How to Dry Brine and Cook an Herbed Butter Turkey!

In preparation for this Thanksgiving, the wonderful folks at Sun Basket  decided to take a tip from California cooking legend Judy Rogers (the late chef and owner of Zuni Cafe), and created a flavorful dry brine for turkey. Judy, who’s best known for her perfect roast chicken, uses a simple salt brine technique to produce the juiciest, well-seasoned and most succulent bird.
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How to Dry Brine and Cook an Herbed Butter Turkey!

Sun Basket Meal Delivery Service: Organic, Convenient, Affordable, and Healthy!

I love Sun Basket Meal Delivery! Not only do they deliver to your door everything you need to make healthy, delicious, organic, sustainably farmed, non GMO meals designed by a wonderful chef, but they do it in a 100% recyclable packaging. Get 50% off Family Meals from Sun Basket! Fresh organic and sustainable ingredients and kid-friendly recipes delivered or get $35 off Sun Basket meals for two!

Why Dry Brine?

It’s well known that brining improves a turkey’s ability to retain moisture, since the salt helps break down the muscle fibers and season the bird throughout. But while wet brining is the conventional way to prepare a turkey — (and there a zillion resources on the web to show you how to do that) — dry brining is arguably the best way. Our top reasons:

1) Dry brining is faster.
2) It produces less mess and less cleanup.
3) It’s way more delicious than wet brining (and way WAY more delicious than not brining at all).

How to Dry Brine and Cook an Herbed Butter Turkey!

 How To Do it:

To make a dry brine, combine kosher salt, brown sugar, baking powder (this helps produce a crispier skin) and a combination of your favorite spices. We like a blend of crushed coriander, mixed peppercorns, smoked paprika, rosemary, thyme and bay leaf. We also toss in a little citrus zest for good measure. Printable recipe below.

How to Dry Brine and Cook an Herbed Butter Turkey!Start by toasting and grinding your spices together. Mix those all up with the salt, sugar, baking powder and citrus zest. Then pat the bird dry and sprinkle on your salt and spice mixture. Rub it in to coat it well, stick the bird in a brining bag and place everything in the fridge for a minimum of 12 hours and up to 3 days — the longer, the better.

When you’re ready for the big day, remove the bird from the bag and either rinse the mixture off or wipe it clean with a wet paper towel. If you do rinse, make sure to pat dry again. Then, prepare to cook that succulent bird by placing herbed butter under and over the skin!

The Recipe: How To Dry Brine a Turkey

6 votes

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How To Dry Brine A Turkey

Yield 1 turkey

Ingredients

For Dry Brine:

1/4 cup Kosher Salt

2 Tablespoons brown sugar

2 Tablespoons baking powder

2 Tablespoon peppercorns (toasted)

1 Tablespoon coriander seeds (toasted)

3 sprigs rosemary

3 sprigs thyme

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 bay leaves

zest of two lemons

zest of one orange

1 fresh turkey (I love Diestel)

Herbed Butter to Cook Turkey:

1 stick butter (room temp)

3 sprigs thyme (chopped)

2 sprigs rosemary (chopped)

3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

zest of one lemon

sea salt and pepper (to taste, be generous)

(additional herbs and 1 onion to place in cavity if desired)

Instructions

Dry Brine:

Place a pan on medium heat. Add peppercorns and coriander and toast until peppercorns start to pop. While waiting for peppercorns to pop, remove thyme and rosemary leaves from stems

When peppercorns begin to pop, remove from heat. Put peppercorns, coriander seeds, bay leaves, thyme and rosemary into a grinder (I use a coffee grinder) and grind until fine

Use a microplane to scrape the zest off both lemons and orange, only scraping until the white appears, then move to a new area

Mix together all herbs, zest, salt, sugar, and baking powder

Pat turkey dry and sprinkle with dry brine, all over that turkey! Then massage the brine into the skin for a few minutes, place in a big plastic bag, seal it tight and place in the fridge for 1-3 days...the longer the better!

To Cook Turkey:

Remove bird from refrigerator, wipe off brine with paper towel and allow turkey to come to room temperature

Finely chop garlic, thyme, and rosemary, and then zest lemon

Add herbs and lemon zest to butter, generously add sea salt and pepper to butter and mix well using a fork

Use your hands to gently separate the skin of the turkey from the meat, then rub the herbed butter under the skin reserving 1/3 of it to melt and pour over skin

If desired place additional herbs and one quartered onion into cavity of bird

Then preheat oven to 425 degrees, place the turkey in oven and immediately turn heat down to 350 degrees, cook for 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 hours depending on size, internal temperature should be between 150-160 degrees (using a meat thermometer takes the guess work out of it)

Allow bird to rest under foil tent for 20 minutes, carve and enjoy your feast!

 

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Perfectly Flaky Pie Crust!

The holidays are approaching, and that means pie ya’ll! No matter what pie you make for your holiday celebration you need a perfect crust. One with buttery, flaky layers. This Perfectly Flaky Pie Crust from Chef Paul and Sun Basket is the best I have ever made! Plus Sun Basket offers holiday side dishes during November and December!
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Perfectly Flaky Pie Crust!

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A Step by Step Tutorial and Tips from Chef Paul and Sun Basket!

Complete printable recipe below: The key to the best pie crust is making sure butter and water are really cold. If the butter begins to warm, it will soften and lose it’s ability to form flakes. You want those flakes. Placing the butter in the freezer for 10 minutes before you begin can help prevent it warming.

