Sweet Potato Apple Butter Casserole

Sweet potato apple butter Casserole combines the delightful tastes of fall in a hearty dish that’s easy to assemble and cook. It’s delicious any time of year!

Sweet Potato Apple Butter Casserole

Sweet Potato Apple Butter Casserole

Course Side Dish
Servings 8
Calories 325 kcal

Ingredients
  

Sweet Potatoes:

  • 2 lbs sweet potatoes
  • ¾ cup old fashioned apple butter
  • ¼ cup butter, melted (½ stick)
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp salt

Topping:

  • ¾ cup pecans
  • ½ cup dates
  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • 2 tsp butter, melted

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 425℉  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay whole sweet potatoes in a single layer.  Pierce each potato several times with a fork.
  • Bake potatoes for 40-60 minutes (depending on size) until they are puffed and fork-tender.  Remove from oven.  Allow to cool slightly and then remove potatoes from their skins.
  • Turn oven back to 350℉.  Coat 1½ quart casserole (or 8” square pan) with cooking spray.
  • Place apple butter, ¼ cup of melted butter, eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a mixing bowl.  Combine with an electric mixer or whisk.  Add potatoes and continue to beat until the mixture is smooth.  Spread into the casserole.
  • Roughly chop pecans and dates.  Mix in 2 tbsp melted butter and almond flour.  Sprinkle over potatoes.
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes until bubbly and hot with an internal temperature of 160℉.  
  • Hack:  Leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or packaged in serving-sized portions and frozen for up to 12 months.
  • Hack:  The sweet potato portion of this dish can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.  Sprinkle topping on before baking and allow a few extra minutes of baking time for the cold dish to come up to temp.
Keyword apple butter, date topping, gluten-free, pecan topping, potato casserole, side dish, sweet potato, sweet potato casserole, vegetarian, vegetarian side dish

Did you know?  Sweet potatoes have a surprising number of health benefits including maintaining blood pressure and insulin levels!

Suggestion:  Use leftover apple butter to make apple butter muffins or pork chops with apple butter and onions.

Oven Roasted Chicken Dinner

This traditional, oven roasted chicken dinner is easy to make and sure to be a hit with the entire family!  Try it with a side of homemade cranberry sauce.

Oven Roasted Chicken Dinner

Oven Roasted Chicken Dinner

Course Main Course
Servings 4
Calories 525 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 small whole chicken (3-4 pounds)
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lb fresh carrots
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 1 lb potatoes
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Pan drippings and chicken broth to equal 2 cups
  • ¼ cup flour

Instructions
 

  • Remove giblets from chicken and place chicken, breast side up, in an 11”x 15” roasting pan. Brush the entire chicken with melted butter then sprinkle it with salt and pepper.  Truss the legs together with cooking twine.  Let the chicken sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 450℉.
  • Cut carrots into 2” lengths and cut in half lengthwise.  Peel and quarter onions.  Cut potatoes into large chunks (halved or quartered, depending on size).  
  • Put vegetables in a large bowl, sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Toss with vegetable oil and arrange in the pan around the chicken.
  • Place the pan in the oven for 15 minutes and then turn the temperature down to 350℉.  Allow chicken to roast for 20 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the breast reaches 160℉.
  • Remove chicken from pan to serving platter.  If the vegetables are not tender, return the pan to the oven until they reach the desired softness.  Transfer vegetables to a serving platter or bowl and keep warm.
  • Pour pan dripping into a bowl or measuring cup.  Allow them to sit for a moment or two until the fat rises to the top.  Use a spoon to skim the fat off and discard.  Add chicken broth so that the liquid measures 2 cups.
  • Heat a skillet over medium heat.  Add ½ of the chicken broth.  Whisk in flour and cook, stirring constantly, until it forms a paste.  Continue to cook and stir until the mixture turns a golden brown.  
  • Add the rest of the broth in a slow stream, whisking constantly until the gravy thickens.  Serve immediately with chicken and vegetables.
  • Hack:  I’ve used carrots, onions and potatoes here but you can substitute your favorite veggies or whatever you have on hand!
  • Hack:  Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze in serving-sized portions for up to 3 months.
  • Hack:  Chop leftover vegetables and deboned chicken into bite-sized pieces and transfer them to a saucepan.  Add gravy, cover with chicken broth and heat for a fast and easy chicken soup!
  • Hack:  Don’t have cooking twine?  Use unwaxed dental floss!
Keyword baked chicken, chicken, chicken dinner, gravy, one pan meal, oven roasted, oven roasted chicken, whole chicken

Handle chicken with care!  Click here for some tips to avoid foodborne illnesses that can be associated with raw chicken.

