Sweet potato muffins

Sweet potato muffins | Me & The Moose. These one-bowl, whole grain muffins sneak in some vegetables at breakfast, lunch, or snack time. #sweetpotatomuffins #meandthemoose #sweet potatorecipes #thanksgiving #healthybaking

Thanksgiving is here! I love this holiday and the season that follows, but there are definite downsides. I’ve talked about keeping expectations in check with kids and holidays. And while it’s exciting and fun that there’s always something going on: Making cookies, making gifts, buying gifts, wrapping gifts, listening to music, decorating, holiday events, holiday parties, holiday-themed school things, concerts, visiting relatives, etc, it can be…a lot. And for a little one like mine who’s always searching for his equilibrium, it can be.. A WHOLE LOT.

Sweet potato muffins | Me & The Moose. These one-bowl, whole grain muffins sneak in some vegetables at breakfast, lunch, or snack time. #sweetpotatomuffins #meandthemoose #sweet potatorecipes #thanksgiving #healthybaking

So, let’s not add even more by completely abandoning our commitment to balanced eating, mkay?

These sweet potato muffins are a fantastic “sweet” to have around. They feel festive and would certainly make a fitting Thanksgiving breakfast to watch in front of the parade or DOG SHOW (!!!!!!!), but are just sweet enough thanks to the applesauce, a few Tbsp of brown sugar divided between the batter and the muffin tops, a handful of golden raisins, and sweet potatoes.

And did I mention that they only require one bowl? You’ll have enough dishes this week.

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A couple of notes:
- Chop the sweet potatoes into 1/3-1/2 inch chunks. Any bigger and they may not soften enough during baking, but if you shred them, they disappear and make the batter a bit too wet.
- This is a thick batter, almost dough-like in consistency. Don’t worry. It always puffs up well in the oven and results in an airy, light muffin.

Sweet potato muffins | Me & The Moose. These one-bowl, whole grain muffins sneak in some vegetables at breakfast, lunch, or snack time. #sweetpotatomuffins #meandthemoose #sweet potatorecipes #thanksgiving #healthybaking

Sweet potato muffins

4 Tbsp butter or coconut oil, partially melted
½ cup applesauce
1 egg 
1/2 cup brown sugar, divided  
3/4 cup yogurt 
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup wheat flour 
1 cup white flour 
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda 
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt 
1 medium sweet potato, cut into tiny squares (about 1.5 cups)
¼ cup golden raisins

Move your oven rack to the bottom or lower middle portion of the oven. Preheat to 375.

In a large bowl, partially melt the butter or coconut oil. Microwave it for a few seconds until it just begins to liquify, but is still partially solid.

Mix in the applesauce, egg, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, yogurt, and vanilla extract. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined and no streaks of flour remain.

Add the chopped sweet potatoes and raisins and stir again to combine.

Spoon the batter into the cups of a muffin tin, filling about 3/4 of the way. Top each muffin with a large pinch or two of brown sugar.

Bake for 18-22 minutes until firm to the touch and a tester in the middle comes out clean. Check after 12-15 minutes and cover if the sugar browns too fast.

Sweet potato muffins | Me & The Moose. These one-bowl, whole grain muffins sneak in some vegetables at breakfast, lunch, or snack time. #sweetpotatomuffins #meandthemoose #sweet potatorecipes #thanksgiving #healthybaking

Chai spiced sweet potato and orange oatmeal

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We're back from a very impromptu trip to Disney during which we ate primarily ice cream, sausages, and french fries. It was really nice to worry mostly about having fun for a few days, but our diets definitely took a hit. To reverse course, we're pushing the veggies, even at breakfast. 

This puree is delicious with oatmeal, yogurt, or on its own. Though the chai mixture contains a lot of different spices, the end result is very mild. And yes, I realize that "Chai" actually means tea, but I think Starbucks has conditioned us all to use "Chai" as shorthand for versions of this spice combo.

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I boiled the sweet potatoes here, but feel free to use the microwave, steamer, or oven if that suits you better. I find boiling to be the fastest and easiest method.

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Though it's more work, use whole oranges instead of orange juice since the juice doesn't have nearly as much fiber as the actual fruit.

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Chai spiced sweet potato and orange oatmeal

Chai spice mixture:
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cardamom
¼ tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
¼ tsp fennel seeds
1/8 tsp salt

For the puree:
1 lb sweet potatoes (1 x-large or two small), peeled and cubed
2-3 large oranges, peeled
water (as needed)
1-1½  tsp chai spice mix

Cube potatoes and place in a medium saucepan. Add water until just covered or until the potatoes just start to float.