On a work surface use a rolling pin to roll chilled cubed butter into flour, gathering it together and rolling again 3-4 times. Use a combination of all-purpose and pastry flours to help make the dough both tender and easy to handle. (You can also use just all-purpose flour, but the lower protein pastry flour gives the dough a little extra tenderness). Add chilled, salted water and work dough into a disk. Salting the water allows the salt to be evenly distributed throughout the dough. Cover and chill for at least an hour.

Then gently roll dough, carefully fold into quarters and place in a pie tin. Unfold, press into tin cut off excess dough and voila! Perfect pie crust. You can use the extra dough to top pie if desired. Poke holes in the dough and place rice or dried beans onto dough to weigh it down while it bakes. This prevents the dough from bubbling.

Filling:

You can fill the pie with whatever filling you wish (pumpkin, berry, apple etc…) or in the case of fresh fruit pies like strawberry or peach, fill it after baking! Just follow the baking directions for whatever filling recipe you are using.

Perfectly Flaky Pie Crust!

The Recipe: Perfect Flaky Pie Crust!

What you will need: a rolling pin, a pastry scraper (optional), 8-to 9-inch pie pan,. If you would like to order side dishes for your holiday table delivered to your door, click here!

15 votes

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Chef Paul's Perfectly Flaky Pie Crust

Yield 2 pie crusts

The perfect flaky pie crust for just about any pie! Note: You should have enough dough left over to make another small pie, a few tarts, or roll a top layer. This pie crust is perfect for just about any pie filling. The pre-bake time for the crust varies, depending on the bake time required for the filling. For example, cream fillings require a longer pre-bake time than fruit fillings. Simply follow the baking directions for whatever filling recipe you are using.

Ingredients

Ingredients:

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup very cold water

1/2 pound chilled unsalted butter, preferably cultured like Plugra

1 and 1/3 cups all purpose flour combined with 1 and 1/3 cups pastry flour (or 2 and 2/3 cups all purpose flour)

2 cups rice or dried beans to weigh down dough

Instructions

Instructions

  1. Prep the ingredients
  • Dissolve the salt in the water and place in the freezer until well chilled, 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Cut the butter into 1-inch cubes, place in freezer for 10 miutes
  • 2. Make the pie dough

On a work surface, dump the flour. Scatter the butter cubes over the flour and toss gently to coat the butter with flour.

With a rolling pin, flatten the butter into the flour, smearing it away from you. Using a scraper or your hands, scrape the dough back together and continue rolling the butter into the flour two to three more times.

Make a well in the center of the flour-butter mixture. Gradually add the chilled salted water to the well, mixing with your hands. Scoop the sides of the dough into the center, mixing until the dough comes together. Do not over mix.

Shape the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour.

3. Shape the pie crust

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough from the center to the edge, turning occasionally, to form a 13-inch circle about ¼-inch thick. Carefully fold the dough into quarters and transfer to the pie pan. Unfold the dough and gently press it into the sides and bottom of the pan without stretching. Trim the excess dough. Wrap the pie shell in plastic wrap and return to the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

4. Bake the pie crust

Heat the oven 350ºF.

With a fork, prick the pie crust on the bottom and sides. Line the pie shell with foil and fill with rice or dried beans to help prevent the dough from blistering. Bake until light golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove the beans, let cool; then fill with your favorite filling and bake your pie.

Courses Dessert

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Paleo Roast Lemon Chicken with Maple Cauliflower Purée

Comfort food. Savory, rich, melt in your mouth comfort food. That is what fall is all about. This Roast Lemon Chicken with Maple Cauliflower Purée is the best kind of comfort food; the healthy kind! This platter meal is perfect for the family, but it’s also so delicious and beautiful you could serve it at any dinner party!
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Paleo Roast Lemon Chicken with Maple Cauliflower Purée with a Whole 30 Option

This Meal: Paleo with A Whole 30 Option!

My oh my this chicken is flavorful! Crispy skin and tender chicken breast infused with lemon and thyme, roasted to perfection and served with my favorite maple cauliflower purée.The combination of flavors here is just out of this world! This delicious recipe is Paleo and can easily be adapted to be Whole 30 compliant by subbing butter for ghee and omitting the maple syrup.

Paleo Roast Lemon Chicken with Maple Cauliflower Purée with a Whole 30 Option

Chicken Prep:

To get that hint of lemon and herbs I recommend sliding a slice of lemon and sprig of thyme under the skin of the chicken breast. Then brown the chicken in a large skillet and pop in the oven to finish! While the chicken roasts, make the cauliflower purée.

Paleo Roast Lemon Chicken with Maple Cauliflower Purée with a Whole 30 Option

The Cauliflower Purée:

So creamy and decadent, like mashed potatoes but healthier! Simply steam cauliflower until soft, pour into a food processor with butter (or ghee) and a little maple syrup and process until smooth. If you don’t have a food processor you can use a hand held potato masher.

Paleo Roast Lemon Chicken with Maple Cauliflower Purée with a Whole 30 Option

Use Those Drippings and Garnish!

After roasting the chicken, remove from the pan and set on top of cauliflower purée.  Then melt a little butter (or ghee) with those pan drippings and spoon them over the chicken and cauliflower! Garnish with pomegranate seeds or dried cranberries. That beautiful buttery sauce has just a hint of lemon, honestly, this is my new favorite meal.

