A Midwinter Night’s Baked Sweet Potato

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Ahhh baked sweet potatoes… So simple, yet so satisfying. I don’t know why I like them so much. But there’s just something comforting about them. Sure, when I think about “comfort food”, they aren’t the first thing rushing through my mind. I tend to immediately picture a steaming bowl of mac n’ cheese, or lasagna. But they definitely come as a close runner-up. Our heater broke because of the cold last night and I couldn’t think of anything else to warm me up. This dish was just prime comfort food with ingredients that I had on-hand. Additionally, it turned out to be a great way to use some left-over beans and onions. The dressing made it all come together nicely. It added this great sweet and savory taste to the dish. All in all, this one’s a keeper if you’re looking for some warmth on a cold winter’s night. Bon appétit!

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Prep time: 35-40 min 

Ingredients:

  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup cooked black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1/2 avocado (mashed)
  • 1/4 yellow onion (chopped)
  • olive oil

Peanut-Honey Mustard dressing:

  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/4 tsp honey
  • salt, pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Prick the sweet potato with a fork. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until you can pierce through the flesh easily with a fork.
  2. Once the sweet potato is in the oven, make the peanut-honey mustard dressing by mixing all the ingredients together until the mix is homogenous.
  3. Also meanwhile, sauté the onions with olive oil, on high heat, in a small pot for about 5 minutes. Add a splash of water and let it evaporate to further soften the onions. Add the black beans and cook for about 5 more minutes on medium heat.
  4. Once the sweet potato is done, cut it in half with a knife, but not all the way, and spread both sides apart. Stuff with the black beans and onions, and top with the mashed avocado. Drizzle with the sweet and savory dressing and enjoy while it’s hot!

TIP: you can substitute lentils or chickpeas for the black beans and you can also sprinkle with cheese for extra comfort food! 

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Roasted Acorn Squash Wedges with Whipped Feta

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I’m feeling fancy today! Food wise obviously, since it’s 11am and I’m still wearing sweatpants. I guess Valentine’s day just makes me wish for more than one of my go-to lunch recipes. So here I am, sharing this ~fancy~ dish with you. As my obsession with squash grows stronger, I decided to experiment again with my favorite pairing: acorn squash and feta cheese. This recipe really hits the spot if you crave a combination of the caramelized squash flavor, and the feta cheese’s tanginess. Plus it’s easy, delicious, and it looks ridiculously good when dressed on a plate. Don’t hesitate to try it if you want to impress your friends, family, or special someone. You won’t regret it. Bon Appétit!

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Recipe loosely inspired by Lark & Linen


Prep Time: 10 min Cook time: 40 min

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 acorn squash
  • 4 oz crumbled feta (room temperature)
  • 1-2 oz whipped cream cheese
  • a handful of arugula or spring mix
  • olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • salt, pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cut the squash in 1″ wedges and drizzle with olive oil. Place on the baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for about 40 min, or until tender and golden brown edges.
  3. While the squash cooks, whip the feta in a food processor with the cream cheese. This should take about 4-5 minutes until the mixture becomes really creamy.
  4. Next, reduce the balsamic vinegar in a small pot on medium heat. When it thickens, set aside.
  5. Lightly toss the arugula with olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
  6. Spread a dollop of the whipped feta on a plate, drizzle with the balsamic reduction and top with the roasted squash wedges and the mixed greens.

Smokey Salmon Pasta

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I’ve been on a seafood pasta trend lately. I don’t know why, but I just love all the different combinations possible. As a follow up to my Totally Tuna pasta recipe, I decided to get my hands dirty with some good ol’ smoked salmon. This version blends the fish with a creamy sauce and caramelized onions. The flavors are amazing and really make for an original dish. If you ever get bored of your typical marinara, take a plunge with this salmon sauce (yes, pun intended). Additionally, this dish comes together really quickly. The sauce is ready by the time the pasta is cooked, which takes about 15 minutes total. Bon appétit!

