grilled sweet potato stuffed with BBQ baked beans + cilantro yogurt

grilled sweet potato stuffed with bbq baked beans + cilantro yogurt | what's cooking good looking
grilled sweet potato stuffed with bbq baked beans + cilantro yogurt | what's cooking good looking

This really is the best time, isn't in? Right now. The days that are still warm but the nights get a little chilly. The markets are bursting with end of summer/  beginning of fall produce. You can still make yourself a juicy tomato sandwich for lunch, but then can roast up some squash or sweet potatoes for dinner. 

It's still grilling season, and some might argue it's the best time to grill, when the sun is not beating down on you.  I personally love to hang by the grill with a glass of red wine on a chilly night. It's also around this time that I start to crave more warming foods ..... things like soups, stews, and stuffed sweet potatoes. I think sweet potatoes are one of the best vehicles for a full-on, hearty, vegggie entree. It's so easy to just throw a potato on a grill or in the oven, cook it until it's tender, and then (over)fill it with whatever your mood strikes, or whatever you have in your fridge. 

This time of year also has me trying to work through my pantry, get rid of some of the stuff I accumulated over the spring and summer ..... like, for example, that fancy bbq sauce I picked up at some speciality store, or the heirloom beans that I seem to be collecting (ahem, hoarding). A recipe like this is great for working through those random pantry bits, to make more room for some winter hibernation pantry foods. 

 

*This recipe is in partnership with Reynolds Kitchens. All views are my own. Head on over to the Endless Table for more easy recipe inspiration. Thank you for supporting the brands that support what's cooking good looking!

grilled sweet potato stuffed with bbq baked beans + cilantro yogurt | what's cooking good looking
grilled sweet potato stuffed with bbq baked beans + cilantro yogurt | what's cooking good looking
grilled sweet potato stuffed with bbq baked beans + cilantro yogurt | what's cooking good looking
grilled sweet potato stuffed with bbq baked beans + cilantro yogurt | what's cooking good looking
grilled sweet potato stuffed with bbq baked beans + cilantro yogurt | what's cooking good looking

grilled sweet potato stuffed with BBQ baked beans + cilantro yogurt 

Prep Time:  10-15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Servings: 2 servings (as an entrée)

INGREDIENTS 

2 large sweet potatoes

2 tablespoons of sunflower oil (or any neutral high-heat oil)
1 red onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 can of black beans, drained
1 cup of (your favorite) bbq sauce (store bought, or homemade) 

6oz of plain greek yogurt (coconut yogurt to make this dairy-free)
2 tablespoons of minced shallots
¼ teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
½ cup of cilantro leaves (plus more for garnish)

 METHOD

  • Pre-heat the grill to medium heat.  
  • Wrap the sweet potatoes in Reynolds Wrap® Aluminum Foil individually, so they are completely covered. Place them onto the grill, cover, and cook for 45minutes - 1 hour. You want the potatoes to feel very soft inside the foil. When they are done, remove them from the grill and keep them in the foil until you‘re ready to assemble and serve.
  • Make the beans while the potatoes are baking. Heat the oil in a medium sized pan over medium heat. Add the onions, and cook for 7-10 minutes until soft and starting to brown. Add the garlic and cook for another two minutes. Then, add the beans and bbq sauce. Stir to combine the ingredients, bring the heat to low and continue cooking for another couple of minutes to heat all of the ingredients.
  • Make the cilantro cream. Place the yogurt, shallots, salt, and lemon juice into a food processor and pulse several times until smooth. Add in the cilantro leaves and pulse just a couple of times until they are chopped and incorporated.
  • Assemble the the potatoes. Cut a slit down the center (lengthwise) of the potato and gently pull the sides apart just enough to create a well for the beans. Then add a couple spoonfuls of the bbq beans, and finish with a drizzle of the cilantro cream. Garnish with some roughly chopped cilantro leaves.

