Tacos with Sweet Potato Wedges

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Our family tends to eat our fair share of beans and legumes, rice, millet or quinoa and veggies all mixed together in some form.  I love that they offer versatility, are filling yet satisfying and full of yummy goodness our active bodies thrive on. These ingredients haven’t failed me and adding different mixes of spices to them gives them a variety in taste.  Sometimes potatoes are added as well. Whether we packed them in a tortilla, fill a taco or toss in a bowl, some of our favorite meals are created with these staples.

 

I took a typical taco dish I make and added sweet potato wedges and different toppings to create a newish dinner for taco Tuesday.  Now, I didn’t want to bake the sweet potatoes in the oven because that would take too long and I didn’t have any prepped to use.  So the quickest way is to steam/pan cook them on the stove.  I tried the microwave first to get them a little cooked, then into the pan on the stove.  They were fine, but you just want to be sure they aren’t over cooked from the microwave.  So the better results were the way I listed in the recipe below.

The results were well received by the family with happy full bellies.  There isn’t much added to this dish, but the flavors balanced well with each other. Besides the chopping, which is usually involved in most meals (must keep on top of prepping ahead more) this meal was easy and fairly quick to make.

 

cooking sweet potato tacos

 

Makes: 8 – 10 tacos

Ingredients:

2 medium size sweet potatoes sliced into wedges, about 1/2 inch thick (I am guessing, I just sliced them to what I felt would be manageable to eat)
1 can of black beans
1 cup of corn, if frozen rinse well
1 small red onion, diced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 – 1 teaspoon chili powder (depending on your preference)
handful cilantro, chopped well
2-3 green onions fully chopped
juice from 1 lime
1 avocado
corn tortilas

 

seet potato taco

 

Directions:

Cut the sweet potatoes into wedges if not done already

Add about 3/4 cup of water to a large saute pan over medium high heat and then add the sweet potatoes.  Cover and simmer for about 8 minutes or until they are cooked through but not too soft they start to fall apart.  Remove from pan and set aside.

I used the same pan, but use separate one if you prefer.  Next you will need to add the onion and garlic with 2 tablespoons of water and cover on low heat for about 10 minutes.

Now add the sweet potato, corn, beans, and spices.  Continue to cook over medium low heat and stir gently until heated through. Add about a table spoon of lime juice and continue to stir.  Cook them for about 5 minutes.

While that is cooking, take the avocado and mash it in a bowl with the remaining lime juice, salt/pepper, splash of franks hot sauce if you’d like.

Mix together the cilantro and green onions in a separate bowl

You can add diced tomatoes as well

Heat your tortillas and fill’er up.  I spread the avocado on the tortilla then added the taco mixture and sprinkled the cilantro/green onion on top.  If you like avocado, top the taco off with more!

Enjoy!

 

Specialty Sandwich

specialty sandwich

The girls do not eat sandwiches often but they came up with their own creation to take to school for lunch. One day they asked Jon and I if we wanted a specialty sandwich for lunch, Jon said “sure”, I was a little hesitant because I like to know what is in my food :)  but I went with the flow and was surprisingly served with a very tasty sandwich.   I was quite impressed they used the resources they had and have now made this their specialty sandwich when they feel like eating one. I just need to make sure we have certain ingredients stocked so they can work their creations in the kitchen.

Specialty sandwich consists of: sliced bread of choice, mustard of choice, sliced onion, pickle, cucumber, tomato and leafy greens.  Add on : mashed avocado with some lemon, lime and pepper and a splash of Franks Hot Sauce mixed in and spread on sandwich.

I decided one day to bake sliced tempeh to try on their specialty sandwich.  It was quite easy and a great addition to the sandwich.  However, I do recommend prepping it the night before and then baking it once it has marinated overnight or let it marinate all day and bake it in the evening so it is ready for the next day.

 

bbq tempeh

 

Ingredients:

Make your own BBQ sauce or use your favorite
1/4-1/3 cup BBQ sauce
1 package (8oz) tempeh sliced thin but not too thin that it crumbles
2-3 tablespoons vegetable broth

Directions:

Slice the tempeh if not done already

Saute the tempeh with the vegetable broth over med-high heat for about 3 minutes each side

Turn off the heat on the stove and begin to brush the tempeh with the BBQ sauce on both sides.  I spread some of the BBQ sauce in a dish and then place the brushed tempeh in the dish with remaining sauce and let it marinate overnight (or all day)

After marinating is done heat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the strips on the baking sheet and then bake for 8 minutes on EACH side, be sure not to burn them so keep close eye and flip when needed.  Remove when done and let cool.  Enjoy in a sandwich or burrito!

 

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Anything Is Possible

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Life throws us all challenges, and they wouldn’t be challenges if they came at a ‘better’ time in life.  Though they may be different, more difficult, more challenging, more heartbreaking, hurt more, more rewarding than someone else’s, we all still have to find our ways through those challenges and our reactions, decisions and direction will help us come out better, stronger, happier and accepting of the choices we make from the changes we endure. Find the positive in it all and grow from it even if it may seem to never end or come all at one time.  Accept there may be failure but that doesn’t mean stop, but rather persevere. Be bold, be brave and kind in your choices, solutions and directions. We are quick to resist changes, becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable is key, and once that step is made, each step will get easier.  Life is a mess, but the magic is there,  love, light and laughter are found in the mess and know that everyone experiences the mess.  My hearts to all of you.

