Tag Archives: Sweet potato

I love brussel sprouts.

Tonight’s dinner is brought to you by bizarre cravings and hangovers.

Nowadays in my old age, I typically limit myself to a drink or two when I go out – if I am even drinking. This is for a plethora of reasons:

  • To not feel like shiz the next day.
  • To avoid the dreaded “brain cloud” that makes studying, or really any intellectual activity impossible.
  • To be able to have an effective workout, if desired.
  • To remember the people I meet and conversations I have at parties, bars, etc.
  • Too keep my cool while everyone else acts a fool.
  • To not partake in any cringe, tear, or Emergency Room-inducing activities.
Despite all that, last night I had a couple extra and I paid the price for it today. The brain cloud only lifted an hour or so ago and I was able to work on my 10 page lab report – which is due every. single. week. On the bright side, I had a  great time with my friends and got a cute photo out of it: 
Carlyn, Shelby, me, Cassi, Annemieke

When I am hungover, the last thing I ever want to eat is lettuce. For some reason, the mere  thought of my gut trying to digest cellulose is almost enough to send me running to the porcelain throne. I was craving vegetables tonight though, and it made sense to me that cooked vegetables would be more tolerable. That, in combination with my current obsession with Alexia’s frozen sweet potato waffle fries and the desire to get back into my egg and feta cheese phase, was the catalyst to a highly unexpected and extremely delicious dinner.

Don’t knock it till youve tried it.

Sweet potato fries and scrambled brussel sprouts with eggs and feta

lazy iphone pic – sorryyy

The sweet potato fries are a delicious contrast to the savory, cheesy brussel sprouts and eggs. Its not weird – its uhmazing.

Recipe: Serves 1

~1 cup frozen sweet potato waffle fries

4 large brussel sprouts, sliced

3 tbsp onion, chopped

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tbsp lemon juice

1 garlic clove, finely chopped (or garlic salt if you are hungover lazy)

3 egg whites

1 whole, organic egg

~2 tbsp feta cheese

salt

fresh ground pepper

Directions – Place two pans on the stove on medium high heat. Grease one with olive oil and add the onions, garlic, and brussel sprouts. Saute. Add the lemon juice and continue to saute until lightly browned. In the other pan, add the sweet potato fries and occasionally flip until warmed through and slightly browned. In the other pan, once the brussel sprouts and onions are lightly browned, add the egg whites and feta cheese and stir fry until cooked. On a plate, add a layer of sweet potato fries. Top with the brussel sprout egg mixture. Take the whole egg and crack it carefully into one of the pans. Let the white cook but remove before the yolk is cooked. Drizzle the yolk over the entire dish and eat the white. Top dish with salt and fresh ground pepper. Enjoy!!!

Benefits:

Brussel Sprouts * a great source of fiber, folate, and vitamins C, A, and K

Eggs * the yolk is where all the nutrients are! It contains tryptophan, selenium, iodine, B vitamins, and phosphorous, many of which are necessary for optimal metabolism. The egg white has 6 grams of complete protein!

Sweet potato * high in fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, copper, and B6! The antioxidants in sweet potatoes work to eliminate free radicals (which damage the body) and are anti-inflammatory, so they can help alleviate symptoms of many conditions.

Caramelized sweet potato ice cream with toasted marshmallow swirl

I have been on a ridiculous ice cream kick lately. I literally just can’t get enough – I like to think that all the calcium is seeping into my bones and I am now indestructible. To put it metaphorically, ice cream is to me what creatine is to high school football players. Only any weight it may incur ain’t water ;)

To get my fixes, I have been frequenting Davis Creamery. Last time I went in, the semi-stoned, smocked dude smirked and said “Maybe we should just make you a frequent flyer card.”

You do that. Seriously. I was shocked and beyond ecstatic to find that they had a new flavor – sweet potato and marshmallow. I giddily asked for a sample, shoved the wooden stick into my mouth, and then…. my heart sank. It sucked. The sweet potato flavor was lack luster and the marshmallows were raw and there was a lack of depth of flavor in general. I knew I could make it better.

