Archive | Easy

Perfect Sweet Potato Fries with Spicy Chipotle Aioli

Sweet potatoes and I have a long standing commitment and loyalty to one another. Usually 1-2 times a week I am either peeling, roasting or sauteing these things. I love to use them in soup, toss in a salad, throw them in a frittata or make fries. The recipes are endless though.

I prefer sweet potatoes over white potatoes because they’re more nutritious and filling. SP’s contain almost double the fiber of regular white ones, a boatload of antioxidants, Vitamins A, C, & E, beta-carotene and massive amounts of potassium. They can be prepared so many different ways, but my favorite way would be eating them as good old fashioned fries. I love to dip them in a spicy chipotle sauce that I tend to make on the reg’. Although the true base of an aioli is made from mayo, I still call my chipotle sauce with greek yogurt an aioli because of the texture. Plus it reminds me of an aioli so that’s what it shall be called. The kick of chipotle is perfect with the sweetness of the potato. See ya later ketchup. Get in the kitchen and start peelin’. These really are the perfect fries.

oiled up sweet potatoes

roasted sweet potatoes

roasted sweet potatoes & chipotle aioli

 

Perfect Sweet Potato Fries with Spicy Chipotle Aioli
 
Ingredients
FRIES
  • 2 large sweet potatoes; peeled and cut into fries, make sure they are similarly shaped so they cook evenly (see photo above)
  • 2 TBSP of EVOO a.k.a. extra virgin olive oil (I used garlic infused oil)
  • S&P
AIOLI
  • 1 large canned chipotle pepper + 1 TBSP of juice from can; de-seed the pepper (I used the La Costena brand - can be found in your grocer's Mexican food aisle)
  • ¾ C. of Greek yogurt
  • 2 TBSP. fresh squeezed lime juice
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
*SOAK THE CUT UP SWEET POTATOES IN A BOWL OF WATER FOR 2 HOURS. LEAVE BOWL ON COUNTER (soaking isn't mandatory, but if I have time I like to release some of the starch)
*WHILE THE POTATOES SOAK, MAKE THE AIOLI AT THIS TIME SO IT CAN CHILL IN THE FRIDGE AND THICKEN UP BEFORE SERVING. JUST THROW ALL OF THE AIOLI INGREDIENTS IN A SMALL PROCESSOR AND BLEND UNTIL SMOOTH. REFRIGERATE. (if you like it hotter, add an extra chipotle pepper to the mix)
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment or tin foil. Remove sweet potatoes from bowl of water and dry thoroughly with paper towels.
  3. Add fries to the baking sheet, toss with the EVOO and make sure every fry is covered. Sprinkle with S&P.
  4. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes flipping over once halfway through. Turn oven to broil at the end and broil for 2-3 minutes for extra caramelization.
  5. Serve with the chilled aioli. Try not to eat all of them in 2 minutes!

 

 

18

Roasted Japanese Eggplant Slathered with Ginger-Miso and Scallions

MISO happy (had to) that I recently discovered the world of miso, which is the Japanese term for fermented soybean paste. It’s a staple ingredient in the Japanese culture and it gives food a rich depth of flavor. It’s typically added to soups, salad dressings, marinades and sauces. Miso ranges in color from white to red…the darker it is, the longer it has been fermented. White miso tends to be the most adaptable in whatever you’re using it for and it has less sodium than the darker colors. For a full reference of miso varieties, check out this handy guide from Bon Appétit.

I received another gorgeous delivery of Japanese eggplant in my CSA subscription and I knew I wanted to do something special with them. After seeing several eggplant recipes on Pinterest that called for miso, I decided to go for it. I’m not going to lie, I was a little intimidated to purchase miso at first. I stood there staring at the selection at Whole Foods and had no clue about what brand or what color to buy. Refrigerated? Unrefrigerated? This was new territory for me, but I was determined to find a brand that would work for what I had planned. I ended up purchasing Cold Mountain Mellow White Miso. (Please make sure the miso you buy is non-GMO and organic!! Over 90% of the soybeans grown in America and sold to consumers are GMO……oh hell no. Pay the extra couple bucks for good quality.) It was simple to use in my recipe as the miso just dissolved in the sauce. The flavor explosion of the miso, vinegar, ginger and the sesame oil was unbelievable. The eggplant melted in my mouth and the delivery of salty and savory was amazing. I was actually in shock at just how flavorful the eggplant turned out with the miso sauce that I declared this my new favorite recipe. I’ve made it twice now in two weeks and you will end up loving it too!!

