Spicy Roasted Potatoes with Collard Greens and Thyme

Although I cook nearly every day, I only use my oven about once a week. Most of our meals are either made on the stovetop, griddle, or aren’t cooked at all. See, the hubs and I are thrifty, and if I’m going to use enough electricity (a.k.a money) to heat my oven for an hour it’s gotta be totally worth it.

Some things that are totally worth it:

Creamy Roasted Tomato Soup.

Chocolate Chip Blondies.

Homemade Focaccia Bread.

Roasted Garlic Parmesan Toast.

And now this.

Potatoes all by their lonesome are one of the tastiest veggies out there, but the addition of sweet potatoes, red onions, greens, fresh herbs, and a kick of spicy serrano take this dish to a whole new level. It really irks me is when people give potatoes a bad rep; a potato is not equal to a french fry in nutritional value! Potatoes are actually a good source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, copper, potassium, manganese, fiber, and also contain phytonutrients that have antioxidant activity. That should shut the potato-haters up!

And don’t even get me started on collard greens…good grief. After king kale, they’re the most nutrient-dense leafy green out there. Just a cup of these bad boys provide you with – wait for it – a whopping 1,045% of your daily value of Vitamin K and 308% of your daily value of Vitamin A. Collard greens actually contain over 80 nutrients! 80!!! I enjoy them in salads and green juice often, but this is the most flavorful way I’ve ever eaten them.

In fact, I’ve been roasting up this recipe at least once a week since I found it. It’s so simple to put together, delicious, nutritious, and filling…yep, all the makings of a great meal! Oh, PLUS – you get to use fresh thyme, which is an added flavor bonus to any meal. Just a winner of a recipe any way you look at it.

Roasted Potatoes with Collards and Thyme
Recipe adapted from My New Roots (one of my top five favorite blogs!)

4 medium red potatoes, diced into 1/2” pieces (leave the skin on) 
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2” pieces 
2 medium red onions, sliced
1/2 bunch of collard greens, stems removed and chopped into small pieces
2 – 3 T olive oil
1-2 tsp minced serrano pepper (optional if you’re not a fan of spicy food)
2 cloves of garlic, pressed or minced
1 tsp minced fresh thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Heat oven to 400 F.

2. Place diced potato, sweet potato and shallot in a mixing bowl, breaking up the shallot rings just a bit. Toss with oil, sea salt and a couple pinches of ground black pepper. The potatoes should be glistening and evenly coated.

3. Spread evenly on a baking sheet (I like to use parchment paper for easy clean up) and roast for 30 – 40 minutes, tossing once after about 15 minutes.

4. When the potatoes have about 5 minutes left, heat a little butter or olive oil in a large saucepan or skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic and serrano, if using, and let it cook until fragrant, but not browned, 1-2 minutes.

5. By this time your potatoes should be done. Remove from the oven and add to pan with oil, garlic, and serrano, giving it a quick stir. Throw the collard greens on top, raise heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally until greens begins to wilt but are still bright green. Add thyme and let cook 1 minute more. Feel free to add other fresh herbs if you’ve got them. Serve and enjoy!

Vitamin K never tasted soooo good.

~ Becky, a skinnyfat girl

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Mason Jar Salads

First off, because I feel it needs addressing, I have obviously failed at my new year’s resolution to post on Skinnyfat every week.  I would like to defend myself by mentioning that February is the holiday season all over for me.  First it’s hubby’s birthday, then mine the week right after.  Of course, Valentine’s Day is hardly observed at all by the time we’ve gone through birthday mode, but add that to mix even a little bit and it still makes for a very busy time.

So in penance for my absence, I knew I had to post something absolutely brilliant so I’m posting about salad.

SALAD?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Yes, salad.  Want to pump your body up with raw veggie power?  Salad is one of the great ways to go.  Add a mason jar to the mix and we’re really onto something.

Now I know you may be confused at this point, so let me clear it up for you.  If you add a mason jar to the mix your salad will stay fresh for MORE THAN A WEEK!

All I have to do now is make 5 mason jar salads on Sunday and I have lunch for the entire work week!  My mason jars have claimed their very own corner of the fridge at work.

I can’t take credit for this genius – I heard it from a friend who heard it from Skinny Girl Trapped in a Fat Girl Body.

Of course, there are probably thousands of ways you can make this salad, but I will share with you what I did.

