Cherry BBQ Salad with Nectarine, Avocado, Sweet Potato, Basil, & Tempeh

Salad with Cherry BBQ Dressing by Produce with Amy“There was something rather blousy about roses in full bloom, something shallow and raucous, like women with untidy hair.” – Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)

Rose Collage

The last of the peonies.It has been a cool summer in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and my garden has not been doing well. I kept things simple this year and have six tomato plants, spinach and kale, beans, peas, squash, a couple of cucumbers, and herbs. My flowers are flourishing but sadly I said goodbye to the peonies this weekend. They weeped nearly all their petals on the lawn and at the same time my white rose erupted into bloom. It is punctual since last year it opened its petals around Independence Day as well.

One thing that I make sure that I take advantage of in the summer is the offering of fruit and berries available at the grocers. Last week I purchased cherries, nectarines, plums, watermelon, and strawberries.Cherries

Since I love fruit on salads I wanted to create a combination that involved cherries. I have been experimenting with making my own BBQ sauce and decided that I would allow a sweet and tangy sauce inspire my salad dressing.

The resulting Cherry BBQ Salad Dressing was pleasing and I knew that it had to be shared. To make it a dressing I added extra vinegar. If you want to use it as a BBQ sauce you can reduce the amount of vinegar in the recipe and it will be sweeter and thicker. It can be tweaked to your personal taste. My recipe is rather mild tasting and you could add more garlic, liquid smoke, and your favorite spices. I think it would also work well as a marinade.

Cherry BBQ Dressing by Produce with AmyCHERRY BBQ DRESSING (Printable recipe below)

  • 1 1/2 cup of fresh, pitted cherries (frozen would work)
  • 3/4 – 1 cup of vinegar (I used raw apple cider vinegar. I like tart dressing but if you do not, I suggest a little at a time. You can always use water to thin the dressing if it is too thick. Use a Tablespoon or so of vinegar if you want to use it as a sauce, unless you like your BBQ extra tangy)
  • 8 ounces of tomato sauce
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon of onion
  • 1 Tablespoon of Molasses (Add more if you like your dressing sweeter. You could also use brown sugar or your favorite sweetener but I like the flavor of molasses)
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (if you follow a plant-based diet you can find many recipes on-line. Here is the one that I used.)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Sprig of fresh oregano (about three inches long. Could use a teaspoon of dried)
  • Tablespoon of fresh chives (I have chives in my garden so in the summer I use them in most dishes)
  • 1/8-1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil (I omit the oil and add it to each salad instead for portion control)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Blend dressing well and make final tweaks in ingredients based on your personal taste. This recipe made 2 and 1/4 cups of dressing. I will be using it this week as a marinade for grilling. Because the vinegar acts as a preservative, homemade dressing will last over a month in the refrigerator. I store my dressing in a Mason jar with a metal lid.

 

Ingredients for Cherry BBQ SaladCHERRY BBQ SALAD WITH NECTARINE, AVOCADO, SWEET POTATO, BASIL, & TEMPEH

Cherry BBQ Jar Salad by Produce with AmyI used the following ingredients to make two jar salads and two plated salads, so I divided each ingredient into four. If you are new to Mason jar salads you may want to read this post.

  • Cherry BBQ Dressing (I use 3-4 Tablespoons per salad. Since I make my own dressing and add the oil separately, I am able to use more dressing)
  • Extra virgin olive oil (2 teaspoons per salad)
  • 2 large sweet potatoes cubed and divided into four. (I scrubbed well, left the peeling on, wrapped in tinfoil, and baked. One of the heating elements is out in my oven so I check often until the potato is soft. If your oven is working correctly, I would suggest 30-45 minutes at 350-400 degrees. I know – a food blogger with a broken oven? 😉 A new one is on our long list of items that we have to purchase but our budget does not allow us to do so now…one of these days.)
  • 3 sliced avocado  
  • 2 sliced nectarines 
  • 4 Tablespoons fresh chopped basil ( I topped the nectarine with the basil since I enjoy the flavor combination)
  • 4 small onions,  caramelized (cut the onions into rings and cook on low in the oil of Cherry BBQ Tempeh by Produce with Amyyour choice until brown and soft. I used coconut oil)
  • 40 cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1 small package (8 ounces) of tempeh. Dip the tempeh in the Cherry BBQ Dressing and sear in a hot pan with oil for a couple of minutes. (I do try to limit my soy intake but this tempeh is fantastic. My husband does eat meat so the next time I will use meat for him since he is not a huge fan of tempeh and I do not like to give him soy. As an alternate protein source for myself I may add raw nuts or white beans)
  • One bag of spinach (or greens of your choice)

*Note – you can serve the tempeh and the onions warm or cold.

