Sweet Potato Hashbrowns

sweet potato, breakfast, hash browns, breakfast potatoes

Oh so sweet

Breakfast is easily one of my favorite meals of the day, but only when it’s done right. Like most people, I can live with a bowl of cereal and a piece of fruit and then go about my day if I have to, but I’d always rather have something homemade. The only thing that frustrates me about breakfast is the monotony that we’ve settled for! Eggs, bacon, pancakes, cereal, rinse, repeat. Sure, there’s a little more differentiation than that, but it sure feels like there isn’t sometimes.

In order to break up that monotony, I try using ingredients that aren’t normally found on a breakfast menu. I’ve already posted some delicious recipes using wonton wrappers, salad fixings and polenta, but I definitely need to bulk up that section of my recipe index! Here are some examples of different, delicious breakfast foods that I’ve been enjoying lately:

Giardiniera and veggie-cheese omelets
Vanilla chai pancakes (cooked in coconut oil.  YUM.)
– Sweet potato hashbrowns

All these things are extremely yummy and satisfy that need for change. The recipe I’m sharing with you today is for my sweet potato hashbrowns. I’ve been making them for a couple years now, ever since we had run out of regular potatoes and I was craving some hashbrowns. We mash them, soufflé them, bake them, French fry them and turn them into hummus, so why not turn them into hashbrowns as well? I made them for my parents on Christmas Eve morning and they went bonkers. I think they forgot how well the natural sweetness of sweet potatoes lends itself to savory dishes.

I’m actually going to share two variations. One is low-sodium and includes onions and the other is just well spiced and doesn’t have onions. At least one of them is sure to please anyone in your household who likes sweet potatoes!

sweet potato, breakfast, hash browns, breakfast potatoes

Jess took these photos. She calls this one “sweet hash”…. :)

Simple Sweet Potato Hashbrowns
Servings: 4
PointsPlus per Serving: 3

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato, 8 PP
  • 2 tbsp light butter/margarine, 4 PP
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • paprika

OR A LOW-SODIUM VERSION WITH ONIONS

  • 1 large sweet potato, 8 PP
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • crushed red pepper or chili powder
  • 2 tbsp light butter/margarine, 4 PP

Directions
1. Get a bowl of warm water.  As you dice up your sweet potato, throw it into the bowl with water.  Letting them soak in the water for a little bit as you are preparing everything will soften them up just enough.  Chop up your onions and set them aside (not in the water).

2. Warm up a non-stick skillet or cast iron pan (my preference).  Once it gets to a medium heat, put in the butter and let it melt.  If you’re doing the version with the onions, put the onions in and let them soften up just a little.  Then put in the drained potatoes.  Sprinkle your spices over top (I just do a sprinkling of each and use a little more of the flavors I really want in there), mix around the potatoes so they are well coated with butter and spice and then let them sit for about 4 minutes.  Once they start to brown up on the bottom, scrape them all over to one end and give them a flip.  Let them sit for another 4 minutes or so.  Do this until they meet your level of satisfactory softness/crispness and then transfer them to a plate.

**PLEASE NOTE** – If you are doing the version with the onions, you’ll have to stir them up more often so the onions don’t burn!

What are some other things that you eat for breakfast that you’d consider “different”?

Smoked Salmon Breakfast Casserole

My dad’s a smoker. Not a smoker of cigarettes or cigars or “oregano”, but the best kind of smoker there is…. a smoker of MEATS! Turkey, chicken, pork, fish, he can smoke it all. He smokes meat throughout the year, but his claim to fame is prepared with lots of TLC right at Christmas time. His smoked salmon and trout is outta this world!

My whole family (especially my cousin, Liz) will agree. Those beautiful pink fillets have the perfect salty, smokey, buttery taste. He usually plates them on long platters with crackers tucked into the sides. But seriously, I don’t even eat the crackers with it. I just eat the fish.

He also makes this incredible smoked salmon cream cheese. I put that stuff on crackers, bagels, toast, in eggs, etc. Seriously, it’s amazing. This year he even sent me home with about 3 cups; just for me! WOWEE.

Beautiful Breakfast Casserole ready for the eating!

Since we always know to expect smoked salmon at Christmas, my sister and fellow foodie, Monica, went to our favorite foodie site, Foodgawker, and found a smoked salmon breakfast casserole to make the morning after Christmas. It was very exciting to see that recipe stuck to the fridge and figure out that we were trying ANOTHER smoked salmon dish this year!

Mom made it and it was goood. Needed more salt and pepper and I think there was a bit too much dill, but it was still good. And since I’ve not done too many breakfast recipes on here, I figured I would share it with you! The recipe is from Cookin Canuck and there are wonderful pictures on her page as well! I took pictures of my own and made just a few substitutions to lessen the points value.