Mason Jar Salads

  • 5 mason jars
  • 1 head lettuce
  • 1/2 head kale
  • 1/2 head collard greens
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Olives
  • Black beans
  • Parmesan cheese

Salad Dressing 1

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon of the juice leftover from the canned olives
  • 1 clove of garlic smashed
  • Dash of dried red pepper flakes
  • A pinch of salt

Salad Dressing 2

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red wine
  • Juice from a quarter wedge of orange
  • A pinch of salt

First step is the measure out your dressing into your mason jars.  I don’t usually use a lot of dressing, so the portions I made were enough for all of my salads.  Do what’s best for you.

Because I’m not very good at following directions when it comes to recipes, I didn’t follow the advice about not letting the dressing touch the leaves.  I put the dressing and then the kale right on top of it.  They stayed fresh!

After the kale layer, I added the collard greens and lettuce, then topped it off with the black beans, olives, grape tomatoes, and parmesan cheese.

Keep the salads upright in the fridge and when you are ready to dive in, shake it all up and pour it into your bowl.  I like to add avocado after that.  More fiber = good.  More avocado = delicious.

Some thoughts and tips:  If you used olive oil, sometimes the refrigeration causes it to solidify a bit.  All you should do if this happens is let it set out a bit and it will liquify again.  Also be forewarned that sometimes the smell is pretty strong when you open the mason jar up for the first time.  Don’t worry, it’s still good to eat.  I’ve checked.

Save time and eat healthy thanks to these babies!

Until next time.

Elesha, a skinnyfat girl

Jicama Pear Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

Step aside, boring sandwich and Diet Coke, because lunch at the office just got a whole lot more interesting.

No, you’re not in a pricey restaurant, you’re in the break room. This salad may sound fancy, but it’s really quite simple to put together, chock full of nutrients, and, best of all, entirely scrumptious!

I know what you’re thinking: those are some GIANT raspberries. Yup. Gigantic, delicious raspberries that were on sale, 4 cartons for 5 bucks! Definitely the best $10 investment I’ve made in a while. I didn’t initially plan to put them in my salad, but it turns out they add a necessary tartness.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had enough of this heat and am really quite ecstatic about not having to put my head in the freezer anymore! And I’m sure my sad lawn will be grateful for a break from the unrelenting sun after being scorched for three months straight.

We have a tiny, random green spot in the yard. We call him "Patchy". We haven't had to mow since the first week of June because SUMMER IS A MURDERER.

This will be the last hoorah for summer recipes of the year, though I can’t promise that I’ll stop drinking strawberry coconut smoothies anytime soon. This salad is light and fresh – a great way to celebrate the last week of summer.

Jicama Pear Salad with Orange Vinaigrette
Serves 4 (or, ya know, just me)

Ingredients:
1 medium pear, sliced
1/3 cup jicama, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup toasted pecans (I only had raw almonds, but they tasted great, too)
1/4 cup raspberries, chopped
3 cups chopped Romaine lettuce
3 cups chopped dark, leafy greens (kale, chard, spinach; I used collard greens)
Optional: If you eat dairy products, goat cheese would be a wonderful addition!

For the dressing, combine the following ingredients and mix well:
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1.5 T white vinegar
1 T agave (optional)
1 T olive oil (optional, I omitted)


Chop all of your ingredients. For collard greens, kale, and swiss chard, it’s preferable to remove the bitter spines from the leaves.

Toss the greens with the vinaigrette. Because it’s strong, you may not need to use all of the dressing, so add half, taste, and go from there. Divide onto four salad plates and garnish with all additional ingredients. Serve immediately.

What’s special about this salad is that it has so many different things going on at once. The citrusy vinaigrette brightens up the strong, dark flavor of the greens, jicama adds an earthy, root flavor, raspberries provides tartness, the pear is sweet and fruity, and pecans finish it off with a nutty crunch. I imagine goat cheese would add a lovely creaminess.

Of course, I have to mention that the fact that fresh, raw green leafy vegetables contain high doses of chlorophyll, easily digestible proteins, enzymes, and a wide range of vitamins and minerals. They’re an easily accessible superfood that should be eaten daily. Berries are among the fruits highest in antioxidant content and are excellent sources of several phytochemicals that seem to help block cancer development. Additionally, nuts, pears, oranges, and jicama offer other health benefits. Your body will LOVE this super salad!

Powerful and tasty all at once? That’s why I eat four servings.

~Becky, a salad freak skinnyfat girl

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