** Reynolds Kitchens Tip: Using Reynolds Wrap® Aluminum Foil to cook the potatoes allows the caramelized juiced to stay close to the potato, which keeps it moist and flavorful.

 

NYC workshop schedule + A GIVEAWAY!

Hi! My friends, Joann + Gabriel and I are hosting a photography + styling workshop in NYC on Oct 1 & 2nd and we want you to come! We have a great schedule lined up, and we are opening up a couple of spots because we want to you be there, especially if you're looking to improve your photography skills, learn master techniques for lighting and styling, and gain valuable photographs for your portfolio ..... and maybe even make some new friends and great memories along the way! We recently finalized our schedule, and our two days would look something like this:

Meet at the Greenmarket (NYC's largest farmer's market), for a bagel picnic (from my favorite bagels in NYC!) and a walk through the market to gather ingredients for the day. We then will head to a location where we will spend some time talking in-debth about lighting and styling, and you'll also get to practice styling and taking your own photos. For lunch, I will be cooking us a feast with goodies from the greenmarket, which we will enjoy outside. We will then take a walk through the west village (my neighborhood) and get a little time practicing city-scape photography. The day will end with rooftop cocktails overlooking the Manhattan skyline, and dinner at Roberta's, in Brooklyn ...... one of my all-time farvorite restaurants. 

The next day, we are spending entirely in Brooklyn, starting at a studio where we will be teaching more photography, lighting, and styling skills. We will spend the afternoon exploring a couple different areas of Brooklyn, and tasting some really delicious food along the way before we send you off!

*******THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED ..... THANKS TO THOSE WHO PARTICIPATED!

 

GOOD LUCK, and we hope to meet you soon!xoxo

cherry tomato + shallot confit

tomato + shallot confit | what's cooking good looking
tomato + shallot confit | what's cooking good looking

As a lover of summer, the transition from warm beaches and sundresses to crisp mornings and sweaters can be a tough one .... but I also love that Fall bring about such great things .... magical in-between weather, scarves, and that rejuvenated feeling that comes with the change of season. I look forward to welcoming squash and warms soup back into the mix, even though I am a little reluctant to say goodbye to tomatoes, cucumbers, and farm stands bursting with produce. 

This tomato and shallot confit is what I make as soon as the tomatoes hit the farm stands, and it is what I will continue to make until the tomatoes are no more. It is one of my favorite ways to enjoy my favorite fruit, and it is also my favorite way to preserve and hold onto them just a little longer. Confit, which is just a fancy way to say slow cooked in olive oil as a means to preserve, goes so well with so many things.  You can spoon this over your avocado toast in the morning, or into a bowl of pasta or veggie noodles at night. It would make a killer pizza topping, or can be served simply over salad greens or over a piece of grilled fish. One of my favorite ways to serve this is before dinner, in a bowl with a spoon, and some crispy bread to smother them with. 

I don't know about you, but for me Fall also is one of the busiest times of year. Even as an adult, it has a back-to-school feel, it's as though everyone (myself included) enters into Fall refreshed and ready to work. This Fall has been no exception, and in fact, it has been one of the busiest I can remember. With that, I have a few things I am planning that I want to share with you! 

In a couple of weeks (Oct 1&2) I am hosting a photography and styling wokshop in my home city (NYC) with my friends, Joann (@sliceofpai) and Gabriel (@theartfuldesperado). I am really excited about this one, because I get to show our participants around my city and get to take you to some of my favorite spots and eat some of my favorite foods. If you live near NYC or want to come visit NYC, be sure to check this one out! It's going to be so much fun and you'll also gain some valuable skills and portfolio pieces.

