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

Oat and Almond Spice Granola

On Saturday evening I discovered our water wasn’t working. How does water not work you ask? The hot water wasn’t coming out of the faucet at all and the cold water was trickling. There wasn’t enough pressure to flush the toilets. Panic! I called a local small plumbing company solely based on the fact that they were located close to our house. As I dialed I thought “I didn’t ask neighbors for a referral. I didn’t even read Yelp. What’s wrong with me?”. But Mike picked right up, confirmed based on my description that we probably had a pipe burst and told me that he had gone to 20 jobs that day! He agreed to help us come turn off the water BUT he couldn’t do the repair until today. We freaked because WATER. And then we freaked because COST. But we really got lucky. Our water was only out of commission for around 20 hours and the total repair cost under $400 (we had heard “thousands”). I still couldn’t help but think that I could have bought the crib I want for that money. BOO!

burst pipe

In other, less dramatic news, I had granola on my grocery list and completely forgot it. It was either run to the store or sift through the cabinets because I MUST HAVE GRANOLA! I chose to make some while waiting for the plumber.

granola fixin's

I made a similar granola a couple of years ago called Spiced Pumpkin Seed Granola. This version is better! The roughly chopped almonds have so much more crunch and flavor than the sliced almonds. Also, the balance of the other ingredients just worked better. I frequently have a issue with homemade granola being either to crunchy/over-baked or too soft. This was the prefect texture and balance of flavors.

PUMPKIN PIE SPICE COCONUT OIL GRANOLA

PUMPKIN PIE SPICE COCONUT OIL GRANOLA

The water is back, the dishes are clean and the plumber is paid. Still would have rather have had a crib!

Oat and Almond Spice Granola

  • 1 1/4 cups unsalted raw almonds
  • 2 heaping cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • raisins or dried cranberries, optional

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Chop the almonds coarsely and pour them into a large bowl.
  • Add the oats, salt, brown sugar, sunflower seeds and pumpkin pie spice into the bowl with the almonds and stir to combine.
  • In a small microwaveable bowl, combine honey and coconut oil, and heat for 40 seconds. Stir to dissolve the coconut oil and add the vanilla extract.
  • Pour the honey mixture over the oats and stir so that they are evenly coated.
  • Pour the oats evenly onto a Silpat or parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Bake the oats for 5 minutes and then stir them around. Return to the oven for 5-7 more minutes (I cooked for 7). Watch closely so it won’t burn. (It didn’t look ready to me but I took it out, trusting the recipe, and I’m glad I did. The stated cooking time produces a perfectly crunchy granola)
  • Pour the granola and onto a piece of wax paper to cool. Spread it out into a thin layer, about 1/4 inch thick.
  • After it cools completely, break the granola into clusters and store in an airtight container.

I adapted this recipe slightly because I only had 2 cups of oats vs. 3. Also didn’t feel like getting the food processor out so I chopped the almonds by hand. Recipe from Lovely Little Kitchen

Chocolate Avocado Banana Smoothie

I thought the only fruit available for my smoothie this morning was bananas. I looove smoothies with “only” bananas. Was getting ready to blurt out the recipe for my banana spice smoothie but I’ll save it for another day…

Avocados are a fruit, so I was wrong, I did have another fruit besides bananas. I made an avocado smoothie a few months back and didn’t like the combo and just never tried again. Today the combo was excellent. Ripe avocados + frozen bananas (they must be frozen so the smoothie will turn out cold and thick) + chocolate protein powder + a little honey for sweetness = drinking it faster than usual because it’s so good.

Chocolate Avocado Banana Smoothie

Chocolate Avocado Banana Smoothie

  • 2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 frozen bananas, broken into chunks
  • 1 heaping scoop chocolate protein powder (I use Garden of Life)
  • 2 tablespoons local honey

Method

  • Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender (like a Vitamix) on “smoothie” setting. Instagram it! Serves 2. Enjoy!

Honey Hoisin Glazed Chicken

“You should start an eatery and name it Chicken and just serve this,” stated Travis as he got up from the table last night.

A couple of other people can speak for the crispy, lick your fingers, awesomeness of this chicken. I served it last weekend when my sister Zandria and her husband Paul were visiting and they were also fans. Like the “have a second piece” type of fans.

honey hoisin chicken

It’s a tad spicy. Definitely sticky. Better than the best BBQ sauce. If you don’t eat the skin I’ll hit you. EAT the skin. Or mail it to me as a present.

We served it with a huge pile of farmer’s market kale and spinach mixed up.

honey hoisin chicken

Honey Hoisin Glazed Chicken

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced (I used chives because I have a ton growing right now)
  • 2 teaspoons black and white sesame seeds, for serving (I forgot to use them!)

Method

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare baking tray by lining it with foil. I used a multi-pack of leg and thigh pieces but you could also use wings or just legs. Season chicken with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook in a preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, combine the vinegar and crushed red pepper in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the honey, hoisin and soy sauce.
  • Remove chicken from the oven and liberally brush with the glaze. Return to oven and bake 10 more minutes.
  • Remove chicken from oven and glaze again. Let set for 5-10 minutes before serving to cool down. Extra glaze can be served with chicken for dipping.

Crispy Quinoa Granola

I had no idea that quinoa could be so good as “granola”! It’s like eating crunchy little bursts of energy! Look how this chunk of granola stuck together like a mini granola candy bar…that piece was the first to get eaten!

Crispy Quinoa Granola

Quinoa is a seed that is very high in protein and low in fat. I used organic quinoa that I purchased from Whole Foods. Also I had some sliced almonds on hand so I didn’t need to chop them.

Crispy Quinoa Granola

I enjoyed this granola on a little plate while doing my homework…

Crispy Quinoa Granola-good by iteself

…and on top of frozen yogurt from Sweet Frog (I actually resisted getting any toppings at the store so that I could top it with my granola!)

oa Granola- on Sweet Frog fro yo

Crispy Quinoa Granola

  • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup local organic honey
  • 1/2 cup dried golden raisins
  • *Note: Can easily be doubled and fit on one baking sheet.

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Chop ½ cup almonds. In a medium bowl, combine ¾ cup quinoa, ½ cup pumpkin seeds, ½ cup chopped almonds, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil and ¼ cup honey to thoroughly combine. Spread onto a baking sheet.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, stirring a few times during baking. Add ½ cup golden raisins (or any dried fruit) and let cool 15 minutes. Break any large chunks into small pieces and store in an airtight container.

Recipe from A Couple Cooks

Honey Orange Cleanse

Honey Orange Cleanse

This smoothie is SO refreshing and good! I don’t know what came over me – the smoothie or the fact my spring break starts today at 4:45pm when class is over – but when I got on the treadmill today I bumped it up 2 levels on intensity and changed the speed from my normal 4.0 setting to 4.2! I power walked 4 miles and burned almost 500 calories! Come on bikini season!

Honey Orange Cleanse

  • juice from 1/2 an orange
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 navel orange, peeled
  • 1/4 cup sliced radishes
  • 1/2 cup pineapple, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 3 mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup ice

Method

  • Place all ingredients in the blender in the order listed and secure the lid. Turn dial to “smoothie” and let it run until it turns itself off. 
  • Recipe slightly adapted from Vitamix.

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