sweet potato cakes with spicy cilantro sauce

Do you remember this post about 10 cookbooks you should have in your kitchen? One of the books we featured was “Plenty More”, the little brother to “Plenty”. I said that “Plenty” is one of the best cookbooks I ever owned.

This recipe is one of the (many) reasons why I love it so much.

sweet potato cakes with spicy cilantro sauce

 I’ve made this recipe a few times, and each time, have slightly tweaked it until I get the sweet potato pancake of my dreams. The recipe is good as is, but I prefer a little more green onion and cilantro. 

I also added a spicy cilantro dipping sauce to really put it over the top. I really like cilantro.

I know to some, cilantro tastes likes soap. If you are one of those poor souls, just omit it.

sweet potato cakes with spicy cilantro sauce

Vegetarians, you’re going to love this recipe. It’s flavorful and very filling. Just pair it with a side salad and you’re in business.

If you are a meat lover, throw a couple of these guys next to your steak. They make a great side dish.

sweet potato cakes with spicy cilantro

A quick note. We are looking for a any reader suggestions as to what recipes YOU guys want to see. More veggie centered…quick snacks…fun lunches…we want to hear any and all. Just comment below, or if you are shy, send to through our contact form that is linked in the menu at the top of your page.

Sweet Potato Cakes with Spicy Cilantro Sauce
Yields 10
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Ingredients
  1. 2 large sweet potatoes, cut into large chunks
  2. 1/4 cup green onion, chopped
  3. 1/2 of a serrano pepper, seeds removed and finely diced
  4. 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  5. 1 tablespoon of cilantro, chopped
  6. 1/4 cup flour
  7. 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  8. 1 teaspoon salt
  9. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  10. butter for frying
Instructions
  1. Steam the sweet potatoes until completely soft, then leave in a colander to drain for at least an hour. During this time you can make the sauce (recipe below) and let it sit in the refrigerator to let the flavors develop.
  2. Once the sweet potatoes have lost their liquid, place them in a mixing bowl and add the rest of the ingredients, except the butter.
  3. Mix everything together, by hand, until smooth. Do not over mix. The mixture should be slightly sticky. If it is too runny, add more flour. It should look like a slightly sticky cookie dough.
  4. Melt some butter in a non-stick frying pan. Don't be stingy with the butter. For each cake, spoon out about a tablespoon and use your hands to pat it into a flat, round disc. If it sticks to your hands, just sprinkle on a little flour. It doesn't have to be perfect. I like to make mine about 3 inches in diameter and pretty thin-about 3/8 of an inch (see pictures above)
  5. Fry the cakes on medium heat for about 6 minutes on each side. You want them to get a nice brown crust.
  6. Place on a plate lined with a paper towel.
  7. Between each batch, I wiped out the pan and added new butter. It will give them better color and a better crust.
  8. Serve hot or warm with the sauce on the side.
Adapted from Plenty
Adapted from Plenty
Quirks and Twists http://quirksandtwists.com/
Spicy Cilantro Sauce
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Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  2. 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  3. 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  4. 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  5. 1 teaspoon Sriracha (or more if you want it spicier)
  6. pinch of salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl until smooth. Refrigerate at least 15 minutes before serving.
Quirks and Twists http://quirksandtwists.com/

   

honey roasted peaches with yogurt

Wouldn’t it be nice if more things in our lives were simple?

Relationships, taxes, basic social interactions that don’t spiral into a tornado of awkwardness. All those things are hard. 

But food? Food should be easy. When I’m in my kitchen I like recipes that are simple and fresh. Sure, I will pull out the “Cookbook of Complicated and Likely Disastrous Meals” ( <—not a real thing, but probably  should be)  from time to time and try to get all fancy up in here. But 80% of the time its simple, clean eats.

honey roasted peaches with yogurthoney roasted peaches with yogurtDo you see where I’m going with this?

Do I even have to say it?

Fine. This recipe is easy! But also really, really good. I cook these guys up for a quick breakfast or a healthier dessert option. Its kinda like a mini  peach cobbler. 

honey roasted peaches with yogurt

Only simpler. 

