummy green monster (my fav recipe is soon to come) instead of cooking for myself.  But then I tempted myself by picking up some lovely orange friends and the thought of peanut butter-{actually pb2 shh it’s my secret} paired with it is one of my favorite combos.  They are like secret best friends or something I swear.

To add a little something I threw in some frozen edamame.  The actual satay sauce took a whopping 30 seconds maybe?  I stirred some pb2 with tamari, sugar free maple syrup, and rice vinegar.  Yeah this is really complicated stuff.  This was sooo good and comforting.  This is like the thai version of mac and cheese.  Oh but it is gluten free.  Oh and its a much healthier version.  And the sweet potato actually feels like your eating pasta?!?  Your taste buds won’t know the difference, they will just be really happy once you feed them this.  Now go spend maybe 10 minutes and make this!

Ingredients: Serves 1

1/2 sweet potato spiralized (if you don’t have one just use a vegetable peeler, but you probably won’t get the same result)

1/2 small sweet onion chopped

2 garlic cloves minced

1 tbsp sesame oil

2 tsp fresh ginger, or 1 tsp dried

1 carrot spiralized

1/4-1/2 cup shelled edamame, thawed

Satay Sauce:

Mix 2-3 tbsp pb2 or peanut flour with 1 tbsp tamari, 1 tbsp rice vinegar, 1 tbsp sugar free maple syrup (use agave for vegan) and 3 tbsp spicy red chili sauce (I use homemade).  Add enough water to thin it out.  Keep nearby.

Directions:

Saute onions for 2 minutes in non-stick pan with cooking spray.  Add garlic and ginger.  Add sweet potato and carrot.  Stir to combine.  Add sesame oil and coat the noodles.  Add satay sauce and cook the noodles until you like the texture.  For me it was about 5-7 minutes which produced an el dente “pasta”.  Some fresh cracked black pepper on top was perfect.

Calories are around 500 for entire recipe calculated with 3 tbsp pb2 and 1/2 cup edamame.

Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes:

-Sweet potatoes are super high in beta carotene which needs fat to be absorbed.

-Improve blood sugar regulation

-High in fiber

-Low in calories

-High in vitamin B6 and manganese

Quick and Easy Asian Salmon Cakes & Sweet Potato Stacks

Canned Salmon.  Not a very enticing ingredient.  Canned wild sockeye salmon?  Boneless and skinless? Ok, maybe we’re on to something.  But now what?  That’s how I felt after buying a can of good quality sockeye salmon, totally clueless and not wanting to put a lot of effort into date nights dinner.

So after googling some salmon cake/burger recipes I decided to just stick with my favorite Asian flavors and keep it simple.  I love recipes that I can literally stir together in a bowl and throw in a frying pan.  They are practically fool proof.  The only thing that needs perfecting here is getting the right consistency.  I used some blended gluten free tapioca bread to help bind the cakes, but next time I might use some oat flour or something with a bit more thickness.

And as for those delightful sweet potato stacks?  Thanks to my mandolin they took about 5 minutes to prepare and get into the oven.  Yeah, I love things that are that easy.  I have been thinking I wanted to do some kind of sweet potato, beet goat cheese stack, which may be coming in the future- {you can’t rush these things ;)} But I followed the recipe from here, except I forgot my muffin pan was a mini so I just stacked them on a sheet pan which worked out fine (spray the pan! I always forget!)

Oh and my favorite salmon topping of course, goat cheese and avocado spread.  Simple, easy and delicious on everything!  I also made some minted mango chutney for an added bit of flavor but I ended up just eating it after like a healthy sweet treat :)

Ironically, date night photos are always lack-luster because the BF can’t wait for me to have a photo shoot but don’t let that keep you from trying this recipe.  It is so easy and so yummy, I got the dance- so you know it’s man approved too :)

Ingredients:

1 can wild sockeye salmon (boned and skinned will make your life a lot easier)

3 tbsp sesame oil

2 tbsp gluten free soy sauce

2 tsp fresh grated ginger

1 garlic clove minced

3 scallions chopped, (green part only)

1 slice gluten free bread for binding

juice of 1 lemon

s&p

Directions

Mix everything really well in a large bowl.  I did this the day before so the flavors can mingle.  When ready make into 2 large or 4 small cakes and pan fry about 5 minutes on each side till they get nice and crusty.  Top with spread and serve on gluten free buns, fresh lettuce or solo!

