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Holiday Recipes, Uncategorized

Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Sweet Potatoes with Bacon

Dear Diary,

I read an article recently that listed BACON as one of the ten foods Dietitians and Nutritionists NEVER eat. Wait…WHAT? We don’t eat bacon? When did that happen? I can understand the vegetarians and non-pork eaters saying no to bacon, but really…the rest of us don’t eat bacon? Or…maybe I’m one of the few that admit to eating bacon? One may never know…or care because let’s face it, it’s bacon!

While I might opt for uncured and nitrate free bacon, I embrace what a slice or three of bacon can add to a dish. It can bring the perfect balance of salty to compliment the sweet. Another recipe I have made for many years, Brunswick Stew with Smoked Paprika, calls for 2 slices of bacon for a recipe that creates 6 portions. If I’m doing my math correctly, that is 1/3 of a slice of bacon per serving. We can embrace moderation and gain a ton of flavor by using high fat, flavor filled foods in small amounts.

I am a lover of creating dishes that are packed with veggies and bursting with flavor all at the same time. This vegetable roast nails the sweet, savory, smokiness that a Fall inspired side dish is all about. Warning, it may put Aunt Ida’s canned yams to shame at the Thanksgiving table!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Sweet Potatoes with Bacon

15-20 Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and cut in half

2 medium Yams (aka Sweet Potatoes), scrubbed, not peeled, cut into 1 inch cubes

1 Granny Smith Apple, not peeled, cut into 1 inch cubes

1 medium Sweet Onion, thinly sliced

2-3 slices of Uncured Bacon, chopped

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar

1 Tablespoon Honey or Maple Syrup

1/2 teaspoon each Salt, Black Pepper, Dried Thyme

Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, except bacon, and toss to mix well. Spread out the mixture on the parchment paper and evenly distribute the bacon over the top. Roast for 15-18 minutes, mix so vegetables cook evenly, and roast for another 12-15 mins. If the bacon is crispy and the vegetables have some char the dish is ready. It may need 5-10 more mins depending on amount of vegetables.

Thanksgiving Streuseled Sweet Potato Casserole
Holiday Recipes, Recipes, Uncategorized

Thanksgiving & Sweet Potato Casserole

Dear Diary,

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and it’s only four days away! This holiday is a perfect combination of comfort food, good friends, and family with freedom from the gift giving frenzy. The main attraction of this glorious holiday is usually the turkey. This year could be different with Cooking Light’s Streuseled Sweet Potato Casserole. Could sweet potatoes really steal the limelight? You bet they could! Especially when you combine them with yummy ingredients like real maple syrup, vanilla, and pecans.

My childhood Thanksgiving feast did not have sweet potatoes present. I do have very fond memories of making dressing over the years with my Dad. One year we completely ruined the dressing by adding too much dried sage. We both thought the other had not added it and we both thought it needed a little more than the “recipe” (a loose word for our creations) called for. We laugh about that today and have not repeated that particular error since. That is the joy of cooking and creating wonderful memories around food and holidays.

I am so thankful for so many things during this holiday season. One of the things I am thankful for is knowing I will create wonderful memories for my own children around food and the holidays. I wish for all children to have the benefit of having people in their lives that show them how much they love them by providing healthy food. It not only nourishes the body, it also feeds the soul.


Streuseled Sweet Potato Casserole

Sprinkle a buttery, brown sugar and pecan mixture over the top of the creamy potatoes in this sweet potato casserole that’s sweet enough to be dessert.
  • Yield: 18 servings (serving size: about 1/2 cup)


  • 14 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled sweet potato (about 5 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 375°.

Place potato in a Dutch oven, and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 12 minutes or until tender. Drain.

Combine the half-and-half and next 4 ingredients (half-and-half through egg) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add potato to egg mixture; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Spoon potato mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Combine flour and sugar in a food processor; pulse to combine. Add chilled butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in pecans; sprinkle over potato mixture.

Cover and bake at 375° for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 25 minutes or until the topping is browned and the potatoes are thoroughly heated.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving

  • Calories 250
  • Caloriesfromfat 23 %
  • Fat 6.3 g
  • Satfat 2.4 g
  • Monofat 2.5 g
  • Polyfat 1 g
  • Protein 3.3 g
  • Carbohydrate 46.1 g
  • Fiber 2.7 g
  • Cholesterol 22 mg
  • Iron 1.2 mg
  • Sodium 149 mg
  • Calcium 49 mg