Sweet Potato Noodles with Kale and Walnut Sage Sauce

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It’s been raining for a thousand years. Well not quite but nearly 2 months straight. I recall the day everything started when the sky opened up and day after day of rain replaced what was supposed to be a bright, sunny season. As I drown my sorrows in liquid vitamin D (which I usually reserve for the dark winter months), I realize maybe this is the new normal and I have to find a way to accept it.

It’s absurd to be frustrated at weather and yet here I am, feeling robbed of strawberry picking, beach day trips, laying in the grass, playing with my kids outside and more. I waited all summer for myself to return to some version of myself but it hasn’t quite happened. Accepting things as they are feels impossibly difficult for me. I wonder if I’m alone or if it’s simply human nature to be resistant to things that go against our expectations. But truly what is there to do other than make peace with what is? When talking about expectations someone dear once said: “if you don’t have any, you won’t be disappointed.” What a concept!

But here we are on the brink of fall and I’m going to optimistically believe that eventually the rain will stop and sunnier days will be on the horizon. They have to be, right? So I’m thinking about fall food, fall flavors and all things I love about this season. Earthy, rich, luscious and satisfying food that fits perfectly well with the start of cooler weather.

There are many foods I associate with fall but one in particular is sage. In my opinion it’s an ingredient that can easily make or break a dish. Sage is a capricious herb; use too much and you find yourself with an overpowering flavor that drowns out all other ingredients. Use too little and you miss out on the beauty and essence of what this robust herb has to offer.

It was sage that inspired the sauce for this dish - a creamy and satisfying concoction. Coconut milk, walnuts, sage and maple syrup work thoroughly well with shallot, kale and garlic to create this delightful sauce. Next came the thing to pair it with. I settled on sweet potato noodles as the ideal companion. It’s an indulgent, fall inspired dish you can throw together in 15 minutes.

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sweet potato noodles with kale and walnut sauce:

  • prep time: 10 minutes

  • cooking time: 15 minutes

  • makes: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 large shallot, finely cut

  • 1 large garlic cloves minced

  • 1/3 cup walnuts plus extra 2 tbsp

  • 1 can coconut milk

  • 1 tsp fresh sage

  • 1 tsp maple syrup (skip for Whole 30)

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp pepper

  • 2 cups kale de-stemmed and cut into bite size pieces

  • 2 large sweet potatoes spiralized

Equipment:

  • spiralizer of your choice

  • medium frying pan

  • large frying pan

  • blender or food processor

Directions:

Blend coconut milk, sage, maple syrup and 1/3 cup walnuts. Set aside.

Preheat large frying pan on medium. Add 1 tbsp olive oil and shallot and cook for 2-3 minutes until soft and translucent. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Next, add kale and cook for 5 minutes until it begins to soften but still retains a crunch.

Add walnut sage sauce and cook for 1 minute to heat sauce through.

Meanwhile, in medium frying pan, add 1 tbsp olive oil and sweet potato noodles and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Add 2 tbsp water to create steam and continue cooking for another 5 minutes until sweet potato noodles are soft. You can cook them longer if you want them a bit softer. Add sweet potato noodles to sauce and combine well.

Serve right away with additional chopped walnuts and if you really love sage, a little extra on top.


I'm a sucker for fall flavors! This rich and creamy sweet potato noodle with kale and walnut sage sauce recipe is earthy, flavorful and oh so comforting. Check out this simple 15 minute vegan, paleo recipe that also has a whole 30 option. #vegan, #fall, #autumfood, #fallfood, #sage, #kale, #paleo, #whole30, #calmeats, #sweetpotatonoodles, #sage, #glutenfree, #dairyfree




Sweet Potato Toast 3 Ways

sweet potato toast with egg, one with almond butter and one with avocado
sweet potato toast, almond butter, banans, almonds and cinnamon, sweet potato toast with egg, sweet potato toast with avocado and tomatoes
sweet potato toast with egg and scallions
sweet potato toast wtih avocado and tomatoes

I struggle between the need to be extremely organized and simultaneously fight it since being too rigid and prepared can backfire on me. I find rigidity and strict rules to be suffocating. I mean for the most part I'm organized or so I view myself to be.

