Apple Date Bites

Apple Date BitesEating healthy doesn’t mean that you have to eat bland, uninspired food. This recipe was something I came up with as a mid-morning snack. These Apple Date Bites have a natural sweetness from the dates and apples and it’s almost like having a “treat” (as my daughter would say). I buy all my dried nuts and fruits in bulk from www.nuts.com. They have a great selection and super fast shipping. Most importantly, I love that I can get dried fruits that aren’t full of added sugars and oils (unlike the selection at most grocery stores). This recipe is very easy to play with and you can easily substitute other fruits for the apple like dried cherries or apricots. Have fun and experiment!

Makes approximately 14 balls / seven servings

Ingredients

1 C pitted dates

1 C apple rings, unsweetened

1/2 C roasted unsalted cashews

1/4 tsp cinnamon

pinch cardamon (optional)

1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste (you can sub a good quality pure vanilla extract)

1/4 C shredded coconut, unsweetened

Combine everything but the coconut in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture comes together. You don’t want a smooth paste but rather a chunky consistency. Roll into 14 individual 1″ balls and then roll in coconut. Store in freezer for up to 2 weeks.

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Sweet Potato Tacos with a Cilantro Cream

sweet potato tacosI love sweet potatoes. They are a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, fiber, B vitamins, potassium and iron. They also have a low glycemic index. For those that haven’t ventured past traditional baked sweet potatoes or fries, I encourage you to experiment more with sweet potatoes in the future. We love to make an Asian inspired side by whipping them with ginger and chives or in a soup with sweet corn and potatoes in the winter. And don’t forget sweet potato pie at Thanksgiving!

This taco recipe was modified from a layered casserole that we love to eat in the winter. It does involve some roasting, so I save it for days that you don’t mind turning on the oven. I tried one with some shredded red cabbage for crunch and it was nice, but not necessary. Feel free to play around and see if you like it with or without!

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 large sweet potatoes, diced into 1 inch cubes

1 TBS + 2 tsp olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground pepper

1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed

1 lime

pinch cayenne

1/4 tsp cumin

salt and pepper to taste

1 ripe Haas avocado

1 large onion, medium dice

4 oz Manchego cheese, shredded

1/2 C sour cream

1 TBS cilantro, finely chopped

8 Flour or corn tortillas

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss sweet potatoes, olive oil and salt and pepper in a bowl to combine. Place in a pan (I love using my large nonstick roasting pan, but a 9X12 glass or metal pan will work as well). Roast for 20-25 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender, turning once after 10 minutes. They should be slightly caramelized on the outside when done.

While the sweet potatoes cook, saute the onion over medium heat in 2 tsp olive oil until soft and slightly caramelized. Set aside.

Next, combine the black beans, juice from half the lime, cayenne, cumin and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl.

Dice avocado into 1/2 in cubes and set aside.

Combine 1/2 C sour cream, 1 tsp lime and 1 TBS cilantro in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Now it’s time to assemble. I like to put the tortillas over a medium flame on my gas stove for a minute per side to give them a slightly smoky flavor, but you can also just put them between two wet paper towels for 30 seconds to make them more pliable). Layer sweet potato, onion, black beans, manchego, avocado and finally the cilantro cream.

Enjoy!


Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to Alethea’s Kitchen! My goal for this blog is to inspire people to eat more veggies (and some sweets thrown in for good measure too)! These recipes are NOT just for vegetarians looking to expand their recipe repertoire, it’s also for people that eat meat but are looking to incorporate more vegetables into their meals. I believe that food should be fun and something that brings a family or friends together. Thanks for checking my blog out and I hope that you will enjoy the recipes as much as my family does.

Happy eating!

Alethea