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Arugula + Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potato w/ Poached Egg

28 Jul

This recipe is so simple it feels wrong to toot my own horn, but that’s my very first poached egg you guys.  Ever.  I feel like I should get a foodie gold star right now!  Poached egg dance!  Poached egg dance!  Poached egg dance!  (PS – IDGAF if you think eggs are meat.  I consider this a meatless recipe, so put it in your Meatless Monday rolodex, yo.)

Stuffed-Sweet-Potato-Black-Beans-Arugula-Poached-Egg


Arugula & Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potato w/ Poached Egg (from How Sweet It Is)

  • sweet potato
  • arugula
  • black beans, drained and rinsed
  • shredded cheese
  • 1 lg egg
  • olive oil, salt, pepper

First, cook the sweet potato using your method of choice (microwave, slow-cooker, oven, etc.).  Since I don’t care for the skin, I usually bake mine in a 400*F oven for about an hour, remove the skin and put the potato in a small dish.  You do you, though.  While the potato is cooking, I suggest tossing some arugula in extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper:

arugula-olive-oil-salt-pepper

Then, a great idea is to start fretting about cooking a poached egg.  This includes, scouring Pinterest, rapid-firing search terms into Google, calling your mom and cursing her for not answering, and then finally realizing you have 13 eggs in the house so just friggin’ throw one in some water all ready.  But not really throw!  Because you have to be careful with eggs, you know.  Anyway, I did what I was told and followed Smitten Kitchen’s tutorial for the perfect poached eggs. As I waited for my water to boil, I topped my sweet potato with some cheddar cheese, about 1/2 c. of black beans which had been rinsed but were unseasoned, and my arugula.

Stuffed-Sweet-Potato-Arugula

This was probably the most nerve-wracking thing I’ve ever done right here!

1st-ever-poached-egg

Having absolutely no frame of reference for if something is done or not really creates anxiety when you could ruin your whole dinner with one little poke.  But then….

Stuffed-Sweet-Potato-2

With great risk, comes great reward.

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Pittsburgh Restaurant Week: The Porch At Schenley

21 Jan

On Saturday, we ventured out to a new-to-us spot for Pittsburgh Restaurant Week 2014, a week-long event which occurs 4 times throughout the year.  During Pittsburgh Restaurant Week (PRW), restaurants around the city offer special fixed-price menus to entice foodies and non-foodies into their establishments.  This season, PRW ran from January 13th-19th so unfortunately by the time you read this it will be too late to take advantage.  But spring is right around the corner, I promise! 🙂

Pittsburgh-Restaurant-Week-Porch-At-Schenley

We chose The Porch at Schenley, located in the heart of Oakland right on Schenley Plaza.  I remember when this restaurant was built and every time we would drive by (which is often!), I would make a mental note that I wanted to try it out.  On Saturday, things kind of fell into place because The Porch is close to home, we didn’t need a reservation even though it was a Saturday night, and they support Buy Fresh Buy Local which is near and dear to my heart.  Why would I spend money at a restaurant which isn’t invested in our region?  Why do you?!

The ambiance was…different.  Sort of an industrial/dairy vibe at times, but they also had these awesome bay doors overlooking the Plaza that open during nicer weather.  The crowd was very collegiate (obviously, Schenley Plaza is nestled between Carnegie Mellon and Pitt with Carlow, Chatham, and Duquesne just beyond), bustling with college students.  Fun fact:  You can use your university meal plan flex funds there.  Basically, we were surrounded by college students ordering delicious looking pizzas and profesh types sitting in larger groups towards the middle of the restaurant.

Since we rarely get a chance to go out anymore, we decided to take advantage of some appetizers! Perhaps my favorite part of the dinner was this sweet potato gnocchi:

Sweet Potato Gnocchi w/ confit pork belly, apples, dates, sage, and a brown butter cream sauce

Sweet Potato Gnocchi w/ confit pork belly, apples, dates, sage, and a brown butter cream sauce

Just wow.  I basically wanted to lick the plate clean.  I mean, the brown butter cream sauce was just heavenly; the whole combo just worked!

Pittsburgh-Restaurant-Week-Porch-At-Schenley-Cornbread

We also ordered this cornbread.  I cut us 2 pieces, but Christina spit hers into her napkin (this somehow doesn’t effect me at all anymore since she is such a picky eater) after the first bite.  Cornbread fail! It was not very good at all!  The server was beyond great about it and took it off of our bill without us even asking.  I don’t really know what was going on with it, but the taste and texture just weren’t for us.

