Southern Goat Cheese Grits & Vegetable Bowl

Southern Goat Cheese Grits & Vegetable Bowl

Make this southern goat cheese grits and vegetable bowl! It’s a bowl of creamy stone ground grits with goat cheese melted in, topped with garlicky sauteed spinach, roasted sweet potatoes, and black-eyed peas, then topped with salsa verde! Feel free to use any seasonal veggies you like to switch it up.

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Vegan Curried Coconut Corn Chowder Recipe

Vegan Curried Coconut Corn Chowder Recipe

This easy vegan curried coconut corn chowder recipe is packed with flavor, and is made dairy free using coconut milk. Sweet potatoes add creaminess and a little sweetness to the broth. Blend half, and keep the other half whole kernel for tons of texture!

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Southwestern Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash with Chili and Orange

Southwestern Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash with Chili and Orange

Looking for a fun new make ahead breakfast the whole family will love! Try this southwestern sweet potato hash, which is roasted on a sheet pan and flavored with Florida orange juice and spices for a yummy sweet and spicy flavor. Just top with a fried egg! This vegetarian meal can be enjoyed for breakfast or dinner. 

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Simple Roasted Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Soup

Simple Roasted Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Soup

A cozy bowl of fall-flavored goodness! This simple roasted sweet potato and cauliflower soup is made with only 7 ingredients, but packed with flavor. It's extra creamy from a little half and half swirled in. Perfect make ahead meal for a cold day. Just reheat and top with some of the ideas I give for garnishes. 

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Dukkah Quinoa Bowl with Roasted Cauliflower and Sweet Potatoes

Dukkah Quinoa Bowl with Roasted Cauliflower and Sweet Potatoes

This dukkah bowl y'all. Packed with fiber and flavor, this dukkah quinoa bowl with roasted sweet potatoes and cauliflower is so tasty. Top a bowl of quinoa and roasted veggies with an easy homemade almond dukkah. Use the rest in hummus, over veggies or as a crust for chicken or fish. 

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Sweet Potato Falafel Naan Wraps with Green Chutney

Sweet Potato Falafel Naan Wraps with Green Chutney

This sweet potato falafel naan wrap has got it going on. First, there's the star of the show - the sweet and savory, crispy-edged sweet potato falafels. Then there's the spicy green chutney, which you will want to put on all the things (eggs, cheese and crackers, grain bowls, chocolate chip cookies...oh wait no, that's weird). Then there's the creamy Greek yogurt - always full fat for full flavor...

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Sweet Potato Hummus

Creamy sweet potato hummus is perfect for dipping raw veggies or with crunchy whole grain crackers! 

I love this summer.

If you've been following my adventures on instagram, then you know I just got back from a long weekend in Asheville. Before that, it was Tybee Island, Greenville and a week and a half in the northeast. Coming up, we've got Charleston, NYC, and Charlotte. With my practice, I've been running our first group of Joyful Eaters, working with a pretty full load of clients and wrapping up a few other big projects. Phew!

Even though the past few months have been packed to the brim with work and play, there's still been a leisurely feel to this season. After focusing on work and growing my practice, now that I'm finally settled and stable, I've really tried to prioritize rest, relaxation and self care...err, at least try to fit it in!

One of my favorite ways to do that is with reading. I'm pretty proud of myself for slowing chipping away at the pile of books by my bed! My latest read - My Fat Dad, which I'm participating in a blog tour for today.

My Fat Dad is part cookbook, part memoir. It hilarious and poignantly tells the story of Dawn Lerman's youth, growing up, hungry for pleasure and nourishment in a household with her yo-yo dieting father and a mother who couldn't care less about food or cooking. An incredibly successful marketing exec, her father was unable to replicate his work success in his attempts to lose weight. As he jumped from diet to diet, everything from Atkins to the grapefruit diet to a stay at an adult fat camp, she was essentially forced to live off his diet foods. She compassionately shares her dad's dieting stories, which was fascinating to read with an intuitive eating filter. With no family meals, eating was chaotic. It could have easily set the stage for developing eating issues of her own.

Thankfully, she had her grandmother, Beauty, who would spend hours with her, teaching her how to cook, instilling a love of real food and cooking, as well as an appreciation of her Jewish heritage and how food can connect you to it. This influence served as a protection against developing eating issues herself, and now Dawn is a nutritionist and columnist at The New York Times.

I usually don't do book reviews on the blog, simply because it's hard for me to commit to reading a book by a certain time. But I've been such a huge fan of Dawn Lerman's Fat Dad column at the Times, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to participate! Being half Jewish, growing up (partly) in New York, with a marketing exec father who yo-yo dieted himself (although not NEARLY on the scale as this book!), there was so much I related to. Although really, I think any food lover would relate to the story of falling in love with food and learning that it is so much more than fuel.

