Sweet Potato

Sweet Potato Waffles

Sweet potato season is coming in hot. You’re gonna want some sweet potato centric recipes for the cool fall days ahead. Luckily for you guys, every season is sweet potato season in our house, so I’ve got plenty coming your way. Almost anytime I can add sweet potatoes to a recipe I’ll do it.

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And thus my adventure to find the perfect sweet potato waffle began. I tried to go paleo on these, experimented with coconut flour recipes and blah blah they all fell apart. It would have been fine if you’re into eating a pile of broken mushy sweet potato waffles (which doesn’t sound too bad right about now), but I had bigger plans for my waffles. I needed a sturdy waffle to hold up as the base for some turkey cobb sandwiches I had been dreaming up. So, I threw the paleo requirement out the window and went for these sweet potato beauties.

Sweet Potato Waffles

Makes 8-10 medium sized waffles

Adapted from Joy The Baker

Ingredients:

  • 2 small sweet potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose or whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 T packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 T unsalted kerrygold butter, melted
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk (or make butter milk with just under 1 1/4 cup milk and 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice)

Directions:

To roast your potatoes, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place your sweet potatoes on a baking dish and rub with olive oil. Roast until you can insert a fork into the potatoes with no resistance. This could take anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes depending on the size of your sweet potatoes. Allow your potatoes to cool, remove the skin and mash in a medium bowl with a fork. This step can also be done in advance.

In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.

In another medium bowl or a standing mixer, beat together the brown sugar and eggs until well combined. Add in the vanilla. Whisk in the melted butter, syrup, and buttermilk.

Add in the sweet potatoes and all the dry ingredients, mix until combined. Allow this mix to rest as you heat up your waffle iron.

Spray your waffle iron and pour in 1/4-1/3 cup batter for each waffle for a medium sized waffle and cook according to waffle iron instructions. Serve however your heart desires. Mine served as the bread for a delectable sandwich. These also freeze well!

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Sweet Potato “Pizza”

WARNING: If you continue to read this post and/or make this recipe you are not allowed to say that this is not pizza. You are not allowed to hassle me about the fact that potatoes aren’t pizza crust or that yours fell apart or blah blah. You know why? Because this stuff is good whether you think of it as a pizza or not. You’re gonna eat it all. You can call it sweet potato nachos or just stuff on sweet potatoes for all I care, but do me a favor and savor the sweet potato goodness. Give in people! Let it happen.

That being said, some time ago I made a sweet potato pizza.I was nervous about it at first. I had my doubts, but the power of the potato pulled through. It’s a little involved, but the pesto and other toppings could absolutely be made ahead of time or you could just buy some of your favorite pre-made versions to cut down on the time in the kitchen.

And yes, I am ignoring the fact that I haven’t posted on the blog in FOREVER. We are just gonna brush over that. Consider this your “let’s sweep this one under the rug” present.

Sweet Potato Pizza

Crust:

  • 3 huge sweet potatoes or 6 small/medium sweet potatoes
  • pinch paprika
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 large clove garlic, chopped
  • mozzarella cheese

Toppings

  • bell peppers (used 1/2 red and 1/2 orange), sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 3/4 cup pesto
  • bacon, cooked & chopped
  • chicken, cooked and shredded
  • mozzarella cheese

Suggestions:

  • Top with bbq sauce instead of pesto and use pulled pork instead of chicken
  • Add some broccoli or other veggies of choice with your peppers and onions

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Wash and pat dry your sweet potatoes. Cut off the ends and give them a rough peel, no need to stress about getting all the skin off. Using a sharp knife or a mandoline, cut your potatoes lengthwise into 1/8 inch slices. Add the potatoes to a large bowl and toss to coat with the olive oil, garlic, paprika, salt & pepper. Lay the potatoes in a single layer, making sure their ends overlap.

Here is where you add your veggies. Sprinkle your peppers and onions over the sweet potatoes. You don’t want too many toppings on the pizza just yet or else they will burn or end up just steaming the potatoes and you won’t get a good crust. I sprinkled everything with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Then bake for 20 minutes and then broil on high for 10 minutes.

While that is cooking, prep your other toppings. If you have to cook your chicken or fry up your bacon do that here.

