Sweet Potatoes 5 Ways

White potatoes are so 1999. Sweet potatoes are where it’s at now and if you haven’t jumped on this bandwagon yet, what are you waiting for?! I almost never eat a potato that is not a sweet potato so I’ve got a few recipes up my sleeve. I haven’t made sweet potato waffles yet, but they are on my short list. What I have made are these 5 dishes that will definitely bring you over to the sweet potato side if you’re not already there.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

When I started trying to eat healthier I essentially gave up all forms of potatoes. Coming from a family that has a potato dish as a side to almost every dinner, that meant seriously craving mashed potatoes sometimes. Then I learned I could eat sweet potatoes and not derail my diet, so I threw this together as fast as I could and damn I’m glad I did. All you need is 3 ingredients: sweet potatoes, vanilla greek yogurt, and cinnamon.

  1. Peel and chop sweet potatoes (4-5 for about 5 servings)
  2. Boil sweet potatoes and then mash
  3. Add 1/2 C greek yogurt to taste
  4. Add cinnamon to taste

Sweet Potato Chili

For a chili cook-off at my work one year, I decided to try and win over the vegetarians with a 5 ingredient sweet potato black bean chili. It was a major hit, though sadly it couldn’t beat out the chili cheese fry contestant…

In terms of health though, it’s definitely a winner. Follow the recipe from Minimalist Baker!

5-Ingredient-Sweet-Potato-Black-Bean-Chili-So-healthy-vegan-glutenfree

Credit: Minimalist Baker

Sweet Potato Fries

Even at restaurants where they aren’t really healthier, I still prefer sweet potato fries (or tots!) to regular potatoes. Naturally, I needed to make them at home so I could have a healthy version, too. Here’s what you do:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Clean and slice 4-5 sweet potatoes, leaving the skin on.
  3. Place foil on a cookie sheet and drizzle with EVOO
  4. Spread fries over the EVOO and drizzle some more on top
  5. Sprinkle with your favorite seasoning (I usually use Mrs. Dash saltless chipotle and chili lime seasonings, but cinnamon is another winner here, too)
  6. Bake for 30-45 minutes depending on how you like your fries
  7. Enjoy!

Baked Stuffed Sweet Potato

Talk about comfort food. This meal will leave you feeling stuffed like you just had a cheat meal but it’s totally good for you. Here’s what you need to make a “Burrito” stuffed sweet potato:

  • 4 sweet potatoes
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 C brown rice
  • Salsa
  • Guacamole
  • Optional: corn
  • Seasonings: cumin, cayenne, chipotle
  1. Bake your sweet potatoes in a 400 degree oven for about 45 minutes or until they begin to soften
  2. Remove from oven and add your cooked rice, beans, seasonings and any other optional ingredients
  3. Continue to bake another 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are done
  4. Remove from oven and top with salsa and guacamole

Sweet Potato Cheese Fries

All you have to do here is add in some parmesan and nutritional yeast to the fry recipe above and you’ve got CHEESE FRIES! Sprinkle the cheese on toward the end of your baking time so it doesn’t burn and you’re good to go.

If you’re really grossed out and confused by nutritional yeast, here’s an article explaining it’s awesome health benefits.

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Low Calorie Drinks to Down at Your Super Bowl Party

I’m not going to tell you not to drink alcohol at your Super Bowl party, I’m just going to tell you to drink alcohol smarter at your Super Bowl party. Less calories spent on drinks equals more calories spent on food, and while I may be in the minority, I’d choose more food over more alcohol any day.

These low calorie cocktail and beer options will save you some calories on game day, so you can have more room for what really matters: pizza and wings.

Old Fashioned > Whiskey Coke

An Old Fashioned has about 154 calories and a whiskey coke has around 195.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp simple syrup
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 1 small slice orange peel
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 1 maraschino cherry

Sea Breeze > Vodka Cranberry

A Sea Breeze will run you about 180 calories, while a Vodka Cranberry (with regular cranberry juice) is about 201 calories.

