Roasted Red and Sweet Potatoes with Rosemary. (GF)

Red potatoes and sweet potatoes roasted together with rosemary make a simple, easy side dish perfect for any meal.

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I recently fell in love with the flavor combination of rosemary and sweet potatoes. There’s something so earth-y and wonderful about the two that make them go together so well. It’s a simple combination, really, but not one that I made at home before, and this dish lived up to all of my expectations. It’s hard to go wrong with potatoes though, am I right?

Even though I 110% adore sweet potatoes, for whatever reason I equally wanted red potatoes when I made this dish, hence the decision to mix them together. This also made my husband happy since he typically prefers red potatoes over sweet any day. All that to say, every potato lover in your family will be happy when you serve them these! You can also use regular white potatoes if you prefer, or even use only sweet potatoes!

Reason #274 why I love this dish: I love any excuse to gather fresh rosemary from our back yard. If you’ve ever wondered if you should plant a rosemary bush, the answer is a resounding yes! It’s so convenient to never worry about running out.

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These potatoes roast low and slow in the oven, leaving you with plenty of time to focus on the main dish while they do their thing in the oven. It’s brutally cold and windy out, and this side dish screams warm and cozy, which is exactly what I want in my life right now! I hope you enjoy it!

Roasted Red and Sweet Potatoes with Rosemary (GF)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed butter (or olive oil for dairy-free/vegan)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 lbs red potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 1/2-2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt and 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste

1). Preheat the oven to 350F. Place the butter in a 9×13 pan and put it in the oven for a couple minutes to melt the butter. Remove from oven and add the remaining ingredients, tossing well to ensure even seasoning.

2). Roast for about an hour, stirring 2-3 times, until the potatoes are golden and tender.

Servings: about 8. Approximate Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 159 Carbs: 26g Fat: 5g Protein: 3g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 4g Points+: 4. Recipe adapted from here.

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Thanksgiving Feast Recipe Round-Up

Here are some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes to get you through the big day tomorrow! Since turkey is the main star of the show, I included the top 20 recipes in the following categories: breakfast, sides, and desserts!

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Hope you all have a wonderful holiday tomorrow! Happy Thanksgiving!!

Breakfast:
Pumpkin Spice Muffins (GF if using all-purpose GF flour)

IMG_20131012_100504These muffins are soft, full of pumpkin flavor, and not overly sweet. I included ways to make them a tad bit healthier in case you want to save your indulging for the dessert table!

Apple Crisp Muffins

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All the flavors of an apple crisp, in muffin form! These are really good and taste like eating dessert for breakfast!

Pumpkin Spice Latte (GF, use non-dairy milk for vegan)

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Skip the Starbucks line–this is the best way to start Thanksgiving morning! Double the recipe for a bigger crowd.

Homemade Sausage Balls (No-Bisquick!)

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Flour, baking powder and salt replace the bisquick in these homemade sausage balls. They’ll be gone quick!

Sides:

100% Whole Wheat Soft Dinner Rolls (vegetarian)

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These do take a little bit of time to assemble but they are so worth it! Soft, fluffy dinner rolls always have a place on the Thanksgiving table, right? Right.

Roasted Spiced Sweet Potatoes (GF, vegetarian, vegan)

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One of the most popular recipes on the blog! Super easy, and super delicious.

Skinny Garlic Mashed Potatoes (GF, vegetarian option)

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Garlic transforms these mashed potatoes in a major way while milk, light sour cream, and broth keep the potatoes soft and smooth. Again, this recipe is great if you want to save your calories for another side or dessert.

Autumn Chopped Salad (GF, optional vegetarian/vegan)

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LOVE this salad! It is always a hit. Apples, pears, peanuts, dried cranberries, feta, bacon, and a poppyseed dressing–you’ll want to leave a little bit of room for this on your plate!

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Kale (GF, vegan)

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This salad is tangy, savory, and filling. Lots of textures make this dish really interesting!