But being on top of things all the time is fairly exhausting. Keeping up with all that needs to be tended to, particularly with kids, seems to be a job in itself. I plan and strategize all day, every day. Am I alone? Please say no. But that's the reality if you want to eat consistently well. And while I'm on consistency, I'm thinking some meal plans will be in the works soon. But off topic...

Today we're talking about sweet potato toast. As I mentioned, while I'm pretty good at having most meals accounted for at the beginning of the week but there are weeks when I just can't and don't. I'm human. But I still have to eat and do so while keeping gut health in mind. 

Breakfast is sacrosanct for me and whatever it is I'm eating has to go with coffee. While I want variety in most meals, I tend to stick to some basics for breakfast. Most of the time it's these pancakes. I make a big batch, reheat them in the morning and slather them in almond butter, honey and cinnamon.

But today it was different. I found myself scrambling for something to eat, feverishly searching for some ideas. Then it dawned on me. Sweet potato toast with almond butter, banana slices, cinnamon and some sliced almonds! Perfect. But why stop there? I figured, while I was already cutting a sweet potato, I could use some extra slices and spruce them too. 

Sweet potato toast truly is a versatile, very speedy alternative to bread. The options are endless but for my quick breakfast, in addition to the almond butter piece, I simply made a scrambled egg with plenty of salt and fresh pepper, plopped it on the toast and topped it with fresh dil. The third piece of sweet potato toast got some mashed avocado and tomato slices. 

How could you not be happy with such a good breakfast? Or lunch? Or dinner?? 

sweeet potato toast with eggs, bananas and tomatoes, dill as garnish on tray
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three pieces of sweet potato toast wtih toppings

sweet potato toast 3 ways

  • Prep time: 5 minutes

  • Cooking time 10 minutes

  • Serves 1-2

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium or large sweet potato, sliced

  • 1/2 banana, sliced

  • 1 tbsp almond butter

  • 1 tbsp sliced almonds

  • dash cinnamon

  • optional: honey (omit if whole30)

  • 1/2 avocado

  • 1/2 tomato, sliced

  • 1 egg

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • dash pepper

  • optional: sliced scallions

  • optional: fresh dill

Equipment: 

  • frying pan

  • 1 tsp olive oil

  • microwave

  • toaster

Directions: 

Cut sweet potato into thin slices. Place them on a microwave safe plate and poke them with a fork several times on both sides. Microwave for 1.5 minutes per side. 

Carefully remove from plate and place in toaster. Toast twice on the highest setting until fully cooked and slightly crispy. 

Meanwhile prepare your toppings. In frying pan, heat oil, beat egg, add salt and pepper and scramble it for 1-2 minutes until fully cooked. 

To assemble, spread almond butter on one of the pieces of sweet potato toast, add bananas, cinnamon, almond slices if you wish and a drizzle of honey. 

To the next slice, add scrambled egg to sweet potato toast and top with scallions and dill. 

Mash avocado with a fork right on the remaining piece of sweet potato toast and add tomatoes, additional salt and pepper if you wish and fresh dill. Enjoy!


Have you wondered how to make sweet potato toast? Here is a simple guide to making sweet potato toast not one but three ways - savory as well as sweet. You can top them with anything you want, I went with fresh tomatoes, scrambled eggs and almond butter and banana. They are gluten free, paleo and whole 30 approved! #sweetpotatotoast #whole30breakfast #paleobreakfast #calmeats #howtomakesweetpotatotoast #breakfast #eggs #paleo #grainfree #dairyfree #brunchideas #brunch #breakfastideas

Paleo Chili Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Four sweet potatoes, stuffed with chili on tray
sweet potato halves stuffed with chili and chopped parsley
avocado slices and cilantro

I love chili but haven't gotten around to making a purely paleo and whole30 version. Well the time is now! For those who are strict and omit legumes on a regular basis - this one is for you! 

