Tag Archives: sweet potato

food, family and lots of fun

30 Nov

Hello!

This week has been so crazy!  Since we’ve been back home from visiting family for Thanksgiving, we’ve been so busy.  I haven’t even had a chance to recap our Thanksgiving weekend…better late than never, though.  Right?

I ended up making three different dishes to take to my family’s dinner.  I’m blessed to have grandparents who are healthy eaters, so there were several great options on the table.  I was really excited about cooking up some new recipes I’d been wanting to try, so I decided to take a few things anyway!

First up, I made this Maple Spiced Quinoa dish that Angela had posted awhile back.

This dish was delicious!  Unfortunately the picture doesn’t do it justice.  All I had to put it in was my mom’s Tupperware bowl, but i promise it tasted worlds better than it looks.  The only negative was that I kind of wished I had made a savory quinoa dish for dinner, rather than sweet.  This almost could have been eaten as a dessert!

I also made Angela’s healthy Sweet Potato Casserole. Let’s just go ahead and get something out on the table – I totally had an Angela inspired Thanksgiving dinner!  Why not, right?  Her recipes almost always amaze me, and I didn’t really have time to come up with something on my own.  Plus, I had been drooling over these recipes since she posted them several weeks ago.  What better time to try them out than on Thanksgiving?!

I totally scored big with this casserole…especially when it came to my baby cousin, Caroline.  She was a big fan:)

This casserole was competing big time too because my aunt brought a delicious sweet potato casserole.  I think it competed well, though it may not have won out in the end:(  Except with Caroline that is.

For dessert I made Pumpkin Brownie cupcakes.  Now these were a hit!

Every bit as delicious as they look and sound.  How can you beat the combination of brownie + pumpkin + cupcake?!  Seriously?  I was so happy that everyone enjoyed these, and the recipe has already been sent out to the family.  I could actually really use one of these about right now…

To top it all off, I made up a quick batch of Super Charge Me Cookies from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan.  They were awesome, as always.

My plate: vegetarian, mostly vegan and 100% delicious!

After lunch, we spent the rest of the day playing games and just hanging out.  I love holidays at my grandparent’s house – it’s so nice to just spend time together.  It doesn’t happen nearly enough.

And don’t forget family picture time!

And all the grandkids…starting at 1 year and going all the way up to 30!

My sweet grandma on her birthday.  Her actual birthday is today, but we celebrated it with her on Thursday evening after all the Thanksgiving festivities.  Happy Birthday Grandma!

The rest of the weekend was spent shopping, hanging out with my mom, step-dad and sister, decorating our Christmas tree and then celebrating yet another birthday.

We had a surprise party for my sister’s 30th, and I was in charge of lying to her all morning, getting her out of the house and then getting her back to the house in time for the party.  I don’t think she likes to be surprised very much, and she didn’t make it easy on me. I think she ended up being about 1/3 surprised.  Fun was still had by all though:)

We came back home on Saturday just in time to get ready for the Bedlam game.  The husband and I had to work in the suites taking pictures.  It was definitely the most fun game all year – even though we ended up losing in the end.

On Sunday we spent the day catching up on work and the house, and then we decorated for Christmas! One of my favorite activities of the season!  Pictures will be soon to come:)

That’s all for now!  I’m so glad to finally be caught up on everything…now it’s time to get caught up on all of your lovely blogs:)  Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and are having a great start to the week.  How crazy that it’s already almost December!

I’ll be back tomorrow to talk about getting back and staying on track during this chaotic season – it’s not easy, but it’s so worth it!

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no place like home

16 Nov

I’m now back from a 3 day hiatus.

Over the weekend, the husband and I got to visit our family in his hometown.  We always love spending time there; I may be a little biased I suppose, but I’m certain that I have the best in-laws on the planet.  Here are a few photos of our little weekend getaway.

They are so thoughtful to always make sure that my favorite foods are in the house.  I always think it’s so sweet that they do that because these are not things they would normally have.

Breakfast Saturday morning – Ezekiel bread with almond butter and sliced banana

Playtime in the backyard:)  Olive is the only grandchild so far, so she gets a LOT of attention.  I worry about the day she’s no longer the only one…she will be a sad baby dog:(

ready….set….

GO!

One thing I love about visiting our family is that, like us, they love to hop in the car and just drive around, ending up wherever the days takes us.  On Saturday it took us to a cemetery in this tiny little country town. Don’t even ask:)

trying to see her Grandpa

And then dinner.  The family had spaghetti with meatballs, my MIL’s specialty.  I fixed up a giant pan of seasoned and roasted chickpeas, sweet potato, carrots and squash.  Easy and delicious.

