Monday, June 2, 2014

Loaded Sweet Potato Casserole

A day in the life of me... and I will preface this by saying I am a morning person and by 9pm I do nothing: get up at 4am, get ready for work, breakfast, prep dinner, make Charlie's breakfast, pack for the gym, 6am get Charlie up, fed, head to daycare... arrive at work at 7:10am, teach all day with no time to pee when I want or sit down or breathe, pick up Charlie at 3pm, chiropractor, gym, home by 5:30 for dinner, play, bed and bath by 7:30pm, clean up dinner, pack lunches, do laundry, grade papers, fall over....10 more days until school is out... 10 more days. I can do it :)
Things I am looking forward to this summer: the zoo (we go at least once a week), farmer's markets, sleeping in past 4am, and spending more time with my little one.

There are few things in this world I love more than chips and salsa and one that comes close is cheese and crackers. I eat "strong" cheese because then I eat less and I also buy raw milk cheese so I feel a little better about it. It is definitely a treat for me. This is a hearty and comforting dish... make it ahead, pack it in lunches, take it as an app to a party. It's amazing with or without the cheese.

Note on raw dairy: followers of a "primal" diet often eat raw dairy and other countries have been taking note of the benefits for years. It has become more and more trendy in the United States to not consume pasteurized dairy... why? None of the nutrients (calcium, protein, etc.) are harmed by pasteurization. For some it comes down to the treatment of the cows, usually cow milk coming from a raw dairy farm are treated better with the use of hormones and chemicals being rare. Another major benefit is the link to a decrease in allergies and asthma when raw d immuno airy is consumed. Will it make you sick? Maybe, but most likely not. The "good" bacteria found in milk far outweighs the harmful bacteria not giving it a chance to multiply... these probiotics help regulate the digestive tract and keep things on the inside running smoothly. If your child or you is already-compromised than I would suggest steering clear. Otherwise, most people say it even tastes better. I found my cheese at a large chain grocery store, next to the fancy cheeses and grated it myself.

Loaded Sweet Potato Casserole 

(Printable Version) 

- 2-3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced about 1/2" cubes
- 1lb (2-3) Chicken breasts, cubed
- 1/4 Cup Oil (I used coconut)
- 3 Tbsp Hot Sauce (I used Frank's)
- 2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Pepper
- 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper (omit if you don't like spicy)
- 2 tsp Paprika 
- 3 Tbsp Chives (or 1-2 green onions)
- 5 Slices of Bacon, cooked until crispy and chopped
- 1/4 cup Raw Cheddar Cheese (optional)

Preheat the Oven to 500 degrees... no I am not kidding.

1. Whisk the oil, hot sauce, and spices and toss with the sweet potatoes. Pour into a greased 13x9" baking dish reserving what sauce you can in the bowl.

2. Bake for 45min-1hr tossing every 10-15 minutes until crispy. While they are cooking toss the chicken into the sauce and let sit. Prepare the bacon and onions.

3. Top the potatoes with the raw chicken followed by the topping. Lower the oven temperature to 400 degrees and bake another 10-15minutes until bubbly.

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