Sometimes simple is best. And this recipe for Sweet Potato Hash is incredibly simple. It just so happens to be incredibly delicious and nutritious as well! Plus, I love coming up with recipes that are easily made from ingredients I usually always have stocked in my fridge, freezer, and pantry!
Today’s recipe is a favorite of mine because sweet potatoes….enough said! These babies pack a powerhouse of nutritional goodness and flavor, making them one of my favorite foods! They are low in calories – 115 per one cup of cubed sweet potatoes, and they are LOADED with vitamin A which plays a critical role in maintaining our vision, immune systems, and neurological functions. Even if they didn’t taste fantabulous, I’d still want to eat them just for their nutrients.
Today’s hash recipe is perfect for weekend brunch, or as a simple weeknight dinner. In fact, it’d be perfect to serve for a Meatless Monday dinner! Add a little chopped avocado for some healthy fats and fiber, top it all with a soft poached egg for some protein, add a sprinkle of red pepper flakes for a zippy bit of spice, and you’ll have what I consider to be a perfect simple meal! Flavor, nutrition, spice, and gorgeous color all in one dish…see…it is the perfect meal!
For those of you who prefer meat with their meals (like Mr. CEBH), feel free to add some chopped ham or bacon! I made it with ham for my husband and even though he’s not a huge sweet potato fan (how is that even possible?!?), he thoroughly enjoyed it. I think the ham helped disguise the sweet potato flavor for him…husbands and kids…the lengths we go to in order to get them to eat healthy! 😉
Just look at that yolk…it makes the perfect sauce for this bowl of hash goodness!
To compliment the sweet potatoes in this dish I also added Yukon gold potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, green peppers, and onions. Feel free to follow the recipe exactly, or sub in your family’s favorite vegetables. Either way, you’ll have a dinner on the table in practically no time with this Sweet Potato Hash recipe!
Sweet Potato Hash
A simple, flavorful, nutrient dense dish perfect for brunch or dinner.
Do you ever get a really random intense food craving?!? Something that just strikes out of the blue with no rhyme nor reason?!? It happened to me one day last week. I was quilting away and all of the sudden…BEETS…I just had to have some beets! Now don’t get me wrong – I like beets! I like beets quite a lot actually. But considering I’m not pregnant I just thought it was an odd craving! Has anybody ever heard of menopausal cravings? Maybe that’s a thing and if so, I need to know about it so I can blame one more thing on menopause! If it’s not a thing – tough! I’m blaming menopause anyway! 😉
I use my quilting (my “real” job) time to think deep thoughts…thoughts about life, family, politics, the afterlife, relationships, business, etc., and oddly enough…to develop recipes! 😉 I just figure if I’m standing behind a noisy machine for a couple hours, doing something that for the most part comes as second nature and thus requiring little thought, I may as well put that idle thinking time to good use! So by the time I’d finished the quilt I was working on, I’d come up with a recipe for those beets I was craving! And today I’m sharing it with you…just in case you have a sudden random beet craving!
The beets are peeled and cut into bite sized pieces, tossed with olive oil and a few seasonings, and roasted until they’re fork tender. The wheat berries are simmered in a mixture of water and orange juice to infuse them with a hint of orange flavor. The dressing is a simple vinaigrette made from olive oil, white Balsamic vinegar, orange juice, honey, poppy seeds, and seasonings. The cooked beets and berries are combined along with a little of the dressing and refrigerated for a few hours to allow the flavors to meld and to completely chill.
There’s something really wonderful about the earthy sweetness of the roasted beets and the subtle orange flavor and chewy texture of the wheat berries that combine to make an incredibly hearty and flavorful mid-winter salad! A bed of mixed greens with spicy arugula, the roasted beets and orange wheat berries, some roasted sunflower seeds for crunch, a few shavings of Parmesan cheese, and a tangy citrus dressing make this a perfect lunch! Serve it alongside a piece of baked fish or chicken and you’ve got a satisfying dinner! Any way you choose to serve it, it’s a little departure from the typical winter fare…a uniquely bold salad to satisfy my kooky beet craving! I hope my beet-craving-inspired salad brightens your day and helps chase away the mid-winter doldrums!
