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Posts Tagged ‘Sweet Potato’

Hi there!  How are the people?  You won’t believe it when I tell you, but it’s freakin’ snowing here?!  I don’t mean a little snowflake here and there.  I’m talking about big, heavy, slap-you-on-your-face flakes that are coming down rather quickly.  We already have over an 1 1/2″ accumulated.  No work or school tomorrow.  That’s a given around these parts.  Play day for us!  😉

Actually, there’s plenty of work to be done around the house.  We need to get all packed up.  Packing, you say?  Moving?  Nope.  Donating old clothes to the Goodwill?  Nope, not that either.

So, I’ve kept it secret long enough and it’s time to spill … we’re leaving on a jet plane, just like the song.  Yep, that’s right.  Devin and I are headed to ARUBA on Wednesday for our 5th wedding anniversary!  I’m beyond excited!!  I’m ready to drive myself to the airport right now in hopes that waiting there will make Wednesday get here faster.  Ha!  

We have always been big travelers and have made it a point to take a vacation every year for our anniversary.  Some of our trips have been big … London and Paris … and some of our trips have been small … Wilmington, NC and Orlando, FL.  No matter where we go though, we always have a blast.  This trip, I’m sure, will be no exception.  It’s been a while since we gone to the Caribbean, so it’s already looking good.  The warm weather is definitely a plus.  The cold, fruity drinks a plus x 2.  Oh yeah. 

I’ve talked about the “chilly” and the “tropical”, so let’s get down to the chili.  We were lucky enough to have Devin’s fabulous parents over for dinner last night.  My plan was to whip up a warm, comforting meal that wouldn’t take up too much of my time in the kitchen.  Here’s how it turned out …

Smoky Turkey and Bacon Chili

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Mixed Green Salad, Spicy Sweet Potato Wedges and Jalapeno Corn Bread

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Yogurt Parfait with Bulgur, Cherries and Almonds

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Recipes adapted from here, here, here and here.

You will find this unbelievable, but I stayed pretty close to the original recipes this time around.  I just didn’t find too much that needed to be changed.  For the chili, I used the usual lean ground turkey in place of the ground beef and subbed black beans for pinto beans.  As for the dessert, I just wasn’t totally convinced that bulgur, as fantastic as it is, belonged in our fruit and yogurt parfaits.  I went pretty skimpy when dishing out the grain. Maybe 1 tbsp. in each??  Overall, it tasted ok in there, but it really isn’t necessary.  I will definitely make these again, since it’s a light + tasty dessert, but it will be without the grainy goodness.  I think other frozen fruit would work as well.  Devin wasn’t digging the cherries, so maybe the next go round will be blackberries …

Alright, y’all, I’m pretty sleeps, so I think it’s time to hit the hay.  I hope you are doing well!  Enjoy the rest of your night.  Sweet dreams!

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Keen On Quinoa

Last night’s dinner was a combination of goodies I already had around the house.  It seems like I am forever on a quest to clean out my fridge and pantry.  I just keep on buying new goodies for us to eat … stuffing them in and then forgetting about them.  Anyone with me?

Quinoa with Sweet Potatoes, “Sausage” and Mushrooms

 

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup sliced + diced mushrooms
  • 2 green onions, sliced (separate white and green parts)
  • 1/8 cup diced onion
  • 2 Boca Meatless Italian “Sausage” Links, heated and sliced on the diagonal
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • S+P, to taste
  • 2 tbsp. chopped toasted walnuts

Preparation:

Prepare quinoa (using chicken broth, instead of water) according to package directions, set aside and keep warm.  While the quinoa is cooking, place a small amount of oil in a large skillet.  Add white part of scallion and diced onion to skillet; cook for 5 minutes, until slightly tender.  Add sweet potatoes, mushrooms, cayenne, S+P and a small amount of water to skillet.  Reduce heat slightly, cover and allow to simmer until potatoes are tender.  Add sliced “sausage”, quinoa and chopped walnuts to skillet and allow to heat throughout.  Garnish with sliced green scallion.  Enjoy!

