Sweet Potato Meatballs

Meatballs

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 yams or red sweet potatoes
  • 1 zucchini (optional)
  • 1 lb of ground beef (grass-fed) or ground turkey
  • 2 TBSP Tomato Paste
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Add 1 – 2 tsp of your favorite fresh herbs – Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • Pinch Ground Pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet or rectangular pan with aluminum foil.
  2. Peel the sweet potatoes, cut into large chunks and cook in a steamer or boiling water. Check that they are soft and well cooked using a fork (should take about 15 minutes). Drain water and mash potatoes.
  3. Grate the zucchini on the medium fine teeth of a cheese grater.
  4. Mix together all the ingredients until well blended, and make into balls (about 16).
  5. Cook the meatballs on your lined cookie sheet for 18-20 minutes. Serve over pasta or spaghetti squash with fresh marinara sauce.

*Note: These meatballs freeze very well. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper and space out the meatballs without touching. Put them in the freezer for about 2 hours until they harden. Then put all the meatballs in a freezer-safe container and take them out one at a time when you need them.

Makes 16 meat balls, calories vary depending on type and leanness of meat

Curry Butternut Squash Bisque

As the holidays wind down and the cold months of winter are spread before me, I love the excuse for delicious comfort food at the end of a busy, cold day. This soup is particulary delicious after a day on the slopes, with a cold nose and tired achy muscles.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 large (3 lb) butternut squash
  • 1 large apple, skinned and chopped (Honeycrisp is particularly delcious)
  • 1 large orange sweet potato (or yam)
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 TBSP Coconut Oil (or Olive Oil)
  • 1 – 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Tobasco sauce
  • 4 cups of Chicken broth (or vegetable stock for vegetarian)
  • 14 oz can of Light Coconut Milk (or low fat 2% evaporated milk)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Put butternut squash in the microwave for 2 minutes. Take it out, cut off the stem, and then cut it half at the waist of the squash. Put the flat edge of the squash down on the cutting board, and slowly cut down to skin the squash. Cube the squash into squares and set aside.IMG_5472
  2. Peel sweet potato and chop into cubes. Steam squash and sweet potato in a basket until it’s soft (20-30 minutes). Set aside.IMG_5473
  3. Heat oil in a large saucepan.  Add chopped onions, apples, curry, pepper and salt, sautéing over medium heat for 15 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 2 more minutes.
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  4. Add squash, sweet potato, Tobasco, and chicken broth to the onion base. Bring to boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until it is smooth. IMG_5481
  6. Add the coconut milk to the soup, return to simmer, and the soup is ready to serve. This recipe freezes very well for spur of the moment soup on a cold winter day.IMG_5482

Makes 8 cups, 140 calories per cup.

Chips and Dip … Revised

From book clubs to movie nights to prayer groups, I love inviting people to come into my home, drink wine and be together. While there is something profoundly delicious about the standard “chips and salsa” fare for such occassions, I have added a few additional dips and and dippers to add color and diversity. This is not so much “cooking” as it is an idea for a quick way to create a vibrant, colorful spread for a party.

Book Club Chips & Dip

DIPPERS:

  • Tortilla Chips (look for the 3 – 5 ingredient chips: corn, oil, salt, touch of lime)
  • Mini Bell Peppers, halved with the tops cut off
  • Jiama, skinned and cut into flat strips, spritzed with fresh lime and chili powder

DIPS:

  • Guacamole (fresh avocados, garlic, salt and pepper, and some fresh salsa)
  • Fresh Salsa
  • Cowboy Caviar (available pre-made at Trader Joe’s or Costco; bell peppers, black beans, and corn)

Eggplant Caprese

As the cool spring sunshine gives way to a warmer summer blaze, the really good tomatoes are returning to us. The gritty, hard tomatoes in the winter are hardly satisfying, but those sweet juicy summertime tomatoes are just delicious! This is one of my favorite summer recipes, bringing the delicious open-faced caprese sandwich to a veggie-loving palate, offering a grilled eggplant disk in lieu of a crusty bread.

Eggplant CapreseINGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Eggplant, cut in discs, 1/4″ thick
  • 2 Beefsteak Tomatoes, cut into discs
  • 4 oz Soft Mozzarella
  • Fresh Basil leaves
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly Ground Pepper
  • Balsamic Vinegar, drizzled

PESTO INGREDIENTS:

  • 1-2 Tomatoes (chopped to 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Basil Leaves
  • 1/4 cup Pine Nuts
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 Lime, juiced

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Combine all the pesto ingredients and puree in a blender until smooth.

2.  Heat olive oil on grill (or in a flat bottom pan on the stove top.

3.  Fry eggplant on both sides in the olive oil. Season with salt.

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4.  Spread pesto on the eggplant, then top with tomatoes, mozzarella, and fresh basil.

5.  Top eggplant stacks with freshly ground pepper and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.


photo 3

Peanut Butter Mousse Dip

For some reason, the combination of peanut butter and chocolate is just magical. This recipe uses Vanilla yogurt as the sweet, creamy base for a peanut butter mousse. It works deliciously well with apples as a dipping sauce. Or, for a more decadent desert, I do a scoop of mousse with a small scoop of French Silk ice cream for a peanut butter chocolate pie flavor.

Peanut Butter Mousse (1)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 16 oz nonfat Greek vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (no sugar or oil added)
  • 2 oz dark chocolate (72% cocoa)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Whisk yogurt and peanut butter together until well blended and whipped.
  2. Break chocolate into small pieces and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. Melt in 15 second intervals until the chocolate is smooth.
  3. Drizzle chocolate over the cold peanut butter yogurt mixture. Wait 10 – 15 minutes until the chocolate hardens.
  4. Break the hardened chocolate with the whisk to break into smaller bites.
  5. Serve with finely chopped apple slivers or with a small scoop of ice cream.

Makes 8 servings of 1/4 cup each, 155 calories per serving.

Bell Pepper Nachos

Whenever I am craving a cheesy indulgence that I can eat with my fingers and top with creamy guacamole and chunky salsa, nachos would be the obvious choice! Enter in Mini Bell Pepper Nachos: they are super quick and easy to prepare and you are indulging in all your cravings while essentially just eating veggies and a little cheese. Yes!

Bell Pepper Nachos

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 – 10 Mini Bell Peppers
  • 1/2 cup of Cowboy Caviar (black beans, corn, and mini red peppers)
  • 1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese

Optional Toppings:

  • Guacamole
  • Salsa
  • Sour Cream
  • Fresh Cilantro

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cut off the stem of the mini peppers, then cut them in half longwise
  2. Stuff each of the open peppers with Cowboy Caviar (shredded chicken or pork also works well)
  3. Microwave the stuffed peppers for 2 minutes
  4. Sprinkle the peppers with sharp cheddar cheese and return to the microwave for 1 – 2 more minutes (until cheese is melted)
  5. Let the nachos cool for a couple minutes, and then add your favorite toppings

Recipe makes one serving, 260 Calories (without optional toppings)