Twice-Baked Shrimp Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

These twice-baked potatoes are the perfect balance of sweet and savory. I created this recipe, using leftover baked sweet potatoes, for a fast weeknight dinner for one (just double to serve two). It’s also a great meal for work week entertaining. Simply triple or quadruple the recipe and bake the potatoes the night before. The evening your guests arrive you will only need about 10 minutes to prepare your meal before baking. You can leave the stress at work and welcome your company with a cocktail as your dinner bakes. I like to pair this dish with a simple green salad, topped with fruit and nuts.

Ingredients:
12 frozen medium peeled and cooked shrimp, defrosted
½ cup frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium sweet potato, baked
2 tablespoons feta cheese crumbles
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Rinse and chop the shrimp. Squeeze as much liquid as possible from the spinach.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook for about one minute, or until fragrant. Add shrimp and spinach and cook for another minute to allow flavors to meld.
  3. Slice baked sweet potatoes in half and carefully scoop out the inside of the potato with a large spoon, leaving a small rim of potato lining the skin to keep it intact.
  4. In a medium bowl, mash the sweet potato. Add shrimp and spinach mixture, feta cheese, salt and pepper. Stir to combine ingredients.
  5. With a large spoon, evenly fill the empty potato skins with the sweet potato, shrimp and spinach mixture. Place potatoes on a baking sheet and sprinkle with smoked paprika. Bake for 20 minutes.

Note: Leftovers make a great breakfast topped with a fried egg.

Servings: 1

SAVORY SWEET POTATO MUFFINS WITH SAUSAGE

Not your traditional muffin, this savory version is packed with mashed sweet potatoes, hearty oats and maple breakfast sausage. Enjoy these warm muffins with a cup of coffee or hot tea to fuel up on a chilly winter morning. Getting an early start to your day? Pair a muffin with a boiled egg for a packable, on-the-go breakfast. Store leftovers in the refrigerator or freeze for up to three months and reheat when ready to serve.

Ingredients:
1¼ cups whole wheat flour
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon mustard powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
1½ cups mashed sweet potatoes
2 large eggs
½ cup milk
1 tablespoon maple syrup
½ pound maple breakfast sausage, cooked and drained

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease or line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, oats, baking powder, mustard, salt and pepper.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together mashed sweet potatoes, eggs, milk and maple syrup. Gradually add dry ingredients to the bowl of sweet potato mixture, stirring to combine. Fold in sausage.
  4. Fill muffin cups and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown.

Servings: 12

Sweet Potato and Kale Breakfast Hash

Vegetables and sunny-side-up eggs are my favorite breakfast combination. My Sweet Potato and Kale Breakfast Hash includes sausage in the mix for a hardy breakfast that will fuel you up for a busy day. This is also an easy dish to make for brunch, and leftovers are great warmed up and topped with a freshly fried egg on weekday mornings. Enjoy with a glass of milk or a cup of joe.

Ingredients:
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
½ pound ground sausage
½ tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 small bunch kale, stems removed and leaves chopped
4 eggs, fried to desired preference

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and place sweet potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to evenly coat and arrange in a single layer. Roast for 20 minutes, flipping with a spatula halfway through cooking.
  2. Crumble sausage in a large skillet, breaking it up with a spatula for about 5 to 6 minutes, until cooked through. Drain sausage drippings from skillet.
  3. Add kale to skillet with sausage and sauté until wilted, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add sweet potatoes and stir to combine. Serve hash with fried egg on top.

Servings: 4

Massaged Kale Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Massages are the ultimate way to relax and unwind. Kale responses similarly to the human body after a massage as its tough leaves chill out and become smooth and soft. It sounds a little silly to massage kale, but it is worth the extra work to transform this hardy vegetable into a more delicate leafy green.

A little olive oil and balsamic vinegar go a long way when massaging kale, but I like to serve it with extra oil and vinegar at the table to let family or guests drizzle more if desired. Cranberries, blue cheese and roasted sweet potatoes turn this salad into a meal that’s satisfying enough on its own. It also makes a nice side dish with roasted turkey or pork tenderloin.

Roasted Sweet Potato Ingredients:
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon olive oil

Salad Ingredients:
1 bunch kale
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
¼ cup blue cheese crumbles
¼ cup dried cranberries
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place sweet potatoes on a large baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to evenly coat and arrange in a single layer. Roast for 20 minutes, flipping with a spatula halfway through cooking.
  2. Meanwhile, remove stems from kale and chop. Place kale in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Massage the leaves with clean hands for about two minutes, until well coated and kale begins to soften and wilt.
  3. Add blue cheese, cranberries, salt, pepper and roasted sweet potatoes. Toss to combine and serve.

Servings: 4

 

Sweet Potato and Kohlrabi “Fries” with Creamy Garlic Sauce

Oh, how American’s love French fries, and I am included. The crispy, greasy, fried potato is the perfect burger companion. For a healthy alternative, I make a homemade, oven-baked version that is just as satisfying as my favorite guilty pleasure food. These “fries” are made with sweet potato and kohlrabi and served with a creamy garlic sauce for dipping.

