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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
  • 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
  • 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
*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)
  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!




Grilled Greek Chicken Meatballs with Tzatziki Sauce

I’ve been eating a lot of ground chicken lately. I’ve been craving it in fact. I love to make chicken burgers multiple nights a week. I usually just season the patties and eat them with my favorite stone ground mustard on the side and I’m happy. However, the other night I actually felt bored with the simplicity of my typical patties. I wanted to jazz them up and give them a little life. I looked in the fridge and saw that I had kalamata olives, feta, red onion, cucumber, swiss chard, lemon and greek yogurt. My thoughts began to wander with what type of burger I could create out of that. Then I started having crazier thoughts….perhaps I could make little Greek meatballs instead of the usual burgers on my agenda? I could add a tzatziki sauce and my plan would be genius. So that’s what I did. I grilled the meatballs and paired them with the cool & creamy tzatziki sauce and it was delicious. The punch of lemon juice in the sauce with the salty feta in the meatballs was a perfect marriage. I plan to make these again soon when my husband isn’t out of town for work – poor guy missed out on them. Give this recipe a try and see how just a few tweaks and additions to a normal, average meal can be bumped up to the next level. 

P.S. I’ve never been a fan of the word “meatball.” It sounds so aggressive.

Greek Chicken Meatballs with Tzatziki Sauce

Greek Chicken Meatballs with Tzatziki Sauce

Greek Chicken Meatballs with Tzatziki Sauce

Greek Chicken Meatballs with Tzatziki Sauce


Grilled Greek Chicken Meatballs with Tzatziki Sauce
Tzatziki Sauce
  • 1 - 5 oz. container of greek yogurt
  • ¼ C. of cucumber, remove seeds and finely dice
  • 1 small clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. of fresh dill, minced
  • ¼ C. of feta cheese
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 lb. of ground chicken
  • ½ of a red onion, diced finely
  • 1 stem of swiss chard, remove from stem and chop into small pieces (feel free to use kale or spinach instead if you prefer)
  • ¼ C. kalamata olives, diced
  • ¼ C. feta cheese
  • 3 tsp. of lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano or parsley
***Make the sauce first so it can chill in the refrigerator while you cook the meatballs.***
  1. Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a bowl and stir until completely mixed together. Place in the fridge.
  2. Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet or cutting board. Combine all of the meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Mix with your hands until everything is blended together. Roll into 12 meatballs and place them on the parchment paper. Put the meatballs in the freezer for 20 minutes to help them harden and then they won't fall apart when cooking.
  3. Remove meatballs from freezer. Heat an oiled grill pan on medium heat. Cook meatballs on one side for 8 minutes. Flip to opposite side for another 8 minutes. (you want nice grill marks). Grill the meatballs on their sides as well for 2-3 mins each side.
  4. Remove from pan and serve with the tzatziki sauce.





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
  • 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
  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.



Roasted Asparagus with Caramelized Onions, Parmesan and Crispy Proscuitto

I love fresh seasonal asparagus and eat it as often as possible. The ability to dress it up any which way I fancy makes me feel creative, but in the end, I usually just roast it and grind a little fresh pepper & salt because that’s all those stalks of green goodness need. However when feeling extra ambitious, I’ve also prepared it as a lemony asparagus & mushroom dish, the classic asparagus in risotto, asparagus with scrambled eggs & goat cheese, Hollandaise covered asparagus and Asian asparagus with sesame seeds and soy sauce. This time however, I wanted to go big or go home. The mac daddy combo in my opinion is asparagus paired with the salty companion of prosciutto. There is something about these flavors that just go together and it makes me really happy. I had prosciutto in my fridge that I needed to use up and I had a hankering for caramelized onions after seeing a picture of this recipe on Pinterest. After I let these thoughts morph together, I came up with the idea for a recipe to make roasted asparagus with caramelized onions, shaved parmesan and crumbled proscuitto. I mean, c’mon. This is no ordinary side dish.

Roasted Asparagus with Caramelized Onions, Parmesan and Crispy Prosciutto Roasted Asparagus with Caramelized Onions, Parmesan and Crispy Prosciutto Roasted Asparagus with Caramelized Onions, Parmesan and Crispy Prosciutto

Roasted Asparagus with Caramelized Onions, Parmesan and Crispy Proscuitto
  • 1 lb. of asparagus; snap the woody ends off by simply breaking them where they want to break. You may not have even sized stalks, but that's okay.
  • 4 slices of thin prosciutto
  • 1 large yellow onion; sliced vertically and thin
  • 1-2 ozs. of shaved Parmesan
  • 1 TBSP unsalted butter
  • S&P
  1. Heat a heavy saute pan on medium. Add butter and 1 TBSP of the EVOO. (save the other TBSP for later)
  2. Add the onions and saute for ten mins, turning every couple of mins.
  3. Salt onions and continue to saute. Add a TBSP of water so the onions don't dry out. Continue to saute and turn every couple of mins for the next 30 mins. If they appear to be dry, add a little more oil or water. If they look like may be starting to burn, turn down the heat to medium low. They will start to look golden and soft.
  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees. Lay the prosciutto slices on a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Line another cookie sheet with parchment paper for the asparagus. Drizzle with the remaining TBSP of EVOO and toss. Add S&P.
  3. Place both cookie sheets into the oven. Cook for ten minutes and remove.
  4. Let prosciutto cool and crumble with your hands. Plate the asparagus on a platter.
  5. Layer the asparagus with the onions, prosciutto and shaved Parmesan. Sprinkle with a touch of S&P.



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
  • 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
  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!