Sunday, October 27, 2013

If You Give a Girl a Food Processor. ..

During the week, I drool over all of these blogs with beautiful pictures of food and usually recipes for how to make it yourself. I cook more often than the average person, but I still choose lots of convenience foods during the week. Over the weekend, I have a little more time and freedom to cook for myself. The first item is something I found on a fun vegan blog.

Coconut Butter:

Check out the recipe here:
It Doesn't Taste Like Chicken

My food processor took a little bit longer. I'm actually kind of a nerd, so I timed it. It took 12 minutes. I mixed the finished product with some pumpkin butter (for a sweeter taste) and spread it on my toast.  Yum!

The second was inspired by a fruit and veggie strip that I found at a natural foods store. I thought, "I can make that, and it will not cost $1.20 for a tiny little bar." I didn't end up making it into a dehydrated strip. It's more like a mashed potatoes/pie filling/baby food kind of consistency, but still plenty delicious.

Healthy Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet Potatoes
Spices (to taste):
Ground Cloves

Preheat your oven to 350 F. You could probably use a higher temperature if you're in a hurry, but I've found that slow food tastes better.

I'd recommend using slightly more apples than sweet potatoes for a sweeter taste. Also, sweeter apples (Fuji, Honeycrisp, etc.) would probably be better, but I used the red ones I got from my CSA share and added a little agave nectar. Maple syrup or brown sugar would be a nice sweetener to add to this dish, too. I was unfortunately, all out of maple. Also, if you're an omnivore or find a veg*n brand you like, bacon bits might make a nice garnish for this dish.

First, peel the sweet potatoes and cut, core, and peel the apples. I just cut the apples with my apple cutter so diving the apple into six bakeable slices is plenty of cutting if you're using a knife. Stick all of your peeled apple slices in a baking dish (preferably glass) and splash a little bit of water in the bottom. I chose to wrap my sweet potatoes in aluminum foil, but a baking dish would work, too, if you sliced them.

Set your timer for about 45 minutes and do a load of laundry or watch an hour-long TV show on DVD. (Hour-long shows usually only last about 40-45 minutes without all of the commercials.) Really you can anything you like. You could also make a nice dish to accompany this side dish and make a meal out of it. Seitan slices with curry sauce, green beans, and a side salad maybe? I just made this as a healthy snack/future side dish.

When your timer goes off, use a fork to see if your potatoes and apples are ready. If they squish easily, then they're ready. If not, add 5-10 more minutes and check again. Repeat this step as necessary *You might have to cook one longer than the other, so feel free to take one out while the other keeps cooking.*

When they're ready, squish all the apple slices and sweet potatoes. You'll want to add the apples and sweet potatoes to your blender a little bit at a time and stir regularly. And by "stir" I mean scoop all of the blended stuff on the bottom to the top layer. I added spices while blending. I just added a lot of spices at the beginning and did taste tests as I blended.

I used a regular old blender. It took a little longer than a fancy-pants Vitamix, but still works. Just give it some time. Also, I found that it is better to start on a lower setting and just work your way up slowly.

If you have an old blender, make sure that you stop the blender completely for about 20-30 seconds for every minute you spend blending because sometimes they overheat. I heard a horror story from a friend who blew out the motor on her blender, and it started smoking. So I'm just trying to make sure this doesn't happen to you.

I have a lot of leftovers, and I'm thinking of making some little sweet potato pies in my ramekins. Ramekins are those tiny little dishes that people make creme brulee and individual pot pies in. I'm adding this not because I think my readers are stupid, but because I had no idea what they were called before I bought them. I wanted to make tofu pot pies and I was at the store asking the clerk for "those little dishes that you make pot pies in", which isn't very descriptive to someone who cannot see the mental pictures of the item. Heck, there are plenty of different dishes you could use to make a pot pie!

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