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
- 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
- ¾ cup pecans
- ½ cup dates
- ¼ cup almond flour
- 2 tsp butter, melted
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.
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.
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
- 1½ cup vegetable broth
- ¾ cup uncooked jasmine rice
- ½ yellow onion, minced
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp)
- ¼ tsp dried rosemary
- ¼ tsp dried sage
- ¼ tsp dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
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.
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!
These creamy and easy au gratin potatoes are one of my favorite go-to comfort foods. It’s just as good with or without cheese!
Easy Au Gratin Potatoes
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (4 oz)*
- 3 medium potatoes, thinly sliced (5 cups loosely packed)
Preheat oven to 350℉.
Melt butter in a saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.
Sprinkle flour and bring to a simmer.
Slowly add milk, stirring constantly. Add salt, pepper and thyme. Bring to simmer, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and stir in cheddar cheese until melted.
Use cooking spray to coat 6”x8” oven-proof baking pan or 6 cup casserole.
Lay down ⅓ of potatoes and cover with ⅓ of the sauce. Continue layering until all potatoes and sauce are used, leaving enough sauce to completely cover the top of the potatoes.
Bake, uncovered, until potatoes are tender, 60-70 minutes.
* Any well-melting, hard cheese can be substituted for cheddar so feel to use whatever you have on hand. Alternately, cheese can be eliminated entirely to make scalloped potatoes. In this case, increase the milk by ½ cup.
Hack: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen in serving-sized portions for up to 3 months.
Hack: This recipe is happy to share the oven with other baked items such as a roast or meal loaf. Adjust the cooking time of the potatoes to account for any change in oven temperature.
Did you know? Potatoes are not generally thought of as a nutritious powerhouse but they are an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals!
Suggestion: These potatoes will pair nicely with a classic meatloaf…and you can cook them together in the same oven!
Some people save squash just for the holiday season but this sweet and spicy butternut squash is one of my favorite foods to enjoy all year-‘round!
Sweet and Spicy Butternut Squash
- 1 butternut squash (about 2 lbs)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
Preheat oven to 400℉.
Coat baking pan with non-stick cooking spray or line with parchment paper. Cut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Place cut side down in the pan.
Roast in oven until tender, 30-45 minutes. If preferred, squash can be cooked in the microwave on high for 10-15 minutes.
Remove from oven and leave it until it’s cool enough to handle but still warm. Scoop squash from skins into a large bowl.
Add butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg to the squash. Stir until ingredients are well incorporated and butter melts. Use a blender or mixer to make the squash smoother, if desired.
Hack: Fresh peeled and cubed butternut squash can be purchased in the produce department of the grocery store. Frozen butternut squash can also be used. Adjust roasting time to 20-25 minutes.
Hack: Leftovers can be packed in serving-sized portions in sealable freezer bags or containers and frozen for future use.
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.
Did you know? Winter squash provides numerous health benefits that may help reduce the risk of many diseases!
Suggestion: If you love butternut squash, try this simple butternut soup!
Thinly sliced Brussels sprouts have a distinctive flavor and hardy structure that stands out when paired with Caesar dressing in Brussels Sprout Caesar Salad!
Brussels Sprout Caesar Salad
Heat saute pan over medium-high heat for about 1 minute.
Add olive oil and Brussels sprouts. Cook, stirring occasionally for 7-9 minutes until lightly browned.
Pour dressing over warm sprouts and toss to combine. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and croutons. Season with salt and pepper.
Hack: Check the produce department for loose Brussels sprouts. If you don’t see them, ask a clerk if they’re available.
Did you know? Brussels sprouts are part of the cruciferous collection of vegetables which are associated with lowering the risk of some types of cancer.
Suggestion: Pair this with French dip casserole for a hearty and delicious meal!
Chinese Broccoli Stir Fry brings together broccoli, ginger and soy sauce for a delicious side dish. Try it the next time you’re putting together an Asian meal!
Chinese Broccoli Stir Fry
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 1 tbsp slivered almonds
- 1½ tsp soy sauce
- ½ tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- ½ tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp olive oil
- ½ tsp fresh ginger, grated
- ½ clove garlic, minced (½ tsp)
Place broccoli in a covered, microwave-safe container. Add a small amount of water and microwave for 2 minutes.
Place almonds in saute pan and lightly toast. Remove to a small bowl and set aside.
Combine soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar and brown sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.
Heat oil in a saute pan. Add broccoli and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes, until tender. Push to the side of the pan.
Put garlic and ginger in the center of the pan, adding a bit more oil, if necessary, and saute for 30-60 seconds, until fragrant.
Add sauce and toss all ingredients. Top with toasted almonds.
Hack: Check the produce department of your local grocery store for pre-cut broccoli florets to avoid having to buy an entire head. Frozen broccoli florets would also work 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 it in a sealed freezer bag or container and pop it in the freezer.
Hack: Once opened, sesame oil can be stored in a cool, dark place (kitchen cupboard away from the stove) for up to six months. It can be stored in the fridge for a year or more.
Did you know? Broccoli is a nutritional powerhouse! Check it out here!!
Suggestion: Pair this with Korean Beef Marinade for a tasty low-carb meal!