 

I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year’s Eve!  My next post will be tomorrow since we will be at a friend’s house tonight and won’t be home until the wee hours of the morning.  Argh.  Grandma (meaning “me”) is in for a long night.  I better take it easy today to conserve my energy.  Ha!

Enjoy your day!

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Howdy!  Hope everyone is having a great weekend so far.  It has been a perfectly, relaxing day in this household … I didn’t even leave the house until 3:30 and Devin hasn’t left at all today.  We’ve been supa bums and lovin’ every second of it.  It is a cold, rainy day here in the Carolinas, so it was the excuse we were looking for to hid under a blanket and watch Legends of the Fall on TV … plus college ‘ball … and golf … and SportsCenter … hence, the reason I escaped when I did.  That was enough testosterone in one sitting for me.

I actually didn’t fully partake in the watching of all that action-packed entertainment, but I did manage to catch up on my blog reading – HOORAY!  I’ve really felt disconnected from blogging too many times this week … I guess that’s just what happens when life gets busy. 😦

 

Since I couldn’t imagine eating another bowl of cereal without a banana (flashback to yesterday’s lonely bowl of Grape Nuts, H2H and raisins – so sad), I decided to make a special breakfast for the husband and I …

 

Egg white sammie on a toasted whole wheat muffin with Morningstar "sausage" patty

Egg white sammie on a toasted TJ's whole wheat muffin with a Morningstar "sausage" patty

Chobani vanilla with chopped apple, pom seeds and a juicy clem

Fruit & yogurt parfait: Chobani vanilla with chopped apple, pom seeds and a juicy clementine

 

Needless to say, all this lounging around hasn’t put a dent into the monstrous disaster I’ve made of our house with all the Christmas decorations strewn about.  I guess that’s what Sundays are for.  The nasty weather is to remain, so I will hold myself hostage in the house until all the mess is cleaned up.  I can’t wait to take a picture of our soon-to-be fabulous tree for everyone to see!

For lunch, we once again tackled the leftovers in the fridge … mine consisted of leftover pizza from last night and CEiMB mac & cheese

 

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Our lunch was rather late since breakfast held us over so well.  As soon as I was done eating, I forced myself to get in the shower and get out of the house for a bit … I was feeling a little hermit-y.  Word o’ the day.

We needed clear lights to finish one of the bushes outside, plus envelopes for our Holiday Party invitations, so I was off on a mission.  It was close to 4:00 by the time I got to my first stop and I was amazed at how many people were still out and about so late in the afternoon.  I guess I figured everyone would hit the stores early and I would have the run of the river.  Not so … two shopping cart collisions later and I was out the door.  Enough is enough.  One shopping cart collision is all my scatterbrain can handle per outing.  I did get the lights though, so at least I got ONE thing accomplished today.

I started thinking about dinner while I was out and knew that I wanted to use up the leftovers in the fridge.  I’ve had my share of everything Thanksgiving now and I’m ready to move on to our normal eats again.  I’ve had enough carbs in the last few days to carry me into next year!!  Seriously.  I mean, who eats pizza and mac & cheese at the same time?!  It was good though … 😀

 

When I got home, I immediately went to the computer and began googling different recipe ideas for Thanksgiving leftovers … the one that struck me was Rachel Ray‘s version of Shepherd’s Pie with ground turkey and sweet potatoes.  I didn’t end up using her recipe, but the idea was born to create my own version of Shep’s Pie with what we had on hand –

 

Thanksgiving Leftover Shepherd's Pie

Thanksgiving Leftovers Shepherd's Pie

 

Here’s everything that got thrown in:

  • ~1 cup leftover stuffing
  • Frozen peas
  • Frozen okra
  • 1 thinly sliced carrot
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 2 cups turkey, cubed
  • 1/2 can Cream of Mushroom soup
  • ~1/2 cup turkey broth
  • 1 large sweet potato, cooked and mashed with 1/4 cup ff milk
  • S&P, to taste

 

Before the sweet potato topping ...

