Tex Mex Sweet Potato Beef Skillet

In the mood for a smoky, satisfying dinner which can be cooked in a single skillet? Try this Tex Mex Sweet Potato Beef Skillet. It’s chock full of vegetables – satisfying sweet potatoes, sauteed onions, wilted spinach, creamy avocado, and layers of flavor boosting ingredients, including lime juice, scallions, cilantro, oregano, and cumin! This skillet meal also has a variety of textures thanks to the mix of cooked and fresh produce. Grab a spoon and dig into this one dish meal tonight!

Tex Mex Sweet Potato Beef Skillet

Hearty skillet meal with smoky Southwest flavored ground beef and lots of veggies.  (AIP option, paleo option, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, egg-free, nut-free, nightshade-free)
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

Cooked Vegetables

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper (omit for AIP)
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn (omit for paleo, AIP)
  • 1 large handfull spinach

Beef

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cumin (omit for AIP)
  • 1 tsp oregano

Fresh Garnishes

  • 2 avocados, peeled and sliced
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Instructions

  • In a large skillet on medium-high heat, add all ingredients under "Beef" ingredient heading above. Stir occasionally until fully cooked and browned. Remove from heat, pouring into a bowl and covering.
  • In skillet, add sweet potatoes, olive oil, 1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sweet potatoes are lightly browned and can be easily pierced with a fork.
  • Add ground beef back into pan along with corn and cook until heated. Remove from heat. Add spinach and gently incorporate while allowing spinach to wilt.
  • Garnish with sliced avocado, lime wedges, scallions, and cilantro.

Notes

Best served immediately.
If made in advance, store garnishes separately from rest of cooked sweet potato beef skillet to allow for reheating before adding fresh garnishes.

Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes

Since it’s the month of November, tis the season for sneaking pumpkin into as many meals as possible! And why not?! Pumpkin is packed with vitamin A, starchy like a sweet potato yet considerably lower in carbohydrates, creamy, and pairs well with warm spices like cinnamon. An ideal choice for this time of year, and underrated for the rest of the year!

Recreating baked goods and bread items without all the usual baking ingredients (wheat flour, cows milk, eggs, and butter) can present even the most experienced cook with a steep learning curve. However, just because your pantry and refrigerator no longer look the same, doesn’t mean you have to miss out on comfort foods such as pancakes! Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes to the rescue! These pancakes have more structure to them than the typical light, airy pancakes you may have grown up eating. And, thanks to more nutrient-dense ingredients, they will also keep you feeling more satisfied hours into your day than typical pancakes ever could!

Now, you may be wondering how to top your pancakes. A simple drizzle of pure maple syrup will always do the trick, but there’s another option as well which is even more amazing! If you can get your hands on some maple butter, I highly recommend you buy multiple jars of it. Yes, even if you’ve never tasted it! Maple butter is simply whipped maple syrup which has become solidified and creamy in color, surprisingly resembling butter much more than maple syrup! A dollop of maple butter melts beautifully on warm pancakes and looks gorgeous!

As with other pancakes, these paleo pumpkin pancakes taste great alongside some bacon or sausage. Any morning will feel like a weekend morning with these Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes! Enjoy!

Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes

Fluffy pumpkin pancakes perfect for breakfast on a cold morning (paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, egg-free, nut-free, nightshade-free)
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 can pureed pumpkin (15 oz can)
  • 2/3 cup sunflower seed butter
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups green banana flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • maple syrup (or maple butter) for serving
  • coconut oil, if needed for frying pancakes

Instructions

  • Preheat griddle to 300 degrees Fahrenheit or heat frying pan to medium-low heat.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk pumpkin, sunflower seed butter, molasses, and water until an even consistency is reached. In a separate mixing bowl, combine green banana flour, baking soda, salt, and ground cloves. Mix dry ingredients.
  • Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredient bowl, and using a spatula, mix just until combined. Lightly coat pan/griddle with coconut oil, if needed.
  • Pour a few spoonfuls of pancake batter onto hot griddle/pan to form each pancake. My griddle fit 8 pancakes.
  • When pancakes are cooked, remove from heat. Top with maple syrup or maple butter. Serve warm.

Notes

May make in advance and reheat before serving.
Could try subbing another nut butter or (for AIP elimination phase) tigernut butter; however this recipe was only tested with sunflower seed butter.
These pancakes do not bubble the way traditional pancakes do, signaling readiness to flip. Pancakes should appear firm and be browned on the bottom before ready to flip, around 5 minutes on my griddle. These pancakes are fairly resistant to over-cooking. Recommend checking them every minute or two while you observe how they cook with your particular set-up; if you're not sure if they're done, let them cook a little longer.

