sweet potato with sautéed tomatoes and figs

Eating clean is an experiment in texture and flavor. You experiment with combinations you wouldn’t usually try because usually you’d have a Everything bagel slathered with cream cheese. Eating clean takes discipline.
mmmm. cream cheese . . . 

Ahem. Right. Clean eating.

It’s September second and the inter-webs are flooded with words about and recipes for pumpkin spice. I was initially thrilled, (because PUMPKIN SPICE!) and then amused, and then alarmed. My thoughts of adding to the glut here at EatWriteRepeat dissipated because of the overwhelming backlash. I had no idea pumpkin spice was such a heated topic! I mean, I know it’s all about rushing the season and what not, but good grief. No one grows this worked up over Christmas decor before Thanksgiving. The injustice!

Anyway. I’ll spare us all the drama. Here’s a sweet-potato recipe instead. Be warned though, I’m working on a savory pumpkin soup recipe for as soon as the temperatures dip a bit. And there’s a good possibility I’ll run by Starbucks this afternoon. *wink*

BAKED SWEET POTATO WITH SAUTÉED BABY TOMATOES AND FIGS

2 sweet potatoes
2 teaspoons clarified butter
1/2 cup baby tomatoes—halved (the Constellation mix is my fav)
6-8 fresh figs—halved
dash of salt
dash of pepper
dash of cinnamon

Bake sweet potatoes in the oven at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes. Until the skin is slightly crisped and the potato pierces easily with a fork.

In a pan, over medium heat, melt 2 teaspoons clarified butter. Toss tomatoes and figs into the pan with salt, pepper and cinnamon. Sauté until soft and the juice from the fruit is beginning to caramelize.

Spoon over baked sweet potato and serve warm.

• Makes two servings

asparagus, arugula and feta quiche on a dill and sweet potato crust

“I’ll have dinner ready before I leave this evening,” I said, blithely. Forgetting for a moment that my kitchen is in full-on renovation mode and looks like this right now:

—That’s how excited I was about the prospect of heading out for a few hours. Never mind that the majority of that time would be spent at parent-teacher conferences.
Point: I promised to make dinner. And as I waved my people off to work and school, slung the baby on a hip, and poured more OJ for the toddler, I scanned my kitchen. This place is a mess. I’m using dressers as countertops because any furniture with a flat surface serves as counter space in a pinch.

So. On to dinner promises.
Ingredient list possibilities for my promise keeping endeavors included . . . Sweet potatoes, eggs, greens, asparagus. Feta. A dash of Parm? Why not. Parmesan makes everything better. Including kitchens. Throw it all together and presto: Asparagus, Arugula, and Feta Quiche on a Dill and Sweet Potato Crust. And as fancy as that sounds (or not, I don’t know, I live in kid land—it sounds fancy to me) it’s a cinch to make. Even if your kitchen is all torn up and you’re busy being someone’s parent.

Enjoy!

ASPARAGUS, ARUGULA AND FETA QUICHE ON A DILL AND SWEET POTATO CRUST 

CRUST
1 sweet potato, peeled and grated
dash of salt
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
1/2 teaspoon onion flakes
3 tablespoons olive oil
2/3 cup flour

In a skillet, heat olive oil and toss in grated sweet potato. Sprinkle on salt, dill, and onion flakes and still until combined. Heat and cook through until potato is soft and begins to crisp and brown along the edges.

Transfer to a mixing bowl and add flour, stirring to combine until a sort of dough forms. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then press the crust into a greased pie plate. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Remove and set aside.

QUICHE
5 eggs
1 cup cream
1/2 teaspoon diced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 oz Feta cheese
3 handfuls of greens (I used baby spinach and arugula
1/2 a bunch of asparagus—about 12 stalks—trimmed
A dash of parmesan

In the same mixing bowl you used before (save yourself some dishwashing, right?!) crack eggs and whisk together with cream, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add cheese and greens and stir until everything is well coated with egg mixture. Pour into the prepared sweet-potato crust, and then arrange the trimmed asparagus stalks to your liking. Sprinkle a generous dash of parmesan cheese over the asparagus.

Bake at 350 degrees until the top of the quiche is firm, puffed, and lightly browned. About 35-40 minutes.

dilly fingerling potatoes 

You know what guys? Fingerling potatoes look a lot like . . . fingers. Just saying. And not in the like, “That’s awesome!” kind of way. More in the, “Well that’s odd,” kind of way.

