Tag Archives: greek yogurt

Sweet and Spicy!

There are times when we just have to shake it up a bit! We all have our go-to rotations for meal planning, but it is interesting how a different condiment or sauce can really take a side to the next level (thank you Yotam Ottelenghi). I also appreciate a sauce that can go with many different things, from vegetables, to chicken, lamb or fish. This sauce has it all. Even the color contrast of this dish is striking. As I mentioned last week, using the addition of a flavored olive oil is really wonderful, in this case Persian Lime. It pairs nicely with the fresh lime juice. Skip it if you don’t have it. If you have people in your family that don’t like too much heat, the Greek yogurt that accompanies this side will easily tamp it down.

Sweet potatoes are a terrific vegetable for people watching their weight. They are high in vitamin A, they support digestive and heart health, and they are rich in dietary fiber, keeping you full longer. They also stabilize your blood-sugar, fuel your brain, and since they are loaded with beta-carotene they are terrific for your eyes. So what’s not to like?

SWEET POTATOES WITH YOGURT & CILANTRO-CHILI SAUCE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil divided (Persian Lime if available)
  • 1/2 tablespoon local honey
  • Juice of 2 limes, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 1/4 pounds sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch wedges
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 2 green chilies, seeded and chopped (I use jalapenos)
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed or grated
  • 1/4 cup sliced blanched almonds
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, honey, juice from 1 lime, salt and pepper to taste, and potato wedges. Toss to coat. Spread in a even layer on baking sheet, bake until tender and lightly browned in spots, about 45-55- minutes. Sprinkle with additional salt to taste.
  3. Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse to combine 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, the cilantro, chilies, garlic, almonds, juice from remaining lime, vinegar and a large pinch of salt, until it forms a chunky puree. Taste and add more salt if needed.
  4. Arrange sweet potatoes on a platter; spoon sauce in dollops over the potatoes, dollop with yogurt, drizzle with some olive oil, and serve with additional sauce and yogurt on the side.

Serve 4-6

“Our very survival depends on us staying awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant, and to face the challenge of change.” –Martin Luther King

Feel The Beet!

Wow, what a week we have had! There are times that writing a food blog under these circumstances is challenging, and seemingly unimportant. However I also recognize we all need something positive to hold on to when the world is unraveling around us. After the new year, I finally insisted I get on the scale, and wasn’t surprised with what stared back at me, but disappointed in myself. So I’m doing veggie/protein as a lifestyle. I have forgiven myself for the need to be endlessly in the kitchen as a survival strategy in 2020, but I know I can’t continue feeling out of control. To that end this side dish is probably one of my favorites for using beets.

Some of you remember my story about loathing beets most of my life, but it is worth repeating. Before I moved to a vegetable farm, there were only two vegetables I absolutely hated, okra and beets (I still hate okra!). I remember asking Val early on why she grew so many beets? Do people really like them? I have since learned that all root vegetables are directly affected by growing methods. They absorb the off taste of chemical fertilizers for example. Those chemicals will make both beets and carrots taste off, orslightly bitter. Most of us have experienced that off taste and have decided that we did not like that particular vegetable. Once I tasted clean tasting vegetables from our farm, I totally came around. Now, I positively love beets!

This recipe is a lovely side for most things grilled, or as a part of a Mezza spread. It is simple enough for weeknight’s and showy enough for company. The various contrasts of textures really add interest; but the real coup d’ etat is if you can get your hands on some blood orange olive oil. This ingredient will really put this recipe over the top! The other ingredient that will make a serious difference is a high quality balsamic vinegar. I was gifted with some incredible 18 year stuff that was wonderful!

ROASTED BEETS WITH YOGURT, PISTACHIOS & CORIANDER

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6-8 small to medium beets (about 2 pounds total)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (or that luscious blood orange stuff)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
  • 2/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped roasted pistachios

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Peel the beets, halve them vertically, then cut each half in 3 or 4 wedges. Toss the beets with 2 tablespoons regular extra-virgin olive oil and the ground coriander on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast tossing once halfway through for 30-45 minutes until almost fully tender, (the time will be determined on the size of your wedges).
  2. Meanwhile, toast the coriander seeds in a small skillet over medium, shaking the skillet, until golden and fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Season the yogurt with salt and pepper and spread it on a platter. Add the remaining olive oil (this is where you would use your blood orange olive oil if you have it) and the balsamic vinegar to the roasted beets and toss to coat. Arrange the beets and their juices over the yogurt. Sprinkle with the chopped pistachios and toasted coriander seeds. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 4

“Embrace each challenge in your life as an opportunity for self-transformation.” –Bernie Siegel