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vegetables

Crispy Baked Sweet Potatoes with Basil Tahini Dressing

 
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Lately, I have been on a bit of a Tahini kick. If you aren't familiar with this heavenly ingredient, it is a paste made of crushed/soaked sesame seeds and can be purchased from most grocers. You will find Tahini in hummus, Middle Eastern dishes, "goddess dressings" and more! 

 

Tonight I was looking to jazz up the usual sweet potato, and the result was this tasty and filling dish with a punch of flavor from fresh garlic, lime juice, Tahini and freshly picked basil.

 

This meal comes highly recommended from my family and I hope yours enjoys it as well. It is remarkably simple to make and the oven does most of the work for you. So, preheat to 400 degrees and get cooking!

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1 lb asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 cups black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 5 tbsp Tahini paste
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 6-8 leaves of fresh basil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Olive oil 
  • Salt to taste (Coarse preferred)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut sweet potatoes in half lengthwise and place face down on foil covered or greased baking sheet. 
  3. Brush skin with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt. Place in oven for 45-50 minutes. 
  4. Use blender or food processor to make the dressing. Add Tahini, water, garlic, basil and lime juice. Blend until smooth and salt/pepper to taste. 
  5. Heat black beans in small pan and season as desired. 
  6. In medium pan, heat olive oil and then add asparagus. Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Saute until slightly firm. 
  7. Once potatoes are cooked through and edges crispy, place on plate and lightly mash the flesh. Add spoonful of beans, plenty of Tahini dressing and sprinkle of tomatoes. Serve with asparagus and enjoy!
 

Get Glowing Juice: Carrot, Ginger & Pineapple

 

This past week I made the ultimate purchase that I've wanted FOREVER: a juicer!!!

I know it might seem like a trivial excitement, but I remember seeing the Jack Lalanne juicer commercials on TV as a kid and wanting to throw combinations of my favorite fruits and veggies into it and make my very own drinks. So, a mere 20 years later here I am with a brand new kitchen toy and I couldn't be happier. 

 

There will be a series of juicing recipes to follow, as I discover the healthiest and yummiest blends. 

One note, I am making a habit of drinking these first thing in the morning before consuming any food. Why? Because your body is able to easily digest the nutrients in juices because it does not have to breakdown the fiber. Prime time for absorption of these vitamins is on an empty stomach!

 

I do not recommend having juice replace food, but it makes a nice prelude to breakfast. You can start your day energized without caffeine and knowing that you are giving your body a major boost of nutrition and antioxidants before the sun rises!


Side note: consume juice immediately if made with a centrifugal machine. Cold-pressed juices (masticating) are able to keep a bit longer, but those made with a spinning blade should be drunk as soon as possible to avoid loss of nutrients. 

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 handfuls of chopped kale
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 2 slices of pineapple
  • 2 slices of lemon, peeled
  • Sliced ginger, add to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Slowly add ingredients into machine. 
  2. To get the most of your greens, put them in between other "juicier" ingredients such as pineapple and celery.
  3. Stir to combine and drink up!