Suggestion:  Serve fresh whole cranberry sauce on the side.

Easy Cheesy Sausage Balls

These cheesy sausage balls make great hors d’oeuvres or appetizers.  They would also be a welcome addition to any buffet table.  Use any leftovers for a tasty sandwich!

Cheesy Sausage Balls

Cheesy Sausage Balls

(Courtesy: Penny Jacques)
Course Appetizer
Servings 4 balls
Calories 300 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 16 oz breakfast sausage
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • ½ cup cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp salt

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400℉.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Put all ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.  Shape into 30 balls.
  • Bake the balls for 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160℉.
  • Hack:  Mix things up by using maple or Italian flavored sausage.
  • Hack:  These balls can be made up in advance and stored, cooked or uncooked, for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
  • Hack:  Lay sausage balls, cooked or uncooked, in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in freezer until solid.  Transfer to a freezer bag or airtight container and store in the freezer for up to 4 months.
Keyword appitizer, breakfast sausage, buffet, gluten-free, ground sausage, hors d'oeuvres, italian sausage, keto, low carb, maple sausage, meatball sandwich, meatballs

Did you know?  It’s likely that meatballs did not originate in Italy!  Click here for some fun facts about meatballs!

Suggestion:  Serve these sausage balls with fresh whole cranberry sauce or honey mustard dipping sauce.

Homemade Filipino Chicken Pancit

Filipino Chicken Pancit is an easy, one-skillet meal that’s low in calories and packed with nutrition! Use a tamari-style soy sauce to make it gluten-free!

Filipino Chicken Pancit

Filipino Chicken Pancit

Course Main Course
Servings 6
Calories 310 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 12 oz rice spaghetti or other thin rice noodles
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2" knob fresh ginger, minced 
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (3 tsp)
  • 2 stalks celery, minced
  • 3 carrots, minced
  • 1 head green cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup chicken broth, plus more if needed
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp Chinese black vinegar
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • Green onions, sliced (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Soak rice noodles in hot water for 35 minutes.  Drain noodles and set aside.
  • In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil over medium-high heat.  Add ground chicken and cook until no pink remains, 3-5 minutes.  Remove from skillet and set aside.
  • Place the remaining oil in the pan along with the onion, ginger, garlic, celery and carrots.  Saute until vegetables are softened and onions are translucent, 10-12 minutes.
  • Add cabbage to the pan, cover and cook for 5 minutes.  If all the cabbage doesn’t fit into the pan, cover and cook down until you can add the remaining cabbage.
  • Uncover and add 1 cup chicken broth, sesame oil, vinegar,  soy sauce, pepper and chicken.  Cook for 5 minutes or until cabbage is softened.
  • Stir noodles into the pan and cook until noodles are cooked to the desired softness.  If it seems too dry, add additional chicken bouillon.
  • Garnish with sliced green onions, if desired.
  • Hack: Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze in serving sized portions for up to 2 months.
  • Hack:  Leftover chicken and/or dehydrated vegetables can be used in this recipe!
  • Hack:  Do you know that you can freeze fresh ginger root?  Grating it in its frozen state is easier than grating it fresh and, if you choose organic ginger, you don’t have to peel it!  Simply place in a sealed freezer bag or container and pop it in the freezer.
  • Hack:  Check the produce department for loose carrots and celery stalks.  If you don’t see them, ask a clerk if they’re available.  
  • Hack:  Ask the produce clerk to cut a head of cabbage into wedges so you’ll only have to buy what you need.  They’ll wrap the leftover pieces and put it back on the shelf for sale.
  • Hack:  Shop the salad bar if you just need a small amount of an item that you don’t think you’ll use again before it “goes over”.
Keyword cabbage, Filipino cuisine, Filipino food, ground chicken, low calorie, one skillet meal, pancit

Did you know that cabbage is an important part of a healthy diet?  Check out the facts here!

Spicy Egg Breakfast Sandwich

This vegetarian spicy egg breakfast sandwich will definitely give your morning a jump start! It can actually be a fast and easy meal for any time of day!

