Sweet Potato Butternut Casserole with Candied Pecans

With Thanksgiving around the corner, it is time for my favorite Turkey Day staple. Here’s a recipe for my family’s sweet potato butternut casserole with candied pecans — a fail-proof winner! My family typically makes it with only sweet potatoes but I modified the recipe this year to incorporate butternut squash. It makes the dish lighter and is still incredibly delicious — more like a sweet potato/ butternut crumble than a veggie side.

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Ingredients:

1 1/4 c mashed sweet potatoes

1 1/4 c butternut squash (alternatively, swap this amount for sweet potatoes)

1/4 c brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/4 c melted butter (I used earth balance)

3 tbsp milk of choice

1/4 tsp salt

Roast sweet potatoes and butternut squash at 350 until done. Cool, and scoop out with spoon. Puree in food processor until smooth. Mix all ingredients together. Pour into greased casserole dish and top with the following just before baking.

Pecan topping:

1/4 c almond meal

1/2 c brown sugar

1/2 c chopped pecans

3 tbsp c melted butter

Mix the first three ingredients together and sprinkle on the casserole. Then pour melted butter on top. Bake uncovered for one hour at 350.

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Falafel Collard Greens Wrap with Tzatziki Sauce

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These tasty fried fritters are perfect to serve as an appetizer or as a protein in a sandwich or wrap. It is typically served inside pita bread with hummus. I opted for a collard greens wrap with homemade tzatziki sauce, tomatoes, and cabbage. Roasted eggplant would be a nice addition.

Falafel:

2 C dried chickpeas

1  bunch of parsley

1 chopped onion

1/4th C finely chopped cilantro

4-6 cloves of garlic

1 tsp cumin

3 tbs lemon juice

  1. Soak the chickpeas overnight then drain. Do not use canned chickpeas!
  2. Mix soaked chickpeas, parsley, onion, cilantro, garlic, cumin, and lemon juice together in a food processor. Blend until thoroughly mixed, but not completely smooth.
  3. Mold the chickpea mixture into balls with two spoons and fry in avocado oil (used for high temperature cooking). Alternatively, you can use an ice cream scoop to form the balls. Fry until golden brown.
  4. Heat collard greens in oven or microwave until soft. Place falafel, chopped cabbage, tomatoes, and a dollop of tzatziki (recipe below) in the center of the greens. Roll like a burrito. Voila!

Tzatziki sauce:

2 C greek whole milk yogurt

1 finely grated cucumber

2 cloves of minced garlic

2-3 tbs of fresh dill

1 tbs olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Grate cucumber and mix ingredients together. Let chill for 1-2 hours.

 

Guilt-Free Banana Bread (v +gf)

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Ingredients

3 tablespoons stevia (alternatively use 1/2 cup maple syrup or agave)

2 ½ cups gluten-free flour

2 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

5 ripe medium bananas

1 egg

1/3 cup almond milk

½ cup fresh-squeezed orange juice

optional

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup walnuts (chopped)

* To make this recipe vegan, substitute 3 tablespoons of water + 1 tablespoon flaxseed for the egg.

Directions

In a medium bowl, mix the dry ingredients together. In another bowl, mash the bananas, and then add the egg, almond milk, and OJ. Mix well.

Combine the two mixtures together then fold in walnuts and raisins. Pour the batter into a well-greased baking pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees F until a toothpick comes out clean.

Take out and place on a wire rack to cool. Wait until the bread has cooled completely before cutting.

Gluten-Free Almond Breakfast Cake

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Serve for breakfast or as a healthy dessert. To make it more decadent add maple syrup or honey on top. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

3 eggs

1 lemon (juice + zest)

1 banana (mashed)

1/4th c honey

1/2 c sliced almonds

125 g almond flour

1 t nutmeg

1 t cinnamon

1 t vanilla

butter or coconut oil for greasing

Directions:

  1. Mix the eggs, lemon juice and zest, banana, honey, and vanilla together. In a separate bowl combine the almond flour, 1/4th c sliced almonds, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
  2. Combine the two mixtures and transfer the batter to a greased baking pan. Sprinkle the rest of the sliced almonds on top.
  3. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Chestnut, Chickpea, and Veggie Coconut Soup

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This vegan/vegetarian friendly soup is simple and requires only two main ingredients—coconut milk and curry powder. The chestnuts and chickpeas are optional. I added them to give the soup some protein and texture. Alternatively you can add tofu. I used cauliflower, broccoli, and mushrooms but feel free to replace these with your favorite veggies. Eggplant and sweet potato are a nice touch. Top with cilantro or basil.

Ingredients:

1 c chickpeas (cooked)

½ c chestnuts

½ head cauliflower

½ head broccoli

2 c coconut milk

1 onion

1 t ginger

2 cloves garlic

1-2 T curry powder (depending on your spice preference)

½ t nutmeg

½ t cinnamon

1 T olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Top with chili flakes, cilantro, or basil

Directions:

  1. Roast the cauliflower, broccoli, chickpeas and chestnuts with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a pinch of curry powder. Cook at 375 degrees for ~20 minutes. Remove from the oven when they begin to brown.
  2. Sauté the onion, ginger, garlic, curry powder, nutmeg, and cinnamon in a large pot over medium heat. Stir frequently so the onions do not burn. Once the onions are golden add the roasted vegetables and nuts.
  3. Once the vegetables are coated with the spices add the coconut milk. If the soup is too thick, add a ½ cup water or vegetable broth.
  4. Simmer for 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  5. Serve with chili flakes, cilantro, and/or basil.

Zesty Coconut Cauliflower Chickpea Salad

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1 head cauliflower (chopped into bite size pieces)

1 can (15 oz) chickpeas

1 cucumber

1 tomato

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons coconut milk

juice of 2 limes

salt and pepper to taste

pinch of red pepper flakes

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place cauliflower and chickpeas on a baking sheet and drizzle olive oil, salt, and pepper on top. Cook for ~40 minutes, until the chickpeas and cauliflower have become brown on the edges and crispy.
  2. While the cauliflower and chickpeas are cooking, make the dressing by combining olive oil, Dijon mustard, rice vinegar, coconut milk, and lime juice together.
  3. Cut the tomato and cucumber into small pieces and set aside.
  4. Once the cauliflower and chickpeas have cooled combine with the tomato and cucumber. Then toss with the dressing. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes on top.

Creamy Cauliflower Soup (DF)

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Ingredients:

1 head cauliflower (chopped into bite size pieces)

2 cups milk of choice (I used almond milk)

½ cups water

1 onion

2 cups mushroom

1 teaspoon fresh garlic

basil or cilantro for garnishing

salt, pepper, and chili flakes to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the cauliflower on a baking sheet and drizzle olive oil, salt, and pepper on top. Cook for ~40 minutes, until the cauliflower has developed crispy edges. Take out and let cool.
  2. Meanwhile sauté the onion, mushrooms, and garlic together. Once they are golden set aside to cool.
  3. Combine the cauliflower, onion, mushroom, garlic, milk, and water in a Vitamix and blend together. Alternatively, combine the ingredients in a large pot and blend together with an immersion blender. Add salt, pepper, and chili flakes. Serve with basil or cilantro on top.