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.

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.

Easy Parmesan Crusted Scallops

Parmesan crusted scallops are fast and easy to make. They fit nicely into a vegetarian, low-calorie, keto and/or gluten-free lifestyle. Round off this healthy meal with Asparagus with Caramelized Onions and Tomatoes!

Parmesan Crusted Scallops

Parmesan Crusted Scallops

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 2 people
Calories 300 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • ¾ lb sea scallops (about 18 medium)
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp dry white wine
  • ½ tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, divided
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½  tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp dried parsley
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • Dash paprika

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350℉.
  • Rinse scallops and pat them dry.  Coat a baking pan with cooking spray and lay scallops out in a single layer.
  • In a small bowl, mix together butter, wine, lemon juice, 2 tbsp parmesan, salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley and cayenne pepper.  Set aside until mixture thickens, about 10 minutes.
  • Divide the butter mixture evenly over the top of the scallops. 
  • Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake until scallops are opaque and have an internal temperature of 115℉.  This should take between 20 and 30 minutes depending on the size of the scallops.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and take off the aluminum foil.  Sprinkle scallops with remaining parmesan and paprika.
  • Turn the oven to broil and move the oven rack to the broiler position.  Place the baking pan back into the oven and broil until the cheese is browned, 2-3 minutes.
  • Hack:  Reheat leftovers in the oven for 5-15 minutes, depending on size.  Microwave reheating is not recommended.  
  • Hack: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or tightly wrapped and frozen for up to 3 months. 
Keyword baked seafood, gluten-free, keto, low calorie, parmesan cheese, scallops, seafood, vegetarian

Did you know?  Scallops are considered to be one of the healthiest kinds of seafood!

Meatballs and Cabbage

Meatballs and cabbage is a quick and easy one-skillet meal that’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser! Make it gluten-free by using rolled oats in the meatballs instead of bread crumbs.

Meatballs and Cabbage
Meatballs and Cabbage

Meatballs and Cabbage

 

1 tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp)

1 (14 oz) can chopped tomatoes

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tsp beef bouillon powder

Salt and pepper to taste

8 Best Italian Meatballs*

6 cups coarsely chopped green cabbage (1¼ lb)

Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)

 

Heat oil over medium heat in a heavy skillet.  Add onions and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent (5-7 minutes).  Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Mix together tomatoes, brown sugar, vinegar and beef bouillon powder.  Pour into the skillet and add the meatballs.

Cover with cabbage and cook for 30-40 minutes until cabbage is tender and meatballs are cooked to an internal temperature of 160℉.  Turn cabbage and meatballs gently and occasionally to ensure even cooking.

Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, if desired, and serve immediately.

 

*To make this recipe gluten-free, use the gluten-free version option of the meatball recipe.

 

2 servings, 480 calories per serving

 

Hack:  Refrigerate leftovers for up to 5 days or freeze in serving-sized portions for up to 3 months.

Hack:  Check the produce department for loose celery stalks.  If you don’t see them, ask a clerk if they’re available.

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”.

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: Use leftover green cabbage to make Andouille Sausage With Fried CabbageHomemade Chinese Dumplings or Simple Healthy Coleslaw!

Flourless Oatmeal Bars

These gluten-free flourless oatmeal bars are made with chickpeas instead of flour! Chickpeas are low in fat, high in fiber and rich in antioxidants.

Flourless Oatmeal Bars
(Published by Pampered Chef)

 

1 can (15-16 oz or 398 mL) chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2   eggs

½ cup (125 mL) reduced-fat creamy peanut butter

1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract

⅔ cup (150 mL) white chocolate morsels, divided

½ cup (125 mL) quick-cooking oats

⅓ cup (75 mL) dried cranberries

⅓ cup (75 mL) packed brown sugar

½ tsp (2 mL) baking soda

¼ tsp (1 mL) salt

 

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly spray the wells of a Brownie Pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Place chickpeas and eggs in the Manual Food Processor and process until they’re well blended.

Carefully remove the blade from the processor bowl, and transfer the chickpea mixture to the Classic Batter Bowl. Add the peanut butter and vanilla, then mix well with a Small Mix ‘N Scraper®. Add ⅓ cup (75 mL) of the morsels, oats, cranberries, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Mix until combined.

Using a Small Scoop, divide the mixture evenly into the wells of the pan. Gently spread the mixture with the back of the Scoop. Bake for 16–18 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the centers comes out clean.

Place the remaining ⅓-cup (75-mL) morsels in a 1-cup (250-mL) Prep Bowl and microwave on HIGH for 1 minute, stirring every 15 seconds or until melted. Transfer the morsels to a small resealable plastic bag (see cook’s tips).