Spicy Egg Breakfast Sandwich

Spicy Egg Breakfast Sandwich

Course Breakfast
Servings 1
Calories 454 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp milk
  • ¼ tsp garam masala
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sliced green onion
  • 1 gourmet veggie bagel
  • 1 slice swiss cheese

Instructions
 

  • Place a skillet on the stovetop over medium heat.  Place a silicone egg ring in the middle of the pan and drop the butter inside the ring to melt.
  • Crack the egg into a bowl, add milk, garam masala, turmeric, cayenne pepper, salt and green onion.  Whisk until egg and spices are well incorporated.  
  • Pour egg mixture into the egg ring.  When the top of the egg mixture begins to set, remove the ring and flip it over.  Cook until it’s completely set with no runny or wet spots.
  • Meanwhile, split the bagel and toast until it’s light brown.  Place a slice of Swiss cheese onto the bottom portion of the bagel.  Top cheese with the cooked egg and the other half of the bagel.
  • Serve hot or cold. 
  • Hack:  Make sure the pan is heated before adding the egg mixture to the egg ring.  This will ensure that the begins to cook as soon as it hits the surface, avoiding any leakage at the bottom of the ring.
Keyword bagel, bagel sandwich, breakfast, breakfast sandwich, egg sandwich, eggs, spicy eggs, vegetarian

Did you know?  Despite the negative press that eggs have received in the past, they can absolutely be a part of a healthy diet!

Suggestion: Spread the toasted bagel with roasted garlic aioli, if desired.

Easy Vegan Herbed Jasmine Rice

Herbed jasmine rice is a savory vegan side that will hold up to any main course. Use your rice cooker to make it an easy and hands-off treat!

Herbed Jasmine Rice

Herbed Jasmine Rice

Course Side Dish
Servings 3
Calories 195 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • cup vegetable broth
  • ¾ cup uncooked jasmine rice
  • ½ yellow onion, minced
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp balck pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp)
  • ¼ tsp dried rosemary
  • ¼ tsp dried sage
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf

Instructions
 

  • Add vegetable broth into the inner pan of a rice cooker.
  • Rinse rice to remove the starch coating.  Add to broth along with onion, salt, pepper, garlic, rosemary, sage, thyme and the bay leaf.
  • Place the inner pan into the rice cooker and close the lid.  Program cooker on the white rice setting and allow it to cook.
  • Let rice sit for 10 minutes after the cycle is done.  Remove bay leaf, fluff with a fork and serve.
  • Hack:  Rice can be cooked on the stove in a saucepan.  Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Lower temperature to low and cook, covered, for 20 minutes or until all water is absorbed.  
  • Hack:  Place leftover rice while still warm (to retain moisture) in serving-size containers and freeze for future use. 
Keyword herbed rice, Jasmine rice, rice dish, rice side, seasoned rice, side dish, vegan, vegan side dish, vegetarian, vegetarian side dish

Have you ever wondered about how rices differ and the best ways to use them?  Check it out here!

Dehydrated onions and garlic can be used in this recipe!

Suggestion:  This rice pairs beautifully with cranberry mustard pork tenderloin!

 

Homemade Rolled Chocolate Cookies

Rolled chocolate cookies are fun to make and taste great! Lily-Rose gives this recipe two thumbs up so round up your little ones and give it a try!

Rolled Chocolate Cookies

Rolled Chocolate Cookies

Course Dessert
Servings 36 cookies
Calories 140 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • cups flour
  • cup cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • cups vegetable shortening
  • cups sugar
  • eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375℉.
  • Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl.  Set aside.
  • Put shortening, sugar, eggs and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attached.  Mix on medium speed until well combined and light in color.  
  • Turn the mixer speed to low and add flour mixture, ½ cup at a time, until it’s all incorporated into the shortening mixture.
  • Place cookie dough onto a sheet of parchment paper and roll to ¼“ thickness.  Use a cookie cutter to cut into individual figures. Peel cookie dough away from shaped cookies.  Flip the parchment paper over onto a greased cookie sheet and gently peel cookies off and onto the cookie sheet.
  • Roll out the remaining dough on the parchment paper and cut with cookie cutters.  Continue until all the dough is used.
  • Bake cookies for 7-9 minutes or until there are no wet spots on top of them.  Allow cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes and remove to a cooling rack.
  • Decorate with powdered sugar, glaze or frosting, if desired.
  • Hack:  Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 10 days or tightly wrapped and frozen for up to 6 months.
  • Hack: Unbaked dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or tightly wrapped and frozen for up to 6 months.
Keyword buffet, chocolate cookies, cookie, cooking video, dessert, holiday baking, kids recipe, party food, picnic food, rolled cookies, sweets

Read my review of the KitchenAid Artisan Series 5 Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer here.

