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!