A stack of nine miniature two-inch savory sweet potato pancakes topped on a white plate. The pancakes are topped with sliced scallions.

Savory Sweet Potato Pancakes

Yes, Savory Sweet Potato Pancakes!

Jump to Recipe

I know I have said this before, but I will say it again: If you know me, you KNOW that I absolutely LOVE both American breakfast dishes and Asian-inspired cuisine (Yes, I love the nuanced array of cuisines from this entire gorgeous continent). Moreover, one of my guilty pleasures is Yachaejeon, a very delicious Korean or vegetable pancake. Every few months, I get intense cravings for one of these bad boys, and drive over 30 miles to sink my teeth onto one of these delicacies.

Lately, I have had some serious cravings for Yachaejeon. Being that I want to improve at saving my precious pennies, I challenged myself with making my own version of a vegetable pancake meal, inspired by the mouth-watering Korean dish. After trying my best to be resourceful, I looked around at my own pantry and fridge to see that I had two solid ingredients: green onion, and local sweet potatoes.

The Verdict?

After experimenting with this dish and making some measurement (and ingredient!) tweaks, I am proud to say that I came up with a pretty darn tasty vegetable pancake recipe. While this dish is nothing like Yachaejeon, it is very delicious. Moreover, the sweet potatoes give this dish creaminess with a very subtle sweetness, while the green onion gives this dish a beautiful sultry aroma and tiny bite. Furthermore, this dish is also unique in that I used almond milk, and two eggs to bind the mixture together. I HIGHLY recommend following this recipe closely, and keeping the pancakes small in size, because the batter is very delicate and WILL crumble if you make them any bigger. Trust me.

Alright, folks. That’s all I have to say: A delicious savory pancake recipe that can be enjoyed for breakfast or any other time of the day. Let’s move onto the recipe, shall we?

A stack of nine miniature two-inch savory sweet potato pancakes topped with scallions
A stack of yummy & savory sweet potato pancakes

Savory Sweet Potato Pancakes

Yes, Savory Sweet Potato Pancakes!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: savory pancakes, sweet potato pancakes, vegetarian
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 308kcal

Equipment

  • Griddle or large skillet
  • Spatula

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 2 cups milk (any variety)
  • ½ tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup finely sliced green onion

Instructions

  • Coarsely dice the sweet potatoes into 1”-2” cubes and boil/steam for about 15-20 minutes or until tender with a fork. In this step, you will also peel the garlic cloves and place them in the same pot as the sweet potatoes to cook for the same amount of time (cloves should feel very tender with a fork). Remove from heat, rinse with cold water (to cool down), and gently peel the skin off. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine eggs, milk, garlic, and soy sauce into a bowl and whisk until everything is well combined. In a separate bowl, combine all of the following dry ingredients:  the almond flour, baking powder and garlic.
  • Gradually combine the wet and dry ingredients, as well as the sweet potatoes and whisk for about two minutes, or until virtually all of the lumps are gone. The batter should look more liquid in nature. Once all of these ingredients are combined, mix in the green onion.
  • Heat skillet to medium and lightly grease with cooking oil of choice. Using a ladel, gently pour in batter to form miniature pancakes no bigger than the two inches in diameter in size (roughly the size of silver dollar pancakes). Allow to cook for roughly two minutes until the surface begins to bubble. Gently flip with a spatula, and allow to cook for two more minutes. Repeat until all of the mixture has been cooked.
  • (Optional step) Serve with a drizzle of sriracha, additional green onion slices, and enjoy!

Nutritional Information per serving:

308 calories/ 15.11 grams protein/ 19.6 grams fat/ 21 grams carbohydrates/ 4.5 grams of fiber


Cauliflower Veggie Fried Rice

 

 
How ‘bout a heaping serving of your favorite takeout-inspired fried rice, with a low-carb remix..?
 


Carbs. They are one of the three macronutrients that are vital to your health.
 