I added a new page to my site called WORKSHOPS + EVENTS where you can find information on the upcoming NYC workshop and the other workshops I have in the works (----> at the top of the sidebar), so go check it out, and I hope to see you at one soon! 

tomato + shallot confit | what's cooking good looking
tomato + shallot confit | what's cooking good looking
tomato + shallot confit | what's cooking good looking
tomato + shallot confit | what's cooking good looking
tomato + shallot confit | what's cooking good looking

cherry tomato + shallot confit

MAKES
about 4 cups of confit

INGREDIENTS

1 pint of red cherry tomatoes
1 pint of sungold tomatoes
8 small shallots, peeled and sliced in half
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
about 2 cups of extra virgin olive oil

METHOD

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350º.
  • Place the tomatoes, shallots, garlic, thyme, and salt into a small, deep baking dish (I use a 9x5 loaf pan), and cover with the olive oil. Make sure the tomatoes, shallots, and garlic are completely submerged. 
  • Cover tightly with foil, and bake for about 45 minutes. You want the tomatoes, shallots and garlic to be tender, but not completely falling apart. 
  • Allow to cool, and then transfer to a glass jar with a tight fitting lid (a large mason jar works great), and serve however you like! This will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks. 

roasted wine soaked peaches + plums with whipped aquafaba

roasted wine soaked peaches + plums with whipped aquafaba | what's cooking good looking
roasted wine soaked peaches + plums with whipped aquafaba | what's cooking good looking

My mom's KitchenAid Mixer was basically my babysitter growing up. When I would get home after school, instead of turning on the TV or doing my homework (like I should have been doing), I would pull out the mixer and my mom's binder full of recipes and start baking away. I baked so much that we couldn't eat it fast enough, so we had to store cookies and cakes in the freezer for when guests and friends came over.  I had no idea that this quirky after school habit of mine would become a life long love ..... I also think that these days a parent might get in trouble for allowing a 10 year old to operate an oven without adult supervision, but I am thankful my mom trusted me and I grew up during more lenient times ;) 

That very same mixer got passed down to me, and it now stays tucked away ..... a very precious heirloom that I want to protect and keep forever. I do have a newer, bright red KitchenAid that I use from time to time, but to be honest I do not bake nearly as much as I used to when I was a kid. I do still use the mixer quite a bit for iced cream, and whipping up coconut cream ...... but since the mixer is tucked away in the back of the closet, I sometimes get deterred from using it just for the fact that I don't feel like lugging it out of the closet. Recently, Williams Sonoma gifted me the new KitchenAid mini mixer, and I am so excited because lugging is no longer an excuse to not whip something up. Living in NYC, space is such a precious commodity, so when one of your favorite kitchen equipment pieces is made much smaller and lighter, that is something to get really excited about. Also, I am much more into gray and neutral tones that I was when I bought by (bright!) red mixer ..... so that is something else to be really exited about. 

Let's talk about one more thing that I am really really really excited about. Maybe you've discovered the wonders of chickpea liquid, maybe this is the first you have heard of it. I didn't quiet buy into it the first time I read about it, but the more research I did, and the more well-respected chefs were talking about this magical liquid, I knew that was going to be the first thing I was going to test out in my new KitchenAid mini. In case you're not up to speed, it has been discovered that the liquid in the can of chickpea, that is usually discarded, actually has the same properties as eggs making it a great egg, and sometimes dairy, replacement in baked goods. Someone also gave this magical liquid a super cute name, aquafaba, which is my new favorite word for my new favorite food trick. I am not necessarily looking to replace eggs ....my local, organic eggs are one of my favorite sources of protein ..... but I am still weary of dairy, heavy milk in particular, so I was very excited about the prospect of a dairy-free whipped cream that didn't require a can of coconut milk sitting upside down in the fridge. So when I poured that chickpea liquid into my KitchenAid with just a couple other ingredients to sweeten it, you can imagine how exited I was to see real, stiff white peaks after about 5 minutes of whipping. It really is a miracle. You have to try it yourself to believe it. 

To celebrate, I roasted some peaches and plums that I picked up at the farmstand earlier that day, and then I soaked them in wine, you know, to be extra festive (this is a celebration, after all). I topped the fruit with some chopped pistachios, and a scoop of the aquafaba, and with one bite, my whipped dairy-free dreams finally came true. I could finally enjoy one of my favorite, simple summertime desserts with this fancy new whip. 