I gave myself a pat on the back for trying a new ingredient. I think it’s important to explore and try something new from the grocery store every week. I challenge you to do so as well. Next time you’re food shopping, pick up a new veggie, seasoning, herb or condiment to shake things up. Let me know what you discover by commenting below. 平和 

White miso pastejapanese eggplanteggplant ready for the oven

Japanese eggplant smothered in miso, scallions and sesame seeds

Japanese eggplant smothered in miso, scallions and sesame seeds

Roasted Japanese Eggplant Slathered with Ginger-Miso and Scallions
 
www.deserthealthy.com:
Ingredients
  • 5-6 Japanese eggplants (1½ lb. total), cut on a diagonal into 1-inch-thick slices
  • 1 tablespoon of grape seed oil
  • ¼ cup white miso
  • 3 teaspoons finely grated peeled ginger
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, divided
  • 2-3 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions, divided
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Brush both sides of eggplant slices with oil and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Roast eggplant, flipping once, until very tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven.
  2. Arrange a rack in upper third of oven and heat to broil.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk white miso and next 5 ingredients with 1 Tbsp. filtered water in a small bowl. Stir in 1 tsp. sesame seeds and 1 Tbsp. scallions.
  4. Slather top of eggplant slices with miso sauce. Broil until golden and charred in places, 4–5 minutes. Keep an eye on it make sure it doesn't burn.
  5. Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp. sesame seeds and 1 Tbsp. scallions.

 

10

Healthy Chicken Quesadilla Goodness AND Del Real Foods Giveaway!!

I was craving comfort food last week and had quesadilla on the brain. I love quesadillas and often if I’m dining at a place that doesn’t have many healthy options, I just ask for a quesadilla full of veggies & cheese and can usually be accommodated. This version is full of tangy goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, smashed avocado and pulled chicken. I didn’t feel like making a big production and roasting a whole chicken so I just purchased an organic rotisserie from Whole Foods instead. The variety of meals that can be accomplished from 1 rotisserie chicken is endless and it’s such a simple solution for busy lives. If I can find a shortcut on weeknights, I’m all about it!! Enjoy!

Healthy Chicken Quesadilla Goodness

Healthy Chicken Quesadilla Goodness

Healthy Chicken Quesadilla Goodness

Healthy Chicken Quesadilla Goodness

I used Fire Roasted Green Salsa by Del Real Foods to dunk my quesadilla in and the flavor was perfect. This salsa packs some heat, but it’s so fresh and delicious that I was able to tolerate the heat and continue gobbling my quesadilla.
Del Real Fire Roasted Green Salsa

Del Real Foods is a family-owned company located in California. They have a huge variety of Mexican food products and they were kind enough to send me a cooler full of salsa’s, Arroz rice with vegetables and Chipotle Chicken Tinga to sample. They want one of you to enjoy their products as well and they are offering one lucky Desert Healthy fan a chance to win a party box cooler full of products shipped right to your front door. You can increase your chances of winning by doing each of the following by May 31st:

1) Like Desert Healthy’s Facebook Page
2) Follow Desert Healthy on Instagram
3) Follow Desert Healthy on Twitter
4) Share this post on your Facebook
5) Leave a comment by scrolling below to let me know you did all of the above. Good luck!

Del Real Party-Box-Square

 

Healthy Chicken Quesadilla
 
Ingredients
  • Handful of shredded rotisserie chicken; skin removed
  • ½ avocado; smash flesh with 1 tsp of lemon juice and salt
  • Sun-dried tomatoes - as many as you'd like
  • 2 oz. of goat cheese
  • 2 Ezekiel sprouted grain tortillas
  • Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat grill pan on medium heat on stove top.
  2. Layer one tortilla with the smashed avocado, sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese and chicken. Grind fresh ground pepper and place other tortilla on top.
  3. Carefully place in pan and cook tortilla until you have grill marks and the bottom tortilla is crispy. Flip and cook other side until you see grill marks as well. Approximately 10 minutes altogether (5 min. per side).
  4. Remove from pan and cut into fourths. Enjoy with your favorite salsa.

 

What kinds of ‘dillas do you like to eat? If you want to know other variations you can create, leave a comment below and I’ll reply!

 

17

Veggie Egg Muffins with Gouda

Anyone who follows this blog knows what a huge fan I am of prepping meals ahead of time so that I can take the pressure out of daily breakfast, lunch or dinner. Often we scramble in the morning to get ready for work and making breakfast is the least of our concerns even if our stomachs growl in disagreement. These egg muffins solve that conundrum. They can be prepped on a Sunday or Monday and eaten all week long. I don’t know about you, but if I have food on hand and I know breakfast and lunch are covered, I feel like I have a better grip on the day.

These egg muffins offer the well-rounded breakfast nutrition we all deserve and need for morning energy. They are loaded with vegetables which provide fiber along with the protein from the egg and cheese. Also the vegetables were sauteed in bacon olive oil, yes bacon, (THANK YOU QUEEN CREEK OLIVE MILL) which provides a little fat to the combo. I like the fact that I can just pop these into the microwave for 20-30 seconds and boom, time to eat. It’s a quick fix and a healthy one to boot. Change up the veggies if you choose and forget the cheese if you please. You can follow my recipe as a foundation to go off of and then jazz your muffins the way you like them. Happy brekkie.