However, there are some days that I want to cut back, and eat something well…lighter! This recipe is incredibly simple, yet delicious. The combination of the soy sauce*, peas, and egg** really give this the classic Chinese-American fried rice flavor. Incorporating the cauliflower rice gives this dish a beautiful texture, and very subtle flavor which creates a wonderful palette for the senses.  I posted the veggies that I used, but you can really use whatever veggies you’d like!
 
 
 
I really don’t know what else to say. So let’s jump ahead to the recipe, shall we?
Cauliflower Veggie Fried Rice
 
Ingredients:
·         16 oz. cauliflower, riced-or-1 small head of cauliflower.
·         1 large carrot
·         ¼ cup water
·         1 large red bell pepper
·         1 large egg (** or 4 oz of extra-firm tofu, drained, if vegan)
1/2 cup frozen peas
·         1 small red onion
·         2-3 green onion stems
·         2 tbsp. cooking oil (grapeseed, coconut or avocado)
·         2 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce * or coconut aminos
·         3 cloves fresh garlic
·         1-2 tbsp. sriracha (optional)

Directions:
 
1. If you are ricing cauliflower: coarsely chop your cauliflower head until the pieces are about 2” in size. Then place cauliflower chunks into food processor and pulse for about two seconds. Repeat until the cauliflower pieces are roughly the size of a grain of rice. For best results, break up chopped cauliflower batch, so you don’t jam up your food processor. Once the cauliflower is riced, set aside. If you have already purchased pre-riced cauliflower, then skip this step, and omit the ¼ cup of water in step 2.
 
2. In a medium-sized sauce pan, turn the heat on medium, and place the freshly riced cauliflower and ¼ water in pot. Let the mixture cook on medium, covered, for about 8-10 minutes, or until all of the water has evaporated and the cauliflower gets the texture of cooked rice (like an al-dente). If cooking with pre-riced cauliflower, cover and let cook for 7-8 minutes on medium, covered, or until the rice also gets an al-dente texture. Set aside.
 
3. While the cauliflower rice is cooking, coarsely chop the bell pepper, carrot, red & green onion until they are about the size of one inch cubes. Once diced, heat up large skillet or wok, add cooking oil and let it heat for about 30 seconds on medium-high. Gradually add the chopped veggies (except green onions) to the skillet, and cover veggies and let them cook for about 8 minutes, covered, or until the onion begins to lightly golden brown. Be sure to stir the veggies frequently.
 
4. Vegetarian step (skip to step 5 if vegan)-During the last three minutes of the veggies sautéing, leave a portion of room empty in skillet, crack the egg in that space, scramble the egg, until it is fully cooked. Gently stir egg mixture around the remaining veggies.
 
5. Vegan step- During the last five minutes of the veggies sautéing, leave a portion of room empty in skillet, gently crumble the tofu into large scrambled egg-like chunks, and scramble the tofu, until it is it begins to lightly brown.. Gently stir tofu mixture around the remaining veggies.
 
6. Once the veggies and cauliflower rice finish sautéing, gently incorporate the rice mixture into the veggie mixture. Stir frequently, and gradually stir in the soy sauce, sriracha, and add the peas. Cook the mixture down on medium heat, covered, for about two minutes, or until the peas are warmed.
 
7. Once the veggie stir fry is finished cooking, sprinkle the green onion mixture on top, serve, and enjoy! 🙂
 
4 Servings
 
Nutritional information per serving:
154g calories/ 5.7g protein/8.5g fat/17g carbs/ 4g fiber / 3WW smart points (green plan)
Have you made this? Did you alter this recipe in any way? Comment below!
 

 


Spinach-Basil Pesto

 

I will show you how to make my favorite kind of pesto-with a lovely twist!
 


Last time, I showed you how I make my Creamy Bell Pepper & Carrot Pesto. This time, I’m going to show you how to make more of a traditional pesto-but with a nice little vegan touch.
 
