Yam-a-licious Casserole

I started making this side dish over 8 years ago, have made it for a number of holidays.  We had it one Easter Saturday along with a big roasted chicken and mashed potatoes, the whole chicken dinner complete with challah bread which was a first for me gluten free and an almond honey cake with candied lemon peel slices and fresh raspberries.  But with all the yummy food, this humble side dish was sort of the star.  There was very little left and most of us had seconds.  So, I figured it was time to share it; now you have it for the next time you make a big meal and want a simple yet yummy and healthy side dish.

 

I love it because it is healthier than most yam/sweet potato casseroles.  It is free of gluten, grains, eggs and refined (read white) sugar.   If you use something other than butter it can be dairy free too.  No tons of butter, marshmallows or cup of brown sugar.  Less than a quarter cup of sweeteners make this a good choice for pre-diabetes.  I do use the coconut oil; adds a subtle flavor I love.

And it is so easy to throw together. Just peel and dice up the yams, mix up the other ingredients in a small saucepan and pour over, bake and enjoy.  So easy but the flavor is subtle yet very pleasing.  I use 4 large yams but I often use 5 or 6 smaller ones. You can double it easily; actually have a post doing just that.  Simple, tasty and healthy; side dish home run!

Honey Spiced Sweet Potatoes

4 large sweet potatoes or yams
1/4 c. butter (or coconut oil, for dairy-free)
2 T. coconut oil
2 T. honey
2 t. molasses
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. ginger
1/2 – 1 t. kosher salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash sweet potatoes, peel if you like (it’s not all that necessary), chop into uniform 1/2 inch cubes, and place them in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Over low heat, melt the butter and coconut oil. Stir in the honey, molasses, and spices. Drizzle over sweet potatoes, than sprinkle with salt. Stir to evenly coat, then bake for about 1/2 hour, or until potatoes are fork tender. Suggest that you stir it up once or twice while it bakes so that yummy sauce can sink into every bite of yam. Enjoy!

It shrank a bit in the pan but still a nice amount of delish to share. Looked fantastic before I took it to the luncheon; darn but I forgot to take a picture….

Angie’s Creamed Spinach

Creamed spinach is such an old-fashioned side dish. Like something your great grandma would concoct for a family dinner. Old school but, there is a reason it is still around. It’s delicious and it is a comforting reminder of olden days. My mom made it. I always loved it but rarely make it. I guess I thought it was just too much work. Tonight, I attempted it using a mixture of recipes and it was delish with my pan-fried flounder. It’s a nourishing side that I know I will make again now that I have it figured out and gluten free, of course!

I think that if you double the cream cheese you could leave out the tablespoon of flour. I used white rice flour in mine. Or use more flour and no cream cheese. I used a box of frozen spinach, convenient and inexpensive. You cook it for a couple of minutes and drain it well. My recipe used a shallot, but onion will certainly work. The cream cheese is a thickener, but it also makes it so creamy. I used whole milk but saw recipes using half and half or even heavy cream; I went with a less rich approach. Up to you and your preferences. It reheats well, add a touch more milk to keep it loose and creamy. Enjoy!

I know; that’s a lot of creamed spinach! It was a small fillet of flounder. First creamed spinach in years so I kinda indulged myself…

Creamed Spinach (for 4)

Ingredients:

1 6×4 inch box of frozen spinach

2 Tbsp butter

1 small shallot or small onion, peeled and diced fine

¼ tsp garlic powder

1 or 2 Tbsp. rice flour

1-2 ounces cream cheese (one of each of rice flour and cream cheese or 2 of either of them)

¾ cup whole milk

1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

½ tsp. sea salt and freshly ground black pepper if you like – 1/8 tsp of that

1/3-1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese; best quality

Directions:

Heat ½ cup water in a saucepan, add box of frozen spinach (I let mine thaw on countertop for nearly an hour first). Break up the spinach with a fork. Let it cook 2 minutes. Pour into a strainer and let it drain while you start the sauce.

Melt 1 tbsp butter in a 9 inch fry pan or even a wide sauce pan. Add the finely chopped shallots or onion. Cook 3-4 minutes on medium, add flour and stir, add cream cheese (I suggest you first soften it in the microwave) FYI: My stirring device was a flat whisk. Add the milk, whisk until it is well blended and smooth.  Sprinkle with nutmeg and salt/pepper and add that other tablespoon of butter. Stir while it cooks on low for 1-2 minutes. Add 1/3—1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese and stir it gently. Serve immediately.

Yummy Yam-a-licious Side Dish

I started making this side dish almost a year and a half ago, have made it for a number of holidays.  We had it again Easter Saturday along with a big roasted chicken and mashed potatoes, the whole chicken dinner complete with challah bread which was a first for me gluten free and an almond honey cake with candied lemon peel slices on top with some fresh raspberries.  But with all the yummy food, this humble side dish was sort of the star.  There was very little left and most of us had seconds.  So I figured it was time to share it; so you have it next time you make a big meal and want a simple yet yummy and healthy side dish.

Easter 039

I love it because it is healthier than most yam/sweet potato casseroles.  It is free of gluten, grains, eggs and refined (read white) sugar.   If you use something other than butter it can be dairy free too.  No tons of butter, marshmallows or cup of brown sugar.  Less than a quarter cup of sweeteners make this a good choice for pre-diabetes.  I do use the coconut oil; adds a subtle flavor I love.

And it is so easy to throw together. Just peel and dice up the yams, mix up the other ingredients in a small saucepan and pour over, bake and enjoy.  So easy but the flavor is subtle yet very pleasing.  I use 4 large yams but I often use 5 or 6 smaller ones. Simple, tasty and healthy; side dish home run!

Honey Spiced Sweet Potatoes

4 sweet potatoes or yams
1/4 c. butter (or coconut oil, for dairy-free)
2 T. coconut oil
2 T. honey
2 t. molasses
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. ginger
1/2 – 1 t. kosher salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash sweet potatoes, peel if you like (it’s not all that necessary), chop into uniform 1/2 inch cubes, and place them in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Over low heat, melt the butter and coconut oil. Stir in the honey, molasses, and spices. Drizzle over sweet potatoes, than sprinkle with salt. Stir to evenly coat, then bake for about 1/2 hour, or until potatoes are fork-tender. I like to stir it up once or twice while it bakes so that yummy sauce can sink into every bite of yam.