Tag Archives: sweet potato

Side Dishes

Perfectly Crispy Roasted Vegetables

For as long as I can remember I’ve loved crispy foods. I think I get this from my mom. I love the edges around a brownie pan, pizza crust, extra crispy french fries, and any type of crunchy topping.  So it’s no surprise that when I roast vegetables, I like getting them nice and charred, also.

If you’re like me, keep reading because I’m going to teach you my tips for perfectly crispy roasted vegetables!

How to Make Perfectly Crispy Roasted Vegetables ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

How to make perfectly crispy roasted vegetables:

  1. Turn the oven temperature up to 450F.
  2. Preheat a large baking sheet in the oven. This way when the vegetables touch the baking sheet they will immediately start cooking.
  3. Cut your vegetables based on known cooking times. Vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes will take longer to cook than bell peppers and onion pieces, so cut sweet potatoes smaller than bell peppers. That way everything will roast in the same amount of time.
  4. Spread the vegetables in an even layer on the sheet. If they sit on top of each other then they will steam and become soggy, not crispy.
  5. Only flip the vegetables once during the cooking time.

How to Make Perfectly Crispy Roasted Vegetables ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

When your veggies are done roasting they’ll look like this. Yes, the baking sheet itself won’t look very pretty, but it’s all for a good cause. 😉

How to Make Perfectly Crispy Roasted Vegetables ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Crispy Roasted Vegetables are the perfect side dish to meal prep for the week. I make a large batch (two baking sheets worth) to last a couple of days. You can eat them with any protein for a quick, healthy meal.

How to Make Perfectly Crispy Roasted Vegetables ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

 

Perfectly Crispy Roasted Vegetables
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 medium sweet potato, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 3 large carrots, peeled, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 large bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped into 2 inch pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper (I like to use coarse Kosher salt)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450F degrees.
  2. In a large bowl combine the sweet potatoes, carrots, bell pepper, and onion. Toss with the olive oil and thyme. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Spread the vegetables into an even layer on a baking sheet, ensuring that the pieces are not resting on top of each other.
  4. Roast for 40 minutes, flipping halfway through. Remove from oven when vegetables are browned and crispy at the edges. Either serve immediately or allow to cool and store in tupperware.
 

How to Make Perfectly Crispy Roasted Vegetables ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Gluten-Free Side Dishes Vegan

Roasted Pineapple and Sweet Potatoes

I am not really sure what inspired me to mix sweet potatoes and pineapple together, but boy am I glad I did. When I was in college I would make a big batches of roasted veggies at the beginning of the week and then I would eat them as a snack or with some sort of protein for dinner throughout the rest of the week. It was a delicious and healthy way to keep me on track and made me far less likely to reach for junk food when I was hungry.

Roasted Pineapple and Sweet Potatoes Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

Usually my roasted veggies include a mix of sweet potatoes, bell pepper, carrots, onion, and whatever else was in my fridge that I could throw in.

This weekend all I had was two lonely sweet potatoes and one very ripe pineapple that was SCREAMING at me to eat it. I love grilled pineapple (especially on a burger -yum!) so I thought, “What the heck!?” and chopped it up to roast with my sweet potato. I also added a shallot as a contrast to the sweetness from the sweet potato and pineapple.

Roasted Pineapple and Sweet Potatoes Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

As this was cooking in the oven, the smell that filled my apartment reminded me so much of home. On Jewish holidays my mom makes a delicious noodle kugel with pineapple, so the smell of roasted pineapple this weekend sent me right back to my parents’ kitchen.

Roasted Pineapple and Sweet Potatoes - Little Chef Big Appetite

Don’t you love when throw-together dishes end up tasting great? I had to exercise some serious self-control so I didn’t eat the whole batch by myself.

I think this would be delicious served with poultry or fish and the pineapple makes it a perfect dish for summer!

Roasted Pineapple and Sweet Potatoes Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

Roasted Pineapple and Sweet Potatoes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 cups sweet potato, cut into 1.5 inch cubes
  • 2 cups pineapple, cut into 1.5 inch cubes
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 Tablespooon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons honey (or maple syrup)
  • Salt and Pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place the sweet potato, pineapple, and shallot in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, honey. ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Pour the olive oil mixture onto the sweet potatoes and pineapple. Mix well until the olive oil thoroughly coats the ingredients in the large bowl.
  3. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes, then stir the mixture. Roast again for an additional 25 minutes or until desired brownness. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.
 

Gluten-Free Snacks

Curried Yogurt Dip and Sweet Potato Chips

I never crave salty things. My cravings come in the form of chocolate chip cookies, ooey-gooey brownies, and anything chocolate-peanut butter.

Travis is the opposite. He craves chips. Recently he’s been buying a different type of chip each week. For the past month it’s been sweet potato chips and now he has both of us hooked! I never thought I could be so in love with a salty snack, but these are addicting (I think it is because they are a little bit sweet).

A big bag of Trader Joe’s Sweet Potato chips inspired this yogurt dip.

Curried Yogurt Dip and Sweet Potato Chips Recipe -- www.littlechefbigappetite.com

The dip is only three ingredients, so it is very easy to throw together. I think it is a delicious and unique alternative to your standard chips + salsa or guacamole (although, I will always love my guac).

Curried Yogurt Dip and Sweet Potato Chips Recipe -- www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Travis and I ate this yogurt dip without any guilt because it is completely healthy! I recommend Way Better, Trader Joe’s, or Terra Sweet Potato Chips – none of them have nonsense ingredient lists and they all taste great.

IMG_2655

 

Curried Yogurt Dip
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ¾ cups Plain Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
  • ½ tablespoon Curry Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh Lime Juice
  • Salt & Pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine the yogurt, curry powder and lime juice in a small bowl. Add the salt and pepper to taste. Chill the yogurt dip for one hour in the fridge before serving.
 