After the crust is done, pull the pan out and top everything with 2.5 oz of the cheese. Make sure you get all the seams because the cheese is going to help keep the crust together come stuff your face time. Drizzle on your pesto, sprinkle on the chicken and bacon, and top with the remaining cheese. Return the pizza to the oven and broil for another 8-10 minutes or until your cheese gets bubbly and browned. Take that shit out and cut into slices or dig in with a fork or just put your face in it.

muscle maker meatloaf

Posted by Corie

I love meatloaf.images

No, not that Meatloaf… the other kind.

Meatloaf is a powerful meal.

It has the power to build muscle in a protein packed loaf form. It has the power to hide some nutrient dense veggies with a crispy bacon crust. It has the power to comfort you on those increasingly chilly fall and winter nights. Meatloaf is versatile and tweak-able. Most importantly, meatloaf has the power to please to everyone from the fussiest of 11 year old boys to the health nut dietician and all the way to the bacon loving, muscle builder.

The Meatloaf Method:

1. Choose your meat. I prefer the grass fed ground beef in my meatloaf, but any good quality ground meat can work. You could do chicken, turkey, veal or pork, or a combination of a few.

2. Get your veggies. With meatloaf, you just can’t pass up the opportunity to pack that baby with nutrients. You’re going to get such a great flavor, why not get optimal nutrition too? Use spinach and sweet potatoes, mushrooms and caramelized onions, shredded carrots or zucchini. Whichever veggies you use will determine which spices and seasonings you throw in, but that’s something easily google-able for those of us who haven’t entirely developed that pairing knowledge base yet. Not only are they going to add nutrient density to your meatloaf, veggies can help keep dat loaf nice and moist.

3. BACON. This step is essential. Add it. Layer it on top or in the mix or maybe both.

4. Ditch the breadcrumbs. We don’t need any breadcrumbs or crumbled up crackers up in here. We’ve got ground flax seed, almond flour, and coconut flour, all more nutritious and delicious options.

Now that you’ve got the basics I’m going to give you the recipe for my favorite meatloaf. It’s sweet and savory, tender and juicy. There’s no green veggies inside, so make sure to pair it with a big green salad or some broccoli and kale.

Sweet Potato MeatloafIMG_1926

1/4 lb bacon

1/4 cup raisins

1 yellow onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 large sweet potato

1lb grass fed lean ground beef

1/2 cup almond meal

1 egg

cinnamon

a pinch of salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Take 4 slices bacon and cut into bite-sized pieces. Heat your bacon in a deep saute pan until you start to see a nice crisp on your bacon. Add in the raisins, garlic, and onions and let cook.

While those are cooking peel and shred your sweet potato. I’d suggest using a food processor, but if you don’t have one, no need to panic. When I was up at school this meal was my go-to and I always shredded them by hand with a grater or shredder. You can use a vegetable peeler and then you get these beautiful ribbons of sweet potato in your meatloaf. It’s a bit of a workout, which just means you deserve an extra piece of meatloaf when you’re done.

Once the bacon is cooked, the onions are translucent, and the raisins start to bloat a bit, add them all to a large bowl. Mix in the rest of your ingredients (the beef, almond flour, sweet potato, egg, cinnamon, salt and pepper). Get in there and mix everything together with your hands. When it’s all well incorporated press your meatloaf into a loaf pan and top with the rest of your strips of bacon… you know… for good measure.

Bake for about 40 minutes or until cooked through. The bacon will be perfectly crispy and your kitchen will smell like heaven. Eat up.

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adapted from PaleOMG.com 

how to impress your friends with bacon

Posted by Corie

I’ve been getting some flack for not writing about my favorite food group on the blog yet… bacon. Hello people, I couldn’t just half ass my first bacon related post! That wouldn’t do all that thick cut, crispy goodness justice. I had to wait for the perfect recipe. One that got my tastebuds excited for bacon all over again. Guess who found one? This gal.

