As you all probably know by now I am not a “health nut”. But, if I can find a food that is good for you and tastes good I am all in. I love to cook with barley! I put it in soups, salads and as a side dish. Whole grain barley is a great source of fiber, potassium, folate and B6. And… if you mix it with a ton of vegetables you have a healthy side dish or snack.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, side dishes are HARD. It seems like they take so much time and have so little impact on the meal, especially a rushed weeknight meal. If your family is like mine then they just want to eat, they barely notice the side dish, and get the hell on with their evening. Since I make my boys wear a shirt and take off their hats at the table the faster they can inhale the meal the better. My husband and I do try to engage them in trivia or riddles and that typically keeps them in their seats for about 20 minutes. Hey, baby steps, right? But, my point is I don’t spend a lot of energy on side dishes. The easier they are the better.
I love arugula! Not everyone does because it has a very strong flavor, but hey its not stronger than the it’s hip kale counterpart. You can put arugula in everything! Wilt it in a soup, serve it raw with lemon and olive oil, put it on a sandwich. It’s just so good! It’s peppery and kinda lemony. Give it a try.
During the winter I crave fruit, especially citrus fruit. We go through a lot of oranges, grapefruits and tangerines and I peel every one! Because my precious offspring just cannot do it. They can whip a lacrosse ball 75 miles an hour into a goal, but they cannot peel an orange. Go figure! But, I guess that is why they keep me around:)
Gravy! I think it one of the hardest parts of a Thanksgiving menu. Not because making a gravy is hard, but because most gravy recipes call for the drippings from the turkey. When you finally have the drippings from the turkey it is time to get everyone off the couch to come to the table and the kitchen is crazy. That is not the time to be making one of the most important dishes. Gravy can make or break the turkey! So, make this recipe ahead of time and save yourself the frustration of trying to pull off a fabulous gravy 5 minutes before its time to eat.
You can make this recipe earlier in the day of Thanksgiving or you can make it up to a week in advance.
Bourbon and Smoked Turkey Gravy
There are a million different dressings or stuffings around the country. Everyone has their “usual” that they expect every year on the table. Well, we are no different. In Texas we have a cornbread dressing, not a stuffing.
Who’s Thanksgiving table has the jellied canned cranberry sauce? Well, I have to admit that mine does, but only because my brother-in-law loves it. But, you can’t blame hime, he is from Philly:) Just kidding, so is my husband and I love him anyway.
Cranberry Pear Pear Relish
Roasted Root Vegetables are the easiest side dish you will make for Thanksgiving, I promise! A monkey could do this or my 11 year old. So whichever you have on hand assign this dish to them. Ok…maybe cut up the vegetables for the monkey, but still.
Makes about 8-10 servings
I don’t think there is any table in America that does not have the traditional green bean casserole. I HATE casseroles, but this one is just a classic and I love it! There is nothing new or fancy about this recipe-just the same ole’ recipe off the mushroom soup can.
Trust me I have tried to make this dish a bit more modern, but it just never comes out as good as the original. So here goes….
Green Bean Casserole
- 1 can Condensed mushroom soup (Campbells)
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 14.5oz cans cut green beans (not french cut), drained
- 1 1/3 cup french fried onions, (French's Fried Onions in the can is the traditional)
Preheat oven to 350°
In a large bowl, combine soup, milk, soy sauce, pepper, green beans and 2/3 cup of onions.
Pour mixture into a greased 1 1/2 quart casserole dish.
Bake for 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
Sprinkle with remaining onions and bake for an additional […]
Roasted Spaghetti Squash
A delicious and healthy side dish that is perfect any time of the year
- 1 Large Spaghetti Squash
- 3 Tablespoons Olive […]
I think the Fall is the busiest time of the year and then you go right into the Holidays without a break-Good Lord! It is not even Halloween and I am already thinking about Christmas lights on the trees. Lights and the tree are about all I do to “decorate”. I am not a big “decorate for the holidays” kind of person. I have never have been-maybe in my next life I can come back as my friend Susan:). Thank the lord I had boys and they never notice that there are no Easter, Halloween or Valentines decorations up. Score one for an all boy family!!!
I mentioned before that I am trying to incorporate more vegetables and salads into our meal rotation. I know that making a main course and then a side dish is not easy. Trust me there are many nights that I serve sliced flank steak and a glass of milk and call it a day! But, keeping with the cupcake mom image I am trying to portray, I need to start serving more well rounded meals, right? So, if I have to serve a main dish and a side dish the side better be easy!
Ah artichokes! I love them and thankfully so does my entire family. If I see fresh artichokes in the grocery store I immediately buy a few. They have a short season of March to May with normally a bumper crop in October. Well…its October!!!
When Fall hits we want comfort food. Who does not love warm soups, stews, pot roast….? Yes, I love those things also and so does my family, but my waist does not. It is so hard to find healthy Fall recipes that still taste like comfort foods.