Printable RecipeCHERRY BBQ Salad

Cherry BBQ Salad with Sweet Potatoes, Avocado, and Nectarines

This salad speaks loudly of summer and I love all the lush textures and flavors. If you are interested, check out my other salad recipes and my other salad dressing recipes.

Cherry BBQ Salads

Here are other recipes that incorporate cherries: Scarlet Salads in a Jar with Cherry Chipotle Vinaigrette

Cherry Almond Coconut Shake

Cherry Limeade Green Smoothie

Please make sure you stop by my Facebook page, sign up for email updates of my posts, and follow my posts on Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, and Twitter.

BBQ Cherry Jar Salad by Produce with Amy

Cherry BBQ Salad Dressing or Sauce by Produce with Amy

 

Summer is the perfect time to experiment with fresh produce and find out what suits your taste buds. I promise to keep posting fresh and tantalizing recipes and if you try one, let me know what you think. I wish you a summer filled with healthy choices and time to appreciate the outdoors. Thank you for joining me on the journey to eat more fruit and vegetables.

Bloom

Pink Peony

Cherry BBQ Salad Plate by Produce with Amy

Advertisements

Chocolate Raspberry Mousse-Shake

Chocolate Raspberry Mousse-Shake with Avocado by Produce with Amy

“Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again…”
~Mary
Oliver

After a relaxing weekend Monday arrived with a blustery surprise. I thought that my husband Mike was joking when he woke me up and told me that I had a snow day off of work today. However, he was not kidding. Outside our window stretched a fresh landscape of white. I think that this makes #10 for the year ~ but who can keep track? 

Homemade bread toasted and spread with sun-dried hummus and topped with broccoli sprouts and capers. A side of quinoa tabbouleh, tomatoes, and Chicago style hot peppers.

Homemade bread toasted and spread with sun-dried hummus and topped with broccoli sprouts and capers. A side of quinoa tabbouleh, tomatoes, and Chicago style hot peppers.

What else is there to do but make the most of the morning and take advantage of extra down time. I enjoyed a breakfast with leftovers from my weekend food prep. If you have been following my blog you know that during the school year I utilize my weekends to make jarred salads, soup, homemade bread, and even make and freeze breakfast for my husband.

Normally, I have a green smoothie for breakfast but today since I had fresh hummus and tabbouleh in the refrigerator I decided to let that dictate my

Israeli Feast Jar Salads

Israeli Feast Jar Salads

breakfast. The hummus and tabbouleh was leftover from my Israeli Feast Jarred Salads. Here is a link to my Mason Jar Salads if you interested in my different combinations.

The jar salads have really transformed our meals. I take one to work each day for lunch and my husband eats one for dinner. I pour his out on a plate and rotate each night a different kind of protein on top. Add a cup of soup and you have a quick and convenient meal. Plus, the glass jars and metal lids help the salads stay fresh all week.  They eliminate throwing out costly produce and since a one quart jar holds over four cups, it is a great way to get more vegetables into your diet.

Mike's Jar Salads

Mike’s Jar Salad

I think that the time that I invest in food prep is a worthy investment. The last thing that I feel like doing when I get home from work is chopping up ingredients for a salad. I promise you that it is time well spent. Many of my Weight Watchers members make the salads and have found that they really help them stay on program and make healthier food choices.
Mason Jar Salad Prep

My weekend produce purchase which helps guarantee a healthy week.

My weekend produce purchase which helps guarantee a healthy week.

Today’s recipe that I am sharing is one that shows how wistful for spring I am. In the past few weeks I have shared a few Dessert Smoothie/Shake recipes. With summer approaching I wanted to share some dairy-free ice cream substitutes that will help satisfy a sweet tooth but still remain healthy. Over the past few years I have virtually eliminated refined sugar from my diet and find that the natural sugars in fruit helps me manage my hunger and I feel better.

