Sweet Potato Waffles

These subtly sweet and arguably healthy waffles are perfect for giving new life to leftover cooked sweet potatoes or neglected vegetable purees. I also highly recommend making a batch and freezing for easy kid friendly weekday breakfast. These are actually improved after freezing and a quick toast. No need to defrost first. Just pop a frozen waffle in your toaster at your preferred setting.

Makes ~6 waffles

What you need:

  • 1 cup white all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 cup plain unsweetened kefir or drinkable yogurt
  • 2 eggs, room temperature, separated
  • 1 cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, divided

What you do:

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  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together yogurt, egg yolks, sweet potatoes, maple syrup and vanilla. Add most of the butter (reserving about 1 tablespoon for brushing the waffle iron) and whisk swiftly.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix in a few swift strokes with a rubber spatula. It's okay if some of the dry ingredients are not fully incorporated. Do not over mix.
  4. Heat up your waffle iron. While it is heating, with a whisk or electric mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  5. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter. Do not over mix. You are done when you see small pieces of whites speckling the batter.
  6. Brush both sides of waffle iron with melted butter. Scoop about 1/3 cup of batter onto the waffle iron leaving room for spread. Cook 4-5 minutes or according to the setting of your iron. Serve immediately with maple syrup or keep warm in a low oven.
  7. Freezer tip: cool on a wire rack before transferring to a freezer safe container.

Notes:

  • Change the spices to suit your taste. Feel free to use more or less cinnamon, ginger, or cloves, remove altogether or add other spices like nutmeg.
  • My vegetable mash of choice for waffles is the flesh (skins discarded) of oven baked/roasted sweet potatoes, but other roasted and steamed vegetables and fruits substitute nicely. Try squash, pumpkin, carrots, beets, apples or combination. See my note in the Shopping in Your Freezer post regarding using what you have.
  • If you don't have kefir or drinkable yogurt, you can use about 5+ oz plain Greek yogurt whisked together with enough milk to make 1 1/2 cups of thick liquid. Buttermilk also works.

Spicy Root Vegetable and Sausage Hash with Soft Boiled Eggs

Adapted from Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health

This is a go to winter recipe for make ahead breakfast and lunch. Just reheat and top with a soft-boiled egg you made in a large batch over the weekend. Adjust the heat level to your personal taste by dialing up (or back) the amount of jalapeno or by adding some cayenne pepper. If you're monitoring your sodium, try this recipe with ground chicken or turkey in place of the sausage and increase the spices. I like to add fennel seeds in this case. You can also vary the root vegetables - try yukon golds, parsnips and turnips too.

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium beets
  • 1 large sweet potato, medium dice
  • 2 large carrots, medium dice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ red onion, small dice
  • 2 jalapenos, halved, seeds and membranes removed, sliced into ¼ inch strips
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. sweet Italian sausage, loose (not in casing), turkey or pork
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage or 2 teaspoons fresh sage leaves, minced
  • 6 eggs

Procedure:

  1. In a pressure cooker, cook beets until tender, about 15-20 minutes.* Allow to cool. Peel and cut into medium dice.
  2. Fill a medium pot with water to reach the bottom of a steamer basket. Insert steamer basket. Add sweet potatoes and carrots and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, cover, steam until vegetables are tender but maintain their shape, about 8 minutes. Remove lid, remove from stove and allow to cool slightly.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. When it shimmers, add the red onion and a pinch of salt. Sauté until soft, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add jalapeños and garlic and sauté another minute. If you are using dried herbs, add them at this time and sauté for another 30 seconds. Move to the cooler side of the pan.
  5. Add the sausage, break it up with a wooden spoon or a fork, and cook on medium high heat until cooked through.
  6. Add in the beets, sweet potato, and carrots, and, if using, the fresh herbs. Add a pinch of salt and stir gently to combine while on medium high heat. Heat through.
  7. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Gently add in eggs. When water comes back to a boil, set timer for 6 minutes. Prepare an ice bath. After 6 minutes, quickly remove eggs from pot with a slotted spoon and drop into ice bath. Peel and serve on top of hash. See my blog for a step by step photographed tutorial on soft boiled eggs.

*If you do not have a pressure cooker, wash, peel and cut beets into small dice. Then steam in pot with steamer basket, separately from other root vegetables, about 7 minutes.

Roasted Beet Hummus

The subtle punch of clove is a welcomed surprise in this colorful hummus with warming spices. My family's pickles beets, which include whole cloves in the pickling liquid, inspired the flavors of this hummus that is perfect for winter's chill.

Makes: 1½ cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium beet
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1 ½ - 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced, divided
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Procedure:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash and scrub beet. Brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Wrap in foil and roast until tender, about 30 minutes. Cool.

2. In a small sauté pan, on medium high heat, toast the cumin, cinnamon, and cloves just until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

3. When beet is cool enough to handle, remove and discard skin. Put beet and garlic cloves in the bowl of a food processor. Purée until finely chopped.

4. Add the chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, half of the lemon juice, toasted spices, and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning by adding more lemon juice, freshly ground black pepper or salt if needed.

