Anyone who knows me well knows I am not the best cook. Grocery shopping literally causes me anxiety. I want to get in and out as quickly as possible. The main reason I'm so stressed is because I want to eat healthy, but the only things I know how to make do not even come close to being good for you. My main go to meals, Beef Stroganoff (probably one of my favorite things to eat yet soooo bad for you), spaghetti (who doesn't turn to this trusty stand by when you're out of ideas?),lasagna and tacos
I've bought a few healthy cook books here and there, but it always seems like healthy meals have so many obscure ingredients that canonly be found scattered between 3 different stores all on opposite sides of town. Who's got that kind of time? So, I always fall back on what I know.
No more excuses. I'm dedicated to learning to make healthier meals and modeling good eating habits for my kids. The first step was to invest in a Vitamix. I say invest because it truly is an investment. They aren't cheap. It's like buying a major appliance, but that is exactly what you get. After only 2 weeks of being the proud owner of this blender on steroids I am 100% positive that this was the best investment. It's opened me up to see beyond the noodle. I still have a long way to go, but this is the first step in my mission to eat cleaner.
I've found so many recipes for the Vitamix that are so easy, packed with nutrition and taste A-mazing!! I've even been experimenting with my own recipes. There' definitely been a learning curve for me. If I'm being honest, some of my concoctions tasted like ground up dirt, but that has not stopped me from pushing on. Occasionally I throw together something that actually works, so I thought I would share it with all of you (no need to thank me)!
I looked on the web for a recipe to make some fancy shmancy sweet potato thingy with the Vitamix but couldn't find any, so I whipped up one of my own. I must say, it actually turned out to be delicious! You and your family will love it! Even the pickiest of eaters. Don't believe me? Watch the video of my son (who refuses to eat anything but carbs no matter how many days we starve him. Only kidding ).
If you don't have a Vitamix, don't worry, you can still make this with a food processor and a masher. It will just take more time and steps.
Prep time: 10 minutes (if using a Vitamix)
15-20 minutes (if you have a 2 year-old under your legs yelling "Mommy Mommy Mommy!" and a 5 year-old he cannot entertain himself for longer than 30 seconds).
Cook time: 25 minutes
(about 6 servings)
1 large crushed gram cracker
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)
1/2 tbsp of brown sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp plain yogurt
1 large carrot peeled
1 medium cored apple (if using a vitamix leave skins on)
2 large yams/sweet potatoes peeled
Here We Go!
First peel yams or sweet potatoes and cut into quarter pieces and toss into Vitamix (you do not need to cook the potatoes).
Next peel carrot, break it in half and add to Vitamix. Add apple, yogurt, vanilla, and cinnamon. Turn on Vitamix and blend until smooth.
(You'll notice I have not added any sweetener. I am a complete sugar addict and am attempting to train myself to enjoy foods that aren't loaded with sugar. I find this recipe without added sugar tastes fabulous. Would it taste a whole lot better if I doused it with some agave nectar or sweetener of choice? Probably, but if you want to keep it really healthy I would recommend preparing it without sweetener and tasting it first. You can always sweeten to taste before putting it in the oven)!
Transfer mixture into an oven safe dish and cook for 20 minutes at 450 degrees.
While you are waiting for the casserole to cook, in a small bowl, combine gram crackers, chopped walnuts and brown sugar and mix.
After 20 minutes add the walnut topping to the casserole and return to the oven for an additional 5 minutes.
Let stand for 5 more minutes
(WARNING: if you don't let it sit your kid will want to jump right in and shovel a heaping spoon full into his mouth causing an intense burning sensation starting from the tongue through the esophagus ultimately resulting in a Tasmanian Devil movement through out the house screaming "It's burning my back"! You've been warned).