Winter Blues

Um, Phil, could you please explain why it snowed yesterday?

After you predicted an early spring, I was kind of expecting to wake up on a unicorn’s back the next morning, galloping through a warm spring forest with the wind in my hair and the sun on my face.

Instead, I had to shuffle over the ice into work, going as quickly as I could to avoid the bitter wind biting my face, slow enough not to fall and break anything.

I’m at the end of my rope now. Mid January to mid March is my least favorite time of the year. I start to go a little crazy from being cooped up inside so long and alternate between laziness and jumping up and down shrieking “I gotta get outta here!” Dave loves it.

After I forced myself to do 30 Day Shred during an episode of 30 Rock last night, I also forced myself to cook dinner. Even though I would have been perfectly happy on the couch with a bowl of pretzels. See how my desire for healthy food goes out the window when it gets cold? I need spring not only for my sanity but for my health.

Fortunately, dinner was a cinch last night. I followed another recipe from Food Network Magazine to make chili-stuffed sweet potatoes for myself…and myself. Dave doesn’t like sweet potatoes unless they are crispy.

Chili-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

4 medium sweet potatoes (about 8 ounces each)
1 14-ounce package shredded coleslaw mix
1/2 cup pico de gallo or fresh salsa
1 tablespoon chopped pickled jalapeno peppers (I skipped these)
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
12 ounces 93 percent lean ground beef (I substituted a can of black beans for the beef)
Kosher salt
3/4 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese (about 3 ounces)
2 scallions, thinly sliced

Pierce the sweet potatoes several times with a fork and microwave, turning halfway through, until soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, toss the coleslaw mix, pico de gallo, pickled jalapenos and 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a medium bowl and set aside.


Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tomato paste, chili powder and cumin and cook, stirring, until toasted, about 1 minute. Add the beef and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat.

One at a time, hold the sweet potatoes in a kitchen towel, cut open and scoop out a few spoonfuls of flesh; add to the skillet with the beef mixture along with the cheese and scallions. Season with salt. Return the skillet to medium heat and stir until the cheese melts, about 1 minute.

002 Spoon into the sweet potatoes and top with the slaw.

Per Serving: Calories: 444; Total Fat: 14 grams; Saturated Fat: 5 grams; Protein: 29 grams; Total carbohydrates: 52 grams; Sugar: grams; Fiber: 9 grams; Cholesterol: 64 milligrams; Sodium: 735 milligrams

Recipe from: Food Network


I had waaaay more coleslaw topping than FN pictured, but I just ate it on the side. I also topped mine with some Greek Yogurt and extra salsa, which was a fantastic decision. Delicious! And much more nutritious than a bowl of pretzels.


3 thoughts on “Winter Blues

  1. Hi Honey!
    We are going to try this in the School Deli next week. Thanks for the inspiration!
    Love you, miss you both terribly…

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