Hey there! Happy mid-January! Last weekend Ricky and spent the holiday weekend driving up and down the coast in Big Sur. I've lived the majority of my life in California and have never made it to Big Sur before.
Boy, am I an idiot.
Truth be told, I think Big Sur may be the most beautiful place in all of California. Yep! I said it! Have any of you been? If not, throw it on your travel bucket list. If you love road trips, striking blue water, nature, and a slow pace, you'll fall in love just like we did. We rented an adorable cabin with beautiful views of the water, a deck to watch the sunset from, and a wood burning stove to enjoy at night! Ricky was able to get the fire going, and while it didn't last for very long, it was a nice way to end the night while watching some SNL.
Want to know what I'm pretty proud of - we managed to do the whole weekend without slipping up on Whole30! We packed the car with compliant snacks (Epic and RX bars, cashews, bananas, and apples are our go-to's), and sought out restaurants that seemed to work best with the diet. Luckily, the area had many options for us to choose from! My favorite was by far our brunch before heading back home at a place called La Bicyclette in Carmel. Their regular menu looks downright incredible, and to be honest, I was a bit peeved that I couldn't stuff my face with their Bohemian Benedict, but I digress...
We were able to build a pretty filling and accommodating breakfast using their "sides" menu and couldn't have been happier! Seriously, guys, don't be afraid to eat out on Whole30...one of my favorite tips, especially for breakfast, is to build your own compliant meal using the sides menu. Also, don't be embarrassed to ask questions about your food!
The weather in Big Sur ended up being beautiful and sunny; almost too warm during the daytime. I planned for, and was actually looking forward to some cold weather, but the sun shining made for some beautiful photos. I won't lie though, I am really loving the cooler weather because that means I get to eat all of the comforting foods. Enter this Sweet Potato Noodle dish! This dish is simple and easy, yet completely satisfying and tasty! A great way to stay on track for Whole30, but still get all those warm, cozy feels.
Serving Size - 4
2 medium-large sweet potatoes
2 cups finely chopped kale
1.5 lb ground turkey
1.5 tsp red pepper flakes (more to taste)
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
Balsamic glaze drizzle, optional
For the cashew cream sauce:
1 cup raw cashews
3/4-1 cup veggie or chicken broth
2 cloves roasted garlic*
High speed blender or food processor
2 sauté pans, one the largest you have
1. If you don't have a spiralizer, you can use a mandolin to thinly slice the potatoes, or cube and roast, then serve as a hash!
2. You do not need to roast the garlic, I just love the depth of flavor it adds. I would use one clove instead of two if you are not roasting them.
1. Begin by soaking your cashews or simmering on medium heat for 30 minutes. To do this, just add cashews to a small pot, cover with water, let come to a boil and them reduce heat, cover and let simmer for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat your oven to 350. Place two peeled garlic cloves in the center of a small piece of foil. Drizzle lightly in olive oil, and fold the foil into a packet around the cloves. Place in the heated oven for 15-20 minutes.
3. While the cashews boil and the garlic roasts, prep your ingredients. Use your spiralizer to make sweet potato noodles. I use the Inspiralizer and used blade B to get "macaroni" like noodles. Once the noodles are prepped, set aside in a large bowl. Finely chop the kale and set aside in another bowl.
4. Once the cashews are done boiling and the garlic done roasting, drain the cashews and add to your blender or food processor. Add in the garlic, 3/4 cup broth, juice of half lemon and blend on high until creamy. Add the remainder of the broth for a thinner consistency, season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. In a medium size sauce pan, add 1 tbsp of olive oil and heat on medium high heat. Add in the ground turkey and using a wooden spoon or spatula, gently break up the meat. Cook for about 4-5 minutes, until meat is brown and cooked through. Drain the pan of any excess liquid. Add in as much of the red pepper flakes as you'd like, the balsamic vinegar, and season with salt and pepper. Add in the kale and stir to combine. Remove from heat, the kale will continue to cook with the heat from the meat.
6. In the larger of the two sauté pans, heat the remaining tbsp of olive oil over medium high heat. Depending on how big your pan is, you may want to do this in two batches to ensure even cooking of the noodles. Add in your sweet potato noodles and toss with tongs occasionally. Cook noodles for roughly 5-7 minutes, or until cooked to your preferred texture. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
7. On a plate, dish up the noodles, and top with ground turkey and kale. Drizzle with desired amount of cashew sauce (you may have left over sauce) and balsamic glaze.