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Wild Cod with Parsley, Lemon & Shallots and Arugula Salad

Wild Cod with Lemon, Parsley and Shallots - can't go wrong.

Wild Cod with Lemon, Parsley and Shallots – can’t go wrong!

Yay for summer!  I secretly (or not so secretly) love heat and humidity but that doesn’t mean I love being in a hot kitchen on those days (like today!).  When it’s a perfect summer day outside, I want to minimize the amount of time I have to spend indoors so I love having quick dinners at my fingertips and that’s where fish and a raw salad come in.

Wild cod takes just a few minutes to cook and a little chopping and slicing is all this arugula salad takes to make.  You can have healthy and delicious dinner on the table in 15 minutes tops.  Feel free to use any white mild tasting fish for this recipe.

If you are brave (and have amazing grill skills), feel free to grill your cod outside.  I find fish a little too delicate to do on the grill with my clunky bear-like coordination (unless it’s on a wood plank).  But by all means show me up with your gracefulness and report back.  And then come over and get grilling, thanks!

A tip for you:  Keep things like parsley, lemon, shallots, garlic, vinegars and oil/butter regularly in your kitchen.  Why?  Because almost anything tastes like you slaved over it when you add some of those ingredients.  Almost any combo of those ingredients makes a delicious salad dressing, chicken marinade, pasta or potato salad dressing and of course in this recipe, a topping for fish.  Get into the habit of keeping a few simple ingredients in your kitchen and you’ll always be able to whip up something delicious at a moments notice.

4 Wild cod fillets (skinned/skinless)
1 tbsp olive oil

1 organic lemon zested and juice reserved*
2/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
3 tbsp pastured butter
1 large shallot, minced
sea salt to taste

Arugula Salad
4 cups baby arugula, chopped (try other baby greens if you don’t have arugula)
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 large carrots, shredded or sliced thinly
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp champagne vinegar
freshly ground black pepper
sea salt to taste

*it’s really important to use an organic lemon in any recipe that uses the peel or zest.  That is where all the pesticides are and they are not easily washed off.  If you are just using the juice of a lemon, conventional is ok but please go for organic when using zest (and rinse well before using anyway).
Arugula salad -a simple and quick way to get a spicy new green into your diet.

Arugula salad -a simple and quick way to get a spicy new green into your diet.

Cook cod in a hot sauce pan with 1 tbsp olive oil.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Heat a large sauce pan over medium heat with 1 tbsp olive oil. When hot, cook the cod for 3-4 minutes on one side, flip and then immediately put in hot oven.  Cook for another 3-4 minutes in the oven (exact time will depend on the thickness of your fillets) and remove when fish is opaque and flakes easily.

While the fish is cooking, heat 1 tbsp of the butter in a small saucepan, cook shallots for 3 minutes or until softened/browning.  Turn off heat and stir in the lemon juice and zest, parsley, sea salt and remaining butter.  Spoon over fish.

Make the arugula salad before you begin making the fish or during (it takes just 5 minutes to make). Chop and prepare all your veggies and then dress with the oil and vinegar, salt and pepper.  Serve the cod and salad immediately.  Enjoy!

Makes 4 servings.

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Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad with Cranberries and Sunflower Seeds

Warm Brussels Sprout Salad

Warm Brussels Sprout Salad

I know we’re still a few months from Brussels Sprout season but I can’t help myself! Despite trying to eat what’s in season most of the time, I go out of my way to eat Brussels sprouts year round.  I may have hated them as kid (me and everybody else) but as an adult, they are one of my favorite veggies! Roasted, pan fried, steamed – I don’t care! I think they are fab!  This is one of my favorite ways to make them.  It’s super fast (the thing that takes the most time is trimming the sprouts) and simple to make.  Plus, you don’t even need to be much of a cook to pull this one off.

As usual, with most of the food I make, this recipe is a loose guide – if you don’t have cranberries or sunflower seeds, skip them or substitute raisins, chopped dried apricots, fresh blueberries, pumpkin seeds, chopped cashews or hemp seeds.  If you don’t have lemon, use fresh lime juice/lime zest or even vinegar.  It’s no big deal.  The main reason they’re in this salad is to add some additional texture and take some of the bite out of the sprouts.

Not only do they taste amazing, but Brussels sprouts are crazy good for you! They’re an amazing source of vitamin K and vitamin C, and a pretty good source of folate, potassium, B Vitamins (there’s some B1, B2, B3 and B6 in there), fiber and choline.   Try this salad next time you’re looking at sprouts and wondering what to do with them.

