Archive of ‘Vegetables’ category

Pan-Seared Lemon Brussel Sprouts

It’s time for some Godmother “life musings”. If you’d like to skip this part and go straight to the recipe and food talk, please feel free. I still love you, it is okay. I get excited about brussel sprouts too. Recipe talk resumes after the next photo.

Brussel Sprouts Recipe

I do want to take a little moment that defined the rest of my day. As I was unloading the clean dishes from our dishwasher, I found myself grumbling a little because there were so many to put away. Before I even finished the thought, a little voice told me to check myself. There were so many dishes because I cooked so many things the day before. I was able to make so many things the day before because we have food in our pantry. There have been moments in my life when it wasn’t always this way and I started tearing up, so incredibly thankful for dishes and the ability to easily feed our family nutritious food and treats, with more to share.

The thoughts snowballed from there as I thought about challenges we face that are really blessings in disguise. I’m thankful for deployments and separations, they help the Godfather and I value our time together. I’m thankful for living far from family, because real family will never be far at heart. I’m thankful for fair weather friends and opportunists, they remind me to cherish true friendship. I’m thankful for the plastic Easter eggs scattered in my living room at the moment, even though they’re impeding my progress to a cleaner home, they’re one of Princess A’s favorite toys this week. I’m thankful for the gossips, you teach me to watch my words and, when I am the subject, give me the opportunity to evaluate my actions and take steps to correct things should I be at fault. I’m thankful for the cluttered garage that’s going to take a weekend to clear out, it means we have more than we need and can use some of those items to bless others. You get the picture.

That little voice reminded me that so many things that can be seen as negative or nuisances are really only such because we choose to see them that way. So instead of spending the morning cranky because I have a home to clean, I instead feel joyful, blessed, and thankful for the beautiful things in life. I hope you hear the same little voice today. <3

Pan Seared Brussel Sprouts

I am also thankful for brussel sprouts. They’re one of my favorite vegetables ever, and I have yet to come across a preparation style I don’t love. The Godfather does not share my love of the brussel sprout, but I don’t really care since that means more for me and the bitties (who both like brussel sprouts). At least he will eat a bit and he doesn’t die of embarrassment when I do a little victory dance in the store or the market when we buy them.

Pan Seared Lemon Brussel Sprouts

In fact, whenever I do make brussel sprouts, it’s an event. I plan for at least two days how I will make them, think about the meal I would like to bless with the appearance of the brussel sprout, and basically talk about it all day before I make them and then talk about how wonderful they were and how excited I am about any leftovers after I make them. Brussel sprouts rank up there with Thanksgiving leftovers and half-popped popcorn kernels on my list of favorite things.

Brussel Sprouts with Lemon Recipe

The recipe technically serves 4 as a side dish, but A, Dolce, and I polished off almost the entire batch in one sitting. Scale accordingly based on the number of brussel sprout lovers in your home and whether you plan to serve the dish as a side or just eat it practically out of the pan.

Lemon Brussel Sprout Recipe

Pan-Seared Lemon Brussel Sprouts
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Serves: 2-4
  • 12 oz ounces fresh brussel sprouts (about what comes in a pint box at the farmer's market)
  • 1 tbsp ghee or butter
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ c broth (chicken or vegetable)
  1. Melt the ghee or butter and olive oil together in a cast iron skillet (or whatever pan you are using) over medium heat.
  2. Wash and pat dry the brussel sprouts. Cut sprouts in half, cutting any extra large sprouts into quarters so all are roughly the same size.
  3. In batches if needed, brown the brussel sprouts cut side down.
  4. When you are done browning the brussel sprouts, return all the the pan. Add the lemon zest and salt. Stir to distribute evenly.
  5. Add the broth and let it cook about 5 minutes, until the broth has evaporated and the sprouts are fork-tender.
  6. Serve immediately.


