Saturday, March 31, 2012

March Food Photos Week 4

Time to wrap up March Food Photos!

It’s been a fun month, and I’m so glad so many of you participated. It’s been great getting to “meet” new people, and share food together! Just a quick reminder, April Food Photos is on! Check out this post to hear all about it, and get the month’s cues.

March Food Photos Week 1
March Food Photos Week 2
March Food Photos Week 3

March Foodie Photo-a-Day Week 4
  • Day 22: cooking inspiration // Blogs, the world wide web, and my husband!
  • Day 23: fridge // Very empty, and very boring
  • Day 24: dinner // Spicy sweet potato & black bean enchiladas (recipe here!)
  • Day 25: chop chop // The start of dinner
  • Day 26: spices // Love these vibrant colors
  • Day 27: chocolate // Been loving these chocolate chunks lately
  • Day 28: mug // DIY chalkboard mugs & wine glasses (how-to here!)
  • Day 29: dessert // Cashew ice cream, of course
  • Day 30: kitchen gadget // An old hand mixer
  • Day 31: recipe // Latest recipe on the blog, chocolate covered frozen banana pops (recipe here!)
Day 22 Day 23Day 24 Day 25Day 26 Day 27Day 28 Day 29Day 30 Day 31

Hope to see you all “back” for April!

Happy eating,


Friday, March 30, 2012

Chocolate covered frozen banana pops

Hello, springtime weather!

Last night after dinner, Erik and I had an inkling for dessert. I did not feel like baking at all, because that would take too long and dirty more dishes than I wanted to dirty. We were out of cashew ice cream, which we often have on hand, and I didn’t have enough cashews to make more. Such a predicament, right? Ha.

That’s when the bananas spoke to us!

Or something like that.

Either way … our quick and delicious dessert was born.


Chocolate covered frozen banana pops

  • 3 large just ripe bananas (or 4 smaller bananas)
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (optional, but ads some delicious flavor)
  • Toppings of choice; shredded coconut, chopped nuts, sprinkles, etc
  • Popsicle sticks (we used kabob sticks, and they worked wonderfully)
  1. Peel bananas, slice in half, and insert Popsicle sticks.
  2. Prepare a parchment paper lined baking sheet to place bananas once they’ve been dipped.
  3. Prepare your toppings ingredients, and place them in a bowl that you can easily roll bananas through, or on some parchment paper on your counter.
  4. Place chocolate chips and coconut oil into a sauce pan over low-medium heat, and stir until completely melted. (Alternatively, microwave in a microwave safe bowl).
  5. Once chocolate is melted, dip your bananas in one by one, covering them completely in chocolate.
  6. Roll your chocolate covered bananas into your desired toppings, and place them onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  7. Place cookie sheet into the freezer until set and frozen, about 2-3 hours. You can eat them much sooner but they taste the best when completely frozen.

We coated ours in chopped roasted almonds and unsweetened shredded coconut. Yum! They are delicious.

They make the perfect healthy spring treat, and would be a fantastic and quick dessert to tackle with kids.



Happy chocolate dipping,


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

DIY: Chalkboard mugs & wine glasses

Okay, you guys … it’s finally time once again for a DIY project!!

As I mentioned last time with my DIY frame key holder, I’ve found so much inspiration for my non creative brain on Pinterest! Without it, I don’t think I would be able to think of any cool projects to tackle. That being said, this particular DIY project comes straight from Pinterest and more specifically, Wit & Whistle blog. I take no credit for the coolness of this idea! But I wanted to share my own post about it because it was just that fun.


mug 3

DIY: Chalkboard paint mugs & wine glasses

What you need:

Note: The above paint is microwave and dishwasher safe once baked.

mugmug 1

How it’s done:

  1. Place painter’s tape on the areas of the dishware you do not want to paint (make sure the dishware is clean and dry!)
  2. Apply the paint to the area you’d like your “chalkboard” to be. Once covered completely, remove painter’s tape. It’s important to remove the tape before it dries so that paint is less likely to rip off with the tape.
  3. Follow paint bottle’s instructions regarding baking and drying. If you’re using the above mentioned paint, first you need to let your dishes dry for about 24 hours.
  4. Once 24 hours have past, bake in your kitchen oven at 300 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Let cool a little bit before you remove them from the oven.
  5. Now you’re ready to decorate!!

