Lighter Sweet Potato Casserole

My sister, Julie, makes our Sweet Potato Casserole for Thanksgiving every year. She typically has to make two, so we are sure to have enough and some for leftovers. This Lighter Sweet Potato recipe is very similar to a recipe I created for the Southern Living Christmas Cookbook when I worked as an Editor at Oxmoor House. I love the orange accents in this recipe. You can also substitute 2 tablespoons of Grand Marnier for 2 of the tablespoons of orange juice, which adds amazing flavors.

I reduced some of the fat and calories without sacrificing any flavor or texture to my updated version of Lighter Sweet Potato Casserole. What I also love about this recipe is that you can make it ahead of time, and it freezes beautifully. Remove it from the freezer the day before Thanksgiving and thaw it in the refrigerator. When thawed, bake according the directions below.

People often ask me are sweet potatoes really better for you then baked potatoes. Baked potatoes and sweet potatoes contain about the same amount of carbohydrates. Sweet potatoes have a leg up in that they have more fiber and are slightly lower on the glycemic index so blood glucose will rise slower when you eat sweet potatoes. Other than that, a medium-sized baked sweet potato has 102 calories, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber and no fat or cholesterol. A baked potato has about 120 calories, 28 grams of carbohydrate, 3 grams of both fiber and protein, and is also free of fat and cholesterol. More importantly is how are the potatoes cooked, how big of a potato are you eating, and what are you putting on top of fit.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you and thank you for your continued support! I’m thrilled to be back. Alison

Holiday Oatmeal Chocolate Pecan Pie

“Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.” -Ernestine Ulmer

Remember me? I know it’s been a while, and sometimes life happens like that. In 2018, I started my blog Ingredients, Inc. at the height of my food freelance career. At that time, I was doing recipe development for top food brands, food writing for top print magazines, national food television segments, nutrition counseling, speaking engagements and creating recipes for three international cookbooks.

This path gradually lead to travel freelance, projects, traveling the world for work, publishing Healthy Travel magazine, marketing jobs, social media jobs, content writing and much more. Then, one of my freelance clients offered me a job full time, and there you have it. My career completely shifted again.

Because I have missed working with food, recipes, photography and all of the amazing creative opportunities and people that come along with it, I am reintroducing Ingredients, Inc.

And what better time than now. Since Thanksgiving is next week, I am sharing one of my favorite Thanksgiving pie recipes: Holiday Oatmeal Chocolate Pecan Pie. It’s super easy, fantastic and is the perfect holiday dessert. You only need 15 minutes of hands-on time. Adding Oatmeal to this pie makes this recipe a little bit healthier and enhances the texture. Feel free to use dark chocolate chips instead of semisweet if you wish.

Trust me, you will love this Thanksgiving dessert (consider making two and freeze one or give it as a gift).  Have a great day and thank you for following! Alison

Green Coconut Bowl Recipe

Green Coconut Smoothie Bowl_1

Smoothie bowls are the perfect way to add fresh fruits, superfoods and proteins to everyday fare. Adding a smoothie bowl to morning routines guarantees a great start to the day and for lunch too. Smoothie bowls are thicker than regular smoothies – thick enough to eat with a spoon. My cookbook 200 Best Smoothie Bowls has 200 recipes that can be enjoyed anytime for a refreshing, filling and healthy meal or even a delicious dessert. To order a copy, click here.

smoothie bowl cookbook alison lewis

Here’s just a small sampling of the sumptuous smoothie bowl recipes:

    Breakfast Smoothie Bowls

  • Breakfast Harvest Bowl, Frosty French Toast, Breakfast Starter, Pear Pleaser, Sunrise Smoothie Bowl, Energy Buster, Peanut Butter Oat Bowl
    Green Creations

  • Clean Green Bowl, Blueberry Flaxseed Bowl, Strawberry Avocado Bowl, Green Zinger, Citrus Kale Bowl, Parsley Pear Bowl, Spinach Almond Bowl
    Kid-Friendly Smoothie Bowls

  • Almond Butter and Jelly Bowl, Berry Crunch, Nutella Banana Bowl, Peach Paradise, Mocha Smoothie Bowl, Grape Ape, Peanut Butter Cup
    Anytime Smoothie Bowls

  • Pistachio Vanilla Bowl, Pick-Me-Up Bowl, Watermelon Strawberry Bowl, Dreamsicle, Chocolate Cherry Bowl, Pumpkin Pie Bowl, Afternoon Delight

These thick, creamy and delicious smoothie bowls will undoubtedly become a welcome addition for any family. See recipe below for my  Green Coconut Bowl recipe pictured above.