Ingredients:

  • 4oz unsweetened cranberry juice
  • 1 1/3 oz vodka
  • 1oz grapefruit juice

Michelob Ulta > Bud Light

I’m not saying either one tastes great, I’m just saying one has less calories. A Bud will cost you 110 calories, but a Michelob is just 95.

Paloma > Margarita

I love a giant margarita as much as the next girl, but it’s definitely more of a treat yo’self kind of drink. Instead, whip up a Paloma at just 166 calories.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ cup tequila
  • ¼ cup club soda

Champagne > Wine

A 4-oz. glass of champagne is just 85 calories, which is 15 calories less than a 12-oz. light beer or an equivalent size glass of wine. In conclusion, pop bottles if you want to save calories.

As always, drink responsibly. Unless your team loses.

Recipe: Clean Eating Protein Pancakes

You only need 2 ingredients to make these protein pancakes, but you should use 3 if you really want them to be good.

No, these are not as amazing as regular pancakes. Yes, they sometimes taste a bit like banana. To both of these things I say: Get over it.

These are easy, healthy and filling. And they scratch the pancake itch so just make them and be happy. Or go get regular pancakes I don’t care what you do.

Ingredients:

1 medium banana

2 eggs

Optional: Nut butter, fruit, honey, cinnamon, etc.

Directions:

  1. If you are lazy like me, mix the banana and the eggs in a blender or food processor until well blended. If you are not lazy like me, mash the banana by hand and then stir in the eggs by hand until blended. I hope you have strong hands if you choose to go this route.
  2. Spray non-stick spray!!!!!!!!!!!
  3. Proceed to make pancakes like you normally would.
  4. Top pancakes with nut butter, fresh berries, honey and cinnamon, or all of the above.
  5. Enjoy!

Recipe: French Dip Grilled Cheese

In college I experimented a lot with cooking, and by cooking I mean making different kinds of grilled cheese and oatmeal. One experiment yielded this gem – the french dip grilled cheese.

This sandwich became my go-to lunch and drunk food. It’s easy, it adds to it’s own deliciousness by getting juicy while cooking, and I would even venture to say that it’s healthy.

Ingredients:

2 slices whole wheat bread

1-2 slices part-skim mozzarella cheese singles

1 tsp unsalted butter or butter substitute

2-4 slices roast beef deli meat (I recommend Hillshire Farms because that’s all I’ve tried this with)

Optional: Marinara sauce or bruschetta

Directions:

  1. You know how to make a grilled cheese, right? Do that.
  2. Okay fine. Here’s how. Butter one side of each slice of bread
  3. Place one slice of bread, butter side down, on a pan, on the stove, on medium heat
  4. Place one slice mozzarella cheese on top of bread, then add beef
  5. If desired, add second slice of cheese on top of beef
  6. Place remaining slice of bread, butter side up, on top
  7. Cook until bread has browned and cheese has started to melt
  8. Flip sandwich over
  9. Repeat step 7
  10. Remove from heat & enjoy, possibly with a great red sauce

I don’t have a photo of this specific grilled cheese, but I do have a picture of a grilled cheese. Enjoy this ‘gram of a s’mores grilled cheese I got from a food truck in New York once.

Recipe: PB & J Oats

PEANUT BUTTER JELLY TIME! Sorry, could not resist that. And this is my blog so I can do what I want.

PB & J oats is one of my new favorite things and it’s so easy and obvious I really don’t know why I didn’t think of it sooner. If you are an oatmeal fan (which you should be because oatmeal is awesome, versatile, delicious and healthy), you will love this. Wherever I say almond butter you can substitute whatever nut butter you please, but just know that this is quite good with almond butter.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup quick oats

1/4 -1/2 cup fresh strawberries, sliced

2 Tbsp almond butter

Directions:

  1. Add water to oatmeal and microwave on high for 1 minute
  2. Stir almond butter into oatmeal
  3. Heat strawberries (in separate bowl) for 45 seconds – 1 minute
  4. Top oatmeal with strawberries
  5. Enjoy!