A bacon Kevin Bacon

A bacon Kevin Bacon

Hold up. Isn’t bacon bad for you? Isn’t it so fatty? Like bad fatty? Won’t all that fat make me fat? Blah, blah, blah… NO. Stop right there. Yeah, sure, bacon’s a processed meat and eating bacon at every meal every day wouldn’t be smart, but we’ve talked about this before… fat does not make you fat. Actually, about half the fats in bacon are monounsaturated fats, more specifically oleic acid, which is the same one claimed to be the heart healthy element in olive oil.  Times are a-changing. We know that saturated fat isn’t as harmful as we once thought and that cholesterol in the diet doesn’t affect the cholesterol in the blood. Woah. Knowledge bomb.  There’s a good deal of sodium… I mean bacon is cured. However, if you’re mostly avoiding the biggest culprit of sodium in the diet [processed, packaged foods and beverages] then you can take some salty bacon every once in a while.

Bottom line, if you’re working hard and living a healthy lifestyle, then you deserve some bacon, dammit! Don’t let anyone tell you any different.There is so much possibility in a few strips of nature’s candy.

Some bacon rules to live by:

  • Get the good stuff. Quality, quality, quality is key. What that pig ate, affects the composition of the meat you’re getting as well as the conditions that pig was in. Put the good stuff in, and you’ll get better stuff out. It’s worth it.
  • Get the thick stuff. That’s where it’s at. Get more bang for your buck. The thick cut stuff is more satisfying, unlike housing a pan full of wimpy bacon slices.
  • Get your priorities straight. Bacon isn’t a main dish. You don’t want a plate full of bacon with a side of something else. It should be treated like a dish enhancer. Everything tastes better with a little bacon. Don’t overdo it.

Alright, back to the food. I had been wanting to stuff sweet potatoes with bbq pulled pork. I even bought a really nice pork shoulder from whole foods, but had been dragging my feet about it. Then, a few nights ago, my mom made these AH-MAH-ZING sweet potatoes that were twice baked and stuffed with bacon and shrimp. OMG incredible. I was inspired and got right to work on these bacon and pulled pork stuffed sweet potatoes. They’re even orange for halloween. OoOoooOOOoo spooky.

Bacon & Pulled Pork Stuffed Sweet PotatoesIMG_3586

3 huge sweet potatoes (or 4-5 medium sized potatoes)

3 slices thick-cut bacon

1 pound pulled pork (recipe I used is below, but any would do)

Kerrygold Butter

salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Rub your potatoes with olive oil, put em on a backing sheet and bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until soft. While those are cooking, throw your bacon in a pan over medium-high heat and cook those babies up. When done. chop up into pieces and put aside.

When the potatoes are done, take them out of the oven, leaving the oven on, and let them cool a little. Slice the potatoes in half horizontally if huge and if small then just take the tops off. Scoop out a majority of the sweet potato flesh [things are getting graphic] and put it in a big bowl. Mash it all up until super smooth. Then throw in your bacon and some of your pulled pork. Use your judgement here and put in as much or as little pork as you’d like. Throw in a little bit of kerrygold butter, like a tablespoon and mix everything all up. Season to taste.

Scoop your mix back into the sweet potato skins and throw them back into the oven for another 15 minutes. Take potatoes out. Smother with more pork. Eat.

Sweet & Savory Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

2 medium yellow onions, sliced thin

4 medium garlic cloves, sliced thin

1 cup low sodium chicken broth or stock

1 tbsp packed brown sugar

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tbsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1 3-5 pound boneless pork shoulder (aka dat pork butt), any twine or netting removed

1-1 1/2 cups bbq sauce (optional)

Throw your onions, garlic, and chicken broth all into the slow cooker. Mix together the brown sugar, chili powder, salt, cumin, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Rub the mix all over your pork getting all the nooks and crannies. Then set the pork shoulder on top of the onions and garlic. Put the top on and cook on high for 6-8 hours or on low for 8-10 hours until that pork is for tender.

Go do your shit

Turn your slow cooker off and carefully move the pork shoulder to a cutting board.  Strain the remaining liquid and onion mix into a bowl that can take some heat, through a mesh strainer. Discard the onions (or save if you like them). Set the liquid aside.