Paleo Roast Lemon Chicken with Maple Cauliflower Purée with a Whole 30 Option

The Recipe: Paleo Roast Lemon Chicken with Maple Cauliflower Purée

What you will need: a large cast iron pan, a food processor or potato masher. If you’d like another side dish, serve with my green beans.

7 votes

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Paleo Roast Lemon Chicken with Maple Cauliflower Purée

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 4 servings

A meal the family will love, but fancy enough to serve at dinner parties too! Paleo and Whole30 options offered.

Ingredients

For chicken:

4 medium sized chicken breasts, bone in, skin on

4 slices of lemon

4 sprigs of fresh thyme

sea salt

freshly ground pepper

2 small shallots peeled and sliced

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons butter or ghee

For Cauliflower Mash:

6 cups cauliflower florets

1/4 cup butter (or ghee for my W30 friends)

1 tablespoon maple syrup (Whole 30 peeps can skip it)

sea salt

freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons parsley and pom seeds (or dried cranberries) for garnish, if desired

Instructions

Prep all ingredients before starting

For chicken:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and place oven rack in center position

Use your finger to separate one side of the skin from breast, leaving the opposite side connected (see photo)

Insert lemon slice and sprig of thyme under skin and pull skin back into place

Season both sides of chicken with sea salt and pepper to taste

Place a large skillet (preferably cast iron) on med/high heat

When pan is hot add olive oil

When oil is hot gently place chicken, skin side down, in pan

Cook for six minutes or so, until skin is nicely browned

Add sliced shallots to pan

Place pan into preheated oven, set timer for 20 minutes, when timer goes off, flip the chicken over and cook skin side up for 15 more minutes. While chicken cooks, steam cauliflower

Cauliflower prep:

Steam cauliflower in steamer until soft (10-12 minutes)

Place cauliflower (or ghee) maple syrup, and sea salt, into a food processor and process until smooth. If using a hand held potato masher allow a minute or two extra to get cauliflower pureed. When chicken is ready, place cauliflower mash onto a platter.

Finish chicken:

When chicken is ready remove from oven, place chicken on top of cauliflower puree. Add 2 Tablespoons butter (or ghee) to pan and stir until melted, scraping any chicken bits off bottom of pan. If using cranberries instead of pomegranate seeds add to pan as well. When butter is melted, spoon drippings over chicken and cauliflower. If using parsley and pom seeds, sprinkle over chicken. Serve.

Courses Dinner

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Orange-Shortbread Cookie ‘No Churn’ Ice Cream!

No churn ice cream is a revelation! Honestly, I resisted trying it because I thought it couldn’t possibly be as good as ice cream made in a machine. Boy was I wrong. After making my first batch and discovering it was top notch creamy goodness, I started experimenting with flavors and came up with this delicious version: Orange-Shortbread Cookie ‘No Churn’ Ice Cream!
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Orange-Shortbread Cookie 'No Churn' Ice Cream! Gluten free

So How Does “No Churn” Ice Cream Work?

Well, it’s easy. You use a hand mixer or stand mixer (or even hand whisk!) to whip up cream, sugar, vanilla etc…  then add any additions (in this case orange zest and shortbread cookies) pour into a container, cover and freeze for at least four hours. Yep, that’s it. What you end up with is amazingly creamy, delicious ice cream, and no ice cream maker needed!

Orange-Shortbread Cookie 'No Churn' Ice Cream! Gluten free!

How We Get That Orange-Vanilla Flavor!

If you look closely you will see orange zest in this ice cream as well as little flecks of vanilla bean. To get that intense orange flavor I use a microplane to scrape the peel of oranges just until the white is exposed and then move to a new area. The flecks of vanilla come from my favorite…Madagascar vanilla paste!

Orange-Shortbread Cookie 'No Churn' Ice Cream! Gluten free too!

Orange Shortbread Cookie No Churn Ice Cream-Gluten free option

The Shortbread Cookies and Fun Chocolate Dipped Cones:

I love ice cream that has a little surprise ingredient that adds texture, in this case that special ingredient is shortbread cookies. I use a gluten free shortbread cookie but you can use whatever brand you wish or make your own! The combination of orange, vanilla and shortbread is downright heavenly and having that surprise crunch in your ice cream is delightful! Served alone in a bowl it’s fantastic, but it’s also fun served on a chocolate dipped cone!

Orange-Shortbread Cookie 'No Churn' Ice Cream! Gluten free

To Make Your Own Sweetened Condensed Milk Or Not, That is The Question:

This recipe calls for sweetened condensed milk. Making your own is really easy, but of course you can buy store bought if you prefer. That said, this is how easy homemade sweetened condensed milk is to make: Put milk and organic sugar in a pot, bring to a simmer and leave alone for about 40-50 minutes. You can do whatever you want for that 40 minutes, just check on it here or there. Then cool before using in your ice cream. Easy as pie and you can find the recipe here.

Orange-Shortbread Cookie 'No Churn' Ice Cream! -Gluten free

The Recipe: Orange-Shortbread Cookie No Churn Ice Cream

What you will need:  a hand mixer or stand mixer for ice cream base and a microplane to zest oranges. If you don’t have a mixer you can even whisk cream by hand! I use these GF shortbread cookies, they taste delicious and hold up great even when mixed with cream! To store ice cream I recommend a glass baking dish with lid or Tovolo Ice Cream Containers. I always recommend vanilla paste over extract, it has less alcohol so that vanilla flavor shines through! Plus it gives you those pretty vanilla flecks!