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Prep time: 15 min 

Ingredients:

  • 100g penne pasta (preferably whole wheat)
  • 1oz. cream cheese
  • 1-2 slices smoked salmon
  • 1/4 yellow onion
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Bring salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until it reaches the texture you like (mine is al dente in 10 minutes).
  2. While the pasta cooks, sautée the diced onion in a pan with salt and olive oil. When it becomes brown and slightly caramelized (about 5 minutes), add about 2 tbsp of the pasta water and let it evaporate.
  3. Add the cream cheese and let it melt. Next, add the tomato paste with two to three spoonfuls of the pasta water. Stir well so that the sauce becomes homogenous and let it cook for an extra couple of minutes.
  4. When the pasta is almost done, add about 3/4 of the smoked salmon bits and adjust the seasoning of the sauce with salt and pepper. Stir in order to incorporate all the ingredients together.
  5. Reserve about 1 tbsp of the water before you drain the pasta. Then, toss it with the creamy salmon sauce until it is well coated. At that point, you can use the extra pasta water to make your sauce more fluid. Top with the rest of the smoked salmon and enjoy!

TIPYou can squirt some lemon juice on top of it for extra flavor! 

Super (Rice) Bowl

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I know what you’re thinking: “super bowl was last week… you’re a little late”. Truth is, I’ve never actually watched it. The closest I’ve come to it, was when I saw Beyonce’s performance last year. So the reference in the title is purely fictitious, and this recipe has nothing to do with the actual Super Bowl. Though I suppose one could argue that this would be a great meal to eat while watching football on TV. But anyways. Rice Bowls are so versatile! It’s incredible how much you can do with such a simple base. Though I do enjoy an occasional stop at Chipotle, nothing really compares to a homemade bowl of veggie goodness. This recipe will take you about 20ish minutes, which isn’t much more time than you’d wait in line at the famous Mexican hotspot. The “reverse” caramelized onions really add a nice sweet touch to this savory dish. It’s healthy and can be tailored exactly to your needs. Bon Appétit!

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Prep Time: 20 min

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup dried rice
  • 1/4 cup black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/4 yellow onion (sliced finely)
  • 1/2 tomato (extra chopped)
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil

Directions:

  1. In a small pot, put water and salt to a boil. Cook the rice for the time indicated on the packaging (mine takes about 15 minutes).
  2. Meanwhile, make the “reverse” caramelized onions by adding the thinly sliced onion in a dry pan over medium high heat. Sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the slices become brown. Next, add the olive oil and salt and let it cook for about 5 more minutes. Add a splash of water and stir until it evaporates and the onion is done.
  3. Add the black beans and cook for about 5 extra minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Mash the avocado in it’s shell.
  5. In a bowl, put the rice, beans, “caramelized” onions and chopped tomatoes. Top with a dollop of mashed avocado. Salt and pepper to taste, and drizzle with tabasco.

TIP: You can also top it with some sour cream or grated cheese. Additionally, you can swap the tomatoes for corn or diced bell pepper.

DIY Breakfast at Tiffany’s

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Though I’m in college, I still enjoy an occasional fancy dish. From time to time, I just want to eat something a little more sophisticated as a reward for a hard day’s work, or even just because. I tend to wait for the weekend to indulge, because that’s when I have more time to cook. Yet, this week’s been particularly stressful, and I’m still sick, so I decided I’d spice up my breakfast with a little something special. Since I live by the words of “Don’t mess with breakfast”, this dish really hit the spot for me. It would also be perfect for a lazy Sunday brunch, or even a quick lunch. The lemon-yogurt sauce brings out the smokey flavor of the salmon and makes for a great substitute if -like me- you don’t like Hollandaise sauce. Bon appétit!

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Prep Time: 10 min

Ingredients:

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 slices of smoked salmon
  • 1 large slice of multigrain bread
  • salt, pepper
  • olive oil

Lemon-Yogurt Sauce:

  • 3 tbsp plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp water
  • fresh chopped chives
  • pinch of turmeric
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Put water to a boil in a small pot.
  2. In a bowl, mix the yogurt, lemon juice, and water together. Add the chopped chives, turmeric, and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Start toasting the slice of bread.
  4. Mash the avocado in its shell with a fork and reserve.
  5. When the water is simmering, poach the egg for about 2 minutes.
  6. Drizzle the bread with olive oil and spread the mashed avocado evenly across the slice.
  7. Arrange the smoked salmon over the avocado and top with the poached egg. Drizzle with the yogurt sauce and season to taste.

TIP: you can also replace the smoked salmon with prosciutto, another type of smoked ham, or even bacon. Yum!