Some of our most beautiful chapters in our lives won’t have a title until later.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

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choc chip thumb blur

As I have mentioned before, I like making treats and who doesn’t like eating them…?   I enjoy sharing most of them with friends, so my family is always asking if there will be any left for us HaHa!  There usually is, sometimes they get to taste test as I go.  Although this time, the kids were not around, but they will have a nice surprise when they return from their vacation.

Chocolate chip cookies are one of those cookies that always smell so good when baking and always bring smiles to everyone’s faces and we find that we typically eat more than one. Something I remind my family and friends is, even though these are a healthier option to store bought, from a box or the traditional way they are made, they still are a treat and they have sugar so no need to over indulge :)  Although when these come out of the oven, the are soft, chewy and chocolatey-ness will be irresistible!

add chocolate chips blur

 

As with any recipe, always read through it first before diving in :)

Makes: 12 – 18 depending on size

Ingredients:

1/2 cup almond butter, no added oils, etc. when it is room temperature works best. (I keep mine in the fridge, I gave it a quick 20 seconds in the micro)
1/2 cup rolled oats (use gluten free option if necessary)
1/3 cup pure maple syrup, not maple flavored syrup
1/4 oat flour (you can grind oats into flour if necessary)
1/4 almond flour
1/4 arrowroot flour/starch (can try cornstarch but not sure if it changes anything)
2 tablespoon coconut oil, not hot but softly melted
1 tablespoon apple sauce
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cups chocolate chips, save some for topping cookies

 

wet ingredients

 

Directions:

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.  Line 2 if they are small and preheat oven to 350°F

Using a large bowl mix all the wet ingredients together, stir well until combined and smooth

Begin adding the dry ingredients to the wet, except the chocolate chips and continue to mix until well combined.  The dough should look wet yet doughy

ingredients collage

 

Stir in about 2/3 of the cup of chocolate chips until well combined

Depending on how large you want the cookies, they will spread slightly.  Using about     1 1/2 tablespoon size amount or ice cream scooper, scoop the dough and place on the baking sheet. Do not flatten the ball of dough, keep them like a mound shape. Place them about 2-3″ apart depending on how large you make them, as they will spread

choc chip cookies into oven

 

Take some extra chocolate chips and gently push on top of dough, be sure to keep them rounded and not too flat

Bake for 8-9 minutes to keep them soft and chewy, 10-12 minutes will make them a little crisper

Keep the cookies on the baking sheet to cool for about 5 minutes when done.  Transfer to a cooling rack, be gentle as they will be very soft.  They will firm up more after they cool for about 15 minutes, if you can wait that long!

choc chip thumb2

Mango Fresca

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mango salsa salad

Not sure this recipe is a specific ‘type’ of dish, call it what you want, dip, salsa, salad, either way, you will enjoy the mild sweet heat in this dish.  Depending on how you want to eat it, by chopping up some greens and mix in as a salad, spread it on romaine leaves or scooping it with chips, these are all tasty options and you can’t go wrong with any of them.  This Mango Fresca is a great dish to take to a gathering, as a side to your meal or as your meal.  It is flavorful and filling and you can fancy it up with some chopped avocado.

 

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Serves: 2

Ingredients:

2 mangoes diced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced (depends on your heat level)
1 cup frozen or cooked corn
1 medium-large ripe tomato, diced
1/2-1 teaspoon minced/diced garlic
1 lime, juiced
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped

 

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Directions:

In a medium/large bowl, mix black beans, mango and corn.  If you haven’t diced the other ingredients, place bowl in the refrigerator.

Dice the jalapeño, cilantro and tomatoes if not already done and add to the bowl

Add the lime juice and mix well

Tastes great with chips as a salsa or on top of romaine leaves topped with diced avocado or mixed with greens as a salad

We enjoy it with Late July Jalapeño Lime chips!

Vanilla Blender Ice Cream

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There is always room for ice cream, but not when it is full of artificial flavors and ingredients that don’t always settle well for everyone’s bellies.  Even better,  this plant based ice cream does not require an ice cream maker!!  I know not everyone likes bananas either, so I included one below, also check out this recipe , these options and these suggestions.  This vanilla ice cream is a quick and easy way to make a cool treat anytime.  It is delicious alone as well as a base to add in other ingredients to create some delightful flavors. There is prepping involved, freezing bananas.  Also, be sure any ingredients you add in are chilled as necessary.

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Grillable Black Bean Burgers with Mango Cream

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Garden burgers are a regular on the menu in our house and we change them up from time to time but typically stick to the same ones.  Well…. this recipe came through my email and I just had to try them.  Seeing the words, Mango Cream, hooked me.  Warm summer weather and the cool freshness of mango just sounded amazing.  We have made these a few times already with continued requests to put them on the weekly menu, these burgers are DA BOMB!  Our youngest isn’t much of a spicy eater, but she enjoyed these and didn’t complain of them being too spicy.  Although I did not add the extra salsa on hers like I did with the rest of us.

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Apple Walnut Salad

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Sometimes simple dishes can be a tad bland, but I have learned, they can also pack a flavorful punch and this salad does just that. The fresh, crisp ingredients tantalize the taste buds all while leaving bellies satisfied :)  Lemons and  apple cider vinegar add so much flavor to a salad and I have played around trying to get a solid balance between the two.  This salad was a huge hit the other night and thank goodness I made extra so we had it for lunch the next day.  I haven’t played with other ingredients other than what is listed below, but if you wanted to add more toppings go for it.  We prefer it as is.

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Category: Salads | Tags: , , , , ,