15 votes

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Orange Shortbread Cookie No Churn Ice Cream-Gluten free option

Prep

Inactive

Total

Yield 3 pints

A delicious ice cream recipe that doesn't require an ice cream maker! I offer a gluten free version and the option to make your own sweetened condensed milk. If you make your own sweetened condensed milk allow 40 minutes cook time and time for it to cool.

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups (14oz) cold sweetened condensed milk (if making your own, see link above in blog post)

2 cups heavy whipping cream, cold

1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract

zest of two large oranges (or 3 small oranges)

8 shortbread cookies, chopped or crumbled

Instructions

Instructions:

Place heavy whipping cream and vanilla paste or extract in the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment (or use a bowl and hand mixer)

Beat until soft peaks form (this usually takes 2-3 minutes)

Add cold sweetened condensed milk and orange zest, beat again until soft peaks form (1-2 minutes)

Chop shortbread cookies and fold them into cream mixture

Pour into a container, cover and set in freezer for at least 4 hours. Best if used within six weeks.

Enjoy!

Courses dessert

Cuisine American

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How to Make Sweetened Condensed Milk!

With the holidays coming up I thought it would be a great time to offer this new tutorial: How to Make Sweetened Condensed Milk! Sweetened Condensed Milk is used in a huge variety of recipes, and because most store bought brands are made with low quality dairy and high fructose corn syrup, it’s worthwhile to know how to make your own healthier version.
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How to Make Sweetened Condensed Milk

Are There Any Good Store Bought Options?

Absolutely! There are some organic brands (<– Amazon Link) of sweetened condensed milk that don’t use milk from conventionally farmed cows and use organic cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup. The the 365 brand from Whole Foods Market is made with both organic whole milk and organic cane sugar, which are the exact same ingredients I use in my version. But for you die hard ‘Do It Yourselfers’ I have a simple recipe that doesn’t take much effort, just a little bit of time.

How To Make Sweetened Condensed Milk

The Recipe: How to Make Your Own Sweetened Condensed Milk

What you need: a heavy bottomed pan.Wondering how you can use this recipe? Try it in my no churn ice cream!

6 votes

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How to Make Sweetened Condensed Milk

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 2 cups

A simple recipe that requires little tending

Ingredients

4 cups organic whole milk

1 1/3 cups organic cane sugar

Optional: 1 teaspoon Vanilla paste or extract (note: I usually end up using this condensed milk in recipes that already require vanilla so I often leave it out. If you choose to omit it, your milk will be a little lighter and whiter than pictured, and that's just fine)

Instructions

Place milk and sugar in a heavy bottomed pan, stir for 20 seconds with spatula

Place on cooktop and heat pan on low heat until sugar is dissolved, gently stirring here and there

Once sugar is dissolved, turn heat to medium and bring milk/sugar mixture to a simmer (do not stir from here on out)

Allow to simmer (not boil) for 40-50 minutes. Milk will thicken and darken a little. When done condensed milk should thickly coat a spoon and measure about two cups, but that measurement doesn't have to be exact. If it's not quite thick enough and you need to give it a little extra time, do! No harm will come from letting it simmer a little longer. Milk will also get thicker once it's placed in the refrigerator.

If a foam forms on top just skim off with a spoon

When ready, remove from heat and allow to cool

Once cool, if using vanilla, add it now and stir. Pour milk into a jar and place in the fridge. Allow condensed milk to get cold, (thickening even more) before using.

 

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STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE and Privacy Policy: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only endorse products that are in alignment with The Organic Kitchen’s ideals and that I believe would be of value to my readers. The Organic Kitchen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. View The Organic Kitchen’s Privacy Policy. 

 

Sole (or Halibut) in Parchment with Warm Date and Apricot Salad!

Have you ever steamed fish in parchment? It’s a game changer! The recipe for this tasty African–inspired Sole (or Halibut) in Parchment with Warm Date and Apricot Salad is generously shared by my favorite meal delivery service, Sun Basket
(This post contains affiliate links. I make a commission off sales which allows me to keep my site up and running.) Get $35 off Lean & Clean meals from Sun Basket!

Sole (or Halibut) in Parchment with Warm Date and Apricot Salad! Paleo/Gluten free

SUN BASKET : FRESH, ORGANIC, NON-GMO, CONVENIENT!

Sun Basket is a food delivery service that brings everything you need to make healthy, delicious meals right to your door, saving you time and money. Each box from Sun Basket contains the ingredients for 3 meals for 2 to 4 people and you can customize  orders with Paleo, Gluten–Free, and Vegetarian options. The meals are delicious, healthy and designed by an accomplished chef. Most recipes take about 30 minutes to prepare (this one only takes 20!) . Ingredients are shipped in an insulated box so they stay fresh. Recyclable and reusable packaging materials are used. But my favorite part about Sun Basket (besides the eating of course) is that they teach you to cook and to be more adventurous in your food choices! Get $35 off Lean & Clean meals from Sun Basket!

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If you are cooking for a crew, I have great news! My followers receive 50% off Family Meals from Sun Basket! Fresh organic and sustainable ingredients and kid-friendly recipes delivered!

3 Free Meals - Sun Basket

Let’s Talk About This Meal!