Sweet Potato Stacks

Use a mandalin to slice 2 sweet potatoes.

Throw in a bag with 2 tbsp sesame oil, 1 tbsp fresh ginger, 1 garlic clove minced fine, few dashes gf soy sauce and half fresh squeezed orange juice.   Shake really well to coat and stack on a baking sheet or use a muffin pan.  Bake for 30-40 minutes on 350 till they are tender.

Goat Cheese & Avocado Spread

Mix 2 oz goat cheese with 2-3oz avocado.  Add juice of half a lemon, and season to taste.

Minty Mango Salsa

Chop 1 ripe mango and mince 1-2 tsp fresh ginger.  Combine in a bowl with 2-3 sprigs fresh mint.  Let it sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

This recipe may seem long but it is so easy, healthy and affordable!  The cakes turned out perfectly moist and the sweet potato stacks were a match made in heaven!

Mojitos, Manhattans & Roasted Amish Chicken

Just a little side note: Wednesday was my one month blog-a-versary, wow that was quick! I am so happy I chose to put my crazy recipes for everyone to see, has been a fun experience so far and I am just getting started :)

So now lets celebrate and grab a drink ;)

In our little apartment, every Thursday night is date night aka the only night we have together.  Our schedules have been totally opposite from one another but we are really supportive and it works.  I really look forward to making date night as special as I can and this week I wanted to try something new.  I have never made a roasted chicken and actually never thought I would until I watched Giada do it- she makes me think I can make anything.  She makes everything look so easy, I kinda wanna be best friends with her.  Anyway, she made a roasted chicken for her and her hubs date night and after seeing how easy it was I had to do it.  I’ve noticed she loves using lots of citrus which is basically the main component of this meal besides the giant chicken of course.

As far as my ethics are concerned, I don’t eat chicken too often-maybe once a week, max.  I just completely lost the taste of it for awhile and only until recently have I started eating it more often.  I have seen every type of PETA video and it is not that I don’t love animals I just truly believe humans are carnivorous beings.  Maybe one day I will see things differently but for now, let there be meat.  So even though I eat the stuff, I am still picky about what it is and where it is coming from- (if I could only have my own farm and know where my food is coming from).  I knew that I wouldn’t be buying some chemical stuffed chicken at the super grocery store near me.  Instead I have a really good natural food store that is close by that get their products locally and everything is raised organically.  Say hello to my little friend (Sorry for the poor quality) My little Amish raised bird, totally natural yay! :) 

This was a super easy meal to prepare and so gratifying when you see the final result.  I totally understand if you are intimatidated by the idea of this but after making it I am excited to try it with new flavors. (can’t decide if I will do Cajun or Asian next-not meant to rhyme)  Plus you are most likely going to have leftovers which you can put into wraps, make healthy chicken salad, enchiladas…etc.  This is a very economical meal that can stretch your dollar, and the root vegetables you can buy for dirt cheap at your local farmers martket!

It might look like a lot, but there is more prep work in cutting the veggies than any of the chicken labor.

*Allot 2 hours from start to finish-this will give you extra time. Total prep time 25 mins, cook time 60-85 mins

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken- mine was 3.7 pounds

1 spanish onion

1 lemon

1 orange

2 tbsp butter

1 tbsp olive oil

20 sprigs thyme

2 sweet potatoes

1 head celeriac (or other root vegetable)

1-2 heads of garlic (I used 1 but next time I will use 2)

chicken stock (I had a quart and probably only used half, depends on pan size)

twine

deep roasting pan

*optional-other herbs like rosemary or herbamare

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Chop sweet potato, celeriac and onion into cubes.  Try to keep them roughly the same size so they cook evenly.  Put in bottom of roasting pan.  Season with olive oil, S&P and herbamare or other seasonings you prefer.

