Sweet Potato Apple Bake

Sweet Potato Apple Bake-For those of us who have been celebrating holidays for decades and making the food that is the center of the celebration, we have a basic drill that we go through, and usually prepare the same dishes each year. In some ways, the fact that the menu is predictable and set, is something that everyone looks forward to. As the years have gone by, we have focused more on healthy eating by choice, and of course, a gluten free diet by necessity. My mother’s sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving and Christmas were canned, loaded with butter and brown sugar, and amazing. I have used fresh sweet potatoes myself for many years, cut down on fat and sugar and have been very pleased with our sweet potato side dish.

Honestly, I didn’t really think that there were many variations on basic sweet potatoes, but oh, was I wrong. This sweet potato dish with apples, dates and topped with maple glazed pecans is not your mother’s sweet potato side dish. It is so delicious, it could almost be your holiday dessert. Vegan, gluten free and diary free.

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Grilled Vegetable Tart

This Grilled Vegetable Tart is a flavorful and nutritious meal, appetizer or snack.  Just add grilled vegetables which have been roasted in the oven to your homemade bread, and enhance the flavor with olive herb dip.  It so feels like a special treat and who doesn’t love the smell of fresh bread from the oven!  Vegan, gluten free, dairy free.

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Sweet Potato Apple Crisp Instant Pot

Sweet Potato Apple Crisp-For those of us who have been celebrating holidays for decades and making the food that is the center of the celebration, we have a basic drill that we go through, and usually prepare the same dishes each year.  In some ways, the fact that the menu is predictable and set, is something that everyone looks forward to.  As the years have gone by, we have focused more on healthy eating by choice,  and of course, a gluten free diet by necessity.   My mother’s sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving and Christmas were canned, loaded with butter and brown sugar, and amazing.  I have used fresh sweet potatoes myself for many years, cut down on fat and sugar and have been very pleased with our sweet potato side dish.

Honestly, I didn’t really think that there were many variations on basic sweet potatoes, but oh, was I wrong.  This sweet potato dish with apples, dates and topped with maple glazed pecans is not your mother’s sweet potato side dish. It is so delicious, it could almost be your holiday dessert.  I made it in the Instant Pot, and feel like that gave it an even better flavor, was ready in less than thirty minutes and doesn’t take up your oven space.  Vegan, gluten free and diary free.

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Oatmeal Persimmon Bars

Oatmeal Persimmon Bars.  Persimmon is a delicious, juicy fruit that is only available October-February and if you haven’t tried this fabulous fruit, you must.  I use it in many fall recipes, and am always looking for more ways to incorporate this yummy and nutritious fruit into the menu.  Today, we are combining a traditional oat bar with persimmon to give it a touch of sweetness and juicy flavor.  Vegan, gluten free and dairy free.

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Potato Cabbage Colcannon-Instant Pot

My grandparents arrived at Ellis Island from Ireland in the 1920’s, with the dream of making a better life in America.  They settled in Chicago, and raised their family there. Eventually, the extended family joined them.   I have many fond memories of the brownstone on Greenwood Avenue that they owned, where the family gathered for food and fun.  Of course, some dishes stand out in my mind, and the potato cabbage dish called Colcannon was often a staple on the table.  This simple dish, made in the Instant Pot is ready in less than 30 minutes, and is a comfort food any time of year, whether your roots are Irish or not.  Vegan, gluten free, dairy free.

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