To see more videos from Lily-Rose and her friends, check out our YouTube channel!  Don’t forget to like, subscribe and press that notification button so you won’t miss any new videos!

Pineapple Cream Cheese Spread

Don’t let that spiny skin intimidate you! Pineapple Cream Cheese Spread is a quick and easy treat to serve on crackers, bagels or in a sandwich.

Pineapple Cream Cheese Spread

Pineapple Cream Cheese Spread

Course Snack
Servings 2 tbsp
Calories 62 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup cream cheese, softened (8 oz block)
  • 1 8 oz can crushed pineapple, NOT drained
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans

Instructions
 

  • Place all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and combine using the paddle attachment.
  • Cover mixture tightly and refrigerate for at least one hour to allow flavors to meld.
  • Serve with bagels, crackers, shortbread or sliced fruit.
  • Hack: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
Keyword buffet, buffet food, canned pineapple, cream cheese, cream cheese spread, pineapple, pineapple spread

Pineapple is sweet enough to rival most candies — and it packs way more health benefits.

Suggestion: Slather some of this spread on a toasted oatmeal honey roll for a quick and delicious light meal!

What Are The Benefits Of Eating Cabbage?

What Are The Benefits Of Eating Cabbage? It’s tasty, versatile, low cost and has a longer shelf life than other veggies. Grab a head on your next shopping trip!

What Are The Benefits Of Eating Cabbage?
What Are The Benefits Of Eating Cabbage?

You may have noticed that I have a lot of recipes on this site that use cabbage and there’s a very good reason for that.  I love cabbage.

The flavor of raw cabbage is strong and slightly bitter, which accounts for the tendency to serve it with dressing and accompaniments that are slightly sweet.  When cabbage is cooked, it becomes much milder and tends to blend with whatever items it’s cooked with.

This brings us to its versatility.  Cabbage can be eaten cooked or raw, hot or cold.  Shred it, chop it, boil it, fry it, braise it, roast it.  Cut it into steaks and throw it on the grill.  Wrap it around some ground meat and rice to make cabbage rolls.  The possibilities are endless.  Seriously.

Then there’s the low cost. Cabbage is second only to potatoes in terms of price per edible cup.  In today’s economy, we’re all looking to stretch a dollar as far as we can and cabbage can certainly help with that!  Maybe this is why the term cabbage sometimes refers to money!

Wait…did I mention that cabbage can last up to 2 months in your refrigerator? 

What Are The Health Benefits Of Cabbage?

What Are The Health Benefits Of Eating Cabbage?
What Are The Health Benefits Of Eating Cabbage?

Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable.  This type of vegetable has long been known for its health benefits, including cancer prevention, protection from radiation therapy, heart health as well as improving immunity and digestion.

It has powerful levels of vitamin K, magnesium, folate and beta-carotene, to just name a few.

At 17 calories and 4 carbohydrates per cooked half-cup (one cup raw), cabbage is a valuable part of a low calorie and low carb diet!

What About Fermented Cabbage?

What About Fermented Cabbage?
What About Fermented Cabbage?

Fermented cabbage, or sauerkraut as it is more commonly known, is a way to preserve cabbage by simply combining it with salt.  It then ferments at room temperature for 2-4 weeks, resulting in a salty and sour treat that will keep for up to a year in your fridge.

Not only does it taste great, but it also has good bacteria and provides probiotics, which are great for gut health and digestion.  Click here for step-by-step instructions to make your own sauerkraut right at home!

A similar method for preserving cabbage is to pickle it.  While it doesn’t last as long as sauerkraut, you can store it in the fridge for 4-6 weeks.

To make pickled cabbage shed enough cabbage to pack tightly into a quart-sized canning jar.  Mix 1 cup water, 1 cup vinegar and 1 tbsp sugar in a small saucepan.  Bring it to a boil, stirring to melt the sugar.  Pour liquid into the jar to cover the cabbage completely.  Place in the refrigerator for 24 hours before using.

