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.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Sweet Potato Tahnini Burgers

I seriously have been cooking up a storm lately. It might be to keep myself busy (although MJ is pretty good at doing that) or it might be because we have a house guest, which means finally another adult who is a willing taste-tester to my kitchen creativity. I only trust MJ's opinion as far as I can trust a 1 year old (although we usually agree on what recipes have failed and succeeded). Anywhoo, I am cooking at a rate that my fridge is constantly packed with leftovers and I cook more than I can blog about, but this is a recipe we all loved and didn't make it past a day in the fridge. I had sweet potatoes on deck and adapted a great recipe! Now that I think about it as soon as I finish this blog post I am going to run to the kitchen and make some more. Mmm...blogging has me working up an appetite.

1 large sweet potato
2 cans pinto beans
2 tbsp tahini (can substitute peanut butter)
2 tsp agave
1 tsp lemon pepper
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
dash of cayenne
1/4 cup wheat flour

panko crumbs (I used almost the whole box, so you need a lot!)
coconut oil

A little help mashing from our friend Morgan


  • Bake sweet potato on a cookie pan for 35 minutes at 450 or until soft.
  • Peel & mash in a bowl.
  • Mash drained beans into sweet potato.
  • Add seasonings and flour and mash together.
  • Mixture should be soft, but able to form patties. If necessary add extra flour.
  • Coat patties in breadcrumbs.
  • Add oil to the pan and cook patties until browned on both sides.
  • Let cool.
  • Then devour.

Pan frying (L: done on one side, R: uncooked)

MJ's burger topped with a little mashed avocado

Grown-up burger: On a whole wheat sandwich thin with Romaine, sliced Avocado, Honey Dijon & Sriracha.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Almond Milk & Almond Pulp Crackers

After a semi-intense re-organizing of the cabinets I realized I had a large amount of almonds that I could do something with. I have been curious about making my own nut milk so that seemed like a pretty good project. Although I do not have a Vitamix or one of those high end blenders I figured mine could do an adequate job for a first timer.

Ingredients makes 2 mason jars of almond milk
1c almonds (soaked overnight)
3c water
optional: spices-cinnamon sticks, cloves, vanilla beans, etc.


  • Soak almonds overnight to soften. Discard soaking water and rinse almonds.
  • Blend almonds and water for a few minutes or until well blended.
  • Place filter (I used a coffee filter, but cheesecloth or nut milk bags work better) over container and slowly pour mixture into it.
  • Strain the milk until only the pulp is left.
  • Squeeze filter to get all the milk out.
  • Add optional spices and refrigerate
Finished almond milk with a cinnamon stick.

I absolutely hate to waste anything, but especially food. As soon as I decided to make almond milk I knew I also needed to find a recipe to use up the pulp. One of the most common ideas I saw floating around was almond pulp crackers. Although I don't have a dehydrator I decided to go for it.

1c packed almond pulp
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tbsp. oregano
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. ground flaxseed

  • Combine all ingredients
  • Spread evenly on baking sheet or foil.
  • Cut into squares
  • Bake on 150 for 20 hours!
And devour!!