Main Dishes, Pasta, Recipes

Creamy Sweet Potato and Kale Orzo

This easy, creamy pasta-based dish has all the makings of a cravable, comforting fall dinner. Creamy Sweet Potato and Kale Orzo may not look like much, but it tastes like a million bucks!

This easy, creamy pasta-based dish has all the makings of a cravable, comforting fall dinner. Creamy Sweet Potato and Kale Orzo may not look like much, but it tastes like a million bucks!

Eeek, I don’t want to tell you  how long ago I made this recipe! It’s embarrassing. But I wanted to wait until fall to share this gem of a meatless meal with you. This easy, creamy pasta-based dish has all the makings of a cravable, comforting fall dinner. Creamy Sweet Potato and Kale Orzo may not look like much [and my indoor photos don’t help it… alas], but it tastes like a million bucks!

This easy, creamy pasta-based dish has all the makings of a cravable, comforting fall dinner. Creamy Sweet Potato and Kale Orzo may not look like much, but it tastes like a million bucks!

Despite this dish’s less-than-steller appearance, it is so unbelievably good, whether prepared fresh or reheated for lunches later in the week. Mmm! The star of this meatless sensation is absolutely the creamy, sweet potato-based sauce. It’s just a little cheesy [thanks ricotta!] and somewhat reminiscent of summer since the flava flava comes from none other than pesto! So you can reminisce about warm days while cozying up with a warm bowl of this goodness. 🙂 Of course, you can’t just have the sauce… you gotta add some extra deliciousness to it! This time I added kale, sun-dried tomatoes, and orzo to the mix, but you can absolutely use other veggies or even some meat. I think bacon would be great here too… but can you ever go wrong with bacon? No matter how you mix it, this dinner is great! The slight crunch of the kale, the sweet essence of sweet potatoes [sorry that sounds weird but it was just speaking to me today–haha!], and the fun add in pasta shape of orzo makes this a dish that I know you’ll love! Enjoy! 🙂

one year ago: Cantucci (Almond Biscotti)
two years ago: Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice
three years ago: Autumnal Muffins
four years ago: Iced Tea with Ginger-Mint Simple Syrup
five years ago: Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad
six years ago: Spaghetti + Meatballs=Love

Creamy Sweet Potato and Kale Orzo

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Print

adapted from The Smart Cookie Cook

Ingredients:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 16 ounces orzo pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups skim milk
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons pesto
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 cups kale, tightly packed [about 2/3 of a large bunch–washed, thoroughly dried, stems removed, and chopped into bite sized pieces]
  • 1/3 cup sundried tomatoes [dry packed or drained and patted dry if water/oil packed]

Directions:

Wash and dry sweet potatoes, then pierce with a fork all over and place in a microwave safe container. Microwave on high for 6 minutes, then flip and microwave for another 4-5 minutes or until potatoes are cooked all the way through. Set aside to cool in a bowl of cold water for a few minutes, then peel and chop into chunks. Discard skin.

Meanwhile, cook orzo to al dente according to package directions.

In a separate pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute, for about 4-5 minutes until onion is tender. Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds until fragrant. Season generously with pepper. Add milk and broth, then bring to a boil, being careful to not let it boil over. Reduce heat to low.

Add sweet potato chunks, ricotta, pesto, and crushed red pepper to broth mixture. Whisk constantly until all has been incorporated. Break up the sweet potato chunks as you go, and if desired, use an immersion blender to completely smooth the sauce. Next, add kale and sundried tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes until kale has reduced in volume. Stir in orzo and serve immediately.

Advertisements
Beans, Breakfast, Egg Dishes, Main Dishes, Recipes

Tangy Sweet Potato Hash #FreshTastyValentines

This sweet potato hash combines pretty much all my favorite things… sweet potatoes, black beans, red peppers, bacon, and fried eggs. Ginger and grapefruit zest give it an unforgettable special tangy flavor! 

