Heavenly Hash: Sweet Potato and Sausage Breakfast Hash

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Sweet and savory flavors make for a complete brunch plate.

Happy National Heavenly Hash day!  I had no idea that was a thing to be celebrated, but I learned a little from Google this afternoon.  Here is our version of a Heavenly Hash, but you can find a recipe for the sweet treat or ice cream versions here and here (shoutout to Greylock dining hall for the greatest HH ice cream).

After a couple of months adjusting to Seattle life, it feels good to blog about cooking with friends!  The first time I tried this recipe was when Paul and Loretta came over for a potluck brunch back in November.  Paul walked in with a huge skillet full of sweet potato hash, and set it on the burner to reheat.  The end result was a rich, flavorful, filling and crave-worthy hash that I kept returning to for seconds and thirds.  When Paul and Loretta had some time off around the holidays, they came back for a weekday brunch, and Paul taught me his brother’s recipe for sweet potato hash.  This recipe makes many servings, which keep nicely in the fridge for two to three days, though I guarantee it will not last that long.  Alternatively, you can enjoy this versatile breakfast dish at any time of day!

During Loretta’s vacation, we did a lot of sculling and lifting together, and got hooked on eating recovery meals at Stone Way Cafe after training.  As holidays ended and normal schedules resumed, cafe visits decreased, but cravings for Stone Way creations persisted. Paul and I are both experimenting with recipes for a baked oatmeal dish that can satisfy Stone Way Cafe cravings.  Stay tuned!

Recipe

Sweet Potato Hash – serves 6 to 8

Credit for this recipe’s creation goes to Paul’s brother.  Thanks to Paul and Loretta for sharing this feast, and to Paul for writing up the recipe for me!  This recipe calls for apple, but we accidentally left the apple out and did not notice until we were finished eating.  Try using a fuji apple to start, for a crisp, sweet flavor.

You will need: 4c48b3dc-9555-4767-b72d-11cfee4731ca

  1. 2 medium sweet potatoes
  2. 1 medium onion (your choice – we used yellow)
  3. 1 medium or 2 small sweet peppers
  4. 1/2 lb Brussels sprouts
  5. 1 apple (your choice)
  6. 12 to 16 ounces Andouille sausage
  7. cooking oil
  8. salt and pepper to taste
  9. 4 eggs (optional)

Steps:

  1. Par cook the sausage in a large pan, just until sausages firm up on the outside a little bit, set aside and let cool.
  2. Dice the sweet potatoes to 1/4-1/2 inch cubes and sauté in the pan with oil for 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. While the potatoes cook, dice the onion and add to the pan, stirring into the potatoes.
  4. Remove bottoms from Brussels sprouts and cut down to 1/2 inch halves or quarters.  Add to pan.
  5. Dice sweet peppers to 1/2 inch pieces and add to pan.  Be sure to keep everything stirring for even cooking.
  6. Cut the sausage into 1 inch pieces and add to the pan, cooking the whole mixture until the sausage is cooked through (if using eggs, add them with the sausage).  Continue stirring until egg coats the mixture and cooks.  Remove from heat.
  7. Cut the core from the apple and dice into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces and stir in.  The apple should not cook and will add a crisp bite and sweet tongue to the dish.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Celery Root Mashed Potatoes

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Our Thanksgiving spread.

I love the flavor of celery root, and think it tastes great on its own.  Celery root, or celeriac, is the root that grows beneath celery stalks.  Last Thanksgiving, I volunteered to bring mashed potatoes to dinner, so I incorporated a couple of traditional Yukon Golds for a more familiar flavor.  Alex and I shared Thanksgiving dinner with Daniel, a friend from work, and his two young children.  We were joined by his long-time friend, Jessie, and savored a non-traditional menu.  Our meal did not stray from certain Thanksgiving themes – food, time spent together in the kitchen, board games and puzzles with family, and a leisurely gathering around the table for a variety of courses.  With the menu, we were a little more experimental and creative.  Before we arrived, Daniel spent the afternoon preparing delicious, crisp duck and a vegan pumpkin dessert.  Later on, Alex and I spent time playing games and puzzling (I am a huge puzzle fan!) with Daniel’s children.  Meanwhile, Daniel put the finishing touches on his signature “pink soup” (beets with vegan cream).  Before dinner time, he also prepared kale chips and fresh tostones – both of which barely made it to the dinner table!  Alex and I brought along rainbow carrot salad and my version of mashed potatoes.  We left the table feeling satisfied, but not overly stuffed, and returned to the floor for more puzzling.