To bring out the best in the sweet potato, the key is to caramelize it first in the oven. Do not disrespect the potato by boiling it. Plus, you wont lose any water soluble nutrients!

And toast the marshmallows, obvs.

caramelized sweet potato ice cream with toasted marshmallow swirl

Recipe: Makes ~2  1-cup servings

1 cup caramelized sweet potato

1 cup organic whole milk, vanilla yogurt (I used Strauss)

6 large marshmallows

2 tbsp brown sugar

2 capfuls vanilla extract

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/4 tsp cinnamon

optional: mini marshmallows for topping, scoop of marshmallow fluff, brown sugar and/or stevia to taste

Directions – Place the metal container of the ice cream maker in the freezer; let it freeze overnight. Bake a sweet potato at 400 degrees until the sugars begin to seep out, about an hour. Refrigerate overnight.The next day, broil the marshmallows on a pan in the oven until browned. Let them cool completely (they will deflate).  Combine the sweet potato with the yogurt, sugar, spices and salt and mix well. Turn on the ice cream maker and pour in the mixture once it is ALREADY SPINNING. It will take about 20 minutes to harden. Midway through, give it a taste test to see if it is sweet to your liking. Just a minute or two before you want to serve the ice cream, add the marshmallows and let them get combined by the ice cream maker. For an additional marshmallow swirl, you can turn off the ice cream maker and use a fork to swirl in marshmallow fluff. Top with toated mini marshmallows and enjoy!

Can be stored tightly sealed in the freezer.

Perrfect. 

What surprised me about this recipe was that although I used whole milk yogurt, it had a similar calorie content  to non-fat frozen yogurt. I realized that the fro-yo has way more sugar in place of the fat. And health wise, fat is >>>> sugar. Plus, the fat gives it an amazing creamy texture that froyo just don’t got.

Benefits:

Sweet potato * high in fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, copper, and B6! The antioxidants in sweet potatoes work to eliminate free radicals (which damage the body) and are anti-inflammatory, so they can help alleviate symptoms of many conditions.

Whole yogurt * loaded with calcium, a bit of protein, and beneficial bacteria that aid in digestion of the lactose and help promote regularity! Plus, the fats in milk products are short chain, which tend to be immediately utilized by the body for energy rather than fat storage.

Masala spiced lentil and sweet potato hash browns – BAM!

I am so glad today is Friday. I need this weekend to study and catch up on my life. It seems to be flying by lately… I added a furry new addition to our house on Wednesday and she is quite the time suck! But I am saving that for a future post ;)!

I had been craving sweet potatoes and hash browns and had a bag of lentils I really wanted to make something with, and thus

Masala Spiced Lentil and Sweet Potato Hash Browns


was born. And oh my god they are amazing. They are crispy but not grossly deep fried. They have an amazing masala spice flavor that is perfectly complimented with garlic and sweet coconut oil. You can have them for dinner with sauteed veggies or breakfast with eggs! Or lunch with turkey bacon? I don’t know. Thats what I did.

Recipe: Makes 10 hash browns

1 sweet potato (2 cups grated)

green lentils (1 cup lightly cooked)

masala spice

onion

carrot

2 whole eggs

2 tbsp whole wheat white flour

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

2 1/2 tbsp coconut oil

salt

Directions -

1. Soak your lentils in warm water with a few drops of lemon for an hour. Drain.

2. Put about an inch and a half of water into a pan. Add a couple baby carrots, some chopped onion, and masala spice to flavor the water. Bring it to a boil. Add your lentils. You can use 1/2 cup or more if you want leftovers. Do not cook until they are super soft. Cook them until they are just under cooked to how you would like to eat them. Mine were just slightly chewy after about 5 minutes. You don’t want them to be too watery for the hash browns. Drain them well. Remove the onion and carrot pieces.

2. Grate your sweet potato using the larger hole setting on your standard grater. (The holes should be about the size of a standard pencil eraser rather than a small peppercorn.) Now you need to remove the moisture. Take a hand towel (that you can bleach later) and lay it flat on a table. Spread the grated potato evenly over the upper half (longways). Hot dog style, fold the other half over. Press hard to absorb moisture. Then roll it up and squeeze more. Then, scrape your potato shavings onto a large napkin.

