Monday, September 24, 2012

Roasted Grape, Goat Cheese & Pecan Sweet Potatoes

Hello, fall! I have loved the feedback everyone gave me, and the excitement that was shared, for fall recipes. It was really fun learning what people were looking forward to -- I had already been plotting, pinning, and preparing, but it gave me even more ideas, so thank you for the inspiration! When I read that two of Ali's favorite fall foods are sweet potato and grapes, I thought how perfect, because my first fall food post, this dish, features both!!

I have always been preferred a simple sweet potato recipe, with one of my favorite's being Baked Sweet Potato Fries. I enjoy preparations of sweet potatoes with salt, because it balances the sweetness nicely, and was never fond of super-sweet Thanksgiving style sweet potatoes. However, this dish captures the perfect balance of flavors and textures for the sweet potato. I'm not kidding when I say this is by far the best sweet potato I've ever had! The roasted grapes are incredible -- they add a complex and richly sweet grape flavor that complements the sweet potato in the most unexpected way. I never would have thought of the two together, and have How Sweet It Is to thank for the idea! Then, the creamy goat cheese adds some tangy-ness, and the pecans are a welcome bit of nutty crunch. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon and salt, and you're good to go! This dish truly is sweet meets savory at its finest. I didn't add any additional sweetener because I thought the grapes gave it the perfect amount, but if you like your sweet potatoes really sweet, just top of with some honey or agave syrup. 

I am extremely excited for y'all to try this!! It may look like a crazy combination, but believe me, you will be amazed at how well it all comes together. It is sure to be a healthy, delightful dish you will want to eat over and over (and over) again!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

And the winner is...

Congratulations to Jessica at Creative Index!! Send me an email at with your mailing address. And get excited, because there will be apple inspired treats and soup coming up soon!

And a BIG thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway, and for all of the support! If you like my posts or blog, continue to spread the food love.

Here's to a fresh & fantastic fall,

Monday, September 17, 2012

Triple Chocolate Cookies (w/ Pecans)

Before I get into the fall goodies (SO SOON!!), I wanted to post one of my favorite year-round treats. This is an intensely chocolatey cookie, and is actually a slightly healthier option than most cookies and desserts. Now don't get me wrong, I would never call a cookie healthy -- it's a cookie for Pete's sake -- but if you're not compromising flavor, you might as well help yourself out a little. :)

For all the chocolate lovers out there, this cookie has THREE kinds of chocolate: cocoa powder, dark chocolate chunks, AND milk chocolate chunks. The cookies explode with gooey chocolate and chewy pecans; they're soft on the inside, and slightly crunchy on the outside. A perfect treat for when you need some chocolate, and only chocolate will do...


Saturday, September 15, 2012

** Fall Giveaway **

Flank Steak w/ Chimichurri Sauce

Again, not the best picture (I've been slacking lately), BUT, another intensely delicious dish! I have always been a huge fan of chimichurri sauce -- it explodes with herby, tangy flavor, and brings a lightness to whatever it's served with. That's why steak is such a classic pairing; it cuts through the richness of the steak, and the flavors together just dance on your tongue. In this recipe, I marinated the steak with half of the chimichurri, and reserved the other half for serving over the flank steak (skirt steak also works well). The flavor is spectacular! Also, it's quick to make the marinade and cook the steak, but make sure you've got a couple hours in between to marinade. Great for a busy weekend meal or a weeknight where you have stuff to do while you wait.

Anyhow, let's just get to the meat of it... :)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Grilled Fish Tacos w/ Tequila Lime Aioli

I really wish this picture did these tacos justice because they were oh-so-tasty!! Unfortunately, I just snapped a quick pic on the night that I ate them; if only the colors popped like the flavors did! I marinated the fish in (primarily) some lime juice, tequila, jalapeno, and cumin. It made the fish spicy, tangy, and a little smoky. SO good. Next, I used my little stove top grill to quickly cook the fish -- I figured this would be a great end of summer dish for people who were still in the mood for grilling! (Oh, how I wish I had a real grill.) Then, I topped mine with some crunchy cabbage and red onion, and then finished them with a to-die for Tequila Lime Aioli. The small amount of tequila added any interesting twist without being overwhelming at all. They were incredibly flavorful and refreshing -- a perfect end of summer meal! Try them out; your taste buds will be surprised, intrigued, and asking for more...

Saturday, September 8, 2012

"Like" Fresh on Facebook!

For all the facebook addicts out there, I finally created a facebook page. Now I can share blog posts and other food fun with my non-"friend" followers! If you're interested, click here. Stay fresh!

Roasted Parmesan Edamame

If I don't eat every 3-4 hours, I get grumpy. Really grumpy. Hence the reason that I live for snacks. It's slightly embarrassing, but I usually keep at least three snacks in my purse at all times. On some nights, I realize that I have simply laid out a succession of snacks on my coffee table and made that "dinner." My favorite kind of snack food is anything crispy and crunchy. This is one reason that I do not allow myself to keep any kind of chip in my house whatsoever. Now don't get me wrong, I gorge on chips anywhere else I happen upon them, but if I kept them at home I would probably weigh 500 pounds. Anyhow, I digress... the point being that finding a healthy, delicious, and crunchy snack is kind of my heaven. And that's what we've got here! I usually keep a frozen bag of edamame in the freezer because they are a pretty solid snack, but then when you roast them and give them a little more flavor, ohhh baby. The skin gets toasty with a nice crispiness on the outside, and then the sprinkling of cheese makes them seem more decadent, although they're still a very nutritious, protein-packed snack. And so here you have it...

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Almond Butter, Oatmeal & Banana Bars

As some of you may know, I am running a Half Marathon in November! I'm really excited about it, and have loved the time that I get to dedicate to myself and my body 4-5 times a week. Also, one of the best things about running is that I get to eat A LOT of carbs, and I am loving anything baked. Hence, the bread extraganza I went on earlier this month. :) My body also craves food that is full of nutritious stuff, fuels my body, and keeps me satisfied -- and these bars REALLY hit the spot!

As the title says, the bars are mostly comprised of oatmeal, a banana, and almond butter.  I made these with almond butter for the added nutritional benefits, but you could easily substitute peanut butter. They also have a small amount of brown sugar, but besides that, there are no other ingredients, such as oil or butter, that will weigh you down! Plus, they are quick to make and cook. I kept a few of these bars in tupperware on my counter, and then froze the rest -- such an easy way to have a perfect breakfast or snack! They have all the convenience of a packaged bar, but taste much better, and don't have any gross preservatives. Winning!