Move the pan from the oven to the Stackable Cooling Rack, and let cool for 5 minutes. Trim a small corner off the bag, and drizzle chocolate evenly over the tops of the bars. Serve with Mini Nylon Serving Spatula.

12  servings

Calories 190, Total Fat 8 g, Saturated Fat 3 g, Cholesterol 35 mg, Sodium 270 mg, Carbohydrate 25 g, Fiber 2 g, Sugar 16 g, Protein 6 g

Cook’s Tips:
To fill the plastic bag with melted chocolate, place a small resealable plastic bag over the rim of the Mini Measure-All® Cup with one corner pointing into the cup. Pour melted chocolate into the bag. Remove bag and twist top.

Hack:  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!

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

 

Mandarin Glazed Beets

Mandarin Glazed Beets brings together two of my favorite foods: Fresh beets and canned mandarin oranges! What’s your favorite food combo?

Mandarin oranges and red beets come together in this colorful and delicious side dish!
Mandarin Glazed Beets

Mandarin Glazed Beets

 

4 medium beets (2 lbs)

Olive oil

11 oz can of Mandarin oranges, drained, liquid reserved

2 tsp cornstarch

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp butter

 

Cut greens off beets, leaving 1” of the stem. Wash thoroughly, brush with olive oil and wrap in aluminum foil. Roast until tender, 50-60 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Peel beets and cut into cubes.*

Mix mandarin orange liquid, cornstarch and lemon juice in a medium saucepan.  Add butter and turn heat to medium.

Allow the liquid to come to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes or until thickened.

Add beets and cook until warm.  Gently stir in oranges and allow to warm.

* Beets can be cooked in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

 

4 servings, 190 calories per serving

Hack:  If you like this combination of oranges and beets, try this Orange Beet Salad!

 

 

Loaded Baked Cauliflower Casserole

This loaded baked cauliflower casserole brings together eggs, cheese and roasted vegetables in a delightful vegetarian dish that’s great for any meal!

Loaded Baked Cauliflower Casserole

Loaded Baked Cauliflower Casserole

Course Breakfast, brunch, Main Course
Servings 6
Calories 395 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced, divided
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets (6-8 cups)
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 7 eggs
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary
  • tsp dried basil
  • tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup flour*
  • tsp baking powder*
  • ¾ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • ¾ cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400℉.
  • Set aside 4 onion rounds and put the rest in a 13” x 9” baking pan.  Add cauliflower and tomatoes.  Toss with olive oil. 
  • Roast in the oven until cauliflower is very tender, 30-40 minutes, turning every 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  • Whisk together eggs, sesame oil, cumin, rosemary, basil, turmeric, salt and pepper.
  • Blend flour and baking powder and whisk into egg mixture.  Whisk in cheese. Gently fold in vegetables trying not to break up cauliflower.
  • Place mixture in a greased 13” x 9” pan lined with parchment paper.  Arrange reserved onion rings over the top.
  • Bake in 400℉ oven until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.  Allow to rest for 20 minutes before slicing.
  • This dish can be served warm or at room temperature.
  • *Make this dish gluten-free by substituting ¾ cup almond flour for the all-purpose flour.  Increase the baking powder to 1¾ tsp.
  • Hack:  Leftover portions can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for upto 3 months.
  • Hack: Frozen cauliflower can be used in this recipe.
Keyword baked, breakfast, brunch, casserole, cauliflower, easy, eggs, gluten-free, oven roasted vegetables, quiche, vegetarian

Did you know?  Cauliflower is part of the cruciferous collection of vegetables that are associated with lowering the risk of some types of cancer.

Suggestion:  Serve this with some crispy hash browns to make a complete meal!

Oatmeal Raisin Breakfast Cookies

Cookies for breakfast? Yes, please! These oatmeal raisin breakfast cookies are wholesome, filling and gluten-free! Make a bit batch and freeze some for later!

Oatmeal Raisin Breakfast Cookies

Oatmeal Raisin Breakfast Cookies

Course Breakfast
Servings 12
Calories 285 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled or quick oats
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)
  • ¼ cup honey (or maple syrup)
  • cup unsweetened applesauce (or any other fruit butter or sauce)
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • ½ cup dried cranberries (or other dried fruit)
  • ½ cup raisins (or other dried fruit)
  • ½ cup dry roasted peanuts, unsalted (or other nut/seed)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 325℉. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand mixer) until well combined. The dough will be thick and heavy.
  • Scoop by ¼ cup measurements onto cookie sheets. Shape into rounds and flatten slightly. Cookies will not spread while baking.
  • Bake for 16-18 minutes until edges are brown. Cool for 10 minutes on a cookie sheet and transfer to a cooling rack.
  • Store at room temperature for 5 days or in the refrigerator for 10 days.
  • Hack: This recipe is very versatile so use your imagination and whatever ingredients you have on hand!
  • Hack: Freeze for up to 3 months in a sealable freezer bag or container. Thaw overnight and serve at room temperature or warm for a few seconds in the microwave.
Keyword breakfast, breakfast cookie, gluten-free, healthy oatmeal cookies, oatmeal, oatmeal raisin, peanut butter, vegan, vegetarian

