Ok, can we have an honest moment together? Does anybody else arrive at dinnertime these days, only to think “ugh, AGAIN?!” I love food – that hasn’t changed – but man we are so busy this time of year. To be fair, I clearly bring it upon myself, and I love all the blurred, laughter-filled moments! But this season doesn’t seem to include as much intentional meal-planning as I would like. Thank goodness for Cooking Light, and that Grandma subscribed me as last Hanukkah’s gift! We share that subscription and a love of cooking. I love going through the magazine and ripping out recipes I’m excited to try, and then when meal planning (or in reality, a hunger-fueled and frantic last-minute scramble to determine dinner options) rolls around, I can grab a recipe and go!
I didn’t set out to create a vegan meal, but what we ended up with happened to be incredibly filling, delicious and also vegan! I do consider vegan and vegetarian meals a good thing because sustainability. Even a less-meat meal or diet helps both our health and the environment – check out my post about Meatless Monday (plus a yummy veggie-centric recipe!) here. Cooking Light describes the main course as follows:
“It may seem too good to be true, but it’s not: This impressive, full plate requires only 5 ingredients (water, oil, salt, and pepper are considered freebies). Microwaved sweet potatoes are sliced into medallions, brushed with oil, and lightly seared so they become satisfyingly steak-like. The creamy, nutty sauce adds richness, and the lemon-dressed arugula-chickpea salad bulks up the plate beautifully. In place of almond butter, you could substitute any nut butter you like—peanut, cashew, or sunflower butter would be delicious. And if canned chickpeas aren’t in your pantry, you can use another mild legume; try cannellini or navy beans.”
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We were looking for a vegetable dish for Thanksgiving (besides the omnipresent green beans) and sweet potatoes beckon both my husband and me every time. This recipe had us at “sweet potato.” I haven’t even shared my newfound love of almond butter with you yet, but it’s AMAZING. I’m a big peanut butter kinda gal – have been for years – but almond butter is nuttier and a different texture and I’m obsessed. In fact, I just experimented with a little almond butter spread over whole wheat toast, topped with an avocado. It was absolutely delicious. But I digress (have you noticed, that happens more often in my food-related posts? mmm, food) and we’re here to talk about dinner!
I have experimented a lot with sweet potatoes, but never wandered down the medallions path before. One benefit I discovered is the fun that comes along with having leftover medallions in the fridge – I love fun food, so the cool shapes actually encouraged me to eat more veggies (like I need an excuse).
Warming veggie bowl for Thanksgiving fuel!! Top lettuce & green onions with sautéed carrots and cooked barley, and a fried egg if you like (which I do) 😊 I used cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, a little cinnamon, turmeric & garlic powder to season the carrots, and those fresh green sprouts are brahmi! Happy Thanksgiving!!! I hope you are having a wonderful day so far, with much to be grateful for 🙏🏼❤️🙌🏼 P.S. Get ready for a barrage of prep photos. I LOVE hosting!!! 🙏🏼 🏡 🍴 #foodblogger #blogger #thankful #grateful #thanksgiving #love #food #host #hosting #blog #recipe #peace #home #homemade #prep #foodporn #foodie #vegetarian #vegetables #vegan #morning #fresh #realfood #eatclean #fitness #fitspo #healthy #health #healthyeating #spice
A photo posted by Eliza – A Happy Wife (@happywifecreativelife) on
The sweet potato medallions with almond sauce and chickpea salad is delicious all on its own, but we tend to cook in threes – protein, vegetable and side or munchie. So this main course covers the first two categories, but we need something fun on the side as well! Check out the warming, fresh, easy main course below, then keep reading for the bonus side!
Sweet Potato Medallions with Almond Sauce and Chickpea Salad
Serves 4 (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups salad, about 3 sweet potato medallions, and about 1 1/2 tbsp. sauce)
- 4 small (4-oz.) sweet potatoes (hint – the recipe calls for small ones, but we ended up with very small rounds. Matt looked at the tiny towers of sweet potato slices and, fearing starvation, asked “How many towers can we each eat?” My advice is to use medium-to-large sized sweet potatoes!)
- 1/4 cup creamy natural Almond Butter
- 3 1/2 tablespoons warm water
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 (15-oz.) can unsalted chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 5 ounces baby arugula
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Prick potatoes all over with a fork; place on a microwave-safe plate, and microwave at HIGH just until tender, about 5 minutes. Cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds.
Whisk together almond butter, water, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice in a bowl. Set aside.
Brush potato slices on 1 side with 1 tablespoon oil. Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Working in batches, cook potato slices, oil side down, until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
Combine chickpeas, arugula, salt, pepper, remaining 2 tablespoons juice, and 1 tablespoon oil in a large bowl. Divide chickpea mixture among 4 plates; top with sweet potato slices. Drizzle with almond butter sauce.
Pretty easy, right? and honestly, the taste alone blew us away. It is delicious. The fiber in the veggies and the protein in the chickpeas and the almond butter sauce filled us up quickly, but Matt and I like to eat with our hands sometimes, and as I mentioned before, have a little fun with our food!
Enter garlicky turnip fries. Honestly, need I say more? You may not want to prepare this dish on a first date if you anticipate some smooches in your future, but if your potential new mate doesn’t like garlic, how cool can they really be?!
We took liberties with the original Cooking Light recipe, because we were lazy 🙂 (I hope you know by now that I’m nothing if not totally honest – what you read is what you get – we were just lazy!)
Garlicky Turnip Fries
- Place 2 baking sheets in oven. Preheat oven to 450°.
- Cut turnips into 1/2-inch matchsticks; toss with olive oil and garlic powder.
- Divide turnip mixture between preheated pans. Bake at 450° for 15 minutes.
- Turn turnips over; rotate pans. Bake 8 minutes or until browned.
Check out more yummy recipes from Cooking Light featured on my blog – and in case you’re wondering, Cooking Light does not sponsor these posts in any way. YET. 🙂 But clearly it would be a convenient partnership for me, since I already rely heavily on the publication to feed us!
In all seriousness, it makes me so happy to share delicious, healthy recipes with you! I hope you enjoy, my sweet friends and family. And as always, thank you so much for reading.
A Happy Wife