Honey Roasted Peaches with Yogurt
Serves 2
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 ripe preaches, cut in half and pitted
  2. 3 tablespoons honey
  3. 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  4. plain of vanilla or plain yogurt
  5. granola, homemade or store bought
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey and orange juice.
  3. Place peaches in a small baking dish and pour honey and juice mixture over peaches.
  4. Turn peaches over so they are pit side down.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning peaches over the last 10 minutes of baking.
  6. Remove and let peaches cool slightly or to room temperature.
  7. Drizzle the honey and juice mixture that is left in the pan over the top of the peaches.
  8. Top with yogurt and vanilla.
Quirks and Twists http://quirksandtwists.com/
   

Curried Chicken and Mango Salad

I recently had a bad experience with a chicken salad sandwich that I bought. The kind of experience where when you take a bite and you kind of start to make this contorted looking face, and you’re trying to decide whether to keep chewing or just swallow. I hate when that happens, especially when it’s with something you really enjoy.

But this chicken salad was just plain dry chicken swimming in a pool of good ole mayonnaise. I’m still confused why anyone would think that would be tasty and then say to themselves “yea, let’s market this mayo salad with bits of chicken in it.” Chicken salad that is heavily coated in mayonnaise has got to be a food crime; it’s certainly one of my food pet peeves. So before I totally wrote off chicken salad, I knew I needed to make my own to remind myself that not all chicken salads give you that disgusted feeling.

Curried Chicken and Mango Salad

This curry mango chicken salad is full of flavor and not completely drowning in mayonnaise. One of my favorite ingredients in this salad is the mango. It adds a perfect amount of sweetness, but doesn’t over power the rest of the salad.

I placed the salad on top of some dainty Boston lettuce leaves; perfect when you want a lighter option and ideal for the warmer days approaching. Also, they’re just so stinking cute when displayed that way.

Curried Chicken and Mango Salad

This salad can be quickly thrown together, and you can be like me and cheat by buying a rotisserie chicken. However, if you’re motivated enough you could poach some chicken with lots of herbs and garlic to really boost the flavor of this salad.

Curried Chicken and Mango Salad

Curried Chicken and Mango Salad
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 2 1/2 Cups of cooked chopped chicken (I used a rotisserie)
  2. 1/2 Cup of diced mango
  3. 1/4 Cup plus one tablespoon of mayonnaise
  4. 2 Tablespoons of slivered almonds
  5. 1 Stalk of chopped green onion
  6. 1 Tablespoon of chopped cilantro
  7. 1 Teaspoon of curry powder
  8. 1/8 Teaspoon of ground ginger
  9. 1 Teaspoon of agave
  10. Boston lettuce leaves for serving
  11. Salt & Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, almonds, green onion, cilantro, agave, mango, curry powder, and ground ginger.
  2. Toss in the chopped chicken until evenly coated.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve heaping portions of the salad in Boston lettuce cups.
Quirks and Twists http://quirksandtwists.com/
   

crispy cumin chickpea orecchiette

You know how you get a craving and it just won’t go away? Yea, that has been me for the past week. I’ve had my mind on pasta and pasta on my mind. So I made a dish that would quiet that craving while still sticking (mostly) to the food guidelines I’m trying to follow the next few weeks.

crispy cumin chickpea orecchiette

I’m sure you are already aware of the wonders of the mighty chickpea, but just in case, lets review for a moment. Chickpeas are chock full of all kinds of healthy benefits, including protein, fiber, and folic acid. They boost your heart health, help with digestion, and are great for managing weight. They are also so versatile that you can put them in all kinds of dishes in lots of different ways; smashed, pureed, or like in this recipe, sautéed.

crispy cumin chickpea orecchiette

crispy cumin chickpea orecchiette

This is the perfect midweek dinner because all the ingredients are most likely already in your pantry or refrigerator, theres minimal prep work, and besides boiling the pasta everything goes into one pot. It also makes great leftovers so you can take it the next day in your lunch. Those chickpeas will do a good job keeping you full throughout the day.

