perfect microwaved ‘baked’ sweet potato

You guys!!  I can’t even handle how excited I am about this sweet potato!

Perfect Microwaved 'Baked' Sweet Potato | Sweet Anna's

I know, I know…  it’s just a sweet potato.  What’s the big deal, right?

Well, here’s the big deal.

I am not a huge sweet potato fan!

Ok, so I adore my microwave sweet potato chips and that’s usually the extent of my homemade sweet potatoing.

I will also rarely say no to a plate of crispy sweet potato fries with ranch to dip them in, and I do enjoy them in a sweet & spicy curry (like this Sweet Potato Coconut Chicken Curry!) but beyond that, they just sit in my cupboard in their giant Costco bag until they slowly get chipped up or tossed away eventually.

Today, I decided to try a microwaved ‘baked’ sweet potato.  I wasn’t expecting much, but a quick filling lunch that was ‘tolerable’.  What I got was pure bliss! 

A sweet, creamy, spicy, flavorful, low-fat, gluten-free and protein-packed lunch that was so good, I was sad when it was over.

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autumn salad with maple vinaigrette and waffle croutons

*This is a sponsored post for Eggo brand waffles.  The recipe, thoughts and opinions are my own!*

autumn salad with maple vinaigrette and waffle croutons | Sweet Anna's

I was really excited about this challenge to come up with non-breakfast (as in: not just butter and syrup) uses for our favorite freezer waffles.

Actually I kind of love a challenge of any kind, but my family’s obsession with Eggo waffles made this one extra fun.

This week’s theme is Thanksgiving foods.  (Waffles on Thanksgiving?  Really?!)

Yep!   And,of course, my first thought was some kind of waffle stuffing, but that just seemed too…  I don’t know.  Too much work I guess.

Then this salad idea popped into my head and oh my word is it good.

The funny thing is, I don’t really remember serving or eating salad at any Thanksgiving dinners.  Oh, I know they must have been there, but I never got around to them.  I plan on changing that ‘salad-is-second-rate’ mindset with this one.

The combination of a maple vinaigrette with the buttery, toasted waffle croutons, toasted almonds and dried cranberries is just so much fun.

The waffle croutons are the perfect balance of crunchy and chewy and the dried cranberries are such a great complement to the tangy maple dressing.

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oven roasted curried cauliflower

Today was such a long day.  It has been hot here in cold, rainy Washington…  hot and muggy.  Ok, warm and muggy, but we’re wimpy and all this mugginess just makes us grumpy.

So, of course all I want to do all day is run my a/c with all the doors and windows shut, which is glorious and refreshing and consequently makes me want to bake.  Not sure what the correlation is, but hey…  I’ll go with it!

Yesterday it was classic, perfectly chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Today, roasted curried cauliflower.

 

We did our weekly Costco run today and I just about squealed when I saw bags of fresh cauliflower florets in the produce section.

I have been bemoaning the fact that they haven’t sold cauliflower because I pretty much only shop at Costco, and I have been seeing so many fun recipes around the web lately with cauliflower!  (Cauliflower ‘rice’, cauliflower pizza crust, cauliflower tortillas, etc. etc.)

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oven roasted cabbage

Oh my word.  How have I not had this deliciousness in my life before now??

I adore cabbage.  Always have.

My mom used to make me big bowls of steamed cabbage with butter and salt for lunch when I was little, and I have loved it that way ever since.

So, I guess I never thought about trying something new…

If it’s not broke, don’t fix it, right??

Well, I wish I had tried this years ago, because I am absolutely hooked on this new version of my beloved cabbage!

Unfortunately my sweet little nursling was not as fond of this treat as I was, so it will be a while before I will be able to make this again, but I will enjoy it oh so much when I can!

And if you think you don’t like cabbage…  try this, k?  You just might become a convert!!

oven roasted cabbage

Ingredients

  • 1 head green cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with foil.

Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage and discard. Cut the cabbage straight down into several thick slices.

Lay the slices out on the baking sheet, and then drizzle generously with olive oil and salt & pepper.

Roast for about 30 minutes, until the cabbage is starting to brown. Serve immediately, with more salt & pepper to taste!

http://sweetannas.com/2013/02/oven-roasted-cabbage.html

pasta with roasted winter veggies & browned butter

Our favorite little local farm store sells big grab bags of root veggies for roasting.  It’s so much fun to get a variety of things we might not normally try and everything tastes so great roasted together!

This last bag had carrots, purple and russet potatoes, red and golden beets and what I think are parsnips.  :o)   I added a big red onion and some garlic cloves and tossed it all in a good dose of garlic infused and regular olive oils, salt & pepper, and a bunch of dried herbs – basil, oregano & parsley.

Let me just tell ya…  from the minute this was put in the oven, the whole house smelled amazing!

Because I am a pasta addict, I decided to boil some penne and make a simple browned butter sauce to toss it all together with.  So simple, so easy, and absolutely packed full of flavor.

(Please, please serve this with freshly shaved parmesan cheese.  I was out but it would be amazing!!)

 (Please excuse this crappy iPhone picture.  I was hungry and Maren was crying!)

pasta with roasted winter veggies & browned butter

Ingredients

  • 5 lbs, or so, root veggies, variety /9carrots, potatoes, parsnips, beets...)
  • 1 large onion
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, smashed or whole
  • 1 tablespoon garlic-infused olive oil, optional
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 tablespoon, or so, dried herbs (parsley, basil & oregano)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  • freshly shaved parmesan cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

Cut all the veggies and onion into large bite-sized pieces. Place all the veggies and garlic on a large rimmed baking sheet.

Drizzle with olive oils, herbs and salt & pepper to taste. Toss well with your hands to make sure everything is coated.

Place on the second to top rack in the oven and roast for 30-45 minutes, until all the veggies are tender and golden. Remove from the oven and set aside.

While the veggies are roasting, boil a large pot of salted water and cook the noodles according to package directions.

While the water is boiling, melt a stick of butter in a large skillet (preferably light colored interior, but not necessary!) over medium heat.

Continue to cook, swirling occasionally until the butter starts to foam and then turn golden. Watch closely at this point, as it can burn easily. As soon as the butter looks golden (here's where the light-colored skillet helps!) and smells very fragrant, pull it off the heat.

Toss everything together in a large bowl or in the now drained pot and serve with freshly shaved parmesan cheese if desired!

http://sweetannas.com/2013/01/pasta-with-roasted-winter-veggies-browned-butter.html