Sunday night was the night to perfect this chili.  I had previously made different versions but wanted to try a little spin on it. I've had a pretty serious obsession with chipotle peppers lately and decided that along with some cocoa powder and cinnamon, this would elevate the chili. Glass of wine in hand, music playing, I got to work. It was a relaxing Sunday night, dinner would be finished early and I felt an overall sense of calm. Ahhhh such rare moments. 

That was until I took a bite to check for the seasoning. Clearly I overestimated the level of heat just one tsp of chipotle would add. Sure it tasted great but was in no way suitable for little mouths. Panic crept in, and the words "when will dinner be ready" resounded from the other room..over and over. Scrambling, I realized I bought an extra pack of ground beef. Perhaps for another recipe? Didn't matter. I couldn't think about that. 

Since this chili is full of veggies, I used the help of my trusty food processor to do the work for me. And there, on this lovely Sunday evening, I was making two chilis. Quite proud of myself for the swift rescue, I managed to have dinner done in a reasonable time. 

If you want to tone down the heat, you can play around with the level of heat. For the kids, I decided to omit the chipotle powder entirely and stuck to only chili powder. For a little more heat, feel free to use one teaspoon of chipotle or if you like it really hot, go for 2 or more. The choice is yours. 

sweet potatoes, avocado and cilantro
sweet potatoes with cilantro and stuffed with chili

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paleo chili stuffed sweet potatoes

  • prep time: 10 minutes

  • cooking time: 40-45 minutes

  • yields: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 onion roughly chopped

  • 1 red pepper roughly cut

  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 tbsp olive oil + more for potatoes

  • 1 lb grass fed beef

  • 1 tsp dried oregano

  • 1 tsp chipotle chili powder (optional)

  • 3 tsp chili powder

  • 1 tbsp ground cumin

  • 1/2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 3/4 tsp salt divided

  • 1/4 tsp pepper

  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce

  • 1 15 oz can diced or petite diced tomatoes

  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (omit if whole30)

  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped plus more for garnish

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes

  • avocado for topping

  • optional: purple cabbage

Equipment

  • food processor (optional)

  • dutch oven or large soup pan

  • aluminum foil

Directions

Preheat oven to 400. Rinse and dry sweet potatoes. With a fork, poke holes in each potato all around. Lay each potato on a piece of foil and brush with a few drops of olive oil. Wrap in foil tightly and bake for an hour or until potatoes are soft. This depends on size. 

Add pepper, carrot and onion to food processor and pulse until the vegetables are fairly small. If you don't want to use a food processor, just chop these small.

Preheat dutch oven and add olive oil or ghee. Add vegetables and 1/4 tsp of salt and cook stirring frequently until veggies are soft - about 5-8 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

Next, add beef to pan and break up with wooden spoon. Cook for about 10 minutes stirring regularly, until meat is fully cooked. Add all the spices, 1/2 tsp salt, pepper and cocoa powder and cook for 1 minute. 

Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and maple syrup (optional) and simmer for 20 minutes. 

Once chili is finished, add cilantro. 

To assemble, cut sweet potatoes in half and place a generous amount of chili on top. You can garnish with additional cilantro and avocado. 


If you're looking for a meal that's sure to please everyone, try this paleo and whole 30 chili stuffed sweet potato recipe. Cocoa powder and cinnamon give this chili a sweet and sultry flavor. #chili, #sweetpotatoes, #chiclistuffedsweetpotatoes, #calmeats, #paleodinner, #whole30, #paleo, #paleochili, #whole30chili, #dinner, #glutenfree, #dairyfree

 

 

 

Sweet Potato Fries with Chipotle Lime Mayo

sweet potato fries, mayo and herbs
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I shared on Instagram last week that I was making some changes to the blog. Not drastic but just scaling back a bit on my wellness posts to every other week. Since the blog's inception, I've done my very best to put out a wellness post every week along with 2 recipes but I realized it became a bit intense. While rewarding in every way, I found myself stretched thin with my face perpetually in my laptop. 