3. Cut garlic clove in half (I recommend using 2- did not have strong garlic flavor)

4. Zest lemon and orange and place in small bowl. Cut them into quarters, leave aside.

5. Take 5-10 sprigs of thyme and slide your finger from top to bottom to collect only the leaves and put in small bowl with zest.

6. Melt butter in same small bowl with zest and thyme. Be careful not to burn, if you are microwaving do 15 seconds at a time.

7. My roasting pan came with a rack (10$ at Walmart)- place that into your sink and then the chicken on top (can just use your cutting board but this was easiest and cleanest for me.  Rinse it, pat it dry and take the gizzards and gross stuff out of the middle.

(When I went to do this I was looking through the “wrong end” like holy crap I know this stuff is in there, do I really have to put my hand through that??  Then the bag came out the other end, lol I was so relieved!)

8. Take the quartered lemon, orange, rest of thyme sprigs and halved garlic and stuff into the chicken.  Mine didn’t fit so I scattered them throughout with the vegetables.

9. Sprinkle your bird with S&P.  Put in roasting pan snuggled up with vegetables.  Take the bowl with melted butter and seasonings and spread it all over.

10. If you were smart and remembered to buy twine at the store, use that to tie the legs together.  Just raise them up, tuck anything that can be tucked, cross them and tie them.  Or if you are like me and forgot to get twine, use a rubber band or hair tie.

11. Put the pan in the middle of the oven.  Mine took around 75 minutes to cook.  I did not have a thermometer so I just sliced a little thigh to check it.  If you have a thermometer you want 165 degrees.  It is best to let it rest for 15 minutes to keep the juices in.  I did a little basting midway through with some butter and some more thyme.  

 12. We cut it into quarters since he likes the dark meat and I like the white.  Needless to say, boyfriend was super happy and I was rewarded with my favorite, FRO-YO, here comes dinner number 2!! (Is it a problem when you notice they made the cups bigger?? ;) )

Of course I didn’t make him wait that whole time without a little appetizer.  Try my Red Pepper and Parmesan Stuffed Mushrooms & let me know what you think!

Vegan Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili

When it gets cold out and I have a busy week ahead of me, I always go to chili.  I have developed many variations and this is definitely one of the best.  I had not planned on making any more chili for awhile but a friend asked me to make her her own batch since she is super busy, so I thought I would share my go to recipe that can be done start to finish in under an hour.  (Beets are not part of the recipe I was using them for something else and thought they looked pretty :)This is a hearty, comforting,  no guilt chili & is amazing with some shredded mexican cheese on top! (Didn’t think of that for this photo-shucks!)  Tons of vitamins and minerals, along with fiber and protein to keep you full & of course lots of flavor!

Ingredients:

1 large onion

3 cloves garlic-minced

2 sweet potatoes-peeled and cubed

1 can black beans

1 can red kidney beans

1 chopped yellow and red bell pepper

-optional- jalapeno-deseeded

1 28oz can crushed tomatoes

2 tbsp honey/agave-if vegan

3 tbsp chili powder (or more to taste)

2 tbsp ground cumin

Directions:

-Saute chopped onion until translucent.  Add sweet potato, bell peppers, chopped roughly the same size, saute for one minute.  Add the garlic & saute until fragrant. Add chili powder and cumin or any other spice mix you prefer.  (I kept this very mild because my friend does not like spicy food.-I know she’s crazy)  Add the crushed tomatoes, beans and honey.  Turn heat high to almost boil and then reduce to simmer with lid on.  Simmer until the sweet potatoes are cooked. Taste to see if it needs seasoning.  The flavor always enhances after it sits in the fridge for at least 2-6 hours.  Have a bowl with blended mexican cheese & sprinkle broken tortilla chips for some texture.

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