Sweet Potato Mashup: A Thanksgiving Must

Sweet Potato Mash

Sweet Potato Mashup

Hate to admit it, but sweet potato mush is the one thing I continue to pass at the Thanksgiving feast. Even with its beta-carotene-rich orange goodness, it just doesn’t tickle my tofu.

Until now.

Determined to one day fall in love with denture-friendly sweet potatoes (of course sweet potato fries have always been a favorite), and inspired by Kathy’s Famous Sweet Potato Mash, it has happened. I am in love with this sweet potato mush!

Sweet Potato Mashup
Makes 5-6 cups (about 10 ½-cup servings)

2 large sweet potatoes, baked or boiled
1 cup vidalia onion, chopped

1/3 cup garlic hummus
3-5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup fresh tangerine or orange juice
1 tsp lemon juice
1 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
salt/pepper to taste


1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.

2. Mash well, but leaving some chunks.



3. Heat/reheat over the stovetop, stirring constantly, about 4 minutes. 

Nutrition info per serving: 68 calories, 2 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 80 mg sodium, 11 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 3.5 g sugar, 2 g protein, 43% vitamin A, 3% iron

My version has fewer ingredients than Kathy’s, but please check hers out. Her photos are profesh and her ingredient combos (in this recipe and others) are uniquely gut-pleasing. I don’t know if it’s the garlic hummus, the fresh garlic, the raw onion, or the parsley, but this is definitely a must-try. Hello, Thanksgiving, and hello, orange taters!

Happy healthy holidays!

“Mom, You Make the Best Brownies”

Simple Bean Brownies

Simple Bean Brownies

Hello vitamin friends! It’s been a while! Look for many new tips and recipes because I’ve been conquering the BEST quinoa chili, homemade slow-cooker applesauce, and countless healthy concoctions for picky kids. But, for now, I must post our new favorite dessert. Just 2 ingredients, it’s low-fat, gooey, crowd-pleasing, and includes beans. Booyah! I knew you’d be sold when I said ‘beans!’

Simple Bean Brownies
Makes 16 squares

1 package brownie mix (my favorite is Trader Joe’s Brownie Truffle Baking Mix, reviewed and pictured here)
1 15-oz can black beans (or 1 3/4 cups cooked black beans plus 3/4 cup water), blended (including liquid)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Stir mix with blended beans.

3. Lightly oil the bottom of a 9-inch by 9-inch baking pan, and pour/spread brownie batter into pan evenly.

4. Bake for 30 minutes or until fully cooked in the center.

5. Once cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar (I do this through a sifter) – Optional. 

Surprise and scare all your favorite family and friends! 

Nutrition info per mouth-watering square: 144 calories, 3 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 146 mg sodium, 26 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 16 g sugar, 2.5 g protein, 11% iron.

Note: For an extra health punch, stir 1/2 cup shredded zucchini or carrots into the batter, OR blend a handful of spinach or kale with the beans. 

You can’t even taste the beans (or the veggies). And, I kid you not, my kids won’t eat ANY other brownie. Chocolate cheers!

Farinata: Italian Chickpea Flatbread That’ll Knock Your Glutens Off

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Farinata Batch #2: Less Salt, More Crisp

A close friend and closet gourmet chef—we’ll call him “Joe”—served this bread at his last food fest. He had eaten it in Italy, and then miraculously saw a recipe for it in the New York Times (the next best thing to Italian cuisine itself).

I wanted to recreate Joe’s recreation, and thought I found that very recipe in a 2005 NYTimes post. My first attempt was nothing like Joe’s. Super salty, floppy not crispy, and looked like cracked, dehydrated dessert groundcover. Disgustoso!

Thankfully, Joe then disclosed his gourmet chef fine-tunings: 1. let the batter sit for a few hours rather than a few minutes, 2. bake it longer (like, double the time), 3. sprinkle salt and pepper over the top instead of mixing it into the batter. Uffa.

Version due was tested on some friends who went to Italy one time a few years ago (so obviously had the credentials). Here is the result, a Bitchin’-Joe-Times collaboration.

Farinata (Gluten-Free)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Batter Sitting Time: 2 hours (or overnight)
Baking Time: 25 minutes

Makes 6 appetizer-size portions

1 cup chickpea flour (or garbanzo bean flour; same thing)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, or in my variety: 1 tsp dried basil + 1 tsp. dried oregano

1. Sift chickpea flour into a bowl; add salt and pepper (or reserve to sprinkle on final product); then slowly add 1 cup lukewarm water, whisking to eliminate lumps.

2. Stir in 3 tablespoons olive oil. Cover, and let sit for at least 2 hours, or up to 12 hours. Go organize your workshop or take a nap. Batter should be about the consistency of heavy cream.

3. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Pour 2 tablespoons oil into a 12-inch pizza pan or cast-iron skillet. Place it in the heated oven for 15 min. 

3. Stir herb(s) into batter. Take pan out of the oven and pour batter into it. Bake 25 minutes, or until “pancake” is firm and edges set. 

4. Cut it into wedges, and serve hot, or at least warm.

Nutrition Info Per Wedge (1/6th of recipe): 159 calories, 12.3 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 8.8 g carbohydrate, 1.7 g fiber, 3.5 g protein, 206 mg sodium, 4.4% iron. 

While this bread doesn’t get you out of eating beans for the day, it does give you a gold star with your dietitian and gluten-free enthusiasts. Enjoy it as is, or as a bean dip vehicle. Figo. Fantastico. Delicioso!