Endless Halloween: Slurp Some Seriously Spooky Spaghetti

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Photo: Lori Hirsch Stokoe / www.tastewiththeeyes.com

YESSSSS. It’s almost time to start seriously thinking about Halloween cooking. There’s nothing better than horrifying food that actually tastes wonderful, right? And Halloween is the perfect excuse to pull it off. This one’s for all you cavemen. I normally wouldn’t be one to sub out my glourious gluten-y pasta for protein-rish versions, but October is the perfect time to start experimenting with black bean pasta. The awesomely atrocious dish pictured above uses Explore Cuisine’s spaghetti, which is made from just black beans and only black beans.

Black Bean Spaghetti with AFRAID-O Sauce and White Carrot Phalanges

 

White Carrot Phalanges

Peel 8 white carrots then carve with small knife into finger-bone shape. Steam until al dente. Set aside.

 

Black Bean Spaghetti with AFRAID-O Sauce

  • 1 box Explore Cuisine Black Bean Spaghetti – cooked, drained
  • 1 jar of alfredo sauce (can choose gluten-free)
  • 1 jar of marinara sauce (choose one that is more blood red in color, rather than orange)
  • fresh basil
  1. Heat the sauces in separate saucepans over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  2. Place warm Explore Cuisine black bean spaghetti in the center of four serving plates.
  3. Ladle alfredo sauce over the center of the spaghetti.
  4. Arrange carrot phalanges over the sauce.
  5. Splatter marinara sauce over the entire dish, in a gruesome manner.
  6. Garnish with basil.

 

More ridiculous recipes in Endless Halloween.

7 Delicious Toppings for Sweet Potato Toast

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Brought to you by the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission

Photo credit: Little Bits Of Blog

While classic avocado toast is one of our favorite morning treats, we can’t help but feel a tad guilty when we’re loading up on empty carbs morning after morning. Lucky for you (and us!), the latest trend in the breakfast world comes sans bread and is made up of nutrient-rich instead! Available year-round, this spectacular sweet spud is jam-packed with vitamin A and fiber, naturally sweetened from the earth and low in calories, making them the perfect meal for those on the go. And they can be used in so many ways, like as toast!

The best part? Whipping up this sweet treat is quick and easy. Pop your sweet potato into the microwave for 10 seconds to soften it up. Then simply slice some sweet potatoes about ¼-inch thick (we love NC Sweet Potatoes!) and pop ‘em in the toaster or toaster oven. We recommend toasting twice for a just-the-right amount of crunch. Once done, top with whatever your heart desires – whether it’s a little avocado or a whole lotta cheese, we know you’ll reach for it morning after morning.

Toaster

Photo credit: Little Bits Of Blog

Looking for some inspo? Read on for seven delicious toppings for your sweet potato toast!

Cheese, Please!

What’s tastier than creamy and rich brie cheese? Toast your sweet potatoes, spread your favorite brie on top and finish with some generous drizzles of sweet, locally-made honey. It’s the bee’s knees!

No Schmear Job

Love lox and bagels? While this breakfast all-star is a Sunday morning essential, it’s also loaded with calories that can slow down your day. The solution? Sweet potatoes, of course! Toast up some  , top ‘em with a little crème fraiche, pile on the smoked salmon and throw some capers on top for a little extra punch. Done and done!

Crazy for Coconut

Looking for something sweet? This dessert-inspired iteration will leave you pining for more! The best part? It’s a healthy way to get an all-natural sugar fix. Top with a healthy serving of almond butter, add some finely-chopped dates and complete the treat with a drizzle of coconut butter.

All About Almond

A tried-and-true favorite, this version is topped with almond butter, fresh banana slices, and sprinkles of sweet cinnamon. It’s a creamy concoction that we know you’ll swoon over.

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Photo credit: Little Bits Of Blog

Hello, Hummus
Full of flavor and nutrition, this fresh and flavorful version can be whipped up in a matter of seconds. Simply top your “toast” with your go-to hummus and add some heirloom tomato slices on top. For an added kick, finish with a sprinkle of chili flakes or Himalayan salt.

Pesto Perfection

Simple and tasty, this sweet potato toast is topped with omega-3 rich pesto sauce (recipe here) and is guaranteed to become the best part of your morning routine. Bonus tip: make the pesto ahead of time so you can spread it on in a flash.

Anything-But-Basic Avocado
You didn’t think we’d forget the recipe that started it all, right? Top your spuds with some sliced avocado, a hint of salt, some fresh ground pepper and a little lemon zest and you’re set. If you’re in the mood for a little spice, whip out that Sriracha!

