Vegan

Southwest Grilled Sweet Potato Salad (v&gf)

I love to grill! In the Chicago area our summers are short and sweet, so once the weather turns I immediately dust off the old grill and get cooking. The best part for me about grilling is it leaves a clean kitchen and easy clean-up!

This recipe is new for me, but I fell in love instantly. I had never grilled sweet potatoes before and I feel like I've been missing out! The smoky flavor from the grill adds a whole new dimension and to my surprise they cooked up quick and the texture was perfect. Add creamy avocado, black beans, corn, bell peppers, some spices and lime juice and you have a satisfying, hearty, healthy meal.

The best way to grill the potatoes is to use a grill tray to ensure the slices don't fall between the grates of your grill.

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch slices

  • 8 tablespoon olive oil (4 for dressing the potatoes and 4 for finishing the salad)

  • 1 bag frozen corn, rinsed and drained

  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained

  • 3 red pepper, diced

  • 4 green onions, chopped

  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

  • 2 avocados, pit and skin removed, chopped

  • Juice of 4 limes

  • 1 tbsp. Mexican seasoning

  • 1-2 dashes chipotle powder or cayenne powder (optional to give it some kick!)

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Pre-heat your grill. Slice the sweet potatoes and brush with a mix of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Grill the potatoes over medium-high heat until they can easily be pierced with a fork (about 6-8 minutes each side).

2. In a large bowl, add the corn, black beans, red pepper, green onions, cilantro, and avocados. Once the sweet potatoes are cooked through, slice the rounds into 1 inch pieces and add them to the bowl. Add the lime juice, Mexican seasoning, Chipotle (if using), 4 tbsp. olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss to combine. Add more seasoning if necessary.

3. Eat and enjoy!

Serves 6

Recipe adapted from Audrey's Apron

Mexican Chocolate Zucchini Brownies (v&gf)

While I'm not a fan of trying to make healthy versions of yummy things, these brownies are a game changer. I've always loved chocolate zucchini cake, but the kind with all of the flour and sugar and butter is all I've known. I saw a version of this recipe online and decided to tweak it a bit and add some spice and voila! Brownies! 

These brownies have great texture and even my husband could not taste any zucchini or "healthy" ingredients. They are chewy, have a good crumb, and actually taste like chocolate. The chocolate chips add an awesome level of deliciousness! The key is how you shred the zucchini. I used a very fine grater (I tried the microplane first and realized it would take a week to grate the zucchini this way!) and it worked great! Grating the zucchini is literally the hardest thing in this recipe. Try these today!!!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup almond butter (I used raw, but any will work)

  • 1 1/2 cup zucchini (peeled and finely grated)

  • 1/3 cup maple syrup

  • 1/3 cup cacao powder

  • 1/3 cup applesauce (unsweetened)

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup chocolate chips (v/gf)

Directions

1. Peel and grate the zucchini.

2. Put the rest of the ingredients into a bowl. Stir together until all ingredients are incorporated.

3. Pour mixture into an 8 x 8 baking pan lined with parchment.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

5. Eat all of the brownies.