savory sweet potatoes with lemon, feta & parsley

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you should feel really bad for me.
i live in a house with a spouse who does not like sweet potatoes. in any form.

if you’ve been following us for a bit, you know he did whole30 a month or so ago. (technically he did the whole40 because #OVERACHIEVER.) not using sweet potatoes in his “cleanse” was super hard because that’s one of the heartier veggies he was allowed to have, and the poor guy was starving. i thought for sure whole30 would send him over the edge, he being so hungry and all, and that he’d finally give in and give them another chance. didn’t happen. sorry sweet potatoes, don’t take it personally. (i still like you.)

this recipe originally came from one of our blue apron deliveries as a side, and it has become my new favorite way to eat sweet potatoes. they are prepared in a way that i had never tried – savory instead of sweet all the time – and i am a HUGE fan now. it’s like i’m seeing another side of an already awesome vegetable, one that has usually been pigeonholed as the thanksgiving side dish with brown sugar and marshmallows. OH I SEE YOU, sweet potatoes. [and i love this new, healthier side of you.]

(to make whole30 friendly, simply omit the feta cheese.)

savory sweet potatoes with lemon, feta, and parsley
serves 2-4 as a side dish

ingredients

3 large sweet potatoes, cut into spears and then halved

1 lemon, quartered & de-seeded

1/3 cup italian flat leaf parsley, chopped

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/4 cup walnuts

salt + pepper

directions

  1. preheat oven to 450. drizzle a rimmed cookie sheet with olive oil and rub around with your finger to coat it evenly. arrange sweet potato spears in a single layer on the sheet, skin sides up. drizzle tops with more olive oil and season with salt & pepper. roast for 20-22 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork.
  2. while potatoes are roasting, heat a small skillet over medium-high until hot. add the walnuts and toast them, stirring occasionally, until they are fragrant, about 2-4 minutes. transfer to a large bowl.
  3. when the potatoes are done, allow them to cool for a few minutes, then add them to the large bowl with the toasted walnuts. squeeze in the juice from the lemon, and add the feta and chopped parsley. drizzle in a little more olive oil and season with salt & pepper. gently toss to combine.

central market’s couscous salad with feta, spinach, basil, and lemon

central market's couscous salad with feta, spinach, basil, and lemon
while home in austin for the christmas holiday, my mom and i went grocery shopping at central market (if you’re not familiar, it’s like the best grocery store ever – similar to whole foods). it was a gorgeous afternoon and we sat outside as we ate lunch before hitting the aisles.
yes outside. in late december.
just one of the 5,834,395 reasons i love texas.
we had grabbed a few of their prepared snacks for lunch, some sushi and this amazing couscous salad. we both would have licked the plastic container if there weren’t so many people there. i knew as soon as i got home, i would have to give it a go, and try to make it myself. and obviously, since i am posting the recipe, i am super happy with the results. (this is just my interpretation of the couscous – i didn’t get this recipe straight from CM.) a huge bonus: this recipe takes about 10 minutes to make. it is light and bright, with fresh basil and tangy lemon juice. the spinach adds interest and great nutrition + vitamins. and the feta.. oh the feta. i could put feta on almost anything.
#iloveyoufeta

central market’s couscous salad with feta, spinach, basil, and lemon
makes a little over 2 cups

ingredients

1 cup uncooked couscous

1/4 tsp coarse sea salt

1 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/2 cup fresh spinach, chopped

1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped or torn into small pieces

juice from 1/2 lemon

few dashes of white pepper (not black pepper, which would be too heavy)

directions

1. bring 1 cup water and 1/4 tsp sea salt to a boil in a small saucepan. once boiling, add 1 cup couscous and stir well. cover and remove from heat. let sit for 5 minutes.

2. once couscous is done, add olive oil, fluff with a fork or spatula and transfer into a bowl. add feta, chopped spinach, basil, and white pepper. squeeze the juice from 1/2 a lemon over top and mix well. serve chilled or at room temperature.

mediterranean bruschetta


i love bruschetta. LOVE. (yes, even though i am usually a tomato-hater. odd, isn’t it? )
and who doesn’t love a good, salty kalamata olive?
and possibly no (normal) human can turn down feta cheese.

i have this recipe that i jotted down years ago for mediterranean bruschetta (no clue where it came from). it involved canned tomatoes and a cup of mayonnaise. i so could NOT go there.
and it just didn’t sound that appetizing. but the name and most of the ingredients did.
i consider myself a big mediterranean food fan, so i figured i could tweak it a bit and make it awesome.

and i did, if i say so myself.
the first experience is the crunch of the bread, with it’s cheesy, garlicky flavor. then the topping floods your mouth with mediterranean flavors. it’s super fresh and light, then the saltiness of the feta and the kalamatas hits you. and the flavor in your mouth rounds out and finishes with the parsley.
quite likely one of the most perfect appetizers.
or snacks.
or dinners.
bruschetta for breakfast, anyone?

*recipe updated 7.10.13*

mediterranean bruschetta

ingredients

3 tbsp finely chopped parsley

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 cup crumbled feta cheese

1 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped

4 large roma tomatoes, seeded & chopped (*see tip below)

1 tsp italian seasoning

1/4 tsp pepper

3 large garlic cloves, minced

1 skinny french or italian baguette, sliced 1/2 inch thick

parmesan cheese, freshly shredded

directions

1. in a medium-sized bowl, combine tomatoes, olives, feta, olive oil, oregano (or italian seasoning), pepper, and parsley. mix well. place in refrigerator to chill.

2. set the oven on broil.

3. place flatbread or baguette slices on a cookie sheet in a single layer. spread about 1/8 tsp of minced garlic on each slice and top with parmesan, about 1/2 tbsp or so. place under the broiler for about 1-2 minutes – watch them carefully – until the cheese is melted and the crusts of the bread are just starting to turn golden brown.

4. remove toasts from the oven and place on a serving platter. put bruschetta mixture into a serving bowl and serve alongside the toasts.

*tip on seeding the tomatoes:
use a grapefruit spoon! it makes it super easy – after you have cut the tomatoes in half, just scoop out all of the insides with the jagged spoon.

*note on ingredients:
if you are out of italian seasoning, you can sub dried oregano.

roasted potatoes with feta & artichokes

this is one of my favorite side dish recipes. one i get asked for a lot.
it contains two things that are high on my happy list: feta cheese and artichokes.
and it came from a pretty random place.
when my husband and i lived in st. louis, we were at a fundraiser at a really nice retirement home. this was served along with a wonderful holiday dinner. i was so smitten with this dish that i snuck to the back to the kitchen and found the chef! i begged him to tell me his recipe and he very kindly obliged. i recited it to myself over and over until we got home and i could write it down.
so here it is, a rich, buttery treasure smuggled from st. louis and taken with me everywhere we’ve been.

roasted potatoes with feta & artichokes

ingredients 

2 lbs red potatoes

1 lb artichoke hearts

2 oz crumbled feta cheese

½ tsp thyme

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

¼ cup butter, melted

directions

preheat oven to 375.

cut potatoes into 1-inch squares and place in a large mixing bowl.  add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl except the feta.  mix well.

spread mixture out on a large baking sheet and put it into the oven.

cook until potatoes are brown & soft, about 40-45 minutes, tossing every 10-15 minutes.

add feta and serve warm.

about 4-6 servings

photo via