Tag Archives: Delicious Food

Sweet Potatoes with Fluffy Meringue – A Healthy Thanksgiving Side

Thanksgiving is such a wonderful holiday. To me, it means getting together with family and friends to spend quality time together. And of course, sharing some great food.

Growing up, I remember having sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top. This Thanksgiving dish is ultra sweet with the sweet potatoes from a big can and mini marshmallows melted on top, delivering dessert during the dinner.

So, can you have your sweet potatoes with marshmallows with a fraction of the sugar and calories? Absolutely. I read a great recipe in Good Housekeeping a few years ago that reformed helped me reform my Thanksgiving sweet potato staple into something healthy and delicious.

These meringue topped sweet potatoes taste so much like toasted marshmallows to me — but rely on the natural sweetness of the sweet potatoes for most of the sugar flavor but without the added calories.

Sweet Potatoes with Fluffy Meringue Recipe

Sweet Potatoes with Fluffy Meringue

Sweet Potatoes with Fluffy Meringue for Thanksgiving

5 large sweet potatoes (about five pounds)
2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice (I use Trader Joe’s)
5 egg whites
1 tablespoon maple syrup
3/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
Pinch of salt

Clean the sweet potatoes and pierce all over with a fork or knife. Microwave the sweet potatoes on a plate or in a bowl covered with plastic wrap until well cooked and soft — about 15-30 minutes depending on the strength of your microwave (it takes about 30 minutes in mine). Let the sweet potatoes cool until you can handle them without burning yourself. I like to slice them in half to let the insides cool a bit faster.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remove the peels from the sweet potatoes and mash them well. You can run them through a food processor but if they’re soft enough, the sweet potatoes can be mashed with a fork (less clean up!). Mix in pumpkin pie spice (I use 2 tbsp as I like the flavor but use less if it’s too strong or more if you like more flavor) and a pinch of salt. Taste this mixture* and if you like it, spread it evenly across a 9×13 pan (3 quart).

Put the egg whites, cream of tarter and maple syrup into a mixing bowl and beat until you have stiff peaks. Gently, remove the well beaten egg whites from the bowl and spread over the top of the sweet potato mixture. If you’re feeling fancy, put them in a piping bag and pipe onto the top of the potatoes.

Bake at 400 for 5-8 minutes – remove from the oven when the top is golden brown (and likely when you smell it).

Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

* Some people might not find these sweet potatoes sweet enough. I swear that the sweetness will be there and but if you need more sweetness, add up to 2 tbsp of brown sugar or maple syrup to the mix after adding in the spice and the salt. I also really like using ginger maple syrup in this recipe because it adds a nice sweet spicy kick. The ginger maple syrup I use is from the Deep Mountain Maple stand at the Union Square Greenmarket but I’ve noticed they’re selling it online too. Have a great holiday everyone!

SweetPotatoes

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A few months ago, I joined Pinterest and have been pinning relatively regularly – on many completely random things I adore like:

I love being able to discover new recipes, get inspiration from my friends, track the things I love and generally organize my likes online in a place where I can find them again in six months, a year, etc. While I’ve never been a collage maker, Pinterest is totally my speed.

Are you pinning? Let me know where and let’s follow each other! Post your Pinterest link in the comments.

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Recipe: Cheddar Cheese Cornbread with Cayenne or Dill

Thanksgiving is almost here and since I joined my CSA, I’ve been looking for great ways to use the lovely flours from Cayuga Pure Organics in unique and delicious ways. I’ve been making versions of this cornbread for three years now and I think it’s finally ready to be shared because it is bonkers good.  Plus, it’s relatively easy to make – no mixer needed!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

ImageCheddar Cheese Cornbread (with Dill or Cayenne)
2C bread flour (or all purpose – mix of white and wheat or all wheat is fine)
2C cornmeal
3T baking powder
1/2tsp kosher salt
1/8C sugar
1/2tsp cayenne pepper (optional) or 1c well chopped fresh dill
1C (2 sticks) unsalted butter (melted)
2C milk (1% or other lowfat is fine – use regular if you wish)
4 large eggs
8oz aged cheddar cheese – grated