Roasted Green Beans (GF, vegan)

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Hands-down, the best way to prepare green beans. Sprinkle a bit of shredded parmesan on the top and these are to die for!

Roasted Parmesan Sweet Potatoes (GF)

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A more savory option for sweet potatoes (as opposed to the spiced version above which is sweeter). Easy and delicious!

Butternut Squash Soup (GF, DF, vegan, paleo)

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A small ramekin of this soup would be an awesome side dish for Thanksgiving! It has a little bit of a kick (if you want it!) and caters to every family member’s dietary restrictions.

Parmesan Upside-Down Baked Potatoes (GF, vegetarian)

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Last year’s top recipe–and for good reason! These are awesome!

Farro with Roasted Green Beans, Cranberries, and Feta (vegetarian, omit cheese for vegan)

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Farro has an awesome texture and this combination just screams fall!

Baked Spaghetti Squash and Cheese (GF if using corn starch)

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This casserole tastes super rich thanks to a butter/flour roux and cheddar cheese! One of my favorites.

Garlicky Baked Butternut Squash (GF, vegetarian)

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My favorite way to prepare butternut squash. Parmesan, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper transform this butternut squash into something special. Not too soft, not too firm–just perfect!

Desserts:

The Best Apple Pie Ever. (vegetarian)

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The title says it all! This is literally THE BEST apple pie I’ve ever made, and it’s the only dessert I’m bringing to Thanksgiving this year! I make it with my one minute home-made pie crust.

Chocolate Puffs with Mascarpone Cream (Vegetarian)

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If you want a show-stopping, mouth-watering, completely unique dessert, you should make these. They look and taste gourmet!

Perfectly Chocolate Cake with Nutella Buttercream Frosting (Vegetarian)

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This one is for all the chocolate lovers out there! This is the only chocolate cake recipe I use now! It truly is perfect, and the nutella buttercream is an awesome flavor combination.

Chocolate-Covered Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies (vegetarian)

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Umm yeah. Just look at that! I don’t think I need to convince you how awesome these are!

 

 

 

Butternut Squash Soup (GF, DF, Paleo) — Guest Post

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Today I’m posting a delicious, healthy butternut squash soup recipe over on Vylette. I met Julie, the author behind the blog, at the Maiedae mixer a couple months ago and have stayed in touch ever since! Julie has such a warm, inviting personality and I’m so glad we started chatting at the mixer. She’s one of those people you can instantly connect with. I am honored she asked me to post on her blog. Her posts are always beautiful and inspiring!

Since we’re still in Thanksgiving-countdown mode, I wanted to share an easy recipe you just might not have thought of yet that would be perfect for the holiday: butternut squash soup! I make it several times each fall and it is naturally gluten free, and can easily be made dairy free, paleo, vegetarian, and vegan! Hooray for addressing everyone’s dietary concerns!

Click here to check out the full recipe and see all of the wonderful posts Julie has on her lifestyle blog!

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Questions? Comments? Let me know!

Spinach and Goat Cheese Mashed Sweet Potatoes. (GF)

 5 simple ingredients come together to create a comforting side dish perfect for holidays, guests, or just a weeknight meal!

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It’s the week of Thanksgiving!!! The last month has been an absolute WHIRLWIND and I’m so thankful for a week off to catch up on every area of my life. You too? I thought so.

All you need is a scoop of creamy, lusciously savory spinach & goat cheese mashed sweet potatoes to know holiday time is here. Not that you couldn’t make it year-round (guilty!), but it’s the type of dish that looks and tastes fancy. I mean spinach + goat cheese + sweet potatoes? That could definitely be on a restaurant menu.

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So, if you’re looking for a really unique side to bring to impress all your foodie friends, or you just want to step up your weeknight dinner game, you’ve got to make this dish.

Also–feel free to swap out the spinach for kale depending on what you have on hand! Enjoy!

