Sweet Potato and Oat Pancakes!

So it has been an incredibly long time since I have been away from my beloved blog – over a year! I can’t believe how time has flown at all. But then again maybe I can, since I had a baby almost exactly one year ago and since then life has been, needless to say, a little hectic. ūüôā

I am excited to be back to blogging though, and with my little guy in the picture, my desire to cook has taken on a new dimension of making him fun, healthy vegetarian breakfasts, lunches and dinners. I have been experimenting with different finger foods, soups, etc. that are packed with veggies and proteins but still flavorful enough that everyone in the family can enjoy.

My first recipe is inspired by the fact that Milan (my son), loves pancakes and I was watching an episode of the Kitchen recently where they were talking about how easy and fun it is to add oats to pretty much anything. To that end, I tried out a fairly quick and fast sweet potato pancakes recipe and much to my delight, Milan loves them! Fun fact: sweet potatoes were also his first solid food! I made a bunch of pancakes and stored them in the fridge for a quick breakfast go-to or  for him to eat as an additional snack during the day.

If you want to see a photo of my reason for the long absence, head over to the About Me page for a snap of my cutie.  I hope to be back soon with another kid and adult-approved recipe.

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Cauliflower Crust Pizza

I have been wanting to make a pizza crust with cauliflower instead of regular pizza dough for a while but never seem to have the chance. I wasn’t sure this would be a dinner favorite at the house so I usually opt for the regular version when we do make pizza (which is fairly often). This week I decided to do a small personal pie using cauliflower crust instead of regular pizza crust for my own weekday lunch so I could experiment and see if this would work for dinner too. It definitely does NOT give you the crispy crust that traditional pizza would allow for, but it does hold together decently well and is a far healthier alternative (great for those who are gluten-free too). I totally devoured the pizza in about 5 minutes so I guess you would have to say it was a success? I would make this again for dinner I think, but need to figure out ways to make it crispier!¬†The best part –¬† it only took me 45 minutes or so start to finish to put this together.

I topped my pizza with regular tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese, yellow summer squash, red onions, and tomatoes. Love this combination!. If I wasn’t being lazy, I would have saut√©d the veggies a bit before putting them on the pizza, but it tasted great all the same.

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Summertime Macaroni Salad

What’s better than a summertime grill-fest and a side of macaroni salad? In my opinion, pretty much nothing. Last night we grilled up some tofu using a barbecue marinade and I made this salad. VERY easy to put together, but it came out great so I thought it was worth posting. Our garden is finally giving us some veggies, and I got to use some of those in this recipe too.

Next time I would sub in some greek yogurt for all or some of the mayo since that would make it a whole lot healthier, but since I had never really made macaroni salad before, I kept it basic (and full of mayo). We did add some vegan sausage to amp up the flavor and I made tons extra so I can eat it for the next few days!

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Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream

Yum, home-made ice cream! I have been wanting to make this for a while, but since I don’t have an ice-cream maker at home it seemed like a more challenging task than I was up for. Luckily I got to visit my parents and brother/sister-in-law this weekend and spend some quality time with my 8-year old niece and 12-year old nephew as well as my family’s ice cream maker.

This recipe is really easy and taken straight from the ice-cream maker’s recipe book so I can’t take much credit for doing anything special. But it came out so delicious and I got to do some fun “cooking” with my adorable nephew and niece so its worth posting!

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Black Bean and Quinoa Enchiladas

These enchiladas are what we had for dinner on Wednesday! It totally hit the spot for my once-a-week Mexican food craving. Ok, honestly, its more like once a day Mexican food craving.

I have never used quinoa as a filling for enchiladas before but since I just bought some red quinoa and wanted to put it to use, I figured it would be a great substitute for rice. It worked really well with the creamy black beans. I also tried my hand at making my own enchilada sauce by adapting this recipe I found on Add A Pinch¬†and it worked super well!¬†I am normally obsessed with Trader Joe’s enchilada sauce (which you should try if you haven’t), but I can honestly say this was a better home-made substitute!

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Sweet Bell Pepper Rings With a Jalape√Īo-Sour Cream Dipping Sauce

This past long weekend was so nice and super relaxing – we really didn’t do much except shopping, brunching, and grilling a ton. In fact, we made pizza’s for the first time on the grill and they turned out awesome! I also made this grilled corn/kale salad with a cilantro vinaigrette that was killer. But alas, we didn’t take pictures of any of these delicious meals so I can’t post them. I am going to try and remake in the coming weeks so I can share!

I did want to post something from this weekend and last night I decided to try something fun and new for a snack that could also be a good go-to appetizer option for when we have people over. These fried bell pepper rings tasted like onion rings but with a sweeter taste. They were tiny, so it is a perfect finger food.

My husband grilled some jalape√Īos over the weekend and made a sauce with it so I used that to make the dipping sauce by adding some sour cream to cut out the heat. It was a perfect sauce for these rings!

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Kale Pesto

I realize I have posted quite a few recipes in my short time blogging featuring kale. I didn’t realize I love it so much, but I guess its so versatile that this veggie is like a gift that just keeps on giving!

A few nights ago I wanted to make a pasta but do something fun with it so I decided to make kale pesto for the sauce. It came out so delicious! Instead of pine nuts I used cashews which totally worked well to make the sauce creamy, and the addition of lemon really adds a nice summery flavor. This is super quick to whip up and I bet it would be great to store. Next time I might make more so I can do that.

We paired our pesto with penne and added some slightly cooked grape tomatoes and a little bit of mozzarella cheese on top. This is on the list of go-to sauces to make again and again!

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Sticky Rice with Mango

I am not sure when we first discovered the Thai dessert “Sticky Rice with Mango”, but it was within the past 5 years¬†and it was definitely love at first taste for me. I couldn’t believe I had been going to Thai restaurants for ages before this and had never had it!

A friend of ours brought over some mangoes and although I like mangoes, it is definitely not my go-to fruit (I am a nectarine and berry gal all the way).  I decided to use the mango and try to re-create our favorite Thai dessert! It was nearly impossible to find the glutinous, sticky rice that you need for this dish at a grocery store near me, so I ended up ordering a big bag off Amazon.

This dish is really easy to make, so pretty with the mango in the middle, and tastes a lot like Kheer (an Indian rice pudding that I love).

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Grilled Cauliflower “Steaks” and Semi-Homemade Pesto Sauce

My husband is a WAY better cook than me. In fact, he jokingly refers to me as his “sous chef” which is mildly funny because my nickname is “sue” (haha) and also mildly annoying because it means he is usually yelling orders at me to get things out of the fridge. But yes, he really is a great cook – he really understands flavors and takes the time in the kitchen that I often don’t. So from time to time I am going to showcase his culinary talents. Today’s recipe is a simple one that he made which came out so good.

We were randomly talking about making cauliflower “steaks” over the weekend and then lo and behold, Guy Fieri made them on his show on Sunday morning! It was definitely a sign. My husband adapted this recipe significantly, especially the sauce because neither of us like olive tapenade very much. I love, love, love this dish!

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