Mashed Coconut Boniato (Sweet Potato) – Dairy Free, Vegan

Mashed coconut boniato (sweet potato) is a delicious and easy recipe suited to many clean eating diets. It’s also a fabulous dairy free mashed potato dish for the holidays! The photographs in this post were updated May 2016 as part of the #ThrowbackThursday photography project.

Mashed coconut boniato (sweet potato) is a delicious and easy recipe suited to many clean eating diets. It's also a fabulous dairy free mashed potato dish for the holidays! *

Good morning my lovelies! It’s time for our second post in the Clean Eating: Cuban Style series this week.

Clean Eating Mashed BoniatoClean Eating Mashed Sweet Potato

This is AMAZING. Like, I-should-just-make-this-a-meal-and-eat-the-whole-thing amazing and while a blog “mom” probably shouldn’t pick between her “children”, this recipe is one of my personal favorites. I am notorious for being picky about my sweet potatoes. I will not eat sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top, sweet potato fries with honey or cinnamon sugar coating, or any other candy/yam concoction. They’re just too sweet for me and I feel like adding sweetness competes with the natural flavor in a sweet potato.

Mashed Boniato with coconut recipe

So you can imagine how happy I was when I realized that the way my in-laws make sweet potatoes requires no added sweetener. At their house, they don’t usually use the orange yam “sweet potato” in anything other than soups, preferring to get their usual sweet potato fix from the white sweet potatoes very common in the Caribbean, called boniato.

Sweet Potato Coconut Mash

On a fun side note, did you know that the sweet potato isn’t actually related to the potato at all? It’s an edible root more closely related to the morning glory flower than anything in the potato family.

Mashed coconut boniato (sweet potato) is a delicious and easy recipe suited to many clean eating diets. It's also a fabulous dairy free mashed potato dish for the holidays! *

This recipe, in its vegan, dairy free, almost allergy-friendly (unless you are allergic to coconuts), glory is so simple and delicious with only three (yes 3!) ingredients. White sweet potatoes, coconut cream, and a little salt. Tadaaaaaa!

We enjoyed it with the Cuban Slow Cooker Chicken, with homemade grass-fed meatballs last night, and then this morning with an egg – all delicious pairings. How will you enjoy it?

Best Mashed Sweet Potato Recipe Vegan

Mashed coconut boniato (sweet potato) is a delicious and easy recipe suited to many clean eating diets. It's also a fabulous dairy free mashed potato dish for the holidays! *

Mashed Coconut Boniato (Sweet Potato) - Dairy Free, Vegan
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Another clean eating recipe with a Caribbean twist, enjoy this take on the mashed boniato (white sweet potato) with coconut!
Recipe type: Side Dish, Vegetable
Serves: 8
  • 2.5 lbs white sweet potato (boniato)
  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • ½ tsp salt (I used a few turns of pink Himalayan)
  • water
  1. Wash the boniato well and place in a large pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat and simmer 20-30 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through and easy to puncture with a fork. Remove from the heat and drain the water.
  3. When the potatoes are just cool enough to handle, remove the peel (it will slip right off), and mash the potato into large chunks.
  4. Add a bit of the coconut cream, mash a little more, and repeat as necessary until all the coconut cream has been incorporated and the potatoes are at the desired consistency.
  5. Add salt. Adjust to taste.
  6. Serve warm and enjoy!


Mashed coconut boniato (sweet potato) is a delicious and easy recipe suited to many clean eating diets. It's also a fabulous dairy free mashed potato dish for the holidays! *

Everyday Arugula Salad

Do you remember that moment at the elementary school lunch table when you felt someone else’s lunch was cooler than yours? I’m sure we all still have these moments from time to time – at least I do – and arugula caused one of those moments.

Arugula and avocado

I was first introduced to the arugula salad when I saw a friend at work eating one almost every day for lunch. She kept a bag of arugula, an assortment of other vegetables, nuts, cheese, etc, at the office, and would fix her salad daily and it looked amazing! I needed that salad immediately even though I’d never actually had that much arugula in one sitting.

