Monday, January 16, 2017

Sweet Potato Cornbread

One of the key things in eating tasty and cheap is packing as much health and yumminess into your dishes as possible. That said, health and yumminess are sometimes kind of difficult to balance.

 In this cornbread, we have a nice balance of homey comfort food and healthy grains and vitamin-A packed sweet potato. There's nothing like working some orange veggies into your comfort foods. I think your grandmothers would all approve.

P.S. I think that pumpkin would work just as well, but I haven't tried it yet.

Sweet Potato Cornbread
adapted from Chew Out Loud
makes one 8x8 inch pan (16 small pieces)
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20-30 minutes plus any cook time you need for the sweet potatoes if not using leftovers
Cost: $2.25
sweet potato: .40, cornmeal: .40, cream of wheat: .25, flour: .10, sugar: .10, eggs: .10, Greek yogurt: .50, milk: .10, other stuff: .30

1 large sweet potato (about 1.5 C mashed sweet potato)
1 C whole grain cornmeal (of course you can also use the normal kind and that works too, but it's a little less healthy)
1/2 C Cream of Wheat
1 C all-purpose flour
1/2 C sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/2 C Greek yogurt, plain
3/4 C milk
2 Tbsp oil (olive of canola)
butter for topping

So first you have to have some cooked sweet potatoes. You can use leftovers (roasted or boiled) or you can peel and boil some up for this (which will take 20-30 minutes). Mash them up.

Combine dry ingredients.

Combine mashed sweet potato and wet ingredients. Depending on how good of a masher you are, you might want to just throw them in a blender and give them a whiz.

Then combine dry and wet ingredients.

Grease an 8x8 inch square pan.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until a knife can be inserted and not come out with dough on it (moist crumbs=fine; wet dough= note fine).


Saturday, January 7, 2017

Pumpkin Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

For holy goodness. We didn't originally eat these as breakfast cookies, per se. My sister-in-law brought them to our house. She had used them on the plane. So truly, they're travelling cookies. And the perfect ones at that. There's lots of delicious oat, some pumpkin. Happy for the brain, good for the bowels. What more can you ask for? No airport lunch required, thank you very much.

But we've been eating them for breakfast. And they're good for that too. Truthfully, they'r a tiny bit on the sweeter end, although after all the sweets we've been eating they seem downright virtuous in comparison. And they really are pretty virtuous. I mean, it's kind of like pumpkin oatmeal in cookie form. Yeah, you're welcome.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
adapted from  All Recipes
makes 36
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Cost: $3.40 (that's about $.10/cookie; what!!!??? No bowl of cereal can compete with that)
butter: .90, brown sugar: .35, sugar: .15, pumpkin puree: .50, egg: .10, flour: .10, oats: .30, chocolate chips: .90, other stuff: .10

3/4 C butter
1 C brown sugar
1/2 C white sugar
1/2 can pumpkin puree (so about 8 oz or a scant cup)
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 C all-purpose flour
2 C oats, (blended into crumbles or flour; see below)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 C dark chocolate chips (I like 60%), optional, but awesome

Preheat oven to 375.

First of all, you're going to give those oats a whiz in your blender or food processor. They don't have to be a completely smooth flour (though they can be), but these are best when they're at least crumbles instead of regular oats. Set that aside when you're done.

Beat butter and sugars together. Add pumpkin puree, egg, and vanilla.

Add dry ingredients to wet. Blend.

Then add the chocolate chips.

Drop onto baking sheet (my sister sprays hers; she also uses a cookie scoop, which makes these really pretty, but I didn't have one).


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Berry, Pecan, and Greens Salad with Caramel Vinaigrette

Who needs champagne?

Did you read that part about caramel vinaigrette? Yeah, I thought it sounded weird too. But it totally works. More than works. It is delicious. The fruit, the greens, a sharp cheese. It's the perfect salad for a perfect new year. It's healthy. Just a tiny bit indulgent. And lately berries have been on sale everywhere (why? I don't understand myself... At Meijer today blackberries were $.77, twice as many blueberries were $.99.)

You can eat this as a meal if you're on a New Year's diet, but if you'd like to make it more of a filling meal, you can add chicken.

Berry and Greens Salad with Caramel Vinaigrette
serves 6
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cost: $6.60 (that's $1.10/serving!)
blackberries: 1.00, blueberries: 1.00, raspberries: 1.00, greens: 1.00, caramel sauce: 1.00, pecans: 1.00, cheddar: .50 vinegar: .10

4-6 C greens
1 handful blackberries
1 handful blueberries
1 handful of raspberries
1 C pecans
1/4-1/2 C crumbly cheese--we used a very sharp cheddar; a feta would also work
3/4 C caramel sauce (store bought or homemade)
sugar (for candying the pecans)
1/4 C apple cider vinegar
optional add-ins: caramelized onions, chicken

First, prep the dressing. If you're making homemade caramel, you'll have to do that. Otherwise, take your caramel sauce and whisk it together with your vinegar. Done.

Now throw your pecans into a skillet with about 1/4 C sugar, turn up the heat to medium or just above that. Stir occasionally and cook until the sugar is melting and adhering to the pecans. Remove them and place them on some parchment paper to let cool.

Assemble your salad--greens, berries, crumbly sharp cheddar, then the cooled pecans. Dress with the dressing. And you're done.

Note: If you wanted to skip the candying of the pecans, you totally can. I did once and this salad was still amazing.



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