Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Roasted Cranberry Walnut Sweet Potatoes & Barley Lentil Pilaf

These 2 recipes would make great additions to the Thanksgiving table, not to mention, they are both SO simple and easy to throw together, so you spend less time slaving in the kitchen (especially if you leave out baking and stuffing big ol' turkey!!)

Even my 2 year old liked both and asked for more!  If that's not a rave review, I don't know what is!

Roasted Cranberry Walnut Sweet Potatoes

This sweet and savory side dish is a nice alternative to the sticky sweet marshmallow sweet potato goo most people serve at Thanksgiving.  I've always found that too sweet, but this dish is a nice balance of flavors and is more elegant on the table!

*Adjust ingredients to suit the size of guests you are serving (this recipe served 2 adults)

Preheat oven to 400

Spray a Pyrex with cooking spray


 1 Large Sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 "  cubes
1/2 c. Craisins or other dried cranberries
1/2 c. Walnuts (raw)1/2 tsp. Powdered ginger
1 TBSP Cinnamon
1 TBSP Brown Sugar

1-2 TBS Coconut Oil (this makes all the difference in flavor, but you could use butter)
*Coconut oil can be found in health food stores, vitamin shops or Whole Foods, it comes in a jar and is solid, but melts at 70 degrees.  It can be pricey, but it is worth it for the flavors and the fat is the "good fat"
1/2 tsp. Salt


Mix all together, except cranberries and pour into Pyrex
Bake, checking every 15-20 min. until sweet potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife
*Add cranberries in during last few (10 min. or so) minutes of baking - otherwise they tend to burn  

Barley Lentil Pilaf

This dish is so easy it almost makes itself!

Full of nothing but whole grains, fiber and protein, it makes a hearty side dish or quick and simple main dish.


6 c. cooked pearl barley (we make ahead and freeze it, so it only takes 5 min. to thaw!)
1 can green lentils
1 packet Lipton Recipe Secrets Beefy Onion or Onion, made as soup with 4 c. water
*Yes, these are both vegan! The Beefy Onion makes a GREAT vegan gravy for Thanksgiving as well!  Just follow the directions on Lipton's site for making gravy with the packet!


In a large soup pot, combine cooked barley with soup
Add lentils and simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 30 min.
(more liquid will absorb after it cools)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Pumpkin Apple Spice Cookies

These cookies are cakey and soft, like a mini muffin, perfect for breakfast on the go, especially for little ones like my 2 yr. old!

Makes approx. 25-30, 2" cookies

Preheat oven to 350°F

  • 1/2 can Canned Pumpkin
  • 1 Apple, finely chopped (I use the Ninja)
  • 1/2 cup Oil (Used coconut oil, but you can use vegetable oil)
  • 3/4 cup Brown Sugar - This cookie is not overly sweet, so add more white or brown sugar if you want them sweet like a traditional cookie or muffin
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  •  2 TBSP Ground Flax mixed with 6 TBSP hot water - Equivalent of 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
 *Add  handful of dark chocolate chips for extra yumminess (I didn't this time)


Mix all of the ingredients together (I used the Kitchen Aid mixer), adjust spices to your taste, and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Roll into golf ball sized dough balls and place on parchment on cookie sheets 

Bake for 15 minutes

Monday, October 3, 2011

Ethiopian Yellow Split Peas

Yum, Yum, YUM is all that can be said.  Just make them.

So yummy my 2 year old didn't want to wait until dinner to eat them.  Even got his "More Fingers" going from his old baby sign language classes,while SAYING "MORE!"  He wanted me to know he wanted them THAT MUCH.

Serve over rice or if you want authentic Injera bread, you can get some in Raleigh at

3 c Vegetable Broth
1 c dried yellow split peas
2 TBSP olive oil
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 TBSP fresh ginger, finely chopped (or 1-2 tsp ground ginger)
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp salt


In a frying pan:
Heat olive oil 
Cook onion until translucent
Add garlic, ginger and turmeric, salt
Add about 2 tablespoons water
Stir and cook a few minutes
Set aside

In a large soup pot:
Combine broth and the peas
Heat over high heat to boiling. 
Reduce heat to medium
Cook until tender (20-30 minutes)
Check frequently, stir often to make sure the peas don't stick or burn! 
Add garlic/ginger mixture from frying pan

Simmer again until peas are very soft, about 30 more minutes (adding more water, if needed). 

Again: Check frequently, stir often to make sure the peas don't stick or burn! 

 Injera, Red Lentils, Yellow Split Peas and Kale (in place of collards)