This sweet potato hash combines pretty much all my favorite things... sweet potatoes, black beans, red peppers, bacon, and fried eggs. Ginger and grapefruit zest give it an unforgettable special tangy flavor! #FreshTastyValentines

I love recipes that work for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Hashes are one of those classic recipes that can work for any meal, especially when you throw a fried egg on top. I used to make these meals almost every week pre-pregnancy. If it wasn’t a sweet/regular potato hash, it was arugula salad with fried potatoes and a fried egg… or fried rice with a fried egg… or a fried egg sandwich… or… you get the picture, huh? These days, I eat fried eggs oh-so-rarely. I have really tried to not be paranoid about the dietary restrictions with pregnancy [I’ll admit to licking the bowl when baking, and over Thanksgiving I accidentally ate a cobb salad with cold deli meat on it without thinking] but I don’t want to take too many unnecessary risks. I’m too much of a rule follower for that! Not to mention how devastated I would be if something I chose to ate hurt the baby. I know you can’t prevent everything [listeria in peanut butter or salad, anyone?] but I can prevent eating too many fried eggs. I think. 🙂

This sweet potato hash combines pretty much all my favorite things... sweet potatoes, black beans, red peppers, bacon, and fried eggs. Ginger and grapefruit zest give it an unforgettable special tangy flavor! #FreshTastyValentines

So that being said, you know that if I chose to eat a fried egg [yes, singular… before baby it was two 😦 tear!] it’s gotta be for a good reason. And this sweet potato hash is a GREAT reason! It’s pretty much the best hash I’ve ever tried. [Umm, sorry if that sounds weird.] Sometimes hashes can get a little too mushy, but this one doesn’t because I had the *genius* idea to a) roast the sweet potatoes instead of cooking them in the pan, b) layer them with the black bean and red pepper mixture, and c) top it all with bacon and the said fried egg. #mmmm

This sweet potato hash combines pretty much all my favorite things... sweet potatoes, black beans, red peppers, bacon, and fried eggs. Ginger and grapefruit zest give it an unforgettable special tangy flavor! #FreshTastyValentines

If that’s not genius, then I don’t know what is! Oh wait, yes I do. 🙂 In the summertime, part of what makes a sweet potato hash so darn good is that you can put half of your herb garden in as seasonings. Well, we are dead in the middle of winter here so I used the next best thing: Gourmet Garden Lightly Dried Herbs and Spices! They’re one of our lovely sponsors for #FreshTastyValentines, and to spice up [ha] this dish, I used cilantro, ginger, and chili. So good! I also added some fresh grapefruit zest [love that lately!] for some zing.

This sweet potato hash combines pretty much all my favorite things... sweet potatoes, black beans, red peppers, bacon, and fried eggs. Ginger and grapefruit zest give it an unforgettable special tangy flavor! #FreshTastyValentines

That zing was intensified with the special sauce that took this already great hash out of the park! Not Ketchup is ANOTHER one of our amazing sponsors for this fun blogging event, and I have to admit that I was a wee bit skeptical of the Tangerine Hatch Chile sauce they sent my way. Until I opened up the bottle and tried a wee bit with a roasted sweet potato. Then I was in tangerine spice heaven! Unlike how it sounds, this sauce is NOT spicy, but is the best blend of sweet and savory tang. I thought about stirring the sauce into the hash from the get go, but the aforementioned soggy, mushy sweet potato hash I was trying to avoid nixed that idea. Instead, I drizzled a hearty helping over the hash after the egg had been broken, and OH MAN was it good! Out of all of the Not Ketchup flavors I’ve tried, this one is by far my favorite… and I love that it has no added sugar; it’s only sweetened with real fruit [tangerine, apples, dates]. It is so delicious! Hope you give it a try–with or without my sweet potato hash. 🙂

one year ago: Spiced Fig Turkey Mini Meatloaf
two years ago: Sweet Potato Pork Quesadillas
three years ago: Chewy Peanut Butter Brownies
four years ago: Caramel S’more Cups
five years ago: Bacon-Wrapped Feta & Almond Stuffed Dates

Tangy Sweet Potato Hash

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Print

Ingredients:

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss sweet potatoes with olive oil, cumin, garlic powder, and freshly ground black pepper. Spread in an even layer on a large rimmed baking sheet, then roast for 20-25 minutes, or until tender. Flip after 10 minutes for even cooking.