This recipe tastes decadent but is packed with nutrients. It gets its luscious and creamy texture from avocado and its sweetness from a frozen banana. I know what many people may say. Avocado and chocolate? Yes, and please trust me. Avocado is technically a fruit and it contains healthy fat and an assortment of nutrients. It takes on the taste of both sweet and savory ingredients and I love to add them to my green smoothies. They make are a fantastic dairy-free alternate to add body to creamy desserts and even salad dressing. I often say that I could probably eat cardboard if it was smeared with avocado. 😉

I called this dessert a mousse-shake because it has the texture of a mousse. In fact, I ate half of this shake with a spoon and I think it would be elegant enough to serve at a dinner party. My version is only slightly sweet so if you prefer it to be sweeter you could add your sweetener of choice (maple syrup, agave, organic raw sugar, or even raw honey).

Plant-Based Chocolate Raspberry Shake with Avocado by Produce with Amy
CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY MOUSSE SHAKE

  • 1/2-3/4 cup of cold coconut water
  •  1/8 of a cup of raw almonds (I like to make my own almond milk to avoid the additives found in store bought varieties)
  • (I soaked them overnight which increases their nutrients, helps make them softer, and makes them easier to digest)
  • 1 small, ripe avocado 
  • 1 small frozen banana (you may add more banana if you like it sweeter)
  • 6 ounces of raspberries (I bought fresh raspberries and frozen them for 30 minutes before blending so they would be cold. You could also add a few ice cubes)
  • 1 Tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder (add as little or as much as you like)
  • Garnish with Cacao Nibs (I purchase in the bulk section of our local food coop)

Printable recipe: CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY MOUSSE SHAKE

Pin it HERE.

Chocolate Raspberry Dessert by Produce with AmyI hope that you enjoy this recipe and that you are finding, or will find, my posts helpful. Cooking and coming up with healthy recipes is my passion and I love being able to share this obsession with others. Please make sure you stop by my Facebook page, sign up for email updates of my posts, and follow me on Pinterest.

I love hearing from those who try my recipes and I appreciate your feedback and support. It keeps me inspired when I know that others are enjoying the food combinations that I create. Stay tuned, I am anxious for summer to get here so I can shop our local farmers markets! Have a wonderful day and thank you for joining me on the journey to eat more fruit and vegetables.
RaspberriesHealthy Chocolate Raspberry Dessert

 

 

Verdant Salad with Spring Green Vegetables

Verdant Salad with Spring Green Vegetables ~ Produce with Amy“If you wish to make anything grow, you must understand it, and understand it in a very real sense. ‘Green fingers’ are a fact, and a mystery only to the unpracticed. But green fingers are the extensions of a verdant heart.” 
― Russell Page, The Education of a Gardener

April 4It feels a bit outlandish to be sharing this recipe today.  A few weeks ago in the creation process, I imagined finishing this blog post on a clear spring day. The kind of day that makes you want to rush out and hang freshly laundered sheets on the line and brew up a pitcher of iced green tea with fresh mint leaves. I should have know better.

As I type, Mother Nature is brewing up a storm with violent snow squalls and over a foot of snow is predicted across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. At least I know that I am not alone when I say that I am aching for green grass, spring flowers, and the opportunity to poke seeds down into a plot of damp earth. Instead, today I made the most of a quiet house and replaced visions of iced tea with a steaming bowl of homemade Hot & Sour Soup and watched with wonderment the blizzard churn outside.

In preparation of the storm I did go to the grocers yesterday. Our freezer was rather bare so I made soup for the whole month and froze all but a few servings.

A sampling of yesterday's produce on the kitchen island and my husband upcycled from an old table.

A sampling of yesterday’s produce on the kitchen island and my husband upcycled from an old table.

Shellac ManicureYet, I did not forget that it was spring break and before the chore of shopping and food prep, I did treat myself to a shellac manicure.

My friend Jackie Johnson has been working her magic on my nails since fall and I find that a manicure perks up my mood and gives me something pretty to anticipate. Each time I go, I love to pick out a different color and this week was no exception. I decided that with gray skies and giant snow banks in the horizon, the brighter the color the better, and I indulged in a vibrant orange hue. The color speaks to me the intensity of spring tulips after a long winter and feels as fresh as juicy citrus.