Chewy Brownies

If you’re looking for a chewy, rich and sweet dessert, try my Chewy Brownies. One bite and you’ll instantly feel like you’re celebrating the holidays! The deeply satisfying chocolate flavor comes from cocoa powder plus chocolate chips/chunks mixed into the batter. The coconut oil and egg yolk bring a rich, creamy texture along with healthy fats. This recipe makes one smaller, 8″ x 8″ pan of brownies or two 6″ round mini cakes. The smaller batch size is OK, because you probably won’t want these lying around the house too long; you may eat them all up yourself! If you’re feeling generous and want to share some with a larger group (lucky them!), the recipe easily doubles.

If you’re feeling extra fancy, instead of traditional brownies, this recipe can also make mini brownie cakes, which are perfect for sharing. This brownie variation starts out with the same brownie batter, and is made extra decadent and rich with the addition of some vanilla or chocolate frosting. Both are delicious! Often brownies in a pan aren’t anything all that pretty, but these brownie cakes can also be elevated by garnishing with some extra chocolate chips in the center and some shaved or grated chocolate on top. So pretty! One of these brownie cakes would be a special hand-made gift. Pick up a bakery style box from the store to transport one in style!

By all means, make your own homemade frosting if you prefer. I prefer to take advantage of the help offered by using a prepackaged option which works for us in terms of ingredients, taste, and availability. Some beginners tips for ensuring an even, smooth frosting layer: 1) start with completely cooled brownies 2) stir frosting with a spoon before applying 3) use an icing spreader rather than a knife 4) run icing spreader under hot water periodically to remove any clumps of frosting which may stick and also to smooth the surface 5) using clean hands, wipe stray frosting from the sides to clean up the edges.

Chewy Brownies

Brownies which are chewy, rich, and just the perfect amount of fudgey (gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, nightshade-free)
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 16 brownies

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil, melted plus slightly more for coating pan(s)
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup green banana flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup chocolate chips/chunks (ensure dairy and soy-free)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 jar Simple Mills Frosting (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat inside of baking pan(s) with coconut oil to prevent sticking. One 8" x 8" pan OR two 6" round pans works well.
  • Mix wet ingredients together in a bowl (maple syrup, coconut oil, egg yolks). Mix dry ingredients together in a separate bowl (green banana flour, cocoa powder, and salt). Combine wet and dry ingredients in a single bowl.
  • Add chocolate chips and stir to incorporate. Pour brownie batter into baking pan(s) and smooth out batter evenly.
  • Bake for 20 minutes (25 minutes if making a double-batch). Remove from oven and allow to cool before cutting or optional frosting.
  • If frosting (optional), do so when brownies are completely cooled. May garnish with additional chocolate chips or grated chocolate, if desired.

Notes

May be made in advance. Freezes well.

Herby Lamburgers with Cucumber Salsa and Kalamata Tapenade

These herby lamburgers were just what we needed for dinner! After eating turkey and ham leftovers from an early Friendsgiving party which we hosted this past weekend, our taste buds were ready for something different. After all the Thanksgiving dinners will have been eaten at the end of next week, you may be looking for some variety in the animal protein department, too! Lamb to the rescue!

Swapping ground lamb meat for ground beef can be a welcome, occasional departure from the typical beef burger. This Mediterranean twist on the hamburger is rich in deep, herby, meaty flavor. The cucumber salsa contrasts nicely by adding some crunchy texture, bright acidity from some lemon juice and little bursts of sweetness thanks to the pomegranate arils. And the dollop of kalamata olive tapenade on top of each burger brings a complimentary saltiness which takes the taste up a notch.

Serve these lamburgers with a side salad with Greek vinaigrette dressing to quickly make a colorful, satisfying meal. Because of my love of leftovers (seriously, why would you want to make a whole new meal EVERY time you eat?!), I used 2 pounds of ground lamb to make six 1/3 pound burgers. This guarantees us leftovers. However, the recipe is easily scaled up or down in 1 pound increments based on your individual needs.

