I’m so behind with the trends. Do you know that avocado toast has become avocado “toast” with quotation marks? People are using sweet potatoes as the “bread” and the first time I saw that oh-so-clickable headline I thought it was ridiculous.
One morning though, desperate times called for desperate measures. I had no breakfast food – just a sweet potato, an avocado, and some almond butter. I don’t really ever skip breakfast, so I roasted sweet potato rounds and topped half with the almond butter and half with the avocado. Jack walked in, I said “look, ‘toast’ ” (with air quotes) and he looked at my like I was crazy, but we both gobbled it up.
This definitely was good, but still wasn’t toast. Nonetheless, I got inspired to use sweet potatoes like this, so I used that little impromptu breakfast as my inspiration for this tartare on sweet potato not-toast.
This recipe is more of an appetizer or a tasty light lunch.
I mixed up the avocado with ingredients that would be in tuna tartare – sesame oil, a little dijon mustard and sesame seeds. There’s diced red onion for a little crunch and lemon juice to brighten it all up.
I topped my sweet potato rounds with little pieces of watermelon radish but that step is completely optional, I just think it’s pretty and the crunch is nice.
Have you tried sweet potato noodles? In the past, I’ve made zoodles and doodles (noodles made out of daikon radish), but it didn’t occur to me until recently to make swoodles(?). Is that what we’re calling them? Anyway, one night, with a hungry stomach and minimal ingredients on hand, I saw this gorgeous recipe for Spaghetti Aglio e Olio, and I realized I could make something similar using sweet potatoes in place of the pasta.
This recipe starts with 2 medium sweet potatoes – you’ll be surprised how many noodles they make, and then you’ll also be surprised by how much they cook down in the pan. This recipe will make about 3 decent-sized servings, depending on the size of your sweet potatoes.
P.S. I’m a big fan of the Inspiralizer because unlike the other types that I’ve tried, it clamps down to your countertop making the “noodling” process far less frustrating and you won’t have sweet potatoes all over your floor.
Because this is not actual pasta, more is more. The toppings are a really important component in this recipe to make the flavors and textures more exciting. Add plenty of toasted pine nuts, basil, grated cheese (or vegan “cheese” from this post), and serve with dollops of pesto.
You can also customize this to your liking: roasted tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, roasted broccoli, and goat cheese (if that’s your thing) would be great additions.
Someone recently asked me – when do you use tempeh? I responded with, “when I’m tired of tofu and chickpeas… that’s when it’s tempeh time :)” To be honest, no one really knocks down my door begging for more tempeh recipes, but since that interview, I’ve had tempeh on the brain. Its texture is so wonderfully meat-like but it only tastes as good as what’s around it. Time to marinade!
The marinade I created is a smoky mixture that includes tamari, maple syrup, ground cumin, and smoked paprika. When you first mix this together, the flavor is going to be very (very) salty and pungent, but since plain tempeh starts out with literally ZERO flavor, it’ll all balance out in the end. I bake the tempeh with most of the marinade, while reserving the excess to pour onto the strips post-bake for extra flavor. Since we’re not dealing with raw meat, it’s ok to reuse your marinade like this.
Speaking of things that aren’t bland, we’re partnering with eureka!® Organic Bread on this post. (You might remember this springy edamame sandwich from last year!). Their bread is seriously tasty. It’s vegan, non GMO, and full of good-for-you grains and seeds. Most importantly, it’s soft, chewy and delicious. Whenever I used to bring home other “healthy” breads, Jack would always give me a sideways glance because so many of them often taste like cardboard. But we both really love the taste and texture of eureka! Organic’s Breads – their Top Seed® and their Sweet Baby Grains® (pictured in this post), are our favorites.
Instead of mayo, I slathered this sandwich with 2 flavorful spreads. The first is a lemony garlic white bean spread. The second is a sun dried tomato spread that I made by blending half of the original white bean spread with a few sun dried tomatoes.
I stacked my sandwiches with peppery watercress, crisp cucumber slices, and ripe avocado slices. You can see that there are some carrots up there in my prep photos but once I started building my sandwich since I got a little carried away with avocado slices and they didn’t fit. Obviously, feel free to build your sandwiches however you like!
It’s April which means – time for carrot desserts! Or, well, in this case, carrot snacks. These lightly sweetened carrot bites are great for 3pm snacktime or an on-the-go breakfast. They’re more carroty than cakey – and by that I mean that they’re not cake-like at all and there’s no baking required (if you’re really craving cake click here). They’re chewy little balls made from a mix of carrots, sunflower seeds, dates, coconut, and cinnamon.
By popular request, I made these nut free (as long as coconut is ok) – I was very tempted to try an almond version, but I held back because sunflower seeds hold these together quite nicely. For an almond-carrot recipe, remember these cookies?
These are super simple to put together. Just pulse all of the ingredients in the food processor and roll into balls. If you like, you can roll them into some shredded coconut – they’re delicious with or without the extra coconut. Pop them in the fridge for a convenient snack all week!
There’s a macrobiotic restaurant in town called Casa de Luz that I love to go to when I’m in need a bit of a recharge… especially, the kind of recharge where I don’t feel like cooking anything myself. When you walk in, there’s an Ayurvedic proverb painted above the door that says “When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need.” I love this.
It’s actually feels less like a restaurant and more like a yoga retreat or commune. There’s no menu, just one meal served – it rotates daily but will always contain a grain, a legume, blanched greens, steamed vegetables, a pickled vegetable, and a delicious sauce. It may sound limiting, but I’ve honestly had some of the best sauce and vegetable pairings of my life here, so I used this basic template to build my own bowl.
For my at-home “casa bowl,” I included this delicious turmeric tahini sauce that I’ve been putting on everything. It’s my favorite type of creamy sauce in that it doesn’t require a blender so you can stir it together in no time – just be careful not to spill that turmeric on your countertops!
I steamed carrots, broccoli and kale – I think there’s so much glory these days in roasting vegetables that we sometimes forget how good nicely steamed vegetables can be. I like to steam mine until they’re just tender and far from mushy.
Usually, I would reach for chickpeas or black beans, but I went out of my comfort zone and gave mung beans a try. The nice thing about them is that they cook quickly. They have a bit of a funny taste (if you’ve never tried them before) but within this bowl they’re perfection. You could always sub in lentils or chickpeas if you like.
And that’s where the effort stopped – I took a few shortcuts by using frozen brown rice from Whole Foods and store bought (Bubbies) sauerkraut as my pickled vegetables.
These components all keep nicely in the fridge if you want to save the leftovers for lunch during the week.