Using two forks, shred your pork into bite size pieces, getting rid of any large hunks of fat. Return the meat to the slow cooker and add in your bbq sauce or add back in some of the cooking liquid to keep the pork nice and juicy. Taste and season if necessary.

adapted from chow.com

References for all that science-ness. Let’s be evidence based and shit.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2544536/

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2010/01/13/ajcn.2009.27725.abstract

http://journals.lww.com/co-clinicalnutrition/Abstract/2006/01000/Dietary_cholesterol_provided_by_eggs_and_plasma.4.aspx

http://authoritynutrition.com/is-bacon-bad-or-good/

tips to up your salad game

Posted by Corie

I’ve eaten a lot of salads in my day. Okay I’m only 22, but regardless I’ve eaten a shit ton of salads. You go out to eat or you go to a party and for the most part, you see the same salads. You got your house, your caesar, your spinach, maybe a pear walnut, if you’re lucky. Ugh, it gets boring. Lettuce, cucumber, tomato, boring salad ingredient, boring salad ingredient, boring salad ingredient.  Where’s the inspiration? Where’s the creativity?

sad-woman-salad-vert

She’s sad cause her salad sucks.

Listen, I’m all for salads. I pack a salad for lunch everyday. But if you’re packing the same, boring salads, void of excitement, every single day… well, you’re going to end up hating it. Not only that, but you’re probably going to stop doing it and write off healthy eating for a little while or develop a deep seated hatred for any green vegetable resembling a salad. I don’t want that. I want you to look forward to your salads as much as I look forward to mine so here are my tips for upping your salad game:

  • Leftovers are always fair game. This is where I get most of the proteins in my salads. Did you have flank steak for dinner? How about some pork chops? Maybe bbq chicken? Whatever the case, it’ll probably make for a bitchin’ salad ingredient the next day.

 

  • Not much left over? No worries. Throw in a hardboiled egg with your leftovers. It’s basically a little package of protein AND eggs have this really cool ability to tie your salad all together when it’s all mixed up. You’ll get it.

 

  • Ditch the iceberg and limit the romaine. Iceberg lettuce is nothing. It’s just not worth it. There are so many choices out there for nutrition packed greens. Used mixed lettuce, spinach, baby kale and collards. The options are endless and so are the benefits of a diet packed with vitamins and minerals.

 

  • Cook some stuff. This is my FAVORITE way to spice things up. I roast or sauté veggies like zucchini, asparagus, eggplant, and sweet potatoes either right before or the night before. These are DEE-LISH-US salad toppers, even cold the next day. Throw them in and you’re getting a whole other level of flavor. Also, kale can be hard to stomach. Let’s be honest… it tastes like dirt. Guess what though? It tastes a lot better sautéed in olive oil and garlic, then sprinkled with salt. Kale can be your friend, just give him a chance.

 

  • Use whole nuts in your salad. I’ve got this weird thing for roasted, unsalted cashews and almonds. I throw a little handful of them in my salad and get so excited when I come across them come lunch time. Those good fats, the ones we’re not afraid of anymore, are good for keeping you more satisfied and fuller longer to get you through those long days.

 

  • Play around with fun fruits. Buy a mango or some kiwi. Dice those babies up and you’ve got a salad that’ll make you feel like you’re on a tropical vacation. Use a vegetable peeler and shave in slices of apples or pears. This is another one of those ingredients that really pulls a salad together.

 

  • Last, but not least, keep your dressing simple. You want your flavor to come from your salad ingredients, not a heavy dressing that’s gonna weigh you down all day. I was never into buying salad dressings, but I recently found a very simple vinaigrette that I’m into. Check the ingredient list and stay away from anything with sugar listed as one of the first 5 ingredients. That shit’s no good. You don’t want to put in the time making a kick ass salad to just smother it in something gnarly.

Here’s a recipe for the salad I made today that inspired this post.

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Kale & Sweet Potato Salad w/ a Tropical Twist

1/4 sweet potato, chopped

1 handful kale, rough chopped

1 large handful mixed greens

1 large handful baby spinach

1/4 cucumber, sliced

1/4 mango, chopped

4-6 oz rotisserie chicken

small handful roasted, unsalted almonds and cashews

dressing of choice

Take your sweet potatoes and throw them in a hot sauté pan with some olive oil. Let them cook until nice and golden brown on all sides and sprinkle with some course salt.