4 cups Brussels sprouts, base trimmed, loose / damaged leaves removed
1 tbsp olive oil, butter or melted coconut oil
1/2 cup dried organic cranberries
1/2 cup organic raw sunflower seeds
1 lemon, juiced & zest reserved
1.5 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I’m a fan of California Olive Ranch these days)
sea salt and black pepper to taste

photo 1c copy
After trimming your Brussels sprouts, slice each one 3 or 4 times (so it looks like somewhat shredded cabbage when you are done).  Heat the olive oil (not extra virgin) in a 3 or 4qt pan over medium heat.  When it’s hot, add the sliced/shredded sprouts and saute for about 5 – 7 minutes (or until your desired doneness), stirring occasionally. I like to saute them just until some pieces begin to brown and get crispy but the rest are still pretty firm.

Take them off the heat and toss with lemon juice, lemon zest and the extra virgin olive oil.  Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and dress with the cranberries and sunflower seeds. Serve warm or at room temperature.  This is a great salad to bring to cookouts when sprouts are in season in late summer!

Makes 4 hearty servings.  Make this a well balanced meal by adding grilled chicken or cannellini beans on top.

Easy BBQ Spice Roasted Chickpeas

photo 1 copy I hosted a vegetable gardening workshop at my home yesterday afternoon (thanks to the kind and knowledgeable Leslie Stevens of Sidewalk Farms in Portsmouth) and since I’m a foodie, I provided lots of snacks for my guests (most of them healthy).  Apparently, my roasted chickpeas were a hit so I thought I would share the recipe here.

One of the things I want to teach people in my coaching practice is that eating healthily doesn’t have to be a ton of work.  Simplify and get creative. If you’ve never had roasted chickpeas, you’re in for a treat.  They get crispy and crunchy and are a great stand in for protein rich snacks like roasted or spiced nuts. In addition to being little protein powerhouses, chickpeas are a great source of fiber, folate, copper, phosphorus, manganese, iron and zinc – minerals and nutrients we all could use more of. This is a snack you don’t have to feel bad about. And they’re super kid friendly!

There’s barely any work to make them (you just need a half hour or so of oven time) and if you have any leftovers, they make a great high protein topper for salad or mixed into a stir fry or pilaf. They will lose some of their crunch after several hours but you can refresh them by putting them back in a 400 degree oven for a few minutes. For this recipe, I used a BBQ Spice rub (modified and inspired by the one here) but you can roast chickpeas plain or with any other spices you like.  I also like them with coriander, cardamom and cumin. They’re crazy versatile.  If you put together this spice rub, you will have leftovers.  Try the extra rub on chicken or on sweet potatoes.

2 15oz cans organic chickpeas / garbanzo beans
1 tbsp olive oil

BBQ Spice Rub / Mix
(use organic spices if you can)
3 tbsp organic brown sugar
2 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt cayenne pepper to taste (optional) photo 2 copy

Directions Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Rinse and drain the chickpeas, then dry off well with paper towels.  If you have OCD, pick off all the little chickpea skins (but they can stay on if you don’t).  Toss the chickpeas with the olive oil and then rub with a couple tablespoons of the bbq spice mix (at least 2, but feel free to go heavier!).  Spread the chickpeas out on a cookie sheet and then bake for 30-40 minutes until crispy and lightly browned.    Serve immediately or at room temp.

Just a note: The brown sugar in the spice mix will encourage browning (burning even) so check on them once towards the end of cooking so that they don’t brown beyond your liking.  The burned ones still taste pretty good if you ask me. If you try these, let me know what you think!

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Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps


photo 4Warmer weather is here so that means I’m ready to eat more raw foods. I spend all winter eating rich roasted root vegetables and steamed greens. Spring calls for crisp lettuce and crunchy carrots but it’s still a little chilly so I need to have something warm with my raw food.  These Turkey Lettuce Wraps help fit that bill. This is a fantastically filling yet light meal that looks impressive and takes only 25 minutes to make (and I’m the slowest cookin the world).  Also, they are delicious.  I used to serve these with some sort of dipping sauce but they honestly don’t even need any.  These are gluten free and dairy free.

