Sweet Potato Quesadilla

Sweet Potato Quesadilla Recipe

For directions on how to cook a sweet potato in the microwave, see my recipe for Halloween Mush.

1/3 cup cooked sweet potato, no skin
2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup grated monterey jack cheese, packed
2 8-inch flour tortillas
1/4 cup cranberry sauce (optional)

In a small bowl, mash and mix the potato and applesauce together with a fork. Spread mixture evenly on one of the tortillas. Sprinkle cheese over potato mixture. Top with the second tortilla.

Cook in a saute pan over medium heat for a few minutes on each side or until the underside begins to brown. Remove from pan and slice into 8 triangles. Allow to cool for a few minutes. Serve with cranberry sauce as a dip (if desired).

Yield: 8 triangles
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes

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Cranberry Applesauce

This recipe was inspired by Cranberry Applesauce at Simply Recipes (a wonderful website).

For more information about what apple(s) to use, the U.S. Apple Association offers a lovely Apple Usage Chart. I think the most important element is that the apples are fresh, as a recent artile in Saveur was kind enough to point out.

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Herbed Yogurt Dip

[donotprint]I’m on a bit of a back-to-basics kick lately. I hope I’m not putting my dear readers to sleep. Believe me, I’ve been experimenting with crazy “innovative” snacks. But they’ve all been bombs. Sometimes I need to whip up something more predictable so my kids will not mount a rebellion. [/donotprint]

 

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Graham Crackers

These graham crackers taste more like pie crust than store-bought graham crackers (and given the amount of butter in them, I’m not a bit surprised). This is adapted from the Graham Crackers recipe in Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook I’ve looked around for alternatives to try, some of which look amazingly delicious. But Martha’s recipe has less sugar (which I’ve reduced further) and did well with a couple adjustments I made to cut back on time and effort expended.

I found graham flour from Hodgson Mill at my neighborhood grocery store, but it was desceptively labeled as whole wheat flour. Regardless, graham flour appears to be more coarsely ground than regular whole wheat flour. It reminds me a lot of King Arthur’s spelt flour. It does add a noticable texture and taste to the finished cracker, but it is certainly not required. I’ve used whole wheat pastry flour and the world didn’t come crashing down. In fact, they were yummy.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or graham flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons honey

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flours, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

The butter should be soft but not runny. In a large bowl beat butter until creamy. Add sugar and honey and beat well. Pour flour mixture into the large bowl and mix with a rubber spatula until the color is uniform and the dough easily forms into a ball.

Divide the dough into 4 equal-sized balls. Put each ball in-between parchment or wax paper and roll it out with a rolling pin until it is 1/8-inch thick. (If the dough is too sticky, your room temperature may be too high. Wrap up the dough and put it in the fridge for 30-60 minutes.) Cut the dough into 1 1/2-inch squares. Use a spatula to transfer the squares onto a parchment lined baking sheet about 1/4-inch or more apart. Pierce each square once with a fork.

Bake the crackers for 5-8 minutes, rotating once, or until the edges are golden.

Yield: approximately 96 crackers
Prep time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 5 minutes

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No Fuss Applesauce

[donotprint]When the apples are fresh, a little water to get things going is all you need. I used Millinium and Jonagold that we picked a week ago.

America’s Test Kitchen likes to use a few different varieties of apple in order to round out the flavor. According to my notes, they are fans of Jonagold, Jonathan, Pink Lady, and Macoun. Their second choices are Golden Delicious, Macintosh, Empire, and Rome. For more guidence on apple varities and their uses, the U.S. Apple Association offers a lovely Apple Usage Chart.

Once you’ve made this simple applesauce, adding a dollop of butter, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a pinch of salt is more than okay. The butter makes the applesauce so rich and lovely (especially if you add a few dollops).

I’m sharing this simple recipe today because, oddly enough, it was a bit of a revelation to me. I think so many cookbook authors are busy reinterpreting a classic that a simple recipe like this doesn’t appear very often. And like I said, if you have the right apples, this is really all you need.[/donotprint] 

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6-8 fresh apples, peeled, cored and cut into quarters
1/4 cup water

In a medium saucepan, bring apples and water to a low boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cover for 15-20 minutes or until apples are extremely soft. Remove from heat, puree apples and liquid with a hand blender or in a standing blender. Serve warm or cold. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Yield: approximately 3 cups
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

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Stuffed Dates

The super sweetness of dates demands a counter-balance of, you guessed it, FAT. Cheesy, nutty sweetness, here I come. Seriously, take it easy with these. I read somewhere once that a dried date has more fiber than a prune.