Reading Fat Dad got me thinking about all the things in my life that could have triggered eating issues. It gave me new appreciation for the love of food my family instilled, because I think that was my saving grace in becoming the intuitive eater I am today.

Also a cookbook, Fat Dad is peppered with recipes from her youth, everything from rich and decadent flourless peanut butter blondies to traditional Jewish dishes like kugel to recipes from her dad's diet adventures, like gazpacho and Pritkin-approved lentil stew. I chose to share her sweet potato hummus, since hummus was one of the first dishes I learned to make myself!

Connect with the author: Dawn Lerman, MA, C.H.H.C, LCAT, AADP

NY Times Column

DawnLerman.net

Facebook: Author Page

Twitter: @dawnlerman

Sweet Potato Hummus

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

Reprinted from MY FAT DAD: A Memoir of Food, Love, Family, and Recipes By Dawn Lerman Berkley Books/2015

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • Pinch of nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Prick a sweet potato all over with the prongs of a fork. Wrap in a paper towel and microwave for 5-10 minutes until tender. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Place chickpeas, olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, cumin, coriander and nutmeg in a food processor. Cut sweet potato in half and scoop the flesh into the food processor. Blend until pureed, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Serve with fresh vegetables and whole grain crackers.

Breakfast Enchiladas with Sweet Potatoes and Eggs

Better than breakfast tacos? These breakfast enchiladas are stuffed with sweet potatoes, black beans, scrambled eggs and topped with spicy salsa verde and feta! 

Forget breakfast tacos. Let's make breakfast enchiladas a thing.

I mean, tacos and enchiladas are basically the same thing - tortillas stuffed with lots of yummy things. But these breakfast enchiladas have one significant advantage over breakfast tacos. Make-aheadability. While these are fabulous fresh out of the oven (and also make a mean breakfast for dinner), they are simple to reheat and eat all week.

So guys, let's lead a charge to make breakfast enchiladas the new breakfast casserole. Personally, I plan to do my part by making these for all the Clemson tailgates for noon games come fall.

These make a super filling breakfast, packed with protein and high fiber carbs. Enjoy one with a side of fruit salad or two to last till dinner!

Breakfast Enchiladas with Sweet Potatoes, Black Beans and Eggs

Makes 12 enchiladas

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 sweet potatoes, chopped in 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 6 eggs, beaten.
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 12-ounce jar salsa verde
  • 3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • Optional for serving: hot sauce, chopped fresh cilantro, avocado, sour cream/plain yogurt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large sided skillet. Add sweet potatoes and saute until starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add onion and garlic, season with salt, pepper and chili powder. Saute until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Scrape potato mixture into a large bowl. Stir in black beans. Wipe skillet clean and add teaspoon of olive oil on medium heat. Pour in beaten egg and scramble. When eggs are fully cooked and scrambled, stir into potato mixture.
  4. Pour 1/2 cup salsa verde into the bottom of a large baking sheet. Take about 1/2 cup filling and wrap up with a corn tortilla. Place seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Pour remaining salsa verde over the top. Sprinkle with feta. Place in the oven and bake 20 minutes. Serve as desired.

More savory make ahead breakfasts: 

Shredded Sweet Potatoes with Eggs, Fresh Salsa and Chimichurri
Shredded Sweet Potatoes with Eggs, Fresh Salsa and Chimichurri
Spinach and Goat Cheese Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust
Spinach and Goat Cheese Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust
Kale, Mushroom and Blue Cheese Quiche
Kale, Mushroom and Blue Cheese Quiche

Chipotle Sweet Potato Bisque

I’m calling it guys. This is the soup of the fall. Silky smooth and ultra creamy with that whole sweet and spicy thing I love so much. And that soup bling is out of this world.

As much as I try to be one of those people who can just look at what looks beautiful at the farmers market and whip up something tasty on a whim, I’m just not. I need recipes. Hence my extensive cookbook collection. Even if I don’t follow a recipe to a T (I rarely do), I need it by my side for inspiration and support.

If I can brag for a moment, I’d love to share that this recipe was all me! I had some sweet potatoes to use up, chipotle chiies in the freezer and a pretty little organic pomegranate on my counter. The rest was history! I should do this freestyle cooking thing more often!

