dreaming of the weekend, already

Breakfast is one of my favorite meals. Let me clarify that... breakfast foods are some of my favorite meals. I don't like to eat before at least 10 a on weekdays and 11 on weekends. I'm not what you call a morning person. Since starting this 90 day detox/diet thing I've been missing my favorite morning meals. I wanted to come up with a dairy, gluten, blah blah blah free breakfast that wasn't Chex with soy milk. 

I whipped up this hash one morning a few weeks into the detox and Matt has been requesting it ever since. It's got the whole sweet/savory thing going for it - nice crunchy little brown bits of sausage, soft and sweet from the potatoes and a burst of freshness from basil leaves.

I highly recommend you try this for your next lazy weekend breakfast (or brunch if you're like me). It's so easy to make and full of vitamins. Top it with a poached egg and you'll be in heaven! It's Monday and I'm already dreaming of the weekend... hope you guys have a good week! 

sweet potato + sausage hash
yields 4 servings

4 sweet potatoes (about 4 cups diced)

1 mild italian sausage link
2 spicy italian sausage links

1 onion diced
1 garlic clove chopped
1 t. onion powder
½ t. garlic powder
8 basil leaves
4 T. olive oil
salt + pepper

Preheat oven to 400º F. Dice sweet potatoes to your preferred size. Drizzle 3 T. olive oil and salt + pepper to taste over the potatoes and place on baking sheet. Roast potatoes for about 20 minutes while you prepare the rest of the dish. 

Heat a skillet on medium and add 1 T. olive oil and the sausage links (casing removed) crumbled. Cook until browned. Next add onion and cook until translucent. Add in garlic and seasonings and cook for 1 - 2 minutes. Pull your sweet potatoes out of the oven and add them to your pan. Cook for an additional 2 minutes. Tear basil leaves and sprinkle over the top of your dish before serving. 

improv style:
there's a million ways you can improvise this dish. don't have sweet potatoes? you can use any kind you like: yams, yukon gold, red, fingerling, you get the idea... same goes with the sausage: breakfast, all mild, all spicy, chorizo, pork, chicken, jalapeno chedar. not a fan of sausage? bacon, canadian bacon, diced ham, or pancetta would all be lovely substitutions. this is a throw what you got in a pan and make it kind of hash. add in your favorite herbs. think oregano, chili powder, thyme, parsley. i think it would be even better if you topped it with a poached or fried egg with a slightly runny yolk (no eggs for me for another 23 days - sigh). also, you can cook the potatoes in the skillet if you prefer. i like the oven because i can get everything else prepared faster while the potatoes get nice and soft in the oven. 


snack attack

Do you ever feel like a recipe is taunting you? I've been wanting to make a version of this snack food since I saw Giada DeLaurentiis make fried chickpeas on her show. Then, like a subtle reminder, I got an email from Everyday with Rachel Ray with her BBQ version of the darn things. OK, OK, I'll make them! 

These are the perfect healthy snack and they don't taste healthy! They have a nice crunch and are chock full of protein and fiber. The spice mix I suggest is everything you love about Indian food with a subtle spicy tickle from the cayenne. Not familiar with Indian food? Sound weird or scary? That's ok... Indian food uses a lot of similar spices as Mexican food... cumin, garlic, onion... but with a few twists. It's not as funky as it sounds, I promise. Give these baked chickpeas a try... you won't be sorry! 

You might want to make a double batch of these too because they'll go FAST. They're as satisfying as chips or nuts but without any of the guilt. 

curry roasted chickpeas
yields about 2 c. 

2 - 15 oz cans chickpeas drained and rinsed
4 T. olive oil (approximate)

for the spice mix:
1 t. curry powder
1 t. cumin
½ t. onion powder
½ t. garlic powder
½ t. coriander
¼ t. salt
pinch cayenne (optional)

Preheat oven to 400º F. Rinse and drain chickpeas. Place on a few paper towels and pat dry. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Place beans on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes until crispy and golden. 

Mix all spices together and sprinkle over the beans when they're hot out of the oven. It's that simple!

improv style:
you can impart any flavor on the beans, simple seasoning salt or salt and pepper would be delicious. you could make them cajun style, mexican style with a little chile and lime juice, italian with garlic and oregano, you could try a sweet and salty mix with sugar, cinnamon, and salt -get creative! not a fan of chickpeas? you could do it with nuts with less cooking time and still get the flavor/crunch factor, or sprinkle the spice mixture over homemade potato chips and roasted veggies.

these are great as a snack but they'd be fantastic on a salad or as a garnish for soup. you could even throw them in with a stir fry.