Because of dietary restrictions, I made the celery root/mashed potatoes completely vegan for Thanksgiving, but feel free to try these at home with butter and milk or cream.  Next time I make this recipe, I am going to use just celery root and no potatoes.  Give it a try – you might not notice the difference!  Celery root tends to have a silkier texture, compared to the starchy texture of potato.  The two work well in combination.

 

Recipe

Celery Root Mashed Potatoes – serves 6 to 8

For this recipe, feel free to adjust quantities of milk and butter for your desired taste.  At home, we usually add a lot of butter to Yukon Gold potatoes, but I find that I need less butter to add flavor to celery root.

You will need: 38e74300-2559-48f6-bfc2-45cc45020ff5

  1. two giant celery roots (about 1 pound)
  2. four Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 pound)
  3. 1 – 2 T olive oil
  4. 1 – 1.5 C soymilk (or milk)
  5. 2 – 4 T vegan butter (or butter)
  6. salt and pepper to taste
  7. optional: vegetable or chicken broth to thin leftovers

Steps:

  1. Cut off the root end of the celery first, so you have a flat surface to rest on.  Slice the gnarly bumps off the root with a small knife (this is much easier than using a peeler). Cut roots into approximately 1-inch cubes for even cooking.
  2. Peel potatoes.  Cube potatoes as well.
  3. Put celery root and mashed potatoes into two separate large pots, and cover with salted water.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, checking for tenderness after about 15 minutes.  When both root vegetables are tender (about 15 minutes for potatoes and 20 minutes for celery root), drain water and combine celery root and potatoes into one large pot for mashing.
  4. Reduce heat to low.  Drizzle with olive oil and mash.
  5. Add butter and stir to combine.  Gradually add milk, one half cup at a time, until your potatoes reach desired thickness.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  We usually like a lot of pepper!
  6. Serve warm.  To reheat your mash, add leftovers to a pot over low heat, and revive with a little splash of vegetable broth, chicken broth or more milk.

Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Turkey Bacon Pasta

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The cooked egg coated the pasta and other ingredients nicely, and I was happy to have the extra protein.

I pulled this recipe together after a long morning of rowing workouts.  I dreamt up this recipe when I found leftover turkey bacon, lemon and Brussels sprouts that needed to be used, and combined those ingredients with the bowtie pasta I was craving!  I have cooked a similar recipe from “How to Cook Everything: The Basics,” called “Pasta with Broccoli and Sausage,” and that experience informed my steps for this recipe.

The first time I had shaved Brussels sprouts was at my mother-in-law Betsy’s house, so I consulted her to find out which food processor blade to use.  I have used the chopping blade before for Brussels sprouts, and that produced confetti-sized pieces.  With the slicing disc, you get larger pieces, and I prefer that texture for a hearty meal like this.  The turkey bacon added a rich, savory flavor to the Brussels sprouts.  We have a really nice brick of parmesan cheese that we have been grating, so I added plenty of cheese for more flavor.  Lemon juice added a bright note to the combination, and I finished the dish with more grated parmesan and fresh ground black pepper.  As soon as I sat down to eat this dish, I realized I wanted to add some more protein.  I poured my serving into a small pot and cracked an egg on top, and scrambled the combination until the egg was fully cooked.

Recipe

Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Turkey Bacon Pasta – serves 6 – 8

Betsy and I chatted after I made this dish, and she suggested that Canadian bacon could also be used.  She also mentioned using liquid hickory smoke and edamame for a no-meat version of the dish.  Toasted walnuts, slivered almonds or pine nuts might make a nice topping.

You will need:img_0025

  1. 1 pound Brussels sprouts
  2. one pound of bowtie pasta
  3. about 1 T olive oil
  4. 2 slices of turkey bacon, chopped or torn into small pieces
  5. 1 T lemon juice
  6. salt and pepper to taste
  7. 2-3 T grated parmesan cheese
  8. one egg per serving

Steps:

  1. Set up your food processor with the slicing disc.  Wash Brussels sprouts and chop off rough ends.  Feed Brussels sprouts into your food processor be shredded.
  2. Add water to a medium-sized pot and bring to a boil for your pasta.  Add pasta when water is ready, and follow cooking directions according to package.  Do not dump out your pasta water – you will want some later on.
  3. In a large, stainless steel skillet heat about 1 T olive oil over medium heat.  Add turkey bacon and cook, stirring so bacon does not stick to your pan.  When bacon has browned a bit, add shaved Brussels sprouts to the pan.
  4. Add about 1/2 cup of water and cover your skillet with a lid to steam.
  5. When Brussels sprouts are just beginning to become tender, squeeze lemon juice over the pan and stir to combine.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Add cooked pasta to the skillet using a slotted spoon.  Remove pasta pot from heat and reserve pasta water.
  7. Stir pasta and Brussels sprouts to incorporate, and grate a generous pile of parmesan cheese on top.  Add up to 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water as needed to keep moisture in the dish and to create a creamy sauce to coat the pasta.
  8. If desired, scoop one serving of shaved Brussels sprouts and turkey bacon pasta into a separate small pot or pan over medium heat and add one egg.  Scramble ingredients until egg is fully cooked and egg whites go from clear to white.