Spinach and Goat Cheese Mashed Sweet Potato

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs sweet potatoes (I used 1 large and 2 medium)
  • 4 cups chopped spinach
  • 3/4-1 cup milk (I used non-fat)
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • Freshly cracked pepper and sea salt

1). Bring a large pot of water to a boil Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into 1-2 inch cubes. Add the sweet potatoes to the boiling water and cook for about 15 minutes or until softened.

2). Drain the sweet potatoes. To the now empty pot, add the spinach, milk, and goat cheese and cook over medium heat for a few minutes, until the spinach has wilted. Turn off the heat and add salt and pepper.

3). Add the sweet potatoes back to the pot. Mash until you reach your preferred consistency. Add more milk if necessary. Enjoy!

Servings: about 4. Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 181 Carbs: 22g Fat: 6g Protein: 10g Fiber: 3g Points+: 5 
Recipe adapted from here. Adapted recipe courtesy of Audrey’s Apron.

Crock Pot Pumpkin Chili. (GF)

A cozy fall chili recipe made in the crock pot that your whole family will love!

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Oh October.

I love you.

You’re the month of bonfires, football, plaid, boots, and scarves.

And ever-changing brightly colored leaves.

And, of course, #pumpkinallthethings! Yes, even chili!

You know what’s awesome about putting pumpkin in chili? You can’t taste it, but it thickens the chili up (yay texture!) and you get all kinds of important vitamins and nutrients (yay health!).

Did you know pumpkins have a large amount of vitamin A, fiber, beta-carotene (an anti-oxidant), potassium, vitamin C, and more? Now we can all feel good about our pumpkin-obsessions because they’re so good for us! Yes yes yes.

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If you have non-pumpkin loving friends and family, you should definitely still make this chili. I promise you really can’t taste the pumpkin! Pumpkin alone does not have a very strong flavor; it’s all of those strong fall spices that are usually added to pumpkin baked goods that make it stand out. Since this is a savory recipe, none of those spices are present. What does that mean for us? Nice, even flavored chili.

This recipe comes together very quickly. After you cook your meat (ground beef or turkey, whatever you prefer!), add all the other ingredients together in the crock pot. Let it cook all day, and when you come home you’ll be greeted with piping hot chili and a wonderful aroma.

Sound perfect? It pretty much is.

Then all that’s left to do is light a pumpkin candle (tell me I’m not alone), cozy up on the couch with a big bowl of this hearty stuff, and revel in autumn’s arrival!

Crock Pot Pumpkin Chili

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb lean ground beef or turkey
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 1 can low-sodium diced tomatoes
  • 1 large can low-sodium crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 can chili beans
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1.5 tbsp chili powder
  • 1.5 tbsp cumin

1). Cook the ground meat and chopped onion in a large skillet until the meat is cooked through and the onion is soft.

2). Spray the crock pot with cooking spray. Add the cooked meat and all the other ingredients. Stir to combine.

3). Cook on low for 4-6 hours.

Servings: 6. Serving size: 1 1/2 cups. Approximate Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 434 Carbs: 57g Fat: 8g Protein: 37g Fiber: 14g Points+: 11 Recipe courtesy of Audrey’s Apron.

 

My 5 Favorite Apple Recipes for Fall.

Now that it’s almost October, I’m starting to get on board with all the fall things! The weather has turned a little bit cooler and the leaves are starting to change, so I’m starting to accept the fact that summer is over and fall is here.

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Yesterday my friend and I picked apples and  now I have no less than 50 apples to use up. So, here are my favorite apple-based recipes in case you pick up some fresh fruit, too! These recipes scream fall to me and are tried-and-true. Some of them are pretty indulgent, so enjoy in moderation.

Easy Crock Pot Apple Butter

If I have to choose one apple recipe to make each year, it’s this one!! It’s fool-proof. I’ve been making this for years and it always turns out fantastic. It’s so easy to do because I let it cook in the crock pot overnight. In fact, I made this last night and woke up in the middle of the night to the sweet aroma of apples and cinnamon. I LOVE the way it makes my house smell, and the taste is even better! Make a large quantity and freeze some of it for later.