3. In a large bowl, mix together the 2 cups of grated sweet potatoes, 1 cup of drained lentils, 2 whole eggs, 2 tbsp whole wheat white flour, and lots of masala spice.

4. Heat 1 tbsp of coconut oil in a large pan at medium heat. Add a portion of your chopped garlic. Once the garlic is light brown, turn the heat down a little and add your potato mixture to the pan. I made 4 hash browns in the pan and did 2 rounds of 4 and 1 round of 2. Use a spatula to firmly press the hash browns down into little pancakes.

5. Once they are browned to your liking on one side, flip. Continuously press them down with a spatula, as this will help them stick together. Salt them.

6. Once they are browned on both sides, transfer the hash browns to a cooling rack. Enjoy!

Amazing. My entire house has been raving about them.

Benefits:

Garlic * packed with antioxidants that fight aging, cancer, and heart disease! Garlic can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and eliminate free radicals (which cause cellular damage). It is also used to treat asthma and yeast infections.

Sweet potato * high in fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, copper, and B6! The antioxidants in sweet potatoes work to eliminate free radicals (which damage the body) and are anti-inflammatory, so they can help alleviate symptoms of many conditions.

Coconut oil* coconut gets a bad rap because of its saturated fat content, but its fatty acids are mainly medium-chain triglycerides, not long-chain. The long-chain triglycerides are bad for our cholesterol levels, but coconut has been shown to improve cholesterol levels. Animal studies suggest that medium-chain triglycerides can increase metabolism.

Eggs * the yolk is where all the nutrients are! It contains tryptophan, selenium, iodine, B vitamins, and phosphorous, many of which are necessary for optimal metabolism. The egg white has 6 grams of complete protein!


Goat cheese, spinach, and caramelized onion stuffed sweet potato skins.

The title says it all.

Christmas break has been lovely so far. I have seen Black Swan (so0o intense!), baked fruity cobbler muffins, co-hosted a dinner party (which featured the recipes in this post), gone to a party and seen people from high school and beyond (always entertaining), and danced my booty off at a concert.

Being back in Austin is very comforting. It is such a beautiful city and the food is damn good. Because I cook 3 meals a day-every day back at school, I am trying not to feel guilty about dining out er’ry day over break. Being out of schedule is a bit weird, but that is just one of those things you have to get over.

I have been staying at my friend Courtney’s house for most of break and on Monday night she decided to host a dinner party for the two of us plus 4 more friends. She is a vegetarian and I am just now beginning to appreciate cheese, so we decided to make a salad and sweet potato based meal.

Photography at night is the pits!

Goat cheese, spinach & caramelized onion stuffed sweet potato skins

Recipe: Serves 6

3 sweet potatoes

2 sweet onions

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 11 oz package goat cheese

2 cups baby spinach

sea salt

Roast the sweet potatoes at 375 for about 20-30 minutes, or until just soft enough to slice.

Meanwhile, slice the onions and cook on the stove top with 1 tbsp olive oil. Continue to cook, occasionally stirring, until they are dark brown and sweet.

Remove the sweet potatoes and slice them long ways into planks that are about 1/2-1 inch thick. Cut the planks in half. Place on a baking sheet lined with foil. Broil until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and top first with spinach, then goat cheese, then caramelized onion. Put back in the oven and broil until the goat cheese just begins to brown. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and serve hot.

Kale salad with creamy, citrus vinaigrette

Recipe: Serves 6

2 large bunches kale, washed

2 avocados, chopped

For the dressing –

3 tbsp exra virgin olive oil

5 tbsp apple cider vinegar

the juice and some pulp from 1 tangerine

1 tbsp finely chopped onion

½ tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp goat cheese

1 tbsp avocado

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a tall glass or shaker. Mix well. Use a little of the dressing to massage the kale stalks. Shred the kale into a large salad bowl and add chopped avocados. Toss salad with additional dressing.