ManicureIncidentally, if you are in the Marquette, Michigan area ~make sure that you make an appointment with Jackie at Lakeshore Skin Care. Jackie’s new clients get 20% off for the first visit with her and 20% off for each sixth visit. She also does regular manicures and spa chair pedicures. Jackie is full of spunk and sparkle and she makes your visit comfortable and entertaining (make an appointment at 273-0512).

Take my word for it, you will be hooked on the shellac manicure and you are worth the pampering! As we often talk about in my Weight Watchers meetings, rewards are important in our journey and when we make an investment in ourselves we feel stronger, empowered, and more capable of taking on challenges. A manicure is the perfect reward because it serves as a constant anchor and reminder of our commitment.

Even though it may not look like spring outside my window, I am excited to share my spring salad idea with you. It combines fresh green vegetables with a zingy Asian inspired ginger dressing. In case you do not enjoy ginger, I will also include a Mexican inspired dressing that I use with my Confetti Salad. I have made the salad both ways and they were equally delicious.

This recipe did render a large bowl (approximately eight cups) so you might want to cut the recipe in half if you want to enjoy a couple of meals and not for the whole week. However, it is so pretty and flavorful that it would be a great dish for a gathering. It is perfect for an event because it is a recipe that can be made in advance and the flavor improves as it marinates.
Verdant Salad by Produce with Amy

VERDANT SALAD WITH SPRING GREEN VEGETABLES

  • 2 cups of edamame
  • 2 cups of chopped asparagusVerdant Salads with Avocado
  • 2 cups of chopped broccoli
  • 2 cubed avocados
  • 1 cup of chopped celery
  • 1 lime (juice and zest)
  • 1/2 bunch of chopped cilantro (since cilantro is an acquired taste you could use parsley if you are not fond of cilantro)
  • 1/4 cup of chopped onion (I used red because I had some leftover from another recipe but I would recommend green onions to match the green theme)
  • 1/8-1/4 cup of rice vinegar
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • Fresh minced ginger root (to taste. Since ginger is strong I would recommend adding a little at a time. I like the taste of ginger so I used a 1 inch piece)
  • 2 Tablespoons of toasted sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon tamari (or soy sauce)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Alternate dressing (for those who are not fans of ginger…which is also an acquired taste)

  • 2 limes (juice and zest)
  • 1 jalapeno (finely chopped)
  • 1 large clove of minced garlic
  • 1 bunch of chopped green onions
  • 1/8 cup of vinegar (I used raw apple cider vinegar)
  • 1/8-1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • Homemade Taco Seasoning (to taste. I ended up adding approximately 1 Tablespoon)
  • Salt and pepper to tasteBlanching involves a quick immersion in boiling water and placing the vegetable instantly in an ice bath. This process allows the asparagus to turn vibrant green and remain crisp.

I blanched the asparagus and broccoli by immersing it in boiling water for two-three minutes and directly dropping it into an ice-bath. This brings out the best of the nutrients in they vegetables but they still retain a pleasant crispness.

Add all of the ingredients to the bowl (you may want to add the avocado last so it retains some of its shape). Stir, serve, and enjoy!

Printable recipe: VERDANT SALAD WITH SPRING GREEN VEGETABLES

Pin it HERE.
Verdant Salad with Spring Green Vegetables Lettuce Wrap by Produce with Amy

This salad would make a wonderful layer to a Mason jar salad or it would be great in a lettuce wrap. If you are interested in a another spring salad check out my Summon Spring Jarred Salads with Asparagus, Strawberries, and Pineapple Vinaigrette. While you are at it, make sure that you check out all my other salads. Make sure you follow my posts via email and stop by my Facebook page and give it a like. Please let me know if you try any of my recipes. I love to hear from individuals who are also embracing a healthy lifestyle and finding ways to eat more fruit and vegetables.

To all my readers who are still gazing at a winter landscape out the window, hold on tight. Spring will be here soon and it will be glorious and sweet. Until then, wrap yourself in some color and do something special to spoil yourself. Ladies, trust me on the shellac manicure. Gentlemen, do not forget, your nails need pampering too. Take care and remember that taking time to prepare fresh meals may be time consuming, but it is an investment in your health. Thanks for stopping by and cheers to thriving together!

The view outside my window this afternoon.

The view outside my window this afternoon.

 

Verdant Salad with Spring Green Vegetables and Dressing Two Ways by Produce with Amy

Tackle Spring Fever with Avocado and White Bean Salad ~ and a Healthy Dose of Friendship

Avocado and White Bean Salad

Avocado is by far my favorite food. The taste and texture is luxurious and it is packed with healthy properties.

