I prepared the Traditional Green Bean Casserole made with my home-made “Cream” of Mushroom Soup (both recipes are in Go Dairy Free). This was an old-reliable type recipe, so I knew it would be yummy, and it was!
I was going to make my Tender Squash Dinner Rolls (also in Go Dairy Free), which are always a big hit. They are those tender soft, pull-apart dinner rolls that taste bakery fresh. However, when I discovered a package of Bob’s Red Mill Cornbread Mix lingering in the cupboard, I thought to myself, “two from-scratch dishes is enough I will just make this for bread.” I really should have gone the extra mile. I usually like gluten-free breads, and cornbread isn’t a big stretch for gluten-free, so I thought these would pass with the rest of my family. I am not sure if I did something wrong, but I really didn’t like it. The bread had a slight bitter taste that I just couldn’t get away from (I used unsweetened almond milk, I would definitely use a sweetened version like Amy did), and they were a bit dry and crumbly. The texture could have been my execution. I had to bake them for 10 minutes longer than called for, as they just weren’t cooked through. Regardless, for Christmas I will definitely take the time to make my squishy squash dinner rolls!
As for the third dish, I made some truly scrumptious roasted sweet potatoes. Until I was well into my 20’s, I thought I hated sweet potatoes. My only experience with this orange-fleshed starch was via canned candied yams topped with marshmallows. But when I discovered the natural sweetness of unadulterated sweet potatoes, I was hooked! I made them savory style with thyme and garlic, which only proved to bring out even more of the yams’ natural sweetness.
Fast forward for a moment.
My husband and I ventured out for Black Friday today, but we traveled the less crowded path. We hit up Whole Foods for some $.99 organic apples and their awesome 365 semi-sweet chocolate chips for just $1.50 per bag. Last week we decided (when the weather turned south) that is was time to purchase a slow cooker. Yes, we both work from home, love soups, and yet we have never owned a slow cooker. My husband found a great deal that allowed us to get a 6 quart, Hamilton Beach, coincidentally matches our kitchen, slow cooker for just $5 ($19.99 at Kohl’s – $10 rebate (that my husband already sent in) – $5 coupon for signing up for their free e-newsletter)! Those two stops and some laundry detergent were the extent of our big shop today, which I was thankful for, since I was starving.
Back to those sweet potatoes.
I returned home and dished up a big bowl of the leftover sweet potatoes. I was lucky, there were three other crowd-sized potato dishes for our petite Thanksgiving party of 7 … this meant leftovers of everything! And as it turned out, these sweet potatoes are incredibly awesome cold too. I think these will be on repeat throughout the winter in my house:
Recipe: Sweet Potatoes with Thyme and Garlic
- 2.5 lbs (approximately) Sweet Potatoes or Yams
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil or Grapeseed Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme or 1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (I quickly powder them in the spice grinder to keep from having pockets of spice; feel free to double the amount if you want them a bit on the spicy side)
- 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
- Preheat your oven to 375ºF.
- Cut the potatoes into 3/4-inch chunks. I chop off and discard the ends, but do not peel them (after giving them a good rinse of course!).
- Pour 2 tablespoons of the oil into the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish, or similar size baking pan.
- Toss in the sweet potatoes, and sprinkle them with the thyme, salt, red pepper, and garlic.
- Drizzle the remaining oil over top, and stir the potatoes until they are well coated with the oil and spices.
- Bake the potatoes for 35 to 45 minutes, depending on your desired tenderness.
- Be sure to check in every 15 minutes and give them a good stir to ensure they cook evenly.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 40 minute(s)
Diet tags: Vegan, Dairy Free, Gluten free, Milk free, Nut free, Peanut free, Soy free, Sugar free, Wheat free
Number of servings (yield): 6
Copyright © Alisa Fleming.
Frugal Recipe Tips:
Sweet Potatoes – Unlike regular potatoes, sweet potatoes and yams do not require as many pesticides to produce, so purchasing conventional is usually a-okay, and will save your wallet some coin.
Oil - Keep an eye out on oil sales. Don’t use expensive extra-virgin olive oil for roasting, especially since it tends to have a lower smoke point. I seem to find grapeseed oil or extra-light (not extra-virgin) olive oil on clearance or sale with great regularity, though peanut oil or vegetable should also work fine.
Spices – I used to shy away from natural food stores as they seemed far too expensive, but I recently discovered that some carry bulk spices. This saves me a small fortune!