But admitting that I couldn't cotninue doing the thing I set out to felt shameful in a way and very disappointing. I felt uncomfortable until I realized that who really cares and why does it matter? Those who are interested in the content I put out will stick with me and those who aren't won't and that's just fine. Being okay with things just as they are felt liberating. 

So once I moved past the unease, I decided to carry on with the day. A trip to the museum and a simple recipe were going to be enough for a little reset. 

Art museums have always been special as art has been a part of my life as long as I can remember. Perhaps it was my father's artistic inclination or my touching a single brush stroke of Van Gogh's Sunflowers that sparked it but museums allow me a strange returning to myself. It doesn't matter what kind of chaos is happening on the outside, once I step foot inside a museum, things shift. The beating of my heart rhythmic and even...walking, admiring, appreciating.

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Recharged, inspired and also very hungry, I decided to whip up a favorite of mine. Sweet potato fries with a chipotle lime mayo. I won't lie, I have a weakness for chocolate but nothing makes me lose my self control like sweet potatoes dipped in this addicting mayo.

While I've had the jarred chipotle mayo, I decided to just make my own and see what happens. Let's just say that I'm likely going to be sticking with my version. It's absurdly easy to make with only a few ingredients. 

While I can appreciate a good home made mayo, I do like shortcuts and since Primal Kitchen makes a fantastic mayo, I thought this may save me a lot of time. All I use is mayo, chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, garlic powder, lime zest and lime juice. And oh my god, I can eat it by the spoonful. 

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sweet potato fries with chipotle lime mayo

  • prep time: 5-10 minutes

  • cooking time: 25-30 minutes

  • makes: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

For sweet potato fries

  • 2 large sweet potatoes or 3-4 medium

  • 1-2 tbsp avocado oil

  • 1/2 tsp salt

For mayo

  • 1/2 cup mayo of your choice (I use this. For vegan option try this)

  • zest of one lime

  • 2 tsp lime juice

  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder

  • 2 tsp adobo sauce (these can be found in most grocery stores)

  • 1-2 chipotle peppers (reserve the rest for another time)

Whole 30 mayo chipotle lime mayo option: check out this recipe

Equipment

  • food processor

  • baking sheet

  • parchment paper

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Wash and scrub sweet potatoes well. No need to peel. Cut into thin strips and lay on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Toss with oil and salt and bake for 25-30 minutes stirring them half way through. For crispier potatoes bake an additional 5 minutes. 

Meanwhile, combine all ingredients for sauce in food processor and puree until fully incorporated. 

When sweet potatoes are finished sprinkle with additional salt if you wish and serve with mayo. 


Sweet potato fries with home made chipotle lime mayo is a favorite of mine. With only a few ingredients needed, you can whip this up in no time! #sweetpotatofries, #chipoltlelimemayo, #sides, #lunch, #dinner, #fries #paleo, #whole30, #vegan, #grainfree, #glutenfree, #dairyfree

Sweet Potatoes with Kale and Caramelized Onions

Sweet Potatoes with Kale and Caramelized Onions

My drive to work is a lengthy one. Sixty miles of highway driving...and that's one way. Fortunately it's only twice a week. But I can't complain as I take full advantage of uninterrupted time to listen to music, podcasts and think. That's also the time when most of my ideas come to me. The trouble is my thoughts are fleeting and I'm unable to write anything down. But one of them in stayed with me. 

It occurred to me that I have this underlying feeling of not completely fitting in. I've been living in the US now longer than I have in the other two countries, but part of me has always felt slightly misplaced. Perhaps this happens to all transplants who've had to up and leave most of their family, but it is very much a strange feeling. Not one I dwell on too often but it does come and go.

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