Bring to a boil over high flame. Once boiling, turn the flame down to medium. You want a strong simmer, but not a boil. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender, but not falling apart.

Drain and add to the blender. Peel and add oranges and 1 tsp of chai spice mixture. Blend until combined, pausing to scrape down the sides as needed. Hold off on adding water until the oranges are fully broken down because you won't likely need more liquid. If the mixture is too dry, add 1 Tbsp of water at a time until you've reached your desired consistency.

Yield: 2.5-3 cups or 22-25 oz

 

To eat with oatmeal:
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 cup water
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup chai spiced sweet potato and orange puree
2 Tbsp toasted coconut flakes (unsweetened)
1 Tbsp juice-sweetened dried cranberries
1 Tbsp maple syrup (optional)

 Yield: One serving

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Sweet potato peanut noodles

I love love love peanut noodles, sesame noodles, and basically any noodle with a creamy, nutty, salty sauce, as does my child. He likes to pretend he can use chop sticks (he's actually pretty good, considering) and make a huge mess. It's adorable.

But peanut noodles don't exactly make a "feel good" meal. So I swapped out the soba or lo mein noodles that are the usual base for this dish and used swoodles instead and they're fantastic. A little bit crunchy and just a tiny bit sweet to balance out the salty sauce. Yum. The toddler agrees.

I like to saute the noodles briefly with a little olive oil and a hot pan. Really, you just need a few minutes to take away the rawness of the sweet potatoes. I don't look for any color, just a slight opaqueness. You aren't really cooking the noodles, just making them not raw, if that makes any sense. I'm guessing you could eat them totally raw and it would be fine, I just haven't done it. I also feel like swoodles beat zoodles in a "could this pass for pasta" contest, hands down. And vegetables! If you don't have a spiralizer, you could just use a vegetable peeler to make long, thin noodles. 

I've tried many different recipes and have winged it many times in making peanut noodles, but I always come back to Smitten's recipe. It's a little lighter than your typical peanut sauce because Deb swaps in some tahini for peanut butter. I always want to add tahini to this dish, but never seem to get the right balance when adapting other recipes. I add one more Tbsp of peanut butter and use an even 4 Tbsp of soy sauce because I really like peanut butter and salt. I also use half of the sugar because the sweet potato noodles are already sweet, but other than that, I use the recipe as written. I love it.

This base is also perfect with just some crisp cucumbers on top, but you could also add edamame, leftover protein, dried seaweed, toasted sesame seeds, and ANY other raw, steamed, or roasted veggies. You could kind of use this as a base for a noodle bowl. This is also the perfect accompaniment to turkey dumplings.

Sweet potato peanut noodles

1 extra large sweet potato (about 1 lb), peeled and spiralized
1 Tbsp avocado or other neutral oil
2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 Tbsp tahini
2 Tbsp peanut butter
4 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
½ Tbsp brown sugar
1-inch piece of peeled fresh ginger
1 medium garlic clove

Heat 1 tbsp of avocado or other neutral oil in a pan over medium flame. Add the sweet potato noodles and sauté for 5 minutes until the potatoes are slightly opaque. Flip the noodles and cook for about 5 minutes more. Let cool.

In a food processor or blender, combine all the ingredients from sesame oil to the garlic and blend until smooth.

Toss the noodles with the sauce and serve. Also, this dish lasted for quite some time in the fridge and maintained its crunch and freshness for at least 1 week.

Yield: about 4 servings

Burgers! Burgers! Burgers!

Buffalo chicken burger | Me & The Moose. This Whole 30-compliant burger is perfect for lunch or dinner or game day snacks. Throw an egg on top and it could also be breakfast. #meandthemoose #whole30 #whole30recipes #burgers #easydinner #quickdinner #dinnerrecipes #lunch #lunchrecipes #gamedaysnacks #buffalochickenburger

Buffalo chicken and cauliflower burgers and salmon and sweet potato burgers are on heavy rotation in our house, especially during Whole 30. Throw an egg on top and it's breakfast. Add some roasted veggies or a mashed sweet potato and it's lunch. Chop one up and throw it over a salad for some extra protein with more flavor than plain old chicken or salmon. See? Versatile. Also, both of these are M's favorites.

