Sweet Potato Veggie Casserole

sweet potato casserole recipe

The hardest part about making recipes is that I am not very precise in my measurements. I take a more artistic approach to cooking than scientific, but when it comes to sharing your recipe so others can benefit, it helps to have some good old quant skills.

So when I wrote Easy Hiking Recipes, I often tested each recipe 5+ times to fine tune the measurements! My boyfriend was pretty happy to be the taste-tester for all of my experiments 🙂 This recipe hasn’t gone through that refining process, so I have to admit that the measurements are vague at best. But casseroles lend themselves well to ad-libbing, so perhaps you will end up with a very different and even yummier casserole than mine!

But for what it’s worth, here it is:

Sweet Potato Casserole

2 sweet potatoes, maybe 3 if they’re not huge, peeled and grated

1 onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 broccoli crown, or other vegetables, chopped

7 eggs

Cayenne pepper and salt to taste

Optional: cheese to sprinkle on top, or chopped sausage to cook and add to the mixture

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. (I just moved to Canada so I suppose I should be writing this in Celsius now, but try as I might I can’t seem to think in Centigrade. Hopefully it’ll kick in eventually). I chop the veggies as I cook, but to each his or her own. This is how I did it, though:

In a large pot, add a couple tablespoons of oil and the chopped garlic. Fry on medium until the oil starts to sizzle. In the meantime, chop the onion and add it to the pot.

Lower heat to medium-low and keep stirring the onion, while you peel and grate the sweet potato. Add the potato to the pot as you grate. (I’m not your mom so sorry for the nagging, but be VERY careful of your fingers as you grate! I’ve seen too many kitchen battle scars in my life not to add that caveat, sorry again. I leave a 2″ nubbin of sweet potato for each one I grate. You can chop up the nubbins afterward and throw them in the pot too).

Keep stirring the pot, and chop the broccoli, and cooked sausage if you so desire. Add that to the pot and stir in the salt and pepper to taste.

Grease a 9×13″ pan (who knows what that is in centimeters?) and pour in the semi-cooked concoction.

Beat the eggs and pour it on top, shaking the pan around to get it dispersed evenly. Sprinkle cheese on top if you’d like.

Bake for 22 minutes, or until the egg seems nice and cooked. Take out and cool!

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Garlicky Basil Hummus

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I love hummus! It’s the perfect dip for chips or raw veggies. It’s so easy and cheap to make, compared to the store-bought variety. And you can ad-lib to make your own flavor combinations that taste way better! Here’s one simple version that tastes great if you like garlic. But be warned: you will have garlic breath after eating this!

Ingredients

1 15-oz. cans of chickpeas (I like Eden Organic variety)

¼ cup lemon juice

¼ cup tahini

5 garlic cloves, minced

¼ cup fresh basil, minced

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pinch cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients in a blender and whir away until smooth. Add water if needed.

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cover-Easy-Hiking-RecipesAnd check out my e-book Easy Hiking Recipes for more flavor ideas to spice up your hummus and other hiking food!

Recipe: Chinese Tea Eggs

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These cute little marbled eggs are a great mid-morning snack. The addition of tea and spices adds some excitement to otherwise plain boiled eggs.

Ingredients

6-12 eggs

3 heaping tablespoons of loose leaf Chai tea (plain black tea works as well, but I like the spices in Chai tea)

Additional optional ingredients:

2 tablespoons soy sauce

4 star anise

1 cinnamon stick

1 tablespoon orange or lemon zest

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

Place eggs in a pot and add enough water so that they’re entirely covered. Bring to a boil on medium-high, but be careful not to bring the water to a boil too quickly, or the eggs will crack and start leaking. Once the water reaches a boil, turn it to low and cover the pot. Simmer for 10 minutes, then remove the eggs from the burner.

Fish the eggs out with a spoon. Using the back of the spoon, tap them lightly to crack them all over. Don’t whack them so hard that the shells fall off, but hit them enough so that distinct cracks are visible. Place the eggs back in the pot of hot water, along with the tea and other optional ingredients.

Cover and simmer for one hour. Again, fish the eggs out with a spoon. I refrigerate them in their shells, but for hiking trips I peel them beforehand to save time.

You can also season them with a little salt or soy sauce. Save a few packets of salt or soy sauce the next time you order food to go, or use a refillable mini soy sauce bottle.

Pack the shelled eggs in a plastic bag or food container. Bring a thermos of black tea to go with your tea eggs, and you’re set for tea time on the mountain top!

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Tea time! Tea eggs, homemade almond milk Chai, and sesame honey glazed roasted almonds (check out my almond recipe here).

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Veronique’s Trail Mix Cookies

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My friend Veronique and I met while snowshoeing the Grouse Mountain Snowshoe Grind in Vancouver one winter. Hooray for making friends on the trail!

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Here is V’s recipe for yummy energy cookies made with cereal and oats! Don’t they look delicious? In the photos, she included dried cranberries, shredded coconut, and sunflower seeds. This recipe makes about 12-16 cookies, depending on size.

V’s Energy Cookies

1 cup Müslix cereal or other granola type of cereal. V says, “Sometimes I use the Kashi Blueberry Oat Clusters & Flakes cereal for a change”

1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1.5 teaspoons Baking Powder (7 ml)

1 teaspoon cinnamon (5 ml)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup butter

1 mashed banana

1 egg

2 tablespoons milk (30 ml)

2 teaspoons vanilla (10 ml)

3 tablespoons honey (45 ml)

In a large bowl, combine cereal, oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, mix the margarine, banana, egg, milk, vanilla and honey. Add wet to dry ingredients and mix well.