Benefits:

Kale * Extremely high levels of vitamins K, A, and C! Also has manganese, calcium, fiber, and antioxidants.

Avocado * contains vitamins A, B, C, and E. Also contain phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, folic acid, zinc, and iron. Their greatest asset is their monounsaturated fat content, which is linked to lower cholesterol levels, reduced risk of heart disease, weight loss, and even alleviating depression.

Onions * contain anti-aging antioxidants phenolics and flavonoids. A study by Dr. Liu showed that pungent and Western yellow onions protected the most against colon cancer, while pungent yellow, Western yellow, and shallots protected the most against liver cancer.

Sweet potato * high in fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, copper, and B6! The antioxidants in sweet potatoes work to eliminate free radicals (which damage the body) and are anti-inflammatory, so they can help alleviate symptoms of many conditions.

Pumpkin Glazed Scallops and Caramelized Sweet Potato with Cinna-Pecan Cream

I am happy to report that the week has very much improved. On Tuesday, I told myself that it was a new day and to just relax and be happy. Life truly is good. I know it is cheesy, but I have so much to be grateful for. Sometimes, it is a fact that is easy to forget when life starts hurdling little sh*t bombs at you. ;) Having a blog and even just being able to read blogs is truly a blessing. Its not like people working 3 jobs have luxury of spending an hour or so a day on the internet. Heck, what about all the people who don’t have enough food or clean water, let alone a computer!

Sermon over.

I got initiated to DG last night! Obviously the ceremony is supaa secret, but I will say that it was really fun with a twist of sentimentality and a tinge of creepiness. AKA awesome.

This recipe is awesome too:

Pumpkin Glazed Scallops and Caramelized Sweet Potato with Cinna-Pecan Cream

I had this for lunch yesterday and it was MUY DELICIOSO! Hagalo PRONTO!

Recipe: Serves 1

5-7 scallops

2 tbsp chopped sweet onion

1/3 cup canned pumpkin

few shakes pumpkin pie spice

dash of salt

tsp butter

1 sweet potato

1/3 cup light sour cream

1 tbsp pecan butter (I made it myself in the blender!)

cinnamon

Directions-

1. Bake the sweet potato at 400 for 45-50 minutes, until juices just begin to seep out.

2. Marinate your scallops and onion in the pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice mixture for at least 15 minutes.

3. Place a pan on the stove at medium heat and melt the butter. Place the scallops and pumpkin mixture in the pan. Cook the scallops on each side for a 2-3 minutes, until thoroughly white. Flip only once.

4. In a small dish, mix together the sour cream, cinnamon, and pecan butter.

5. To serve, spoon the cinnamon pecan cream into the potato. Scrape the scallops and pumpkin glaze onto the plate and sprinkle with salt.

Satisfying, filling, and delicious.

Benefits:

Scallops * are extremely high in protein (they are a MUSCLE, after all!) and a great source of B vitamins, which play a key role in metabolism and hangover prevention. They also contain several minerals and are a good source of omega 3’s! Omega 3s aid in lowering LDL and VLDL and raising HDL cholesterol.

Onions * contain the antioxidants phenolics and flavonoids, which are anti aging because they rid the body of free radicals. You have probably heard that a thousand times and may be wondering what exactly that means. Basically, a free radical is 1 single free electron (a negatively charged atom) that is flying around and can damage cellular DNA. Normally, electrons are in pairs and are trapped in molecular orbitals (kind of like a ring around a planet). This cellular damage is what can later lead to cancer over the course of a lifetime. A study by Dr. Liu showed that pungent and Western yellow onions protected the most against colon cancer, while pungent yellow, Western yellow, and shallots protected the most against liver cancer.

Sweet potato * high in fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, copper, and B6! The antioxidants in sweet potatoes work to eliminate free radicals (which damage the body) and are anti-inflammatory, so they can help alleviate symptoms of many conditions.

Pumpkin * An impressive source of vitamins A and C and iron, manganese, and riboflavin! Also is high in fiber and low in saturated fat.