Veggie-Filled Egg Muffins with Gouda

Veggie-Filled Egg Muffins with Gouda

Veggie-Filled Egg Muffins with Gouda

Veggie-Filled Egg Muffins with Gouda

Veggie-Filled Egg Muffins with Gouda

Veggie-Filled Egg Muffins with Gouda

 

Veggie Egg Muffin with Gouda

Veggie Egg Muffins with Gouda
 
Serves: 12 muffins
Ingredients
  • 6 cremini mushrooms, diced small
  • 1 small onion, diced finely
  • 1 head of broccoli, chopped into small florets
  • ½ cup of bell pepper, chopped small
  • 10 eggs, whisked in a bowl separately
  • S&P
  • 1 TBSP of EVOO (I used bacon olive oil from my local olive mill)
  • Oil spray for the muffin tin
  • 1 Cup of shredded Gouda cheese
  • Optional: Hot sauce
Instructions
  1. In a non-stick pan on medium heat, warm olive oil for a few minutes. Once the pan is warm and the oil is spread evenly, add onions. Saute for 5 mins, stirring occasionally. Add the broccoli and cook another 5 mins, continuing to stir. Add the bell pepper and mushrooms. Cook for 3-4 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Remove from pan and let cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Scoop a spoonful of mixture into each greased muffin tin slot until each slot has an even amount of mixture.
  4. Pour the whisked egg mixture into each slot and cover each slot of veggies evenly. You should be able to fill all 12 slots.
  5. Sprinkle a pinch of the shredded gouda on the top of each muffin slot, along with a dash of S&P.
  6. Bake for about 15-20 minutes. Keep an eye on them! Halfway through the baking process, you may want to pierce each slot with a fork a couple of times to prevent them from bursting.
  7. Muffins are done when you can stick a tooth pick in and it comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for 10-15 mins. Remove each muffin carefully.
  8. Top with any leftover gouda cheese and hot sauce if you choose.

 

 

0

Greek Couscous Salad with Chickpeas and Feta

THIS salad. THIS salad. Yea, this salad makes me happy. Anytime I can jazz up a scrumptious salad, I am left satisfied, content and feeling like I just did a good thing for myself. Salad doesn’t have to be flavorless iceberg lettuce, cold & lifeless tomatoes, sad shredded cheese topped by a goop of ranch dressing with mysterious ingredients. Ew. It can be full of flavor and variety every time so you’re not bored. If you add a little extra effort to making a bomb salad, you’ll actually want to eat it and you’ll look forward to different variations you can create. It’s easy. Chop, toss, eat.

The idea behind this salad was to make it Greek-ish. It’s full of organic baby spinach, grape tomatoes, chickpeas, english cucumber, couscous, fresh parsley, kalamata & green olives, avocado, artichoke hearts and feta cheese. I topped it with a light citrus vinaigrette and dinner was done. I paired it with a 5 oz. filet of grilled salmon and it was perfect. There were leftovers for lunch the next day as well.

Greek Couscous Salad with Chickpeas & Feta

Greek Couscous Salad with Chickpeas & Feta

Greek Couscous Salad with Chickpeas & Feta

Greek Couscous Salad with Chickpeas & Feta

Greek Couscous Salad with Chickpeas & Feta

Greek Couscous Salad with Chickpeas & Feta

 

Greek Couscous Salad with Chickpeas and Feta
 
Ingredients
SALAD
  • ½ Cup of English Cucumbers, peeled & diced
  • ½ Cup of Olives, sliced
  • ½ Cup of Artichoke Hearts, sliced (store bought in a jar or can is fine, but be sure to drain them)
  • ½ Cup of Grape Tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 Avocado, diced into cubes
  • 1 Cup of Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans, drained and rinsed thoroughly (allow to dry)
  • 2 Handfuls of Baby Spinach
  • ½ Cup of Couscous, cooked and cooled
  • 1-2 TBSP of Fresh Parsley, minced
  • 3 ozs. of Feta Cheese, crumbled
DRESSING - Whisk together the following in a small bowl. (this makes extra so store remainder in a mason jar and refrigerate for your next amazing salad)
  • ½ Cup of Avocado Oil (can use EVOO as well)
  • 1 TBSP of Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 Dash of Red Wine Vinegar
  • ½ TSP of Dijon Mustard
  • S&P to taste
Instructions
  1. Lay the spinach down first in a large bowl or platter. Then add ALL of the salad ingredients.
  2. Dress the salad lightly with the homemade vinaigrette. Toss the salad until every spinach leaf and ingredient is covered in dressing.
  3. Store remaining salad dressing in a mason jar in the fridge and use for another meal. It's also great for marinades.

 

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