Meanwhile, fry the bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Drain almost all the grease from the skillet, then add diced onion and chopped red bell pepper and saute for 5-7 minutes over medium heat until tender. Stir in black beans, cilantro, ginger, chili, and grapefruit zest. Reduce heat to low, and heat through, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes. Season with black pepper.

At this time, prepare 2 eggs per person as desired–fried or poached would be best. Also, chop bacon into bite size pieces.

When ready to serve, place a layer of sweet potatoes on a large plate or shallow bowl. Top with a layer of black bean/veggie mixture, a piece of chopped bacon, and two eggs. Serve with Tangerine Hatch Chile Not Ketchup for dipping!

Be sure to enter our #giveaway here! And check out the other awesome recipes that our #FreshTastyValentines blogging crew have come up with at the link below. 🙂

Find Not Ketchup

on the web: here
on Twitter: here
on Facebook: here
on Pinterest: here
on Instagram: here
on Google+: here

Find Gourmet Garden

on the web: here
on Twitter: here
on Facebook: here
on Pinterest: here
on Instagram: here
on Google+: here
Disclosure: I received complimentary sauce from Not Ketchup and herbs & spices from Gourmet Gardens for my participation in #FreshTastyValentines. However, I was not required to write a positive review and I was not otherwise compensated for this post. The thoughts expressed above are entirely my own. Thanks to Not Ketchup and Gourmet Gardens for their sponsorship of this event!
Appetizers, Main Dishes, Pork, Recipes

Sweet Potato Pork Quesadillas

Apparently February is National Sweet Potato Month! Who knew?! I know no better way to celebrate than with these awesome Sweet Potato Pork Quesadillas!

Sweet Potato Pork Quesadillas | thepajamachef.com

Please forgive my less than stellar photos. I am so over this winter weather, it’s really killing my photos! But anyway–these quesadillas are ridiculously good. Though they require a few extra steps than a usual quesadilla, since you have to cook the ground pork and saute some jalapenos, they are well worth it! These quesadillas are the perfect combination of sweet and spicy goodness. We’ve made them for dinner a couple times, but I can definitely see them as a wonderful party appetizer too. As you can see, I served them with quite a bit of sour cream and some sauteed jalapenos. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Sweet Potato Pork Quesadillas | thepajamachef.com

one year ago: Chewy Peanut Butter Brownies
two years ago: Caramel S’more Cups
three years ago: Bacon-Wrapped Feta & Almond Stuffed Dates

Sweet Potato Pork Quesadillas

  • Servings: 4 meal-size servings, 8 appetizer servings
  • Print

from Food Network Magazine
Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1/2 pound ground pork [chorizo would also be a great substitute]
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder [ancho chili powder or chipotle chili powder also works well–but scale back depending on your tolerance of spice]
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • butter or oil, for cooking
  • 4 burrito-size flour tortillas
  • 2 cups cheese [cheddar, jack, Mexican blend, etc.]
  • sour cream, for topping
  • sliced pickled jalapenos [or saute a few fresh jalapenos]

Directions:

Prick a medium sweet potato all over with a fork and microwave until soft, about 8-10 minutes. When sweet potato is cooked, let cool for a few minutes and then remove the skin. Gently mash sweet potato with a fork, then set aside.

Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium heat and cook pork with chili powder, breaking up with a wooden spoon until browned. Add garlic, green onions, and cooked sweet potato to skillet and stir together. Cook for a minute or so, then remove to a bowl. Stir in cilantro.