Cinnamon * The coolest thing about cinnamon is its ability to control blood sugar. Meaning, within reason, that if you use a fair amount of cinnamon in a dish that has sugar or another fast digesting carbohydrate, it will prevent the blood glucose spike that you would normally get. Why does blood sugar matter? Spikes in blood sugar are bad for your health because they cause your body to increase insulin production. Insulin, among many other things, tells your body to store fat. Therefore, eating a sugary/high-in-simple-carbohydrate meal = blood sugar spike = insulin spike = store fat.

Pecans * contains vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, protein and fiber! The fat in pecans is 90% monounsaturated and 70% monounsaturated (the good kind). Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant. Studies have shown that pecans can lower cholesterol and thus are heart healthy! They also have been linked to reduced risk of breast cancer and weight loss.

Sweet Potato Apple Bread!

Good evening! I know my last post was kind of a downer, but life over all has been pretty wonderful. I left UC Santa Barbara for another UC school, and although it has only been a month, I am already loving it here. UCSB was seriously a psychological cancer (for me.) I started out there freshman year in the dorms and struggled to find people that I really connected with. I got involved with the triathlon team, and that helped to an extent, but I still ended up going on meds to lift my spirits. Many of the students there are extremely self and party oriented. It’s like the rest of the world doesn’t exist. I stuck it out sophomore year and moved into a house of girls I found on craigslist. They ended up being pretty awesome, and that made the year much more bearable. I also joined a couple student activism clubs and met a few really incredible people. The only downer was how small those groups were! I wanted more. Over all, in my two years at UCSB, I was collectively less happy than I have been in my 30 days here in northern California. Thursday night was one of my 4 house mate’s birthday. We celebrated!

Kristi, Ruby, Chelsea (bday girl), me, Marisa

Me and the cutest azn ever

Today, I have just been studying for Biochem. But not really. I actually decided to bake a quick bread out of all seasonal ingredients. I have been meeting more and more people recently that are super sugar sensitive, so I decided to try making my own sugar free recipe. It turned out really well (Alex, you should try it!). It also happens to be low fat. You’d never know by the taste though!

Spicy Sweet Potato Apple Bread

So pefect for fall.

Recipe: Makes 1 loave

Dry ingredients –

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, sifted

2 tbsp dried sour cherries (optional, but awesome)

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2-1 tbsp fresh grated ginger

Wet ingredients –

1 egg

1 cup 1% milk

50 drops liquid stevia (or sub in 1/2 cup sugar)

1 cup baked sweet potato, mashed

1/3 of a large, sweet apple, chopped into little pieces

2 tbsp butter, melted

Directions -

Place the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet in another. Mix each separately. Pour the dry over the wet and stir with as few swoops as possible. Pour into a greased 9×5 inch pan.

Bake at 350 for 55 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test.

Benefits:

I don’t usually post nutrition stats, but this bread is so packed with vitamins that I just had to do it!

Nutrition Facts
8 Servings
Amount Per Serving
Calories 167.9
Total Fat 3.9 g
Saturated Fat 1.4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.7 g
Cholesterol 28.7 mg
Sodium 41.2 mg
Potassium 207.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 28.5 g
Dietary Fiber 4.9 g
Sugars 6.2 g
Protein 4.6 g
Vitamin A 34.0 %
Vitamin B-12 3.2 %
Vitamin B-6 6.0 %
Vitamin C 7.9 %
Vitamin D 4.9 %
Vitamin E 1.7 %
Calcium 7.8 %
Copper 5.1 %
Folate 1.6 %
Iron 10.5 %
Magnesium 2.4 %
Manganese 19.4 %
Niacin 2.8 %
Pantothenic Acid 6.2 %
Phosphorus 6.3 %
Riboflavin 7.4 %
Selenium 4.3 %
Thiamin 3.1 %
Zinc 2.3 %

Spicy n’ sweet potato bake!

I am sad that my picture of today’s recipe really does not do it justice. It was so tasty and really simple to make!

This dish consists of a slightly spicy sweet potato base with a coconut and pecan topping. The contrast between the sweet coconut and the smoky chili pepper is quite awesome.