Recipe: Caprese Chicken

You know those videos you see on Facebook that make cooking look easy and whatever food they are making look like the most amazing dish on earth? Well, that’s where this recipe is from.

This was inexpensive, easy, and SO tasty. I had it for lunch for a week and loved it every time, even warmed up in the microwave.  I’m not even a huge Caprese person but this was seriously so good. The trick is to use this glaze in addition to balsamic vinegar. As long as you like chicken, mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, garlic and balsamic, you will like this. Best part? It tastes like a cheat meal but it’s still healthy! My only complaint: This desperately needs a side. It’s very filling, but doesn’t feel like quite enough. Try serving with a side salad for more satisfaction.

Sunday Meal Prep: Caprese Chicken 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

A post shared by Jenny Crawford (@jennay7392) on

Ingredients:

4-6 chicken breasts, defrosted

Fresh mozzarella, sliced

Fresh or jarred basil

1 tsp crushed garlic cloves

Balsamic vinegar

Balsamic vinegar glaze (optional)

3-6 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in halves

Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

Basil

Directions:

  1. Coat pan in olive oil and add chicken, salt & pepper to taste
  2. Cook chicken 6 minutes on each side, or until thoroughly cooked
  3. Remove chicken from pan
  4. Add balsamic vinegar, glaze, garlic & basil to pan
  5. Toss cherry tomatoes in pan and cook for 3 minutes
  6. Add chicken to pan and top with fresh mozzarella
  7. Cook until mozzarella is melted
  8. Serve or portion for meal prep
  9. Enjoy!

 

Latest Obsession: ZOODLES

I know I’m late to the zoodles (zucchini noodles) party, but better late than never. I got a spiralizer last Christmas and decided that 4 months was the right amount of time to wait before finally using it. I’m pretty basic, so I started with zucchini noodles, because they are pretty much the only thing I ever hear people mention when talking about spiralizing. Well, zucchini and potatoes, but my meal plan didn’t call for french fries…

 

Turns out zoodles live up to the hype and now I don’t ever want to make pasta again. I’ve only made one zoodles recipe, but it’s so good I may never branch out. It’s incredibly simple, (because I’m basic), and you can choose whether or not you want to get fancy with it. The key ingredient is a gem of a sauce from Trader Joes. If you don’t live near a TJ’s, my sincerest apologies. Because I pity you, I will also include a similar recipe so that you can still enjoy.

 

zoodles

 

This dish feels seriously carby, without actually being “bad” for you. I love my carbs as much as the next girl, but I don’t like the tired, sluggish feeling that I usually get after I eat something carb heavy. Plus, I have a hard time digesting carbs and often have to take extra digestive enzymes to deal with it, so this is the perfect way for me to feel like I’m eating gobs of pasta without having to deal with the nasty, bloated, uncomfortable consequences.

 

If you’ve been looking for a way to eat less pasta or add more veggies to your diet, zoodles are the way to go.

 

Ingredients:
2 medium zucchinis
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4-1/2 cup water
Optional: Salt

 

Recipe:
  1. Chop the ends off of both zucchini
  2. Spiralize the zucchini – tossing out the core/seeds as you go.
  3. Place 2 Tbsp olive oil in pan on stove on medium-low heat
  4. Add zoodles and cook for ~1 minute
  5. Add 1/4-1/2 cup water. Stir. Cook for an additional 7-10 minutes.
  6. When zoodles are soft, remove from stove and drain.
  7. Pat zoodles dry with paper towel to remove excess water. (Optional: Sprinkle with salt and let zoodles sit for 5-10 minutes to help absorb excess water.)
  8. Cover with sauce and enjoy!
  9. Optional: Add grilled chicken or serve on the side
Servings: 1-2

 

Note: Vegetable noodles will naturally be more watery than pasta, so make sure you pat them down to avoid a super watery sauce.

 

If you don’t have access to Trader Joe’s, try this copycat recipe from Shockingly Delicious!