Green Coconut Bowl

Prep: 10 minutes

Yield: 1 serving

1⁄4 cup unsweetened coconut milk (or milk of your choice)

1⁄2  frozen banana, cut into pieces if necessary

1⁄3 cup frozen chopped mango

1 cup trimmed kale leaves

2 tbsp  unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut

Ice cubes (optional)

Suggested Toppings

Sliced banana

Blueberries

Raspberries

Unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut

Chia seeds

  1. In blender, combine coconut milk, banana, mango, kale and coconut. Secure lid and blend (from low to high if using a variable-speed blender) until smooth. If a thicker consistency is desired, add ice, one cube at a time, and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into a bowl and top with any of the suggested toppings, as desired.

Meadowood Garden Beet Salad

Meadowood Garden Beet Salad

As you know,  I love food and travel, so I am really excited about this new book! Admired for its long tradition of gracious hospitality inspired by local cuisine and culture, Relais & Châteaux presents “The Art of Entertaining,” its first book dedicated to sharing the secrets to crafting outstanding parties and events nuanced to replicate unforgettable experiences at home.  Set for an October 2016 release from Rizzoli New York, the compilation brings to life 17 seasonal parties from Relais & Châteaux members across North America. Each chapter is designed to celebrate the senses in a unique environment with exquisite food and cocktail recipes, creative décor and the thoughtful, creative touches for which Relais & Châteaux is renowned.

Cover_Art of Entertaining

In this gorgeous new book, some of North America’s most renowned chefs and innkeepers share their thoughts, recipes and secrets for successful entertaining at home to inspire readers.

With 85 Relais & Châteaux properties located throughout the U.S., Mexico, Caribbean and Canada, the opportunities to share entertaining tips, tricks and expertise are endless. The themes featured within this first book are hinged on delicious gourmet recipes that can be easily executed. You’ll also new ideas for tablescapes and décor from the beautiful backdrop of the legendary Relais & Châteaux venues.

This Meadowood Garden Beet Salad is one of Meadowood’s favorite dishes during the summer harvest season. The beets can be small heirloom varietals of all colors and stripes (literally). Chef Alejandro Ayala recommends taking some artistic license with the presentation; he cuts the beets into various shapes as well as paper-thin cross sections. The salad is at once both bright and earthy, and the pistachio “soil” is an unexpected, at-home, twist.

Homemade Pesto

Homemade Pesto

As you might have seen from my last post, I am up to my ears in fresh herbs (which is such a good thing)! I have been making this Homemade Pesto recipe lately on a weekly basis to go over pasta, served alongside grilled chicken or shrimp or as a topping to fresh salmon. This recipe is so easy to make—my fifteen year-old, Zachary made this batch for me. Toss fresh basil, garlic, Parmesan, olive oil, salt and a touch of a fresh lemon juice in a blender or food processor. It’s that easy!

Similar to cilantro, basil if filled with many health benefits including helping to rid of acne, help replenish iron and more. Basil is a good source of vitamin A and can help with cardiovascular health. Basil is also an anti-inflammatory food so it can also help individuals with inflammatory health problems such as rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel conditions. Try this recipe and enjoy fresh basil all summer long.