Tender flaky white fish seasoned with sea salt, pepper and lemon, wrapped in parchment and popped in the oven. While the fish steams in the oven, you pop the dried fruits and sumac in a pan to make the warm salad, by the time the salad is done, so is the fish! You have a healthy, clean, paleo, gluten/grain free meal in 20 minutes. Unbelievably quick, easy and delicious! Sumac, a citrusy-flavored spice popular in Middle Eastern cooking, is the ground dried berries of the sumac shrub and is perfection when used with anything that might be seasoned with a squeeze of lemon.

Sole (or Halibut) in Parchment with Warm Date and Apricot Salad!

The Recipe: Sole (or Halibut) in Parchment with Warm Date and Apricot Salad!

What you need: The spice sumac can usually be found in grocery stores, if you prefer you can have it delivered to your door. You can create your own parchment packet as directed in recipe by folding parchment paper. If you prefer, you can certainly use a pre-made packet.

12 votes

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Sole (or Halibut) in Parchment with Warm Date and Apricot Salad!

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 2 servings

Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Paleo, Lean & Clean

2 Servings, 470 Calories/Serving

20 Minutes

Unwrap North African–inspired flavor with our parchment-steamed fish fillets, a paleo 20-minute meal that’s Heart-Check Certified by the American Heart Association®.

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 or 2 shallots
  • Fish options:
  • 2 wild sole fillets (about 5 ounces each) or
  • 2 wild Alaskan skinless halibut fillets (about 5 ounces each)
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 sheets parchment paper
  • ¼ pound baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (optional)
  • 2-3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1½ ounces dried apricots
  • 2 Medjool dates (pits removed)
  • ¼ cup roasted almonds
  • 3 or 4 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon sumac

Instructions

Instructions

1. Prep the shallots, fish, and lemon

Heat the oven to 400°F. Prep instructions and cook times are identical for both fish options.

  • Peel and thinly slice enough shallots to measure ¼ cup.
  • Pat the fish dry with a paper towel; season lightly with salt and pepper.
  • Zest the lemon and juice half; set aside the zest and juice for the warm salad. Cut the remaining half into thin slices for the parchment packets.

2. Assemble the parchment packets

Lay the parchment paper sheets side by side. Divide the shallots and spinach between the 2 sheets and season with salt and pepper. Top with the fish and lemon slices. Dot each with at least 1 teaspoon and up to 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil.Working with 1 sheet at a time, bring 2 opposite sides of the parchment to the center and fold them together several times to create a tight seam. Fold up each end to form a tight seal.

3. Bake the packets

Place the packets on a sheet pan, sealed sides up, and bake until the parchment is puffed and browned and the fish is tender when pierced with a skewer or sharp knife, 12 to 15 minutes. While the fish cooks, make the apricot and date salad.

4. Prep the apricot and date salad ingredients

  • Coarsely chop the dried apricots.
  •  Thinly slice the dates.
  • Strip the parsley leaves from the stems; coarsely chop the leaves.

5. Make the warm salad

In a medium frying pan over medium heat, warm 2 to 3 teaspoons olive oil until hot but not smoking. Add the apricots, dates, and almonds and cook, stirring occasionally, until just warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the lemon zest and juice, parsley, and sumac; season to taste with salt and pepper.

6. Serve

Open the fish packets, being careful of any venting steam, and transfer to individual plates. Spoon the warm salad on top and alongside and serve.

Courses Dinner

Cuisine African

 

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Buttermilk Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting

My youngest son recently got married. The wedding and the reception were beautiful and the simple wedding cake inspired a recipe of my own: Buttermilk Cake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting!
(This post contains affiliate links. I make a commission off sales which allows me to keep my site up and running.)

Buttermilk Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting

The Wedding and Reception:

The wedding was held in Newport Beach CA and was followed by a dreamy reception under an oak tree canopy in a friend’s backyard. Celebrate Invitations and Florals created the most beautiful floral arch and hung one hundred floating tea lights from a 400 year old oak tree creating a dream like ambiance. The joy, love and beauty were captured by Greg Emmett Baker Photography:

Buttermilk Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese FrostingButtermilk Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese FrostingButtermilk Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting

Buttermilk Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting

Buttermilk Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting

The Cake:

I love the simplicity of this triple layer cake! Because buttermilk cakes have such great body, flavor and texture I have several versions of this cake on my blog and each is just lovely. Even though this cake is made from scratch, it has few ingredients and is very easy to make. The vanilla flavor comes from my favorite vanilla paste from Madagascar.

Buttermilk Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting

The Frosting:

This is a ‘semi naked cake’ meaning the frosting is light on the sides leaving the cake somewhat exposed. To get this look I frost the first layer lightly, adding a little more frosting around the edges. Then I repeat with the second layer. Last I frost the top somewhat generously and use what is left to lightly frost the sides, scraping off extra frosting.

Buttermilk Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting

The Decorations:

I am not a big cake decorator, I go for quick and easy. For this cake I literally went into the backyard, clipped a small succulent out of one of my pots and snapped a hydrangea off a neighbors plant (I asked first I swear) and then placed a small circle of parchment on top of the cake and set the foliage on it.

Buttermilk Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting

The Recipe: Buttermilk Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting

What you need: three 8″ non stick cake tinsvanilla paste (optional but I like it better than extract) a hand mixer or stand mixer.

7 votes

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Buttermilk Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting!

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 12 servings

A beautiful, simple, triple layer cake with cream cheese frosting perfect for the family or any celebration! You will  need three non stick 8" cake tins.

