Tuesday, March 27, 2012

No More Mallows!


See that little guy up here? 
He's pretty angry. 
He's low in calories, an amazing source of antioxidants, beta carotene, Vitamin A and C, manganese, loaded with fiber and complex carbohydrates and way too often is covered up by marshmallows, butter, heavy cream and sickening amounts of sugar.

I came up with a new idea of how to use naturally delicious sweet potatoes by making them the star of the show instead of a sugary side note!
Living in the land of Tex-mex it wasn't hard for me to decide on tacos.
Fajita seasoned sweet potato tacos to be exact. Topped with a refreshing cilantro slaw and a chipotle maple sour cream, it's changing up taco night for the better!

Southwest Sweet Potato Tacos with Maple Chipotle Cream and Cilantro Slaw
 2 pounds fresh sweet potatoes
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup fajita seasoning (I use Chi Chi's brand fajita seasoning packet)
1/3 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons Tabasco chipotle pepper hot sauce
2 teaspoons maple syrup
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon lime juice
1 ½ cups shredded green cabbage
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
8 soft taco size corn tortillas, warmed
 Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Wash, dry and peel sweet potatoes and cut into ½ inch cubes. Place cubed sweet potatoes into a large mixing bowl with 3 Tbsp olive oil and fajita seasoning. Toss until all cubes are evenly coated with seasoning mixture. Place seasoned sweet potato cubes on a large foil lined cookie sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 35 minutes, stirring once at the halfway point to ensure even browning.
While potatoes are baking, place the sour cream, chipotle hot sauce and maple syrup in a small mixing bowl. Whisk to thoroughly combine, cover and place in the fridge until ready to serve.  In a separate medium mixing bowl whisk together remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil, cumin, salt and lime juice. Add cabbage, green onion and cilantro to lime cumin dressing and toss to evenly coat the slaw.
Sweet potatoes are ready when evenly browned and tender in the middle. To assemble tacos divide the sweet potatoes evenly between the tortillas. Top each taco with slaw and maple chipotle cream and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings (2 tacos per person)

Visit the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission to get even more great ideas on how to turn sweet potatoes into a delicious and healthy treat for your family!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Vanilla Malt O Meal Griddle Cakes

As a kid pancakes for breakfast were a special weekend thing
It's not like my mom had time to whip up a batch before school every morning.
Today, being a mom of 2 little ones myself, I don't have time for that either during the morning "let's get out of the door before I'm late again and your teacher thinks I'm incapable of being on time" rush.
I need something easy and quick, but I also know the importance of a healthy breakfast to start the kids (and me) off on a good foot.
That's why I love making a big batch of things like healthy pancakes or muffins and freezing them over the weekend so when the morning rush hits all I have to do is grab it and go.
I saw a recipe recently that I thought I could easily change up to be more healthy and my kids inhaled them. Literally. 
My son ate 5 in one sitting and asked for more as a snack later on!
They have a delicious nuttiness to them and instead of drowning them in syrup we spread a little Caramel Apple Butter on them.
You must try these, I promise you will be glad you did!
Vanilla Malt O Meal Griddle Cakes
recipe adapted from here
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup plain Malt O Meal 
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup 2% milk
1/2 cup fat free vanilla greek yogurt
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Pre-heat a large griddle pan on medium high heat. (I use an electric griddle and set it to 350)
In a large bowl combine the flours, malt o meal, sugar, baking powder and soda and salt and whisk together. In a separate small bowl combine the yogurt, oil, egg and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Add the wet ingredients to the dry bowl and stir only until just combined being careful not to over mix. Lightly oil griddle once it is hot and spoon 1/3 cup scoops of batter on the griddle. Flip when you see bubbles forming on the top of the griddle cakes and when the bottom looks nicely browned. Serve immediately or allow to cool and store in a ziptop bag in the freezer to enjoy later.
Makes about 20

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Magical Birthdays

Hi there! 
It's been a while hasn't it?!
The last time I was here I was sharing how sad I was about how sick my baby girl was on her birthday and I wasn't able to throw her a mermaid Ariel themed birthday party.
Well, luckily for us, we already had plans for something far better than what I could pull off at home and I think it may have been the best birthday a little girl could ever wish for
Yeah, that's Ariel making a little kid's dream come true in about 2.7 seconds
And there she is again, being treated like royalty in Cinderella's Castle for her birthday breakfast
 The breakfast was awesome by the way! I really didn't have too high of hopes for the food I was going to find in Disney World, but I'm happy to say I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. For breakfast at Cinderella's Castle we had sausage, bacon, marinated berries and a french toast souffle stuffed with marscapone cheese.....YUM!
The kids loved every second of it! 
Brianna's wasn't the only birthday we were celebrating while we were there
 Louis turned another year older while we were there and I pre-arranged for them to surprise him with this mountain of sugary goodness for his special day. This three layer double chocolate cake was topped with a whole chocolate bar, cupcake, a huge wedge of a brownie, m&m's and mickey shaped sprinkles. 
The people at Disney don't mess around!
Marshall had his fair share of fun too, even if it wasn't his birthday
 His special time of the trip was spent fighting evil and restoring peace to the galaxy
He's a real Jedi now and he's got the papers to prove it!
And no one can go to Disney and not eat one of these, right?!

Pickle Baked Chicken Tenders with Creamy Chili Honey Sauce

Thanks to Hellmann’s 100% Recycled Plastic Bottles and the “Real Taste, Less Waste” challenge I get to share with you a kitchen hack that...