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    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    EmilyBMalone@gmail.com

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    A Look Back.



Vegan Coconut Sweet Potato Casserole.

With Thanksgiving just days away now, it’s time for another delicious recipe!  This one is for anyone who’s looking to lighten-up traditional sweet potato casserole (marshmallows, anyone?), or if you are serving any dairy-free or vegan guests this year!  Or really, anyone at all, because this recipe is so delicious that everyone should have it on their table this year. 

Vegan Coconut Sweet Potato Casserole by Daily Garnish

I am a total coconut person.  I love everything about it – the flavor, the smell, and the way it makes me think about summer time even during a rainy winter.  Traditional sweet potato casserole includes things like eggs, butter, and lots of added sugar in order to achieve a deliciously sweet and creamy final product.  My recipe has none of that, but no one in my house was complaining. 

Vegan Coconut Sweet Potato Casserole by Daily Garnish

I swapped in creamy coconut milk to replace the milk and eggs, coconut oil to replace the butter, and maple syrup to replace all the added sugar.  For the topping, I used a mix of nuts, oats, and coconut flakes to give it delicious texture and crunch.  This was a hit with both the adults and kids in my family, and I loved serving a classic dish with a healthy vegan makeover. 

Vegan Coconut Sweet Potato Casserole

by Emily Malone

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients (6 servings)

    For the Sweet Potatoes
    • 3lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
    • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
    • 1 cup coconut milk
    • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
    • salt to taste
    For the Topping
    • 1 cup rolled oats
    • 1 cup coconut flakes
    • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
    • 1/2 cup pecan pieces
    • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
    • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
    • zest of one orange
    • pinch of salt

    Instructions

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Peel and cube the sweet potatoes and put them on a sheet pan in a single layer.

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    If you are short on time, you can also boil or steam the potatoes until soft, but I prefer the flavor that comes from roasting them. Cook for 35 to 40 minutes until soft and browning on the bottom, stirring once mid-way through cooking.

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    While the sweet potatoes are roasting, you can prepare the crumble. Combine rolled oats, coconut flakes, walnuts, pecans, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, and the zest of one orange into your food processor.

    Vegan Coconut Sweet Potato Casserole by Daily Garnish

    Pulse a few times until it is all combined well and crumbly in texture, but don’t over-do it! Add a pinch of salt and pulse for another 10 seconds. Clean your food processor, because you are about to use it again!

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    Once the sweet potatoes are done roasting, toss them into the (cleaned) food processor. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Add the melted coconut oil, coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla, spices, and a pinch of salt.  I used Thai Kitchen organic unsweetened coconut milk, which helped make it really rich and creamy. (For those who prefer something even lighter, Thai Kitchen also has a “light” option!)

    Vegan Coconut Sweet Potato Casserole by Daily Garnish

    Pumpkin pie spices pair perfectly with sweet potatoes to make this taste festive and seasonal. 

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    Process until it is totally smooth and delicious.  Coconut milk is such a great non-dairy alternative to use during holiday cooking and baking, especially when you are cooking for a large group that might include some dietary restrictions.  These sweet potatoes are so rich and creamy in taste, but they are dairy-free and have no added refined sugar.  Of course this just makes me want to eat twice as much…

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    Spoon sweet potato mixture into the bottom of a baking dish (mine was 6.5×10 but anything close to that should be fine!). Use a spatula to spread it out evenly all the way to the sides of the dish.

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    One the sweet potatoes are smooth, pour the crumble on top! Carefully spread it into an even layer on top. 

    Vegan Coconut Sweet Potato Casserole by Daily GarnishVegan Coconut Sweet Potato Casserole by Daily Garnish

    It will look like a TON of topping, but I promise it is just the right balance.  Once you dig in you get a bit of crumble with every bite – perfection. 

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    Bake casserole for 20 minutes at 375 degrees, until the topping is starting to brown and the potatoes are heated through.

    Vegan Coconut Sweet Potato Casserole by Daily Garnish

    Allow to cool for a few minutes, and then serve and enjoy!

    Vegan Coconut Sweet Potato Casserole by Daily Garnish

    Growing up, we never really had traditional sweet potato casserole (with all the butter and sugar and marshmallows!) for Thanksgiving, so I guess I didn’t know what I was missing.  But I can tell you that as my family sat down to enjoy this last week, it sure didn’t feel like we were missing anything at all.

    Vegan Coconut Sweet Potato Casserole by Daily Garnish

    If you are trying to cook a healthier meal this year, or if you are serving vegetarian and non-dairy guests, don’t let the holiday decadence overwhelm you.  Simple swaps like using coconut milk in place of dairy, or coconut oil in place of butter make it easy to satisfy everyone at the table.  Even my kids, who I consider to be ridiculously picky, literally gobbled these sweet potatoes down.  We’ll be making this all year long!