Here is another quick side dish that goes with just about anything you make for a main. I like Israeli Couscous better than regular couscous because it has more of a bite to it and it doesn’t clump as badly. But, if you prefer the smaller granules then use regular couscous.
Israeli Couscous with Basil Pesto
A delicious side dish that is easy to make and can be adjusted to your liking. Add cherry tomatoes, feta, toasted pine nuts… the possibilies are endless.
- 1 Cup Israeli couscous
- 1 1/2 Cups Water
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- zest of half a lemon
- juice of half a lemon
- 2 Tablespoons Prepared Basil Pesto
- 1/4 Cup Parmesan, grated
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Parsley, chopped
In a medium sized pot, heat water until it comes to a boil. Add salt and couscous. Stir to […]
I feel like yummy side dishes only come out during the holidays or if there is an outdoor BBQ party. I admit that cooking a main dish and two sides every night is hard, especially when there is a dog that must lay right in front of the stove while I am cooking. I swear I am going to break my neck falling over that damn dog.
I am going to try and not sound too cupcakey here, but I made bread this weekend!!! Whatever, right? Well, it is SO easy and is So good. I pulled this bread out of the oven and it was literally gone in about 12 minutes.
Makes 1 loaf
I don’t know about you, but this for me summer was full of bad, bad things, like queso, chips, pizza, tacos, hamburgers… There is just something about vacation that makes you throw all your good eating habits out the window. And let’s face it that once June 1 hits we all think we are on “vacation” until September 1, or until school starts for the little ones.
I am up in Colorado with the family for some cool weather and relaxation. But, of course having three boys, two of which are teenagers, relaxation is hard to come by. My oldest broke his elbow and had to have surgery, while on vacation. Needless to say, it has put a bit of a kink in our plans. I am basically in the house playing nurse. But, my sweet husband did most of the heavy lifting and took him to the hospital, which was 2 hours away, for the surgery and I stayed back with the other two boys. So, while I was going crazy waiting for updates on the surgery, I cooked! It took my mind off of the idea of my son having 3 screws put in his elbow.
Makes 6-8 side servings
I think side dishes are so hard to come up with. We all kinda get stuck in a rut when it comes to veggies-steamed broccoli, green beans, blah, blah… And, lets face it the kids don’t like veggies and I know a lot of adults that don’t like veggies which makes it even harder to get those greens down. I will make it my mission to come up with some new, healthy side dishes this summer. I’ll keep ya posted! Send me your thoughts!!!
Panzanella is a traditional Tuscan salad that uses day old bread and ripe tomatoes. It is a great way to use leftover vegetables and all those tomatoes that you have growing in your back yard. But, I don’t like raw tomatoes…I know, I know how can I not like tomatoes??? I so wish I did, but I hate them! So I have come up with a “Panzanella” ish salad. It’s a bit more hearty and if you want you can add chicken to it for a full meal.
About 6 Servings
Mac and Cheese, who doesn’t like it? If you raised your hand then I just don’t understand you. It is such a fabulous “vegetable”. If you call it a vegetable side dish then you don’t feel as guilty when you inhale the entire bowl. It goes with anything and everything and no one ever gets tired of it. Even fancy, elegant, chefy restaurants are serving mac and cheese. So come on and give it a try!
Growing up I can remember my parents going to the Farmer’s Market during the spring or summer and coming home and declaring that, “Tonight we only eat veggies”! Ick I remember thinking. What kid wants only vegetables for dinner? Well, of course the older you get the more you like your vegetables and I am no exception. One of the dishes I remember my mom making was pickled cucumbers. I know, you are saying, Pickles. Well, yes, but not really. These are quick pickled cucumbers and they are so fresh and tangy and light. They go perfect with any spring/summer BBQ you might be having or attending.
You need to slice the cucumbers thin so they “pickle” quickly. You either a very sharp paring knife or a mandolin. I have linked a mandolin I like. It is one of those tools you will use over and over again. They are not expensive and so worth it!
A light and tangy side dish that is perfect with a BBQ pulled pork sandwich or grilled chicken
This is a side dish that could be the easiest dish I make. And if you prefer your veggies a bit more crunchy than soft then you might want to cook them this way when making pot roast.
Roasted Carrots and Potatoes
Makes about 6-8 Servings
Mashed potatoes are not rocket science, but I thought what the heck I am making them for dinner tonight so I might as well post it. Because I know you are all waiting on the edge of your seat for me to post something.
While we were in San Diego for a lacrosse tournament last year, my husband and I snuck away and had a wonderful glass of wine and a dish similar to this at a restaurant on the beach. I’ll have you know we did not miss one game-this was during a practice time. I am sure the atmosphere made this exceptionally delicious, but none the less I wanted to make it at home.
Fennel with Lemon Salad
I great way to use this unsual vegetable. So tangy and delicious and […]