A Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole So Good You Won’t Miss the Marshmallows

There's nothing wrong with indulging a bit during the holidays. Stuffing, cranberry sauce, pies—there are so many treats to savor. But we've never fully understood the sweet potato casserole thing. Sweet potatoes on their own are, well, sweet. Why the need for sticky marshmallows, or tons of added sugar? Plus, it makes the pumpkin pie feel a little redundant. (And we love pumpkin pie.)

So we set out to create a sweet potato casserole that's satisfying and luscious, but with healthier ingredients and a bit more balance. This one has the creaminess and sweetness you want in the filling; a cinnamon-laced, crunchy nut-and-oat topping; and no refined sugar so you really get the sweet potato flavor. It's easy to prepare (especially with the shortcut noted below), rich and indulgent enough to satisfy everyone at the table, and it won't leave you feeling terrible afterward. Oh, and that pumpkin pie will feel extra-special.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Serves: 6

Filling:
4 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 lbs. total), scrubbed and dried
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
3 large eggs, beaten
½ cup coconut milk (shake can to blend before measuring)
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tsp. orange zest
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. salt

Topping:
1 cup (120g) chopped pecans
½ cup (40g) rolled oats
1½ tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. ground ginger
Pinch of salt
3 Tbsp. maple syrup
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature

  1. Make filling: Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Prick potatoes all over with a fork; place on baking sheet. Bake until potatoes are very tender, turning over once, 45 to 60 minutes. Let cool until you can handle the potatoes, then halve lengthwise and scoop flesh into a bowl and mash. (You should have about 2½ cups.) Whisk in butter and let cool. Reduce oven temperature to 350F and butter a 7-by-11-inch baking dish.
  2. Make topping: In a bowl, stir together pecans, oats, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Stir in maple syrup. Using your fingers, blend in butter until mixture is well combined (it will be a bit sticky).
  3. Whisk eggs, coconut milk, maple syrup, orange zest, vanilla, and salt into sweet potato mixture. (You can use a food processor for this, if you prefer.) Spread evenly in baking dish. Sprinkle with topping. Bake until topping is golden and casserole has firmed but is still slightly jiggly in center (it will firm up as it cools), 30 to 40 minutes. Serve.

NOTE: Save a step by using canned sweet potato puree (we like the Farmers Market brand). Simply measure 2½ cups (about 1½ 15-oz. cans) and continue with the recipe. We made it both ways and it was equally delicious. Cover and refrigerate the leftover puree and use it in a smoothie.

TIP: You can make the casserole components a day ahead. Keep the filling and topping covered in separate containers in the fridge. You may need to add some additional baking time.

There's nothing wrong with indulging a bit during the holidays. Stuffing, cranberry sauce, pies—there are so many treats to savor. But we've never fully understood the sweet potato casserole thing. Sweet potatoes on their own are, well, sweet. Why the need for sticky marshmallows, or tons of added sugar? Plus, it makes the pumpkin pie feel a little redundant. (And we love pumpkin pie.)

So we set out to create a sweet potato casserole that's satisfying and luscious, but with healthier ingredients and a bit more balance. This one has the creaminess and sweetness you want in the filling; a cinnamon-laced, crunchy nut-and-oat topping; and no refined sugar so you really get the sweet potato flavor. It's easy to prepare (especially with the shortcut noted below), rich and indulgent enough to satisfy everyone at the table, and it won't leave you feeling terrible afterward. Oh, and that pumpkin pie will feel extra-special.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Serves: 6

Filling:
4 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 lbs. total), scrubbed and dried
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
3 large eggs, beaten
½ cup coconut milk (shake can to blend before measuring)
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tsp. orange zest
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. salt

Topping:
1 cup (120g) chopped pecans
½ cup (40g) rolled oats
1½ tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. ground ginger
Pinch of salt
3 Tbsp. maple syrup
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature

  1. Make filling: Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Prick potatoes all over with a fork; place on baking sheet. Bake until potatoes are very tender, turning over once, 45 to 60 minutes. Let cool until you can handle the potatoes, then halve lengthwise and scoop flesh into a bowl and mash. (You should have about 2½ cups.) Whisk in butter and let cool. Reduce oven temperature to 350F and butter a 7-by-11-inch baking dish.
  2. Make topping: In a bowl, stir together pecans, oats, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Stir in maple syrup. Using your fingers, blend in butter until mixture is well combined (it will be a bit sticky).
  3. Whisk eggs, coconut milk, maple syrup, orange zest, vanilla, and salt into sweet potato mixture. (You can use a food processor for this, if you prefer.) Spread evenly in baking dish. Sprinkle with topping. Bake until topping is golden and casserole has firmed but is still slightly jiggly in center (it will firm up as it cools), 30 to 40 minutes. Serve.

