Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sweet Potato Peanut Curry

I was almost off of our sweet potato kick, until I smelled the most amazing sweet potato dish earlier. Today I had the pleasure of attending the public announcement of the Healthy Food Initiative at the Capital Area Food Bank. As a part of a cooking demonstration to highlight quick, healthy and inexpensive dishes chef Kate Sherwood prepared this amazing dish that unfortunately had chicken. But it smelled so good that I had to run home and adapt it to make it mine.

1 Sweet Potato
1 Onion
3/4c unsalted peanut butter
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp chili powder
1 can of no salt diced tomatoes
1c red lentils
1c green beans (I used frozen)
water (as needed)

Browned onions

Sauteed onions, peanut butter and spices.

Simmering with tomatoes, sweet potatoes and lentils.

  • Brown onions.
  • Add spices.
  • Add peanut butter and some water.
  • Add sweet potatoes, tomatoes and lentils.
  • Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  • Turn off heat and stir in string beans.
  • Salt to taste.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Taco Pizza

I worked my first Tiny Chefs birthday party on Saturday and although it was work I had so much fun! The girls had a great time too and although quite a few claimed that they "hated beans" they devoured all their taco pizzas. The recipe looked so good that as soon as I left I headed for the grocery store to make my own versions of the pizza. Saturday night quick comfort food this recipe is quick, easy and delicious.

The pizza we made at the party had ground meat on it, so I omitted that and made both vegan and vegetarian pizzas that were pretty well received, as in no leftovers! I will definitely be making this again (maybe this week even).

Refried beans spread on dough.

1 can of vegetarian refried beans
1 premixed pizza dough (got ours from Harris Teeter)
Mozzarella Daiya (vegan) or "Mexican" shredded cheese mix

Optional Toppings
Vegan Sour Cream

Vegan pizza ready to bake.

Vegetarian pizza done.

Vegan pizza done.


  • Roll out pizza dough
  • Spread refried beans over dough (leaving about 1 in from the edge)
  • Add Daiya/cheese
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crust is browned.
  • Let cool and then add toppings.

MJ's slice topped with salsa!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sweet Potato Biscuits

I had one large sweet potato left from my last big farmer's market trip and after using half for more overnight oatmeal I had to decide between making sweet potato biscuits or pancakes. Somehow I was just so intrigued with the idea of sweet potato biscuits that I knew I had to look for a recipe. I altered the original recipe slightly and came up with some pretty tasty biscuits that can be paired with sweet or savory, but we ate them by themselves. These were a household favorite and I would definitely double the recipe next time. 12 biscuits wasn't enough!

Adapted from My Vegan Cookbook

Rolled Out Dough
 Ingredients (Makes 12 biscuits)
1/2c baked sweet potato
3/4c almond milk
1 1/4c whole wheat flour
3/4c spelt flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp canola oil

Our friend helping us cut out the biscuits.

One sheet going in to bake.


  • Bake sweet potato and mash.
  • Mix together almond milk and vinegar in a small bowl and let sit to curdle.
  • Mix together dry ingredients.
  • Puree/blend sweet potato and almond milk mixture.
  • Add sweet potato blend to dry ingredients.
  • Add oil to dough and hands, then kneed.
  • Spread dough out on floured surface to about 1/2 inch thickness.
  • Cut dough into circles with a cookie cutter (or a cup like we did)
  • Bake in oven on 350 for 12-15 minutes or until browned on top.

Ready to Eat!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Autumn Overnight Sweet Potato Oats

Yes, another sweet potato recipe! I have been hearing about overnight oats for a while now and I decided to taste it out. I am a convert it was really convenient for on-the-go mornings and delicious too. Even if your love of sweet potatoes doesn't run deep like mine overnight oats is a great meal.

1/2 baked sweet potato
1c oats
1 banana
3/4c almond milk

  • Bake sweet potato
  • Puree sweet potato and banana
  • Pour into container.
  • Add oats, milk and spices.
  • Refrigerate overnight.
  • Mix it up, heat up (optional) and serve.