Cookies Desserts

Fall Sweet Potato Cookies

I really want you to trust me on this one.

Fall Sweet Potato Cookies Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

I am fully aware of how weird these cookies sound. I am telling you to put sweet potatoes into cookies. It’s completely bizarre. I get it. But hey, we’ve done weirder things before: put black beans in brownies. Avocados in our smoothies. (Ahem, maybe that is just me…)

Fall Sweet Potato Cookies Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

When I told Travis he was coming home to cookies made with sweet potatoes, he said, “Is this going to be like the time you made those terrible coconut things, but you tried convincing me they were good?”

Well, umm….hopefully not.

(At least he has such great faith in me…)

Fall Sweet Potato Cookies Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

Okay, I experiment. Sometimes things don’t work out. But these ones are GOOD. I sweaaaaaar.

And now after tasting them, Trav thinks so too!

Fall Sweet Potato Cookies Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

Why did I think to put sweet potatoes in my cookies? Well, I had all of these sweet potatoes on my counter that were begging to be used. I was going to bake them into muffins, only to realize that my muffin tin was nowhere to be found (moving problems).

Fall Sweet Potato Cookies Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

So out came little sweet potato cookies.

I think these taste like oatmeal raisin cookies. The sweet potato gives the cookies a softer texture but they are FULL of perfect fall flavor.

Fall Sweet Potato Cookies Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

I wolfed down three of these babies right out of the oven. In fact, I liked them SO much that as I continued taking pictures, the cookies just kept disappearing one by one. Oopsies!

Fall Sweet Potato Cookies Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

 

Fall Sweet Potato Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup mashed sweet potato (from about one large sweet potato or 2 small) *
  • ⅓ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup shredded coconut
  • ⅓ cup raisins
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ stick unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Put all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Roll the dough into the size of golf balls and place on the baking sheet, leaving at least 1 inch of space between each ball. Using a large spoon, press down on each ball to flatten. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes. Then use a spatula to remove the cookies onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Notes
*To mash your sweet potatoes, poke a few holes into the top of the potato and put it in the microwave for about 5 minutes (more or less depending on the size of your sweet potato). Remove the sweet potato from the microwave (WARNING: It will be HOT!) and let cool for a few minutes. Slice it open and the sweet potato should be completely soft and fall away from the peel without any effort. Discard the peel. If you do not have a microwave, this can be done in the oven as well. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Wrap the sweet potato in aluminum foil. Bake in the oven for 40-60 minutes depending on the size of the potato.
 

Beef and Lamb Main Meal Pasta

Whole-Wheat Pasta with Lamb and Sweet Potatoes

Big News!

A third roommate moved into our apartment this weekend.

It was kind of last minute, but I think it was a great decision.

He is really quiet, doesn’t take up a lot of space, and he really likes to just chill.

Meet Killian!

He is my new pal. I am fostering him for the holiday season until he finds a home.

How did I end up with this cute little fluff ball on my couch, you ask?

I volunteer for an incredible organization in LA that helps rescue dogs from the streets and shelters and bring them into loving homes. There is no organization headquarters, so all dogs are fostered in homes of various volunteers until they become adopted. I had been thinking about fostering for awhile, but I wanted to wait until I was more settled in after my move. Well, I finally decided to take one of these cuties in for the holiday season.

Killian is a poodle-terrier mix. He is playful, snuggly, loving and all around perfect.

I’m wondering if I’ll be able to give him back…

I’ve noticed that one of Killian’s favorite things to do is watch me in the kitchen.  This weekend there was a lot going on- my roommate’s birthday, a holiday party with friends, a potluck for work, etc. etc….and I cooked for each event. Needless to say, I was BUSY.

Killie (obvious nickname choice) just sits attentively and watches as onions are chopped, pots are stirred, and trays go in and out of the oven. He never gets in the way. I’m telling you…he’s PERFECT.

Killie was REALLY licking his chops on Sunday night when I made whole-wheat pasta with lamb and sweet potatoes.

(Which is kind of funny because we think he looks like a little Lamb….don’t you think?)

Whole-Wheat Pasta with Lamb and Sweet Potatoes Recipe

This dish was delicious and unusual for me. I love lamb, but I usually only ever have it in chop or shank form. Buying ground lamb was a great alternative to ground beef or ground turkey. Your can find it at your local Whole Foods.

Whole-Wheat Pasta with Lamb and Sweet Potatoes Recipe

The flavors are fabulous. This is a perfect, warm meal for a fall night — even a weeknight; it is more simple than you’d think!

Now excuse me, but I have a cute puppy I have to go spoil…

 

Whole-Wheat Pasta with Lamb and Sweet Potatoes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into ¾inch pieces
  • 2.5 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1lb ground lamb
  • 2.5 cups chopped onions
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 teaspoons cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/.5 cups canned crushed tomatoes (from a 28oz can)
  • ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 12oz package whole-wheat spaghetti, cooked al dente
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan
  • Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Toss the sweet potatoes with 1.5 Tablespoons of olive oil in a bowl.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and then lay the sweet potatoes on a large baking sheet in single row. Roast in the oven until edges begin to brown, flipping with a spatula every so often, about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  2. Heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the lamb and the onions. Saute until the lamb browns on all sides and the onion softens, about 8 minutes. Break up the larger chunks of lamb as you saute. Next, add the garlic, cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne, stir for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the mixture thickens, 5-7 minutes. Stir in the sweet potatoes. Season with pepper to taste.
  3. Serve in large bowls with whole-wheat spaghetti on bottom, topped with the lamb and sweet potato mixture, and then a sprinkle of cilantro and parmesan.
Notes
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit