sweet potato

Sweet Potato Soup

This week is all about the avocado. So far we've seen it in a pesto, a topping for your breakfast and today you'll see it as a garnish for a beautiful and delicious Sweet Pototo Soup. When it comes to food I know I throw around the words "favorite" and "love" a lot, but sweet potatoes and avocados are some of my favorite foods. They are definitely things I have to have year round regardless of when they are in season.

I haven't had a chance to visit the local Winter Farmers Market has just opened this weekend, but I did get to get some great organic sweet potatoes from Trader Joes. There are so many great ways to enjoy them, but this past weekend I decided to make soup. Whenever I'm in doubt of what to do with fresh veggies, I usually opt for a soup.

Like most of my soups, I start off by throwing the veggies in the oven. I just through the oven on 350, wrapped 3 sweet potatoes in tin foil, and let bake until tender. If you were trying to save time you could always microwave them but I prefer the oven. Often I'll add olive oil to whatever I'm roasting but because I would be discarding the skins, I didn't bother.

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Let the potatoes to cool slightly before touching. Slice open and scoop the flesh into a pot. Set to medium heat and add 2 cups of vegetable stock. Use a potato masher to break down to large pieces of potato. Next use your immersion blender to start blending the soup. You'll likely need more liquid, the size of the potatoes will determine how much. I ended up adding another cup of vegetable stock and a cup of coconut milk (because I had it on hand). You can stick to vegetable/chicken stock or just water depending on how thick you like your soup.

When the soup got to a simmer I turned the heat down to low. That's when I added pepper, sea salt, paprika, and a dash of cumin to taste.

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The soup itself is very simple, but it's the garnishes that make it special. Serve with cubed avocado and crushed blue tortilla chips on top and a wedge of lime on the side.

Ingredients

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 cup of low fat coconut milk
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 avocado for garnish for serving

Instructions

  • Set oven to 350. Clean sweet potatoes and dry them off.
  • Wrap sweet potatoes in foil and bake in oven about 40 mins or until fork tender.
  • Let cool slightly, and when they can be easily handled, cut open sweet potatoes and scoop out insides.
  • Begin to heat a medium to large size pot to medium low.
  • Add sweet potatoes, spices and 1 cup of coconut milk to pot. Use a masher to begin to break up sweet potato.
  • Begin to add some of the vegetable broth, about 1/2 cup at a time. Begin to puree soup with immersion blender. Continue to slowly add vegetable broth until you get to the desired thickness of soup. For thicker soup you will probably only need about 1 cup... for thinner soup, use up to 2 cups*.
  • Turn heat up until the soup starts to bubble and then return to a slow simmer and let cook for another 10 mins.
  • Serve with diced avocado, crushed tortilla chips and a squeeze of lime.
  • * The amount of vegetable stock needed varies greatly depending on the size of your sweet potatoes and preference.

Thanksgiving Egg Rolls

'Tis the season where our healthy eating habits tend to go right out the window. With Thanksgiving coming up this week I wanted to create a great appetizer that was on the healthier side. These Thanksgiving Egg Rolls are great made from scratch but can also be a great way to use your leftovers this year!

Most appetizers I see out at family gatherings are carb and fat heavy (and I'm just as guilty of making my fair share of them). We all know the difference between what is and isn't healthy, but who ever goes for the crudite spread at Thanksgiving? Your guests won't have to choose with these baked eggrolls filled with yummy healthy fall inspired ingredients. Just two of them are under 250 calories.

You can't have Thanksgiving without turkey, and being a lean meat, it made a great starting point for the filling of these egg rolls. I had dried cranberries and a fresh green apple on hand and decides I'd incorporate those great fall flavors as well. The tricky part was thinking of a binder. Most party or game-day appetizers I see are filled with shredded or cream cheese, which usually sends the calorie count through the roof.

Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite foods. They are nutrient rich, have a beautiful orange color that reminds me of autumn, and would be an excellent binder for the egg roll filling. I wanted to keep the ingredient list short, so the only other thing the filling needed was fresh thyme and sage, classic herbs used with poultry.

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For this recipe - I made everything from scratch. I roasted my turkey breast, boiled and mashed the sweet potatoes and added the extras (cranberries, apples, herbs). However, this can easily be adapted to use your Thanksgiving leftovers.

The stuffing comes together in a pinch once the other ingredients are ready. Now comes the fun part, making the egg rolls. Typically you can find egg roll wrappers in the produce section of the grocery store. I choose egg roll wrappers because they are much lighter than using a pastry or pizza dough, and they are extremely easy to work with.

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I placed 3-4 tbs of the filling in each wrapper and rolled per the instructions on the back of the package. At 400° they only take 10-15 mins to bake until crispy.

Finally, any good app needs a dipping sauce so I made a quick Mustard Yogurt sauce mixing a dijon mustard with low-fat greek yogurt and leftover thyme. If you "don't like" greek style yogurt, please give this one a chance. The taste of greek yogurt (especially plain) used to be revolting to me, but when mixed with mustard you wouldn't even guess the base of the dipping sauce was yogurt. You will save a lot of calories so you can leave more room for all those left over desserts.

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Ingredients

Filling

  • 1.5 lbs of turkey breast
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 3 tbs fresh thyme and chopped sage
  • 1.5 lbs sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries (preferably unsweetened)
  • 1/2 green apple, finely diced
  • Dash nutmeg
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Dipping Sauce

  • 1 cup Non-Fat Greek style Yogurt
  • 2 tbs Dijon Mustard (I used Trader Joe's Aioli Garlic Mustard)
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme

Egg rolls

  • 18 Wonton wrappers
  • 1 egg

Instructions

(If you are using leftovers you can skip to the instructions for the filling)

Roasting the Turkey

  • Preheat oven to 375º
  • Put turkey breasts in baking dish or sheet. Drizzle with 1 tbs of olive oil and lightly season with salt and pepper. Add 1tsp of the chopped herbs over the chicken for extra flavor while roasting.
  • Roast 30-40 mins to roast until it reaches an internal temperature of 165º. When ready, remove from oven and cover with foil.

Sweet Potato Mash

  • Peel and dice sweet potatoes.
  • Add to pot and fill with water and bring to boil.
  • Cook for about 15 mins until fork tender. Drain and return to pot.
  • Mash sweet potatoes until there are no more lumps.
  • Season with salt, pepper, and a dash of nutmeg.

Filling

  • Mix pulled/shredded turkey, mashed sweet potatoes, diced green apple, cranberries and remaining thyme and sage into large bowl.

Assembling and Baking Egg Rolls

  • Preheat oven to 400º
  • Line baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Add 3-4 tbs of filling to each egg roll wrapper, and roll per instructions on back of package.
  • Place egg rolls on baking sheet. Depending on how much filling you've added, you should get about 18 egg rolls.
  • Beat egg with a tbs of water and use a brush to coat the top of the egg rolls.
  • Bake for 10 mins, turn over, and bake another 5-8 minutes until the edges are crispy.

Dipping Sauce

  • Mix ingredients together in small bowl
  • Preheat oven to 400º

Notes

Nutritional Information*

Serving Size: 2 Egg Rolls, Calories: 222, Fat: 1.7g, Carbs: 32.5

2 tbs Mustard Yogurt Dipping Sauce, Calories: 20, Fat: 0.7g, Carbs: 0.8g

*Calculated with MyFitnessPal