Monday, March 23, 2015

Roasted Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Salad with Chutney Balsamic Vinaigrette

It is nearing the end of winter at last, but I have a somewhat wintery salad for you.  The comforting flavors of this salad will hopefully get you through until the spring weather finally arrives.  Or maybe you already have nice weather, in which case, I recommend you make this salad anyways. 

We had a little family BBQ over the weekend.  My roommate's boyfriend cleared all the snow away so that we could get to the grill to make burgers.  We whipped up a few salads and had quite a feast.  This one packed well for my lunch today too. It is a bit on the sweet side (and I may omit the honey next go around), but it is also complex and delicious.

Roasted Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Salad with Chutney Balsamic Vinaigrette

Adapted from Serious Eats

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
1 head cauliflower, cleaned and chopped into bite size pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2-1/2 tablespoons mango chutney
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1 medium garlic clove, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large carrots, peeled and grated
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Preheat oven to 425°F. Line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil. Toss sweet potatoes and cauliflower with olive oil, salt, cumin, and ginger directly on baking sheet. Roast, stirring occasionally, until sweet potatoes are tender and cauliflower browns slightly, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine vinegar, chutney, mustard, honey, garlic, and olive oil in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.

Let potatoes and cauliflower cool slightly, then toss them with the carrots, cranberries, scallions and chutney dressing. Transfer to serving platter and scatter almonds over top. Serve warm or room temperature (good cold too).

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Fluffy Chia Pancakes

I shared this recipe over on my triathlon blog and felt like it needed to be shared here too.  I only snapped a quick photo at breakfast, but I'll try to make these again soon so I can update the photo later.  These pancakes are fluffy and just a touch sweet.  They are filled with goodness and make a nice filling breakfast, great for post-workout or at the start of a busy day.  The topping combinations are endless, but I liked these sweet, tart raspberries, which I later mashed into a sort of jam on top of my pancakes.  Pure maple syrup is not optional.


Fluffy Chia Pancakes

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash of salt
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 cup milk (your choice here)
1 egg
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons coconut oil

Mix together flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and chia seeds.  In a separate bowl, whisk together milk and egg.  Add sugar (we didn't have brown sugar, but use brown if you have it), vanilla, and plain Greek yogurt and stir until lumps are removed.  Add the dry mixture to the wet, and stir until just combined. Try not to over stir!  Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a large skillet, then drop the mixture onto the hot skillet using 1/4 cup scoops.  You may need to spread the batter a little bit since it is quite thick, especially once the chia seeds start to absorb the liquid.  Cook until edges look dry and bubbles rise to surface of the mixture.  Flip to finish cooking.  Add more coconut oil to cook the rest.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Sweet Potato Chicken Shepard's Pie

I noticed the other day that the last post on K&K Test Kitchen was from October.  That is just not okay. And I'm sorry! Life has been pretty hectic and while I'm certainly still eating, I just haven't been finding the time to actually make new recipes or photograph and blog them.

But here I am!! And I have an amazing recipe to share with you.  I was craving something warm, comforting, and filling.  And I wanted to have lots of leftovers for my lunches for the week.  (That's the other problem, I only cook for myself and most of the time I eat leftovers for DAYS!)  This recipe hit the ball out of the park.  It was relatively easy, cheap, and it is DELICIOUS.  It is also the first time I have had a "Shepard's Pie."  Can you believe it!? I didn't know what I was missing.  And while this recipe is missing fat and heaviness, it is not missing flavor.  (Excuse the photos, didn't know I was going to post this and made it at 9 pm, when it was dark out!)

For those of you snowed into the Northeast, this would be the perfect meal to whip up to enjoy while watching the blizzard swirl outside.

Sweet Potato Chicken Shepard's Pie

1 large sweet potato (or 2 medium sized)
1/4 cup low fat milk
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 lb. ground chicken breast (or ground turkey breast)
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
2 shallots minced
2 cloves garlic minced
1-1/2 cups beef broth
2 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon flour for a roux
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 375F.

