Monday, June 27, 2011

Sweet Potato & Sausage Salad

Do you like sweet potatoes? If so... you'll LOVE this! This dish has become one of my new favorite salads! It's easy. It yields leftovers. It can be served warm or cold. And... it's delicious! Great for summer picnics or barbecues... and sure to be a Paleo-fan favorite! This salad was inspired by a salad they serve in the deli at New Leaf Market. Hope you enjoy!!!

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped (about 1" cubes)
1 bunch green onions, diced
4 chicken sausages (any flavor)
1/4 C olive oil
Sea salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste!

Grill chicken sausages until brown and cooked through. When cool, slice and set aside. Peel and chop sweet potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Put in a pot and cover with water (just enough water to cover potatoes). Bring to a boil. Continue to cook sweet potatoes on a LOW boil for about 7-10 minutes. When potatoes are just tender, drain, and rinse with cool water. You do not want to overcook the potatoes! Place in a bowl and cover with olive oil. Add sausages and green onions and gently stir all ingredients using a wood spoon or rubber spatula. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve warm, room temperature, or chilled!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Basil & Tomato Appetizer

This was the most popular Father's Day appetizer I served! There is nothing like the simple pleasures of heirloom tomatoes and home grown basil (or store bought tomatoes and basil). Either way... you will have happy guests! This easy and colorful combo is extremely tasty! Who doesn't like an easy guest pleaser??? Enjoy! I hope your Father's day yielded many Happy fathers and tasty treats! :-)

2 (preferably) heirloom tomatoes
1 bunch fresh basil (yielding about 16 nice-sized leaves)
~1 T balsamic vinegar
Pinch organic course grey sea salt

Rinse and pat dry basil leave. Place on a plate. slice heirloom tomatoes and top basil leaves. Drip some balsamic vinegar atop each tomato/basil combination. Sprinkle with a pinch of grey sea salt and serve! Enjoy this simple decadence! Flavor combo heaven!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Roasted Butternut Squash with Sage Leaves & Pancetta

Annie sent over this recipe as a suggestion for a great side dish that was sure to be a family pleaser... and it certainly was!!! I will definitely be making this often. We served this with some grilled steaks and grilled onion (BBQ season is in full force after all). In fact the roasted garlic made an excellent spread for the grilled steaks! So delicious... thank you Annie!

Keep up the great work, Annie... we're headed to the Games! :-)

1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 bulb garlic, separated but not peeled
2 oz. pancetta, thinly sliced and chopped
Fresh sage leaves, about 16, whole
2-1/2 T olive oil
2-1/2 T 100% maple syrup, organic
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Peel, seed and cube butternut squash (about 3/4 inch cubes). Place in a baking dish or roasting pan with the whole head of garlic (separated, but not peeled). Toss with olive oil, maple syrup and salt and pepper. Bake for 20-30 minutes (until squash begins to brown... turning once). Sprinkle chopped pancetta and scatter the sage leaves evenly over the squash. Continue to bake for another 20-30 minutes (until squash and garlic is tender and caramelized). Enjoy the roasted garlic cloves by themselves or spread over your steak or vegetable. Yummy.

~recipe from The Barefoot Contessa

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Shrimp, Asparagus & Shiitake Stir Fry

With my son gone to Science Camp for the week, tonight was my daughter's pick for dinner. Sure enough she picked her favorite foods and everything he dislikes ...and would undoubtably complain about! This was a delicious quick-fix... perfect for a hectic last week of school!

1/2-3/4 lb. shiitake mushrooms - trimmed and left whole (or sliced in half if they're large)
1 large shallot, sliced
1 bunch asparagus, chopped
1 lb. bay shrimp, tail on and deveined
1 T coconut oil
1/4 C coconut aminos
pinch sea salt (optional)
black pepper to taste

Heat coconut oil in a skillet over high heat. Saute shrimp until pink and heat through. Remove, and add shallots to pan. Cook on medium low heat until tender. Add mushrooms. As mushrooms start to soften add asparagus and coconut aminos. Cover and cook for about 4-5 minutes (until asparagus is crisp tender). Add shrimp back to pan. Toss well and add sea salt and pepper to taste. Serve and enjoy! Quick and easy. :-)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Simple Salmon & Cilantro Sweet Potatoes

Wow, what a weekend! We followed our very own Annie Sakamoto to the Nor-Cal Regionals and she sure gave us reason to cheer! I think I can speak for all when I say how very proud and awe-inspired we all were by her! Annie is one of those rare gems that encompasses the best qualities in an athlete, a competitor, a mother, a trainer, a friend, a wife and a person! A lovely lady who truly deserves this shining moment: 3rd for our Nor-Cal Region!!! We love you, Annie!

Tonight's dinner was delicious! However, it was the side dish that I was most happy with! Sweet potatoes are a mainstay in our diet, and it is always a treat to find new ways to prepare them. This tasty recipe could be enjoyed hot or cold. Hope you enjoy! We loved it!

4 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 T coconut oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. chili powder
Pinch sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Place potatoes in a medium saucepan. Add just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and cook at a low boil for about 8-10 minutes (until potatoes are just tender). Drain and set aside. In the same saucepan, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until tender. Add potatoes back to pan along with chili powder and cilantro. Mix well and season with sea salt and black pepper. Serve and enjoy this pleasant twist to the typical side dish! And... for all you cilantro dislikers (I do know a few)... substitute flat leaf Italian parsley!

Just for fun... here's a shot of (some of the) Annie's FANnies celebrating with Annie at the end of regionals:

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