  • Top with nut butter, granola, fresh fruit, etc.
  • Add yogurt instead of almond milk or in addition to.
  • Use pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin instead of sweet potato if you are partial to pumpkin.


35 seconds in the microwave and breakfast is ready! 1 jar made enough for 3-4 MJ sized bowls or 2-3 grown up bowls.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sweet Potato Smoothie

Happy Fall! Officially and I am in a whirl of sweet potato obsession. I made sweet potato tahini burgers again yesterday with this huge sweet potato I got from the market. (Sidenote: I went at the end of the market day and the man was literally throwing so much produce at me that he didn't want to have to bring back. Great market tip. I have collards galore, sweet potatoes, zucchini, tomatoes and peppers.) Anyway, I baked an extra sweet potato with the intention of making sweet potato smoothies. I had the idea in my head and saw people making pumpkin pie smoothies. I'm not really a pumpkin pie fan, but sweet potato pie is right up my alley.

1 1/2c baked sweet potato
1/2c dry oats
1/2 banana
1/2c almond milk
1/4 dates
splash of orange juice
splash of vanilla extract
all spice
4 ice cubes


  • Blend oats and dates together first.
  • Add the remaining ingredients until smooth.
  • Enjoy!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sweet Potato French Toast

My sister was telling me about some fantastic french toast she made using tofu instead of an egg wash. With dinner overdue I decided to use some of the tofu I had stored away and try it out. Unfortunately I had frozen all the tofu! I had already gotten in the mood for breakfast for dinner and with no time to thaw out the tofu I had to get creative. I had one sweet potato that I knew I wanted to use and so I went for it and this recipe was born!

Sweet Potato Puree Mix

Ingredients (Makes 6 slices of French Toast)
1c vanilla almond milk
1 tbsp milled flaxseed
1/2 c baked sweet potato
1 tbsp orange zest
dash of cinnamon, nutmeg & vanilla extract

Earth Balance or oil (I found that Earth Balance cooked the bread better)
Stale whole wheat bread (or whatever you have on hand)

It looks so messy, but oh so delicious!


  • Bake sweet potato for 30 min at 350
  • Combine all ingredients in blender
  • Pour into a bowl
  • Dip bread into sweet potato mix
  • Add Earth's Balance or oil into heating pan.
  • Cook on both sides until browned.
  • Serve with whatever toppings you love! (We ate ours both plain & with maple syrup, but fruit would be great too!)

First batch got eaten before photos, so this is the second batch.

And third batch.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Children, Body Politics & Exercise

Reflecting on some conversations I've read about Michelle Obama criticizing her "Let's Move" campaign as not focusing enough on body acceptance I think that perhaps people are generally overcritical when it comes to children, exercise and weight. While there are campaigns that are intentionally body shaming, “Let’s Move” is not one of them. 
There is nothing wrong with promoting exercise to children in a way that is fun and entertaining by infusing Beyonce songs and spotlights on exercise into favorite children’s tv shows. When people talk about the fact that there also needs to be a component of body acceptance, I agree, but I think MOST important is offering exercise as a choice to every able child.
As someone who has worked extensively with children and seen the various ways that children are continually shamed and mistreated by parents, students AND teachers I know that the need is real for some sort of comprehensive health programming (but then again when basic needs for education aren’t being met let’s be realistic about the chances of that happening).
Exercise for children is about much more than simply their weights or BMI, it is about promoting a lifestyle which many children do not actively see, it is about engaging them in an activity when many low-income and urban schools have cut all gym programs. Have you ever seen how a child behaves when they have gone through a full day of school without any exercise? I’ll give you a hint: everyone suffers. Exercise is a fundamental part of childhood that is increasingly being replaced with screen time. 
Anyone who has started (or maintains) an exercise regimen can attest to the fact that it is more than just about their body. Exercising releases endorphins and regardless of your weight/size can make you feel more positively about yourself. This is especially true of children. Exercising is mental as well as physical. 
I completely understand the fact that people are unhappy with the execution of “Let’s Move,” but there is nothing wrong with the message that exercise is an important life tool that is necessary for children.