Peel and cube the sweet potato.  Add the sweet potato to a large pot and cover with water.  Put the pot on the stove and bring the water to a boil.  Turn the heat down and simmer for about 10 minutes or until a fork easily pierces the sweet potato.  Drain the water, then return the sweet potatoes to the pot.  Add butter and milk and mash the sweet potatoes.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat coconut oil and add the ground chicken.  Breaking it up as it cooks.  Season with salt and pepper.  Once the chicken looks cooked through, add the shallots and garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.  Then add the veggies and cook for about 3 minutes until the veggies begin to soften.  Add the tomato paste, Worchestershire sauce and beef broth and bring everything to a simmer.  Remove about 1/4 cup of the sauce to a small bowl and add the flour to it, stirring well to remove lumps and create a roux.  Return the mixture to the skillet and stir to combine everything.

Transfer the mixture to a casserole dish (choose the size depending on how thick you want the pie to be, I used an 8" round casserole dish.)  Then smooth the sweet potato over the meat and vegetable mixture.  Put the dish in the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes or until bubbling. Let cool slightly before serving and enjoy!

Monday, October 27, 2014


It is another Secret Recipe Club reveal day.  Each month, we are assigned a blog from one of the other members.  We take time to look through their recipe archives... in secret of course... then we make something and reveal what we have picked on Reveal Day. It's a lot of fun and a great way to discover new blogs and tasty recipes!

Thank goodness for our blog followers that we participate in the SRC or another month would go by without a post.  Kelsey is busy this weekend with her first half marathon so she asked me the mom, Kim, to do the post this month.  This month we were assigned Kirstin's blog Troyers Loving Life.  It is always fun to peak into someone else blog and share in their life and experiences and especially find a great recipe to try.  Kirstin had lots of great recipes but the Starbucks Pumpkin Scones won out.  Along with crisp weather and beautiful fall colors, Starbucks Pumpkin Scones and Lattes signal Fall for me so it was prefect to find a recipe for them.  They were very easy to make and they are delicious.

P.S.  Kelsey did amazing on her half marathon……so proud of her and she deserves to eat one of these yummy scones.

Starbucks Pumpkin Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
7 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
6 tablespoons cold butter
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
3 tablespoons half-and-half
1 large egg

Powdered Sugar Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk

Spiced Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pinch ginger
1 pinch ground cloves

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
Lightly oil a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.  Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices in a large bowl. Using a pastry knife, fork, or food processor, cut butter into the dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly and no chunks of butter are obvious. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, half and half, and egg. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Form the dough into a ball.

Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a 1-inch thick rectangle (about 9 inches long and 3 inches wide). Use a large knife or a pizza cutter to slice the dough twice through the width, making three equal portions. Cut those three slices diagonally so that you have 6 triangular slices of dough. Place on prepared baking sheet. (I made to small circle and cut into 4 instead)

Bake for 14–16 minutes. Scones should begin to turn light brown. Place on wire rack to cool.

While cooling, mix the powdered sugar glaze ingredients together until smooth. Paint the glaze over the top of the scones.

As the powdered sugar glaze hardens, mix together the ingredients for the spiced glaze until smooth. Drizzle the spiced glaze over the top of the scones and allow it to dry before serving.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Secret Recipe Club: Carrot Cake Crunch Bowl

Carrot Cake Crunch Bowl

How has a month flown by since the last SRC reveal day? Can we all agree to slow time down a little bit? I mean, it is practically winter already!

Anyways, as a reminder, each month, we are assigned a blog in our Secret Recipe Club group to visit "secretly" and to make a recipe from.  On reveal day, we all share the recipe that we have chosen.  It is always a lot of fun to look through the archives of the assigned blog and this month was no different. Nora's blog, Natural Noshing, is packed with amazing recipes and if you happen to be gluten-free, you are in luck because all of her recipes are gluten-free and also refined sugar free!  She focuses on real, whole food and minimally processed ingredients, and the results are quite fantastic. I've actually been following her blog for a long time now, since coming across it back in the early days of joining SRC.