Salmon and sweet potato burger | Me & The Moose. This Whole 30-compliant burger is perfect for lunch or dinner and has a hint of sweetness for those sweet cravings that plague every Whole 30-er. Throw an egg on top and it could also be breakfast. #meandthemoose #whole30 #whole30recipes #burgers #easydinner #quickdinner #dinnerrecipes #lunch #lunchrecipes #salmon #salmonburger #sweetpotato

I especially like eating the buffalo chicken burgers on Sundays because they feel like a game day indulgence. If you're heading to a party, make these into sliders or meatballs and bring them with you. No one will know they're Whole 30 and you'll have something great to eat so you can fearlessly be social while also sticking with this re-set you've taken on.

The salmon and sweet potato burgers are clutch when I'm craving sushi. We're lucky that M loves salmon, so it's not hard to stack his diet with Omega-3s. But I hate the way the salmon smell lingers in our small apartment when we cook it on the stove, so this recipe utilizes canned wild salmon that, frankly, doesn't necessarily smell better, but definitely smells less.  

Buffalo chicken burger | Me & The Moose. This Whole 30-compliant burger is perfect for lunch or dinner or game day snacks. Throw an egg on top and it could also be breakfast. #meandthemoose #whole30 #whole30recipes #burgers #easydinner #quickdinner #dinnerrecipes #lunch #lunchrecipes #gamedaysnacks #buffalochickenburger

Did I mention that I FINALLY had success making my own pickles this weekend? I used Smitten Kitchen's recipe, but swapped out dill for a few cloves of smashed garlic because I hate dill.

Salmon and sweet potato burger | Me & The Moose. This Whole 30-compliant burger is perfect for lunch or dinner and has a hint of sweetness for those sweet cravings that plague every Whole 30-er. Throw an egg on top and it could also be breakfast. #meandthemoose #whole30 #whole30recipes #burgers #easydinner #quickdinner #dinnerrecipes #lunch #lunchrecipes #salmon #salmonburger #sweetpotato

On the side, we've been serving sweet potato, purple carrot, and delicata squash fries. To roast, heat the oven to 425, cover your pan with parchment paper, spray the paper with olive oil, toss your vegetables onto the trays, add a few glugs of olive oil and a generous pinch of salt, and roast for 20-25 minutes, until you get the browning you want on the outside. I check them after about 10-15 minutes and give the tray a good shake to flip some pieces over. I've heard that one trick to getting crispier oven fries is to heat the pans ahead of time, but I never notice enough of a difference to warrant the extra step. But if you try this, let me know how it works!

Buffalo chicken burger | Me & The Moose. This Whole 30-compliant burger is perfect for lunch or dinner or game day snacks. Throw an egg on top and it could also be breakfast. #meandthemoose #whole30 #whole30recipes #burgers #easydinner #quickdinner #dinnerrecipes #lunch #lunchrecipes #gamedaysnacks #buffalochickenburger

Buffalo chicken burgers (Whole 30)

1 lb ground chicken
1 cup riced cauliflower
½ medium red onion
2 large cloves garlic
½ cup almond meal
1 egg
2 Tbsp + 1 tsp clarified butter
3 Tbsp Frank’s hot sauce

Add chicken, cauliflower, onion, garlic, almond meal, and egg to a large bowl and combine using your hands or a spatula. In a separate bowl, melt the butter in the microwave. Add the hot sauce and stir to combine. Form into 6 equal patties using a 1/3 cup measure.

Coat your pan with 1 tsp clarified butter and heat over a medium low flame. When hot, add chicken patties and turn up the flame to medium. While the first side is browning, sprinkle some of the clarified butter/hot sauce mixture onto each patty. When the first side has a good sear, flip the burgers over and coat the other side with clarified butter/hot sauce. After 2-3 minutes, check the sear. If brown enough for you liking, turn the flame down to low, cover, and let cook for 8-10 more minutes. When meat thermometer has reached 165, your burgers are done. Turn off the heat, cover, and let the meat reabsorb some of the juices. 