 

*This post is sponsored by Williams Sonoma who gifted me the KitchenAid mini mixer. Thanks for supporting the brands that support WCGL! 

roasted wine soaked peaches + plums with whipped aquafaba | what's cooking good looking
roasted wine soaked peaches + plums with whipped aquafaba | what's cooking good looking
roasted wine soaked peaches + plums with whipped aquafaba | what's cooking good looking
roasted wine soaked peaches + plums with whipped aquafaba | what's cooking good looking
roasted wine soaked peaches + plums with whipped aquafaba | what's cooking good looking
roasted wine soaked peaches + plums with whipped aquafaba | what's cooking good looking

roasted, wine soaked peaches + plums with whipped aquafaba 

You can use any kind of fruit that is in season, but stone fruit really works best for this recipe. If you are using another kind of fruit, just use enough to cover the the bottom of the baking dish. 

SERVES
4-6 for dessert

INGREDIENTS

about 5 peaches, halved and pitted
about 5 plums, halved and pitted
a drizzle of sunflower oil
a drizzle of maple syrup
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

about 1 cup of wine (white, or dessert wine preferably) 

a handful of pistachios, chopped (optional)

for the whipped aquafaba:
the liquid from 1 can of organic, low sodium chickpeas
1/3 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar
a pinch of sea salt

METHOD

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350º. 
  • Place the peaches and plums in a 8"x8" baking dish and drizzle the oil and maple syrup evenly over top along with the vanilla. Toss to combine. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the fruit is super soft, and brown and caramelized around the edges. 
  • Remove from the oven, and pour the wine in the baking dish with the fruit. Allow it to soak for a minimun of an hour, but obviouly the longer the better. You can even do this a day in advance. 
  • Shortly before you're ready to serve, whip up the aquafaba. Place the chickpea liquid, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, salt, and cream of tartar into a stand mixer and mix on high speed continuously until the mixture is white, fluffy, and stiff peaks have formed (about 5-7 minutes). It should look just like whipped cream!
  • To serve, spoon a couple of pieces of fruit onto a plate using a slotted spoon. Finish with a sprinkle of pistachios and a scoop of the aquafaba whip. 

spirialized sushi bowl + carrot ginger dressing

spirialized sushi bowl + carrot ginger dressing | what's cooking good looking
spirialized sushi bowl + carrot ginger dressing | what's cooking good looking
spirialized sushi bowl + carrot ginger dressing | what's cooking good looking

I'll always remember the first time I turned a zucchini into "pasta" and covered it in pesto. That was the summer where I never thought I would eat pasta again because the zucchini noodle made my gluten-free, veggie loving, pasta substitution dreams come true.  Let's be honest, I have eaten lots of pasta since, but I am happy to say that on days when I want something lighter and healthier, there is the zucchini noodle. 

At that time, I never even thought to spirialize anything else. Zucchini is plentiful, easy to find, and the perfect size and shape for perfect veggie noodles. The zucchini still reins pretty high in terms of veggies I like to turn into noodles, but thanks to Ali Malfucci .... I have spirilized so many other fruits and veggies. In case you're not familiar, Ali is the brilliant woman behind the blog inspirizalized, and she has so smartly expanded her blog into a full blown brand all by turning fruits and veggies into noodles. She even created her own branded spiralizer, which is what I use to make my veggie noodles. Her recipes are so creative, and she has gotten so many people to eat healthier and to think outside of the box when it comes to spirializing. 

Ali's second book, Inspiralize Everything, is packed with more of the same easy-to-make, creative, healthy recipes for veggie noodles that she is known for. There are obviously so many recipes from this book that I will be making, but since it's August and the weather is still hot and balmy around here, this light and refreshing spirialized sushi bowl immedately caught my attention.