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Saute all the veggies in a small amount of EVOO, then add the stuffing, turkey, C of M soup and broth.  Once heated throughout, place in a casserole and top with the mashed sweet potatoes.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.

 

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Mmm mm mmm!  As you can see from the first picture, I topped mine with some homemade cranberry sauce.  So good.  So many different flavors and textures! 

The only problem … I have leftovers from our leftovers!!!!  That wasn’t suppose to happen … 

I’m out.  Have a lovely evening!

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I’m With The Band

Ahhh … I have FINALLY made it back to my beloved computer.  I think I was starting to suffer from withdrawals after being gone for so long.  My fingers were itchin’ for some action!

Last night, a friend’s band was playing their first gig at a local bar, so I joined in the festivities.  Since my hub was out-of-town last night, I went solo, but luckily had my fav girl, Amy, right by my side (plus a lot of other great friends!)  😀

 

We arranged to meet up beforehand at her place … she supplied the drinks –

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I supplied the food –

Look familiar?!

Look familiar?!

 

And since I was going to be home alone, she offered to let me bunk at her place.  Felt like a teenager again … until the headache kicked in this morning!  That’s when I remembered I was no longer a teenager, but an adult trying to re-live her younger days of, you know, partying like a rock star.  I am friends with the band, after all.  Isn’t that what you’re suppose to do?!

Actually, the headache wasn’t alcohol induced (and, no, I’m really NOT in denial this time!) since I only had a few drinks.  I think it was caused by the overly-smoky bar.  My throat was scratchy after 30 minutes in the joint and still feels quite dry this afternoon.  Aargh.

For breakfast this AM, I dug in Amy’s pantry and came up with this –

Raisin Bran Crunch - never had it before and I liked it so much I had another small bowl!

Raisin Bran Crunch - never had it before and I liked it so much I had another small bowl!

 

The temps are pretty chilly around here, so I’ve been just lounging about the house.  It’s all good though – I have plenty to do around here … floors that need scrubbing, granola that needs to be baking, toe nails that need to be painted – you know, all the important stuff! 😉

I still feel like I’m running a bit on empty, so I’m also hoping the elliptical machine will put some pep back in my step.  Not just yet though … I’m quite content at the moment, thank you very much.

For lunch, I went with a repeat BBQ tofu sammie, this time with sweet potato rounds, in lieu of the butternut –

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Alright, I’ve delayed my chores long enough …

Enjoy your Saturday!!

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Late Realization

This morning, after posting our eventful evening last night, I dashed into the kitchen to see what sounded appealing for breakfast.  Neither granola or oats were making any impression on me, so I opted for a toasted TJ’s muffin

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I got the idea of pumpkin and PB (but I used almond butter) from Gliding Calm and it really is amazing!  It’s a much different taste than the pumpkin butter since you are not getting that extra sweetness.  To beef it up a bit, I added 1/2 mashed and microwaved banana.  Yum yum!

Once I was finished with that, my appetite for cereal returned, so I had a small bowl of Grape Nuts with the remaining 1/2 banana.  Sorry I didn’t take a picture – my bum was glued to the couch! 😉

It wasn’t until about 1:00, after showering and getting dressed, that I finally admitted to myself that I was suffering from a hangover.  I was in deep denial all morning and had convinced myself that I was just tired.

Once the truth hit me, I was immediately STARVING and needed nourishment stat!  I rushed Devin out of the house and we headed to my all-time fav lunch spot – Jason’s Deli!!!

I felt completely sucked dry of all nutrients so a huge salad chock full o’ veg was just what the doctor ordered –

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That seemed to give me a little of my normal spark back, which I needed in order to fight the crowds out and about today.  For his birthday, I got Devin new winter golf clothes (windpants and windbreaker), plus new workout shorts and some other little things.  The golf clothes didn’t work out, so we took those back and also ran a couple of other errands … including a trip to Sam’s Club where I picked up a huge container of spinach for the week.  Love spinach and have missed it this past week!

