Posts tagged ‘sweet potato’

January 17, 2012

Slow Cooker Honey Beans + Kale

Growing up, both my Grandmas would spend all day in their kitchens.  They had become pros at what they did over the years, and cooking was always a huge part of our culture.  Neither of them had slow cookers.  I’m honestly not sure they’d know what to do with themselves if they had. 

But I live in a very different world than my grandmothers.  I attend school and work and practicum.  I don’t have a dozen mouths to feed between the kids and grandkids [although I do love leftovers].  And I definitely don’t have hours to spend in the kitchen every day [oh how I wish I did!]. 

I have been waiting for years [years!] to get a slow-cooker.  Since college, really.  I’ve always heard amazing things about them, but I never got around to purchasing one.  Finally, about a month ago, Ben came home with a Happy Thursday gift [we give gifts randomly throughout the year rather than celebrate holidays with them], and I absolutely lit up when I saw that it was my long-awaited Crock Pot! 

For as long as I’ve been waiting for a crock pot, you’d think I would have set it right up and got to making some amazing food.  But here’s the honest truth: The thing totally intimidates me. 

Everyone says you can’t mess up with the crock pot, but I beg to differ.  I burn Ben’s toast just about every single morning.  I don’t know how to mix and match herbs, or how much I should add to dishes.  It’s one of the reasons the food I make is often so simple.   

Nonetheless, I had to start somewhere. 

So far, I’ve tried making falafel in the crock pot [meh - I’d rather just bake it], chicken pot pie [first trimester nausea kept me from tasting it], and fajitas [pretty good], but this honey beans + kale dish is by far my favorite crock pot experiment so far. 

Earthy kale balances out the sweet and tangy beans and sweet potatoes.  Even better, the nutritional profile is out-of-this-world: vegetarian and chock-full of leafy green goodness, fiber and antioxidants. 

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Slow Cooker Honey Beans + Kale

[adapted from this recipe]

[ingredients]

  • 3 cloves garlic – minced
  • 1 medium onion – finely diced
  • 2 medium or 4 small sweet potatoes [I used local purple Okinawan sweet potatoes] – chopped into 1/2’’ cubes
  • 2 15 oz. cans of garbanzo beans – drained and rinsed
  • 1 lemon – juiced [~2 to 4 Tbsp juice]
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • 2 bunches kale – washed + chopped [you can use 12oz of fresh spinach instead for a softer dish]

  • 2 Tbsp cream cheese [optional]

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  • Mix together garlic, lemon, honey, spices, salt + pepper.
  • Place beans, onions and sweet potatoes in the slow cooker.
  • Pour spice/lemon mixture over and mix so that the bean mixture is totally coated.
  • Place kale on top of the bean/potato mixture.  There will be so much kale that you’ll have to really smash it down for the lid to close, but don’t worry, it’ll cook down. 
  • If you’re using cream cheese, you can either dallop it atop the kale leaves now or mix it in at the end of the cooking process.

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  • Cook in the Crock Pot on low for 6 hours or on high for 3. 
  • Enjoy!  We loved ours over quinoa and actually thought it was better the next day, after the lemon had a chance to settle down a bit. 

Hopefully this is the first of many more delicious Crock Pot experiments! 

I’m off to run some errands and practice some yoga. Smile  Have a great Tuesday!

Aloha Pumehana. Whether you’re here to find balance, wholesome recipes or inspiration, I hope you enjoy the posts.  Please subscribe to Green Plate Dinners to receive automatic updates and be the first to read new posts for free!

October 26, 2011

Dijon Sweet Potato Salad

I am a sucker for hot and cold food bars at natural food stores.  Mana Foods, Down to Earth, Alive + Well, Whole Foods – I don’t discriminate; I love ‘em all.  I love trying new recipes, yes, but the thing I love most about hot/cold food bars is the ingredient lists. 

You may be aware that the prices at the food bars are pretty steep – plus I love a good challenge in the kitchen – which is why I love it when stores list the ingredients of their prepared food.  It allows me to recreate my favorite new recipes at home for a portion of the price at home! 

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Sure, I may not know the quantities of the ingredients [or in this case – which ingredients are more prevalent], but I get to taste-test along the way.  And the nicest thing about recreating recipes at home?  I get to tweak the amounts to suit our personal preferences.

Ben and I have been obsessed with Mana’s dijon sweet potato salad for a few months now [he may or may not stop by every Wednesday on his way home from the Chiropractor to see if it’s there].  The perfect mixture of sweet, savory, and tangy is absolutely addicting and we love that the salad is lighter than the “typical” mayo-based variety. 

When we hosted a dinner at our home to welcome visiting family, I figured it was the perfect excuse to try out a new recipe.  My first try needed a little tweaking – the sweet potatoes soak up lots of sauce – but I’m now very pleased with the end result.  Smile  We’ll definitely be making this salad around our home more often! 

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Dijon Sweet Potato Salad

[ingredients]

  • 5 medium sweet potatoes [I used Moloka`i sweets]
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

  • 1/4 celery – finely chopped
  • 1/4 c green onions – finely chopped

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1’’ ginger root – grated
  • 2 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • salt + pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425.

Chop your sweet potatoes into your desired size [I like mine to be about 1/2’’ cubes], then toss them in 1 Tbsp of the olive oil, salt + pepper and place them on a baking sheet. 

Bake for about 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown and fork-tender.

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While the sweet potatoes are roasting, whisk together all the wet ingredients in a large bowl [including the remaining 3 Tbsp of olive oil].  Place these in the fridge until your potatoes are ready. 

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Allow the sweet potatoes to cool to room temperature before mixing it all together. 

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Season with salt + pepper, and

Enjoy!  This salad gets better after a few hours, or even overnight, so I recommend making it ahead of time.  Smile

Are you a fan of hot and cold food bars? What’s your favorite “recreation” recipe?

Aloha Pumehana. Whether you’re here to find balance, wholesome recipes or inspiration, I hope you enjoy the posts.  Please subscribe to Green Plate Dinners to receive automatic updates and be the first to read new posts for free!

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