And as usual, the day ended with a great round of game-playing

On Sunday we went to church to hear my FIL preach and then sadly, we had to rush to get back on the road toward home.  I never want to leave when we visit, but this week the sadness was softened just a little bit because I was so excited about what we were headed home to do!

More on that later:)

Hope you all had a great weekend!!

gotta love the swag

18 Aug

Friends, I’m in the midst of a crisis.

Since I got my Canon DSLR camera back in April, I’ve been uploading all my photos into iPhoto.  Unfortunately the file sizes are huge, and they are overtaking my macbook!  I’ve finally decided to start uploading to Flickr instead, but I also am going to have to move all my photos over from iPhoto as well.

This process is going to take forever.  I’m just so deep in this hole.  Not only is my computer moving slower than ever, but the process of transferring the photos is going to slow it down even more.  Argh!

Okay, rant over.  Thanks for listening;)

warning: if you aren’t a dog lover, just glaze over this next part:) and don’t think I’m crazy.

First things first – Olive wants to say Happy 1st Birthday to her cousin, Bentley!

We still love you little B, even though you chewed up 2 of my retainers this summer.

This morning has been so productive!  Don’t you just love super productive days?

First, I went for a four mile run.  I planned to go to the gym, but the second I stepped out onto the porch, I changed my mind.  It had to have been about 80 degrees.  And there was even a cool breeze.  I couldn’t pass up the chance to run outside.  Unfortunately my Garmin wasn’t quite as thrilled apparently and didn’t find its satellites until well in the run.  I know I ended up at about 4 miles, but have no idea what my time was.  O’well!

Before I went I had a piece of canteloupe, sans salt and pepper

Once I got back, it was still cloudy and breeze, and our scraggly yard was giving me the eye.  I couldn’t resist the nagging and immediately changed shoes and revved up the mower!

About an hour later I finished, a sweaty, hungry mess.  Seeing as how it was after 10:30, though, I opted for a little snack instead of breakfast to tide me over.

I got this herbal water in the HLS swag bag, and I am now obsessed.  I must find a place to buy these.  They have no added sugars or preservatives, and the water is infused with a perfectly subtle ginger lemon flavor.

These pistachios and dried pineapple are also from the swag bag, courtesy of Oh Nuts.  The pistachios were great, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the pineapple.  I don’t like added sugar on my dried fruit, and this definitely had some.  I don’t know why companies always feel the need to add so much sugar to their dried fruit!

Anyway, I answered some emails and before I could turn around twice it was lunch time.

My sister bought me this garlic olive oil from The Olive Tap.  It gives off just a nice, subtle hint of garlic.  Judging from her description I really wish I could have visited the store too.

I mixed 1 tbsp+1 tsp of garlic olive oil + 1 tsp water to 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp seasoned salt and a sprinkle of ground red pepper.

I filled a gallon sized ziplock bag with sliced sweet potato rounds and asparagus, and after adding the oil and seasoning mixture, shook until I couldn’t feel my arms (it really is an exact scienceJ  I then dumped it out onto a cookie sheet (don’t forget to spray it!) and roasted at 400 degrees for about half an hour.  Don’t forget to stir and flip occasionally.  I actually think the asparagus was a bit too soft, so you may want to take it out after 20 minutes or so.

I toasted a piece of Ezekiel bread and spread it with Earth Balance to have on the side.  Plus, another piece of canteloupe with salt and pepper.

Dessert was an Adora Dark Chocolate Calcium supplement disk from the swag bag.  Love these.  lol. What did I eat before HLS?

I just wanted to give a quick shout out to my awesome co workers from my teaching job.  I stopped by the school for a visit yesterday and loved getting to see everyone.  These people are a huge reason why it was so hard to leave, and I’m going to miss them dearly!

my best friend, Teri, Bryan, and me

two of our awesome librarians!

Meghan taught in the classroom next door to me and was a fellow first year teacher.  This girl is a hoot!

And again, Teri:)

Well, I’m off to get some work done!  I’ll be back tonight with my fourth and final HLS recap!  If you missed ‘em, here is recap 1, recap 2 and recap 3.

sunday eats

28 Mar

Don’t forget to enter my chia seed giveaway!  There aren’t many entries so far, so you have a great chance of winning!

Today has been a great day!  We got up and went for another 3 mile run this morning, which felt great.  I think I finally got my mojo back.  I like it:)  Plus, I randomly decided to read our marathon race recap (we’re coming up on the 1 year anniversary!), which of course made me want to go out and run one tomorrow.  haha.

Breakfast this morning was 1/3 cup of oats cooked in 3/4 cup water, 1/3 cup soy yogurt, 1 tbsp natural peanut butter and some strawberries.  Yum!