Avocado is by far my favorite food. The taste and texture is luxurious and it is packed with healthy properties.

 

“…the avocado is a food without rival among the fruits, the veritable fruit of paradise.” 
— David Fairchild

 

 

This post comes to you straight from snow day #9. Yes, that is correct. NINE snow days and I have a feeling that it will not be the last. This morning when we opened our family room drapes we were faced with a hulking drift of snow.

March Madness defined.

March Madness defined.

Our poor little house engulfed in snow banks

Our poor little house engulfed in snow banks

Though we live in town, our house is nearly obscured from the road. Mike had to fire up the snow blower so he could get to his classes at Northern Michigan University (they opened up campus at noon today). Strangely enough it is the first day back to classes after Spring Break. Obviously, Mother Nature did not get the memo.

As the Upper Peninsula digs out from an early St. Patrick’s Day 

Mike takes a break from snow plowing with his best friend, Phoebe. He just finished telling me that if I had a Subaru (like he does) instead of a Jeep that there would be no need for snow blowing our drive. ;)

Mike, with his best friend Phoebe,  takes a break from snow blowing. He just finished telling me that if I had a Subaru (like he does) instead of a Jeep that there would be no need for snow blowing our drive. 😉

storm, I took advantage of another day to decompress, grade, read, and write. I also made a comforting and filling pot of Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili (recipe will be shared at the end of my post).

I am always thankful for time off to reflect and recommit to my healthy goals. This weekend Mike and I made time for each other on Saturday. We had a lunch date and after going grocery shopping decided to enjoy a walk in snowy Marquette and spontaneously stopped at a few local establishments.

Mike took this photo from the North Star Lounge at The Landmark Inn with the panoramic feature on his iPhone 5.

Mike took this photo from the North Star Lounge at The Landmark Inn with the panoramic feature on his iPhone 5.

Another cool photo of Marquette. In the distance you can see the historic ore dock. ~Photo by Mike Laitinen

Another cool photo of Marquette. In the distance you can see the historic ore dock.
~Photo by Mike Laitinen

While traipsing around we were thrilled when we ran into my friend Paula Diedrich and her husband Todd. Paula and I have been keeping each other accountable to blogging. We have been friends for over a decade and have traveled and worked on many projects together with the Upper Peninsula Writing Project. Paula exhibits endless energy as a dedicated mom, wife, writer, educator, student teacher mentor, leader of professional development workshops, and in 2013 launched her fantastic new blog, Hat of Many Colors.

You can tell by the smiles on both of our faces how much a night out with friends was appreciated. ~Photo by Todd Diedrich

You can tell by the smiles on both of our faces how much a night out with friends was appreciated. ~Photo by Todd Diedrich

I am thankful for Paula’s encouragement and I think that having a support network is so important in achieving goals. This holds true with my writing, teaching, and my Weight Watchers journey.

I have so many ideas for future blog posts and the key is to MAKE time to write. It is fulfilling to know that people are reading my posts and that I can share tips and recipes. Today’s post is a recipe that I tried for my WW group’s February Recipe Round-Up and comes from one of my favorite Vegan blogs, Healthy. Happy. Life. When I saw Kathy Patalsky’s recipe for Veggie-Loaded Avocado White Bean Salad on Toast I was in awe. Kathy’s photos are stunning and really brought the salad to life. The recipe was a keeper and I cannot wait to experiment with different variations. Kathy’s recipe kept in the refrigerator for quite a few days and made a fine lunch option and I had it for dinner with a cup of soup.

All the ingredients for this hearty and satisfying salad.

All the ingredients for this hearty and satisfying salad.

  • 1 16 oz. can drained and rinsed beans (Kathy’s recipe calls for cannellini but I only had garbanzo beans on hand. They worked well in the recipe. Next time I will use cannellini beans since they are softer.)100_0981
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/3 cup onion, diced
  • 1 small carrot, chopped
  • 1/2 cup spinach, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (I used raw apple cider vinegar and added extra since I like my food very tangy)
  • 1 lemon, juiced (I used a few tablespoons of lime juice)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh tangerine or orange juice and a pinch of zest (I used orange)
  • 2 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon hemp or sunflower seeds (I used hemp seeds)
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste

Kathy’s recipe also calls for 2 tsp white miso paste. I did not have any on hand so I used a couple splashes of low sodium soy sauce.If you do not follow a plant based meal plan, you could sub out the nutritional yeast and/or hemp seeds for some plain fat free Greek yogurt.