Quinoa Bowl with Almonds and Raspberries

Quinoa Bowl with Almonds and Raspberries

Quinoa for breakfast? Yes, have your tried it? Breakfast Bowls are so hot right now, and this Quinoa Bowl with Almonds and Raspberries is one of my favorites! This gluten free breakfast option is filled with fiber, protein and healthy vitamin and minerals. This recipe is great to make and serve when you and your kids are tired of cereal and oatmeal or want something unique, delicious and different. Feel free to make the quinoa the night before, and breakfast will be ready in the morning. Warm up the cooked quinoa and add your favorite milk and toppings. If you’re looking for a other fabulous breakfast bowl recipes try my Quinoa with Apples and Cranberries

quinoa with apples and cranberries

Chia Yogurt Breakfast Bowl from A Zesty BiteChia-Yogurt-Breakfast-Bowl-2

Savory Pesto Quinoa Bowl from Simple Quinoa

pesto-quinoa-breakfast-bowls-4

5 Healthy Mothers Day Recipes

Pomegrante-Berry-Smoothie-Bowl

For Mother’s Day tomorrow, here are 5 healthy Mothers Day breakfast recipes (all smoothie bowls). All of these recipes are easy, healthy and filled with raw, sweet fruits just in time for spring and Mother’s Day. A few of these recipes are in my new cookbook, 200 Best Smoothie Bowl Recipes published by Robert Rose Books. I am so thrilled about all of the media attention my book is getting! I will be on television on ABC 33/40 Talk of Alabama on Monday morning, May 9th between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m. making smoothie bowls and offering tips to make smoothie bowls all summer long, so please be sure to tune in! The recipe above is my Pomegranate Berry Smoothie Bowl which was featured on Momspark today! Happy Mother’s Day!

Berry Yogurt Smoothie Bowl

Berry Yogurt Bowl on Ingredients, Inc.

Pomegranate Tea Smoothie BowlPomegranate Tea Smoothie Bowl on Ingredients, Inc.

Greek-yogurt-smoothie-BowlGreek Yogurt Smoothie Bowls on Ingredients, Inc.

Watermelon-Tropic-Yogurt-Bowl

Watermelon Tropic Bowl on Ingredients, Inc.

Passover Smoked Salmon Bites

Passover Smoked Salmon Bites

Why did I not think of this before? Passover Smoked Salmon Bites are the perfect appetizer, snack, or lunch idea that only take 5 minutes to prepare. My daughter, Leigh, thought this was a brilliant idea, and I agree. She and my son, Zachary, came home from school and ate these so fast that I barely had any left to serve for appetizers to my hubs. Oh well, he did have one, and he thought these Smoked salmon bites are a wonderful light starter or refreshing snack. Feel free to half or double this recipe–they go really fast! I know what you’re thinking…Smoked salmon has sodium. Yes, that is true, but it also is a good source of protein, Vitamin B, Vitamin D and magnesium. These are very pretty too and a great way to use up your leftover matzah or use matzah even if you’re not celebrating Passover.

Fresh Strawberry Bread

Fresh Stawberry Bread

I know it’s Passover so forgive me if you’re celebrating. I made this Fresh Strawberry Bread last week, and I could not wait to share the recipe. All you need is one big bowl–no mixer is needed. Combine all of the ingredients, except for the sliced strawberries in one bowl; mix and then fold the strawberries in gently. Even though this quick bread has bananas, it does not taste like banana bread when it’s done. The combination of the mashed bananas and nonfat plain Greek yogurt create an amazing moist texture and fantastic flavor.

Strawberries are now at their peak, and you can find them on sale at many groceries. One cup of strawberries has 50 calories, and they are packed with health benefits such as boosting your immune system, promoting eye and heart health, helping fight cancer, wrinkles, high cholesterol and so much more. Enjoy this recipe this spring and summer for breakfast, a snack or even dessert. My kids and husband went wild for us, so next time I will be making two!

How to Make A Green Smoothie Bowl

If you want to learn how to make a Green Smoothie Bowl watch my video for Spinach Mango Bowl. It’s super easy, delicious and ideal for breakfast, a snack or dessert. My kids actually love this one, so I wanted to share it with you. I topped this smoothie bowl recipe with hemp seeds, flaxseeds, strawberries, and sliced bananas, but feel free to use any of your favorite toppings such as granola, chia seeds, fresh fruit, nuts, dried fruit and/or coconut. This is just an example of one of my 200 recipes in my cookbook. To order a copy of my book click here or on Amazon click here. Thanks for watching and feel free to share my video with your friends!

200 Best Smoothie Bowl Recipes