Divide the dough into cookies on a nonstick baking sheet and flatten cookies with a fork.

Bake at 350F (180C) for 10 to 15 minutes.

Add-in Options:

  • Chopped nuts
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Dried cranberries
  • Shredded coconut
  • Chocolate chips
  • Raisins
  • Cocoa powder
  • Matcha green tea powder

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Sesame Honey-Glazed Roasted Almonds

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I could write a whole book on roasting nuts! Hmm maybe I should.. 🙂 At any rate, here’s one of the easiest, yummiest ways to roast almonds! Sesame honey roasted almonds combine the sweetness of the honey and the savory quality of toasted sesame seeds for a gourmet trailside treat.

Ingredients

1 cup raw almonds

2-3 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

a couple drops toasted sesame oil

Sea salt

Preheat your oven to 320 degrees F. In a bowl, toss the almonds until they’re generously coated in honey. Add a couple drops of sesame oil and mix thoroughly. Sprinkle sesame seeds and sea salt until the nuts are evenly coated.

Spread the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet (I use a piece of foil to minimize mess). Bake for 10-15 minutes, stirring half-way through. Be sure to watch the nuts carefully and taste test them every few minutes to make sure they’re not burning! The honey should turn a rich reddish brown; if it starts to turn black or dark brown, it’s getting overdone.

I like my roasted almonds on the sweet side, rather than super toasty, so I take them out after just 10 minutes. Transfer them to wax paper or a separate plate to cool (otherwise they’ll stick to the foil as they harden). Then try not to scarf them all up at once!

 

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cover-Easy-Hiking-RecipesAnd now a word from your sponsor:

Check out my e-book Easy Hiking Recipes for more recipes like this!

Smoothie King Cocoa Cashew Smoothie

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Smoothies make great breakfast drinks or post-hike refreshers. Add a scoop of protein powder as well, to encourage your muscles to rebuild after an intense day.

Joe Wong, founder of the Vancouver Rock Climbing Group and the awesome nonprofit group Climb and Conquer, is also known for making great smoothies. In 2012 he won the smoothie competition at a local organic market, forever crowning him The Smoothie King! Here’s the smoothie he enjoys every morning:

Ingredients

1 cup unsweetened soymilk

½ cup raw cashews

1 cup frozen mixed berries

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

Mix all of the ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Tiffany’s Smoothie King Inspired Banana Shake

I started making this smoothie after being inspired by Joe’s recipe:

Ingredients

3/4 cup unsweetened soymilk

1 banana

2 tablespoons peanut butter

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

It’s like a chocolate shake, without all the guilt!

The Berry Version

The Berry Version

The banana-peanut butter version

The banana-peanut butter version

 

As always, check out more great recipes in my Kindle ebook Easy Hiking Recipes 🙂

Fruit-Infused Water

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While I’m on the subject of water, this is another simple way to add a little flavor to your water bottle. Simply chop up some fruit, add it to a pitcher with some water, and refrigerate it overnight! In the morning, strain out the fruit and pour the water into your bottle.

The resulting infusion will have a pleasant sweetness and fruity flavor, which will encourage you to drink more water and stay hydrated – particularly important during these hot summer months. It’ll also be more hydrating than pure juice, since juice is essentially a food suspended in water.

Chop the fruits well to allow a lot of surface area for the juice to infuse the water. If you’re making a fruit salad for your day hike the next day, it’ll be super easy, since you’re already chopping up fruit 🙂 In the photo above, I also added a teabag of DoMatcha’s Organic Tencha Green to the pitcher, and cold-brewed the tea along with the fruit overnight.

Fruits that infuse well include:

  • Apricots
  • Berries – Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries
  • Kiwis
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Lychee
  • Mangoes
  • Melon – watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, etc.
  • Oranges
  • Peaches
  • Pineapple

You can also add fresh mint or other herbs. Bruise them first by rolling them in your hands or smooshing them on a plate with the back of a spoon, to break up the leaf cells and release their fragrant oils.

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Check out more easy recipes in my Kindle ebook Easy Hiking Recipes.

Tencha Green Tea Cucumber Water

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This recipe is a real refresher after a long day of hiking, or anytime the weather gets hot! The cucumber and green tea meld well together to create a subtly sweet tea. I use a cold-brewing method to infuse the tea, which brings out the tea’s natural sweetness. I used DōMatcha’s Organic Tencha Green Tea, which has a particularly rich, sweet flavor, though you can use other types of green tea as well 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 2 DōMatcha Tencha Green Tea teabags
  • 8 cups water (cold)
  • 20 thin slices of cucumber (1 small cucumber or half of a large cucumber)

Optional:

  • Lemon slices
  • 1-3 tablespoons fresh herbs (mint, lemon balm, lemon verbena, rosemary, thyme, spearmint, etc.)
  • Agave syrup

Place the cucumbers, water, and teabags in a pitcher. If you’re adding herbs, “bruise” them by rolling them between your hands for a few seconds, and add them into the pitcher. Place the pitcher in the fridge overnight.

When you’re ready to serve, remove the teabags and garnish with lemon slices. Add a couple tablespoons of agave syrup to sweeten to taste!