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Cross Your Fingers and Hope It Turns Out

I can’t remember where I learned it, but I vaguely recall hearing that you aren’t supposed to test a new recipe on dinner guests. And that’s exactly what I did last night when I made dinner for my friend and her 2 teenagers. In the end, it was a yummy huge success even by teenager standards (they both had seconds!) and with today’s recipe and some “cross-your fingers-and-hope-it-works” improvisation, I came up with a filling dinner that packed in the nutritional value!

The recipe says to steam the cubed sweet potatoes. I don’t own a steamer, so a quick “what do I do” call my all-things-cooking-and-baking sister Anne, and we had a solution. Steam the sweet potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet with a little water and cover with another layer of foil. Bake for about 20 minutes at 350, until tender but not mushy. Drain off the water, and the sweet potatoes are ready to go.

It also calls for steaming the kale (still no steamer) so instead of steaming it I put it in a pot with a tiny bit of water and heated it for 2 minutes (I’m sure there’s a technical cooking term for that somewhere.) Bad idea! 4 cups of fresh baby kale boils down to about 1 cup.…..I have dinner guests coming in under 5 minutes!

The recipe and grocery shopping gods must have known this would happen because I bought 2 – 4 cup tubs of baby kale at Sprouts. Solution – mix the un-steamed kale with the steamed kale and call it good!

When it came time to create each bowl, I also had small bowls of hemp hearts (omega 6, omega 3, protein, vitamin E, and a variety of minerals), raw sunflower seeds (B6, magnesium, vitamin E, protein, potassium) and pumpkin seeds (Protein, iron, magnesium, potassium) for each guest to sprinkle on their meal.

The end result was a complete success, and my dinner guests were full and happy!

If you’d like to test this recipe and need a dinner guest, hit us up! The Elevate team would be happy to help with the tasting portion of your recipe testing!

Happy healthy eating to you from all of us at Elevate!



• 1-15-ounce can no-salt-added chickpeas, drained

• 1 TBLSP rosemary, chopped and divided

• # TBLSP olive oil, divided

• 2 TBLSP balsamic vinegar

• 1 clove of garlic, pressed

• ½ tsp salt

• 4 cups (532g) cubed sweet potatoes (about 2 medium potatoes)

• 4 cups (268g) chopped baby kale** Plus another 4 cups for fix the steaming mistake!

• ¼ cup (27g) coarsely chopped walnuts

• Hemp hearts, raw sunflowers seed, raw pumpkin seed (pepitas) for garnish and flavor.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF (205ºC). Place the drained chickpeas on a kitchen towel and fold the towel over, to enclose the chickpeas. Rub gently and open up the towel, the skins of the chickpeas should have loosened so you can remove them. This step really improves the texture of the chickpeas. Place the skinned chickpeas on a sheet pan.

Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over the chickpeas, add 2 teaspoons of the chopped rosemary and toss to coat. Place the pan in the oven and roast for 25–30 minutes.

When the chickpeas are crunchy, remove the pan and cool on a rack. When cool, transfer to a bowl and chill, if not eating immediately.

In a cup, whisk the remaining olive oil, balsamic vinegar, reserved teaspoon of rosemary, garlic, and salt, reserve.

Cube the sweet potatoes and place in a steamer, steam over simmering water for 5 minutes, until the sweet potato is tender when pierced with a paring knife. Transfer the sweet potatoes to four wide, low bowls.

Over the same simmering water, steam the kale for about 2 minutes. Transfer the kale to a kitchen towel and pat dry, then place on the cutting board and chop. Arrange the kale on top of the sweet potatoes.

Arrange 1/4 of the chickpeas atop each bowl and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of dressing. Top with chopped walnuts and serve.

Serves: 4 | Serving Size: About 2 1/2 cups per serving

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 356; Total Fat: 18g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 8g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 389mg; Carbohydrate: 43g; Dietary Fiber: 8g; Sugar:8g; Protein: 8g

Thanks to MyFitnessPal recipes for this great recipe!”