Recipe: Serves 1

1 medium sweet potato

chili pepper, salt, cumin, cayenne pepper

shredded coconut

crushed pecans

1 egg, 2 egg whites

1/4 cup oat bran

Method: Take a baked or microwaved (7 minutes) sweet potato and mash it with the spices, oat bran, and eggs. Top with shredded coconut and pecans. Bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes, until the coconut begins to brown!

Benefits:

Sweet potato * high in fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, copper, and B6! The antioxidants in sweet potatoes work to eliminate free radicals (which damage the body) and are anti-inflammatory, so they can help alleviate symptoms of many conditions.

Eggs * the yolk is where all the nutrients are! It contains tryptophan, selenium, iodine, B vitamins, and phosphorous, many of which are necessary for optimal metabolism.

Coconut * coconut gets a bad rap because of its saturated fat content, but its fatty acids are mainly medium-chain triglycerides, not long-chain. The long-chain triglycerides are bad for our cholesterol levels, but coconut has been shown to improve cholesterol levels. Animal studies suggest that medium-chain triglycerides can increase metabolism.

Pecans * contains vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, protein and fiber! The fat in pecans is 90% monounsaturated and 70% monounsaturated (the good kind). Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant. Studies have shown that pecans can lower cholesterol and thus are heart healthy! They also have been linked to reduced risk of breast cancer and weight loss.

Cayenne pepper * high in antioxidants and temporarily raises the metabolism!

I wouldn’t feed you something that I wouldn’t eat.

Before I type another word I need to get this out of my system:

Okay. I can start now. So, I have been admiring this cooking blog lately. It isn’t a health-oriented blog in the least; the recipes are very luxurious and well, you know, fatlicious. Her photography is marvelous and the food all just looks amazing. I had bookmarked 9 of her recipes to make and decided to tackle these here muffins first. So I went to the post, scrolled past the recipe, and started to read the ‘fluff.’ All of the sudden I came across this sentence:

“Normally I do not eat what I bake, I only taste-test and then away they go to a good home, where they are pampered, loved and sincerely appreciated. If I ate everything I baked I’d be 500 pounds.”

Excuse me? Giirrlll what the heck. If you wouldn’t eat your muffins, why would I want to?! After sitting there dumbfounded and slightly miffed for a little while, I started to think about what she wrote. And I get it. She wants to make the most beautiful and delicious desserts, baked goods, and meals because she can, not because she wants to eat them. I respect this approach to baking and cooking, but it is certainly not mine. I do not bake or make things for others that I would not (or do not) eat myself. And I do not blog recipes that I don’t personally utilize.

How do y’all feel about that? Do you make food but only give it away?

After reading the post, I still wanted to make the muffins. However, I doctored up the recipe to make them a bit more satisfying and nutritious. They went from calorie bombs to about 260 a piece, with 6 grams of protein and 30% of your daily needed vitamin A! They turned out wonderful and oh so delicious. They are not too sweet. They are muffins, not cupcakes, after all. :)

Sweet Potato Muffins Stuffed with Cream Cheese

Recipe: Makes 10 muffins

Muffins -
2 cups white whole wheat flour     (it is just as nutritious as brown whole wheat flour!)

1  3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 ts table salt

1/4 ts baking soda

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp milk

1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

1 cup sweet potato puree

1 1/2 tsp good quality vanilla extract  (I also threw in some vanilla beans!)

1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

2/3 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

Stuffing -
8 tbsp cream cheese

1 tbsp maple syrup

2 tbsp sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

& Cinnamon-sugar mixture to sprinkle on tops of muffins before baking.

1. In a medium bowl, combine all purpose flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and ground nutmeg. Set aside.

2. In another medium bowl combine cream, milk, sweet potato puree and vanilla extract. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and dark brown sugar with an electric mixer, until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

4. Also with the electric mixer, alternately mix in dry and wet ingredients into the butter, starting and ending with the dry; mix only until each addition is just incorporated.

5. Coat a muffin pan with nonstick spray and divide the batter into 10 cups. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with a generous amount of cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until it they pass the toothpick test.