What have you been craving lately? Anything as random as beets?!? Let me know in the comments what you’ve had a hankering for and what you made to satisfy your craving! Or…share your craving and we can brainstorm a recipe together!
Roasted Beet & Orange Wheat Berry Salad
A uniquely bold and flavorful salad perfect for chasing away mid-winter doldrums!
Sweet potatoes seem to be a very en vogue culinary trend right now…one which I happily embrace! If being trendy is wrong, I don’t want to be right! I’ve been a fan of sweet potatoes for as long as I’ve been cooking – and let’s just say that’s a VERY long time! Not just any sweet potato recipe though – only ones made with fresh sweet potatoes! You know…the ones purchased from the produce section at the grocery store, from the local farmers market, or perhaps even grown in one’s own garden! I am wholly opposed to canned sweet potatoes – the texture and flavor cannot match fresh! Does that make me a sweet potato snob?!? Probably! But, like my friend the sweet potato, I’m thick-skinned and I can take any blow back regarding my sweet potato snobbery!
A few years ago when spiralizing vegetables first became a ‘thing’ I bought a counter top spiralizer. It worked great on soft vegetables like zucchini, but it couldn’t handle anything as firm as a fresh sweet potato. Then one day I saw an advertisement for a spiralizing attachment that fit a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer! In less than 30 seconds I had purchased one (thank you Amazon Prime and 1-click ordering) and anxiously awaited its arrival! Let me tell you…I was excited when it arrived, but my excitement level really amped up when I tried it for the first time! I spiralized all sorts of fruits and vegetables…cucumbers, zucchini, potatoes, apples, onions, carrots, and of course sweet potatoes! It cut through them all easily and I could finally join in on the spiralizing mania!
For some reason the spiralizer attachment feels like a secret agent spy-kit to me…throw back to watching Kim Possible cartoons with my daughter maybe!!! 😉
I especially like spiralizing sweet potatoes because they just naturally take longer to bake or roast, and sometimes time is of the essence when rumbling tummies are involved! For today’s recipe I’ve seasoned the sweet potatoes with chili powder, smoky cumin, spicy cayenne, garlic, and salt. Then I added some freshly grated lime zest and a little lime juice and roasted them in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Once I pulled them out of the oven, I sprinkled on a little cojita cheese mixed with more lime zest and served them with a homemade chipotle ketchup dipping sauce. Not exactly sweet potato fries, and not exactly roasted sweet potatoes, these fall into a category all their own…a category of full on flavor, texture, and aromatic goodness! Serve them alongside a meat main course, as a vegetarian main dish, or as a brunch dish with a couple soft poached eggs and diced avocado on top!
Homemade Chipotle Ketchup is perfect for dipping Sweet Potato Curls!
I wonder how many other ways you can envision serving these amazing sweet potato curls?!? Leave me a comment and we’ll talk!!! 😉
Chili Lime Sweet Potato Curls
Spicy and zesty, these Chili Lime Sweet Potato Curls are perfect as a side, and delicious enough to be served as a vegetarian main dish!
The only time we had sweet potatoes when I was growing up was for Thanksgiving, or occasionally Easter. I guess sweet potatoes just weren’t in vogue 40 or 50 years ago like they are today. What a shame really – because what I wouldn’t have given for something other than Candied Yams as a Thanksgiving side dish! I’m not sure if other parts of the country ate them for the holidays like we did here in Iowa, but by the time my mom or grandma got done ‘doctoring’ up those mushy from-a-can yams I don’t they could even be counted as a vegetable anymore! And yep – they were from a can…yuk…drained and poured into a casserole dish. Then they were smothered in brown sugar and melted butter and baked until they were hot and bubbly. But then – because gobs of brown sugar and butter apparently wasn’t gross enough – the last few minutes in the oven they’d get topped with marshmallows and baked until they were golden brown. I think people like them for the precise reason I didn’t…they were sickly sweet and more like a dessert than a vegetable side dish!