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 2½ cups all purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks) room temp (plus 1 tablespoon for preparing pans)
  • ¼ cup coconut oil (or baking oil of your choice)
  • 1⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla paste or 1 teaspoon extract
  • 6 eggs, room temp
  • 1⅓ cup cultured buttermilk

For the frosting:

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter, room temperature and soft

4 oz cream cheese, room temp

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 tablespoon buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla paste (or extract)

Instructions

Cake Prep:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place oven rack in center position

Prep pans:

  1.  Use a paper towel to wipe the bottom and sides of non stick pans with butter. Lightly coat with flour. Set aside.

The Cake:

  1. Combine flour, baking powder and salt, set aside
  2. Place butter, coconut oil (or other baking oil), sugar and vanilla in mixer and mix until well combined
  3. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well between additions
  4. Alternate adding flour mixture with buttermilk until well combined, mix for one more minute
  5. Pour equal amounts of batter into prepared pans, tap pans firmly on counter to take out any bubbles
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean
  7. Allow cakes to cool, gently remove cakes from pans and then frost

The Frosting:

  1. Place butter, cream cheese, vanilla paste or extract into a bowl and mix on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add powdered sugar and mix until well incorporated. Add buttermilk if needed.
  2. To get the "semi naked"  look, I frost the first layer lightly, adding a little more frosting around the edges of cake. Then I place the second cake layer and repeat. Last I frost the top layer somewhat generously and use what is left to lightly frost the sides, scraping off extra frosting.
  3. Top with your choice of decoration and serve

Courses dessert

 

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Citrus Herb Basque Chicken Made in The Instant Pot!

I love my Instant Pot. It’s a fabulous way to cook nutritious food quickly and it’s so versatile. This Citrus Herb Basque Chicken is a perfect example of what is possible when using the Instant Pot! This recipe is generously shared from the cookbook The Art of Great Cooking with Your Instant Pot by my friend Emily Sunwell-Vidaurri.
(This post contains affiliate links. I make a commission off sales which allows me to keep my site up and running.)

Citrus Herb Basque Chicken Made in The Instant Pot: Paleo-Whole30-Grain Free

 What is Basque Chicken?

Traditionally, Basque Chicken is a delicious combination of chicken, olives, and peppers or sun dried tomatoes and is typical of the regions around the western Mediterranean. Spanish versions, like this one often include the addition of flavorful chorizo sausage. This recipe only requires 20 minutes prep, then cooks in the Instant Pot for 35 minutes while you do other things!

Citrus Herb Basque Chicken Made in The Instant Pot: Paleo-Whole30-Grain Free

The Art of Great Cooking with Your Instant Pot:

When I bought my Instant Pot there weren’t many resources for recipes. Fortunately THAT has changed! One of the newest Instant Pot Resources is The Art of Great Cooking with Your Instant Pot by my friend Emily Sunwell-Vidaurri. The books releases this Tuesday, but you can pre-order the book now and lock in the lowest price.

Citrus Herb Basque Chicken Made in The Instant Pot: Paleo-Whole30-Grain Free

Recipes include:

This book contains 80 gluten free recipes including main courses, casseroles, side dishes, pastas, and decadent desserts…like cheesecake! All are gluten free, allergy friendly, WAPF-friendly, and most are Paleo friendly with grain free options. If you have an Instant Pot you need this cookbook!

Citrus Herb Basque Chicken Made in The Instant Pot: Paleo-Whole30-Grain Free

 The Recipe: Citrus Herb Basque Chicken Made in The Instant Pot!

 

10 votes

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Citrus Herb Basque Chicken Made in The Instant Pot!

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 4 servings

This delightful dish is full of spicy chorizo, sun-dried tomatoes, sweet and tangy orange juice, floral thyme and salty olives. It's meant to be shared family style with those you love.

Recipe reprinted with permission from The Art of Great Cooking with Your Instant Pot by Emily Sunwell-Vidaurri

Ingredients

3 Tablespoons (43g) grass fed butter, ghee, or avocado oil, divided

4 bone in chicken thighs

1 1/4 (4g) teaspoons sea salt

1 medium yellow onion, thickly sliced

4 fresh garlic cloves, peeled and minced

5 fresh thyme springs, leaves removed and stems discarded

1/2 pound (230g) chorizo, casing removed

1/3 cup (18g) sun dried tomatoes

1/2 cup (67g) pitted green olives

1/3 cup (79ml) freshly squeezed orange juice

3/4 cup (177ml) chicken bone broth

Handful fresh cilantro, for garnish

Instructions

1. Add 2 tablespoons (29 g) of healthy fat of choice to the Instant Pot and press “Sauté.” Once the fat has melted, add the chicken thighs, sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of sea salt and brown for about 2½ minutes per side. Remove the browned chicken to a plate and set aside. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon (14 g) of healthy fat of choice, onion, garlic, thyme leaves and the remaining ¾ teaspoon of sea salt, sautéing for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chorizo and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Press the “Keep Warm/Cancel” button. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, olives, orange juice and bone broth. Give it a good stir. Add the browned chicken, making sure it’s submerged and some of the liquid is ladled over it. Place the lid on the Instant Pot, making sure the steam release valve is sealed. Press the “Poultry” setting, then increase the time using the “+” button until you reach 20 minutes.

2. When the Instant Pot is done and beeps, press “Keep Warm/Cancel.” Using an oven mitt, “quick release” /open the steam release valve. When the steam venting stops and the silver dial drops, carefully open the lid.

3. Serve immediately, topped with fresh cilantro.

Note This meal is delicious served alongside simple roasted vegetables.