Wipe out the skillet and add about 1 teaspoon of butter or oil to the skillet. After a minute or so, add tortilla to skillet. Evenly top tortilla with 1/2 cup cheese and 1/4 of the pork mixture. Reduce heat to low. After cheese is melted, fold the tortilla in half over the filling and cook until tortilla is golden brown. Remove from pan and cut into four wedges. Repeat to make an additional 3 quesadillas. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a few slices of jalapenos, if desired.

 

Chorizo, Main Dishes, Pasta, Recipes

Sweet Potato Chorizo Chile Mac

I’ve been making this Sweet Potato Chorizo Chile Mac for well over a year now since Joanne posted it, and have no idea why I haven’t blogged about it yet. It is AMAZING! It’s no secret that I like baked pasta, cheese, and Southwestern/Mexican food, and this dish fits the bill for all three of those categories. Saaaweeeet!

Sweet Potato Chorizo Chile Mac | thepajamachef.com

Or more accurately, sweet ‘n spicy. This version of chile mac features a hearty sweet potato sauce, some spicy chorizo sausage, and just enough cheese to be yummy but not too indulgent/unhealthy. I mean, I love a super cheesy dish as much as the next girl, but there are other flavors I like too… and this dish brings it! If you have all the ingredients at your disposal and are currently snowed/iced/frozen in, then I highly suggest you make this today! If not, then by the end of the week, stat!

Sweet Potato Chorizo Chile Mac | thepajamachef.com

I’ve been trying to figure out what my favorite part of the dish is, and the sad answer is… I don’t know! The spicy meat pairs so well with the smooth sweet potato sauce that neither is overwhelming. Ben isn’t a huge sweet potato guy but this is one dish he really can get into. For the most part, I followed Joanne’s original recipe, but of course I had to add my own little twist, my own little departure from regular ‘ole chili mac… and that is to toss everything in the oven for just a bit, to create some crunchy noodles and a nice layer of melted cheese. By jove, I’ve got it! The crunchy noodles are my favorite part. Crunchy, cheesy, spicy, sweet potato covered noodles, that is! Enjoy! 🙂

Sweet Potato Chorizo Chile Mac | thepajamachef.com

one year ago: Chicken Tinga Tacos
two years ago: Crock Pot Cran-Apple Sauce
three years ago: Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

Sweet Potato Chorizo Chile Mac

  • Servings: 8
  • Print

from Joanne via Marcus Samuelsson

Ingredients:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes [approximately 2 pounds]
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1-2 tablespoons chopped chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4-6 ounces shredded cheese [sharp Cheddar cheese or Monterey Jack], divided
  • 8 ounces small whole wheat pasta [shells or macaroni]
  • 8 ounces chorizo
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions, divided
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, divided
  • sour cream, for serving

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 casserole dish with nonstick spray.

Scrub sweet potatoes and pierce all over with a fork. Place in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 10-12 minutes, or until cooked through.

While sweet potatoes cook, prepare pasta according to package directions.

When cooked sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel and place in a large bowl. Add milk, chipotle chiles, and a generous amount of pepper. Mash and stir in half of the cheese, then add pasta to sweet potato mixture.

Heat a small skillet over medium heat, then add chorizo and cook 4-5 minutes until brown, stirring to crumble. Add to bowl with sweet potatoes and pasta. Stir together along with half of the green onions and cilantro, then transfer to prepared baking dish. Top with remaining cheese.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cheese is golden brown and bubbly. Top with green onions and cilantro and serve with sour cream [if desired].

Notes: preparation time can be reduced for this dish if you bake the sweet potatoes ahead of time.