Herby Lamburgers with Cucumber Salsa and Kalamata Tapenade

Satisfying Mediterranean lamb burgers sure to infuse some variety into your dinner routine (AIP, paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, egg-free, nut-free, seed-free, nightshade-free).
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

Lamburgers

  • 2 pounds ground lamb
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped finely
  • 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 Tbsp capers, minced
  • 1 lemon, zest of
  • 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped finely
  • 1-1/2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped finely

Cucumber Salsa and Kalamata Tapenade

  • 3 cups diced cucumber
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp capers
  • 2 Tbsp red onion, minced
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
  • 6 Tbsp kalamata tapenade

Instructions

  • Mix all ingredients for lamburgers together in a bowl. Form burger patties (I made six 1/3 pound burgers). Pan fry on medium heat until done.
  • For cucumber salsa, mix all ingredients together except 1/2 the pomegranate and the kalamata tapenade. Spread cucumber salsa as the base on serving plate.
  • When lamburgers are done, remove from fry pan and place on top of cucumber salsa. Spoon a dollop of kalamata tapenade on each lamburger. Sprinkle with remaining pomegranate and serve.

Notes

If making in advance, store lamburgers separately from cucumber salsa and tapenade, so lamburgers can be heated up on their own before assembly and serving.

Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Pomegranate

Quick – it’s cold outside, and you want a veggie side dish that is not a cold salad. What do you do?? Crank up the oven, throw some veggies on a baking sheet, and 30 minutes later, you’ve got happy taste buds and a warm tummy!

If you’re like me, sometimes you crave variety in the way your food is prepared. So even though my instinct is to make a salad or roast whatever vegetable I have in my kitchen, I am always looking for new ways to do the familiar (aka make dinner).

And so, last night we had this warm Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Pomegranate side dish. My little guy happily ate it up – the pomegranate contributed to this, full disclosure, but the brussel sprouts were eaten right along with it! He’s got good taste in fruit, for sure. Luckily for him (and me!), I learned a easy way to separate all the juicy, delicious jewels – they’re actually called pomegranate arils (or seeds) – from the papery, cream colored membrane lining the inside of the entire fruit. Even better, it doesn’t look like a massacre occurred in my kitchen when I’m all done, nor have I ruined any clothing or white kitchen tile grout!

The way I prepare the pomegranate is unique to other fruit. First grab a medium sized bowl big enough to fit both of your hands plus the pomegranate in at the same time while being fully submerged in water. Also, take out a plastic cutting board with a ridge around the perimeter and kitchen knife. Choose plastic instead of wood if you don’t like your board getting stained! Fill up the bowl almost to the top with water warm enough to be a pleasant temperature – no need to have freezing cold hands while doing this! Cut the pomegranate in half; the cutting board ridge will catch any juice which decides to run. Place the pomegranate halves in the bowl, under water. Working on one half at a time, gently peel the pomegranate arils out of the membrane layers while being sure to keep the fruit submerged. The water will prevent juice spatters like a charm! The papery membrane floats to the top of the water, while the arils sink towards the bottom. As a result, skimming off the membrane pieces is a cinch, leaving all the goodness behind!

You could, of course, buy ready-to-eat pomegranate from the refrigerated produce section in your store. However, I find the often cloudy liquid in which the arils are sitting in unappetizing and makes me question their freshness. I’ll stick with prepping my own! When it’s this easy to eat pomegranate, you might find new ways to eat more, too!

Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Pomegranate

Roasted brussel sprouts pair up with crispy, salty bacon and juicy, sweet pomegranate in this cold weather dish. (AIP, paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, egg-free, nut-free, nightshade-free)
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 pounds brussel sprouts, quartered
  • 12 ounces bacon, cut into 1" strips
  • 1/2 large red onion, chopped
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate arils

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • On a baking sheet, evenly spread brussel sprouts, bacon, and red onion. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Place baking sheet in oven and cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until brussel sprouts are cooked through.
  • Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees. Cook about 5 more minutes, until brussel sprouts and bacon are browned and crispy. Remove from oven.
  • Mix 1 Tbsp olive oil with pomegranate molasses. Drizzle over brussel sprout mixture. Sprinkle fresh pomegranate on top. Serve warm.

Notes

Best served immediately. If preparing in advance, wait to add fresh pomegranate until after reheating brussel sprouts.