Courses Dinner

Cuisine Basque

 

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STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE and Privacy Policy: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only endorse products that are in alignment with The Organic Kitchen’s ideals and that I believe would be of value to my readers. The Organic Kitchen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. View The Organic Kitchen’s Privacy Policy. 

Vanilla Buttermilk Cake with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting!

This Vanilla Buttermilk Cake with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting is dreamy if I do say so myself! Isn’t it beautiful? This pretty pink confection is delicious and perfect for the family or any celebration.
(This post contains affiliate links. I make a commission off sales which allows me to keep my site up and running.)

This Vanilla Buttermilk Cake with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting is dreamy if I do say so myself! This pretty pink confection is delicious and perfect for the family or any celebration.

The Cake:

Made from scratch with the best ingredients, this double layer cake has a beautiful texture. The cake itself is slightly sweet and super moist (thanks to the buttermilk) and when frosted with the strawberry buttercream, it is perfection!

This Vanilla Buttermilk Cake with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting is dreamy if I do say so myself! This pretty pink confection is delicious and perfect for the family or any celebration.

The Strawberry Buttercream and How to Frost a Semi Naked Cake:

A blend of grass fed butter, fresh berries, and organic sugar this Strawberry Buttercream is easy to make and naturally pink. No need for artificial flavors or colors! This is a ‘semi naked cake’ meaning the frosting is light on the sides leaving the cake somewhat exposed. To get this look I frost the first layer lightly, adding a little more frosting around the edges. Then I place the second layer, frost the top somewhat generously and use what is left to lightly frost the sides, scraping off extra frosting.

This Vanilla Buttermilk Cake with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting is dreamy if I do say so myself! This pretty pink confection is delicious and perfect for the family or any celebration.

Decorating:

I don’t do fancy cakes. I don’t swirl and flute etc…frankly, I am just too lazy. I prefer to decorate cakes with flowers or berries and call it a day. In this case I placed whole and cut strawberries, blueberries, and mint leaves on 1/3 of the cake. Simple, but lovely!

This Vanilla Buttermilk Cake with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting is dreamy if I do say so myself! This pretty pink confection is delicious and perfect for the family or any celebration.

This Vanilla Buttermilk Cake with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting is dreamy if I do say so myself! This pretty pink confection is delicious and perfect for the family or any celebration.

The Recipe: Vanilla Buttermilk Cake with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting!

Tips and what you need: all ingredients should be room temperature before making. You will need two two 9 inch cake pans  and a stand mixer or hand mixer.  I love my Kitchen Aid Mixer ! When it comes to vanilla I always prefer using vanilla paste.

12 votes

Print

Vanilla Buttermilk Cake with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 10 pieces

Made from scratch with the best ingredients, this double layer cake has a beautiful texture. The cake itself is slightly sweet and super moist (thanks to the buttermilk!) and when frosted with the strawberry buttercream, it is perfection!

Ingredients

The Cake:

  • 2½ cups all purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks) room temp (plus 1 tablespoon for preparing pans)
  • ¼ cup coconut oil (or baking oil of your choice)
  • 1⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla paste or 1 teaspoon extract
  • 6 eggs, room temp
  • 1⅓ cup cultured buttermilk

The Frosting:

1 stick butter (1/2 cup) room temp and soft

1/4 cup strawberry puree (usually 3-5 strawberries depending on size)

1 teaspoon lemon juice

3 cups powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste

tiny pinch of sea salt

For decorations if desired: blueberries, 3-4 strawberries, 3 mint leaves

Instructions

Cake Prep:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place oven rack in center position

Prep pans:

  1.  Use a paper towel to wipe the bottom and sides of non stick pans with butter. Lightly coat with flour. Set aside.

The Cake:

  1. Combine flour, baking powder and salt, set aside
  2. Place butter, coconut oil (or other baking oil), sugar and vanilla in mixer and mix until well combined
  3. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well between additions
  4. Alternate adding flour mixture with buttermilk until well combined, mix for one more minute
  5. Pour equal amounts of batter into prepared pans, tap pans firmly on counter to take out any bubbles
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean
  7. Allow cakes to cool, gently remove cakes from pans and then frost

The Frosting:

  1. Cut up strawberries, place in a large bowl (or bowl of stand mixer) add lemon juice and smash with a fork (you could also use a blender)
  2. Add butter to bowl and mix on medium speed for 1 minute
  3. Add a tiny pinch of sea salt and 3 cups powdered sugar into a bowl and mix well
  4. If frosting is not quite thick enough add more sugar, If it's too thick add just a little more lime juice. When frosting is desired consistency, frost cooled cake.
  5. To get the "semi naked"  look, I frost the first layer lightly, adding a little more frosting around the edges of cake. Then I place the second cake layer, frost the top somewhat generously and use what is left to lightly frost the sides, scraping off extra frosting.
  6. Top with your choice of decoration and serve

Courses dessert

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STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE and Privacy Policy: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only endorse products that are in alignment with The Organic Kitchen’s ideals and that I believe would be of value to my readers. The Organic Kitchen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. View The Organic Kitchen’s Privacy Policy. 

Sweet Potato-Black Bean Chili Cheese Fries!

Seriously, Sun Basket has outdone themselves this time! It’s no wonder they are my favorite meal delivery service. This fantastic meal is a new favorite. Not only is it simple, delicious and budget friendly, but just look at how amazing these Sweet Potato-Black Bean Chili Cheese Fries look! 
(This post contains affiliate links. I make a commission off sales which allows me to keep my site up and running.)