6. The stuffing: combine all ingredients and beat until well incorporated. To fill the muffins, I carved out a smallish hole and squeezed the stuffing in from a plastic baggy with a tiny hole in the corner.

Benefits:

Sweet potato * SO good for you. Loads of vitamin A (as beta carotene!), C, copper, manganese, and fiber! The vitamin A acts as an anti oxidant in the body to eliminate free radicals that harm DNA. Its important to know that the skin contains 3x more antioxidant activity than the orange flesh!

Sweet Potato-Quinoa-Pecan Tamales!

Aye aye ayeeeeeee! These were to die for! Courtney and I are just lounging on the couch right now with huge smiles. Success. Yussss.

Hubba hubba

Recipe: Serves 1, makes 4 tamales

I highly recommend multiplying the recipe and freezing leftovers!

The day before (recommended)…

Bake 1 sweet potato at 400 for 75 minutes, until it is so cooked that it begins to caramelize and seep out the sides.

Boil 1 cup of quinoa with 2 cups of water for about 15 minutes, until the water has evaporated off.

The day of

Soak 7 corn husks in warm water for atleast 90 minutes. 2 hours or more would be ideal. Make sure they are submerged!

Saute 1/4 cup chopped yellow onions until caramelized. Push the onions to the side and add 1 tsp butter. Add in 1/2 cup cooked quinoa. Stir in a pinch of pumpkin pie spice, chili pepper, cayenne pepper, and salt. Let the flavors meld for a few minutes.

In a bowl, measure out 3/4 cup cooked sweet potato. Add in the quinoa-onion mixture and 1/2 tsp butter. Crumble 7 large roasted  pecans into the bowl. Add as much additional pumpkin pie spice, chili pepper, cayenne pepper, and salt as you wish. Stir. Add a little dash of pepper.

Preheat the oven to 400.

Divide the tamale dough among four corn husks and wrap it up so it is completely covered.

Find a deep dish that is oven safe. Add 1-2 tbsp water, depending on the size of the container. Use three corn husks (or more if needed) to make a blanket over the water in the dish. Place the tamales on top of the husk blanket. Cover the entire dish with foil. Poke a small hole for ventilation.

Bake for 30 minutes. Then remove the foil covering and the husk blanket. Bake for an additional 15 minutes.

They should be very moist on the inside and slightly less moist on the outside. They should also be a bit firm, not mushy.

Benefits:

Sweet potato * high in fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, copper, and B6! The antioxidants in sweet potatoes work to eliminate free radicals (which damage the body) and are anti-inflammatory, so they can help alleviate symptoms of many conditions.

Quinoa *  This super food has more protein, fiber, and nutrients than rice, oats, and basically every other grain.

Pecans * contains vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, protein and fiber! The fat in pecans is 90% monounsaturated and 70% monounsaturated (the good kind). Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant. Studies have shown that pecans can lower cholesterol and thus are heart healthy! They also have been linked to reduced risk of breast cancer and weight loss.

Cayenne pepper * high in antioxidants and temporarily raises the metabolism!

Caramelized Sweet Potato with Walnut Buttercream Sauce

This photo speaks for itself.

Recipe: Serves 1

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Loosely wrap a sweet potato in foil and bake for 45-60 minutes. It is done when it is very soft and can be easily punctured. I like it so well done that the inside begins to caramelize and seep out :)

Combine a little under 1 tbsp melted canola butter, 1-2 tbsp skim milk, 1 1/2 tbsp light sour cream, a dash of salt, and about 5 whole walnuts in the smallest container for the Magic Bullet (or other blender) and blend until smooth.

Pour into a small microwavable bowl and microwave for 10 seconds. Let it sit for a few minutes to thicken.

Pour the sauce onto the sweet potato. Garnish with a few chopped walnuts and enjoy!

Benefits:

Walnuts * extremely high in omega 3 fatty acids and manganese! They also contain the antioxidants ellagaic acid which protect against cancer and help out the immune system.

Sweet potato * high in fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, copper, and B6! The antioxidants in sweet potatoes work to eliminate free radicals (which damage the body) and are anti-inflammatory, so they can help alleviate symptoms of many conditions.