If you’d like to learn more about dates, click on over to my Dried Dates page. (Yes, I have a page devoted to dates. Stop teasing.)

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1 tablespoon cream cheese
1 teaspoon almond butter
1/4 teaspoon orange juice
Pinch salt, if the almond butter is unsalted
3 large or 4 medium dried organic dates, pitted

In a small bowl mix together the cream cheese, almond butter, cinnamon, and salt (if required) until smooth and uniform in color. Divide the cream cheese mixture between the dates. Serve.

Yield: 3-4 dates
Prep time: 5 minutes

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Frozen Yogurt with Warm Apples

True, more of a dessert than a snack. How about a treat? Anyway, the kids loved it + it took no time at all to make + a serving of fruit = winner.

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2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch freshly ground nutmeg (optional)
1 tablespoon butter
2 medium apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
Vanilla frozen yogurt

In a small bowl, mix together the maple syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg (if desired). Set aside.

Heat a saute pan over medium heat. Add butter to pan and allow to melt. When butter starts to sizzle, add apples and stir to coat. Then add the maple syrup mixture and stir again. Cook the apples until they turn soft (approximately 5 minutes, depending on the size of the pieces).

Allow the apples to cool until they are warm instead of hot. Scoop frozen yogurt into small bowls, top with one quarter of the apples, and serve.

Note: In the picture above, I used pumpkin ice cream as my children selfishly ate all of the frozen yogurt before I had a chance to take a picture. Guess who got to eat the pumpkin ice cream version after the photo shoot? Yum.

Yield: 4 servings
Prep-time: 10 minutes

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Halloween Mush

I used some sweet and juicy Garnet Spy apples for this recipe today. Try to use fresh apples as I can see a mealy grocery store apple really ruining the party.

Adapted from “Apple and Sweet Potato Puree” in the Apple Cookbook by Olwen Woodier.

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1 small sweet potato (yields approximately 1 cup of cooked potato)
2 medium apples, peeled, cored and cut into quarters
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch ground ginger (optional)
Pinch freshly ground nutmeg
Pinch salt
1/4 cup plain yogurt

With a knife or fork puncture the skin of the sweet potato a few times. Microwave on high for approximately 4 minutes or until soft throughout. Test by inserting a knife into the potato. If there is little resistance, it is cooked. Set aside and allow to cool.

Microwave apples in a small bowl for 3 minutes or until well cooked. Transfer apples to a blender along with any juices that were released while cooking. Slice the sweet potato in half lengthwise and remove most of the skin. Put the potato plup in the blender along with the apples.

Put the remaining ingredients in the blender (butter, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt and yogurt) and puree until smooth. Allow to cool 2 minutes and serve in small bowls. If you feel like pulling out all the stops top with chocolate sprinkles. Store in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.

Yield: 4 servings (approximately 2 cups)
Prep time: 15 minutes

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Sweet Potato Fries

Ahh, glorious sweet potato, how I love thee.  You are an inexpensive and highly nutritious veggie whose day job is being a carb. What could be better?

Honestly, these appear as a side dish more often than a snack at my house. But why not make these instead of slaving over a batch of cookies?

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2 medium organic sweet potatoes or yams
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Scrub sweet potatoes clean. Cut into sticks approximately 3 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. Place sweet potato sticks in a large bowl. Drizzle olive oil and salt over sweet potatoes and toss to coat.

Spread sweet potatoes out on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until soft and browning where in contact with the pan.

Allow to cool a few minutes on the pan. Serve with ranch dressing.

Yield: 5 cups (6-7 servings)
Prep time: 5 minutes
Baking time: 35-45 minutes

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BBQ Garbanzo Poppers

[donotprint]I can’t stop eating these. They remind me of BBQ potato chips, which I have a complete weakness for. The secret ingredient is smoked paprika which I’ve seen a few food bloggers going ga-ga over lately.[/donotprint]

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1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a medium bowl, mix together the oil, paprika, salt, and garlic powder. Add beans and stir to coat. Transfer beans to a rimmed baking sheet (a.k.a jelly roll pan). Bake for 25-30 minutes or until beans begin to appear dry. Allow to cool and serve. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Yield: 2 cups
Prep time: 10 minutes
Bake time: 25 minutes

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