Feel free to mix up this pickled recipe however you want to by adding additional veggies (I add onions) and/or using a different kind of vinegar.  You can also add more sugar if you prefer a “sweet and tart” version.  

What’s The Difference Between Red And Green Cabbage?

What’s The Difference Between Red And Green Cabbage?
What’s The Difference Between Red And Green Cabbage?

While there are lots of different kinds of cabbage, the most common types are the cannonball cabbage, better known as green cabbage and the red cabbage, also known as purple cabbage.

Some people feel that the red variety is sweeter and is more tender when cooked but I find the flavor and texture (cooked or uncooked) to be virtually interchangeable.

Both red and green cabbage are good for you but red cabbage packs a more powerful nutritional profile and more overall antioxidants.

I think the biggest difference between the two is the appearance, both raw and cooked.  For example, I like the look of red cabbage in broccoli coleslaw, as it contrasts nicely with the green broccoli and brown raisins.

On the other hand, I prefer the green variety to make andouille sausage with fried cabbage.  The cabbage, paired with multi-colored peppers and sausage results in a visually pleasing color palette.

What Are The Best Ways To Cook Cabbage?

What Are The Best Ways To Cook Cabbage?
What Are The Best Ways To Cook Cabbage?

I’m glad you asked!  Cabbage is incredibly versatile, as I mentioned before.  I’ve found that different types of cabbage can be used interchangeably in many recipes.

When I made homemade Chinese dumplings, it called for ½ of a head each of green and Napa cabbage.  That left me with, you guessed it, ½ of a head each of green and Napa cabbage to use up after I was done.

I used the leftover Napa to make this Chinese chicken cabbage soup (no relation to the cabbage soup diet!) but I have also used regular green cabbage in the soup with good results.

I then made meatballs and cabbage using the remaining green cabbage and some meatballs I had in my freezer.  I have also replaced the bean sprouts in crispy vegetable spring rolls with green cabbage because that’s what I had on hand at the time.

Go ahead and search “cabbage” on this website and see if anything looks good to you!

This Is How The Cow Eats The Cabbage

This Is How The Cow Eats The Cabbage
This Is How The Cow Eats The Cabbage

So, here it is.  All the reasons I love cabbage.  If I could write a song about it, I would.

What’s your take?  Do you like cabbage?  What’s your favorite way to eat it?  Let me know in the comments below!

 

All My Best,

Cynthia
cynthia@cynthiaeats.com

 

Savory Roasted Acorn Squash

Savory roasted acorn squash is a side dish packed with flavor and nutrition! It’s easy to make and is a delicious complement to a roast or tenderloin.

Savory Roasted Acorn Squash

Savory Roasted Acorn Squash

Course Side Dish
Servings 4
Calories 200 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 medium acorn squash (1½ pounds)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp grated nutmeg
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • tsp dried sage
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 450℉.  
  • Halve the squash, remove seeds and cut into 12 wedges.  Place wedges in a large bowl abd toss with olive oil, nutmeg, salt and pepper.  
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and lay squash wedges in a single layer.  Roast until lightly browned, 12-15 minutes.
  • While squash is cooking, put butter in a small skillet or saucepan and melt over medium-low heat.  Allow butter to simmer, stirring occasionally, until solids at the bottom begin to brown.  This can take from 1-5 minutes, depending on stovetop type and efficiency.  Do not leave unattended as the butter may burn quickly.
  • Remove pan from heat and whisk in sage, maple syrup and lemon juice.
  • Remove squash from oven after the first bake, flip wedges over and spoon butter mixture over each wedge.  Place back in the oven and roast for an additional 8-10 minutes or until tender.  
  • Hack:  Leftover squash can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days.  To freeze, remove the rind and mash squash.  Package in serving size portions and freeze for 10-12 months.
  • Hack:  Uncooked winter squash can be stored in a cool, dark environment (less than 50℉) for up to 2 months so stock up when it’s on sale!  Cook, mash and freeze unseasoned winter squash for up to 12 months as a quick and easy addition to many recipes.
Keyword acorn squash, holiday side dish, oven roasted vegetables, savory squash, vegetable, vegetable side dish, vegetarian, winter squash

Did you know?  Winter squash provides numerous health benefits that may help reduce the risk of many diseases!

Suggestion: This pairs nicely with Cranberry Mustard Pork Tenderloin!