Avocado

Photo credit: Little Bits Of Blog

Like what you see? Watch the video below to find out why cooking with sweet potatoes is not only healthy, but simple. Plus, be sure to share photos of your sweet potato creations on Instagram with the #SweetPotatoToast hashtag!

This article was produced by NC Sweet Potatoes in collaboration with Endless Simmer.

St. Patrick’s Day Hash

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You know we love providing you with all those St. Patrick’s Day drinking ideas, but we’re gonna need something to soak it all up, aren’t we? Enjoy a St. Patrick’s Day recipe created by Pure Organic founder and author of Pure Food, Veronica Bosgraaf.

 

Saint Patrick’s Day in Michigan is kind of crazy. For example, one year we were all downtown in short enjoying the early, warm spring weather – but the next year we bundled up against a 20?F snowstorm. Luckily, the green beer still flows. St. Paddy’s day is a great reminder that the carefree days of summer are close.

On St. Patrick’s Day, I want festive comfort food. This vegan, gluten-free dish works perfectly, and it is so hearty you won’t miss the corned beef. I could make it for breakfast too, but then I’d have to give up my green beer. So put on your cutest green outfit, and no matter what the weather, enjoy the luck of the Irish! If you like, put an organic, free-range fried egg on top of each serving.

Irish Hash

Serves 4

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brioche stuffing for Thanksgiving

Brioche Stuffing: A Taste of Thanksgiving Luxury

brioche stuffing for Thanksgiving

I’ve been waiting a YEAR to write this post! I made this brioche stuffing for Thanksgiving 2014… and I waited until now to thrust it upon the world. And oh yes, I will be making this stuffing again this year! Right after I finish this post, to be exact.

So I love Thanksgiving stuffing. Who doesn’t? I’ve got nothing against Stovetop, but I like to take my stuffing game up a notch. That’s where this brioche stuffing comes in. Why brioche? It has a high egg and butter content (mmm… butter…) which means it’s super rich, soft, and slightly sweet.

I stud my stuffing with caramelized onions, wild mushrooms, and a good dose of greens. Oh, and a lot of fresh aromatic herbs to make sure your kitchen/house smells amazing for all your Thanksgiving guests. I can’t wait to make and EAT it again this year!

Brioche Stuffing with Wild Mushrooms & Caramelized Onions

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Ultra Easy Roasted Fall Vegetables

If you’re looking for a simple side dish for your favorite fall recipes, here it is. I whipped this up the other week for a family dinner with the future in-laws (and as you know, in-laws = scary = must impress them to earn their trust) and it was received with glowing reviews, so I think we can all agree this one is a keeper. And as I mentioned, simple. This dish is so easy it’s ridiculous. You just chop up onions, sweet potato, brussels sprouts, and butternut squash (or if you hate chopping uncooked squash as I do, buy it pre-peeled and chopped, I won’t tell). Roast it for a while in some olive oil, salt, pepper, and herbs. Mix in some melty cheese and more fresh herbs at the very end. Done and done.

Did I mention you could also bring this to Thanksgiving as an alternative to the overdone sweet potato pies and green bean casseroles we see every year? Your dinner table will thank you.

Ultra Easy Roasted Fall Vegetables

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Warm Fall Kale Salad with Bison

Warm Fall Kale Salad with Sweet Potatoes & Pumpkin Seeds

Warm Fall Kale Salad

Heyo! I’m finally feeling sorta fall-ish (even though it’s still in the 90s in Austin) so I decided to make a warm kale salad last week. I realize kale salad isn’t the epitome of fall cooking, but like I said, 90 degrees! So I’m easing into the whole seasonal eating thing right now. Once it dips below 80 here it will feel properly “cold” and I can start busting out the soups, etc.

But for now… delicious kale salad! This one can be served as a side but it easily stands alone for a fairly light lunch or dinner, as it’s chock full of filling roasted sweet potatoes and crunchy pumpkin seeds. Plus salty parmesan cheese. Of course, if you want to make it a bigger protein-packed meal and add meat, you totally can and should! We added some grilled bison to one iteration and it was perfect:

Warm Fall Kale Salad with Bison

Warm Fall Kale Salad with Sweet Potatoes & Pumpkin Seeds

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Can You Juice Beet Greens?

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It’s all hot in the food world now to use every part of the plant and not waste anything — and beets are one of those farmers market treats that always seem so wasteful. The roots are delicious, but I mean, the leaves and the stalks are like 90% of the plant. I know that you can fry up beet greens and they taste — well, let’s leave it at “OK” — so I was on the hunt for a new way to use them up. With a new juicer sitting on my counter, I wondered: can you juice beet greens? Answer below.

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