Also on my list of things to do more often – throw dinner parties. I imagine bringing our friends over for a rustic meal prominently featuring seasonal produce served al fresca. In this little fantasy of mine, our backyard is perfectly landscaped and we have a huge farmhouse table under an old oak tree decorated with hanging mason jars. I would serve this dish for a first course in shallow, white glazed bowls. In reality, we do have a beautiful old oat in our backyard, but the only thing underneath it is a notable lack of grass and lots of dog poop. Sigh, if only my pinterest life could be my real life.

Well, at least I can have this pinterest perfect fall soup.'''

P.S. You can absolutely make this with any type of winter squash you like

P.P.S. If you have any cream hanging out in your fridge after Thanksgiving, use that instead of coconut milk.

Chipotle Pumpkin Bisque

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 small sweet potatoes or 1 medium
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-2 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • For garnish: avocado, pomegranate seeds, plain yogurt

Instructions

  1. Poke holes in sweet potatoes with the tines of a fork. Wrap with paper towels and place in the microwave and heat 5-7 minutes until tender.
  2. Heat oil in a large pot on medium high heat. Add garlic and onion and saute until tender, about 5 minutes total. Add a chili and 1-2 teaspoons of adobo sauce.
  3. Scoop out flesh of potato into the pot. Add broth. Using am immersion blender, puree until smooth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in milk and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Serve garnished with avocado, pomegranate and yogurt.

Vegan Red Curry with Freezer Tomato Coconut Sauce

Make this vegetarian red curry with freezer tomato coconut sauce to save time! It's vegan, gluten free and vegetable packed. 

A few posts back, I shared my slightly embarrassing story of exclaiming my love for my freezer on the local news. Although my enthusiasm made me the butt of a few jokes, I still stand by my words, and by my hard working freezer.

The styled photographs on this blog and instagram probably make it look like I spend half the day in the kitchen, but that's not the case. I love to cook and truly believe it's the key to achieving health. I probably spend more time cooking than the average person, but just like every other person I've ever met, I simply don't have enough time to cook dinner from scratch every night.

Despite that, other than the couple of meals we eat out with friends each week, almost everything else is home cooked. It's not because I am a superhero. It's because I know how to make my freezer work for me.

Given my enthusiasm for my hard working little GE, I'm sure you can imagine, I was pretty excited when I saw this month's Recipe Redux theme - 'Fantastic Freezer Meals.' I think I've got a couple of those up my sleeve ;)

My favorite way to use my freezer is for storing leftovers. When I put time into making a soup, stew, casserole or some other easily freezable meal, it only makes sense to buy double the ingredients, spend a few extra minutes prepping and make extra to freeze for later. You might be surprised all the things you can freeze. Here's some of my favorite freezable meals from the blog:

The other thing I like to do is get a start on cooking by freezing sauces that I can add to simple stir fries for flavor, like this creamy Indian tomato sauce. I usually freeze it in sandwich or quart sized zip top bags then defrost before cooking. To make this meal, all you have to do is saute vegetables, add a can of chickpeas and Indian simmer sauce then cook to warm through. It's a fairly complete meal on it's own, but you could also serve it over brown rice. Use frozen or precooked brown rice if you want to stick with the time saving theme.

To make this, I always include chickpeas, lentils or tofu for protein and potatoes or peas as an unprocessed carb. For nonstarchy vegetables, I used zucchini, mushrooms and peppers in this dish, but you could also use spinach, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, greens, green beans, eggplant...basically anything!

Vegan Red Curry with Freezer Tomato Coconut Sauce

Serves 4

Feel free to use any vegetables you like - peas, eggplant, onion, spinach, green beans and greens all work beautifully. Simply adjust the cooking time accordingly. Freeze sauce in 2 cup servings in zip top bags. Curry sauce adapted from Jamie Oliver.

Ingredients

Tomato Coconut Freezer Sauce:

  • 2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • Thumb sized amount peeled, fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 4 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 14-ounce can full fat coconut milk

Curry: 

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled in 1/2 in dice
  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped
  • 2 medium zucchini, chopped in 1/2 inch dice
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained
  • Cilantro, for garnish

Instructions

  1. First, make the sauce. Place onions, carrots, bell pepper, garlic and ginger in a food processor and pulse until pureed.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large pot on medium heat. Add spices and cook 30 seconds until fragrant. Pour in pureed vegetables and stir to combine. Cook until most of the liquid is absorbed and it starts to look like a moist paste, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, broth and cilantro. Bring to a simmer and cook 20-30 minutes until thickened. Stir in coconut milk and turn off heat. If cooking the rest of the dish, start preparing the curry. Otherwise, let cool to room temperature and freeze in 2 cup servings.
  3. Before making the curry, defrost about 4 cups of curry sauce. To make the curry, heat coconut oil in a large skillet. Add potatoes, a pinch of salt and saute 5 minutes until starting to brown, stirring every so often,. Add peppers, stir and saute 3 minutes. Add zucchini, stir and saute 3 minutes. Finally, add the mushrooms, a pinch more salt and saute until all the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the curry sauce and garbanzo beans, stir, and simmer 5 minutes until warmed through. Serve over brown rice.