While those are cooking, prep your salad. Throw the mixed greens and spinach, cucumber, mango, chicken, and nuts all into a large bowl. My salad was pretty big, so feel free to adjust the ingredients as needed.

When your sweet potatoes are done and cooked through, toss them in there. Throw your kale in the same pan and splash a little olive oil in there. Throw in some minced garlic and let that stuff cook until wilted and fragrant. sprinkle with that salt and throw that in your salad too. I like to eat them still hot. I’m all about that hot and cool mix, but if you’re not, feel free to cook these ahead of time and let them cool in the fridge. You can even cook them the night before for easy prep on a weekday.

Drizzle with your dressing, toss, and enjoy. Eat this one slow. It’s the first of many tasty salads to come.

 

smart snacking and sweet potato pancakes

 

 

 

 

Healthy-Eating-On-the-Go

Posted by Corie

I get a lot of questions about snacking on the run.

I’ll let you in on a little secret: the key to eating healthy “on the go” is to be prepared. Simple as that.

Our lives are hectic. We are busy people, with lots of stuff on the brain. There’s no way we can find any extra space in our heads, let alone extra time in the day for things like meal planning…. okay, okay, hold up.

Almost every food company markets a line of convenience items for the working gal, business buff, active athlete, full time mom, etc, etc. Everyone thinks that because we work or we run from here to there that we need these processed snacks to grab and get us through the day. Put your work first and your nutrition on the back burner. Let’s stop and think about that…

If you’re hungry, your work, your performance, your productivity is going to suffer.  And what do those processed snack foods [even the ones claiming to be healthy] do to your body? They spike your blood sugar and they leave you hungry. That’s a lose, lose situation. With a small, and I’m talkin’ minimal, amount of extra effort we can kick those processed snacks to the curb and be ready for anything with healthy snacks.

That Little Extra

Here’s some tips on putting in just a little extra so that you can be prepped with healthy snacks for the week. Don’t limit yourself to these, the internet is a crazy place full of  ideas.

  • Invest in some good containers. You’ll never want to pack things if it’s a pain in the ass to find any of the lids to your tupperware. If you’ve got a good set with a couple of each size you’re set.
  • Try and get a little of everything in your snacks (some protein, veggie or fruit, and fat)
  • Section some natural peanut butter out into small containers when you buy it. This way, you’ve got your own “to-go” cups for bananas or apple slices, or to just eat with a spoon… Okay, maybe don’t do that last one too often.
  • Make enough to have leftovers. I always buy extra to make for dinner. I might have to fend off the scavengers at the end of the meal, but my stomach sure does thank me when there’s leftover flank steak strips to grab and run with the next day.
  • If you are gonna go with something packaged, choose wisely. Steve’s PaleoGoods makes some awesome stuff and all proceeds go towards an awesome cause. Check out more about them here.
  • Hard boil eggs. You can hard boil a whole or half dozen on the weekend and keep them in the fridge. A protein packed egg is perfect to grab and go with.
  • Make cakes. I’m not talking the fluffy shit you get at the end of a birthday party. I’m talking veggie cakes. I’ve made swiss chard cakes, zucchini cakes, and my personal favorite, sweet potato pancakes. They are tasty, stay in the fridge, and hold up well on the run! Just make them on a Sunday when you’ve got some down time or as a weeknight side with plenty of leftovers.

 

IMG_2182Here’s the recipe so you can get started snacking healthy

Sweet Potato Pancakes

(makes about 10)

1 large sweet potato

1/2 a yellow onion

2 eggs

1/2 tbsp almond flour (or coconut flour)

1/2 tsp salt and pepper

2 tbsp coconut oil

Shred your sweet potato and onion. I used a food processor and that took no time at all. You could also shred them with a grater. Put all your shreddings on a towel and squeeze out all the moisture. Set aside on the towel.

In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, flour, salt, and pepper. Try and squeeze any remaining moisture out of the sweet potato and onions then throw them into the bowl. Mix well.

Heat your coconut oil in a small/medium sized skillet or pan. Add small handfuls of the potato mix to the hot oil. Cook for a few minutes on each side until golden brown and all stuck together. Place on a paper towel after frying to soak up any extra oil.

barely adapted from Healy Eats Real