Spiced Sweetpotato Cauliflower Mash

A super simple, deceivingly healthy side dish worthy of any holiday feast | accordingtoelle.com
When it comes to planning our Thanksgiving feast, or any holiday meal for that matter, I’ll be the first to admit I can get a little carried away. I mean, Pinterest. Need I say more?

With our little one due to arrive any minute now, this Thanksgiving already feels more special than ever. While the party planner in me wants to go all out creating eye-catching centerpieces, and specialty cocktails for our friends and family, deep down I know the hubs and I will have our hands full––with dirty diapers, burp cloths and of course, the baby. From what I’ve been told, I’ll be lucky if I can manage to take a shower and put a little bit of makeup on before the turkey is served.

Since our friends and family will likely end up doing the majority of the cooking and party prep this year, I’m trying to dial this back and keep things on the simple side this year.

Speaking of simple side…

A super simple, deceivingly healthy side dish worthy of any holiday feast | accordingtoelle.com

Let us have a moment for this delicious Spiced Sweetpotato Cauliflower Mash, a lighter yet satisfyingly sweet alternative to the classic, marshmallow-covered sweetpotato casserole. Like it’s casserole cousin, this mash is packed with healthy nutrients like fiber, potassium and Vitamin  A but takes less time and absolutely zero room in the oven. It also contains a lot less sugar which basically means you’re entitled to eat more dessert.

A super simple, deceivingly healthy side dish worthy of any holiday feast | accordingtoelle.comNow, when the time comes to pick your potatoes, I highly recommend either the Jewell (the all-familiar orange-skinned one) or the reddish-skinned Garnet. Both are super sweet by nature but the Garnet might be my personal favorite for this dish. The deep orange flesh of the Garnet makes one beautiful mash, doesn’t it?

A super simple, deceivingly healthy side dish worthy of any holiday feast | accordingtoelle.com

You know, we have it pretty good here in California. Besides having some of the most beautiful coastline in the country and wineries galore, our generous sunshine and warm, dry climate provide the perfect growing conditions for sweetpotoates.  California sweetpotatoes are unique in that they’re grown in the fertile sand (rather than dirt) of the San Joaquin Valley, and are cured in the ground before harvest rather than being picked first and then cured in sheds. Their beautiful shapes and skin texture are made possible by hand-planting, selecting, sorting, sizing and packing.

If you’re looking for a lighter sweetpotato side that’s both delicious and simple, this absolutely deserves a spot on your Thanksgiving table this year. I mean, with color like that there’s no chance this beautiful side dish will be overlooked.

A super simple, deceivingly healthy side dish worthy of any holiday feast | accordingtoelle.com

A special thanks to my friends at California Sweetpotatoes for sponsoring this delicious recipe, and to you lovely readers for supporting the sponsors that allow me to create new and special dishes like this for the blog. As always, the thoughts and opinions expressed on According to Elle are my own.


Spiced Chai Breakfast Quinoa

Spiced Chai Morning Quinoa | accordingtoelle.comMaybe it’s the unseasonably warm weather, a pregnancy-related pumpkin aversion or simply a case of pumpkin burnout, but I haven’t really felt the insatiable need for all things pumpkin spice the past couple of weeks.

How sad is that?

Okay, it’s really not quite as tragic as I make it sound because this spiced chai breakfast quinoa is totally filling any fall flavor void in my life at the moment.

Fellow chai-lovers, you’re going to want to get in on this. Just make sure you bring your appetite because this is one filling breakfast bowl.

Spiced Chai Morning Quinoa | accordingtoelle.com

Speaking of appetite, I never thought I’d say this but eating for two is a tough job. I kid, I kid. I’m not technically eating for two (at least not all of the time), but at this point there’s no longer space in this belly of mine for big, satisfying meals, which means I’m hungry and on the hunt for food every couple of hours or so.

One thing that’s consistently made a difference in keeping me satisfied, both before and during pregnancy, is getting enough protein in the morning, something that many irresistible (I’m looking at you, cinnamon buns and almond croissants) or ridiculously convenient (ahem, granola bars) breakfast foods typically lack.

I guess it’s not surprising that Americans average just 13 grams of protein at breakfast, but did you know we should be shooting for about 25-30 grams at each meal? The timing and type of protein we eat matters more than you may realize. We tend to eat most of our protein in the evening though, leaving our mornings low in the nutrient most likely to keep us full. Getting enough protein in the morning means you’ll feel fuller, longer and are less likely to be grazing for mid-morning snacks or overdo it at lunch.

Spiced Chai Morning Quinoa | accordingtoelle.com

Alone this bowl of chai goodness packs an impressive 22 grams of protein, but pair it with an 8-ounce glass of milk and you’ll get in a whopping 30 grams (!!!) before you even walk out the door. Not only does milk offer 8 grams of high-quality protein per cup, it also has other essential nutrients like calcium and vitamin D. The star grain in this dish, quinoa, is also a good source of protein plus filling fiber. If you want to see more on how milk’s protein can help at breakfast, check out this cool infographic.

Spiced Chai Morning Quinoa | accordingtoelle.com

Even if pumpkin spice is everything nice in your life right now, make this spiced chai breakfast quinoa tomorrow morning and see if you don’t fall in love, too.

P.S. For more delicious breakfast ideas with protein, check out this Creamy Acai Smoothie, Nutty Blueberry Quinoa Oatmeal and Savory Oatmeal.

A special thanks to Milk Life for sponsoring this delicious recipe!


15 Beautiful Desktop Wallpapers

As it turns out, life as a pregnant lady has been way busier than I ever anticipated. While I spent most of my first trimester asleep (or wishing I could be), my second trimester was a complete whirlwind in the sense that I crammed in about as much activity and travel as humanly possibly for a pregnant lady.

Recently it seems whatever free time and creative energy I have left after a busy work week goes right into getting organized for our little one, who is due in just 8 short weeks. Actually, make that 7 weeks and 2 days… Oh, my. I must have about 20 blog posts in process that I just haven’t gotten around to finishing, including a 2nd trimester recap, numerous recipe posts, a how-to on taking beautiful silhouette pregnancy photos as well as a before-and-after of the guest room-turned-nursery, which is essentially still just a catch-all for baby stuff at the moment.

While I haven’t been doing a whole lot of writing lately, I have been working on getting more organized before the baby arrives and all hell breaks loose. I figure it’s now or never for purging closets, rearranging cabinets, even tidying up the files on my computer. While trying to clear some of the clutter from my desktop the other day, I fell into a rabbit hole perusing hundreds upon hundreds of beautiful desktop wallpapers on Pinterest–some of which can even help keep you organized.

Here are some of my faves:

Pretty Wallpapers


Flowering Cacti | Design*Sponge


Dots | Design Love Fest


Potted Succulents | Oh So Lovely


Black and White Frills | Ban.Do

pink dots

Pink Watercolor Dots | cardstore

Inspirational Wallpapers


Like a Boss | Design Love Fest


Get Shit Done | Oh So Lovely

give it all you got

Give It All You Got | Design Love Fest


Better Than Unicorns | Ban.Do


If It Doesn’t Challenge You It Doesn’t Change You | Rabbit Food for My Bunny Teeth

Organizer & Calendar Wallpapers


Arrow Organizer | Design Love Fest 


Chalkboard  (with customizable version too!) | Moritz Fine Blog Designs

do what you love

Do What You Love Organizer | Laura James Company

Desktop Wallpapers(1)-09

Geometric Monthly Calendar | Designs By Miss Mandee


Black and White Watercolor Organizer (my current fave) | A Pair and a Spare