Thankfully sweet potatoes today are treated with more respect than they were in the 60’s and 70’s! There are so many wonderful ways to enjoy the flavor and health benefits of sweet potatoes – roasting, baking, grilling, in salads and soups, fried, mashed…the sky’s the limit! And I, for one, frequently include sweet potatoes into my meal plans -only just the more modern versions. I think the candied yams of yesteryear should be left off today’s Thanksgiving menus in favor of an updated, healthier, definitely more delicious version like the one that I’m sharing today!
See…clearly sweet potatoes and apples…no disguising what you’re getting here with a bunch of sugar, butter and marshmallows!
With this dish there’s certainly no attempt to disguise the sweet potatoes- in fact – I want them to shine! By roasting them with apples and rosemary their natural sweetness is enhanced – not smothered. And when drizzled with the Maple Balsamic Reduction this dish becomes one of the best things I’ve ever EVER eaten! Seriously this reduction is incredible! It’s sweet and tangy, thick and glossy, and the perfect complement to the roasted sweet potatoes and apples!
And just look at that perfect maple balsamic reduction!
Look how beautiful this dish is in it’s simplicity, yet it’s more than special enough to earn a spot on the Thanksgiving table – or the Tuesday night dinner table for that matter!
Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Apples with Maple Balsamic Reduction
Kick the canned yams to the curb this Thanksgiving and serve these simple, yet delicious and sophisticated, sweet potatoes instead!
Okay you guys….as I write this it’s still summer. The kids are back in school, but the weather is definitely summer like and Labor Day is a week away yet. Labor Day of course brings us to the unofficial end of summer and start of Fall! Which leads me to think about Fall holidays, and then because I always get carried away, right on to Thanksgiving and Christmas! But, as I’m a certified(able) pre-planner, I feel like now’s the time to start testing recipes and planning ahead for the holidays. In fact, my daughter calls me a con-crastinator because I’m the polar opposite of a procrastinator! 😉 We’re only looking at 8 1/2 weeks until Thanksgiving, which means just over 12 until Christmas. Do you know how quickly that time will FLY by?
This year the holidays will be different for us for many reasons, not the least of which is that I’ve adopted the CEBH lifestyle, so many of our more decadent holiday dishes and treats will either be eliminated or I will need to re-vamp them. For many of us Thanksgiving just wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without a traditional Green Bean Casserole. However, that traditional casserole is loaded with processed foods, fat, and artificial ingredients in the form of canned cream of mushroom soup and crispy fried onions.
I’ve tried to make a somewhat healthier version of Green Bean Casserole in the past, but I’ve never really nailed it until now. And the reason this version is so good is thanks to our secret weapon – cashew cream…so this recipe becomes #6 in our CEBH Cashew Cream recipe series! The creaminess of the cashew cream mimics the consistency of the cream of mushroom soup perfectly! Once I’d managed to find a substitution for the soup the next hurdle was those yummy, crunchy, salty, crispy, fried onions! I knew it would be a challenge to duplicate the exact crunch, but I feel like I’ve come really close! By shaving a couple shallots super thin, quickly sautéing them until crispy, and combining them with pan toasted panko, I’ve managed to match the flavor and crunch of the canned onions!
