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It’s holiday time again; can you believe it? This month I am introducing you to two new recipes that can be used at home or as a take-with dish to your friends or neighbors. And they are pretty much guilt free! Try them – you’ll like them!

Zucchini Fries

3 zucchini

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 to 1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Several grinds freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and lightly oil the foil.

Cut the zucchini into thick matchsticks. Put the zucchini, oil, chili powder, salt, and pepper in a large bowl (or use a plastic bag) and toss gently until the zucchini is evenly coated. Spread the zucchini in a single layer on the foil lined baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until slightly crisp and brown along the edges. Serve immediately.

Yam Casserole

6 medium yams, or sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick

3 tablespoons maple syrup

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Pinch cayenne pepper

1/2 cup walnuts or pecan halves

Steam the yams until crisp-tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of the maple syrup and the oil, garlic powder, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and cayenne. Toss gently until the yams are evenly coated. Arrange the yams in overlapping layers in a 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Scatter the walnuts or pecans over the top, and then drizzle with the remaining maple syrup. Cover and refrigerate 2 to 4 hours (if time permits).

Put the pan in a cold oven. Set the heat to 400 degrees and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the yams are tender and browning around the edges.

Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve warm.

This is a fabulous dish to serve with either turkey or ham. And is a good take-with dish as you can prepare it prior to getting ready for the party or your company.

Note: These two dishes are meat free so they are a great treat for your vegan friends.