 

Desserts, Pies, Recipes

Mystery Dish: Sweet Potato Pie with Cranberry Compote

Good morning, everyone! I’ve got a wonderful pie to share with you today! But not just any old pie–Sweet Potato Pie with Cranberry Compote!

sweet potato pie with cranberry compote | thepajamachef.comRegular readers know that I don’t usually post on Tuesdays [I’m on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule] but this month our Mystery Dish posting happened to fall on a Tuesday. So here I am! 🙂 As a refresher, Mystery Dish is a fun new blogging group that I’m a part of– the premise is this: each month, one blogger will create a mystery box of ingredients. Ingredients can be themed related to a cuisine, a meal, a season, a specific ingredient, or anything else creative. Then, the other eleven bloggers have to create a recipe using some of the ingredients. SO FUN! This month it was Nora’s turn to come up with our assigned ingredients. Nora blogs at Buttercream Fanatic [yummmm] and she chose:

  • Sweet Potato
  • Kale
  • Squash (any kind, including pumpkin)
  • Nutmeg
  • Venison
  • Turkey
  • Cranberries
  • Caramel
  • Candy Corn

Since I made a pie for the first edition of Mystery Dish, I didn’t intend to make another one for this go-round. It just happened. I saw a picture on instagram of a sweet potato pie and inspiration struck! I have always wanted to try sweet potatoes in a pie and here was my chance. Oh, and Ben nixed the idea of anything else butternut squash, pumpkin, or kale. I guess he’s tired of those ingredients. I don’t understand… But I digress.

sweet potato pie with cranberry compote | thepajamachef.comI’ve typically shied away from making sweet potato pie because it seems so close to pumpkin… but YOU GUYS! It’s not! It’s pumpkin pie’s savorier cousin. It has a subtle sweetness, and when paired with tangy sweet cranberries, each bite is like Thanksgiving. Seriously. So I hope you make this pie and can look past the photos I took at 7 am in the morning because central time and fall and having a full time job are [gratefully] messing with my photography/blogging rhythm. The pie is great with coffee for breakfast, great for a late night snack, and just great all around. Try it out!

So there you have it. Mystery Dish is fun and Sweet Potato Pie is just as amazing as I dreamed it was… but don’t just check out my recipe. There are eleven permanent members in the group, and one guest each month who have each made something utterly fabulous! This month, our guest is Cate of Chez Catey Lou. She’s super sweet so be sure to check out her site! For a look at what everyone else made, check out the collage and links below. Enjoy my pie, and enjoy your day! 🙂

Mystery Dish Collage

1. Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream
2. Roasted Acorn Squash with Cranberries, Almonds, and Brown Sugar
3. Sweet Potato and Sausage Soup
4. Pumpkin Magic Bars
5. Pumpkin Pie Cake
6. Sweet Potato, Smoked Turkey, and Cranberry Croque Madame
7. Caramel Candy Corn Poke Cake
8. Roasted Butternut Squash Pizza with Kale and Ricotta
9. Sweet Potato Cranberry Quick Bread
10. Venison with Sweet Potato Hash & Fried Egg
11. Orange Cranberry Bread
12. Sweet Potato Pie with Cranberry Compote

Sweet Potato Pie with Cranberry Compote [pie recipe slightly adapted from Paula Deen]
click to print

Ingredients:

for sweet potato pie

  • 2 large sweet potatoes [~1.25 lb]
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 9 inch pie shell, unbaked – I used the recipe and method here

for cranberry compote

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries, rinsed

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Peel sweet potatoes and cut into large chunks. Place in a microwave safe dish and add about 1/2 cup water before microwaving for 10 minutes, checking halfway through for doneness. When potatoes are very soft, add butter and mash until smooth. Set aside.

Meanwhile, combine sugar, eggs, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice in a bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until combined, then pour in milk and mix again. After potatoes have cooled, add to sugar and milk mixture and beat on low for 2-3 minutes until very smooth.

Pour into unbaked pie crust, and bake for 45-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If the crust starts browning too much during cooking, cover with aluminum foil.

To make cranberry compote, stir together sugar, water, and orange juice in a small pot. Bring to a boil, then add cranberries. Return to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Cook until berries begin to burst, stirring occasionally. Cool completely then store in the refrigerator.

Cool pie completely before cutting.

To serve, cut pie and top each slice with a generous serving of cranberry compote.

Time: 75 minutes.

Yield: 8-10 servings.