Archive | Veggies

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!




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.



The Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook Review & Recipe – Tahini Kale Slaw & Roasted Tamari Portobello Bowl

The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl + Spoon

Adding to my cookbook obsession is the recent release of The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl + Spoon by high profile food blogger, Sara Forte of The Sprouted Kitchen. Sara’s specialty is creating recipes using simple whole foods that are in season and fresh. She uses as much produce as possible in her dishes and this allows for what she calls “wiggle room” for indulgence if desired. I resonate with Sara’s style of cooking because she doesn’t subscribe to one particular diet or food group. She believes in balance, simple not complicated and she loves cooking with whole foods…just like me! I like her already.

Bowl + Spoon is a cookbook packed with recipes all created & eaten out of…….you guessed it….bowls. The table of contents is divided amongst Morning Bowls, Side Bowls, Big Bowls, Sweet Bowls and Dressing & Sauces.

“I have an affinity for seasonal vegetables and whole foods with bold dressings or sauces. I crave healthful, colorful foods that taste good. My specialty, per se, is food in a bowl – combinations of vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, big salads – texture and flavor that go together to make a simple, nutritious, meal that makes sense composed in one vessel…ingredients nestled within each other, tangled to make most sense as a sum of their parts. I am using the bowl as a point of inspiration for the recipes shared here.”

The diversity of the recipes is impressive with dishes such as creamy mushroom pasta with frizzled leeks, smoky tortilla soup, cauliflower gratin, pumpkin pie steel-cut oats, homemade ricotta, tropical smoothie bowl and peach derby ice cream. Sara’s dishes are vibrant, full of quality ingredients, seasonal and pretty simple to make. She appeals to the every day home cook who wants to prepare and serve their families delicious, healthy meals.

In addition to the array of beautiful photos and recipes, Sara has detailed lists of essentials she needs to prepare, cook and serve the dishes that she makes. There are lists discussing how to build a stocked arsenal of legit kitchen tools, a fridge full of condiment & produce staples and a pantry of ingredients that will never steer you wrong. The thing I love about her lists is that everything is affordable and majority of everything can be found at a well-stocked grocery store, health food store such as Sprouts or Whole Foods or online at retailers such as Amazon and Thrive Market.

I bookmarked multiple recipes, but the one I made recently and wanted to share is Tahini Kale Slaw and Roasted Tamari Portobello Bowl! Portobello mushrooms are kind of my thing so when I paged across this recipe, I instantly read the entire thing top to bottom. Adding to the shrooms is kale, brown rice, pepitas, onions, carrots, avocado and delicious Tahini Citrus Miso Dressing. YUM!

Tahini Kale Slaw and Roasted Tamari Portobello Bowl

Tahini Kale Slaw and Roasted Tamari Portobello Bowl1

Tahini Kale Slaw and Roasted Tamari Portobello Bowl

Tahini Kale Slaw & Roasted Tamari Portobello Bowl
Serves: 2
  • 2 large portobello mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame or grapeseed oil (I used sesame)
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tamari or low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 3 green onions, white and green parts, chopped
  • ½ cup sunflower sprouts or microgreens ( I used pepitas and no microgreens)
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 large avocado, peeled and diced
  • ⅓ cup roasted and salted sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons white or yellow miso (I used white)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha or hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1 large orange (about ⅓ cup)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Lemon juice, to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F and line with parchment or foil. Remove the stems from the mushrooms and rub both sides with the oil and sprinkle of sea salt and pepper. Place them gill side up on the baking sheet and drizzle the tamari on top. Roast for 15 to 18 minutes until the mushrooms look soft and collapsed. Once cool, slice them thinly.
  2. While the mushrooms cook, prepare the slaw. Finely chop the kale. In a large mixing bowl, combine the kale, shredded carrots, green onions and dress and desired. Rub the dressing into the kale to soften it and then add the sprouts.
  3. To make the dressing – In a mixing bowl, whisk together the tahini, miso, honey, sesame oil, and Sriracha to combine. Whisk in the vinegar, orange juice, salt, and pepper to taste. Thin with water or lemon juice, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed. Taste and adjust seasoning. The dressing will keep, covered, in the fridge for 2 weeks and it makes a lot.
  4. Serve each bowl, warm or col, with a good portion of the kale, scoop of rice, a mushroom, avocado, and a generous sprinkle of sunflower seeds.

Check out Bowl + Spoon for yourself and turn those farmers market goodies into something truly distinctive and tasty.

*I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review, but all opinions are my own.



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
  • 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
  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.




Crock Pot Red Curry Soup with Tofu and Veggies

There is something about Thai curry that delights my heart. I started eating curry when I lived in Chicago and I can say with full conviction that my former neighborhood Thai restaurant, Joy’s Noodles & Rice, is one of the top 3 things I miss about living in Chi-town. It was a beautiful thing to be able to call in an order of Panang noodles and spring rolls in the middle of a blizzard and wa-la, it’s at my door in 20 minutes. So far I have yet to find a Thai restaurant in Phoenix that can even come close to Joy’s. (please leave me a comment if you have any recommendations, I’d love to hear them!) With that said, I decided to try a curry recipe in the slow cooker. It’s a soup of course…I could literally live on soup as you will discover in this blog. Two words – so simple. Like any crocker recipe, you just throw it all in and forget it….get it? This recipe was adapted from Tasty Yummies, but per usual I altered it to my liking. This is another recipe where you can mix and match veggies, protein and spices and make it your own. Enjoy!


Crock Pot Red Curry Soup with Tofu and Veggies
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • ½ leek diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 3-inch piece of ginger minced
  • ¾ lb. of diced butternut squash
  • 2 heads of broccoli cut into small florets
  • 1 large carrot peeled and diced thin
  • 7 cups of vegetable broth or stock
  • ¼ cup + 1 TBSP of red curry paste
  • 1 TBSP low sodium shoyu or soy sauce
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1 can of full fat coconut milk
  • 1 bunch of swiss chard, stems removed and chopped
  • 1 package of organic firm tofu, diced
  • 1 TBSP of rice vinegar
  • S&P and red pepper flakes, to taste
  1. Set the slow cooker on either low for 8 hours or high for 4-6. Throw the following ingredients into your slow cooker and stir well to dissolve the curry paste before putting the lid on: onion, leek, ginger, garlic, broccoli, squash, carrot, broth or stock, curry paste and shoyu or soy sauce.
  2. Stir in the diced tofu about 30 minutes before eating. Cover with lid.
  3. Just minutes before serving, add the following: coconut milk, lime juice, swiss chard and seasonings. Stir and re-cover for 5 more mins until swiss chard is wilted. Season to liking. (I put a ton of red pepper flakes which really bumped the heat up)
Make sure to press the tofu between two kitchen towels for at least 30 mins before dicing it. This helps release the moisture. Place a heavy pan or cutting board on top of the towel to help with the process.

Eat and enjoy the rest all week for quick lunches and/or dinners.