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Smashed Sweet Potato with Feta and Cilantro

12 Sep

I’m starting to think if you’re not a cilantro fan this blog isn’t very kind to you. Oops!  I’ll try to post some recipes that aren’t as heavy on it. This on could easily do without it. You could add parsley instead or just leave it out all together.

A lot of the time speed and simpleness outweighs creativity when it comes to side dishes when I’m at the helm. We eat a ton of sweet potato, but usually in the form of oven fries or just plain mashed. I know, yawn.

Smashed Sweet Potato with Feta and Cilantro (courtesy of Jamie Oliver)

Serves 4


2 large sweet potatoes, quartered

1 yellow potato, quartered

1/2 a lemon

1/4 cup water

2 ounces feta cheese

1 fresh red chili, seeded and finely diced (or you could always use chili flakes if you don’t have a fresh chili)

1/3 cup of fresh cilantro

In a pot place the sweet and yellow potato and 1/2 a lemon. Make sure they all fit nice and snug. Put 1/4 cup of water in the bottom.

Place a lid on the pot, bring the water to a boil – this will take 2 secs, it’s only 1/4 cup of water. Then turn to medium high heat and steam the potatoes for about 15 minutes until completely cooked through. (You can also do this in the microwave. Just use a microwave safe dish with a tightly fitting lid and microwave on high for 15 minutes).

Get out a large cutting board (I use this cutting board to chop the chili and then just leave the chopped chili right on the board). put your cilantro on top of the diced chili and run your knife through it a few times so it’s roughly chopped. Place the feta on top and do the same to the feta.

Toss the lemon and drain any excess liquid from the pot. mash the potato very roughly with a fork. Turn the potatoes onto the cutting board on top of the other ingredients and chop and mix. This is very rough, no need to have smoothly mash potato. Just chop to mix in the cilantro, feta and chili.

Serve right off the cutting board.

How’s that for a spicy Monday?


Sesame Quinoa with Roasted Sweet Potato and Spinach

15 Apr

I wasn’t feeling well the other day and the idea of cooking an entire meal wasn’t working for me. I felt like just grabbing a simple solution on the way home that hit the spot. But when you’re not feeling well I belive (disclaimer – do not listen to me , I am probably the last person you want to listen to re: how to feel better b/c I don’t belive in pills) healthy nutritious food is the way to go. This is a simple solution that not only made me feel 100% the next day, but it also took 20 minutes to make (meaning I got to bed by 9pm).

Who out there is obsessed with Whole Foods? Ya, me, ok. I am sure I am not alone. I tried to copy one of those beautiful pre-made salads you buy at their pre-made food counter. My Mom (who is a fantastic cook) loves this concoction that Whole Foods has created. So I tried to re-create it for her. (Mom I hope you’re reading…..I know you are…you may be my only reader). The smart thing to do would have been to go and read their ingredient list b/c they post it. I didn’t. Whoops!

Sesame Quinoa with Roasted Sweet Potato and Spinach

Serves 4 as a side dish


3/4 cup of dry quinoa

2 sweet potato, diced into bite sized pieces

1 cup, packed firmly, baby spinach

1 1/2 tbsp toasted sesame oil

1/2 tbsp rice vinegar

2 tsp soy sauce (if you’re gluten-free use tamari)

Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees. toss the sweet potato pieces in a little bit of olive oil and roast on a baking sheet for 20 minutes (flipping after 10) until slightly browned.

Cook the Quinoa according to the directions on the package. Once done toss with the spinach and put the lid on the pot and leave for 5 minutes.

Add the sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce (or tamari) and roasted sweet potato and toss. Serve at room temperature or cool.

Out of respect for Whole Foods and all that they do I won’t mention the price differential. Infer what you will.

(if everyone could please ignore the random piece of quinoa on the side of the bowl. Again, alone for photography, left to my own devices. I am a maniac I tell you. I hate to admit it, but I took about 8 shots before I noticed. Then as luck would have it I decided I needed to use this shot b/c it was one of the better ones. Ya, we’ve already gone over how I suck at photography. I’m working at it (not really, my photographer has just been away).)

What is my favourite part about cooking with quinoa? protein without thinking about a protein source. Genius!

Griz Salad

5 Apr

Are you ready to have your taste buds blown? This is a bizarre combination of ingredients, piled on top of one another. The result. Unreal! (it is also completely stolen….)

In undergrad at Queen’s there was this restaurant called the Grizzly Grill. They had giant cutlery and an alright menu. every time I went I got the same thing. The Griz Salad.I would go A LOT!

Since I no longer live anywhere near Queen’s, and driving there once a week is really not an option (or so I’m told) this salad had to be created in my own kitchen.

Are you ready?

Griz Salad

Serves 4


one package of whole crimini mushrooms, cut in half

2 large sweet potatoes cut into 1/8th wedges

Olive Oil

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

2 bags of spinach (not the baby kind – the grown-up kind – nice and leafy)

1 clove of garlic, grated or pressed in a garlic press

Sour cream

Feta cheese (4 pieces, about 1 inch cubes – or more if you’d like – whatever)

Pre-heat the over to 450 degrees.

First saute the mushrooms over medium heat until soft. Add a few tbsp’s of the balsamic vinegar and cook for one more minute. Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl, cover in the rest of the balsamic vinegar and transfer to the fridge.

Toss the sweet potatoes with olive oil, arrange on a baking sheet (so they have room to breath) and place in the oven. Roast for 20 minutes (checking every 5 – you don’t want them to burn). Flip and roast for another 10 minutes. (they should have a nice golden brown crust).

While the sweet potatoes are roasting remove the stems from the spinach. Heat a large pan to medium-high heat. Add a splash of olive oil. Add the spinach and garlic. Toss until the spinach is cooked (do not over cook the spinach – remove it from the heat as soon as it is wilted).

Now comes the fun part…..on a plate put 1/4 of the spinach in the middle. Then take 4 sweet potatoes wedges and place them in a star formation leading to the middle of the spinach mound (thank god I have photos, I am doing a terrible job explaining this!). Then take 1/4 of the mushrooms and scatter around the edge of the plate. On top of the spinach place a large spoonful of sour cream and top with a piece of feta crumbled over the top.

This salad is also great with chicken. Just slice a boneless skinless breast into strips and put on the plate the same way as the sweet potato.

Every person I make this recipe for becomes completely obsessed with it, makes it non-stop for days, weeks, months on end, and then announces that they are so sick of it that they never want to eat it again. Go figure. Good luck with that!

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