Category: sides

Broccoli Slaw

Oops, sorry that I left you hanging on the slaw that I ate with the BBQ Chicken Mini Meatloaves!  Things got busy, but I can assure you that I ate the whole bowl over the course of a few days.

It’s not really “slaw season” but this was a good change of pace, and a reminder that spring is just around the corner.  Some people like their slaw sweet and might want to add a little sugar, but the raisins added just enough sweet taste for me.  This is the super simple pantry slaw – if you’re looking for something a bit fancier, I recommend Smitten Kitchen’s Broccoli Slaw.


Broccoli Slaw

1 (12 oz.)  package shredded broccoli and carrots
1/4 c. raisins
1/4 c. buttermilk
1/4 c. light mayonnaise
1 T cider vinegar

Mix vegetables and raisins in a bowl.  In a small bowl, whisk buttermilk, mayonnaise, and cider vinegar.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add just enough dressing to lightly coat vegetables.  Stir, and allow to sit in the refrigerator for at least 4-5 hours before serving.


Roasted Butternut Squash, Pears, and Onions with Blue Cheese

The bushel of butternut squash is now gone.  We’ve made a basic squash soup, a fancier soup with beans and ham, butternut hash, butternut butter, and a butternut squash and kale torte.  With the very last squash, I decided to make Roasted Butternut Squash, Pears, and Onions with Blue Cheese.

The title pretty much says it all, but this recipe takes plain roasted vegetables up a notch.  I loved the mix of squash, pears, and onions, and the strong-flavored blue cheese was a great touch.  This would be good as a side dish, or perhaps accompanied by a nice spinach salad.

I am a little sad that the squash is gone, but I am ready to move on to other vegetables.  It’s the end of January, and I haven’t roasted any beets yet!




Roasted Butternut Squash, Pears, and Onions with Blue Cheese

1 butternut squash, peeled, and cut into 1″ chunks
1 Bosc pear, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 Vidalia onion, peeled and sliced
2 T butter
1 T sage, chopped
1/2 t thyme
1 T mustard
1/3 c. crumbled blue cheese

Place squash, pear, and onion in a large bowl.  In a small pot, melt the butter on medium heat.  Add sage and thyme, and cook for 1-2 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in mustard.  Pour butter mixture over vegetables and toss to coat.

Place vegetables in a 13″x9″ dish.  Bake at 375F for 45-50 minutes, or until tender and brown.  Add cheese, and bake for an additional 5 minutes.


Creamed Spinach and Parsnips

By the time the last meal of the Christmas holiday was served, we were all a little tuckered out.  Thankfully, we had prepared this recipe for Creamed Parsnips and Spinach a couple of days ahead, and just had to reheat it in the oven.  Served with a beef roast and baked potatoes, it was a very rich meal but didn’t require a lot of effort.



Even though the recipe includes two great vegetables, it can’t exactly be classified as healthy since it contains generous amounts of both butter and cream.  When you’re used to skim milk, cream seems so thick!  But this is still a very festive holiday side.

The recipe was not universally liked around the table, but it was enjoyed by a majority of the crowd.  I think the parnsips were the sticking point; you may want to substitute another vegetable or perhaps potatoes depending on your guests.  At the very least, I thought this was delicious, and my Mom really appreciated a recipe that didn’t require last minute preparations in the kitchen.  I am still calling it a holiday win.

Indian Spiced Spinach

On the night before Christmas Eve, after our big gingerbread project, my family sat down to some Indian food.  I made Chicken Tikka Masala (replacing eggplant with chicken), homemade naan, and a spinach dish inspired by this Saag recipe.  It certainly wasn’t a traditional meal for us, but it turned out to be a great way to kick off over 48 hours of non-stop Christmas activity!

Since the chicken was a bit spicy, I kept the spinach dish fairly mild.  The ginger provided a lot of the flavor here, and the yogurt made it creamy without any additional fat.  Using frozen chopped spinach saved a lot of time.  The original recipe provides a lot of variations for this dish and it could easily be a main course with the addition of tofu or legumes.  I usually have chopped spinach on hand, so I’ll try one of those variations soon and let you know how it goes!


Indian Spiced Spinach

1 T canola oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 T minced fresh ginger
2 t minced garlic
2 t coriander
1/2 t turmeric
1 (20 oz.) package frozen spinach, thawed
1 c. water
Dash salt
1 c. nonfat plain yogurt

Heat oil in a large frying pan.  Add onion, and saute for 15-20 minutes, until browned.  Add ginger and garlic, and saute for 2-3 minutes.  Add spices, and saute for 1 minute.  Add spinach, water, and salt.  Simmer for 10 minutes, until spinach is cooked.  Add more water if necessary.  Add yogurt and stir to mix well.  Reduce heat, and cook just until heated through.

Sweet and Spicy Roasted Vegetables

I feel like I’ve been eating a lot of soup lately, and getting a little bored.  I am not really craving salads either.  But I have to bring more vegetables into my diet somehow to balance holiday indulgences.

