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Healthy Recipes to Start 2015

Three Nashville food gurus share healthy recipes using this month's in season ingredient: the sweet potato.

Written By:  Nashville Lifestyles

Photographers:  Justin Chesney & McKel Hill

Laura Lea Bryant is a Nashville native, who came back to her hometown after graduating from the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City as a natural foods chef. Laura Lea then founded her business, LL Balanced, which is an online resource for family-focused, allergy-friendly, whole-foods based meals.

This recipe is the perfect example of how a little creativity can result in a healthy but completely satisfying meal. Spiralizers are all the rage in the health-food world, because they allow you to enjoy the sensation of eating pasta, when you’re actually munching on straight-up veggies! They’re easy to use and the possibilities are endless (I own this one).

Here, sweet potatoes become “noodles,” and toasty walnuts combine with butter beans to create a creamy, high-protein sauce … without any cream! The addition of fresh nutmeg and maple syrup add a richness of flavor and holiday flair. These “noodles” have a refreshing crunch, and I actually enjoy this best chilled as a lunch or side dish.
—Laura Lea

Cold Sweet Potato Noodles with Walnut Nutmeg “Cream” Sauce

Note: You will have more cream sauce than you need. You can spiralize more noodles or use as a dip or spread.

3 medium sweet potatoes (approximately 8-9 ounces to form 4 cups noodles)
Juice from ½ lemon
Extra virgin olive oil
1 small shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ c. raw walnuts
One 15-ounce can organic butter beans, drained and rinsed
2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg or 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg, plus extra for garnish.
1 tsp. white miso paste
3 tsp. maple syrup
2 tsp. sea salt
1 ½ c. unsweetened almond milk

Instructions:

Place sweet potatoes in a pot of cold water with enough to cover them by several inches. Bring to a boil. Boil for 15 minutes or until the outer ½ inch of the flesh can be pierced with a fork. The inside will still be raw. When sweet potatoes have cooled, follow spiralizer instructions to create “spaghetti noodles” and toss with juice from ½ lemon. Refrigerate.

Preheat oven to 400° F and place walnuts on a baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until walnuts are fragrant. Take ½ cup roasted walnuts and toss in a bowl with 1 teaspoon maple syrup and a pinch of salt. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

In a high-speed blender, combine remaining 1 cup walnuts, butter beans, nutmeg, miso paste, 2 teaspoons maple syrup, sea salt and almond milk. Puree until smooth. In a large mixing bowl, toss sweet potato noodles with walnut cream. Roughly chop the walnuts that were tossed in maple syrup and salt and use as a garnish for dressed noodles. Serve room temperature or cold.

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