Source: Bittman, Mark. How to Cook Everything: The Basics: All You Need to Make Great Food–with 1,000 Photos. N.p.: John Wiley & Sons Inc, 2012. Print.

Taylor Family Favorites: Pumpkin-Tofu Waffles

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I like to use our prettiest plates for brunches.

If you come to our place for brunch, you can count on us making one of two main dishes: Georgie Fear’s banana-oat pancakes or my mother-in-law Betsy Taylor’s pumpkin-tofu waffles. Today, I made the waffles in honor of Alex finishing a long overnight shift at the hospital. We usually make these waffles as a brunch or lunch meal, because the batter takes longer to prepare than our usual breakfasts. For an early morning waffle meal, prepare the wet and dry mixtures the night before and combine them right before making a batch of waffles in the morning. Alternatively, if you do not finish your batch, you can always freeze a few leftovers waffles.

Betsy always makes these waffles when we visit Truckee, but this fall she gave me the recipe so we could make them at home in Seattle. We’ve made them weekly ever since!

Recipe

Pumpkin-Tofu Waffles – serves 4 to 5, two large waffles each

Thanks to Betsy Taylor for introducing this recipe!  According to Betsy, you can substitute 3 bananas for the 1 cup of canned pumpkin.  And if you do not have oat bran on hand, you can whirl oats in your food processor instead.

You will need:img_4216

  1. a food processor
  2. 2/3 of a block of extra-firm tofu (about 12.5 oz)
  3. 1 C canned pumpkin
  4. 4 T maple syrup
  5. 2 T apple cider vinegar
  6. 2 C buttermilk, plus more as needed
  7. 1 C all-purpose flour
  8. 1 1/2 C whole wheat flour
  9. 1/2 C ground flax or wheat bran
  10. 1/2 C oat bran
  11. 1 1/2 T baking powder

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.  Preheat your waffle maker, too.
  2. In a food processor, puree tofu.
  3. Combine with pumpkin, syrup and vinegar.  Blend.
  4. Add first two cups of buttermilk and blend to combine.
  5. Add dry ingredients and blend.
  6. Add additional buttermilk slowly to thin your batter, as needed (I usually only add 1/4 cup, max).
  7. Pour batter into waffle maker.  Place finished waffle on a baking sheet in the oven to stay warm.  Repeat with remaining batter.

Top with butter and maple syrup or powdered sugar, yogurt or peanut butter.  We usually pair waffles with eggs and turkey bacon, too.

 

 

 

Baked Chicken Parmesan with Roasted Vegetables in San Diego

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Liz and I enjoyed preparing this meal together, and comparing notes.  Not pictured: the banana bread that we baked the day before!

My sister, Liz, and I enjoy spending time in the kitchen together, whether we are at home in Delaware, visiting one another at our apartments in Seattle or San Diego, or simply connecting by phone and FaceTime.  We like to compare notes on recipes and reminisce about our childhood favorites that we could recreate sometime.  Liz also recently introduced me to Daphne Oz’s cookbook, “The Happy Cook”, and we followed her banana bread recipe together on my first day in San Diego.

After the rainiest Seattle October on record, it was luxurious to step out of the airport in San Diego and shed a couple layers.  Even better was getting picked up by Liz and Jay and being greeted by their dog Gracie (she remembered me!).  While in San Diego, we enjoyed meals out and a special dinner with Robin and Maria, but we made sure to make time to cook dinner together.  We used a recipe from SkinnyTaste as inspiration for our chicken parmesan prep, and consulted “Cook Yourself Thin” for the roasted vegetable steps (you can find that recipe on Food.com as well).

Recipe

Baked Chicken Parmesan – serves 4 to 6

I like using thin-sliced chicken breasts for this meal because that can increase your surface area for breading, sauce and cheese.  You can buy thin-sliced chicken breasts or slice them in half carefully at home.  When Liz and I made this meal, we found out that we accidentally had vegan cheese, which did not melt readily but still tasted great.  At home, I replicated the recipe with shredded mozzarella on top.  I have also started using foil to line the baking sheet for this recipe, because the topping and cheese tend to adhere to your baking sheet otherwise!