One of the reason I love this meal is that it’s really versatile.  Don’t have mushrooms? Use bell peppers or snow peas.  Don’t have mung bean sprouts? Try alfalfa sprouts.  Don’t have sherry wine? Use mirin or rice vinegar.  No turkey? Ground beef or thinly sliced pork could work! The only thing I wouldn’t substitute here is the type of lettuce.  I once tried to make these with red leaf lettuce and they tore way too easily, leaving me with hoisin sauce dripping down my arms.  Not a good look.  Boston/Bibb lettuce is super soft and flexible.  It can hold all the fixings without leaking and doesn’t really have thick ribs which means they won’t snap when you take a bite.

This serves 3-4 for dinner (depends on how big of an eater you are) but this would make a great appetizer if you let everyone make their own wraps.

Turkey Mixturephoto 1
1 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
1 cup chopped portobello or white mushrooms
20 ounces ground turkey
1 large shallot, chopped
2 celery stalks, sliced
1inch of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 (8-ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp gluten free hoisin sauce (Joyce Chen brand makes one)
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon sherry wine (optional)
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

For Serving
1 cup mung bean sproutsphoto 2
1 head Boston or Bibb Lettuce, roots/core cut off, leaves washed

Carrot Salad
5 carrots, shredded
3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1tbsp reduced sodium tamari (gluten free soy sauce)

Heat the olive oil or coconut oil in a large nonstick skillet overphoto 3 medium heat.
When hot, add mushrooms, shallots and onion and sauté 5 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender, stirring occasionally. Push the mushrooms and onions to the side of the pan and add ground turkey.  Cook the ground turkey through, breaking up with a wooden spoon. When the turkey is mostly cooked, add the ginger, celery, basil, water chestnuts, gluten free hoisin sauce, fish sauce, sherry (optional) and toasted sesame oil and cook for two minutes, stirring a few times.

While the turkey mixture cooks, mix the grated carrots with the cilantro, tamari and sesame oil to make a carrot salad.

For each person, serve 5 or 6 lettuce leaves, some mung bean sprouts, carrot salad and the turkey mixture on a plate (put some of the components in a small bowl if you like).  Then spoon a small amount of each item into a lettuce leaf, fold over with your hand and eat like a taco or a little dumpling.

photo 5

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Dairy & Gluten Free Beef Stroganoff

Healthier stroganoff!

Healthier stroganoff!

I was craving my Mom’s beef stroganoff recently but as I’ve mentioned in other posts, the husband and I aren’t eating wheat or dairy much these days so I didn’t want to make a dish that uses both and feel bloated for days.  I also didn’t feel like driving to the grocery store (a common problem when you live in the boonies like we do) so I used what I had on hand.

Zucchini & carrots for noodles and I had some homemade df & gf sour cream on hand. It would have to do.

It did awesomely!  The picture I took with my phone doesn’t do it justice.  It was delicious, creamy comfort food and it will be going in to our rotation on a regular basis. You should add it into yours too, especially if spring continues to keep her distance!  Also, this is tasty enough to serve to people who eat dairy & wheat but are looking for something a little lighter – I promise!

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper or 2 stalks of celery, chopped
12 oz white button mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves minced garlic
1 lb grass fed organic ground beef
1 tbsp potato starch
1/2 cup unsalted organic beef broth
2 tbsp tomato paste
1-2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
3/4 – 1 cup cashew cream
sea salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
fresh parsley
optional: a little smoked paprika
2 medium organic zucchini
2 large organic carrots

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or dutch oven over medium heat until hot, then add onions, peppers (or celery) and mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms are browned and the onions are slightly soft. Cook the garlic with the vegetables for the last minute of cooking. Remove the veggies from the pan and set aside.

While your veggies are cooking, make your “noodles”.  Wash your carrots and zucchini well and leave the peel on if they’re organic. Using a regular vegetable peeler (you don’t need a spiralizer or a fancy peeler for this), carefully peel your veggies into long strips.  Keep peeling until you can’t peel them any more.  You may need to rotate them or lay them flat on a cutting board firmly to get as much peel as possible.  These vegetable peelings are now your noodles!

Saute the ground beef in the same pan until browned, breaking up with a wooden spoon occasionally.  When the beef is just about cooked through, add the mushrooms, peppers (or celery) and onion back to the pan, sprinkle the mixture with the potato starch and stir well.  Cook for one to two minutes then add the beef stock, tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce and cook for 5 minutes or until the liquid begins to thicken. Turn the heat source off and stir in your cashew cream (or use sour cream if you eat dairy). Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste. Stir in the “noodles” or serve the stroganoff over the noodles depending on your preference (I like to stir the noodles in to take the chill off so they’re warm). Serve with a sprinkle of fresh parsley and some smoked paprika if you like.