You all are well aware of my smoothie addiction, so it may be no surprise that I chose a smoothie for the reveal day.  I've seen a few of these smoothie bowls before, and I'd always wanted to try one.  And I've also seen a few "carrot cake" smoothies and I'd always wanted to try one of those too.  Well, Nora's version sounded fantastic.  I don't know if I will go back to drinking my smoothies after trying this bowl version.  The crunchiness added by the toppings really takes this from good to amazing. So go ahead and eat your smoothie with a spoon next time!

Carrot Cake Crunch Bowl

From Natural Noshing

6-7 baby carrots, chopped (or 1-1/2 medium carrots, chopped)
1/2 cup plain coconut milk yogurt (can use cottage cheese, tofu or other yogurt for variations) - I omitted this
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk  (or other non-dairy milk)
1/4 cup fresh or frozen pineapple
1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder, optional
splash of pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or more to taste)
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1 medjool date or drizzle of honey
4-5 ice cubes

For serving
2 tablespoons raw buckwheat groats (granola can be subbed)
1-2 tablespoons chopped pecans, walnuts or almonds (or a combo)
1-2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes (or shredded coconut)

In a blender, combine carrots through ice and blend until smooth.
Pour into a bowl, top with buckwheat groats, nuts and coconut flakes and enjoy!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Secret Recipe Club: Cocada de Forno

It's time for another Secret Recipe Club reveal day. Time is really flying by this summer isn't it!?  For August, we were assigned Sally's blog, the Bewitching Kitchen.  I've been looking forward to being assigned her blog for a long time now. She has tons of great recipes and a really interesting background. I knew that Sally was from Brazil, so I was really looking forward to making a Brazilian recipe from her blog. My obsession with coconut made this recipe for baked coconut, or Cocada de Forno, an easy choice. It has a creamy texture and depending on how long you bake it, could be either a pudding or a bar. I opted to bake it into bars for easier consumption. Delicious and oh so coconutty!

Cocada de Forno (Baked Coconut)
From Bewitching Kitchen

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
1/3 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup sweetened, condensed milk
1 Tablespoon rum (optional, but why not)
1- 1/2 cups grated coconut (unsweetened)
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour, sifted

Heat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease an 8x8 inch baking dish with butter or cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, beat the butterand sugar together at medium speed until creamy, about 5 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue to mix.  Scrape the sides of the bowl after each addition.
Add the coconut milk, condensed milk, and rum, and continue to mix until well blended.  Add the coconut and mix until incorporated.   Fold the flour with a rubber spatula, and spread the batter into the prepared baking dish.
Bake until the top looks golden brown, the edges are set, but the center is slightly jiggly, about 20 minutes (or if you prefer a firmer consistency, bake until set, 30 to 35 minutes). Remove it from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Sparkling Watermelon Strawberry Sangria

Sparkling Watermelon Strawberry Sangria recipe

Have no fear, we still have a lot of summer ahead of us.  It may be August, but we still have a whole month left.  To me, summer time means summery drinks shared with friends on the patio.  Sangria is the perfect choice for sharing, and what better way to celebrate the flavors of summer than with strawberries and watermelon. Add a splash of sparkle and you're ready to fiesta. 

Sparkling Watermelon Strawberry Sangria recipe

Sparkling Watermelon Strawberry Sangria

3 cups cubed watermelon
2 cups sliced strawberries
1 cup white rum
1/2cup fresh lime juice
2 sprigs of mint
1 bottle dry white wine
1 bottle strawberry champagne (I used Passion Pop)
1 lime thinly sliced

Muddle 1 cup watermelon, 1/2 cup strawberries, mint, rum, and lime juice.

Add the remaining fruit, lime slices, mint, white wine, and champagne. Stir and refrigerate for several hours before serving.
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