You will need:fullsizerender-16

  1. cooking spray
  2. 2 T butter
  3. 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (thin-sliced)
  4. 3/4 C breadcrumbs (preferably Italian breadcrumbs)
  5. 1/4 C shredded parmesan cheese
  6. 1 C marinara or other pasta sauce of choice
  7. 3/4 C shredded mozzarella

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with foil.  Spray sheet lightly with cooking spray.
  2. Melt butter in the microwave for about 30-60 seconds.
  3. Combine breadcrumbs and parmesan in a large bowl.
  4. Brush both sides of the chicken breast with butter and dip in the breadcrumb and parmesan mixture, generously coating each sides.  Repeat with remaining chicken.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes for thin-sliced chicken breasts, or 25 minutes for thicker pieces.
  6. Remove from the oven and flip chicken breasts with tongs.  Top each piece with a spoonful or marinara and a sprinkling of mozzarella cheese.  Bake for another 5 minutes.

Recipe

Roasted Root Vegetables – serves 4 to 6

The original recipe calls for these veggies to roast for 30-35 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  If you make these with your chicken parmesan, keep an eye on the vegetables and check and stir them after 20-25 minutes.

You will need:img_8572

  1. 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  2. 1 bunch of asparagus, cut into 2-3 inch pieces
  3. 2 yukon gold potatoes, sliced
  4. 1 t parsley, chopped
  5. 1 t dried chives
  6. 1-2 T olive oil
  7. salt and pepper to taste

Steps:

  1. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Combine sliced vegetables in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Drizzle 1-2 T olive oil over top and add salt and pepper and dried spices.
  4. Spread vegetables out on baking sheet in an even layer without too much overlap.
  5. Roast for 20 minutes and then shuffle the vegetables around on your baking sheet.  You may need to roast for an additional 5 to 10 minutes; check potatoes for tenderness and then bake an additional minute or two for crispy potato skins.

 

Sources:

Diva, Mommy. “Turkey Mini-Meatloaves With Roasted Root Veggies Recipe – Food.com.” Recipe – Food.com. N.p., 2009. Web. 01 Dec. 2016. (online resource for roasted root veggies)

Homolka, Gina. “Baked Chicken Parmesan | Skinnytaste.” Skinnytaste. N.p., 12 Sept. 2012. Web. 01 Dec. 2016.

Lifetime Television.  Cook Yourself Thin: Skinny Meals You Can Make in Minutes. New York: Hyperion, 2009. Print. (print resource for roasted root veggies)

 

Chana Masala with Ground Turkey

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Chana masala with turkey for lunch, in under 30 minutes!

Last weekend Alex and I did our grocery run right after an exciting “I Love Sushi” sculling scrimmage.  We picked several recipes for the week from three cookbooks for inspiration: “Run Fast, Eat Slow“, “Racing Weight Cookbook” and “The Happy Cook“.  Thank you to my sister, Liz, for sending me a copy of “The Happy Cook” last week!  Because we were grocery shopping midday, we also needed a quick recipe to prepare right away for lunch.  The Chana Masala recipe from “Good and Cheap” has become a staple in our household, and takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.  We add ground turkey to the recipe, but if you follow the original ingredient list, chana masala can be served as a vegetarian entree on its own or over rice, or as a filling side.  Chickpeas are very filling and make this a great stand-alone meal option.

As with all recipes from “Good and Cheap”, the chana masala is budget-friendly and uses mostly pantry ingredients that you might already have on hand.  The idea behind Leanne Brown’s “Good and Cheap” was to provide healthy recipes for families on tight budgets.  The PDF is available online, and you can download and save a copy for free.  There are also hard copies for purchase on Amazon.

For this post, I set a timer as soon as I laid out all of my ingredients.  From start to finish, this meal took just under 27.5 minutes to prepare.  With the additional turkey and served over brown rice, this recipe provided about four meals.

 

Recipe

Chana Masala with Ground Turkey – serves 4

Alex and I added turkey to this meal to increase the amount of protein per serving.  As an added bonus, the ground turkey adds volume and we are able to get about four servings with this list of ingredients.  I skipped the jalapeño that “Good and Cheap” recommends, and further simplified some of their steps.  I only use fresh ginger for this recipe half the time.  Make your own garam masala blend at home using this recipe if you do not have any on hand.  You could also use ghee (clarified butter) instead of butter and oil if you have that at home.