Whisk together dry ingredients (flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, sugar – plus cayenne if using). In a separate bowl, melt butter and stir in the milk and eggs. Mix wet mixture into dry ingredients until ingredients are mostly combined and lumps are pretty much gone but don’t worry too much about getting them all (and please don’t over mix). Stir in 1/2 the grated aged cheddar (and dill if using). Rest mixture at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Butter a 9x13x2 baking pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees while mixture is resting.

Spoon batter into prepared, smooth the top and evenly distribute the rest of the cheddar on the nicely smoothed top.

Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick or knife comes out clean. Mine took about 40 minutes but my oven runs cool. And I do love a little bit of a golden top – yummy!

Cool and cut into 24 pieces. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Helpful hints:
— Feel free to make the cornbread the night before – tastes great the next day!
— If your aged cheddar cheese is salty, feel free to eliminate the salt. The original recipe called for 2tsp of kosher salt, which made for a really, really salty batch.
— I hate chopping dill at times and have found that if you pulse it in the food processor a few times, it give you a perfect chop!
— For the cheese, a grate will give you more consistency in the melted cheese on top. I shredded the dill version and the cheese never quite fully melted, which was disappointing. A finder shred (like on a zesting microplane) works perfectly too.

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Based on Ina Garten’s Cheddar Dill Cornbread with some modifications for more cornbread taste/texture and other bits. Original recipe can be viewed at this link.

CSA Delivery: Watermelon, Tomato, Feta & Arugula Salad

Another week, another amazing CSA delivery. Today, I received my first ever yellow watermelon.  This delicious baby melon needed some special attention so I immediately popped it into a simple and delicious salad using all CSA ingredients (plus a little feta and balsamic vinegar).

Recipe:

  • arugula – enough to make a bed on the plate
  • sliced tomatoes (red ones this week — used for contrast and saving the lovely yellow one!)
  • sliced yellow watermelon
  • crumbled feta 
  • balsamic vinaigrette

Arrange arugula on plate. Alternate tomato and watermelon slices. Sprinkle on feta to taste.  Add balsamic vinaigrette if desired.  ENJOY!

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Kale Smoothies (no, really, they’re delicious)

DeliciousKaleSmoothie, originally uploaded by MinorlyObsessed.

Last year, I joined a CSA in my neighborhood to get fresh, local, organic veggies, fruits and more. I’ve learned a lot about food but the biggest thing was that I found out that I don’t hate Kale — but mostly if and only if it’s in a smoothie.

Now, I know you’re thinking that a kale smoothie sounds vile. It does. It looks a little vile too. And then you taste it and it tastes mostly like apples (because it’s made with an entire apple). And, it’s insanely good for you. A great breakfast food. A great snack. And I bet it would be good with some protein powder thrown in to make it a full meal.

Inspired by a recipe on Real Simple, here’s my version.

Kale Smoothie

  • 1 Apple – cored (just cut in quarters and remove the core); can also use 1 cup of apple juice but the real apple adds more texture
  • 5 – 7 Kale leaves – remove the tough center stem (either cut it out or cheat like me and just fold it in half along the steamline and tear the leaves off); I’ve also used swiss chard but find that kale tastes better
  • 1 piece of celery (one of those large pieces from the outside of the bunch; or two small ones); I’ve substituted cucumber for the celery  – just peel it first
  • 1 banana – peeled (of course)
  • 1/2 lemon – juiced (essential – adds a bit of tartness)
  • 1 to 2 cups of water — a little more if it’s not blending well
  • 6-7 pieces of Ice (more if you want it super cold)

Put all ingredients into a blender. Cut celery (or break it in half) if it doesn’t fit into the blender properly. Blend* for a bit until it looks like the picture. Then pour into glasses. Makes about four cups or two good sizes smoothies.