Yield: 6 burgers

Buffalo chicken burger | Me & The Moose. This Whole 30-compliant burger is perfect for lunch or dinner or game day snacks. Throw an egg on top and it could also be breakfast. #meandthemoose #whole30 #whole30recipes #burgers #easydinner #quickdinner #dinnerrecipes #lunch #lunchrecipes #gamedaysnacks #buffalochickenburger
Salmon and sweet potato burger | Me & The Moose. This Whole 30-compliant burger is perfect for lunch or dinner and has a hint of sweetness for those sweet cravings that plague every Whole 30-er. Throw an egg on top and it could also be breakfast. #meandthemoose #whole30 #whole30recipes #burgers #easydinner #quickdinner #dinnerrecipes #lunch #lunchrecipes #salmon #salmonburger #sweetpotato

Salmon, sweet potato, and sage burgers

2 cans boneless, skinless wild caught salmon, 6 oz each
1 large sweet potato, roasted or microwaved (7-8 oz)
2/3 cup almond meal
1 tsp dried sage
2 eggs
2 Tbsp dijon mustard

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and smash with a fork. Mix very well. Heat a large sauté pan over a medium flame. Shape into 6 patties using a 1/3 cup to scoop out equal amounts for each patty and sear on one side. Let cook until there is a good browning on one side and then carefully flip. Cover the pan and turn the flame down. This will allow the burgers to steam a bit and cook through while also browning the outside.

Yield: 6 burgers

Salmon and sweet potato burger | Me & The Moose. This Whole 30-compliant burger is perfect for lunch or dinner and has a hint of sweetness for those sweet cravings that plague every Whole 30-er. Throw an egg on top and it could also be breakfast. #meandthemoose #whole30 #whole30recipes #burgers #easydinner #quickdinner #dinnerrecipes #lunch #lunchrecipes #salmon #salmonburger #sweetpotato

Spiced lentil coconut puree

Spiced lentil coconut puree | Me & The Moose. This homemade baby puree is a full meal for older babies, a hearty toddler snack in a pouch or as a dip with crackers and carrots, or thinned out with stock for a kid and grownup soup. #meandthemoose #soup #puree #lentils #coconut #chicken #uniquebabypuree #homemadebabyfood #proteinforkids

What a year it's been: There were some highs and some very low lows, but I'm feeling pretty grateful on this New Year's Day. I'm also glad that we have a do-over tomorrow because I already broke some of my resolutions, one of which was to post things in a more timely fashion...

I read a few years ago that eating lentils on January 1st is considered good luck in Italy and Brazil because the roundness of the lentils symbolizes money. Ha! We won't be eating any lentils this year because our Whole 30 started today, which will get its very own post tomorrow. But M will be eating them! This puree is delicious and based on one of my all-time favorite lentil soups. It includes a lot of different spices, so if you want to tone it down a bit, feel free to choose one or two. (Tumeric, thyme, and cinnamon are the heavy hitters, but if I had to choose one, I'd go with thyme. Or tumeric. It's hard to pick.)

This is a gigantic recipe, so if you don't plan to freeze all or part of it, make half. However, it freezes well and also tastes amazing thinned out with chicken stock as a pureed soup.

Spiced lentil coconut puree | Me & The Moose. This homemade baby puree is a full meal for older babies, a hearty toddler snack in a pouch or as a dip with crackers and carrots, or thinned out with stock for a kid and grownup soup. #meandthemoose #soup #puree #lentils #coconut #chicken #uniquebabypuree #homemadebabyfood #proteinforkids

Spiced lentil and coconut puree

Adapted from A Beautiful Plate (Seriously, make this soup)
1 large cooked sweet potato (about 10 oz)
1 cup dry Green lentils (about two cups cooked)
2.5 cups water
4 oz cooked chicken
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup water
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg
Pinch cloves

Preheat oven to 400. Wash, dry, and using a paring knife, poke lots of holes in a large sweet potato. Roast until tender, about 40 minutes. Alternatively, you can microwave your potato for 8-10 minutes on high covered with a wet paper towel. Here is a great guide to cooking times for different sweets and yams.

While the potatoes are cooking, sort and rinse the lentils. Combine lentils and water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until water is absorbed and lentils are tender, about 35 minutes. Alternatively, you can cheat and use 2 cups of Trader Joe’s precooked lentils like I do sometimes.

When the lentils and sweet potatoes are cooked, combine them in the blender with 4 oz of cooked chicken. I use leftovers or a combination of light and dark meat from a rotisserie. Add the coconut milk, water, and spices and blend until you've reached your desired consistency. This tends to be a thick puree, so don’t be shy with adding water or stock later to thin it out a bit more.

Yield: 4.5 cups or 40 oz

Spiced lentil coconut puree | Me & The Moose. This homemade baby puree is a full meal for older babies, a hearty toddler snack in a pouch or as a dip with crackers and carrots, or thinned out with stock for a kid and grownup soup. #meandthemoose #soup #puree #lentils #coconut #chicken #uniquebabypuree #homemadebabyfood #proteinforkids