The Best Apple Pie Ever. 

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Now, if my husband could pick just one apple recipe for me to make, it would be this one. I use my one-minute homemade pie crust to hold in those sweet, juicy apple slices. They get tossed in a rich butter/sugar/cinnamon mixture before baking, and some of that lovely mixture gets brushed on the crust. It is sooooo ridiculously good.

Apple Crisp Muffins

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Super sweet muffins with real chunks of apple in the batter, then finished with an oat topping reminiscent of an apple crisp (hence the name). There’s enough sweetness that these can be dessert instead of breakfast!

Autumn Chopped Salad

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This salad is ahhhhmazing. There’s lots of yummy things like crunchy romaine, feta, peanuts, cranberries, bacon, a pear, and (of course) an apple! Toss the whole thing in a combination of poppyseed dressing and balsamic vinegar (seriously, so delicious) and dive in!

Easy Crock Pot Apple Sauce

Here’s another super easy crock pot recipe. You can make this refined sugar free by simply omitting the sugar. Like the apple butter, it all cooks down in the crock pot, but the apple sauce takes about half the time (6 hours). When it’s done it looks like this:

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What is your favorite apple recipe? Let me know in the comments!

Roasted Parmesan Sweet Potatoes

This is a perfect side dish for practically anything–chicken, pork, beef, or even fish! I like having simple, versatile recipes in my back pocket for busy weeknight meals. This one does just that!

Roasted parmesan sweet potatoes that are easy, simple, and completely satisfying! I love sweet potatoes because they’re so good for you, and my favorite way to eat them is roasted. This version is savory thanks to a touch of parmesan cheese. I like having both a savory and sweet version of roasted sweet potatoes. (By the way, you can find my favorite “sweet” version of  roasted sweet potato recipes here.) Like I said, this recipe comes together very quickly and is sure to be a hit! My husband, who does not typically care for sweet potatoes, ate every last one off his plate!IMG_20140103_193551191 (1)

Notice there’s just a tablespoon of parmesan cheese for the whole batch; we aren’t going too crazy! Of course, if you want to you can certainly add more. Other than salt and pepper, the sweet potatoes are spiced with dried thyme. If you don’t care for thyme, swap it out with your favorite herb! I think rosemary, oregano, sage, or even basil could be delicious.

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Here’s a great bonus with this recipe…it makes for very little clean up. I love cooking, but I don’t love spending a long time cleaning up after (especially on weeknights!). After chopping the sweet potatoes, place them in a Ziploc bag and add the remaining ingredients. Seal the bag and mix them really well. This results in 2 important things: #1-Even coverage of the spices on the potatoes and #2-nothing to clean up! Just throw the bag away after you’re done!

To cut down on clean up even further, I also like to line my baking pan with foil sprayed lightly with cooking spray. You don’t have to do that, though. I sometimes roast sweet potatoes in a glass casserole dish!

Once the potatoes are in the oven, let them cook until they’re really soft and starting to get a little crunchy on the outside. That’s the way I like ’em. See?

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Your cook time will depend on how small your sweet potato pieces are and how hot your oven is. For me, about 30 minutes was just right.

Roasted Parmesan Sweet Potatoes

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • 1 tbsp parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Ziploc bag
  • Foil (optional)
  • Cooking spray

1). Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with foil, if using, and spray with cooking spray.

2). In a large Ziploc bag, add the sweet potatoes, garlic, EVOO, parmesan cheese, thyme, salt, and pepper. Seal the bag and shake it to mix well. Once all the potatoes are evenly covered, spread them out on the prepared baking sheet.

3). Bake for 30-35 minutes, giving them a stir after 20 minutes. Potatoes are done when they are soft and slightly crunchy on the outside.

Servings: 3. Nutritional Information per serving: Calories: 149 Carbs: 23g Fat: 6g rotein: 2g Fiber: 3g WW PointsPlus: 4

Recipe adapted from: http://www.teeniecakes.com/2010/12/roasted-parmesan-sweet-potatoes/