Note: If you mess up while painting or if some paint smudges when tape is removed, simply wipe it off with a wet paper towel, or scrape it off if it has slightly dried.

mug 7

As you can see, I painted porcelain mugs as well as the bottom of wine glasses. I was a little worried about the glass baking but they turned out perfectly.

It’s a great way to keep track of whose glass is whose!

mug 4 mug 6mug 5

Once you get the right paint, this project is so simple and fun! The options and designs are limitless. It’s a great way to get creative, not only with where and how you apply the chalkboard paint but how you decorate them differently with chalk!

Love it.

Happy DIY’ing,


Monday, March 26, 2012

Spicy sweet potato and black bean enchiladas revisited

Okay, it’s clearly not a secret to anyone that knows me that I love sweet potatoes! 

I’ve told you guys probably countless times how I used to look forward to going to my grandma’s house because I knew she always had huge sweet potatoes. I would pick the biggest one, microwave it, and slather it in butter and salt. I’ve since started eating them in a bit healthier way, ha, but that is when my love of sweet potatoes began. And just last week, I talked about how I was sure to have my favorite food, sweet potato fries (with ketchup!) on my birthday

This likely explains how I came to “like” North Carolina SweetPotato Commission on Facebook.  I’m quite sure I took one look at their profile picture, and didn’t need to know any more. Ha, and to be honest, I had no idea this Facebook page that said “Sweet Potatoes” belonged to them until I noticed a recipe contest pop up in my feed. Sweet potatoes + recipe contest? I’m in!


The contest celebrates the versatility of sweet potatoes by looking past the typical way sweet potatoes are eaten (hence the name, No More Mallows, ha). Anyways … I immediately thought of my absolute favorite sweet potato recipe that I’ve talked about more than once on The Purple Carrot, so I just had to revisit it.

The natural sweetness of the sweet potatoes with the unlikely spicy pairing of chili powder, cumin, and jalapeños give these enchiladas an amazing flavor! It’s a regular in our house, and it’s always, always a hit!


All you need to make these babies are sweet potatoes (obviously!), tortillas, a can of black beans, some salsa, an onion, jalapenos, a few spices, and some cheddar cheese.


It’s really simple too! You start out by peeling and cubing your sweet potatoes, and placing them in the oven to roast for about 30 minutes. (Alternatively, you can microwave the cubed sweet potatoes if you’re in a jam).

While the sweet potatoes are roasting, sauté your chopped onion and jalapeños until softened, add your chili powder, cumin, and black beans, then mix it all together!

spe8_thumb3 spe1_thumb3spe2_thumb2

Put the mixture evenly into some tortillas, add salsa and cheese, and throw them in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes!

spe3_thumb2 spe4_thumb2spe7_thumb2

Spicy sweet potato & black bean enchiladas 

*makes about 6 enchiladas

  • 3 medium-sized sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2-3 jalapenos, chopped (add more if you like it really hot!)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 jar salsa of choice
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil
  • Cheddar cheese of choice (I kept it vegan and used cheddar Daiya cheese)
  • Warm tortillas + any other desired toppings
  • Preheat oven at about 375F.
  • Peel and chop sweet potatoes, tossing them in a little olive oil (optional). Place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and place them in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until tender.
  • In the meantime, chop your onion and jalapenos.
  • In a heated sauté pan, add about a tablespoon olive oil and once warn, add onions and jalapenos. When they become tender, add drained can of black beans, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and stir together.
  • Place into a bowl and set aside. Once the sweet potatoes are tender, add them to the black bean mixture. Stir until combined.
  • Place about a 1/3 of the salsa in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish, or until it’s covered with a small layer of liquid.
  • Spoon mixture evenly into about 6 tortillas, wrapping them up and placing them into your dish, tightly next to one another. Spread out remaining salsa (or however much you’d like) onto the top of the rolled tortillas. Next, layer cheese on top of the salsa.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes.
We love to top our with vegan cashew sour cream. And yum! Thank goodness for sweet potatoes

Happy eating,


Saturday, March 24, 2012

March Food Photos Week 3

Happy weekend, everyone!