If you're as much of a sushi lover and a ginger dressing lover as I am, this version, which even subs out white rice for a "riced" daikon radish, will be something you will want to make over and over again. There used to be a time when I was afraid to handle raw fish at home, and really only wanted to leave it to the sushi restaurants and delivery places. If that is the case for you, you can always make this with a cooked crab meat such as a lump crab, or a kani (which is what Ali suggests in the book). Since I am a huge fan of wild salmon I decided to get over my fear, because unless you're going to a super high-end sushi place, pretty much all of the salmon you get when you order a salmon avocado roll (unless it says specifies wild), is farmed salmon. Sorry to break the news. Therefore, I would rather pick up my own wild salmon and make it at home. Also, who better to trust to handle your food than yourself? All you need to do is make sure the fish stays refrigerated when you're not prepping it or eating it, and wash your hands well before and after handling.  

Maybe you're an expert with raw fish, or maybe you haven't tried preparing it at home yet  .... once you've done it, it's hard to go back to the farmed salmon sushi. Oh, and of course you can leave out the seafood all together and it would make one tasty, filling spirialized/riced noodle bowl with the most delicious ginger dressing. Make sure to pick up a copy of Ali's book for so many more healthy, inspiring recipes! 

spirialized sushi bowl + carrot ginger dressing | what's cooking good looking
spirialized sushi bowl + carrot ginger dressing | what's cooking good looking
spirialized sushi bowl + carrot ginger dressing | what's cooking good looking
spirialized sushi bowl + carrot ginger dressing | what's cooking good looking
spirialized sushi bowl + carrot ginger dressing | what's cooking good looking
spirialized sushi bowl + carrot ginger dressing | what's cooking good looking
spirialized sushi bowl + carrot ginger dressing | what's cooking good looking

spirialized sushi bowl + carrot ginger dressing

This recipe is from Inspiralize Everything, by Ali Maffucci (pg. 126). I made very little changes, and the changes I made were mostly based off of what I had on hand, and what's available in my area, which is why I subbed wild salmon for crab. I ran out of vinegar while making this recipe so I used some lime juice which worked really well, so I added it to the ingredients. 

SERVES
4

INGREDIENTS

for the dressing:
2 tablespoons of canola or grapeseed oil
2 teaspoons of grated ginger
1 teaspoon of rice vinegar
the juice of 1/2 a lime
1 tablespoon of tamari (or low sodium soy sauce)
1 teaspoon of honey
1 carrot, peeled and grated

for the sushi bowl:
8 oz of SUSHI GRADE salmon OR 12oz of kani or lump crabmeat
a splash of tamari/low sodium soy sauce

1 large daikon radish, peeled, spirialized
1 teaspoon of rice vinegar
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 large cucumber, spiraled
1 sheet of nori, cut into thin strips
1 avocado, thinly sliced
a couple of teaspoons of sesame seeds
a few torn leaves of basil (optional)

METHOD

Make the dressing:

  • Place all of the ingredients for the dressing into a food processor and run until the you have a smooth dressing. 
  • Transfer the dressing to a a small bowl and clean out the food processor (to use it to make the daikon rice). 

Make the daikon rice:

  • Place the spirialized daikon into the food processor and pulse just a few times until you have a rice-like size and consistency. Be careful not to over-process or else you will end up with mush. Just a few pulses are necessary to get the right consistency.
  • Transfer the rice into a medium mixing bowl, add the vinegar and scallions and toss to combine. 

Prepare the fish:

  • If you're using salmon or another kind of sturdy fish, use a very sharp knife to remove the skin (if there is skin) and slice into cubes. Splash a small amount of tamari (about 1 teaspoon) over top and toss to coat.  Place back in the fridge if you're not assembling right after. 
  • If you're using crab, flake the crab apart using your fingers or a fork and splash a small amount of tamari over top and toss to coat. 

Assemble the bowls:

  • Divide the daikon rice amongst four bowls and top each with an equal amount of cucumber noodles, nori, salmon (or crab), avocado, sesame seeds, and basil (if using). Drizzle the dressing over top and serve.