Before I delve into my yummy recipe, let’s first address a major question: What exactly is pesto? Pesto, or, more formally pesto alla genovese, is a sauce that originates from Genoa, the capital city of Liguria, Italy. Some historians believe that the recipe dates back to the Roman Era, but became a more refined staple around the mid-1800s. The traditional pesto sauce consists of fresh basil leaves, crushed garlic, pine nuts, coarse salt, olive oil, and a hard cheese such as Parmigiano-Reggiano (think of your classic non-grated Parmesan cheese). The following ingredients are traditionally blended together by finely hand chopping or hand-crushing them down with the utilization a mortar and pestle (pictured below).
 
Photo courtesy: Artur Rutowski
My recipe has a few exceptions which deviate from a traditional pesto alla genovese. First, this recipe is completely dairy-free and therefore vegan. But don’t worry about missing out on the cheesy bite. Nutritional yeast and lemon juice serve as the perfect substitute for the traditional hard cheese required. As you can see by the recipe title, this recipe also incorporates the utilization of fresh spinach. I understand that not everyone has access to fresh basil leaves, be it because of availability, cost, or a combination of the two factors. The spinach, while light in flavor, serves as a perfectly viable alternative if you have zero access to fresh basil. Finally, this recipe has a 21st century instantaneous twist by relying on a food processor (but if you DO have a mortar and pestle-the traditional mixing tool, it works perfectly, as well! It will just take a tad bit more time and elbow grease to prepare  🙂 ). Nevertheless, this remixed version of the traditional pesto recipe is super simple to prepare. Most of all, the flavor is absolutely delicious! Just like my bell pepper-carrot pesto, this yummy sauce goes wonderfully with pasta or over a baguette, risotto or any other vessel you like to serve your pesto with.
 
Do you want to know how I make my version of pesto? Keep on scrolling!   
 
Spinach Basil Pesto
 
Ingredients:
·         2 packed cups of fresh spinach leaves
·         2 packed cups of fresh basil leaves*
·         3 cloves of garlic
·         ¼ cup of nutritional yeast
·         2 tbsp. lemon juice
·         1 tsp. salt (coarse or kosher is preferred)
·         ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (evoo)
·         ¼ cup of pine nuts or roasted sunflower seeds
 
Directions:
 
1.  In a small skillet, set it on medium high and allow it to preheat for a couple seconds. Take your pine nuts and place them into the skillet and allow them to toast up for about 2-3 minutes until they form a light golden brown around the edges. Stir the nuts frequently in the process. Once the nuts area toasted, remove from heat and set aside. You can skip the toasting step if you are utilizing pre-roasted sunflower seeds. Simply set those to the side.
 
2.   Take each garlic clove place each clove on the cutting board. Gently place your knife over the garlic clove with the blade resting parallel to the garlic clove (away from you), ball your fist, and smash the knife. Doing so breaks each clove down, while also cracking open the skin. Repeat until all the cloves have been mashed and skin completely unpeeled. Then, coarsely chop each of the cloves until the pieces are roughly about the size of small grains of rice. Set aside.
 
3.  Blending method 1-Food processor: Take all of your ingredients and add them all into a food processor. Let the mixture pulse for about 2 seconds each time and repeat about 6 times-1 minute until the pesto has a smooth consistency, but still chunky enough to the point where you can see pieces of the spinach and garlic. Stir the mixture in between each pulse.  (do not exceed pulsing over 2 minutes).
 
4. Blending method 2-Mortar and pestle: First, grind your garlic and salt down with the mortar and pestle for about 30 seconds-1 minute, or until it turns into a chunky mash. Then gradually add in your toasted pine nuts or sunflower seeds and mash it down until the garlic/nut mixture forms a paste. Afterwards, gradually add in the basil and spinach, handful by handful and grind that into the mixture until the leaves are very tiny. Gradually, add in the rest of your ingredients, with the olive oil as the last ingredient to add in, and keep mixing everything for a few minutes (3-6), and continue mashing until the pesto has a smooth consistency, but still chunky enough to the point where you can see pieces of the spinach/basil and garlic.
 
5.     Enjoy over your favorite edible vessel! 🙂
 
* Note: If you are unable to access fresh basil leaves, substitute the 2 cups of fresh basil for 2 cups of fresh spinach leaves.
 