NOTE: Save a step by using canned sweet potato puree (we like the Farmers Market brand). Simply measure 2½ cups (about 1½ 15-oz. cans) and continue with the recipe. We made it both ways and it was equally delicious. Cover and refrigerate the leftover puree and use it in a smoothie.

TIP: You can make the casserole components a day ahead. Keep the filling and topping covered in separate containers in the fridge. You may need to add some additional baking time.

There Are Now "Gilmore Girls" Luke's Diner Coffee K-Cups, and Just Take All Our Money

Coffee is important in life, but sometimes  you just don’t want to brew up a fresh pot yourself, you know? Making coffee can be a difficult, tedious process, and it has to be JUST RIGHT or the coffee might not be up to snuff. This is why it’s always easier just to head down to Luke’s Diner and get HIM to make you coffee.

But, if Luke isn’t readily available, that means you’ve got to make it yourself, and ugh. All the measuring, and pouring, and hot water. Blah. Wouldn’t it be easier just to, idk, pop in a coffee K-Cup from Luke’s Diner, so you can brew up some ~Gilmore Girls~ magic in your own kitchen?

If this sounds like the Gilmore Girls coffee DREAM, you are in luck. Our friends at Urban Tee Farm have rolled out Luke’s Diner coffee K-Cups, and this is the best news we’re going to hear all day.

As Urban Tee Farm writes on their website, these coffee pods are “basically like having Luke in your kitchen,” and we 100% agree. The flavor is Breakfast Blend, which is good because that’s most important meal of the day…and also most important coffee, too.

Wou can snag a box for yourself, 12 single serve cups for $19.99. That’s a small price to pay for the smell of delicious, hot Luke’s coffee wafting through your kitchen.

 

This article originally appeared on HelloGiggles.com.

Coffee is important in life, but sometimes  you just don’t want to brew up a fresh pot yourself, you know? Making coffee can be a difficult, tedious process, and it has to be JUST RIGHT or the coffee might not be up to snuff. This is why it’s always easier just to head down to Luke’s Diner and get HIM to make you coffee.

But, if Luke isn’t readily available, that means you’ve got to make it yourself, and ugh. All the measuring, and pouring, and hot water. Blah. Wouldn’t it be easier just to, idk, pop in a coffee K-Cup from Luke’s Diner, so you can brew up some ~Gilmore Girls~ magic in your own kitchen?

If this sounds like the Gilmore Girls coffee DREAM, you are in luck. Our friends at Urban Tee Farm have rolled out Luke’s Diner coffee K-Cups, and this is the best news we’re going to hear all day.

As Urban Tee Farm writes on their website, these coffee pods are “basically like having Luke in your kitchen,” and we 100% agree. The flavor is Breakfast Blend, which is good because that’s most important meal of the day…and also most important coffee, too.

Wou can snag a box for yourself, 12 single serve cups for $19.99. That’s a small price to pay for the smell of delicious, hot Luke’s coffee wafting through your kitchen.

 

This article originally appeared on HelloGiggles.com.

5 Alternative Quiche Crusts That Are Better (and Healthier) Than Store-Bought

There is no denying that quiches make for an easy, protein- and veggie-packed solution to your breakfast dilemma. Perhaps the best “kitchen sink” option for your morning meal desires, quiches are versatile, so you can switch things up to keep it exciting. While the quickest option is a store-bought crust, most of these pre-made crusts are high in calories, carbs, and fat. Plus, they're almost never made of wholesome whole-grain flours. This, in turn, can negate the wholesome, healthy interior of your quiche.

Rather than settling for a sub-par breakfast offering, whip up one of these alternative, lower-carb quiche crusts. By using unconventional ingredients from sweet potatoes to spaghetti squash, these faux-crusts create that hearty signature base to a hearty slice of pie.

1. Spinach and Feta Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust

With thin slices of sweet potato, this quiche comes right together with a starchy, sturdy crust that has a zing of sweetness. Drawing from ingredients that you probably already have, this hearty breakfast pie is a no-brainer for your next brunch.

2. Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Goat Cheese Quiche with Spaghetti Squash Crust

Your favorite low-carb squash option just found a new, creative use, and it's in your quiche crust. Bound together with egg whites and blind-baked before adding the egg component, this low-calorie quiche acts as a soft, pillowy crust that encases a veggie-laden mixture with tangy goat cheese.

3. Spinach and Feta Quiche with Quinoa Crust

Skip your grain bowl or your crunchy salad, and opt for a thick quinoa quiche crust instead. This hearty crust bound together with an egg and ancient whole grains serves as a delicious base for your favorite quiche filling.