Not only are these simple, delicious and budget friendly, but just look at how amazing these Sweet Potato-Black Bean Chili Cheese Fries look!

WHY DO I RECOMMEND SUN BASKET?

Easy, Delicious Recipes

  • Sun Basket meals are delicious! You choose 3 recipes for 2 or 4 people at $11.49 per meal
    Customize with Paleo, Gluten–Free, and Vegetarian options. Most recipes take about 30 minutes to prepare.
    Certified Organic, Non GMO and Sustainably Sourced
    Just how I like it! Ingredients are seasonal (better for you and the planet) and pre–measured – less hassle, less waste!
    Skip the grocery store and discover new products and flavors that are hard to find on your own. Plus you become a better cook!

    Convenient Delivery

    • Sun Basket delivers weekly to your door. Ingredients are shipped in an insulated box so they stay fresh. Recyclable and reusable packaging materials are used.

Not only are these simple, delicious and budget friendly, but just look at how amazing these Sweet Potato-Black Bean Chili Cheese Fries look!

Two Amazing Deals from Sun Basket!

My followers can get $35 off Sun Basket meals for two, or….

If you are cooking for a crowd, get 50% off Family Meals from Sun Basket! Fresh organic and non-GMO ingredients and kid-friendly recipes delivered!

Let’s Talk About This Meal:

This is Sun Basket’s family-friendly, gluten-free spin on an indulgent classic. Who doesn’t love chili cheese fries? But of course these are a healthier version because Sun Basket and I care about what you eat! These sweet potatoes are roasted instead of fried, and topped  with a homemade chili and cheddar cheese! Crunchy jicama sticks and yogurt dipping sauce are served on the side. Kids love to dip!

Not only are these simple, delicious and budget friendly, but just look at how amazing these Sweet Potato-Black Bean Chili Cheese Fries look!

The Recipe: Sweet Potato-Black Bean Chili Cheese Fries!

8 votes

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The Recipe: Sweet Potato-Black Bean Chili Cheese Fries!

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 4 servings

Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Soy-Free

4 Servings, 580 Calories/Serving

25 – 35 Minutes

This is Sun Basket’s family-friendly, gluten-free spin on an indulgent classic. 

Ingredients

  • 3 sweet potatoes (about 1¾ pounds)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 or 3 cloves peeled fresh garlic
  • 1 chipotle chile in gluten-free adobo (these come in can and are easily found in most grocery stores)
  • 2 cups cooked black beans
  • 1 cup mirepoix ( 1/3 cup onions - 1/3 cup carrots - 1/3 cup celery)
  • Chili spice blend: 2 1/2 tablespon chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander,1 teaspoon ground cumin, 3/4 teaspoon granulated garlic (mixed together)
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 lime
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • ½ pound jicama, peeled and cut into sticks
  • 6 or 7 sprigs fresh cilantro
  • 3 scallions
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Instructions

Prep and roast the sweet potato fries and prep jicama:

Heat the oven to 450ºF and place oven rack in center position

  • Peel jicama and cut into sticks, set aside. Scrub or peel the sweet potatoes. Trim the ends and cut the potatoes in half lengthwise, then cut each half lengthwise into ½-inch-wide wedges.

On a sheet pan, toss the sweet potato wedges with 2 tablespoons oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Spread in an even layer and roast, turning once halfway through cooking time, until tender and lightly browned, 25-30 minutes. While the sweet potatoes roast, prepare the chili.

Cook the chili

  • Finely chop, press, or grate enough garlic to measure 1½ teaspoons.
  • Finely chop the chipotle chile in adobo sauce.
  • Rinse the black beans.
  • dice carrots, onion and celery for mirapoix
  • Toss spices together to make chili spice blend

In a medium size sauce pot over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil until hot but not smoking. Add the mirepoix (diced onions, carrots, celery), season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili spice blend, and 1 chile in adobo (or less if you are sensitive to heat) and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the black beans, tomatoes, and ⅓ cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. While the chili simmers, prepare the lime yogurt and jicama sticks.

Make the lime yogurt; prep the jicama sticks

  •  Juice the lime; the juice will be divided between the yogurt and the jicama sticks.

In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt and half the lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. In a medium bowl, combine the jicama sticks, remaining lime juice, and 1 teaspoon oil and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Prep the remaining ingredients; finish the fries

  • Coarsely chop the cilantro.
  • Trim the root ends from 2 scallions; thinly slice the scallions for garnish; save the remaining scallion for another use.

Stir the cilantro into the chili and season to taste with salt and pepper. In a medium ovenproof bowl or plate, spread the sweet potato fries, top with the chili, and sprinkle with the cheddar cheese. Warm in the oven until the cheese melts, 2 to 3 minutes.

Serve:

Garnish the chili cheese fries with the lime yogurt and scallions. Serve the jicama sticks on the side.

Kids can!

  • Press the garlic (if you have a press).
  • Rinse the black beans.
  • Juice the lime.
  • Toss the jicama sticks with the lime juice.
  • Stir the cilantro into the chili.

Courses main course

Cuisine American

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STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE and Privacy Policy: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only endorse products that are in alignment with The Organic Kitchen’s ideals and that I believe would be of value to my readers. The Organic Kitchen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. View The Organic Kitchen’s Privacy Policy.