So, onto the PRW-menu with this roasted butternut squash soup:

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup w/ Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, Creme Fraiche, & Carmelized Apples

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup w/ Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, Creme Fraiche, & Carmelized Apples

You guys, I wasn’t a huge fan of this either but it was edible.  It felt a bit heavy on the nutmeg maybe?  I felt like there was flavor, but not much depth of flavor if that makes sense.  Is it wrong that I was comparing it to the one at Panera Bread?  Do I lose foodie street cred for that? Whatever, that’s ma favorite squash soup.  The caramelized apple settled to the bottom of the bowl, so I tried to get at least one with each bite because they were awesome!  At this point, I was a bit nervous about the main course because the soup was ‘meh’ and the cornbread was ‘blah.’

But, redemption!

Smoked Berkshire Pork Shank w/ Fingerling Potatoes, Heirloom Carrots, Dates, and Mustard Greens

Smoked Berkshire Pork Shank w/ Fingerling Potatoes, Heirloom Carrots, Dates, and Mustard Greens

The mustard greens were mysteriously absent, but no complaints here!  Everything was sooooooooo tasty, the smoked Berkshire  paired so well with the sauce and the dates and the veggies.  Berkshire is a breed of pig, not a style of cooking, if you were wondering.  🙂  The above picture doesn’t even do it justice because it was a HUGE chunk of meat on a HUGE bone!  We totally could’ve shared one.

I wasn’t sharing this at all:

Vanilla Bean Creme Brule w/ Marinated Figs & Mint

Vanilla Bean Creme Brule w/ Marinated Figs & Mint

I don’t really get the mint because it was just a little leaf and obviously I wasn’t going to chew on it, but this was yummy!  The figs were outrageously good!!  Yay figs!!

All-in-all, we found The Porch At Schenley to be nice but next time we will probably hit it up for lunch and order one of those pizzas that everyone was ordering.  That many people couldn’t be wrong!

Past Pittsburgh Restaurant Week posts:

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Fall 2013:  Habitat

Southwest Smothered Sweet Potato Skins

10 Apr

Doesn’t my breakfast look yummy?

Breakfast

We’ve been making a solid attempt at eating healthier, substantial meals instead of skipping meals and resorting to snacking.  My breakfast burrito has 3 scrambled eggs (no milk), chicken sausage, a little bit of low fat cheddar cheese, a dab of salsa, and 1/4 of an avocado on a whole wheat tortilla.  It was basically a breakfast taco because it was too fat to fold like a burrito.

Speaking of mexi-inspired clean eating, we had a seriously scrumptious dinner last night.

Southwest Smothered Sweet Potato Skins (inspired by Half Baked Harvest)

Done2

I saw a variation of this recipe on Pinterest (of course) and knew we had to try it.  The concept is the same as baked potato skins, except the filling is more substantial and its in a sweet potato skin.

I baked three sweet potatoes in the oven, during which time I made the “fixin’s” and let them sit the entire time the potatoes were baking.  I like my favors to really get a chance to combine.

My mixture was:

1/4 c. olive oil
2 diced jalapeno peppers (without seeds)
3 cloves pressed garlic
2 T. lime juice
1 t. cumin
1 t. oregano
2 t. ancho chili powder
salt & pepper
 
PepperMix

I added this mixture to the spinach that we had leftover from strawberry spinach salads (about 3 cups) and 2 shredded chicken breasts:

Chicken

Once the potatoes were cooked and had cooled enough to handle, I scooped out the middle to create a pocket.

Potato Boats

A great idea I got from the recipe was to baste the potatoes in some of the spice mixture and bake for 10 minutes to give them even more crisp.  Then, I topped with my spicy chicken mixture and sprinkled some shredded mozzarella (the only kind I had on hand) on top.  Bake into the oven until the cheese is brown and the potato skins are crisp enough!

FilledBoats2

These were super delicious and really healthy!  I ended up mashing the sweet potato insides and serving them as a side.

Done1

What are some of your favorite Pinterest recipes??

Agave-Maple & Soy Glazed Salmon

15 Jan

If you follow any of my social media (Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram), which I hope you do, you probably noticed a yummy little piece of salmon on Monday.

AMSSalmon.Plated

I could eat this exact meal every. single. day.  It was so good, I thought I would share!

Agave-Maple & Soy Glazed Salmon (from Grandma’s Kitchen)

2 salmon filets (skin optional)
1/4 c. maple syrup, honey, or syrupy liquid of your choice
2 T. soy sauce
2 t. grated gingerroot
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
chopped green onion (for garnish)

Crank the broiler to 500°F.  While it is heating up, combine all ingredients but salmon into a small pot.