Unfortunately our run went a little long this morning (and we got a late start…oops!), so by the time we got ready for church we were about 20 minutes late.  We just decided to download one of our pastor’s sermons and listen to it at home instead – dress and all!

I started getting hungry for lunch a few hours later, and I just couldn’t decide on anything.  This happens to me quite often – I just can’t decide on a meal so I end up just eating something random.  It hit the spot though, and held me over for a couple of hours.

I went with baked sweet potato rounds, seasoned with ground red pepper (of course!), garlic powder and Mrs. Dash salt free seasoning.  I also mixed up some humnut sauce (1.5 tbsp nutritional yeast + 1 tbsp hummus + water) for dipping and a some protein.

Later I snacked on an ezekiel english muffin with a slather of natural peanut butter to get me through until dinner.

I can never resist hot carbs with nut butter!

Today was a little low on veggies, but a Chipolte salad came through and saved the day for dinner.  I forgot to grab the camera on the way out the door, sorry!  My salad was stock full of romaine, fajita veggies, black beans, pico, salsa verde and guacamole!  If you have a Chipolte near you, you must try this salad.  The veggie tacos are awesome as well!

I’m off to finish watching Amazing Race and then hit the sack!  Have a great Monday!

potatoes au grautin

11 Feb

Tonight I made a clean version of an old favorite, and it was delish.

Growing up my mom used to make potatoes au grautin from the box on occasion.  Honestly, it wasn’t too often that one would find a processed or “boxed” food on our kitchen table.  My mom always made homemade meals from scratch, and she prided herself on feeding us mostly healthy food and everyone coming together at the table for a family dinner.  At the time I never really understood why I had to come in from playing outside to sit at the table with everyone, but now I’m so thankful for those memories, and I won’t have it any other way with our (future) children.

But back to the occasional “PAG.”  I used to love those cheesy little spuds, but of course nowadays they don’t exactly fit into my repetoire of clean foods.  So, tonight I veganfied (?) them!

Alongside a tasty mushroom burger…

Indulgence at it’s finest.

I started out by slicing a sweet potato up, sprinkling the rounds with ground red pepper and garlic powder and baking them for about 20 minutes.  Next I mixed up some toasted pine nut hummus, nutritional yeast and water to make my new favorite humnut sauce.  After the potatoes were baked, I arranged them on a plate and poured crack the sauce all over them.  Yum!  Next time I would bake the sweet potatoes for a little bit longer because they were a little too soft for my taste.  Otherwise this meal rocked!!

For the mushroom burger, I just sauteed some portobello mushroom wedges in balsamic vinegar until they were cooked through and soft.  Chopped onion, tomato, avocado and smushed it all between an ezekiel bun.  I may also have added a teensy bit generous spoonful of humnut sauce to the burger as well;)

That’s all I’ve got for tonight.  I took the day off from school tomorrow because I am so buried in grading I can’t even see my way out.  With sophomore projects and junior research papers both piled high along with several random assignments that are waiting to be graded, I just needed a day at home to catch up and breathe.  So after a workout with the hubs bright and early, I’ll have my head in the books papers all day.

It’s going to be a busy weekend even with the day off.  Jon is cooking something up for Valentine’s Day, but we’ve planned on keeping it low key because we’re going to Dallas for a couple of days over Spring Break (only 4 weeks away!) as our real Valentine’s celebration.  I can’t wait.  I live for having days on end with nothing to do but explore and hang out with my favorite person!

Hope everyone is having a great night.  TGIF (almost!)

homemade black bean burgers

24 Jan

I’m excited to share a recipe that Jon and I made Thursday night for dinner.  It was all his idea, and he found the recipe in The Eat Clean Diet Recharged (the book that changed my life:).  So, without further ado…

Paradise Island Bean Burgers

Ingredients

  • 1 cup black beans, rinsed, drained and mashed
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice1 clove garlic (passed through garlic press) (I just used minced garlic to save time)
  • 2 tbsp leeks, whites only, finely chopped (I used onions b/c I didn’t have any leeks on hand)
  • 2 tbsp cooked and mashed sweet potato
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp evoo
  • 4 ezekiel buns, toasted

Method

  • Mix all ingredients except the olive oil and buns in a large bowl.  Coat clean hands with olive oil to mix.
  • Divide mixture into equal fourths.  Shape into patties.
  • Heat grill pan over medium flame and coat lightly with oil.  Add patties and cook five minutes per side or until the patties are golden and crispy
  • Serve on toasted burger buns.

I topped mine off with some (previously) homemade guacamole, a little bit of hot sauce, some greens, a slice of tomato and some pickles.  Obvs. with a side of baked sweet potato fries.   This meal was super tasty.  The bean burger itself could have used a little bit heavier dose of spices in my opinion, but overall it was pretty tasty.   It was pretty quick to put together, too!