Everyday Arugula Salad

Arugula, is an Italian green that is usually tucked away in “spring mix” salads or used to garnish savory dishes thanks to it’s deliciously peppery flavor. I think this can make it a bit scary for some to use as the sole green in a salad, but it’s not as strong as you’d imagine and the flavor is incredible. I think I raved about my awesome salads to the Godfather for a solid three months until he came home from his last deployment. He gave me fantastic incredulous looks when I raved about the greatness of arugula until he tried it. Now he always picks up arugula at the store and farmer’s markets when it’s available for salads, and he isn’t what one would consider a “salad” person.

Arugula Salad

When I need a quick and easy side for a meal, or a healthy lunch, this is my “go to” salad. The exact contents vary depending on what I have at hand, but the below components are included almost year-round with little variation. A little sour from the lemon, a little crunch with the nuts, some creaminess from the cheese, occasionally some dried cranberries… it’s perfect for layering flavors and textures to your liking without measuring (because I don’t measure this usually). So read the directions once, adjust to suit your tastes, and then never measure again!

Easy Arugula Salad

A “real life” note… there is no cheese in this salad, but it is listed in the recipe. I didn’t add cheese because we didn’t have any left in our temporary housing, and since we were about to embark on the second leg of our journey, I was not going to purchase more. This salad, it’s about improvisation. Enjoy! 😉

Everyday Arugula Salad
Fresh lemon dressing and arugula are the perfect combination for a healthy salad base.
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 2
  • 3 cups arugula
  • ½ hass avocado
  • ⅓ cup pine nuts (or other nut of choice)
  • ¼ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese (or other cheese of choice)
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt to taste
  1. Place arugula in a medium mixing bowl
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, and a tiny pinch of salt
  3. Toss the dressing and arugula together, then add the nuts, avocado, cheese, and any other vegetables you'd like. Mix briefly to combine. Serve immediately
  4. **Optional: Top salad with chicken, beef, tofu, seitan, or shrimp to make it a main dish.


Garlic Zucchini Noodles with Poached Egg

I recently bought a spiral slicer. I meant to buy a nonstick pan, but ended up with a spiral slicer instead. A girlfriend of mine was hosting a Pampered Chef party and lured by the promise of free salsa (this girl makes amazing salsa), and thinking I might choose to get a new nonstick pan to keep after we transition to stainless steel, I went and found what is probably one of my new favorite kitchen toys for now.garlic zucchini 1

After my slicer came in, I couldn’t wait to cook something, but didn’t want to start with the Godfather’s suggestion of curly potato chips. Something healthier please, especially since the test kitchen has been open, so we’ve had to sample our fair share of sweets.garlic zucchini 2

A little organic zucchini, a few cloves of garlic, some walnut oil, a farm egg, cheese if you’d like, and dinner (or lunch) is served!

I’d like to include a little shout out to my favorite Pampered Chef consultant – Yvette Simmons! If you’d like your own slicer, or garlic press (I used that too in this recipe), visit her website by clicking here or check out her page on Facebook.

Garlic Zucchini Noodles with Poached Egg 

Serves 2

  • 2 small organic zucchini
  • 2 tsp walnut oil
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, pressed or minced very fine
  • 2 eggs
  • salt, to taste
  • Feta cheese (optional)
  1. Slice your zucchini with your spiral slicer while you heat the 2 tsp walnut oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the zucchini and garlic to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini is soft and slightly translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Salt, plate, and set aside while you poach the eggs
  3. While the zucchini is cooking, boil water in a small sauce pan (filled about 2/3 of the way) for the poached egg.
  4. Add 1 tbsp white vinegar to the water to help hold the egg together during poaching.
  5. Crack the first egg into a small bowl. Stir the boiling pot of water to create a whirlpool, slide the egg into the center of the whirlpool and gently help guide any wandering strands of egg white back towards the yolk. Cook for 3-5 minutes until you’ve achieved the desired level of “done-ness”. Remove the egg with a slotted spoon and place on top of one of the plates of zucchini. Repeat with the remaining egg
  6. Add cheese if desired and serve immediately.


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