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

Easy Chicken Pot Pie Soup

Today was raining and drizzling ALL day. Totally called for some comforting soup. This soup totally feels like eating a pot pie…well yes…minus the yummy crust. If a soup could be creamy and healthy all at the same time this is it. Next time I’m making biscuits.

Check out this crazy carrot. It looks like it has little legs!

baby carrots

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

  • 1 rotisserie chicken, torn into pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 whole leeks, washed and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup sliced baby carrots (and more for munching)
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 cup of frozen corn
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • Additional salt and pepper to taste

Method

Add the olive oil to a large stock pot, then toss in your leek, carrot, celery and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Stir, and cook for about 5 minutes. Add in the rosemary and thyme, stir and cook for about a minute. Add the flour, and stir again, making sure to get all of the vegetables coated in the flour. Cook for a couple of minutes, then add in the half and half. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to thicken. Add in the chicken stock, corn and peas and season with a pinch or two of salt and cracked black pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes. At this point the soup is ready! To make it a little more decadent serve with cornbread or biscuits!!

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. We’re still in sunny, perfect Key West!

Sunday

Breakfast: smoothie with almond milk, blueberries, banana, protein powder and almond butter

Lunch: 6 Toed Cat – a “hogfish” benedict with tons of avocado and tomato and perfectly runny eggs.

Dinner: Half Shell Raw Bar – we had to do the cheap happy hour seafood again! Oysters, clams, shrimp and tuna!

Monday

Lunch: Went by Cuban Coffee Queen about 9:30am because it’s right by Conch Harbor Marina where our friends and their boats are. We had a day of deep sea fishing planned and this is where I made a pit stop for 2 cuban sandwiches for lunch on the boat. I also got us both an iced coffee and a smoothie. Amazingly delicious!

Here are some of the fish we caught:

Key west fish

Dinner: Freshly caught fish, steamed broccoli and an iceberg lettuce-cucumber-tomato-onion salad!

Tuesday

Breakfast: smoothie with almond milk, blueberries, banana, peaches and PB2.

Lunch: I went to Big Pine Key with my friend Emily for the day. We left my house before I had a chance to eat so my lunch was a Cliff bar and a banana. I also ate some smarties by the pool!

We took a 2 mile walk on a trail that her grandfather made. How awesome-sweet is that? He has been spending the winter in the same campground for 38 years. The rest of the time he lives in Iowa. These are some Gumbo Limbo trees near the end of the trail.

Gumbo Limbo trees in Big Pine Key

I also got to feed and pet a Key Deer (no pics!) and we went to a small state park where 2 alligators live but they didn’t surface for us to see them. We saw turtle though!

turtle

Before we headed back to Key West we stopped in No Name Key at the No Name Pub for a drink. Sangria!!

sangria from No Name pub

Dinner: More of the freshly caught fish, steamed spinach and more of that ravioli with sweet potato and kale (like I had last week). We also had a sourdough bread roll.

Wednesday

Breakfast: smoothie with almond milk, blueberries, banana, peaches and almond butter

Lunch: We headed over to Simonton St. beach for about 4 hours on Wednesday. We rented a couple of beach loungers and played with our dogs, got in the water and soaked up the sun. There is a little cafe there called Lagerheads Beach Bar and everyone was raving about their fish tacos so that’s what I had to try. Tons of fresh tuna topped with cabbage, finely diced mango and tomatoes and drizzled with some yummy special sauce. On the side was a slice of cantaloupe and a chocolate chip cookie. YUM-ME!

Simonton St Beach, Key West

Dinner: Old Town Mexican Cafe – veggie tostada with corn tortillas, squash, onions, greens, beans, olives, tomato, guacamole, cheese and sour cream.

Veggie tostada

Thursday

Breakfast: smoothie with almond milk, blueberries, banana, peaches and protein powder

Lunch: 6 Toed Cat – AGAIN! This time a crabcake benedict with tons of avocado and spinach and gooey-ooey runny eggs (I didn’t eat the hashbrowns). I also shared some granola, fruit and yogurt with Travis.

crabcake benedict

granola, fruit and yogurt

Dinner: We ate dinner in 2 parts. Dinner #1 was for happy hour appetizers at Half Shell Raw Bar. We had raw oysters and clams and a drink. Then, since it was our first rainy night during our trip, we went home and ordered delivery from The Cafe. We both had the lasagna special: mushroom, eggplant and a cilantro ricotta. That came with a side salad with carrots, cabbage, tomato and sprouts all topped off with a balsamic vinaigrette!

veggie lasagna and salad

Friday

Breakfast: A carrot cake Cliff bar

Lunch: A spinach salad with strawberries, walnuts, blue cheese, onion, shrimp and raspberry vinaigrette.

Spinach salad

Dinner: Blue Heaven – seared scallops, wild rice, corn salsa, green beans and cornbread. This place usually has a long wait but we went in on a whim and not only were seated right away but got a table right next to the live music. I hugged the hostess!

Saturday

Breakfast: a Mango smootie and iced coffee from Cuban Coffee Queen

Lunch: Half of a cuban sandwich from Cuban Coffee Queen (extra pickles!) and a half of a granola bar.

Dinner: More of our freshly caught fish. I baked it with salt, pepper and taco seasoning. Then we created fish tacos with lettuce, sour cream, jalenpenos, salsa, avocado and cheese. We also ate a mix of corn and lima beans on the side.

Mexican Chicken Chili

After a couple of lunches and 2 dinners of Christmas leftovers I decided to change it up and make chili. I had plenty of homemade stock from the turkey and of course leftover turkey meat so I substituted those for the typical shredded chicken and chicken stock. Results? Very tasty!! Homemade stock is always better than the boxed stuff (though I do love that too)

Chicken/turkey chili

This recipe is a variation of the recipe that my sister Zandria used to make. I have tried to make it a bit healthier and to all organic ingredients. It was called White Chicken Chili but I decided since it wasn’t very “white” that it needed a new name 🙂

Mexican Chicken Chili

Mexican Chicken Chili

  • 1 rotisserie chicken, meat shredded
  • 3 (15 oz.) cans organic great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 (4.5 oz.) can green chiles
  • 1 (10 oz.) bag frozen organic white corn
  • 1 tablespoon (heaping) homemade taco seasoning
  • 1 container organic cream of celery soup
  • 1/2 cup light organic sour cream
  • Toppings: chopped green onion, chopped cilantro, shredded monterey jack cheese

Method

  • Place all ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low for 2 1/2 or 3 hours stirring occasionally. You can also cook this in a dutch oven or soup pot. Bring it to a simmer and turn it down low and cook for about 45 minutes.
  • Add toppings to individual bowls for serving.