Step1

Step2

I went a little heavy on the ginger, simply because I love it!

And finally, the 1/4 c. syrup.

This is a new-to-me ingredient.  In fact, I rarely even use syrup, let alone fancy maple syrup.  I guess it seems so fancy with the heavy price tag!  So, I splurged and bought this at the grocery store.

AgaveMapleSyrup

Cook over medium-low heat until the mixture has reduced by half.  I used my gas range and stainless steel pot, so this took about 6-7 minutes for me.  Stir this constantly.  Syrup can heat unevenly and burn very quickly.  I set a timer and stirred the entire time.  Annoying, but it worked out perfectly.  Once the mixture is reduced, brush it over the salmon and pop them in the broiler for about 6 minutes.  The key to getting a nice caramelized glaze on the fish is having the broiler hot enough, and the fish far enough from the heat source so that it doesn’t burn.  Watch your fish closely, because with my oven, I swear 30 seconds can make all the difference.

The original recipe used these measurements for 4 salmon filets, but since the maple agave syrup is thinner than maple syrup I’ve had before, I decided I would rather have leftover than not enough.  Because I cooked the glaze longer to thicken it, rather than waiting until it reduced by half, I ended up with only a tiny bit left over.  Sometimes you just have to wing it and see if it works out.

Luckily, it did!

AMSSalmon.Plated

I served it with broiled sweet potatoes, a protein-packed dinner to celebrate small achievements!

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Empanadas

16 Feb

Things have been nuts lately!  She♥ and I are really working hard on our cloth diaper service to make sure out website is amazing.  So far, it is looking great!!

I thought tonight would be a great time to re-focus by doing a little empanada tutorial.  (That and I am trying to lure you back to my blog feed!)

What you will need:
2 cups flour
salt
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup water
1 egg
1 cup mashed sweet potatoes
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp. cumin
1 T. ground acho chili powder
1 poblano pepper
1/3 cup chopped green onion
2 T. cilantro
1/4 tsp. salt
 

First, make the dough by combining the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.  In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg and then add the canola oil and 1/4 cup water.  Pour the oil mixture into the flour mixture gradually.  Combine until a soft dough forms.  Cover this dough in plastic and refrigerate it for 1 hour.  While the dough is setting, I usually prep the empanada mix.  By this I mean, I pop the sweet potatoes in the microwave, chop the green onions and rinse the beans.  I also prep the poblano pepper.

Intimidated by peppers?  I was too.  She♥ is Spanish, though, and I couldn’t help but fall in love with Spanish and Latino foods.  I’ve even had the experience of buying tamales from a little girl who was selling them door-to-door out of a wagon (for her abuela of course).  Anyway…back to the poblano.  This usually takes about 25 minutes, so keep that in mind as you are timing your prep out 🙂

How to:  Poblano Peppers

Preheat your broiler.  Place the poblano on a foil lined broiler pan and broil for 8 minutes.  After 6 minutes, turn the pepper over.  You are trying to blacken the pepper.  In fact, you will know it is finished broiling if the skin bubbles up and turns black:

Then, pull your poblano out, place it immediately into a paper bag and seal it tight. (No, I am not crazy.)  This is usually when I turn my broiler off and preheat my oven to 400°F. After 15 minutes, pull the pepper out and just pinch the skin.  It comes right off.  Discard this skin along with the guts of the pepper.  For the empanadas, the pepper needs to be chopped up.

Mix all your filling ingredients and spices into a large mixing bowl and mash them all up until almost smooth.

Don’t forget the sweet potatoes!

Once the hour has passed, grab your dough out of the fridge and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.  Separate it into 10 equal balls of dough.

 

 

Roll each ball out into a 5″ disc.

Then, spoon about 3 T. of the filling onto the empanada dough. Brush the edges LIGHTLY with some lightly beaten egg white.  If you put too much egg white onto the dough, it will be too wet to seal shut.

Fold the dough over and seal shut – I usually pinch it with my fingers and then fold it up a little bit.

Place your 10 empanadas onto a foil-lined baking sheet that has been sprayed (I use canola oil cooking spray).  I cut three slits into each empanada to ventilate it like a pie.

I give them a little egg wash before I pop them into that pre-heated oven (400°, remember?) for 17-25 minutes.  They will be golden brown and crispy when done.

¡buen provecho!

 

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