As a matter of course, I’d obviously prefer to use fresh green beans, but the beans at the store were pathetic and there were none at the farmers market, so I opted for frozen. This is a perfectly wonderful option for when fresh vegetables are not readily available – think Iowa from about October through April! I just really implore you not to use canned green beans for this dish if you can avoid it. The texture and color tends to put me off, plus they’re a little squeaky when I chew them and that grosses me out! But as with all my recipes, use what you have access to and what your family likes. Better canned beans than no beans I always say…actually I don’t think I’ve ever said that before, but it’s still true nonetheless! 😉 All the other ingredients in this recipe should be available year round at your local market. It’s a simple list that of course includes green beans, fresh or frozen, onion, shallots, mushrooms, cashews, panko, and a few other basic pantry items!
Preparation of this green bean casserole is only slightly more complicated than the traditional recipe. Mostly it just takes a little pre-planning (see above regarding my pre-planning *issue*) to soak the cashews for the cashew cream. The cashew cream, just like in our other recipes, is made simply by blending the drained cashews, water, and seasonings in the blender. Cooking the mushrooms and onions is a pretty basic kitchen task for most everyone I think. Frying the shallots and browning the panko is easy because both steps are accomplished in short order using the same pan – first the shallots, then the panko! If using fresh beans they’ll need to be trimmed and steamed for just a couple minutes, as they’ll continue cooking in the oven. Frozen beans can be set out an hour or two ahead to thaw. Once all the components are prepared the casserole goes together in under 2 minutes and bakes at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes until bubbly and heated through. The aroma this green bean casserole emits while baking may cause you to go weak in the knees…I’m just sayin’…in case you’re susceptible to those sorts of things! It will most definitely get you in the mood for dinner though – I promise you that!
Crisping the shallots is a simple process of melting 2 teaspoons of coconut oil over medium high heat and very quickly browning the thinly sliced shallots until dark and crispy. Remove them from the pan to drain on a paper towel. While the pan is still warm, add the panko with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and stir the crumbs around the pan for just a few seconds until they turn golden brown, then remove them from the heat. If you find the pan is too dry after sautéing the shallots you may need to add another teaspoon of coconut oil. The beauty of using the same pan is that the shallot flavored oil left in the pan helps to infuse the panko crumbs with scrumptious shallot-y flavor!
Once everything is ready, mix the green beans, cashew cream, and sautéed mushrooms and onions together. Pour the mixture into a lightly greased casserole dish, sprinkle the crispy shallots and then the toasted panko evenly over the top, pop it in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes, covering the dish with foil after the first 20 minutes or so to keep the shallots from burning.
I hope this is a recipe you’ll try serving to your family and friends this year! I fact, I think the CEBH Green Bean Casserole is even tastier than the traditional version thanks to the fact that it’s made from scratch with no artificial ingredients!
Green Bean Casserole CEBH Style
This Thanksgiving serve your guests a tastier and healthier re-vamped version of a traditional holiday dish.
When we were little, our mom used to tell us not to play with our food. Now that I’m grown up with children (and a grandchild) of my own, I realize what she really meant was : don’t make such a big mess and hurry up so I can finish the dinner dishes and finally sit down and relax for a minute or two! One of the other things I’ve learned as a grown up is that playing with my food is FUN!!! When I was envisioning today’s recipe for some sort of egg & avocado wrap or sandwich I just wasn’t feeling very inspired. Then my friend and I went out for Thai food for lunch and we split an order of fresh spring rolls – and voilà – I’d found my inspiration! Only one problem……I’d never made spring rolls before. But never one to back down from a challenge, I thought this would be the best way to learn how to make them. And you know what??? It was fun playing with my food and learning a new technique at the same time!!! Once I started taking the idea of egg & avocado spring rolls seriously I began to get excited about the different directions I could take this recipe. I had a blast thinking of the different vegetables that I wanted to include. And my imagination was running rampant conjuring up different concoctions for dipping sauces! Obviously I needed eggs and avocados, and since I was making a spring roll, I decided to boil the eggs to make them “rollable”. I added carrots and cucumbers because…..duh…..spring rolls! 