 


Sheet Pan Dinner – Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Turkey with Roasted Veggies

Are you looking for an allergy-friendly holiday meal? This sheet pan dinner with spinach artichoke stuffed turkey and roasted vegetables fits the bill! This elegant, festive meal is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. However, it is also simple enough to be prepared alongside a traditionally prepared bird, if this best suits your group’s holiday meal needs, to make sure there are safe, tasty dinner options for everyone. If this recipe will be the “main event,” it can easily be doubled, tripled, etc to feed larger crowds.  And, of course, the sheet pan dinner template just screams – easy, cozy dinner at home anytime! It’s delicious, and I bet you’ll want to make it again and again!

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Look at those nice, roasty bits on the carrots and brussel sprouts! So delicious! These are packed with fall flavor. Roasting is my favorite way to prepare vegetables. They are guaranteed to develop rich, complex flavor.

If you haven’t cared for brussel sprouts in the past, I encourage you to try them again when roasted. However, you could easily substitute cubes of another slower cooking vegetable such as beets, butternut squash, or potato (sweet or white) with a similar cooking time. While these options are starchier, broccoli or pearl onions would be tasty lower carbohydrate options, though they would require a shorter cook time.

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I’ve been drooling over the vegetables so much, I almost forgot to tell you about the turkey… the skin is light and crispy, thanks to a coating of olive oil and sprinkle of sea salt prior to baking at a higher temperature. Also, the herby lemon spinach artichoke stuffing under the turkey skin bakes flavor right into the turkey meat. If you’ve never tried this technique of stuffing flavorful goodness between the meat and the skin, you’re in for a treat. It adds festive flare and is much easier and more forgiving than it might seem. Even if the skin tears or comes disconnected on one side, just smooth it out and lay it down – crisis averted 🙂

Practicality points: While the skin won’t be crispy the next day, all other aspects of the dish keep and reheat well as leftovers, too. Because the turkey breast is so much smaller than a whole bird and will cook much faster, there is no need to baste or use a roasting pan! Yay for less dishes and less work!

Sheet Pan Dinner - Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Turkey with Roasted Veggies

Capture the flavors of Fall with this unique rendition of a turkey dinner. (AIP, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, nut-free, seed-free, nightshade-free)
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1-1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 9 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small lemon, zest of
  • 1/2 small lemon, juice of
  • 1 cup frozen spinach
  • 2-1/2 pound split turkey breast, with skin and bone
  • 1 pound brussel sprouts, quartered or halved
  • 1 pound rainbow carrots, peeled

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a medium sized glass bowl or liquid measuring cup, heat frozen spinach in the microwave on high for 1 minute, or until warm. With a fork, press out and drain as much liquid from the spinach as possible.
  • Then add remaining ingredients of spinach artichoke stuffing to the bowl/glass measuring cup: artichokes, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, 1/4 tsp sea salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/4 cup olive oil, lemon juice and zest. Stir to thoroughly combine.
  • Place turkey breast on sheet pan. With clean hands, gently separate the turkey skin from meat starting on one end of the turkey breast and moving across to the opposite end, creating a pocket or tunnel, with the sides remaining attached.
  • Gently, "stuff" handfuls or spoonfuls of spinach artichoke stuffing under the turkey skin, ensuring stuffing is roughly evenly distributed across the turkey breast.
  • Brush 1 Tbsp olive oil on turkey breast skin and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp sea salt.
  • Place turkey in the oven and bake uncovered for about 40 minutes, then increase the heat to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Add the carrots and brussel sprouts to the sheet pan. Drizzle remaining 4 Tbsp olive oil over veggies. Sprinkle remaining 1 tsp sea salt and 1/4 tsp pepper over vegetables.
  • When turkey skin is nicely browned, cover with aluminum foil to limit further browning/avoid burning. Be sure to tuck foil closely around the turkey to allow the veggies to roast uncovered.
  • Cook turkey until internal temperature is 160 degrees Fahrenheit at the center of the thickest part of the breast. Cook veggies until tender and browned, about 30 minutes.

Notes

Based on the exact size/thickness of your meat and veggie pieces, your food may cook a little slower or faster. It's better to remove one component or the other early, allowing the rest to roast a little longer, than have overcooked food. So do keep an eye on things as the food gets closer to being done!

Double Corn Drop Biscuits

Oh yum, yum, yum. Theeeese biscuits.

When I started my nutrient-dense, healing diet (the Autoimmune Protocol, or AIP) which is structured around a food elimination phase and food reintroduction phase, giving up corn felt just plain sad. I, like many people, previously loved corn on the cob from our local farmer’s market; hot, homemade tortillas and chips with Mexican food – personal favorites; popcorn; and many variations of cornbread. Needless to say, corn was on the short list of things I was itching to try reintroducing when the time was right! I hoped so badly my body would tolerate it well!