For dinner tonight, we both agreed on a classic sammie …

Turkey Reubens with Baked Sweet Potato Spears

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Nothing out-of-the-ordinary here … rye bread, turkey, spicy brown mustard, kraut, caramelized onions, Swiss cheese and, of course, thousand island dressing

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I made the dressing from scratch since, as you know, I’m not a huge fan of bottled dressings.  It’s super easy – ketchup, vegan mayo, sweet relish, lemon juice, minced onion, vinegar and black pepper.  I didn’t measure anything out – just added to the bowl until I felt I got it right.

The sweet potato spears were from TJ’s, found in the produce section.  I finally got them right this time! 

Every time I’ve tried to make these, they’ve always burned.  This time I was determined to succeed, so I figured it best to lower the temperature and just cook longer if needed.  I tossed the spears with 1/2 tbsp. olive oil, salt and pepper, then spread on a baking sheet and baked in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, flipping halfway.  I also broiled for a few minutes to get a bit of a crisp.  They were great!

As I am blogging, we are watching You Don’t Mess With The Zohan.  I gave up after the first 5 minutes and powered up the computer.  It’s getting a few chuckles from Devin here and there, but in my opinion, the worst movie made this year.  Oh well, at least I can just lay here and relax on the couch before crawling into my nice ‘n comfy bed! 🙂

 

Nighty night!

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Sweet Repeat

We had exactly one cup of chili left from last night’s dinner – thank goodness that was all.  While it was great, I didn’t want to feel obligated to eat it for the next several day’s lunches.  What can I say, I crave variety!

After today’s lunch, I have succeeded in achieving my chili-fix for awhile …

Topped with Amaranth Crunch

I’ve always heard how well chili and baked potatoes are together.  I have never tried that combination, but I just so happened to have a sweet potato on hand and thought I would give it a try.  It worked!  The sweetness of the potato and the spicy chili taste fantastic together!

 

On the side I munched on two Wasa rye crackers with roasted red pepper hummus and a sliced apple –

When I finally got around to eating the apple, I remembered I had these guys in the pantry –

Brach's Sugar Free Caramels

The result –

A perfect little sweet to round out the meal.  The caramel hardened pretty quickly after microwaving so I had to use a knife to scrape up the last little bits.  (No way was I wasting ANY!!)

 

I’m out.  Make it a good one!

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Sheer Tofu Bliss

Hi all!  After 45 minutes with the weights, I started to think about lunch and decided to take out some tofu and get it ready for baking. 

Let me just tell you now … this new tofu idea I came up with is rockin’!!!  Not to toot my own horn or anything! 🙂

 

Actually, I did a search online afterwards and found several recipes out there with the secret ingredient, so I’m no inventor today!  Boo.

Drum roll please …

Crunchy BBQ Baked Tofu

The secret ingredient:  Panko Bread Crumbs!

I really love baked tofu, but always wish it had a little more outside crunch.  No matter how long I baked it, I never found the texture I was looking for.

I started thinking how I give other foods a healthy crunch and the light bulb went off … of course, breadcrumbs!  I can’t believe I didn’t think about it before!

After I sliced/pressed the tofu, I slathered it in BBQ sauce and dipped one side in bread crumbs.  I baked in the oven at 350 degrees for probably close to an hour (I told you I like it crispy!!)

Needless to say, this is my new fav for baked tofu … I even made a crunchy tofu dessert that I will reveal later tonight!

The rest of my sammie included a 1/4 mashed sweet potato and spinach on toasted whole grain bread

As you can see on the first pic above, I also had a sliced plum.  It was dry and not very good, but of course I ate it anyways!

I also whipped together a broccoli slaw salad from leftovers lurking in the refrigerator –

Other goodies in my bowl include:

  • Black beans
  • Corn
  • Avocado
  • Sliced grape tomatoes
  • Drizzle of Annie’s lite honey mustard dressing
  • FF feta cheese

Next time I make this I will need to use a bigger bowl – every time I gave it a stir, the broc slaw went flying everywhere!  Ha!

It’s time for me to buckle down and look over today’s GOTR lesson … I’m on my own today!  My co-coach has to take her girls to appointments.  Eek!  I’m scared!!

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