Excellent.

Now that that’s out of the way, on to this most delicious recipe, staring: fingerling potatoes. Is that gross? I don’t know. Sorry, not sorry. Because this really is delicious. Reminiscent of summer picnics and everything cool and refreshing. Or, if you’re like me, a prefect late-night snack! Or if you prefer, a potato side dish that delights rather than bores.

Enjoy!

DILLY FINGERLING POTATOES

1/2 lb fingerling potatoes
1/2 cup homemade mayo
1/2 teaspoon salt
a dash of pepper
dill weed
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon garlic
3/4 cup plain greek yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice

slice the potatoes in rounds—about 1/2 inch in width. I love these little potatoes because just a few slices and you have the most perfectly-sized bites imaginable.
Cover with cold water and a dash of salt in a medium cooking pot, and bring to boil on med-high heat. Boil for 10 minutes or so—until fork tender but not falling apart. These little potato bites will need to hold their own in the dilly mayo sauce they’re about to be slathered in.

In a bowl, blend 1 cup homemade mayo, (this is truly the easiest thing in the world to make and SO good, but if you’re intimidated, go ahead and use whatever remade mayo strikes your fancy), salt, pepper, dill weed, ground mustard, sugar, and diced garlic together until well combined. Add vinegar, lemon juice and greek yogurt, and whisk until smooth and all ingredients are fully incorporated. Spoon over cooled potatoes in generous amounts. No holding back here. You’re going to want to pour it all on.
Yes. Go ahead. All of it. The sauce makes these guys sing.

Serve as a chilled side to grilled chicken, brats, or my favorite: salmon.

carrot and parsnip mash

Sometimes mashed potatoes are the best thing in the history of ever. And sometimes they aren’t. —Like when you’re doing Whole30. Mashed sweet potatoes are a nice substitute, but they are so . . . sweet.
So.
Here’s a savory substitute to gorgeous, fluffy, buttery mashed potatoes that is not only better for you, but also fluffy and gorgeous, pretty to look at, and entirely vegetable-based. I threw in a little coconut cream to make things extra decadent.
Want to make it more of a meal? Throw on a soft egg or a steak. BOOM.
Enjoy!

CARROT AND PARSNIP MASH

6 carrots, peeled, and chopped
6 parsnips, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup coconut cream
1 teaspoon onion flakes
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot boil chopped carrots and parsnips until fork-tender, just as you would potatoes. Drain and return veggies to pot. Add coconut cream, onion flakes, salt and pepper, and using either a hand-held beater or immersion blender, whirl until the veggies begin to soften and blend together. I like my mash a little chunky. A few pieces of vegetables mixed in with mash give this dish texture and color. But if you prefer them light and cloud-fluffy, continue whipping/blending until smooth.
Serve as a side with a pat of butter or a dollop of Greek yogurt.

root-veggie pot pie

I love meals you can make in advance, either days in advance or mere hours.
Basically I love meals that make the dinner hour a little easier. Because at my house it is typically “the bewitching hour” —that mysterious time of day when everyone is transitioning from physical location and varying degrees of emotional stability. (Getting home from school/going to activities, getting home from work/going to meetings, getting up from naps/going to fall-apart on the floor, etc).

That said, even if your house boasts a considerably more calm dinner hour, this recipe is particularly tasty, easy to make, good for you, and pretty. All the necessary qualifications for a great meal.
Enjoy!

ROOT VEGGIE POT PIE 

1 large rutabaga (peeled and cubed)
2 sweet potatoes (peeled and cubed)
3 parsnips (peeled and cubed)
4 large carrots (peeled and cubed)
3 turnips (peeled and cubed)
1 cup + vegetable broth
1 onion, (peeled and diced)
1 teaspoon diced garlic
3 tablespoons clarified butter
salt and pepper top taste

CRUST:
1  3/4 Cup flour + 2 tablespoons (or as needed should the dough be too moist).
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil

Start with this pie crust recipe and method. Mix it up, use the waxed-paper method to roll out and fit the bottom crust to the pie plate, and set it aside.
I use this recipe and method for every pie I make—sweet, savory, fruit, cream, or otherwise. It’s the only fail-proof pie crust recipe I’ve ever found and I’ll love it forever.