5. Serve with pita chips or vegetable slices or spread on a sandwich or wrap.

 

Variations:

  • Substitute a sweet potato for the beet and roast without foil. Use cumin, cayenne, dried ground chipotle and/or smoked paprika for the spices. Use chickpeas or substitute black beans.
  • Instead of beet, use ½ cup of any cooked vegetable (skins removed, roasted, grilled, or steamed), such as broccoli, red bell peppers, carrots, or squash.
  • Substitute ½ cup of prepared pesto for the roasted vegetable, decrease the olive oil to 2 tablespoons, and omit the spices.
  • Use lime juice, apple cider vinegar, sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar in place of the lemon juice.
  • In place of the beet, add an entire head of garlic roasted in olive oil. Decrease the olive oil to 2 tablespoons. Use chickpeas or substitute navy or cannellini beans.

 

Vegan Pumpkin Flax Bread

Yield: 1 loaf or 4 mini loaves

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup ground flax seeds (or flaxseed meal)
  • ½ cup hot water
  • 1 cup all-purpose white flour
  • ¾ cup all-purpose whole wheat flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons plus 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/3 cup apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 ½ cups cooked pumpkin

Procedure:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With canola oil, grease bottoms and sides of a standard loaf pan (or 4 mini loaf pans and place mini loaf pans on a sheet pan).

  2. In a small bowl combine the ground flax seeds and hot water. Mix and set aside until all water is absorbed.

  3. Sift together and whisk the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, 1½ teaspoon cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Set aside.

  4. Combine the apple cider and vanilla. Set aside.

  5. In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, beat the canola oil and 1 cup of sugar on high speed about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides and bottoms frequently. Add the flaxseed mixture and pumpkin and beat until smooth.

  6. In 3 additions, alternately with the apple cider & vanilla mixture, add the sifted ingredients, beating in between each addition just until combined. Do not overbeat.

  7. Spread batter into greased loaf pan(s). In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Sprinkle evenly across the top of the batter.

  8. Bake at 350 degrees about 1 hour for regular loaf pan and 35 minutes for mini loaves or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

  9. Cool in pan for at least 5 minutes, and then continue to cool in pan or remove and allow to cool on a baking rack.

Freezer option: wrap loaves or slices tightly in plastic wrap and freeze up to 3 months. Defrost at room temperature or toast before enjoying.

Roasted Red Pepper Muhammara Sauce

Yeild: 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 large red bell peppers (1 pound)
  • Sea salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • juice from one lemon
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • ¼ cup plain breadcrumbs
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable stock or water
  • 1 ½ teaspoons red wine or apple cider vinegar

Procedure:

  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Toast walnuts until lightly browned, about 7 minutes.

  2. Rub bell peppers with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment or aluminum foil. Roast peppers until charred. Alternatively, roast peppers over open flame of gas burner or grill, rotating every few minutes, until skin is charred all around.

  3. Remove peppers from oven (or flame) and place in a bowl. Cover with a tight fitting lid. Allow to cool.

  4. Peel charred skin from peppers. Discard. Cut open pepper and remove seeds and white pith. Discard.

  5. Combine pepper flesh, garlic, pomegranate molasses, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and walnuts in bowl of food processor and puree.

  6. Add breadcrumbs, black pepper, olive oil, vegetable stock/water, and vinegar. Puree until smooth. Adjust seasoning and add more lemon juice if needed.

Parsley Walnut Pesto

Yield: approximately 1 cup

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup lightly toasted walnuts
  • ½ cup walnut, canola, or olive oil
  • zest from one lemon
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt (or to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)

Procedure:

  1. Remove the parsley leaves from the stems, discard stems. You should get about 2 cups of loosely packed leaves.

  2. Put the parsley, walnuts and garlic into the food processor and turn it on.

  3. Add the oil while the food processor is running.

  4. Stop scrape sides and taste.

  5. Add lemon zest, freshly ground black pepper, and salt.

  6. Close lid and turn on food processor again for just 30 seconds longer.

  7. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

Cavatelli with Beet Green Pesto

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup walnut pieces

  • 1 bunch of beets with tops attached

  • 2 T olive oil

  • 1 ½ inch piece of ginger root, peeled and roughly chopped

  • 2 tablespoons of orange juice

  • 1/2 cup canola oil

  • 1 t sea salt

  • 1 tsp of freshly ground pepper

  • 1 pound dry cavatelli pasta

  • 6 ounces goat cheese, crumbled into quarter inch pieces

Procedure:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  2. On a sheet tray, toast walnut pieces until lightly browned and fragrant, about 7 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

  3. Remove the beet tops from the beet roots. Wash and dry greens thoroughly. Roughly chop.

  4. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees. Scrub beets thoroughly. Quarter large beet roots and leave small ones whole, so that pieces are no larger than 1-2 inches. Toss with olive oil, ¼ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of freshly ground pepper. Roast in oven for 30 minutes or until beets are tender.

  5. Combine beet greens, ginger root, orange juice, and walnuts in a food processor. Blend until thoroughly combined. Stop to scrape down sides.

  6. Turn food processor back on and while running, slowly stream in the canola oil. Stop to scrape down sides and continue processing if needed. You should have a finely blended paste. Season with salt and pepper.

  7. At this point, you can set aside about 1 cup of the pesto for use in the recipe and freeze the remainder in a plastic freezer storage bag.

  8. Cook pasta in salted boiling water until al dente or according to package instructions. Drain. Reserve about ¼ cup cooking liquid.

  9. Toss pasta with 1 cup of pesto. Add cooking liquid 1 tablespoon at a time to help toss pasta. Top with roasted beets and crumbled goat cheese.