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

Chopped Taco Salad

My mom used to make a version of this salad when we were kids. I remember there being enough salad that an entire bag of crushed Doritos was mixed in! I think there was also most of a bottle of ranch dressing involved. I substituted a handful of Late July organic tortilla chips. Mom would approve of this version nowadays versus the dusty orange, chemical laden Doritos of the past.

Late July chips

Confession: I hid the rest of the bag of chips from my teenage son, otherwise I wouldn’t have seen them again!

chopped taco salad

Served in front of the tv while watching the movie Fury with a side of pickled jalapenos.

Chopped Taco Salad

What it took for 2 nice sized servings:

  • 8 ounces ground sirloin
  • heaping tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 4 cups chopped iceberg lettuce
  • shredded cheddar cheese, (didn’t measure about 1/3 cup)
  • 3 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, minced (in the summer I have used chives)
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 12-15 nacho chips, crushed
  • Newman’s Own organic ranch dressing  (didn’t measure about 1/4 cup)
  • pickled jalapenos
  • cilantro is amazing in this salad but I didn’t have any

Method

  • Cook ground sirloin until well done and drain. Stir in taco seasoning along with a couple tablespoons of water. After the water has evaporated turn off and remove from heat to cool slightly.
  • In the meantime start preparing the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Start with the lettuce, tomatoes, onion, cheese, avocado…then squeeze the lime juice over the avocado (for amazing flavor and to keep the color fresh), crush the tortillas over the salad, add the slightly cooled meat, drizzle with the ranch dressing and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

layering the taco salad

 

Southwestern Salsa with Black Beans and Corn

Southwestern Black Bean and Corn Salsa

I started making this recipe 7-8 years ago when a co-worker made it and brought it to work. It was delish and an extra bonus? I already had the cookbook that she got the recipe from!

Since then I have made this salsa for cookouts and take it over to dinner parties as an appetizer on numerous occasions. My Mom even makes it too! Of course when this dip gets around my brothers and my son what would typically be enough for a “big party” is devoured in no time. I’m lucky if I get a couple of chips worth!

Southwestern Salsa with Black Beans and Corn

I hosted our neighborhood book club last night and made this salsa. I had a couple of people ask for the recipe…always a good indicator that it was enjoyed!

The yellow peppers were on sale where I shopped so I substituted them for the red pepper. In the past I have used cumin powder instead of cumin seed and it works well. I bought cilantro and used parsley from my herb garden. The lime juice, garlic and red pepper flake…yummmmm…I think I’ll have more for breakfast!

Southwestern Salsa with Black Beans and Corn

 

Recipe from The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken and chips and veggies all whirled(is that a word?) together means yummy soupy-goodness. I have seriously made this so many times that I realized not sharing it here was like I was lying to you somehow. I think my spoon goes into my bowl so fast that I just don’t think about you. Sorry. I think.

It easily doubles to feed your 2 brothers, 2 sisters, their husbands and kids…ummm…a big crowd…

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 white/yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 large zucchini, chopped
  • (you can add a diced red pepper here…I didn’t have one)
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 28-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • pepper-jack cheese
  • 5-6 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2-1 cup crushed tortilla chips
  • 3/4 cup Mont Jack cheese with jalapeno peppers
  • 1-2 roasted chicken breasts or meat from one small rotisserie chicken, pulled
  • 1 cup frozen corn

Toppings:

  • Mont Jack cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Limes
  • Avocado
  • Cilantro
  • more crushed tortilla chips

Method

  • Heat oil in dutch oven or large soup pot over medium heat and add vegetables (next 6 ingredients). Season with salt & pepper. Saute until tender or about 15 minutes.
  • Add the diced tomatoes, seasonings, fresh cilantro and chicken stock.  Bring to a simmer and let cook down for 20 minutes on medium heat.
  • Add the crushed tortillas and simmer for 10 more minutes or until soft.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and using an immersion blender, blend until smooth. Blend it! Trust me. It somehow tastes better when the soup is smooth!
  • Add the shredded, roasted chicken, corn and the cheese and stir around to incorporate.
  • Spoon into bowls and finish with your favorite toppings.

Weekly Eats

The latest installment of my week in food:

Sunday

Lunch: Local sausage from Sausage Craft, cheese grits and a fried egg. I also ate some leftover veggies with mine.

Dinner: Tacos with ground turkey, homemade taco seasoning, lettuce, cilantro, salsa, cheese, sour cream, diced onions, pickled jalapenos. Whew…I think that’s everything!