Did you know?   Oats are a great way to start your day.  They’re packed with nutrition that combats heart disease and diabetes while helping control your weight and digestive health.  Check out the facts here!

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

Best Classic Meatloaf Recipe

No frills here…just the best classic meatloaf recipe out there! Serve it as a main course at dinner and then use the leftovers for sandwiches!

Best Classic Meatloaf Recipe

Best Classic Meatloaf Recipe

Course Main Course
Servings 8
Calories 290 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb meatloaf mix (beef, pork and lamb)*
  • 1 cup dried bread crumbs**
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

Meatloaf Topping:

  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a large bowl add meatloaf mix, bread crumbs, 2 tbsp brown sugar, onion, milk, egg, ¼ cup ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, salt, garlic powder and black pepper. Combine well and press into loaf pan.
  • Mix ingredients for topping and spread over meatloaf mixture.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 55 - 60 minutes until internal temperature reaches 160°F.  Allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing or removing from pan.
  • * Many supermarkets and butcher shops sell a meatloaf mix of beef/pork/lamb or beef/pork. Ground pork and/or lamb can be reduced or eliminated by increasing ground beef.  Ground chicken or turkey can also be used.
  • ** Rolled oats or almond flour can be used in place of flour for a gluten-free option.
  • Hack: This meatloaf can be made and stored, covered, in the fridge for up to 48 hours before cooking. Cooked leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Hack: Slice leftover meatloaf and place in a single layer on a cookie sheet in the freezer. When frozen, stack pieces in a freezer bag or container, separating slices with parchment paper.  Store in the freezer for up to 4 months.
  • Hack: Frozen or dehydrated onions can be used in this recipe!
Keyword classic meatloaf, gluten-free, ground beef, ground chicken, ground lamb, ground pork, ground turkey, meatloaf, meatloaf recipe

 

Did you know?  Beef has gotten a bad rap due to its high fat and cholesterol content but the health benefits make it a healthy addition to a balanced diet!

Suggestion:  Serve this with Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

Fresh Mexican Avocado Salad

This healthy Mexican avocado salad recipe brings together chicken, avocado and Mexican spices for a delicious entree that makes a great lunch or supper!

Mexican Avocado Salad

Mexican Avocado Salad

Course Salad
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 3
Calories 487 kcal

Ingredients
  

Lime Dressing /Marinade:

  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper

Chicken:

  • 14 oz boneless skinless chicken breast
  • ½ tsp chipotle powder
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Salsa:

  • ¾ cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped

Salad:

  • 1 tsp dried cilantro
  • 5 cups romaine lettuce, cut into bite-sized pieces

Instructions
 

  • Place lime dressing ingredients in a small jar and shake to mix.
  • Put 2 tbsp dressing in a sealable sandwich bag. Add chipotle, oregano and cumin. Shake bag to mix and add chicken. Marinade overnight.
  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Cook chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 160͒, about 4 minutes on each side. Let rest for 5 minutes and slice.
  • Add 1 tbsp cilantro to dressing and shake to mix.
  • Place corn, avocado, tomato and onion in a bowl. Add remaining cilantro, half of remaining dressing and toss to coat.
  • Place lettuce in a bowl and toss with remaining dressing. Top with salsa and sliced chicken.
  • Hack: If you plan to eat this over several days, do not assemble salad until ready to eat. Put serving-size portions of salsa in sealable sandwich bags and squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing. Put the bags in a covered container. The absence of air and light will keep the avocado from browning.
  • Hack: To keep lettuce romaine lettuce fresh longer, separate leaves and wash. Dry in a salad spinner or with paper towels. Place lettuce leaves in a sealable plastic bag or container with paper towels between each layer to absorb moisture. Replace paper towels if they become soggy.
  • 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 avocado, chicken, entree salad, gluten-free, lime marinade, lime salad dressing, low carb, Mexican, salad, salad greens, salsa

Ever wonder how to tell if an avocado is ripe?  How long will it be good after you buy it?  Check out these tips to find out!

Suggestion:  Garlic herb focaccia bread would pair nicely with this salad!

 

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