4. Mushroom, Gruyère, and Spinach Quiche

Although the bulk of this crust is made with traditional flour like a store bought-crust, it's worth noting that we replaced butter with hearty-healthy olive oil instead. This substitution saves you over 50 calories, while still delivering that same flaky, starchy crust with each slice of quiche.

5. Mushroom-and-Spinach Quiche in an Oat Crust

You might think the only way to enjoy oats at breakfast is a bowl of oatmeal, but we beg to differ. Rolled oats provide ample crunch and texture in this creamy, luscious quiche. Oat bran adds a ton of extra fiber to make this easy breakfast dish both tasty and a great way to start your day.

This article originally appeared on CookingLight.com.

There is no denying that quiches make for an easy, protein- and veggie-packed solution to your breakfast dilemma. Perhaps the best “kitchen sink” option for your morning meal desires, quiches are versatile, so you can switch things up to keep it exciting. While the quickest option is a store-bought crust, most of these pre-made crusts are high in calories, carbs, and fat. Plus, they're almost never made of wholesome whole-grain flours. This, in turn, can negate the wholesome, healthy interior of your quiche.

Rather than settling for a sub-par breakfast offering, whip up one of these alternative, lower-carb quiche crusts. By using unconventional ingredients from sweet potatoes to spaghetti squash, these faux-crusts create that hearty signature base to a hearty slice of pie.

1. Spinach and Feta Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust

With thin slices of sweet potato, this quiche comes right together with a starchy, sturdy crust that has a zing of sweetness. Drawing from ingredients that you probably already have, this hearty breakfast pie is a no-brainer for your next brunch.

2. Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Goat Cheese Quiche with Spaghetti Squash Crust

Your favorite low-carb squash option just found a new, creative use, and it's in your quiche crust. Bound together with egg whites and blind-baked before adding the egg component, this low-calorie quiche acts as a soft, pillowy crust that encases a veggie-laden mixture with tangy goat cheese.

3. Spinach and Feta Quiche with Quinoa Crust

Skip your grain bowl or your crunchy salad, and opt for a thick quinoa quiche crust instead. This hearty crust bound together with an egg and ancient whole grains serves as a delicious base for your favorite quiche filling.

4. Mushroom, Gruyère, and Spinach Quiche

Although the bulk of this crust is made with traditional flour like a store bought-crust, it's worth noting that we replaced butter with hearty-healthy olive oil instead. This substitution saves you over 50 calories, while still delivering that same flaky, starchy crust with each slice of quiche.

5. Mushroom-and-Spinach Quiche in an Oat Crust

You might think the only way to enjoy oats at breakfast is a bowl of oatmeal, but we beg to differ. Rolled oats provide ample crunch and texture in this creamy, luscious quiche. Oat bran adds a ton of extra fiber to make this easy breakfast dish both tasty and a great way to start your day.

This article originally appeared on CookingLight.com.

4 Kitchen Hacks That Make Healthy Meal Prep a Breeze

After a grueling workout or a long day at the office, it’s all to easy to forgo cooking and opt for takeout or the nibble-on-everything-in-your-fridge strategy instead. But whipping up a nutritious meal doesn’t have to be challenging or time-consuming. In fact, there are plenty of clever, simple ways to make meal prep both easier and healthier. Here, Food & Wine editor Justin Chapple shares four of his go-to kitchen tricks from his new book Mad Genius Tips: Over 90 Expert Hacks + 100 Delicious Recipes ($30, amazon.com). 

DIY a steamer

Steaming is one of the healthiest ways to prep food—it keeps nutrients in and excessive oils out. But if you haven’t added a steamer to your stock of kitchen supplies yet, there’s an easy solution: Create your own. All you need is some aluminum foil and a skillet. Start by crumpling up sheets of aluminum foil into balls, and placing them into a large, deep skillet. Next set a heat-proof plate on top of the foil balls, and place your veggie or fish on top. Then, just add water to the skillet, and cover to steam.

Try this recipe: Steamed Fish With Ratatouille

Bake hard-shell tacos

Craving crunchy tacos, but don’t want to deal with all the excess grease or frying? Luckily there’s a creative way to craft crispy shells in your oven. Simply break out a muffin tin and flip it over so the cups are facing up. Then fold your tortillas in half and stuff them between the cups. Place the muffin tin in the oven and bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees, or until they’re crisp. All that’s left is filling the shells with your favorite taco ingredients.

Try this recipe: Adobe-Lime Chicken Tacos

Prep overnight oats

Oatmeal is a healthy, satisfying way to kick off your day. It’s loaded with fiber, omega-3s, folate, and potassium, to keep you fueled all morning long. But who actually has the time (or energy) to cook up a hearty bowl of oatmeal in the a.m.? Instead combine oats, almond milk, and your other mix-ins of choice in a Mason jar the night before. Shake well, then refrigerate. When you wake up the next morning, top off your mixture with almond butter or some fresh fruit.