😜 After that I just added a few of my favorite veggies, settling on scallions, radishes, arugula, and broccoli sprouts. For the dipping sauce I made a spicy jalapeño mayo (find my homemade mayo recipe here) with cumin and lime juice, which pairs fabulously with all the veggies in the spring rolls. Now of course, because I’m me, I added a pinch of cayenne to the mayo sauce, but it’s completely optional. I imagine most folks would find the jalapeño spicy enough – but then, I’m not most folks! I also tried the spring rolls with honey mustard vinaigrette and raspberry poppyseed vinaigrette and they were fantastic too! I’m sure I could think of at least a dozen other flavors of dipping sauces that would be amazing….I bet you could too! I definitely suggest making the dipping sauce first thing – or even the day before so the flavors can develop while chillin’ in the fridge! The first thing you’ll want to do is boil your eggs. I’ve found mine turn out perfectly every time by putting the eggs in a saucepan, covering them with cold water, and bringing to a boil. Once they’ve come to a rolling boil, turn off the heat, cover the pan, and let them sit 10 minutes. At that point, run cold water into the pan until you can handle the eggs, remove them from the water and refrigerate until ready to use. While the eggs are cooking it’s time to prep the veggies. I really like this part…..I find it incredibly calming to stand in my kitchen and chop vegetables. To simplify the process and get nice thin julienned pieces of cucumber and carrot I started by slicing them with a mandolin, then cutting them into matchsticks. I also used the mandolin to get super thin radish slices. I sliced the avocado as thinly as possible, and sliced each of the boiled eggs into about 8 slices. Finally it’s time to have fun!!! To make the spring rolls soak a sheet rice spring roll paper in hot water until softened and transparent. Carefully transfer the wrapper to a flat working surface like a cutting board and starting layering your spring roll ingredients about 2 inches from the bottom edge. After all your veggies and egg slices are carefully layered, fold up the bottom edge of the rice paper to enclose the spring roll filling. Then fold both sides in toward the center and roll toward the top edge, keeping the roll as tight as possible. Dip your finger in a little water and moisten the top edge of the rice paper, then wrap the spring roll all the way up, sealing it by smoothing the moistened edge flat against the roll. See—-that was a blast! Right??? A couple of these make for a fantastic light lunch, or cut them in half and serve them as appetizers at your next party! Food should definitely be fun – make some egg & avocado spring rolls and enjoy playing with your food! 😉
Egg & Avocado Spring Rolls
Perfect for a light summer meal or appetizer these Egg & Avocado Spring Rolls are fun to make and fun to eat!
1/2 bunch scallions, white and light green parts, sliced thin
1/2 cup broccoli sprouts
1/2 large seedless cucumber, julienned
1 large carrot, julienned
1 cup baby arugula
1/3 cup homemade mayo
1/2 lime, juiced
1 small jalapeño, diced
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne, optional
For the Spring Rolls
Place a sheet of rice paper in a bowl of hot water and soak until transparent and pliable.
Transfer the spring roll wrapper to a flat surface like a cutting board, and beginning about 2" from the bottom edge start layering your spring roll ingredients. Begin with avocado, then eggs, carrots, cucumbers, radish, scallions, broccoli sprouts, and arugula.
Fold bottom edge upward to encase vegetables, fold sides in toward center, and continue rolling toward upper edge, keeping the spring roll as tight as possible.
When nearing the top, dip your finger in water, moisten the top edge of the rice paper just slightly, then roll completely and seal by pressing the moistened edge firmly against the roll.
Continue in this manner until all 8 spring rolls are wrapped.
Just before serving cut each roll in half and serve with spicy mayo dipping sauce, honey mustard vinaigrette, raspberry poppyseed vinaigrette, or your choice of sauces.
For the Spicy Mayo Dipping Sauce
In a small bowl combine mayo, diced jalapeño, juice of 1/2 freshly squeezed lime, cumin, and cayenne.
Stir well, refrigerate in covered container until ready to serve.