You will need:

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  1. 3 t coriander
  2. 1 t turmeric
  3. 1/4 t cayenne
  4. 1/2 t garam masala blend
  5. 1 t smoked paprika
  6. 1/2 t salt
  7. 1/2 T butter
  8. 1/2 T olive oil
  9. 1 t cumin
  10. 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  11. 1 or 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  12. 1 t ginger root, grated (optional)
  13. 1 C canned tomato puree
  14. 1 lb ground turkey
  15. 2 1/2 C cooked chickpeas (we used canned, drained)
  16. 1/2 C water

Optional: cilantro, yogurt, naan or brown rice for serving

Steps:

  1. Combine spices and set aside (ingredients 1-6).
  2. If you are serving chana masala with rice, now is the time to get your rice started.  For best results, follow package instructions for rice preparation.
  3. In a large pan over medium-low heat, combine butter and olive oil and heat until melted.  When the butter and oil begin to sizzle, add cumin and stir to combine.
  4. Add chopped onion and sautee for 2 minutes.  Add chopped garlic and stir for another minute.  If using ginger, add now and stir to combine.
  5. Add the spice mixture and the tomato puree, stir and then cover for 5 minutes.
  6. In a separate pan over medium heat, brown turkey while your chana masala mixture is cooking down.  Break up the turkey into small pieces with a spoon and stir to ensure even cooking.
  7. Check on the tomato pot now; you should notice that the butter/oil have started to separate from the tomato puree, which has reduced.  The surface will start to shimmer when the butter/oil separate.  At this point, add the chickpeas and water and bring your mixture to a boil and then simmer for ten more minutes.
  8. Whenever your turkey has cooked through, transfer the meat to your chickpea/tomato mixture.
  9. After your chana masala has simmered for about ten minutes, the chickpeas should begin to soften.  Using a spoon, potato masher or measuring cup, squish about half of your chickpeas.  The squished chickpea texture will thicken your chana masala sauce.
  10. Serve over rice for a complete meal, or as a side.

 

Source: Brown, Leanne. Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/day. New York: Workman, 2015. Print.  PDF link, page 93.

Meatless Monday in Fort Collins, CO: “Beyond Burgers” and Veggies

 

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One big pan of pre-cut veggies!

Last month, I had the chance to visit my dear friends Hannah and Robby at their home in Fort Collins, CO. Hannah and Robby are both busy with work and school, and I was impressed by their system for getting fresh, colorful food on the table everyday. Keep these tips in mind for when you need to decrease your cooking time!

On my first night in Fort Collins, Hannah picked me up from the airport and we had dinner ready in just about 20 minutes.  We saved time by using pre-cut butternut squash and Brussels sprouts from the grocery store.  After we steamed the veggies for a few minutes in one large pan, we mixed them with fresh pepper and salt and a drizzle of olive oil.

The following day, Hannah and I spent a few hours at the climbing gym, where she taught me the ropes!  Rock climbing was thrilling and engaging, and I loved using my mind and body in a new way.  We arrived home hungry, and I was grateful that it did not take long to cook our dinner.  For dinner, we used pre-made meatless “Beyond Meat” burger patties  from Whole Foods.  The “Beyond Meat: Beyond Burger” is the best frozen, meatless burger I’ve had so far!  We wanted potatoes on the side, and to save time, we used small fingerling potatoes.  Fingerling potatoes cut your roasting time in half.  We again steamed our veggies for a few minutes before sautéing.

Recipe

Beyond Burgers and Veggies – serves 4

You will need: img_7792

  1. 1 pound fingerling potatoes
  2. salt and pepper to taste
  3. 1-2 T olive oil
  4. 1 head of purple cauliflower, or broccoli or cauliflower
  5. 1 t garlic powder
  6. 4 frozen burger patties (we loved Beyond Meat Beyond Burgers) – thawed
  7. burger buns or wheat bread

Optional: ketchup, parmesan cheese, avocado

Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Halve any large fingerling potatoes and scatter potatoes on a roasting sheet.  Drizzle olive oil across potatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roll around on pan to evenly coat with oil, then roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
  3. While potatoes cook, remove the stem from your head of cauliflower and chop into bite sized pieces.  Steam your cauliflower in a large pan over medium heat with just a little water (about 1/2 C) at the bottom of the pan.  Add a lid to your pan to speed up the steaming process.  After about 5 minutes, the cauliflower should feel softer when pierced with a fork.  Add a drizzle of oil and salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Keep stirring cauliflower occasionally – at this point, the pieces should begin to brown and become crisp.
  4. Finally, follow the directions on your meatless burger box and prepare the Beyond Burgers!  Check on your potatoes to make sure they are becoming golden and crispy.
  5. Serve with ketchup, shaved parmesan for the potatoes, and sliced avocado for the burgers.