The recipe rendered four ~ 1/2 cup servings. WW members can run through the Recipe Builder for Point Plus totals. While avocado may be a bit “pointy” I think that it is PP well spent since avocado contains so many healthy nutrients.

I used a fork to mash the beans.

I used a fork to mash the beans.

I added the avocado and mashed them in well.

I added the avocado and mashed them in well.

Chop up the onion and carrot.

Chop up the onion and carrot.

Fold in the onion and carrot to the bean and avocado mixture.

Fold in the onion and carrot to the bean and avocado mixture.

Add the Hemp Seed and Nutritional Yeast

Add the Hemp Seed and Nutritional Yeast

I love my Microplane for citrus zest.

I love my Microplane for citrus zest.

Add the zest, orange juice, and vinegar.

Add the zest, orange juice, and vinegar.

I use pink Himalayan salt.  We purchased this Himalayan salt lantern at the Rusted Buffalo in Asheville, North Carolina. It is said to have many air purification properties and I love the glow it imparts on the room.

I use pink Himalayan salt. We purchased this Himalayan salt lantern at the Rusted Buffalo in Asheville, North Carolina. It is said to have many air purification properties and I love the glow it imparts on the room.

I toasted up a piece of Ezekiel bread to serve the Avocado and White Bean salad on. This bread is amazing, filling, high in protein, and contains no added sugar.

I toasted up a piece of Ezekiel bread to serve the Avocado and White Bean salad on. This bread is amazing, filling, high in protein, and contains no added sugar.

This salad looks as good as it tastes.

This salad looks as good as it tastes.

I cannot wait to try this again. I think it would be delicious with fresh cilantro.

I cannot wait to try this again. I think it would be delicious with fresh cilantro.

Even when I am eating alone I love to make up a fancy plate. They say that we feast with our eyes first.

Even when I am eating alone I love to make up a fancy plate. They say that we feast with our eyes first.

Athena our kitty was napping the day that I snapped these photos. I guess Phoebe decided that she would be in the stand-in photo bomber. ;)

Athena our kitty was napping the day that I snapped these photos. I guess Phoebe decided that she would be in the stand-in photo bomber. 😉

I tried this recipe on February 22nd and I was already experiencing a major case of spring fever. I dusted off some rose colored Fiestaware from my collection and had daydreams of pink flowers: tulips, bleeding hearts, lilies, and peonies. Until May or June (or maybe July), I suppose these pretty dishes will have to do!

Pink Fiesta Tower

Pink Fiesta Tower

Pretty in Pink

Pretty in Pink

Spring Fever

Spring Fever

Today I made a large pot of the recipe I came up with for Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili. It is one of my favorite “healthy comfort foods” and Mike loves it as well.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili

Sautee the following in 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil (or oil of choice)

  •   1 cup chopped onion     
  •  2 cups chopped celery   
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic     
  • 1 green bell pepper

Add the following:

  • 28 oz canned tomatoes (I used a small can of Rotel with green chilis and my mom’s garden tomatoes)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 cups diced sweet potato
  • 2 cups corn
  • 6 cups cooked black beans
  • chili power, salt, and pepper to taste
  • simmer for 45-60 minutesToday I also added whole wheat elbow macaroni to the chili to bulk it up.

I serve this chili with freshly chopped cilantro, a squirt of lime, and cubed avocado. You could also add a dollop of sour cream or Plain FF Greek yogurt, and/or cheese.This recipe produces 15 one cup servings.

I wish I could end my post by saying that spring is right around the corner. Unfortunately, that may not be the case for the U.P. of Michigan. Though we know that eventually the warm weather will find us. Until then we must find ways to keep hope in our hearts. Nourish yourself with healthy food and make an eye-catching presentation with a pretty dishes and/or place setting. Stop, savor, and enjoy every bite. For even more enjoyment, share your feast with a friend. I am so happy that Mike and I ran into Paula and Todd this weekend. As Paula said,  it was “a chance meeting with so many good things as a result.” We are thankful for our network of support and the blessings that are bestowed on us. We will have to make time to get together soon!