To be clear, I know there are many more nutrient-dense foods out there. However, for me, trying to reintroduce corn was the right decision. My goal is, and will continue to be, to safely expand my diet to include as many foods as possible, especially ones which I truly enjoy. And the ones which are so very ubiquitous (ahem – corn)! To me it seemed like a no-brainer.

Thankfully, I have been able to successfully reintroduce corn – which is probably obvious since I’m posting a recipe using it. I’ve been enjoying recreating some revamped versions of old favorites. Here is one which I will share with you today. Corn is officially back on the menu!

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If you’re fortunate enough to be looking for corn biscuits/bread/muffins actually made with corn (yes, I was also surprised to learn there are recipes for cornbread online which don’t have corn!), you may have noticed most recipes are simply gluten-free, but contain otherwise traditional ingredients. Don’t let this stop you in your tracks!

My double corn drop biscuit recipe utilizes apple cider vinegar and baking powder for leavening plus a flaxseed egg-replacer (btw, isn’t it absolutely amazing that this works???) to bind the ingredients while keeping the biscuits free of eggs. Adding lard (or coconut oil) and water instead of butter and milk allows us to ditch the dairy.

The resulting texture is fluffy, soft, and feels especially indulgent, as foods like this are a treat in our house. These biscuits would be perfect to make for Thanksgiving or another cold-weather celebration when comfort food is on the menu!

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Double Corn Drop Biscuits

Rustic, satisfying corn biscuits. The perfect sidekick to a warm bowl of soup on a cold day.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: biscuit, bread, corn, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, nightshade-free, nut-free, soy-free
Servings: 15 biscuits

Ingredients

  • 1-1/4 cup masa harina
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup white rice flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed plus 5 Tbsp water
  • 1-1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp lard melted (could sub coconut oil or , if dairy tolerated, butter)
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a small cup or bowl, add 1/4 cup ground flaxseed and 5 Tbsp water. Stir to combine and allow to sit and visibly thicken for a few minutes.
  • While the flaxseed egg-replacer is thickening, in a mixing bowl, add masa harina, brown rice flour, white rice flour, tapioca flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine evenly.
  • After flaxseed egg-replacer is visibly thickened, add it to the dry ingredients. Using a large whisk, whisk until the mixture has an even-crumbly consistency.
  • Add 1-1/2 cup water, apple cider vinegar, and melted lard to the mixing bowl. Using a spatula, gently stir in the remaining wet ingredients, stopping as soon as incorporated.
  • Add frozen corn kernels to the batter. Mix just until incorporated, then stop.
  • Using a cookie dough scoop, spoon out level scoops full of biscuit batter onto a cookie sheet. The biscuits don’t spread much, allowing them to all bake on a single cookie sheet, if placed well.
  • Bake for 20 minutes. If checked with a toothpick, it should come out clean.
  • When biscuits are finished cooking, remove from oven. Transfer from baking sheet to cooling rack to allow the biscuit bottoms to crisp a little as they cool. Or eat immediately.

Notes

May be made ahead. Biscuits reheat well in toaster oven.


Lazy Girl Sweet Potato Mash

I have always been a fan of the humble sweet potato. Often with minimal effort, you have practically limitless ways to incorporate this nutrient-dense, relatively shelf-stable, hearty vegetable into your meals. Microwave a sweet potato as a quick side dish for dinner, jazz up a leftover baked sweet potato (they reheat beautifully by the way!) to make a loaded sweet potato for breakfast, roast them, fry them, mash them… you get the idea. Just please don’t ruin them by putting marshmallows on them!

I am aware though, that not everyone shares my love of the sweet potato. My husband has been in the “don’t prefer sweet potatoes” camp for years. “Too stringy,” he said. But this recipe had him taking a third helping at dinner – yes, you read that right! No, I didn’t disguise them. No, there was no bribery involved. Yes, he knew he was eating sweet potatoes.

I will let you in on my secrets for creating a sweet potato convert. First, I cook my sweet potatoes by baking them in the oven rather than boiling them in water on the stove. This cooking method concentrates the rich flavor of the sweet potato and reduces moisture content, rather than water-logging the veggie pieces by boiling. Also, it’s a lot less work, because there is no potato peeling or chopping! Win, win!

