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Fall for Kale and White Bean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes for Dinner

kale-bean-sweet-potato

As fall approaches, I can’t get enough of nutrient dense root vegetables. Most notably: the sweet potato. While some prefer variety in their diet, I could eat some form of sweet potato every day: mashed for breakfast, fried for lunch, and stuffed for dinner.

sweet-potatoes

Stuffed sweet potato, you ask? Yes. My multiple experiments in the kitchen to include as much sweet potato as possible has led to one of my staple year-round dinners –the kale & white bean stuffed sweet potato. Who needs to wait for fall to have a hearty, yet surprisingly light, dinner? Not me!

Sweet potatoes are an all-star source of beta-carotene, vitamin A, and the purple sweet potatoes are even thought to have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Just as the recipe name implies, you simply bake the sweet potatoes, choose your green and your white bean, prepare as directed, then stuff the greens & beans into the sweet potato for a healthy and satisfying edible boat! It’s truly delicious.
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Sticky Red Wine Chicken and Veggies Stir Fry is Way Better than Carryout!

The conversation with my husband that I dread more than any other is, “what would you like to have for dinner this week?” And then he shrugs.

How can someone have so little opinion about what they eat? For an uber-picky eater like myself, I want absolute involvement.

red wine stir fry

So when, one day, he said, “Can you make this?” and shared a recipe for chicken and asparagus stir fry, he had my attention. I agreed to make it and put it on the weekly meal plan – I wanted to reward him, if you will, for being involved in the decision! But also, the simple ingredients showed promise of being a really easy dinner that tasted great.

Winner winner Asian-inspired chicken dinner… this has become a go-to staple in our house!
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Simple Apple and Herb Dutch Oven Roasted Chicken Makes Healthy Dinner for Days

My personal food philosophy is that it has to be healthful, flavorful, and no more complicated than is necessary. I genuinely enjoy cooking for my family; it’s not a task to me. That doesn’t mean I’m not busy and I don’t have to find ways to save myself time, but I’ve made the type and quality of food we eat a priority, so that means I cut corners in other ways.

The Dutch Oven roasted chicken is my “microwave dinner,” if you will. I can give up less than two hours (often on a weekend) to roasting this bird and have more than just one meal. So when I pay a hefty price for the free-range, feel-good chicken I’m getting my money’s worth for sure.

roasted chicken

It’s not just any dried out, salt and pepper roasted chicken though. This thing is singing with flavor with plenty of juices to make you forget that whole white meat vs. dark meat debate.

And forget asking for seconds. No one can have them because I’m making a second dinner with this chicken.

The trick is to all that flavor and juice is to stuff this chicken full of flavor agents, things that offer plenty of good flavor without jamming it up with salts and fats. Fresh herbs, oranges, apples, garlic, onions, and whole peppercorns are my go-to flavor agents. These give the chicken a subtle flavor that makes it delicious enough to eat on its own, or save to use in other meals throughout the week.
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Balsamic and Rosemary Grilled Pork Tenderloin and Honey Thyme Mashed Sweet Potato Will Happily Feed a Crowd

Today, I’m not just giving you the entree, I’m giving you the side to go with it. Because otherwise, this meal would be like giving you the macaroni without the cheese, or the Thanksgiving turkey without the stuffing; they are just meant to be together!

rosemary grilled pork tenderloin

No where near as complicated as it may sound, after this Rosemary and Balsamic Grilled Pork Tenderloin you aren’t going to want to eat anything else ever again. But when you pair a bite of the tenderloin with a bite of the Honey Thyme Mashed Sweet Potatoes, you will reach a level of mouth-feel, flavor euphoria you didn’t even know possible. Food shouldn’t make us happy, but this will.

pork tenderloin and sweet potato

I love cooking with pork tenderloins. This cut of meat cooks quickly, has tons of flavor, and makes plenty of leftovers. At least in our house with a family of three, one tenderloin will cover dinner and a few lunches, too! One added bonus, the tenderloin is leaner than a skinless chicken breast! For real. A three-ounce serving of pork tenderloin has 120 calories compared to 139 calories in the same serving of chicken breast. The chicken has .1 grams more fat than the pork, and 11 grams more cholesterol than the pork.

And tender. Oh me, oh my, oh mama. It’s right there in the name, and it’s not a misnomer.
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Creamy Parmesan White Wine Sauce with Pasta for a Guilt-Free 419 Calories!

If I were going to be stranded on a desert island, and I could take only one food with me, it would be macaroni and cheese. It is the single most comforting comfort food. With its chewy noodles, gooey sauce, and creamy mouthfeel, I’d have no qualms about eating that every day.

But here in the real world, that’s hardly an option. The stuff in a box actually tastes terrible and is laced with chemical ingredients that kind of ruin the whole experience when you think about it. And if you really go for it at a restaurant, a bowl of chicken Alfredo at Olive Garden has 1500 calories! The classic mac at Macaroni Grill has nearly 700 calories… in the kids serving!

chicken alfredo
Nah, that’s not going to work. I’d like a big bowl of pasta, tossed in cheese sauce, and I’d like it for less than 500 calories.

This pasta in a white wine Parmesan sauce is very real, much more likely to happen that the desert island scenario, and comfort food I can enjoy without any discomfort of guilt. Why? It rings it at 419 calories for the whole bowl!
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