Recipe


Mmmm time for some Dominican food… this is by far the simplist recipe around but so naughty (tasting) and comfort food at it’s finest.

This is a typical Dominican dish and you’ll find it on breakfast tables across the nation… it’s cheap, it’s relatively healthy and it takes about 7 minutes of hands on work.  Which is right about my time limit when I’m in the middle of classes… I work full time and go to school… 7 minutes* is a luxury not to be wasted.

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Mangú
serves 2
1 large plantain, not ripe (green means go for it)
1 tablespoon of whipped butter
salt

1. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil, and season with a little salt.
2. While water is boiling, peel the plantain and cut into 2 inch pieces.
3. Boil the plantain until it’s fork tender, aprox. 20-25 mins.
4. Remove plantain from water, reserving some.
5. Immediately, begin mashing plantain (fork, potato masher, bottom of a cup, whatever). Add butter.
6. Continue mashing, adding reserved water until the plantains are a creamy consistency.
7. Serve and enjoy.

Simple, simple, right? Delicious? Yes! Traditionally, there’d be bit lot more butter, but really a little whipped butter goes a long way- gives you all the flavor without all the fat. Vegan margarine works great too!

Plantains are actually a cousin of bananas so their nutritional value is similar but with a lot less sugar. Yum.

Notes: I served mine with the foods I adore- toast and eggs, but it’s pretty versatile so go for it!  It’s also very adaptable: Use a riper plantain and make a sweet mash with some cinnamon, caramelize some onions and toss them in.  The possibilities are endless!

Nutrition Facts per serving: 170 calories, 4 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 10 grams cholesterol, 43 grams sodium, 36 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 17 grams sugar, 1 gram protein, 28% DV Vitamin A, 34% DV Vitamin C, 4 % DV Iron

*I’m joking- I do spend more than 7 minutes in the kitchen, sometimes it’s even 15!
Without accounting for added salt to water or to the mash.

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That’s a mouthful, but a delicious one at that!

I was having a pretty lackluster day and was yearning for some comforting food. At this point, I’m not ready to trade health for comfort nor was I willing to leave my apartment and get the ingredients for traditional comfort food (read: ice cream, chips, etc.). When I was a child, anytime I was sick or sad my mom would make me her amazing mashed potatoes on demand. I wanted to recreate that today but minus the butter and add in some fun ingredients to make it a full meal without much work on my part. I have three major projects I’m working on for school, plus blog work to do, plus Summer Camp wrapping up to plan! I didn’t have time to really create in the kitchen.

So while I should have been crafting a beautifully written research paper on The Cold War and Its Affects on the American Childhood or The Constitutionality of Using School Grounds for Religious Activities Outside of School Hours, I was dreaming up an easy recipe that would satisfy all the different criteria going on in my head: creamy, rich, spicy, and tangy.

There my Avocado Stuffed Sweet Potato was born.

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Avocado Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Serves 1
Ingredients
1 medium sized sweet potato (~8 oz)
2.5 t. of taco seasoning (I used this recipe but even a packaged one works).
1 T. hot sauce (optional)
juice of 1 lime
1/2 large tomato, diced
1/2 avocado, diced

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
2. Pierce sweet potato with a fork and bake for ~40 minutes until soft.
3. Cut a ‘top’ off of the potato and scoop out the meat from the inside.
4. Mash the sweet potato with a fork and add the taco seasoning, hot sauce and lime juice. Add the tomato and avocado.
5. Serve in the sweet potato ‘shell’

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The beauty in this is the simplicity- pop a sweet potato in the oven. Go away and do your thing. Come back, take out some aggression with your mashing (let’s just say my potatoes were perfectly uniform, not a single lump), stir in a few things, and EAT. That’s my kind of meal! It seriously smelled like greasy tacos but tasted so much better.