I decided to roast a big batch of vegetables this week, and luckily found some good sales on produce.  I bought an onion, zucchini, carrots, baby bella mushrooms, trimmed green beans, and grape tomatoes.  Most of these aren’t seasonal or local, but some days you just do the best you can.



Sometimes I use a soup mix packet to season the vegetables prior to roasting.  But that seemed silly since I have a well-stocked spice cabinet.  I did some Internet research, found a few good recipes, compared the ingredients to the spices I had on hand, and ended up with the recipe below.  I was able to use at least one local ingredient; the honey is from a beekeeper that I know personally!

After being roasted for almost an hour, the vegetables had a very rich flavor, and the juice from the mushrooms and tomatoes created a sauce.  Although the recipe contains a touch of cinnamon and honey, the sweet taste is very faint, and just offsets the spiciness of the chili powder and cayenne.

You can serve the vegetables (with a slotted spoon!) alongside any meal, or you could mix them into a dish of whole wheat pasta.  I am sure they would also be good on top of whole wheat pizza dough, or perhaps a baked potato.  The possibilities are endless, and it feels good to have a dish of vegetables that I’ll be happy to dig into all week long.



Sweet and Spicy Roasted Vegetables

1 Vidalia onion, peeled and sliced
2 zucchini, cut into 1″ cubes
1 (8 oz.) package baby bella mushrooms, cleaned
2 pints grape tomatoes
8 oz. baby carrots
2 T olive oil
1 T honey
1 t chili powder
1/2 t coriander
1/2 t paprika
1/2 t cinnamon
1/8 t cayenne pepper

Place vegetables in a large bowl.  Add oil and honey, and stir to coat.  In a small bowl, mix spices.  Toss spices with vegetables, and stir to coat.

Place in a large baking dish coated with cooking spray, and bake at 400F for 50-60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.   (The best way to roast vegetables is in a single layer; inevitably I always have too many vegetables for that though!)

Turkey Fried Rice

This was a spur of the moment recipe inspired by the last bit of leftover turkey in my refrigerator.  I also had a containter of leftover brown rice from the Thai food we ordered the night before Thanksgiving.  Rest assured, I made this several days ago, and am just getting around to posting it now!

This isn’t exactly a fool proof recipe, because a lot of the rice stuck to the bottom of the pan.  I was trying not to use too much oil, but that also meant I should have been watching the rice a bit more carefully.  The end result was still pretty good, considering I pulled this together within a half hour using just what was in the house.  The sesame oil added at the end contributes a lot of flavor, so try not to skip this ingredient.  Good things happen when you force yourself to use those leftovers in the refrigerator!



Turkey Fried Rice

1 T canola oil
1 t minced garlic
1 c. chopped turkey
1 1/2 c. cooked brown rice
1 c. frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, green beans, and peas)
1 egg, beaten
1 T low sodium soy sauce
1/2 t sesame oil

Heat oil in a large frying pan.  Add garlic, and saute for 1 minute.  Add turkey, and cook for 3-5 minuntes.  Add brown rice and mixed vegetables, and cook on medium heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  The goal is for the rice to brown, without burning and sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Make a well in the center of the pan.  Coat well with cooking spray.  Add egg, and stir to scramble.  Incorporate cooked egg into mixture.  Add soy sauce and sesame oil, and stir well.  Cook for 3-5 minutes, until heated through.

Yellow Jasmine Rice

Were you expecting a Thanksgiving themed recipe today?  Yes, I know it’s just a few short days away.  And I’ll be enjoying our traditional favorites including an Italian sausage stuffing, turnip, and my Mom’s amazing apple pie.  With the turkey leftovers, we might try these enchiladas, or last year’s turkey soup.

But I couldn’t possibly spend a long weekend with my family without trying a few new things.  Specifically, we’re planning a chocolate cake with pink frosting for Wednesday, a new pumpkin dessert for Thanksgiving, and another new pumpkin dessert for a large family gathering on Friday.  Looks like I also need to plan some workouts!

So back to today’s recipe.  This was called the best rice ever on the Budget Bytes blog, which is a pretty bold statement.  I made just a few changes, swapping the butter for olive oil, using a vegetarian broth, and increasing the cinnamon.  I found jasmine rice in the ethnic section of my conventional grocery store, and they also have it in the bulk bins at Whole Foods.

I am not sure I could call this the best rice ever, but it is delicious and slightly addictive.  It’s colorful, fragrant, and tender.  The spices are more subtle than you might expect.  Although this might look like an Asian or Middle Eastern recipe, the flavor is really light and would complement any meal.  After you’re done with your Thanksgiving mashed potatoes, you might want to give this one a try.




Yellow Jasmine Rice

2 T olive oil
1 t turmeric
2 t minced garlic
1/2 t cumin
1/4 t cinnamon
2 c. jasmine rice
2 c. vegetable broth
1 c. water

Heat oil in a medium pot.  Add turmeric, garlic, cumin, and cinnamon.  Stir to mix well, and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.  Add rice, and stir to coat.  Cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently, to brown rice.  Add broth and water, and cover.  Simmer gently for 20 minutes.  Turn off heat and allow rice to rest for 5-10 minutes.  Fluff and serve.

-Lightly adapted from Budget Bytes