Roasted Sweet Potato Sandwich with Fresh Goat Cheese and Honey

It’s another meatless Monday dish – this time, a hearty veggie sandwich perfectly suited for this cold time of year when sweet potatoes are plentiful!

Roasted Sweet Potato Sandwich

Roasted Sweet Potato Sandwich with Goat Cheese and Honey

Yield: 2 sandwiches

 

For Sweet Potato

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut width wise into ¾-inch rounds

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing on onion slices

1½ teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

kosher salt, for seasoning

freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning

1 large red onion, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch rounds

Balsamic vinegar, for brushing on onion slices

 

Place an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Add the sweet potato, olive oil, thyme, cinnamon, and a healthy dash of salt and pepper. to a large bowl. Toss until well combined.

Place sweet potato in a single layer on a parchment lined sheet tray.

Place onion rounds on the same sheet tray (use an additional sheet tray if needed) and brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper on both sides of the onion. Using a brush or your finger, rub a small amount of balsamic vinegar on each of the tops of the onion rounds, just enough to cover and coat the top.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until potato is cooked through and onion is soft.

 

For Sandwich

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 small bunch of mixed greens

1 small loaf of walnut (or any other nut or seed bread), cut into 4 sandwich slices

¼ fresh cup goat cheese

1½ tablespoons honey

 

Whisk to combine vinegar and olive oil in a small bowl. Gently toss some greens in a small bowl to lightly coat with the vinaigrette.

Spread goat cheese on sandwich slices and drizzle honey over the goat cheese. Place a layer of roasted sweet potato on the bottom slice of bread. Add a layer of roasted onions (the more the better!) and top with some of the dressed mixed greens. Top with remaining slice of bread and enjoy.

 

 

 

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Family Meals

This week in Maine, Super-sous and I have been cooking for ourselves plus Super-sous’ two sisters and two nephews.

It’s been wonderful to seek out the seasonal produce on offer (read: corn, blueberries, green beans, zucchini and did I mention blueberries?) and cook it up for the family, all the while, teaching/cooking with one of Super-sous’ nephews (14 years old) and sharing how to prepare each dish.

Last night was local mussels with a garlic, white wine butter sauce (sopped up with local sourdough bread), the night before was hamburgers with homemade barbecue sauce and a romaine lettuce bun (aka “protein style”) alongside a local corn and green been salad. (Many of these recipes are from my cookbook!)

What’s on the menu tonight? None other than my 4 cheese macaroni and cheese with sage brown butter breadcrumbs. Sure to be a big hit with the kids.

Best part of it all? When it’s too hot in the kitchen, we’re thrilled. It means a jump in the lake and quick swim to cool off.

Yes, Latte and I could get used to this.

 

 

 

Where to Buy the Good Stuff

So, a chef returns home to no food…

Perhaps this could be the beginning of an obscure joke, but it’s actually a true story (cue violins).

When you are totally out of fresh produce, it’s actually a great opportunity to start with a clean slate and get out to your local farmers market and stock up on the good stuff.

Don’t know where your local farmers markets are? Check out the Local Harvest website.

All you have to do is put in your zip code and the nearest farmers markets will magically be displayed.

This is such a great resource to use in your hometown AND when traveling.

When I was traveling for my new show, Good Food America, Supers-sous and I would take any free time that we had to visit local farmers markets around the country and prepare delicious meals from our hotel room. (Something we do whenever we are traveling, in addition to checking out local restaurants.)

In this way, we eat fresh foods, enjoy the local seasonal fare, enjoy nutritious meals and we don’t break the bank.

Visiting farmers markets is also a great way to meet and mingle with the local community and sometimes, if you’re lucky,  you can even find double shot Latte there. Win-win-win.

 

What’s wrong with this picture?

The other day, I came across this map on Grist illustrating where our money goes/who we are supporting when purchasing different products.

It’s amazing to see how these 10 companies cast such a far and diverse net in the market place. In some cases, they outright own the companies in the boxes, in other instances, they are major financial investors.

So, what does this mean? Well, for one, these companies, which are comprised of so many businesses, have a major control and set a standard for what business and energy practices are used.

Keep in mind that green practices and organics are a very small portion of what these companies are about (thankfully it is growing as a result of social/consumer demand).

When it comes to food, we’re talking about supporting GMO (genetically modified organism) farming which means supporting companies like Monsanto.

In fact, around 80-90% of all corn and soy grown in the United States is now GMO, thanks to Monsanto. That’s why I love supporting local, small business, artisans, and of course, farmers which are growing crops using seeds from organizations like seed savers.

And, I’ve discovered that the best way to find out what your supporting, is to simply ask your friendly shop owner, restauranteur or farmer. That way, you can make the choice as to what and who you want to support. Thank Latte for that.

2 Lattes. 2 Shoots.

Today was the first day of shooting for my new TV show where I travel around the US spotlighting restaurants that support their local food purveyors as well as visiting the food purveyors themselves!

With one Latte under my belt, we headed to our first location… delicious food, wonderful Southern hospitality, and great teamwork all around.

With Latte number two by my side, we were off to visit Vital Farms to talk about pasture raised organic chickens.

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It was a warm day in Austin (with warmer weather for tomorrow – in the 90’s!), but never too hot for my good friend, Latte.

It was a long day and we are all up in 6 hours for day #2, but, I must say, the people and food in this city are so fantastic – I just might be too excited to sleep!

T minus 12 hours

Only 12 hours left before my sous and I take off on our 3 week adventure, shooting my new TV show!

With my taxes finally done (I owed), laundry in the dryer (I need more quarters), dishes washed, and last avocado eaten, I think I’m ready. (Well, minus the part where I have to pack…)

First stop: Austin, Texas. Someone once told me that there are more runners than cars in Austin. I also heard it’s the “Live Music Capital” of the world, that there are tons of natural springs, pools and hiking trails, and that the food is outstanding with an abundance of barbecue, Tex-Mex, and farm-to-table delights. (Note to self, pack floss.)

I’ll be visiting 3 restaurants in Austin as well as making several visits to local food purveyors and maybe even a few farmers markets (my favorite), in my quest to find the freshest, most flavorful food in Austin.

For all these things, I am counting down the hours until our departure.

It’s T minus 12 hours. I hope I can sleep.

Which means that it’s T minus 8 hours until Latte! Who needs sleep?!

I can’t wait.

For both.

But first… off for more quarters.

 

The Lyon Cometh

This week, (a week I’ve been waiting months to arrive) I embark on part I of the filming of my new TV show, and I couldn’t be more excited!

On Thursday, me and my sous (who is traveling with me) and a crew of 7, will be off and running for 3 weeks filming around the US, spotlighting restaurants that support their local food purveyors. We’ll also be stopping by to visit those local food purveyors, farmers, farms, and mom and pop shops to share their story as well.

Part I of the travels/filming will look a little like this:

Image

After 3 weeks, we take one week off, then we’re hitting the road again for another 3 week stint. Operation Midwest and East Coast.

I’m so excited to travel and learn and then share the highlights and ins and outs with all of you. I’ll be sending updates throughout the trip so you can travel along with me (and Latte, of course) mile by mile.

New people, new stories, and new restaurants…

Lookout, America. The Lyon cometh!