Crispy Cumin Chickpea Orecchiette
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 pound orecchiette
  2. 1 can chickpeas, drained and patted dry
  3. 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  4. 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  5. salt and pepper
  6. 4 garlic gloves, sliced
  7. 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  8. 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  9. 1/4 cup grated parmesan, plus more for serving
  10. 3-4 large handfuls of spinach
  11. 1/2 cup chicken broth
  12. 3-5 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  13. 5-8 basil leaves, torn
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the orecchiette and cook until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, coat a deep skillet with olive oil. Put over medium-high heat and once shimmering, add the chickpeas and sauté until brown and crispy, about 5-9 minutes.
  3. Transfer the chickpeas to a bowl and sprinkle with salt, pepper, cumin, and coriander. Toss and set aside.
  4. In the same skillet add a little more olive oil, the garlic and crushed red pepper. Cook about 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  5. Add the tomatoes and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.
  6. Add the spinach and cook, stirring, until wilted. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Add the pasta to the skillet along with the chicken stock. Stir and cook over medium high heat for about 5 minutes, or until the chicken stock is evaporated.
  8. Stir in the basil and grated parmesan.
  9. Turn down the heat to medium low and place the mozzarella on top of the pasta. Put a lid on it for about 5 minutes or until the mozzarella has softened.
  10. Sprinkle the chickpeas on top along with more grated parmesan and serve.
Quirks and Twists http://quirksandtwists.com/
  • I hate when I get a craving like that! I’m the same way – it never goes away, I just keep thinking about it until I finally cave. This pasta looks great, I love the addition of chickpeas. Yum!ReplyCancel

   

balsamic glazed strawberry danish

Let’s start off by saying, that these pretty little pastries might be one of our favorite things we’ve baked. We upped the puff pastry ante by topping them with whipped cream cheese and fig balsamic glazed strawberries. Yea, you read that right.

balsamic glazed strawberry danishCoty spent the weekend with me where we took some time to wander around a few of the shops in  downtown Marietta. We are always on the hunt for new inspiration and on this day it came in a bottle of vinegar. The Cooks Shop is a perfect little kitchen store that reminds you why shopping local is so much better than the big box joints. When we walked in it smelled like bacon. Let me pause here for a moment to give a piece of advice to all business owners…if you’re looking to increase your customer base, having some bacon frying in the back isn’t going to hurt. Just saying.  The owner was prepping for a cooking class that was happening later that evening and while she was busy chopping she schooled us on their house olive oils and vinegars that they bottle in the shop. When we tasted the fig balsamic vinegar we broke out in a little dance of pure taste bud happiness. We quickly bought two bottles, went home, and got to work on this puff pastry.

balsamic glazed strawberry danish

We’ve been throwing around the idea of doing a looks-fancy-hard-but-is-actually-very-simple danish recipe but were having a mental block on what to top them with. Once we were armed with the fig balsamic doing anything other than strawberries would have been a injustice to us, our readers, mankind really. 

balsamic glazed strawberry danish

Baking Alert: Be sure to allow your cream cheese and puff pastry to thaw out for at least 40 minutes before you start to assemble. Once they are ready, roll the pastries into 10×10 inch squares. Cut each pastry in half lengthwise and then into thirds. You’ll end up with 12 rectangles.

balsamic glazed strawberry danish

Invite 12 of you’re favorite people over and serve these like it’s no big deal. You’ve got this whole adulting thing down. 

Balsamic Strawberry Cream Cheese Pastries
Yields 12
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Cook Time
18 min
Cook Time
18 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  2. ⅓ cup sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  5. 1 pint of sliced strawberries rinsed and patted dry
  6. 1 tablespoon of fig balsamic vinegar
  7. 1 package frozen puff pastry sheets (2 sheets), thawed
  8. 1 egg
  9. 1 tablespoon water
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar, lemon juice and vanilla and beat until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl toss the strawberries with the fig balsamic vinegar and set aside.
  4. Lightly flour a work surface and roll out each of the sheets of puff pastry to about a 10-inch square. Cut each piece into 6 rectangles, totaling 12 pastries.
  5. Using a fork, prick the centers of the rectangles of puff pastry, leaving about a half inch border unpriced around the edges.
  6. Mix together the egg and the water and brush over the unpriced edges.
  7. Spread a spoonful of the cream cheese mixture of the priced part of the rectangle. Leave the edges area bare.
  8. Top each with a spoonful of the strawberries. You can lay the strawberries out nicely or randomly pile on top of the cream cheese.
  9. Bake the pastries for 16-18 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Quirks and Twists http://quirksandtwists.com/
  • Oh yum!!! Love this recipe so much, I will have to get some of that fig balsamic stat!ReplyCancel