I made this for Colin (my sis in law’s bro – does that make him my bother in law?) the other week and he was obsessed with it too. Wanted more but I was out of kale. So we went to a BBQ instead.

*So blending is a bit of an art with this one if you don’t have a super fancy blender, which I don’t. Basically, I pulse the “chop” setting a bunch of times until the ingredients start moving around. Then I run the blender on the highest setting (ice crush on mine) for about 2 minutes until it looks mostly uniformly green. I like this recipe because you don’t peel the apple and you get little flecks of red in the smoothie, which I find slightly charming.

Enjoy!

Divine Dinner at Home

Since I joined a CSA this year, I’ve been doing a lot of cooking at home. Mostly it’s because I’ve gotten these beautiful, fresh veggies but I also do like to pretend I’m a chef.

Typically, I make pretty simple fare but I decided to take that and create something spectacular (can anyone tell that the new season of Top Chef started? ha!). Tonight, I made a rather divine dinner that started the other day in prep.

On the menu:
Seared Tuna Salad with Roasted Beets and Squash
Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream

The salad was pretty simple. I seared some tuna (originally frozen – defrosted it last night) to pretty well done (haven’t figured out how to get to medium rare yet) and put it on top of some broccoli slaw that I rough chopped into smaller pieces. Then I added small cuts of my roasted beets and butternut squash (which I roasted a few weeks back).

Then came dessert. As a kid, I was fairly obsessed with strawberries. My Mom told me that when she took me strawberry picking, I would eat a strawberry and then add one to the pail. Then eat a strawberry …. and so on. Pair some strawberries with rhubarb and you’ve got a mix I just love, love, love. So I decided to use the fantastic rhubarb I got from the CSA last week and make ice cream. It took a while to make but the result is a sweet, tart little bit of heaven.

Click on the salad photo or here to go see the rest of the set on Flickr in my photo stream.

What’s the best meal you’ve made? Share it in the comments!

Going local for organic produce

CSAVeggies-WeekOne, originally uploaded by MinorlyObsessed.

For years, I’ve been a big fan of organic, locally grown produce. As a frequent shopper at the NYC green markets, I wanted to find a way to get the best quality local produce at a space closer to home.

So, after a few years of trying to get into a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), I joined the Tuv Ha’Aretz-Forest Hills Jewish Center CSA. After plunking down a hefty down payment, I’ll be receiving fresh fruit, veggies, grains, beans and flour for the next 26 weeks.

This Tuesday, I received the first delivery, which included:
–Red Boston Lettuce (never head this type before!)
–Green Boston Lettuce (biggest I’ve ever seen – about a foot in diameter and it barely fit into the bag)
–Spinach (awesome to sautee with a little garlic and olive oil)
–Baby Arugula (yum – salads!)
–Breakfast Radishes (I traded these for extra Rhubarb – love Rhubarb!)
–Baby Japanese Salad Turnips (never had this before – it’s new to me and tastes a bit like a radish)
–Rhubarb (two bunches for me with my breakfast radish trade)
–Strawberries (one large and one small box)

The fruit and veggies come from the Golden Earthworm Organic Farm, which is located in Jamesport, on Long Island’s North Fork. You can read more about the farm on their site.  The organic bean, grain, and flour shares come from Cayuga Pure Organics in Ithaca, NY – I’ll be getting those deliveries each month.  And, while there were strawberries in this delivery (so many, so delicious and sweet!), the fruit deliveries start later in the summer. The fruit comes from a partner of Golden Earthwork Organic Farm, called Briermere Farms, which provides non-organic yet responsibly grown fruit.  Briermere is also located on Long Island’s North Fork near Golden Earthworm.

But back to this week’s delivery, I’m trying to figure out what to do with all the rhubarb and I think I’m going to try to make strawberry rhubarb jam – it’s my favorite jam of all time but I’ve never made jam before.

Suggestions are welcome ….