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Estimated Glycemic Index at 17.
Hello Vitamin A! Look at all those nutrients that are often hard to come by- Vitamin K, Magnesium and Manganese just to name a few. Love it!
For less than 400 calories- even using half an avocado you get a very satisfying meal. Hey, have a few tortilla chips on the side to dip into this and really indulge… okay, okay, I guess you could have a salad 😀
Notes: There was so much filling that I ate about 1/3 to 1/2 of a cup of the mix right out of the bowl I mashed them in. By mashing the cool tomato, avocado and lime into the sweet potatoes the whole mix gets cool, so if you’re looking for a warm dish, just pop it under the broiler for a few minutes and it’ll be perfect! If you have some fresh corn on the cob, I’d suggest adding in some kernels (raw or cooked) off the cob for a sweet addition to this dish. Topping this with a some salsa, sour cream or Greek yogurt would be great as well!
P.S. Don’t let that fat scare you, this is heart healthy fat from nature. Fat makes your hair shinier. Go For It! This hit all the spots (TWSS).

I was kind of flaky this weekend… both with what I ate and the pictures I took. Lots of cereal mix bowls.

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I do love cereal though.  I never get tired of it.  Some of those bowls, I warmed the almond milk and they were divine!  I also had many unpictured bites of a Green & Black Organic Dark ChocolateKelly sent me this bar and it was sooooo good with a hint of orange.  It made me love dark chocolate which is a new thing.  I used to be exclusively a milk chocolate girl but dark chocolate is so rich that a little bit eases my chocolate craving, plus it’s heart healthy!

Today, I had an appointment at the Apple store to take care of some Macbook issues (it needs a new case and the ethernet and the right shift key don’t work).  Too bad they said it would take seven to ten days to fix, and my summer semester starts tomorrow (eek!).

I bought a recipe book, Juices and Smoothies (it was über cheap) and now I really want a juicer!  Gah!  Even more than I already did.  Breville people send me a juicer… or at least a coupon!  I promise I’ll use that juicer and care for it well 🙂

Anyway, while at the mall I had brunch.

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A slice of Hawaiian pizza with ham, bacon and pineapple.  It was so yum, and almost NYesque.  Along with that, I had a small salad but it had too much dressing so I didn’t finish it, and a nice bowl of fruit- watermelon, honey dew, cantaloupe, and grapes.  It hit the spot.  I was starved!

I’ve been craving a  baked sweet potato for weeks so I had to include it in my dinner.

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I also had some asparagus on it’s last legs so I threw that in the oven with some salmon.  I just three some lemon juice, evoo & S+P on it and popped it in the oven for a few minutes (after having the potato in there for awhile).  Oh it was delicious, and had all the flavors I was craving!

I also made lemonade!

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Well, it was Blackberry Cherry Lemonade! It’s sooooo good and easy.

3 cups water
1/2 cup blackberries
1 cup cherries
1/3 cup lemon juice, fresh squeezed
sugar, to taste

Take 1 cup of water and the cherries and blackberries and puree in the blender. Strain out the seeds and pits over a pitcher. Add the other 2 cups of water, lemon juice and sugar. Chill and serve! Makes 6 servings.

Picture 1I added 2 T. of sugar (what the nutrition stats reflect) because I love the tartness of a lemon and because the cherries and blackberries were very ripe and sweet.  I expected it to be more calories but was pleasantly suprised.  Love it!  I can’t wait to make it with other fruits!

I may have dessert tonight- in chocolate form and if I can pull myself away from the NCIS marathon I’ll head to the grocery store!

Oh boy, last night I was rifling through drawers and wishing that I had an easy portable snack just to grab before a walk or to eat on weekend mornings when I don’t want to be around. The best idea I had were muffins. I didn’t want to make anything too sweet, because then it just becomes a dessert that I end up overindulging in, and I didn’t really want oats in muffins. So, I thought quinoa!

They were simple and easy to make. I’m in love with them and my testers all asked for seconds (and are waiting for after lunch for thirds). JP gave them an A+ but then of course he’s biased and if he might have been scared to give them a lower grade 😛 .

272 kcal, 3 g fat, 6 g protein, 10 g fiber

Yummy, yummy. They were super fast to make too. I mean not an every morning thing, but a great thing to make on the weekends to grab and go with. Plus, it’s a great way to get some good protein from the quinoa.

Here’s a link to my awesome recipe: Apple Quinoa Muffins 🙂 Let me know if you try them!

Now, I’m off to make lunch (already!) and start my paper during naptime and hopefully get it done fast.