Monday, October 20, 2014

Spinach-Mushroom Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

I love sweet potatoes, but I was an adult by the time I realized they are delicious. All my growing up the only sweet potatoes I encountered were from a can and covered with brown sugar and marshmallows, and I hated them. Then one day about 8 years ago my world was rocked when I was at a friend's house as she was starting dinner for her family, and part of dinner that night was baked sweet potatoes.

Wait. What?

Come to find out, not only are sweet potatoes are an amazing whole food, they are fantastic when roasted or baked or mashed with just a bit of butter, salt and pepper. They are also pretty easy on my husband's blood sugar, so there ya go: sweet potatoes are on my list of nearly perfect foods.

This spinach-mushroom variety is just one way to stuff sweet potatoes; you can easily change it up with black or white beans, quinoa, chopped roast beef, or sauteed zucchini or kale. Sweet potatoes are so amazing I think they can pull just about anything off.

I feel I should note that this spinach-mushroom filling can be split between 2-4 sweet potatoes, depending on how generous you are with the stuffing step of the process. My husband and I easily share the filling between the two of us, and accompanied by a simple green salad with an oil/vinegar vinaigrette, it makes a filling meal.

Spinach-Mushroom Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
printable recipe

2-4 medium-sized sweet potatoes (see note above)
1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil
1/2  onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz crimini mushrooms, rinsed and quartered
2 big handfuls baby spinach, coarsely chopped
2-4 teaspoons butter
coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
crumbled feta cheese

1. Heat your oven to 400deg. Scrub your sweet potatoes and prick the skin with a fork. Place the potatoes directly on the oven rack and bake for 30-35 minutes or until tender when tested with a fork.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a 12-in non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for 5-8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook about 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until they have released most of their moisture and have begun to brown a bit (I actually turn up the heat a bit at this point because I like a lot of color development on my mushrooms), 8-10 minutes. Add the spinach, turn off the heat and stir, allowing the residual heat of the mushroom mixture to wilt the spinach.

3. Split open the baked sweet potatoes and use a fork to break up the inside. Add 1 teaspoon of butter and salt and pepper to your taste preference to each potato and mash it around. Stuff the potatoes with the mushroom-spinach mixture and top with the crumbled feta cheese.

Makes 2-4 stuffed potatoes.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Hummus Veggie Wraps

We love hummus, and after making it myself the store-bought stuff doesn't even come close to being delicious. One of our favorite ways to eat it is in Hummus Veggie Wraps. It's super simple: hummus, tortillas of your choice (I love Guerrero brand because they are thin as well as tasty), and assorted shredded or thinly sliced veggies of your choice. My typical wrap has spinach, carrots, zucchini, cucumber, radish, red onion.

Next time you have some hummus hanging around (I totally recommend my hummus recipe), try making veggie wraps for an easy, delicious, and very healthy lunch or dinner.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Spinach, Feta & Sundried Tomato Quinoa Salad

I think I may have mentioned before how much I enjoy a bit of quinoa. ;)

Here is another lovely quinoa salad. This one has a red wine vinegar dressing instead of a balsamic vinegar dressing like the Tomato Basil Quinoa Salad I adore. I feel I should admit that I took these pictures the day after I made the salad, which is why the spinach is a bit soft. If you eat this shortly after making it the spinach will be still be crisp (or however you describe fresh spinach).

I love the combination of flavors here, especially the feta and sun-dried tomatoes with the red wine vinegar. Super yum! And, again, I love that the quinoa doesn't wreck havoc on my husband's blood sugar :)

Spinach, Feta & Sun-Dried Tomato Quinoa Salad

2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled to room temperature or cooler
2 handfuls baby spinach, coarsely chopped
1 medium cucumber, scraped and diced
2/3 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/3 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
several grinds fresh black pepper

1. In a medium bowl combine the cooled quinoa, spinach, cucumber, red onion, feta cheese, and sun-dried tomatoes; mix well.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Immediately pour the dressing over the quinoa mixture and mix to coat everything well.

3. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Makes about 6 3/4-cup servings

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