The second trick has to do with optimizing consistency of the mash. To achieve the delightfully luscious texture of my Lazy Girl Sweet Potato Mash, you blend the sweet potatoes. By throwing the sweet potatoes in the blender, there are absolutely no stringy strands of fibrous veggie left. Only velvety, creamy goodness, my friends!

In case you’re not convinced, here are some side-by-side pictures to illustrate my point. The pictures speak for themselves, really. In the first image, the sweet potatoes were mashed with a fork (common instructions given in other recipes). The middle bowl was whipped with a whisk. In the third image, the sweet potatoes were blended.

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Fork

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Whisk

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Blender

My sweet potato mash is tasty paired with any roasted meat or as the base of a “bowl” dish with toppings of your choosing such as roasted vegetables plus a fried egg, shredded meat and/or nuts and seeds.

Next time you make mashed sweet potatoes, you could mash them with a fork or potato masher or even whip them with a whisk. OR you could throw everything in the blender and press a button; then tell everyone how to long you spent mashing out every last tiny lump and wait for their applause 🙂 The only thing left to say is – if you’re not peeling, chopping, and mashing potatoes, how will you spend your extra free time?

 

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  1. Lazy Girl Sweet Potato Mash

    Easy-peasy method for achieving the smoothest, most flavorful mashed sweet potatoes. (AIP, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, nut-free, seed-free, nightshade-free)
    Prep Time15 mins
    Cook Time1 hr
    Resting Time15 mins
    Total Time1 hr 15 mins
    Course: Side Dish
    Cuisine: American
    Servings: 6 servings

    Ingredients

    • 3 pounds sweet potatoes
    • 1/4 cup refined coconut oil
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 3/4 tsp salt

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 350F.
    • Place washed sweet potatoes on baking sheet into the oven. Bake until a fork very easily slides through the flesh. Cooking time will significantly vary depending on the size and shape of your potatoes. Keep a close watch and check smaller/thinner potatoes first as these will cook faster.
    • When sweet potatoes are very soft, remove from oven. Allow to cool off enough to handle before removing potato skins.
    • Add peeled sweet potatoes to blender along with coconut oil, salt, and cinnamon. Blend until completely smooth.
    • Remove from blender and pour into serving bowl. Optional garnishes include: additional cinnamon, a drizzle of maple syrup, (avoid the following for AIP) grated nutmeg, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, or pecans.

    Notes

    May be made in advance. Reheats well.

     


Sweet Potato Salad with Stoneground Mustard and Bacon

While the calendar says it’s October, we’ve still been getting some 80 degree days. Anytime it’s nice and warm on a sunny weekend, a part of me is thinking about standard picnic fare, such as potato salad – or at least a twist on it.

Traditional and tasty as potato salad may be, sometimes a mayo-based salad with white potatoes just isn’t what you’re looking for. Maybe your friend has an egg allergy, so store-bought mayonnaise is out. Or maybe your cousin doesn’t tolerate white potatoes, a member of the “nightshade” vegetable family which is sometimes problematic for people with certain health conditions such as autoimmune diseases. Or maybe you’re just looking to shake things up a bit and try something new. Either way, this recipe is for you!

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The creamy potatoes contrast well with the crunch of the fresh vegetables. And the stoneground mustard dressing and bacon provide a punch of flavor! Dig in and enjoy! This sweet potato salad is tasty alongside grilled chicken or ribs, among other things.

You may have been expecting the sweet potatoes in the picture to be orange in color, and noticed they were more golden. This is because I used a specific variety of sweet potato called a Hannah sweet potato. If you’re unfamiliar with Hannah sweet potatoes, or white sweet potatoes, now is the perfect time to get acquainted.

In comparison with traditional, orange sweet potatoes, these babies are less sweet and have a more mild flavor. They also have less moisture and seem starchier. In short, my impression is that they’re somewhat of a cross between a white potato and a regular sweet potato in terms of taste and texture. These characteristics not only lend themselves well for making a potato salad, but also sweet potato fries – but that will have to wait for another post! Now the only potential downside to these is their limited availability, at least in my locale. In my area, the only store in which I have found these tasty beauties for sale is Whole Foods. However, some people in other locations find them readily available in their stores. They’re worth the hunt though, I promise!