    Vegan Coconut Sweet Potato Casserole by Daily Garnish

    I’m planning to have one more (stuffing!) recipe for you guys tomorrow, so stay tuned if you are still menu planning!  Happy holiday cooking!

    Thanks to Thai Kitchen for sponsoring this post.  You can find out more about their products here, or visit them on Facebook.  Thanks for your continued support of Daily Garnish! 

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    Festive Kale Salad with Wheatberries & Tempeh.

    Let the Thanksgiving cooking begin!  And not a minute too late, as the holidays are sneaking up on me faster than I can cook and photograph.  This is the first of several recipes I really wanted to share here this year.

    Thanksgiving is without a doubt my absolutely favorite holiday, and I can’t think of anything better than a day spent entirely focused on food (okay, and the National Dog Show at my house).  We have been vegetarian for five years (!) now, and still every year I find that someone is worried about “what we will eat” at the dinner table.  Come on guys, it’s all about the side dishes, right?

    I could live on a plate of mashed potatoes and cranberries alone, but it’s definitely good to have a few more complete dishes to round out the vegetarian menu.  For those of you concerned with serving a vegetarian or vegan entrée or protein at your Thanksgiving table – this one is for you.

    Festive Kale Salad with Wheatberries & Tempeh by Daily Garnish

    It might look like a simple salad, but it’s an entrée that will leave you more than satisfied.  Delicious wilted kale accented with all sorts of tasty things like fresh pomegranate seeds, salty olives, and sweet dried cranberries.  But the additions of chewy wheatberries and tasty tempeh move this salad from side dish to the center of the table. 

    Festive Kale Salad with Wheatberries and Tempeh

    by Emily Malone

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook Time: 10 minutes

    Ingredients (4-6 servings)

    • 1 block tempeh
    • splash of orange juice
    • 1 cup cooked wheatberries (or 1/2 cup dry)
    • 10 oz kale, chopped finely
    • 1/4 cup Spanish olives
    • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
    • 3/4 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
    • 1 orange, zested
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons orange muscat vinegar
    • pinch of salt
    • gorgonzola crumbles (optional)

    Instructions

    If you don’t have cooked wheatberries already, you’ll want to get those started first. I cooked several cups in my rice cooker (and tossed the leftovers into the fridge for lunches), but you can also just cook them on the stovetop.

    Festive Kale Salad with with Wheatberries & Tempeh by Daily Garnish

    Add 1/2 cup dry wheatberries to 1 cup water in a sauce pan, and simmer until the wheatberries are tender – around 20 minutes. Season with salt, drain, and set aside.

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    Cube tempeh into bite sized pieces. In a non-stick pan, sauté tempeh over medium high heat in order to get some good color and browning.

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    Add a few splashes of orange juice to deglaze, and stir frequently. Season with salt, and set aside once it is finished cooking.

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    While the tempeh cooks, go ahead and prep the rest of your ingredients. Chop the olives and de-seed your pomegranate.

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    For this kale salad, you want the kale to be chopped very finely. I used a bag of pre-shredded organic kale (from Trader Joe’s) and I still chopped it to be quite a bit finer.

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    Add the kale to a large sauté pan, along with 1/4 cup water and a pinch of salt, and cover with a lid. You aren’t trying to cook it to death, just wilt it, so stir often and uncover after a minute or so.

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    Once the kale has wilted and softened a bit, remove it and add to a large mixing bowl. Add the chopped olives, dried cranberries, drained wheatberries, pomegranate seeds, and cooked tempeh. Add the zest of one orange over top.

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    In a small bowl, whisk together the orange vinegar, olive oil, and a pinch of salt to make the dressing.  I use this vinegar from Trader Joe’s!

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    Pour over top of the salad mixture, and stir well to combine.  Add any additional salt to taste.

    Festive Kale Salad with Wheatberries & Tempeh by Daily GarnishFestive Kale Salad with Wheatberries & Tempeh by Daily Garnish

    Serve at room temperature, and garnish with gorgonzola crumbles if you love them  as much as I do.

    Festive Kale Salad with Wheatberries & Tempeh by Daily Garnish

    I love this salad because it can be a perfect side dish to a bigger meal (like say, Thanksgiving!) but it can also stand on its own as a complete dish. 

    Festive Kale Salad with Wheatberries & Tempeh by Daily Garnish

    All the bright citrus and sweet flavors of orange and cranberry pair so well with the salty olives and tangy gorgonzola.  This salad has a lot going on, but definitely in a good way.

    Festive Kale Salad with Wheatberries & Tempeh by Daily Garnish

    This is the perfect dish to serve if you’re entertaining vegans (leave out the cheese!) or vegetarians and don’t know what to make, and it is just as good the next day as leftovers.

    Several more recipes coming next week!  It is most definitely the most wonderful time of the year, and absolutely my favorite food to cook.  Happy Friday, friends!

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