Once all of your root vegetables are peeled and cubed, melt butter in a large fry pan, add garlic and diced onion, and sauté until caramelized.
Then add all of the cubed root veggies, about 1/2 cup vegetable broth, cover, and simmer until broth is absorbed by the veggies. Add the rest of the broth, cover again, and cook. Veggies should be fork-tender by the time the remainder of the broth is absorbed. Feel free to adjust quantity of broth as needed. It will vary a bit based on the size of your veggies. Ultimately, your vegetables need to be tender enough to pierce with a fork but not mushy as they will continue to cook once inside the pie.

Once the veggies are ready and all of the broth is absorbed, sprinkle salt and pepper over the cooked vegetables until the flavor is to your liking. Then gently scrape the vegetable from the pan into the prepared crust. Roll out and fit the top crust to the pie using the waxed-paper method. Trim and crimp the edges, lightly sprinkle to top with salt and pepper, and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for about 40 minutes—until the crust is golden brown across the top.

Allow to rest and cool slightly for about 40 minutes. This will help the juices be re-absorbed into the cooked vegetables rather than spilling out of your crust when you cut into the pie.

Serve warm.

 

sweet potato hash with a soft egg

Potatoes and eggs are usually the ubiquitous American breakfast food, but if eating clean has taught me anything, it’s that anything can sub-in when it comes to meal norms. And this ‘typical’ breakfast food works just as well for dinner. Especially if you throw in a grilled steak topped with arugula, or something similar.

But for today, this was breakfast. And it was beautiful.
You can mix up the sides endlessly because sweet potatoes play nice with so many flavors and textures. Salad . . . fresh fruit . . . crudités . . .pickled beets . . . a few slices of uncured salami . . . there really is no end to the options.
In my case, it was yellow tomatoes and a slightly overripe avocado.
Hey, whatever works!
Enjoy.

SWEET POTATO HASH WITH A SOFT EGG

1 peeled and shredded sweet potato
1 teaspoon onion flakes
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 eggs
salt and pepper to taste

Peel and grate/shred one sweet potato and set aside.

In a skillet over med/high-high, heat olive oil until hot (but not smoking). toss in onion flakes and allow them to caramelize. Then toss in grated sweet potato and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Turn to coat with olive oil and allow the heat to brown the edges before scraping the pan, turning again, and allowing to brown once more. Scrape and brown the potato until it begins to crisp. Then, with a spoon, hollow out two “nests” in the bed of hash and crack one egg into each nest.

Slide the skillet into a 400-degree, preheated oven and bake the hash and eggs until the egg yokes are covered with a thin while film and the whites are firm.

Remove from oven and plate with fruit, veggies, or meat.

 

coconut-cream sweet potatoes and sausage with spinach pesto

I gave this dish a skeptical eye the first time I made it. It was one of those, “Well, the flavors all work together, technically” situations.  Sweet potatoes, salty meat, cool and refreshing pesto. Match made in . . . I don’t know . . . Candyland?
But you guys. You. Guys.
This tastes so much more amazing than I ever planed.
For real. I need to figure out a better presentation, perhaps. Something molded or towering. Because the pile-on-a-plate just doesn’t do this thing justice.

“What are you calling this?” my husband asked, mowing down his second helping.
“Don’t know,” I said. He nodded.
“Maybe go with something more descriptive than that?”
“Suggestions?”
“Candy.” He said. And he heaped another plate.
And there you go.
Enjoy!

COCONUT-CREAM SWEET POTATOES AND SAUSAGE WITH SPINICH PESTO

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*Note: This is another one of those two-for-one recipes. I’ve linked the pesto recipe here.

2 large sweet potatoes
¼ coconut cream
a dash of salt
1 lb mild Italian sausage
4 tablespoons lemon-balsamic spinach pesto

Scrub 2 sweet potatoes and pierce skin with a sharp knife, allowing them to breathe while baking (so much better than exploding inside your oven). Place potatoes directly on the rack of a 400-degree preheated oven and bake for 40-45 minutes. Make sure the burner is lined with foil as the potatoes will drip while baking.

In a flat bottom pan, cook 1 pound of mild Italian sausage until browned and crumbly. Drain and set aside.

Mix up a batch of lemon-balsamic spinach pesto.

When the potatoes are finished baking, allow them to cool, and then slice lengthwise and scoop out the baked interiors into a mixing bowl. Dispose of the peels. Add coconut cream and a dash of salt to the potatoes, and then with a hand mixer, blend until will incorporated and smooth.

Plate up in layers—potatoes on the bottom with Italian sausage spooned generously over top, and finished with the pesto.

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