Makes 4 hearty servings.

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Homemade Dairy Free & Soy Free Sour Cream

Cashew Cream (Dairy Free Sour Cream)

Cashew Cream (Dairy Free Sour Cream)

This is probably the easiest recipe you’ll ever see me post but since it’s becoming a frequently made item in my home so I thought it was worth posting.  We’re mostly dairy free these days, after realizing that both of us had issues with it after an elimination diet (to look for sensitivities).  Since then, I’ve also realized that certain dairy products (as well as wheat) for me lead to binge eating behavior and as someone who has worked really hard to have a healthy relationship with food, I’m not interested in keeping those triggers in my life.

So long story short, cashew cream is a fantastic occasional substitute for sour cream (and it even can stand in partially for making a cream cheese frosting – I shit you not).  You might be wondering why I don’t just go out and buy a dairy free sour cream (there’s plenty out there today).  The reason I don’t go that route is because #1 I like to make things from scratch when I can and #2 fake versions of foods are usually filled with lots of yucky stuff, like extra sugar, extra salt, preservatives and processed soy.  No thanks!

I should warn you, if you’re someone who eats a lot of dairy, you’d probably try this and be like “this tastes nothing like sour cream, she’s nuts!!”.  But if you’ve been off the stuff for a while and just want a little bit of creaminess to dollop on top of your chilli, or to top on your baked potato?  I’ve got you covered!

1 cup raw whole unsalted cashews
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp lemon juice
sea salt to taste

Soak your cashews in water for at least 6-8 hours.  This will soften them so they’ll be super creamy and also remove some of the phytic acid (which interferes with digestion and magnesium, calcium, zinc, and iron absorption).

After soaking, rinse and drain the cashews and then put all ingredients in a blender or food processor.  Blend until smooth and creamy.  Scrape down the sides with a spatula if necessary.

Chill for an hour before serving.   The cashew cream will stay good in the fridge for a week but I don’t think it’ll be in there that long!

Stay tuned, in a few days, I’ll be posting a recipe that makes great use of this stuff! Winter comfort food coming right up!

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Recipe: Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash with Apricots & Pumpkin Seeds

Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash

Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash

I’m a meat eater but I like to try to have a couple of vegetarian days a week.  I feel more balanced when I don’t eat too much of any one thing.  The husband is a little less thrilled about vegetarian meals than I am so I have to make sure the dishes are substantial and hearty or he’ll be in the kitchen looking for a snack as soon as he puts down his fork.  I’ve had to get creative!  This one is a winner!

This meal can take center stage and hold it’s own next to any meat filled main course.  Buttery acorn squash, hearty wild rice, crunchy vegetables, apricots, pumpkin seeds and warming spices will taste good on your tongue and it will make your kitchen smell like happiness.  The flavors are reminiscent of stuffing at Thanksgiving (my recipe anyway).  If you’re like me and your kitchen wouldn’t know a sharp knife if one came crashing through the window, then you can relax – we cook the squash whole in this recipe!  Save your fingers and a trip to the emergency room by cutting in to the squash after it’s cooked.  Is it conceited if I call myself genius? Probably, but I don’t care.  This is a good one!

Sometimes I serve it topped with a dollop of hummus, half an avocado or a fried egg (or a combo of two!).  So satisfying I’ve even eaten the leftovers for breakfast!


2 whole acorn squash
1 cup Lundberg Wild Rice blend
1 cup Apple Cider or 1 cup water + 1 medium apple diced
3/4 cup of water
1 medium onion, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
1 poblano pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup organic raw shelled pumpkin seeds
8 organic turkish apricots, roughly chopped
1 tsp ground sage
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp dried basil leaves
black pepper and salt to taste
optional:  1 tbsp of butter for each squash half

Turn oven to 375 degrees.  Wash the skin of your acorn squash, dry and then put on a cookie sheet and carefully place in the oven (they might try to roll around).  It’s okay if the oven isn’t fully heated yet.  Cook the squash for 45 minutes, then check it for doneness.  You should be able to insert a knife easily into it’s flesh.  If still firm, keep cooking until soft.  When done, let cool for a few minutes, slice in half and then scoop out the seeds and fibrous membranes.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

While the squash is cooking, bring the apple cider (or chopped apple & extra water) & water to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Pour in the wild rice, return to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to low so it simmers.  Cook for 45 minutes then turn off the heat and leave the cover on for a few more minutes.