Makes approximately 1 cup of delicious pesto (8 ounces)-6 servings
 
Nutritional Information (per serving):
 
156 Calories/ 6.2g protein/ 12.5 grams fat/6.9 grams of carbs/3 grams fiber / 4 WW smart points (green plan)
 
198% DV Folate, DFE/ 264% DV Vitamin B-1 (Thiamin)/ 202% DV Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin) 115% DV Vitamin B-3 (Niacin)/ 300% DV Vitamin A/ 373% DV Vitamin K/ 17% DV Vitamin C

 


Ginger Teriyaki Lettuce Wraps


This recipe is incredibly simple, yet delicious. I posted the veggies that I used from the Temple Terrace Farmers Market. Whenever possible, support your local economy!


Earlier today, I had the privilege of facilitating my first cooking demo, EVER! This took place at the Temple Terrace Market’s EBT booth. They have this awesome initiative where EBT (food stamp) recipients are incentivized to purchase double the value of the local produce offered at the market. It was truly a blessing to fuse my passion for cooking a dish with LOCAL ingredients for our beloved community to enjoy.



One of the objectives of today’s experience was to create a recipe utilizing the ingredients available at the market. With that being said, after putting my thinking caps on, I thought it would be a fun idea to take the provided veggies and give it an Asian-inspired twist by turning it into a delicious stir-fry. Because lettuce was also a provision, it gave me the idea of turning the stir fry into delicious wraps. I must say that today’s cooking demo was very well-received!!! Want to learn how I made today’s dish? Keep on readin’!

Ginger Teriyaki Lettuce Wraps
Ingredients:

Stir Fry Veggies
·         1.5 cups fresh kale, coarsely chopped  
·         2.5 cups coarsely-chopped fresh broccoli
·         4 cloves garlic
·         1 onion
·         ½ small red cabbage  
·         1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
·          1 Head of romaine or butter lettuce
·         2 tbsp. cooking oil (grape seed, coconut or avocado)

For the Marinade:
·         3 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos
·         3 tbsp brown sugar   
·         1 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
·         2 tbsp chili paste

Directions:
1. Combine all the ingredients for the marinade in a medium-sized bowl and whisk until everything looks well-combined. Set aside.
2. Coarsely chop the onion until each piece is about ½” in size, and then add them to a covered medium-sized bowl. Afterwards, finely mince the garlic cloves and ginger until they are very fine pieces, less than the size of corn kernels, but no smaller than the size of a grain of uncooked rice. Add to onion mixture, and then set aside.
3. Take your broccoli and kale and coarsely chop each veggie until each piece is roughly 1” in size. Set aside.
4. If you are using romaine lettuce, cut off the base of the lettuce, then cut the lettuce bunch in half at the width (not length). If you are using another lettuce, like butter lettuce, cut the base, and gently open each leaf. Place the lettuce leaves in a large bowl or plate and set aside. Afterwards, take the cabbage half and chop into fine slices that are no more than a centimeter in width. Place cabbage into a bowl and set aside.
5. Take a wok or large skillet and add the cooking oil and let it heat up on medium-high for about 45 seconds. To test heat, add one piece of onion. If you see that it starts to bubble around the edge, it’s time to add in the onion/garlic/ginger mixture. Sautee in the wok for about two minutes, until the mixture becomes fragrant and becomes slightly more translucent.
6. Gradually add and sir in the chopped broccoli and kale mixture. Cover the mixture and let it steam for about 3 minutes, or until the kale turns a vibrant green. Lift the lid off and stir several times for about a minute, and gradually add in marinade by gently stirring it around. Let the veggies cook covered for about 3 minutes.
7. After the three minutes, lift the cover, and slightly adjust the temperature and let the stir fry mixture continue cooking for about 3 minutes uncovered, until most of the liquid evaporates and slightly thickens. Turn off the stove and remove the skillet from the heat and allow to cool down for about a minute or so.
8. Take your lettuce leaf and with a medium spoon, take some of the stir-fry mixture and spoon it over the lettuce. Take a small handful (about a teaspoon) of chopped red cabbage and top over the stir-fry teriyaki and roll the lettuce wrap, until it resembles a small taco. Eat up, and enjoy!
9. Optional, serve with a side of rice. Enjoy!! 🙂