The week long rain fest here in KC has finally decided to depart, and there’s sunshine once again. I’m loving it!  Stopping by for a quick week three recap of the March Food Photo Challenge. And quick reminder, the April edition has now been posted here.

March Foodie Photo-a-Day Week 3
  • Day 15: inside my freezer // some frozen goodies
  • Day 16: restaurant // Patiently awaiting the opening of Café Gratitude KC!
  • Day 17: something green // Green food for St. Patty’s day
  • Day 18: favorite food // That’s easy. Sweet potato fries with ketchup!
  • Day 19: pots and pans
  • Day 20: protein// Lentils three ways
  • Day 21: comfort // Homemade cashew cheese filled ravioli
photo Day 15Day 16 Day 17Day 18 Day 19Day 20 Day 21
Purple Carrot Makeover

On another note, as you can see, The Purple Carrot got a bit of a makeover with a new header … yay!

Happy eating,


Thursday, March 22, 2012

April Food Photo-a-Day Challenge

The time has come!

March Food Photos has been a ton of fun this month, and many people have requested an April edition. At first I didn’t think I could come up with 30 more food related photos that people could take on any given day, so I enlisted your help!

Big thanks to everyone who came up with awesome suggestions, I included many of your ideas to the list, so I hope you enjoy them! Now let’s get down to business.

April Foodie Photo-a-Day Challenge

How it works

It’s open to anyone who would like to join, and here’s how it works!
  • Beginning April 1st, take a food inspired photo corresponding to the date and cue written next to it. Feel free to interpret the cues however you’d like!
  • Once photo is taken, post it to whatever outlet you’d like whether it’s Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Pinterest, a blog, etc and use the hashtag #aprilfoodphotos.
That’s it! If you have any more questions, ask away.

March went by in a blur, but I’m already itching to get this next month started. Feel free to share with anyone else who might be interested.

Are you up for the challenge?


Feel free to link up your own blog or albums from Facebook, Pinterest, Flickr, Tumblr, etc below! Just add your link, pick a picture as thumbnail and submit. Or leave me a comment with a link and I'll add it for you :) Time to share some photos!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Birthday Weekend Eats

What awesome weather we’ve been having in Kansas City this month! I’m hoping it’s here to stay. It also happened to be someone’s birthday today.
I’ll give you a hint. It was mineWinking smile 

I had a wonderful birthday weekend with lots of delicious food, and I’ve been trying to spend as much time outside as possible. It’s glorious! I often think it would be awesome to live in a city that’s always warm, but I’m sure glad I get to fully appreciate such beautiful weather after a cold winter. (Not that this winter was all that cold, but that’s another story, and I’ve started rambling).

So I’ll get right to it.  First off, THANK YOU to everyone for the birthday wishes, they made for an even greater day! Now onto the important things … food!

Birthday Eats
We started out with lunch at Kona, sitting on the outside patio. Love it! We asked for our sushi rolls inside out, but they ended up coming out the opposite way. We didn’t care at all, began eating, and didn’t even mention it. But our waitress realized it, and they ended up giving us three whole rolls to bring home with us!

kona 1 kona

We certainly didn’t expect all those free rolls for such a silly little mix up, but we were impressed with their awesome customer service and attention to detail. Great job, Kona!

I counted it as a birthday present, and we had no problem eating them later in the afternoon! Avocado, carrot, cucumber, sprouts, and extra sesame seeds … yum!

kona 3

My “birthday cake” was a Nana’s cookie. I really appreciate their ingredients. They have an awesome gluten free line of cookies as well as regular, and none of their cookies have added sugar but are sweetened with fruit juices. I’ve decided my favorite flavor is peanut butter, but this one is double chocolate.


And what’s a birthday with no sweet potato fries and ketchup?

Yeah, exactly!

sweet potato

Last but certainly not least … some freshly churned mint chocolate chip cashew ice cream! I’ve been experimenting in perfecting some solid cashew ice cream flavors, and this one is a winner.

So delicious, and how very festive I felt with St. Patty’s Day.

ice cream

To top it all off, Erik made pizza for dinner. Yum!

Hope you all had a great weekend, and thanks again!


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