When the rice is almost done cooking, heat a large skillet to medium heat, add the olive oil and when oil is hot saute the onion, celery, bell pepper and poblano peppers until they begin to soften.  Add sage, basil and allspice and cook for 1 minute.  Stir in the chopped apricots and pumpkin seeds and add the rice when it’s done cooking.  Fill each acorn squash half with 3/4 – 1 cup of the rice and vegetable mixture.  I like to place a tablespoon of pastured butter (try Kerrygold if you don’t have a local source) in each squash half before filling with the rice mixture.  This is optional of course, but it adds a lot of flavor and richness which will keep your satisfied for hours. This meal is vegan if you leave it out.

Pop the filled squash back in the oven for 10 minutes or so just to warm the squash back up.  Enjoy!

Makes 4 servings.

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Support Your Immune System with Chicken Broth

Homemade chicken broth!

Homemade chicken broth!

For day 28 of  31 Days of Healthy Ways to Enjoy the Holidays More we’re talking about homemade chicken broth.

It’s been a busy and crazy month.  Don’t get sick now! Make a big batch of homemade broth to support your immune system.   Homemade broths are a nutritious healing liquid that can be drank alone or turned into a healthy soup.  It’s full of minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, making it good for our bones and teeth (and even for regulating blood pressure),and it’s full of collagen which we need for healthy skin, joints and hair.  It can help heal a leaky gut (and since 70% of our immune system lives in the gut this is so important), reduce inflammation and increase bile production in the liver.  It’s not an old wives tale that chicken soup heals!

Below is my recipe for homemade Chicken Broth.  Feel free to change it up.  You can also do this with beef or lamb bones.  One note:  It’s important to use the highest quality bones you can get your hands on.  I try to only make broth with the carcasses of organically fed, pasture raised animals – they live in healthier (and more humane) conditions.  Conventionally raised (factory farmed)  farm animals live in horrid conditions that breed disease (heard of super bugs yet?).  If you can avoid it, you don’t want to make healthy healing broth from animals that didn’t live a very healthy life.  You’re not going to benefit from them.

Healing Chicken Broth (Bone Broth)

3-4 lb leftover chicken carcass* (or 3-4 lbs of  leftover bones/cartilage pieces)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (try Braggs brand)
1 large whole onion, peel left on, cut in half
3 whole organic carrots, scrubbed (not peeled), cut in half
2 stalks of organic celery (leaves are fine), cut in half
Big handfuls of fresh organic parsley, dill and thyme sprigs
1-2 tsp whole black peppercorns
1 tsp celtic sea salt (or another sea salt)
optional: add a whole head of garlic for the last hour of cooking

Put all ingredients in a large stock pot (at least 6 qt or larger).  Fill with water and bring to a boil.  Cover and simmer for at least 6 hours (but feel free to go even longer).   When finished cooking, strain the liquid from the solids using a fine mesh strainer.  Toss the solids and save the liquid. When the liquid cools the fat will firm up on top and you can scrape it right off.  The stock is now ready to be used as a base for chicken or any other kind of soup or can be drank as is, hot!

Do not be alarmed if the stock is completely solid when it is cold in the fridge.  This is gelatin and one of the most healing things about broth!  When heated it will re-liquify.  You should be able to see the difference between the fat layer and gelatin layer pretty easily (and you can skim off the fat with a spoon).

*I use a leftover cooked chicken carcass, including some of the skin, pieces of meat, all cartilage etc.  You can also use leftover bone-in split chicken breasts, wings etc.  Any bones that contain some meat, cartilage and skin will work.

Day 6 – Cook Healthy Once A Week

Cook several meals at once each week.

Image courtesy of graur razvan ionut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Day 6’s tip for my 31 Days of Healthy Ways to Enjoy the Holidays More is to spend some time each week cooking healthy meals that you can serve your family all week.

Daily commitments are at their peak during the holidays, in addition to being chauffeur for basketball practice, fundraiser organizer for the PTO, and managing the demands of your full time job, you’re also expected get holiday shopping done, attend cookie swaps, and sell your soul to the devil santa.  How does food fit into this picture?

