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!
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