Smoked Salmon Breakfast Casserole
Servings: 8
Points Per Serving: 4

Ingredients
– 2 tsp olive oil
– 1 1/2 lbs white potatoes, cubed
– 1/4 cups shallots, minced
– 8 oz smoked salmon
– 2 tbsp dill (maybe a little less of you aren’t so crazy about dill)
– 18 tbsp (1 cup + 2 tbsp) 2% milk
– 1 tsp sea salt
– 1/2 tsp black pepper
– 3 cups egg beaters

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 13×9-inch glass baking dish.

Potaaaaaatoes.

2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet set over medium-low to medium heat. Add diced potatoes and stir until the potatoes are coated with the oil. Spread out so potatoes are in a single layer. Season with freshly ground black pepper and half of the salt. Cover and cook until the potatoes are just tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender and turning brown, 7 to 8 minutes. Add shallots and cook until shallots are tender, about 2 minutes.

3. Pour the potatoes into a large bowl and stir in chopped smoked salmon and 1 tablespoon fresh dill. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and spread out evenly. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Take out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before adding the egg beater mixture and baking.)

4. In a large bowl, whisk together egg beaters, milk, and rest of salt. Pour the egg mixture over the salmon and potatoes. Sprinkle remaining dill over top. Bake until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let casserole stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Now, when my dad makes his smoked salmon cream cheese, he adds things like onion powder, hot sauce, chili powder, etc. If you’d like to spice this up a bit, try adding some of those to the eggs and potatoes! I’m sure it will be tasty :)

Smoked Salmon Breakfast Casserole on Foodista

Roasted Potato Trio

It’s been a nice long Christmas break! No blogging for five days!?!?! Pure ridiculousness! But I assure you, I have not been avoiding you all. I’ve been paying attention to the food around me and taking pictures so that I can post new recipes and things! It was a very productive break :)

As a mutt of many different cultures and gastronomical backgrounds, I’ve encountered a lot of different foods at a lot of different meals.  But one of the common threads between all of those different cultures I claim is… potatoes.

Potatoes are a wonderful food!  Back when people ran around and hunted their food (instead of driving in motorized vehicles through a cattle line to receive a bag of processed food-product) we actually needed the carbs!  The carbohydrates turned in to sugar and kept those people alert and moving (now they turn into sugar and go nowhere, so they turn again into fat.)  NOTE – That’s the extremely dumb-downed version, so don’t use me as a source!

Potatoes can grow in some pretty harsh conditions and can last quite a long time without requiring refrigeration.  SCHWEET!  Currently, they have their own little place on the floor of my kitchen because I have absolutely no cabinet space left for them.  Since I get to look at them every single day, I’m always thinking up new ways to prepare them.  It seems like they get prepared in one of three ways – baked, mashed or fried.  As wonderful as these three things are, if you’re not jazzing it up with anything more than salt, butter and pepper, you’re going to get bored pretty fast.  So, here’s a tasty recipe that I conjured up that involves roasting!

Roasted Potato Trio
Servings: 4
Points Per Serving: 5

Ingredients

  • 2 medium red potatoes
  • 2 medium white/golden potatoes
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 tbsp softened/melted light butter (I used Land O Lakes light w/ canola oil)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 425.

Nice big pieces in three beautiful colors!

2. Chop potatoes into big cubes and put into a mixing bowl.

3. Mix in all other ingredients (making sure to melt the butter first). Remember to season to taste!

4. Spray a cookie sheet or large glass/ceramic pan with non-stick spray and pour in potatoes.

5. Cook for about 20-25 minutes, making sure to stir around half way through. Check for preferred done-ness. Serve immediately!

If you want to get in your daily healthy oil dose, use 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 1/2 tbsp light butter instead of 3 tbsp butter. Then it becomes 6 points per serving.

One more picture for the road!

All set for roasting along with the breaded pork loin! Done and Done!

Eating Healthy on a Budget: Breakfast that Won’t Break the Bank

Two of the cheapest things you can buy are eggs and potatoes.  A dozen eggs and a bag of potatoes probably won’t even cost you $4.  And the best part?  You can get 12 servings from that $4!  That means that this breakfast that I’m about to show you is a mere 33 cents per serving.  Holy Mother of GOD!  Amazing.  The best part?  It’s soooo yummy.

