on smashed sweet potatoes with chia-seed topping.

My other favorite budget-friendly orange veggie! It’s also packed with beta-carotene, and will last a long time undisturbed in your pantry. Sweet potatoes make a great side dish for dinner, and leftovers are a yummy meatless lunch (paired with some kind of green thing).

I normally make my sweet potatoes like this, and if you do the same you should have about eight servings of orange goodness:

Take four regular-sized raw sweet potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled, and put them in a foil-lined baking dish. Roast at 425 degrees, uncovered, until done. You’ll want to flip them over half way through, and I’d check after about 20 or 25 minutes. They’re done when they’re soft and the skin has separated from the flesh, but you don’t want them to be gross and mushy! 35-45 minutes should do the trick, and less if your potatoes are on the shrimpy side.

After the potatoes have cooled for a bit, peel them and put them in a serving dish with half a stick of real butter, a pinch of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1/4 cup of honey. Smash them around really good with a fork until all the ingredients have combined, and then sprinkle with 1/4 cup of chia seeds. If you’d prefer, you could sub coconut oil for the butter.

And that’s all! Instead of the brown-sugar-pecan casserole of yore, you can try a figure-friendly sweet potato dish with a chia seed topping that will lend you some fiber and protein, along with a satisfying little crunch.

Happy sweet-potato-smashing!

on maple-glazed carrots.

These neon-colored roots are a staple in our refrigerator, mainly because they are cheap, last forever, and pretty good for you with all that beta-carotene in them. Mostly, they wind up blended in our smoothies, but sometimes I cook a batch as a side dish. And cooking carrots is probably better for you, anyway, because it helps your body absorb those carotenoids (that may not be the correct spelling!), as long as you aren’t boiling them and dumping off the water, which is basically tossing out the nutrients. And carrots, as you probably know, are really good for your eye and skin health, since the beta-carotene turns into vitamin A.

This is what I put in my pot of maple-glazed carrots last night (but keep in mind, all measurements are approximate, as I hate measuring):

~two cups of sliced carrots 

~two tablespoons of butter

~one tablespoon of orange juice (freshly squeezed if you’ve got it)

~a big pinch each of cinnamon, ground ginger, and cloves

~salt to taste

~one to two tablespoons of maple syrup

Melt your butter in a saucepan, add the carrots, OJ, and spices, and cover. Simmer, still covered, until the carrots are getting tender, stirring every so often. If you cut them in fat chunks, you’ll need to add a little water to the pot, too, but it will cook off. You just don’t want your saucy stuff sticking and burning on the bottom of your pan. Anyway, then add your maple syrup, simmer uncovered until the glaze is kind of thick, and you’re done! Super easy. 

Happy carrot-cooking!