Monday

Lunch: Leftovers

Dinner: Roasted bok choy (with a bit of mirin tossed in when it was done). Sauteed yellow squash. Roasted shrimp. Soba noodles rinsed in cold water, drained well and tossed with sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce and sesame seeds. Served separately and eaten together like a deconstructed noodle bowl. 

Tuesday

Lunch: Leftovers

Dinner: Roasted chicken breasts (on the bone) served with leftover veggies.

Wednesday

Lunch: Leftovers

Dinner: Seared salmon served with braised cabbage and sweet potato, walnut and goat cheese quinoa salad.

Thursday

Lunch: Tarrants Cafe!

Dinner: Chili and cornbread muffins for the boys. It’s book club night for me! That means awesome snacks and wine pot luck style! We read The Husband’s Secret which I finished in just a day and a half. Unanticipated and eventful. A good book!

Friday

Lunch: Leftovers

Valentine's centerpiece

Dinner: Some our friends rotate what they call “family dinner” every Friday night. We haven’t participated in a while (like Thanksgiving!) but I offered to host on Valentine’s day. It’s a horrible night to go out to eat and since we always go out we like to save nights like this for the amateurs! We grilled flank steak. I made chimichurri again since it turned out SO good last week. I roasted brussel sprouts and asparagus. Made shrimp, tarragon and arugula pasta. My friend Ashley brought a salad. Also…BANANA CREAM PIE!!!!!!!!

Saturday

Lunch: Leftovers

Dinner: Thin crust pizza from Bottom’s Up…delivery!

Weekly Eats

We ate out A LOT this week. Mostly because of being busy and away from home…and partly because it’s hard to say “no” to friends who want to go out! Here is our week in food:

Sunday

Lunch: Sat on the outdoor patio at Dockside. Fish tacos for me!

Dinner: Navy bean soup cooked with a ham bone that I acquired from Travis’ grandfather. When we visited him last week a ham was being baked and I asked if I could have the bone to make soup. The answer was yes…as long as I brought them the leftovers!

Monday

Lunch: Had an unexpected trip to the doctor and was there from 11am to 1:30pm. We were starving when we left there so out to lunch it was! We went to Toast and both had the special of the day: fish tacos! 2 days in a row! Very good food and fast service!

Dinner: Orange and soy glazed baby back ribs served with steamed cauliflower sprinkled with nutritional yeast and some roasted asparagus.

orange soy glazed ribs

Tuesday

Lunch: Visited my sister Angela and she made taquitos for lunch!

Dinner: Leftover ribs served with peas and pine nut couscous.

Wednesday

Lunch: Leftovers

Dinner: Grilled flank steak with cilantro chimichurri. Then I mixed a bunch of lacinato kale, a 14 ounce can diced tomatoes and some leftover navy beans to make a delicious side dish!

flank steak and Cilantro Chimichurri

Thursday

Lunch: Was out on business with Travis and we had an early 11am lunch at Cafe Caturra. My choice was the tarragon tuna salad sandwich with a side salad (instead of chips).

Dinner: We got stuck out in the southside waiting for our car to be ready (it got an inspection, a recalled part replaced, 4 new tires and a detail) so we headed to Sushi-O for happy hour appetizers which ended up being all I wanted that night.

Friday

I had a meeting with a friend and financial planner in the morning at Urban Farmhouse and enjoyed a chai latte and a slice of banana bread. The latte was SO frothy!

Lunch: Chicken and spinach wrap from Ellwood Thompson’s

Dinner: This is kinda weird…we never do this…why am I making disclaimers?…we made flank steak again tonight…maybe it was so we could eat more chimichurri…I don’t know. But it was good and so were the roasted brussel sprouts!

Saturday

Lunch: Leftovers

Dinner: Out to eat with 5 of our friends at Portico

Cilantro Chimichurri

Hello down there cilantro!

cilantro

I picked off your leaves, added spices, vinegar, garlic and EVOO and you became…

A fabulous sauce for my flank steak!

flank steak and Cilantro Chimichurri

SEE!

Cilantro Chimichurri

I have some leftovers and I’m thinking chicken tacos, smeared with chimichurri, lettuce, avocado…food dreaming for another day!

I think I’ve been reading too many books to my nephews!

Cilantro Chimichurri

  • a large bunch of cilantro, about 1 cup packed
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons red or white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, or 1 tablespoon fresh
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flake, optional
  • kosher salt
  • pepper

Method

Combine cilantro, garlic, vinegar, oregano, cumin, and optional red pepper flake in a food processor. Pulse until fine.
Turn food processor on and stream in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe from Eclectic Recipes