The sweetness of the potato is a perfect balance for kohlrabi, which has a slight bitter taste. I love how the kohlrabi looks so similar to a French fry. This would be a great way to introduce a new vegetable to picky eaters who have not yet tried kohlrabi. Pair this side with a hamburger or your favorite sandwich for healthy pub grub at home.

Ingredients:
1 large sweet potato
1 large kohlrabi bulb
1½ tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons whole grain Dijon mustard
2 cloves minced garlic

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Peel sweet potato and kohlrabi and cut into fry shaped strips.
  2. Place sweet potato and kohlrabi strips in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with paprika, salt and pepper and toss to evenly coat.
  3. Arrange “fries” in a single layer on a large baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and flip with a spatula to evenly cook. Continue baking for 15 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.
  4. Meanwhile, add yogurt, mustard and garlic in a small bowl and stir to combine. Serve “fries” with creamy garlic sauce.

Servings: 4

Roasted Winter Vegetable Pizza

Say goodbye to winter with roasted seasonal vegetables on top of a thin crust pizza. At the end of the season, I love to eat my favorite vegetables and wear my favorite outfits before the next season arrives. I have enjoyed some delicious local sweet potatoes and kale over the past few months and this meal is all about two of my two favorite winter vegetables. Turnips, leeks, thyme and sorghum compliment the sweet potato and kale, creating an earthy pizza pie with the perfect sweet and savory combination.

This recipe pairs well with a simple salad and a Pinot Noir from Oregon, and it makes an excellent meal for entertaining vegetarian guests. Cheers to savoring the last tastes of winter. Now, I’m looking forward to spring and the new produce that awaits.

Ingredients:
1 medium leek, white part only, thinly sliced
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 small turnip, peeled and diced
1½ tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon sorghum (or honey)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ bunch kale, stems removed and chopped
1 tablespoons water
1 ball pizza dough
¾ shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. On a large baking sheet, combine leeks, sweet potatoes and turnip. Drizzle with olive oil, honey, thyme, salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender and lightly browned. Remove from oven and set aside.
3. In a large skillet, heat ½ tablespoon olive oil. Add kale and water and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, until greens have wilted.
4. Roll or stretch (I roll and stretch) the pizza dough to a thin layer, about 12 to 14 inches in diameter.
5. Place crust on pizza pan and add an even layer of roasted vegetables, sautéed kale and top with mozzarella cheese.
6. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until cheese melts and edges of crust turn golden brown. Remove from oven, slice into 8 wedges and serve.

Servings: 4 ~ Serving size: 2 slices

Sweet and Spicy Veggie Quesadilla

Sweet potatoes may not be a common quesadilla ingredient, but this puree — combined with black beans, mushrooms and jalapeño pepper slices — results in a delicious medley that gives your taste buds a little heat and sweet. It’s a great use of winter sweet potatoes, or you can preserve the puree during the growing season to enjoy throughout the year.

I love a reason to have a glass of wine with dinner. The mushrooms need some cooking wine, so there is my rational for opening a bottle and enjoying a glass or two with my meal. Cheers to good food, good wine and a different take on veggie quesadillas.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (8 ounce) container white button mushrooms, sliced
¼ cup red wine (any varietal)
2 cups (1 recipe) Spicy Sweet Potato Puree
6 whole wheat tortillas
1 (15 ounce can) no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
1½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
30 hot and sweet jalapeño pepper slices
Optional: light sour cream for serving

Directions:
1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes, until browned. Add red wine and cooking 4 to 5 minutes, until liquid is absorbed.
2. Spread ⅓ cup of sweet potato puree evenly on one side of tortilla. Top with ¼ cup black beans, ¼ cup mozzarella cheese, 2 tablespoons mushrooms and 5 jalapeño slices. Fold tortilla over, completely covering ingredients. Repeat to create 5 more quesadillas.
3. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Place two quesadillas in the skillet and cook for 3 minutes on one side, until golden brown. Flip quesadillas and cook for an 3 additional minutes. Continue cooking remaining quesadillas two at a time. Cut each into 4 wedges and serve with sour cream if desired.

Servings: 6 ~ Serving size: 1 quesadilla

Spicy Sweet Potato Puree

This versatile recipe makes a great side dish, but also stars as a main ingredient in my Sweet and Spicy Veggie Quesadillas. The chipotle chile pepper adds smokey heat, while the maple syrup amps up the sweetness in this puree. Add a pork chop and sautéed kale to turn this side into a meal.

I like to make a double or triple batch of this Spicy Sweet Potato Puree to freeze and have on hand for fast weeknight dinners. To minimize storage space, I place the potatoes in zip-top bags and lay them flat in the freezer.

Ingredients:
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon chipotle chile pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons skim milk

Directions:
1. In a medium saucepan, add sweet potatoes and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook for about 10 minutes, until tender.
2. Drain potatoes in a colander and return to saucepan. Reduce heat to low and mash sweet potatoes. Add maple syrup, chipotle chile pepper, salt and milk. Stir to combine and cook for a minute or two, allowing flavors to meld.

Note: For a more rustic version, use a potato masher. If you prefer a smooth, no-lump version, use a mixer.

Servings: 4 ~ Serving size: 1/2 cup