4 Servings

Nutritional information per serving (without rice):
149 calories/ 4.6g protein/7.8g fat/18.5g carbs/ 4.9g fiber


Creamy Bell Pepper & Carrot Pesto

I will show you how to make my favorite kind of pesto-with a lovely vegan twist!


I LOOOVE pesto…it’s GOT to be one of my favorite type of sauces, hands down. This recipe was really inspired as a result of preventing food waste. About a week ago, I had some bell peppers slowly beginning to wilt in the back of my fridge. I had been trying to figure out how to utilize them, and BAM! I came up with an idea: How about I try ‘sun drying’ the peppers, similarly to how you would with tomatoes? My thought process then evolved into seeing if it was remotely possible to make a pepper pesto. My thought was Why not?

Let me tell you, this pepper pesto has turned into my crack. Slow roasting the peppers brings out the natural sweetness in the peppers. Team that with the creaminess of roasted carrot and garlic, and your taste buds are in Heaven.  The dairy substitution of nutritional yeast and Miso paste gave this a wonderful, rich and savory sense of umami. I actually find this pesto to have an almost cheesy quality to it (something that I was not intending to aim for!). It goes wonderfully with pasta or over a baguette, risotto or any other vessel you like to serve your pesto with! 

In lieu of the sun, I utilized my trusty oven for these peppers. As you’ll see, I let these babies roast for a while. Don’t let the 8 hour oven time intimidate you-these peppers can either be slow-roasted overnight or while you’re at work. This sauce does take some time to prepare from start to finish…but I PROMISE you that it will be worth the wait!


Let me show you how I made this!

Creamy Bell Pepper & Carrot Pesto

Ingredients:
·         5 large colorful bell peppers, or 8-10 miniature bell peppers
·         3 cloves of garlic
·         2 carrots
·         3 tbsp nutritional yeast
·         1 tbsp miso paste
·         2 tbsp lemon juice
·         4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (evoo)
·         ¼ cup of pine nuts or sunflower seeds
Directions:
1.       Roasted peppers-Preheat oven to 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Take each bell pepper and slice directly in half, lengthwise and remove the saps and seeds.  After slicing and de-seeding, take a large baking sheet and line with parchment paper. Place your pepper halves on the parchment paper and drizzle 1 tbsp of the evoo and massage over each of the pepper pieces until they are all oiled. Place baking tray in middle rack and allow the peppers to slow-roast for 7-8 hours, or until the peppers start to wrinkle. Be sure to check them after 7 hours to ensure that they do not burn!

2.       Roasted Carrots and garlic-Preheat oven to 400. Coarsely chop carrots until they are about 2 inches in size. Take your carrots and unpeeled garlic cloves, lightly drizzle with evoo and let them roast for about 20-25 minutes, until the carrots are fork tender. Afterwards, remove them from the oven and gently unpeel garlic clove. Should be relatively fork tender. If its not quite fork tender, leave the cloves in the oven for about 5-6 more minutes. Place your seeds in the oven to roast for the last 5 minutes.

3. Mixin it all-Take all of your roasted veggies and the remaining ingredients and add them all into a food processor. Let the mixture pulse nonstop for about 3 minutes, or until the mixture has the consistency of a smooth  hummus-like consistency.

4.       Enjoy over your favorite vessel of choice! 🙂

6 servings

Nutritional Information (per serving)
194 Calories/ 4.9g protein/ 13.6 grams fat/14.3 grams of carbs/4.4 grams fiber

Tasty Scrambled Tofu!


