Stylish, Stealthy & Healthy.


Kale & Sweet Potato Hash

Can I just tell you how much I used to hate sweet potatoes?  In fact, I don’t know if hate is a strong enough word.  Remember the first boy/girl that made you cry in like, 5th grade?  The one bully that inevitably said something earth-shattering, like your blinky sneakers were totally lame, or your Sally Jesse Raphael glasses were stupid, or your tapered jeans weren’t tuck/rolled properly.  These, of course, are complete hypothetical examples, because I would never have worn blinky sneakers, and my tuck/roll was impeccable, and my mom assured me that my large red plastic glasses were the coolest.  But if I had, I can assure you I was nothing short of a vision.

Kids can be so mean.

Anyways, that’s how much I hated sweet potatoes.  Until like… 3 years ago.  I want to say it was because I saw the light and realized how insanely delicious/nutritious they are, but I’m pretty sure it’s because I tried a sweet potato fry once and my life hasn’t been the same ever since.

sweet potato hash

Now I can’t get enough of them.   I actually feared my skin would turn orange after eating them every day straight for a week one time, and I’d look like a snookified/oompa-loompa version of myself, but good news: I didn’t.


But that could just be because my skin refuses to turn any other shade but pale and I’m no less than 4 feet taller than both of them.  Regardless, this recipe was one I immediately bookmarked because I knew I’d love it, and if you share a love (new-found or not) for sweet potatoes, I’m sure you will too.

Vegetarian Sweet Potato and Kale Hash
Serves: About 4
Cook time: About 30 min
You’ll Need:
2 T coconut oil
3 large sweet potatoes, peeled & diced
1 bunch of leeks, cleaned & thinly chopped
1 large bunch kale, stems removed and cleaned
1 cup vegetable broth
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/3 cup chopped walnuts (or more if desired)

Directions: In a large pot, heat coconut oil and cook potatoes and leeks, until leeks are tender (about 5 minutes).  Add 1/2 cup vegetable broth, chili powder, and a dash of salt and pepper, cover the pot and cook for another 7-10 minutes until the potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.  Uncover, add another 1/2 cup broth and stir in kale, sprinkle with nutmeg, and cook another 5 or so minutes until kale is tender.  Serve with a handful of chopped walnuts and additional salt/pepper if needed.

(Slightly adapted from Pure Provender)

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This is a great, warm and filling fall/winter dish, and I am positive I’ll be making it many more times.  Although I will not be wearing blinky shoes or tapered jeans while I do so.  …Or will I?


My New Favorite Salad

Spoiler alert:  It’s summer, you guys.

Which means it’s H-O-T hot.  I don’t really remember summers always being this hot in the past, or this brutal on my allergies.  But here I am, wearing only clothing that won’t show sweat marks as to maintain some level of dignity, and sporting my glasses for the umpteenth time since apparently my contacts have sprouted little razor blades inside them and waged a full on attack on my eyeballs.

How’s that for imagery?

Anywho.  Since it’s been so muggy and sweat-tacular these days, my cooking has come to a little bit of a halt.  Besides grilling whenever possible, I mostly try to prepare meals that don’t involve me turning the oven dial past 4oo, and I don’t  partake in a whole lot of stove-top action.  So I end up making a lot of salads.  Which gets boring.

Enter my new favorite salad.

Peanut Curry Slaw Salad.  It’s a delightful blend of sweet and savory, and with a nice little how’s your father kick from the sriracha.  It’s a quick and easy vegetarian dish, but can also be just as tasty with some diced up chicken thrown in for added protein.  I make this about once a week now, and have been known to eat the entire bowl in record time.

Though, in all fairness, the bowls not that big.

Peanut Curry Slaw Salad
Prep time:  About 10 minutes
Yields: About 4 big servings
You’ll Need:
1 bag of shredded broccoli slaw
15 oz can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup golden raisins
The sauce:
1/4 cup reduced-fat creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 tsp. curry powder
Splash rice wine vinegar
Splash of water if needed, to thin out the sauce
1-3 T sriracha (or more, depending on your preference of heat)

Directions:  Combine slaw, chickpeas and raisins in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients and whisk until very smooth.  Toss with the salad and serve.

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This works great as a main-course or as a dinner side.  I had it one night with some salmon and it was deeeelish.

It also pairs wonderfully with my other favorite summer activity…

Any favorite salads you’d like to share for when I inevitably grow tired of this one?


Vegetarian Farro Chickpea Stew

Well I’m officially feeling better. Praise baby Jesus! After 3 days with minimal movement and human interaction, I was starting to question my sanity. I’m pretty sure at one point Mac started talking… that may have also been the 27 ibprofin I took to rid myself of omgtheworstheadacheever.

But about this stew. I made it about 2 weeks ago as “lunch for the week”, and it was my first tango with farro. Farro is an interesting little grain. Much like quinoa, it’s a very versatile grain, and a fantastic source of protein (7g per serving). I used the pearled variety, which basically means the outer husk has been removed, making it much easier (and faster!) to prepare. I feel extremely smart right now. (Don’t be fooled, though, I’m sure to say something completely air-headed in the next few seconds.)

In fact, in middle-school, people used to pull on my ear and make a hissing noise, as if to let the air out of a balloon. Only because I was such an airhead, I didn’t even get what that meant. I also earned the nickname “Duh, Jessica” after an unfortunate incident in gym glass where I shot a hockey puck into the wrong goal. And yes, I realize it’s pretty funny, but dude, middle school was hard enough without adding fuel to the fire.

Really, I could talk about how much I loathed grades 4-7 all day. I mean, how is it possible that between the ages of 8 and 11 human beings are capable of being pure evil? Yes, I was smart and maybe I was the kid who raised their hand a lot. And ok, so I had glasses and was freakishly tall, but whatever. Excuse me for being enthusiastic about learning and wanting to be friends with my teachers, is that so wrong? Stupid mean kids…

Can you even imagine if we had Facebook back then? Oof. It literally gives me the chills.

Speaking of, you know what’s good for chills?

Offff course you do.

Vegetarian Farro Chickpea Stew
Serves: 6
Cook time: about 40 minutes
You’ll Need:
1 T olive oil
1/2 cup frozen chopped kale
1/2 a medium yellow onion, chopped
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
1 T garlic, minced
15 oz can diced tomatoes
15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
6 cups water + 2 T Better Than Bouillon vegetable base (or sub veg stock)
1 cup farro, rinsed and drained
Salt & pepper to taste

Directions: In a large soup pot, heat oil over med-high heat and sautee onion, kale, crushed red pepper and garlic until onions are translucent and kale is softened. Add diced tomatoes, cumin and paprika, and simmer for about 6 minutes. Add vegetable broth, chickpeas and farro. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until farro is al dente. Salt & pepper to taste. Serve with crusty bread.

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This soup was way better than middle school.

Happy Monday!


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