We already know that one egg equals 2 points.  And that’s just because of the yolk.  If you want a little more food, but not more points, add in an extra egg white.  Small golden potatoes make fantastic hash browns.  I’m talking about the cubed ones commonly referred to as “breakfast potatoes”, not the shredded and fried-to-a-crisp hash browns.  3 small golden potatoes cooked are equal to about 1 1/2 cups cooked (2 servings) with each 1/2 cup equaling 1 point.  I used some Smart Balance 50/50 blend (with EV Olive Oil), which is 3 points per tbsp or 5 points for two.  In total, my breakfast was 5.5 points!  2 for the egg and 3.5 for the hash browns cooked to perfection.  I’m not going to give you directions on how to cook an egg (unless you actually want to know.  In that case, send me a comment!), but I will give you the recipe for my Hallelujah Hash Browns!  Now, for your reading pleasure…

Hallelujah Hash Browns

Hallelujah Hash Browns
Servings: 2
PointsPlus Per Serving: 3

Ingredients

  • 3 small golden potatoes (1 1/2 cups cubed), 4 PP
  • 1 1/2 tbsp light butter (the one I used was higher in points. Make sure you figure out the points value for your butter using the Weight Watchers Wiki), 2 PP
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • dried parsley
  • chili powder
  • 1-2 tbsp diced onion (optional)


Directions

1. Put a skillet (non stick or iron) onto stove. Put on medium high heat. Put in butter so that it can start melting.

2. Sprinkle in about 1-2 tsp dried parsley, 1/2 tsp chili powder, some salt and pepper and about 1 tsp garlic powder. Let simmer with the butter.

3. Cut potatoes into small cubes, leaving skin on.

4. Stir around butter and spices until it’s almost all melted. Then put in potatoes (and diced onions if you’re using them). Stir around so they are well mixed with butter and spices.

5. Keep stirring every minute or so for about 12-15 minutes. Try a bite after they first start to brown and see if it needs more spice. It might need a bit more salt.

6. Once they’ve browned up and they are soft, but still a little firm when you bite into it you’ll know they’re done! Serve up with an egg over-easy (my fave) and if you want, a couple slices of turkey bacon for an extra point or two. Enjoy!

My girlfriend likes a little ketchup with hers, I like mine with ketchup or sour cream.   You just have to account for those points.  We also used organic potatoes from Trader Joe’s and organic eggs.  It’s a yummy filling breakfast for only 33 cents!  And only about 42 cents for the organic version!  You’d be paying at LEAST one dollar for McD’s hashbrowns.  Screw that.  Take the time to make this.  It’s quick; I made it before work and had lots of time to get ready.  That’s certainly hard to beat. Annnd one more picture to make you salivate.

33 cent breakfast!

Tip Top Taters

Tip Top Taters

Last night was one of those nights that I was craving some comfort food.   I worked a solid day in front of my computer, walked out to my car in the brisk pre-winter air and realized that I really wanted mashed potatoes.  What could be better than WWF (weight watchers friendly) mashed potatoes from scratch??  I also knew that my girlfriend was finishing up a long, stressful day at work and coming home to one of her favorite foods would make her feel all relaxed and warm and gooey inside :)  Without further ado….

Tip Top Taters
Servings: 4
PointsPlus Per Serving: 6

Ingredients

  • 4 large red potatoes, 15 PP
  • 5 tbsp light butter (my favorite is Land-O-Lakes light butter w/ Canola Oil), 6 PP
  • 1/3 cup 1% milk, 1 PP
  • 1/2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper

Directions
1. Cut up potatoes into chunks, leaving the skin on (more nutrients!). I make mine bite size in order to quicken the softening process. Put the pieces in a microwave safe mixing bowl (glass or ceramic) along with enough water to just cover the top of the potatoes and a dash of salt. Microwave for about 22 minutes (6-6-10 is what I did) until soft enough to break apart easily with a wooden spoon.

2. Drain in colander and put back in mixing bowl. Pour all the rest of the ingredients over the potatoes. Mash with potato masher or use a handheld mixer. I use the mixer and it gets them so smooth and creamy! Add extra spice to suit your own preference, but this mix is pretty much awesome.

3. Portion out your serving and enjoy!

This makes right around 4 cups of mashed potatoes. They were so good that I had to have 2 cups. Believe me, that’s a LOT of potatoes. But because of the ingredients I used, I was able to enjoy it without much guilt!  Plus I had a lot of points left for the day, so I could indulge a little :)

So, this recipe yields four 1-cup servings of potatoes at only 6 points per serving! The potatoes were 16 points total, but only the milk and the light butter added the little bit extra. Land-O-Lakes is definitely my favorite brand.  It tastes wonderful and this specific one is only 1 point per tbsp. I also make sure to use organic food whenever possible! The potatoes, milk, salt and parsley were all organic. Everything else was all natural. It really makes a huge difference, not just in taste, but in the aftermath. And all my organics were purchased at Walmart! As embarrassing as it is to admit that I shop at Wally World, the one closest to us has a fantastic selection of organic produce, dairy, poultry, etc. In fact, the broccoli and the chicken that I prepared alongside the taters was all organic and bought at Walmart. When you don’t make lots of money, but you’re committed to eating as organic as possible, you get it wherever you can!  Here’s a picture of the “plated meal” for your salivating pleasure :)