Try this recipe: Overnight Oats With Berries and Maple Syrup

Embrace cauliflower rice

If you want a healthy, low-carb option that’s just as satisfying as rice, cauliflower will be your new best friend. You’ve probably seen all kinds of cauliflower recipes, from pizza crust to tater tots, online. And while these trendy ideas may seem like they'd be time-consuming, cauliflower rice is actually incredibly simple to make. Start by coring and cutting a head of cauliflower into small florets. Transfer to a food processor and pulse until the pieces are finely chopped and resemble rice. You can refrigerate your rice in a bag for up to a week, and use it to make all kinds of delicious dishes, like couscous or stir-fried rice. The recipe below takes just 35 minutes.

Stir-Fried Cauliflower “Rice”

Serves: 4

1 3/4 lbs. cauliflower, cored and cut into 1½-inch florets

1/3 cup canola oil

3 Tbsp. minced peeled fresh ginger

3 Tbsp. minced garlic

1 cup chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish

2 fresh hot red chiles, thinly sliced

3 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

Kosher salt

In a food processor, pulse the cauliflower until finely chopped. In a large skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry over high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the cauliflower and stir-fry until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in the 1 cup of cilantro and the chiles, soy sauce, and lime juice. Season with salt, garnish with chopped cilantro, and serve.

After a grueling workout or a long day at the office, it’s all to easy to forgo cooking and opt for takeout or the nibble-on-everything-in-your-fridge strategy instead. But whipping up a nutritious meal doesn’t have to be challenging or time-consuming. In fact, there are plenty of clever, simple ways to make meal prep both easier and healthier. Here, Food & Wine editor Justin Chapple shares four of his go-to kitchen tricks from his new book Mad Genius Tips: Over 90 Expert Hacks + 100 Delicious Recipes ($30, amazon.com). 

DIY a steamer

Steaming is one of the healthiest ways to prep food—it keeps nutrients in and excessive oils out. But if you haven’t added a steamer to your stock of kitchen supplies yet, there’s an easy solution: Create your own. All you need is some aluminum foil and a skillet. Start by crumpling up sheets of aluminum foil into balls, and placing them into a large, deep skillet. Next set a heat-proof plate on top of the foil balls, and place your veggie or fish on top. Then, just add water to the skillet, and cover to steam.

Try this recipe: Steamed Fish With Ratatouille

Bake hard-shell tacos

Craving crunchy tacos, but don’t want to deal with all the excess grease or frying? Luckily there’s a creative way to craft crispy shells in your oven. Simply break out a muffin tin and flip it over so the cups are facing up. Then fold your tortillas in half and stuff them between the cups. Place the muffin tin in the oven and bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees, or until they’re crisp. All that’s left is filling the shells with your favorite taco ingredients.

Try this recipe: Adobe-Lime Chicken Tacos

Prep overnight oats

Oatmeal is a healthy, satisfying way to kick off your day. It’s loaded with fiber, omega-3s, folate, and potassium, to keep you fueled all morning long. But who actually has the time (or energy) to cook up a hearty bowl of oatmeal in the a.m.? Instead combine oats, almond milk, and your other mix-ins of choice in a Mason jar the night before. Shake well, then refrigerate. When you wake up the next morning, top off your mixture with almond butter or some fresh fruit.

Try this recipe: Overnight Oats With Berries and Maple Syrup

Embrace cauliflower rice

If you want a healthy, low-carb option that’s just as satisfying as rice, cauliflower will be your new best friend. You’ve probably seen all kinds of cauliflower recipes, from pizza crust to tater tots, online. And while these trendy ideas may seem like they'd be time-consuming, cauliflower rice is actually incredibly simple to make. Start by coring and cutting a head of cauliflower into small florets. Transfer to a food processor and pulse until the pieces are finely chopped and resemble rice. You can refrigerate your rice in a bag for up to a week, and use it to make all kinds of delicious dishes, like couscous or stir-fried rice. The recipe below takes just 35 minutes.

Stir-Fried Cauliflower “Rice”

Serves: 4

1 3/4 lbs. cauliflower, cored and cut into 1½-inch florets

1/3 cup canola oil

3 Tbsp. minced peeled fresh ginger

3 Tbsp. minced garlic

1 cup chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish

2 fresh hot red chiles, thinly sliced

3 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

Kosher salt

In a food processor, pulse the cauliflower until finely chopped. In a large skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry over high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the cauliflower and stir-fry until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in the 1 cup of cilantro and the chiles, soy sauce, and lime juice. Season with salt, garnish with chopped cilantro, and serve.