 

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Sweet Potato Salad with Stoneground Mustard and Bacon

Flavorful sweet potato salad with crispy bacon bites and zesty stoneground mustard dressing. (paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free soy-free, egg-free, nut-free, nightshade-free)
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Resting Time2 hrs
Total Time45 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 large Hannah sweet potatoes (whit sweet potatoes)
  • 12 ounces bacon
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 mini cucumber
  • 3 celery ribs
  • 4 green onions
  • 1/3 cup light tasting olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp palm shortening
  • ½ lemon, juice of
  • ½ tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • ¼ cup stoneground mustard
  • Himalayan pink salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Peel and cube sweet potatoes. Place sweet potatoes in a pot and fill with water, ensuring the sweet potatoes are fully covered. Bring to a boil on high heat.
  • Cook sweet potatoes for about 5 minutes or until a fork can easily pierce the potato pieces. The potatoes should be tender, yet still firm.
  • When potatoes are cooked, remove from heat and drain water completely. Transfer potatoes into a bowl and refrigerate for a few hours until chilled.
  • While the sweet potatoes are cooling in the refrigerator, make the dressing by combining the olive oil, palm shortening, lemon juice, and ½ tsp salt in a bowl.
  • Using an immersion blender or traditional blender, blend ingredients on high until liquid becomes creamy. This should only take about 1 minute.
  • Next, add the stoneground mustard. Mix until combined; then refrigerate.
  • Fry bacon until crispy. Remove from heat and allow bacon to cool. Roughly chop the bacon into small bite-sized pieces and set aside, refrigerating if prepared in advance.
  • After the sweet potatoes have chilled, take them out of the refrigerator.
  • Finely dice the red onion, celery and cucumber. Add these vegetables and the dressing to the potatoes. Stir to combine until the potatoes are evenly coated with the mixture.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the bacon and lightly stir to distribute throughout. Sprinkle green onions on top.

Notes

May make in advance.

Craveable Chocolatey Banana Walnut Cupcakes

This weekend, we’re celebrating a very special little guy’s birthday with these delicious treats – chocolatey banana walnut cupcakes. They are craveable, light, cakey, full of rich flavor, and moist (ordinarily this word sends chills down my spine. I chose to use it here, because another accurate descriptor just wasn’t coming to mind)! Locking in moisture while still achieving a light texture, in baked goods which are not only gluten-free but also grain-free, poses a real challenge. The struggle is real people!  But look no further, I’ve done the recipe testing for you – these cupcakes have it all!

Often allergy-friendly treats may have a more dense texture or may have other sensory indicators of being “different” in some way. Not this indulgent dessert! These craveable chocolatey banana walnut cupcakes have been given the ultimate stamp of approval. They have “passed” as a traditional baked good by unsuspecting taste-testers who eat a standard American diet without any dietary restrictions (and are sometimes suspicious of foods made differently) – I was even asked to bring these to a future event! Nothing short of miraculous really 🙂

The batter can be mixed by hand in a single bowl, which means no need to drag out the big mixer or spend extra time washing dishes. This recipe makes 12 standard sized cupcakes. Cooking time may be adjusted for other cupcake sizes or to make a cake – though I haven’t experimented with this yet, so I cannot make a recommendation.

Frost these for your next special occasion calling for a celebration or leave them plain for a tasty muffin which you can feel good about enjoying more often. Right now these are my favorite special occasion treat – so delicious! Make a batch for your next celebration!

Craveable Chocolately Banana Walnut Cupcakes

Perfect for a special celebration, these decadent chocolate banana walnut cupcakes are topped with a generous swirl of rich chocolate frosting. Your guests will not suspect these are allergy-friendly! (gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, nut-free option, nightshade-free)
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups green banana flour
  • 1-½ cups mashed ripe banana
  • 2/3 cup sunflower seed butter
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free, soy-free chocolate chips I used Enjoy Life Dark Morsels
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 2 jars dairy-free chocolate frosting (optional) I used Simple Mills Organic Chocolate Frosting

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients except for the optional walnuts, chocolate chips, and frosting. Stir to fully combine.
  • Add the chocolate chips and (optional) chopped walnuts. Fold in.
  • Transfer to muffin pan lined with muffin papers or lightly coated with coconut oil (makes 12 standard sized cupcakes).
  • Bake for approximately 20 minutes. Check with a toothpick to determine when done. Remove from oven when toothpick comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool completely before frosting.
  • Optional step: Use piping bag to frost cupcakes with chocolate frosting.

Notes

Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. However, frosting consistency hardens considerably when cold, so remove from fridge to allow to soften before eating.