Spicy Lentil & Mushroom Veggie Burger and Vegan Sausage Hash

This month's theme for Recipe Redux is reworking leftovers. My spicy lentil and mushroom veggie burgers taste like sausage in a sweet potato hash made from the leftover burgers. 

Although I’ve seen and heard it all in my years as a dietitian without judgement, there are a few eating quirks I don’t understand. For example, people who don’t like chocolate. HOW IS THAT PHYSICALLY POSSIBLE?? I just don’t get it. Or with the recent popularity of intermittent fasting, people who skip breakfast and say they feel great. Are you sure you’re not homicidal by 10:30 am?

But what confuses me the most are people who don’t like leftovers. I understand it when you make a dish that turns out a little disappointing, but when you create something delicious, don’t you want to eat it for every meal for the rest of your life? Or at least for the next week?

That’s why this month’s Recipe Redux was such a challenge for me. The theme is reworking leftovers to get two dishes out of one. But what if I like the first one? Why fix something that’s not broken?

But the more I started to think about it, it made sense. Why not make extra portions of something more time intensive, then work the extras into an easy, weeknight meal?

So, I started to think about what I spend the most time on in the kitchen. Veggie burgers immediately came to mind. The frozen ones will do in a pinch, but once you’ve had a homemade veggie burger, its hard to go back. Only problem? Most recipes (or the tasty ones at least) involve cooking beans and/or grains, sauteeing vegetables, blending patties, forming patties, then pan-frying or baking said patties. It's not exactly weeknight friendly.

This first recipe for mushroom and lentil veggie burgers was heavily adapted from My New Roots. Rather than being made with the ingredients left whole then bound together with egg, all the ingredients are blended up in the food processor. The result is somewhat of a wet dough, which I was initially dubious of. But when you bake them in the oven with a quick spray of olive oil, they come out with a crispy crust and tender interior. Oh, and TONS of meaty flavor from the mushrooms and spices. In fact, of all things, the flavor reminded me of sausage, which inspired me to create recipe number 2.

A few years ago, Scott and I had this amazing Southern hash with sweet potatoes, collards and sausage when we were on vacation in Asheville. I decided to recreate it using crumbled veggie burger, added towards the end of cooking. You could top it with a fried egg, but since we were running out the door the play kickball, we enjoyed it plain. Which was anything but plain with all the flavor from the bitter greens, sweet sautéed potatoes and spicy “sausage.”

Spicy Lentil & Mushroom Veggie Burger

Makes 8 patties

Ingredients

  • 1 cup lentils (I used black lentils)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, halved
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Pinch or two of cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/2-3/4 cup oats
  • Burger buns
  • Toppings (lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion, mayo, mustard, etc)

Instructions

  1. Place lentils in a medium pot an cover with water by a few inches. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes until tender. Drain and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  3. In a large pan on medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Add onion and pepper. Saute 5 minutes until onions are translucent. Add mushrooms and garlic and a pinch of salt. Cook until mushrooms are golden and have released their liquid. Add cumin, thyme, smoked paprika, cayenne. Stir and cook 1 minute until fragrant. Add 2 tablespoons soy sauce to deglaze the bottom of the pan.
  4. Place pepitas and oats in the food processor. Pulse until they form a breadcrumb-like consistency. Add sauteed vegetables and lentils with salt and plenty of pepper in the food processor and blend until combined. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  5. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil. Form 8 balls and flatten slightly on the baking sheet. Spray again with oil and bake in the oven 40 minutes until golden.
  6. Serve on toasted buns with desired toppings.

Sweet Potato, Greens and Vegan Sausage Hash

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 small-medium sweet potatoes, diced
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bag of Trader Joe's Southern greens, or a bunch of greens of choice, stemmed and chopped
  • 2 leftover spicy mushroom and lentil burgers

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large sided skillet. Add potatoes and cook until starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add onions and garlic and season with salt and pepper. If using sturdy greens, add the greens along with a couple tablespoons of water to help it wilt. If using tender greens, add them at the end. Continue to cook, stirring, until sweet potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. Crumble in veggie burger, stir to combine and cook until heated through, 2 minutes.