Showing posts with label sweet potato. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sweet potato. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Shepherd's Pie with Sweet Potatoes

As I may have mentioned in previous posts, this program that I'm on is broken up into three phases. I completed the first two phases last October and November and took a bit of a break in December to enjoy the holidays. Oh sure, I still went to the gym, dabbled in some weights, maybe hopped on the treadmill for a nice stroll. Basically made my appearance.

Well, yesterday I started the last phase of the program, which is the part where you're really supposed to lean and tone. It's such a difficult phase that even the writer of the program has mentioned that it's only something you do occasionally, not as a lifestyle. And I sit here before you as a woman in pain. I never thought it was possible for a workout to BE so brutal. We now take active rests in between our sets, which means that after you completely destroy your quads by doing fifteen reps on the leg press machine, you get to hop off and shred any ounce of feeling you may have had in them by doing fifteen jump squats. Don't even think about sitting down though, you get to do that two more times...and yeah, that was only your first exercise. Get ready for an hour and a half of pain so bad you won't be able to utter a coherent sentence (no seriously, ask the poor lady who asked me if I was done using a bench, I think I just looked at her and drooled.)

However, despite how badly I may have hated it at the time, and despite the fact that I now need my husband's help to lower me onto the couch, it feels AWESOME! Exercise has the amazing capability of making all of your problems seem a bit less significant. Maybe it's because of those great endorphins, or maybe it's because you're only real problem is that you can't lift your fork to your mouth. Either way, it feels excellent after a workout knowing that you just did something great for your body.

And speaking of doing something good for your body, give this Shepherd's Pie a go. I topped it with sweet potatoes due to my newly discovered obsession with them. Where have sweet potatoes been all my life? They are so good, and they make an excellent creamy topper for this casserole filled with flavorful turkey and delicious veggies.


Best of Clean Eating, by Clean Eating Magazine


1 lb Yukon gold potatoes (or sweet potatoes) peeled and diced into 2 inch pieces
1 clove garlic, whole, plus 1 teaspoon minced, divided
2/3 cup buttermilk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
1 tablespoon chopped chives
sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 lb lean ground turkey breast
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
3 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into half moons
1 celery stalk, diced
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves (I used dried)
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup frozen peas (I used a frozen veggie medley)


Preheat oven to 375.

Bring potatoes and whole garlic clove to a boil in a pot of water set over high heat. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes, then drain well. Mash potatoes and garlic with a potato masher, ricer or food mill until smooth. Add buttermilk and chives and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat one teaspoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add turkey and cook, stirring often and breaking meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Cook until no pink remains, about eight minutes. Drain and discard fat; set turkey aside.

Heat two teaspoons oil in same skillet. Add onion carrots, celery and rosemary, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft, about eight minutes. Add reserved turkey, broth and tomato paste and continue to cook until most of liquid is absorbed, about five minutes. Stir in peas, transfer mixture to a shallow baking dish and cover with mashed potatoes in an even layer. Run a fork over top of potatoes in a crosshatch pattern or swirl with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Brush top with remaining teaspoon oil and bake in oven until filling is bubbling and top is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let stand five minutes before serving.

160 cal, 4g fat, 10g carb, 2g fiber, 4g sugar, 20g prot.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Country-Fried Steak with Mushroom Gravy

Wow, what a week! We just started Phase II of Jamie Eason's LiveFit Program, which involves a lot of lifting, a lot of cardio, and a few less calories. Needless to say, Aubrey and I are SORE. Luckily, it's also been a lot of fun. I got to do lifts I've never done before (barbell step ups, holy cow!), and I had more energy this week then I've had in a long time.

If you're familiar with Jamie Eason, you know that she's very big on Clean Eating. It's exactly what it sounds like. We eat clean, lean and as unprocessed as possible. Lots of lean meats, veggies and whole grains. We keep sugars to a bare minimum and temporarily have said goodbye to cheese, fatty meats, and junk food in general. It was a shock to my system at first, my stomach didn't know what to do without being consistently lined with fat and sugar, but I'm learning to love it. The benefits far outweigh the candy and Cheetos that I miss on occasion. I sleep better, my skin and hair seem healthier, and I haven't been sick in a long time. I'm still a firm believer in moderation and I don't think having a cookie or slice of pizza is the end of the world, but I definitely want to keep eating as clean as possible long after I'm done with this program.

Since our day to day eating is fairly basic, my husband and I decided that Sunday we would make an extra effort for a really nice dinner. This is what we had tonight and we loved it so much that I'm skipping a bunch of stuff to share it with you now. London Broil, pounded and breaded in a flavorful whole grain breading and cooked to a medium-rare. It was delicious, but the mushroom gravy was the best part, and made such a great topping to the steak and potatoes.

I made mashed potatoes by boiling red and sweet potatoes. Drain and mash with a splash of skim milk and a spoonful of greek yogurt which is tangy and makes a great substitute for sour cream. I can't even tell a difference. I highly recommend this dish, give it a try!

Country Fried Steak with Mushroom Gravy
Adapted from The Best of Clean Eating, by Clean Eating Magazine


10 ounces sliced white or cremini mushrooms
1 lb lean round steak, trimmed of fat and cut into 4 equal pieces
sea salt and black ground pepper to taste
3 tablespoons whole wheat flour, divided
2 large egg whites
3 slices whole-wheat toast (Ezekial bread), cut into 2 inch pieces
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
3 teaspoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves minced
1 cup low sodium beef broth
1/2 cup skim milk


Using a meat mallet, rolling pin or bottom of a heavy skillet, pound steaks to quarter-inch thickness. Season both sides of steaks with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Place two tablespoons of flour in a shallow dish. Place egg whites in a separate shallow dish. In a food processor, combine toast, onion, oregano, thyme and garlic powder. Process until mixture resembles bread crumbs. Transfer crumbs to a third shallow dish.

