Ingredients Archives: salt

Sweet Potato Vegetarian Salad with Maple Syrup Vinaigrette

Fresh into the New Year, the only things on my mind {except world peace of course} are smoothies, salads, water, exercise, and self improvement. I am kicking off 2015 with improved nutrition and increased focus on MOM – yes, I need a little love too now and again. One of my favorite seasonal dinners is a Winter Sweet Potato Vegetarian Salad with a delicious maple syrup vinaigrette.

Sweet Potato Vegetarian Salad with Maple Syrup Vinaigrette

Winter Sweet Potato Vegetarian Salad – What You Need:

For roasting the sweet potato:
1 large sweet potato
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon chopped rosemary
1 bay leaf
salt & pepper

For the salad:
4 cups mixed greens or 1 cup per person
2 cups cooked brown rice or quinoa
2 cups cooked sweet potato cubes
dried cranberries
pepitas or pumpkin seeds
goat cheese

For the dressing:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
salt & pepper

{Scroll down for full recipe instructions}

Sweet Potato Vegetarian Salad with Maple Syrup Vinaigrette

The roasted sweet potatoes are so delicious in this salad – the taste of rosemary and the aromatics of the bay leaf really tie everything together. When roasting the potatoes remember to cut them into even-sized cubes and coat them liberally with the olive oil – don’t skimp here, use less dressing at the end if you’re looking to cut back.

When it comes to creating the actual salad, I say include as much or as little of the ingredients above as you prefer. Goat cheese can be a bit overpowering for some pallets – including mine – so I usually go a little light on the cheese. As for the cranberries, aim for the unsweetened version and use real maple syrup in the dressing {grade B is the most natural, but usually I can only find A at my grocery store}. For the rice, I usually make it the night before or throw in some leftovers – the variation pictured is a Brown Rice Pilaf from the Far East brand.

If you are feeding little ones as well, I save a bit of the sweet potato to feed to my daughter – she absolutely loves it.

Sweet Potato Vegetarian Salad with Maple Syrup Vinaigrette

What is your favorite winter salad?


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Healthy Zucchini Apple Oat Muffins

Oh muffins, how I adore you. I am always and forever will be tempted by the sight of a delicious muffin. The reason I used the word tempted is because I often don’t allow myself to indulge – on the whole, muffins are loaded with tons of fat and sugar. I know, I know – everything in moderation. While muffins tend to look so cute and innocent seated next to a donut let’s say, don’t be fooled. In order to keep them in my life however, I created a recipe for healthy zucchini apple oat muffins – made with coconut oil, organic cane sugar, whole wheat flour {all-purpose as well}, oats, and fresh zucchini and apple.

What to do with all those apples you’ve been picking, hmm..

Healthy Zucchini Apple Oat Muffins

Coconut Oil Tip: If you plan to use coconut oil, you might need to melt it beforehand. My trick is to place a sauté pan on a burner {I have a gas stove} and turn up the heat for about 15-30 seconds, and turn it off. Have the hardened coconut oil portioned out and place immediately on the hot pan and watch it melt. Once it’s melted, remove from heat. It shouldn’t be really hot, but let it cool and transfer to a measuring cup. Put aside and make sure it is COMPLETELY cooled before mixing with the eggs, but still in a liquid state of course! 🙂

Zucchini Apple Oat Muffins

Combine all the dry ingredients.

Zucchini Apple Oat Muffins

Lightly beat the eggs and combine with the coconut oil. Shred an entire zucchini {renders about 1 1/2-2 cups} and peel, core, and dice an apple – I used an organic Gala.

Zucchini Apple Oat Muffins

The batter will be pretty thick and seemingly dry. In the cooking process, the apple and zucchini will sweat out and release some necessary moisture.

Zucchini Apple Oat Muffins

The finished product after 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven.

Zucchini Apple Oat Muffins

For a healthy treat, these zucchini apple oat muffins are a good option. My entire family enjoys these as an out-the-door breakfast solution or as an afternoon snack – I personally like to savor one of these while I sip my luke warm coffee in the morning 🙂

If you are interested in making a mini version for the kids, 12 minutes in a 400 degree oven should do it. All the recipe specifics are below.

Are you a muffin lover? What are your favorite types? 


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