Well if you’re not prepared, “food” can look like empty fast food containers, candy bars and frozen dinners during these busy times.  Yuck.  Hardly the stuff that’s going to give your body and mind the support you need right now. Don’t let fast food become your fuel source.

Set aside a few hours a week to prepare a few healthy simple meals that you can pull out on your craziest days and at least know that you’re putting good stuff in your body.   Prepare meals you already know well and are easy to make or seek out a few recipes that are mostly assembly (like this raw massaged kale salad) or can be made in the crock pot like this amazing New Mexican Stew with Turkey & Chiles. Yum!

Pop them in the fridge and sit back and relax for a few minutes before the week gets going!
Need some more inspiration?  Here are a few other ideas for you:

Chickpea Bajane
Baked Eggplant Parm Boats with Sausage
Indian Spiced Fire Roasted Tomato and Chickpea Soup
Chicken Stew

I’ve tried all the recipes on this page so I can vouch that they’re all delicious. The soups all freeze very well, as does the filling for the Eggplant boats.  Keep some bags of frozen veggies or salad greens on hand to serve with these meals and you’ll be well on your way to a healthy, more relaxed December.  You’ve got this!

Recipe: Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Smoked Paprika Mayo

Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Smoked Paprika Olive Oil Mayo

Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Smoked Paprika Olive Oil Mayo

Last weekend, John’s dad was coming over for dinner and I wanted to make an appetizer that was relatively healthy with whatever we had on hand.  After scouring the kitchen for a half hour, I realized I still had a bunch of organic sweet potatoes to use up from our awesome CSA at Middle Branch Farm.  I decided to turn them into baked sweet potato fries and serve them with a homemade olive oil based mayonnaise seasoned with smoked paprika.   The combination was AWESOME.  Everyone liked them.  In fact, it was hard to snap a picture of them without someone’s hand digging in the basket and the pic above is the best I could get. Haha!

If you want your “fries” to stay crispy, don’t pile them all up in a basket when serving like I did.  The smoked paprika mayo is perfect for these and you’ll have plenty of mayo leftover to use for other things during the week (try it on scrambled eggs or steamed kale – OMG!).  Once you start making your own mayo, you’ll never go back to store bought ever again, I swear!  And making it with olive oil is so much better for you than the junk that goes into commercial mayo.

Try these and let me know what you think!

Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Smoked Paprika Mayo

For the Fries
4 Medium Sized Sweet Potatoes, Scrubbed and Peeled
2 tablespoons 100% olive oil (not Extra Virgin) or melted coconut oil
sea salt and black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Lightly grease two large cookie sheets.  Slice sweet potatoes into 1/2 inch thick fries.  It doesn’t have to be exact but you want them to be close to the same thickness so they cook at the same rate.  Toss sweet potatoes in the 2 tablespoons of oil, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and then spread the sweet potatoes onto the two prepared cookie sheets but don’t let them touch each other!  The fries need to be spaced apart. You may need to use three cookie sheets to accomplish this.  If the fries are touching, you’ll end up with steamy, soft fries and that’s not what you want!  Bake for 15 minutes, flip and bake for another 15 minutes more or until cooked through on the inside and browned on the outside.   Serve with the smoked paprika mayo (below) or ketchup.

For the Smoked Paprika Mayo
1 cup 100% olive oil (not Extra Virgin)
2 egg yolks from organic pastured eggs*
1 & 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp – 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
1/2 tsp tarragon leaves
1 shallot, minced
sea salt and black pepper to taste
optional: a dash of fresh lemon juice or hot sauce for a little zing!

Whisk the 2 egg yolks with the dijon mustard until they are evenly blended.  Slowly add the olive oil by pouring it down the side of the bowl in a very thin stream and continue whisking the entire time.  Don’t use extra virgin olive oil here because the flavor would over power the mayo.  If you pour the olive oil in too fast, you will break the emulsion so go slow with the pour and whisk like your life depends on it! Pour it slower than you think you need to. Once you’ve whisked in all of the oil and you have a thick creamy mayo, add in your seasonings: shallots, tarragon, smoked paprika, salt, pepper and optional, a little lemon juice or hot sauce.  Make the mayo an hour before serving for best flavor.

*Eating raw egg can pose some health risks to those with compromised immune systems.   Pastured eggs have a lower risk than commercial eggs of carrying salmonella but there is still some risk.  Eat at your own discretion.

Tune in tomorrow for Day 1 of my healthy tip filled campaign called 31 Days of Healthy Ways to Enjoy the Holidays More.

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