Add steaks to dish with flour and turn to coat both sides. Shake off excess flour and transfer steaks to egg whites. turn to coat both sides and transfer steaks to bread crumb mixture. Again, turn to coat both sides.

Heat two teaspoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add steaks and cook two to three minutes per side, until brown on the outside and pink on the inside. Remove from skillet and cover in foil.

Prepare gravy. Heat remaining oil in same skillet. Add sliced mushrooms and garlic and cook for about five minutes, or until liquid is released. Add beef broth and bring to a simmer. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk and remaining tablespoon of flour. Add milk mixture to mushrooms and simmer three to five minutes, until mixture thickens. Spoon gravy over steaks just before serving.

Serves 4: 313cal, 9g fat, 27g carb, 5g fiber, 35g prot, 302mg sod

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

When I was younger, the sweet potato rarely made an appearance in my life. I might see a candied yam once a year for Thanksgiving, but that was the closest I ever got to this orange spud. In fact, just this last year is the first time the sweet potato has become a common staple in our household, and thank goodness too! Not only is it versatile, sweet and totally delicious, it's also a fantastic source of fiber, and vitamins A, B, and C. Definitely something I can get behind, especially when I see my kids snarfing them down.

If you think regular mashed potatoes are a snap to make, just wait until you try these out. They take less time, require less work, and unlike regular mashed potatoes, they reheat really well (is it just me, or are regular mashed potatoes super gummy and dry the second time around). This is a fantastic side that will add a lot to your meal. Give the sweet potato a try!

Mashed Sweet Potatoes
By America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook (yes, I know I get redundant with my sources, but hey, when it's good, it's good!)


2 pounds sweet potatoes (4 small or 2 big) peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon fresh thyme (I used dry)
1 teaspoon sugar (I used Splenda)
salt and pepper
6 tablespoons half and half warmed (I used fat-free)
1 tablespoon butter, melted


1. Combine the sweet potatoes, water, thyme, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large saucepan. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes fall apart easily when poked with a fork and all of the liquid has been absorbed, 25 to 30 minutes (it look much less time for me, so check them often!)

2. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes until just a few small lumps remain. Stir in the half and half and butter, season with salt and pepper to taste, serve.

Serves 6

Per 2/3 cup serving: 170 cal, 3.5g fat, 32g carb, 3g prot, 5g fiber

Monday, January 31, 2011

Sweet Potato Fries with Honey-Cayenne Glaze

Since discovering sweet potato fries, I've become a bit obsessed with them. If they are ever offered at a restaurant, I have to order them, it's a compulsion, I don't have a choice.

A few months ago, I went to a fun and different restaurant in New Hampshire called The Friendly Toast. They had a great menu, full of items that would satisfy the carnivore and vegan alike. But the first thing that caught my eye was their sweet potato fries glazed in a spicy honey. They were to die for! I took the majority of my sandwich home in a box, but there was not a fry to speak of by the time I was done with them.

A few weeks later I did my best to recreate them. I'll never make sweet potato fries as good as restaurants can, simply because I can't bring myself to fry them. However, the honey glaze was just as good. A sprinkle of cayenne in about two tablespoons of honey, and you have yourself a different and delicious way to eat sweet potatoes. Give it a try!

Sweet Potato Fries with Honey-Cayenne Glaze


2 Sweet Potatoes, peeled and sliced into wedges
2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt and pepper
2-4 tablespoons honey
1/2-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, depending on how hot you want it


Toss sweet potato wedges, olive oil, salt and pepper until coated. Roast on a cookie sheet at 375 for about 20 minutes, or until soft and browned. Mix honey and cayenne pepper. Plate serving of fries on a plate and drizzle with desired amount of honey.

Serves 4

Friday, January 8, 2010

Sweet Potato Biscuits

I really don't know what I enjoyed more about these biscuits, making them or eating them. I don't work with sweet potatoes much, I happen to love them, but my family does not. However, I don't care how much you hate sweet potatoes, you'll like these biscuits. The sweet potato adds a wonderful softness and bright flavor to the biscuits. They are really easy to make and go wonderfully with just about any meal. My kids probably ate about ten of these!

Sweet Potato Biscuits
From My Mom


1 C cooked, drained and pureed sweet potato or winter squash
2 C all-purpose flour
1 scant t salt
3 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
2-5 T cold butter (more is better--that's what the actual recipe says!)
1/2-7/8 C plain yogurt or buttermilk


Preheat oven to 450*

Mix the dry ingredients together in bowl or food processor. Cut the butter into bits and either pulse it in the food processor or blend in standard fashion. All the butter should be thoroughly blended before proceeding.Stir in pureed sweet potatoes or winter squash into the butter-flour mixture (I just smash them with a fork!). Add only enough yogurt or buttermilk to form the dough into a ball, usually between 1/2 and 3/4 C (if your potatoes are very dry, you may need the whole 7/8 C).

Use a large spoon to stir in the yogurt or buttermilk, just until the mixture forms a ball. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it ten times; no more. If it is very sticky, add a little flour, but very little; don't worry if it sticks a bit to your hands.

Press into a 1/2" rectangle and cut into 2" rounds with a biscuit cutter or glass. Place the rounds on an ungreased baking sheet. Gently reshape the leftover dough and cut again; this recipe will produce 10-14 biscuits.

Bake 7-9 min, or until the biscuits are a golden brown. Serve within 15 minutes for them to be at their best.
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