I really don’t have much to say about this dish, except that it’s easy, delicious and pretty straight-forward to make. This is my go-to breakfast to prepare when I’m getting ready to go to work. It takes roughly 10 minutes to prepare and cook. The amount of protein in the tofu also keeps me filled and energized all morning, so that I can conquer each day with gusto!

Oh-there IS one thing that I forgot to add. There’s an ingredient that I like to add to my scrambled breakfast tofu: yellow mustard. Yes. The type that you squeeze on your hot dogs. The mustard gives this a surprising creaminess and umami, and gives it just the perfect little amount of zing to help bring out the flavors of the other spices used.

Ok, let’s get on with the recipe!

Tasty Scrambled Tofu!

Ingredients:
One 8 oz package of firm or extra firm tofu, drained
¾ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp garlic Powder
1 tsp Sriracha
1 tbsp yellow mustard
½ cup fresh spinach
¼ cup of water
2 tsp Cooking oil
A pinch of salt and black pepper

Directions:

1. Gently drain out tofu over a sink until most of the liquid has vanished. After draining, crumble the tofu with your hands until you get chunky pieces the size of egg scrambles.

2. Heat a skillet onto medium-high & melt your cooking oil. While skillet is melting, take all your other condiments and water and mix together in a bowl until mixture turns into a golden orange broth.

3. Place tofu chunks into skillet and let them sauté for about 3 minutes, until they begin to lightly brown. After those three minutes, gradually add in the broth and spinach and let the scrambled mixture finish cooking for another 3 minutes, or until the water evaporates. Stir frequently.

4. Turn off, serve on your favorite vessel, and enjoy! 🙂

Makes two servings

Nutritional Information per serving: 

171 calories/ 12.8g protein/ 11.5g fat/ 7.5g carbs/ 1.6g fiber


Tangy Curried ‘Chick-un’ Salad Sandwich


Today is the epitome of a lazy Sunday. I honestly haven’t even felt like cooking. However, I did not feel like eating out, either (I’ve got a wedding to save for and bills to pay!!).

So what did I do? Look through my pantry to see what was readily available, and I found the following items staring at me: My loaf of bread, frozen spinach, and a can of hearts of palm. After trying to figure out how I could mesh these elements together, the A-HA moment hit me:

Folks…I present to you my version of a VERY tasty curried chick-un salad sandwich.

This was my first time making and EATING hearts of palm, and I was NOT disappointed. It has a mellow, yet slightly tangy flavor-which I absolutely love. The texture of the brined hearts of palm is meat-like, so it makes the perfect natural plant-based substitute for any recipe requiring white poultry (or even seafood) meat. The flavor of the plant is light mellow enough that it can really absorb whatever seasonings and spices you’d like. You can even rinse out the brine for a few minutes in cold water, if you want to make the flavor as neutral as possible. One of my favorite things about these hearts? They’re actually quite affordable and pretty easy to locate at most grocery stores.

This is also low in carbs!

Anyways, enough jibber-jabber. Let’s get on with the recipe!
Ingredients:
·         One 14oz can or jar of hearts of palm, drained & rinsed (and coarsely chopped)
·         1 tablespoon of yellow mustard topping
·         ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder
·         2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil
·         ½ teaspoon of paprika
·         ½ cup of fresh spinach leafs
·         1 tablespoon veganaise
·         1 teaspoon of curry seasoning
·         2 dates (chopped into fine pieces)
·         Vessels for your ‘chick-un’ salad.
Directions:
1. Take a skillet and preheat and add the olive oil to the skillet.

2. Once the skillet is warm enough, add all of the ingredients (except veganaise) together, and sauté on medium-high heat for about 7-10 minutes, until the hearts of palm (chick-un) mixture has some golden brown charring.

3. Once the chick-un mixture has finished sautéing, turn off skillet & remove from heat. After cooling off for about 2 minutes, add in the veganaise, and mix well. Serve over your favorite type of bread (or wrap/ or leafy green wrap!) and enjoy!!

Makes two hearty servings

Nutritional information per serving (without bread):
140g calories/ 7.6g protein/6.3g fat/18g carbs/ 7.6g fiber