Archive for: Side Dishes

Grilled Eggplant with Ricotta and Balsamic Drizzle

Creamy ricotta cheese, fresh grilled eggplant, and a balsamic drizzle come together in this recipe that will make you want to eat your serving of vegetables! This Grilled Eggplant with Ricotta and Balsamic Drizzle is an easy and healthy side dish. We're nearing the end of eggplant season here, and I wanted to be sure to share this recipe with you before the season ends. Over the past few months we've received a few eggplants in our farm box and I intended to incorporate them into a main dish at some point but it just didn't happen. Instead, I took the easy route and grilled them on my grill pan. Have you ever tried grilled eggplant? With just a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, it's a ... [Continue Reading]

Barley Salad with Grilled Asparagus and Nectarines

A light and healthy summer dish, this Barley Salad with Grilled Asparagus and Nectarines is packed with flavor! Feta cheese, shallots, and sliced almonds complement the fruits and vegetables in this barley salad. How was your weekend? Ours was a good mix of fun and getting stuff done. Last week I finished teaching for the year and I'm now on summer break. I'll be home with the kids this summer, and we plan to spend lots of time in the backyard, and at the park, library, and pool. I think the key to keeping everyone happy and busy will be an outing each day! I'm excited to spend the summer home enjoying time with the kids, and I'm also hopeful that I will have a little time to get some ... [Continue Reading]

Orange and Shallot Roasted Asparagus

This Orange and Shallot Roasted Asparagus is a simple side dish that's full of fresh flavors. I want to eat all of the oranges. We've been getting the most delicious oranges in our farm box and I cannot stop eating them. Or cooking with them. Or baking with them. Their zest lends amazing flavor to everything from cookies to fruit salad to savory dishes, and their insides are juicy, sweet, and just plain delicious. When I shared this Grapefruit Ricotta Cake earlier in the week, I mentioned that we've been getting a fruit and veggie box delivered once a week. I plan to share more about that soon, but for now I'll just say that it is turning out to be a great source of inspiration for me ... [Continue Reading]

Broccoli Casserole From Scratch

Made completely from scratch, this broccoli casserole is filled with fresh broccoli, mushrooms, cheddar cheese, and a homemade cream sauce. A buttery, cheesy breadcrumb topping adds a crispy finishing touch to this classic dish. Besides the sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and roast turkey, one dish that always graces my family's Thanksgiving table is broccoli casserole. The recipe that we've made forever includes cream of mushroom soup, mayonnaise, and a Ritz cracker topping. It's undeniably delicious, so for years I ignored the fact that the casserole was made with not-so-healthy ingredients that I usually avoid (or don't even like: mayo = ick). Recently I got ... [Continue Reading]

Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole

Steamed sweet potatoes are whipped together with honey, egg, cinnamon, and nutmeg in this healthy casserole. This sweet potato casserole is unbelievably light and addicting; you won't be able to resist a second helping! Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year? Have you started planning your menu? Or do you already have the menu all set? I'll be hosting this year, but I will have lots of help from family who will be bringing appetizers, side dishes, and even dessert. While we like to try a new Thanksgiving dish now and then, my family pretty much has a set menu that we make from year to year. One dish that I always make is the sweet potato casserole. I used to follow a recipe that ... [Continue Reading]

Southwestern Pasta Salad

Full of all of the southwestern flavors that you love, this Southwestern Pasta Salad with a spicy chili-lime dressing is sure to be a crowd-pleaser! Pretty much everyone is a fan of pasta salad, right? It's a great crowd-pleasing dish that's easy to make and share at BBQ's and potlucks. The best pasta salads are full of pasta (of course) and veggies, all coated in a flavorful dressing. I've made all sorts of varieties of pasta salads, including this flavorful Greek pasta salad, an amazing pesto pasta salad, and one with orzo, tomatoes, and mint. I know I'm not alone in my love of southwestern flavors, and I thought they would make an awesome pasta salad. And was I ever right! ... [Continue Reading]

Grilled Vegetables in Foil Packets

Easy grilled vegetables in foil packets are perfect for summer.  Make these delicious vegetables without turning on your oven and heating up your house! Are you as obsessed with grilled and roasted veggies as I am?  Even with just a light seasoning of salt, pepper, and olive oil they are SO good it's hard to stop eating them.  In the summer, I tend to stick to grilled veggies so I don't have to heat up my house by turning on the oven.  I'll often use my grill pan to grill up some zucchini as a quick side dish, or we'll grill some portobello mushrooms for a quick and delicious sandwich. But these grilled veggies in foil packets - they are so flavorful and they could not be ... [Continue Reading]

Roasted Carrots with Lemon and Thyme

A flavorful twist on roasted carrots, these roasted carrots with lemon and thyme will have you going back for seconds and thirds! Roasted vegetables are a wonderful thing. I have some favorite recipes based around roasted vegetables, like this Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna (yum), this Roasted Zucchini Pasta with Grilled Chicken (super yum), and this Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette (super, super yum). I also often make roasted vegetables as side dishes to go with our meals, as in these Roasted Carrots with Lemon and Thyme. I used to always steam my vegetables. If we were having a side dish of broccoli or carrots for dinner, it was steamed broccoli or ... [Continue Reading]

Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

A delicious way to eat your vegetables, this Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette makes a great healthy lunch. Or, enjoy it as a side dish with grilled chicken. I am always trying to work more vegetables into my diet. I tend to eat plenty of fresh fruits, but I know that I can do better with the vegetables. Green salads and carrot sticks can get boring quickly, but roasted vegetables? I can eat roasted vegetables day after day and never tire of them. In this roasted vegetable quinoa salad, I've taken a sweet onion, red bell peppers, and an eggplant and roasted them until they are soft and caramelized. I combined the vegetables with some quinoa and a sprinkling ... [Continue Reading]

Perfect Brown Rice

A whole post dedicated to brown rice? Yep, that's what we have going on here today. While brown rice might not seem very exciting at first, I am thrilled to have found a method for how to make perfect brown rice. I'm one of those people who actually prefers brown rice over white, so being able to cook it perfectly is very important to me. Sometimes brown rice can be dry or lacking in texture, but not this rice; it is incredibly light and fluffy. The best part? This method is not any more difficult or time-consuming than the directions found on the package. The key to perfect brown rice is making sure that it stays moist. It's hard to know exactly how much water your rice will absorb while ... [Continue Reading]

Greek Pasta Salad

This weekend we celebrated William's 1st birthday with a barbecue at our house, and I made this pasta salad to go along with our burgers and other side dishes. Pasta salad is always a hit with my family, and this time I wanted to try something new. Of course, I waited until Friday night to search for a recipe, but I found this one right away and knew it would be perfect. (I also waited until Friday night to decide on a birthday cake recipe, and that one turned out to be a great find as well. I'll be sharing it soon, along with some pictures from the party!) :) Aside from being addictively yummy, pasta salad is a great entertaining dish because it's easy to make, and it's best made the ... [Continue Reading]

Orzo Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Basil, & Mint

I know many of you might be feeling done with summer heat and ready for fall. I'm still enjoying summer and hoping it will stay around a little longer. I love the sunshine (not ready for those overcast days!) and being able to eat and play outdoors without worrying about jackets and long pants. I love summer fruits and vegetables, cooking dinner on the grill, and spending the evening outside. Another reason I'm wishing summer would stick around for awhile?  Next week I'll be back to teaching after my maternity leave, and I'm just not feeling ready to leave these little sweethearts yet. Before the season ends, I'm trying to enjoy fresh summer tomatoes and basil to their fullest, and ... [Continue Reading]

Roasted Broccoli

I can't say for sure, but I think this might be the first time I ever roasted broccoli. I'm not sure why, but my standby for a quick vegetable side is to throw some broccoli in my steamer pot. After over-steaming and ending up with mushy broccoli one night, I was definitely not in the mood for steamed broccoli the next night but the vegetable planned for dinner that night was, again, broccoli. Rather than changing plans and making a salad, I decided to toss the broccoli with some olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper and pop it in the oven. The roasted broccoli was crisp, flavorful, and didn't remind me at all of the previous night's mushy broccoli. I have a feeling that I'll be roasting my ... [Continue Reading]

Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes

These sweet potatoes are so easy to make, and are both healthy and delicious. The potatoes are tossed with a bit of olive oil, honey, lemon juice, and salt. I also sprinkled on a little cinnamon because I love the warm flavor of cinnamon with sweet potatoes. Roasting the potatoes in the oven brings out their natural sweetness. I served my potatoes alongside this brown sugar spiced pork loin. This side dish is definitely going to be one of my fall and winter staples, as I see myself making it again and again. One year ago:  Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies and Chicken with Provençal Sauce Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes Printable Recipe Makes 6 servings Ingredients: 2 pounds red-skinned ... [Continue Reading]

Grilled Potatoes in Foil Packets

With just a few weeks of grilling weather left, I need to share with you this recipe that we've been making all summer. Cooking potatoes in foil packets on the grill couldn't be easier, and the results are delicious. I especially appreciate how the insides of the potatoes become tender without the outsides getting overly crisp, as sometimes happens when I try to cook them in a skillet on the stove top. You can customize the seasonings for the potatoes however you like. My favorite flavor additions are shallots and rosemary. Enjoy! Grilled Potatoes in Foil Packets Printable Recipe Makes 4-6 servings Ingredients: 8 small red or Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into small ... [Continue Reading]

Pesto Pasta Salad

This colorful pasta salad is a great side dish to accompany just about any spring or summer meal. It goes well with grilled chicken, steak, or burgers. This vegetable-filled pasta salad can even be a meal on its own, especially if you add in some cannellini beans for protein. Pesto sauce and a bit of olive oil make up the dressing for this flavorful combination of pasta and vegetables. One of the best things about this recipe is that you can customize it based on your tastes and the vegetables that you have on hand. This time I added sun-dried tomatoes, fresh chopped tomatoes, green onions, yellow bell pepper, cucumber, and chopped carrots to my pasta salad. I usually add artichoke hearts ... [Continue Reading]

Green Beans with Red Onions and Tomatoes

I like eating green beans as the vegetable part of a meal, but sometimes they can get boring when served plain. Here is a fast and easy way to make green beans a little more interesting and flavorful. Simply toss the cooked beans with some minced red onions and tomatoes, a bit of salt and pepper, and enjoy. If you like, you can also add a little butter or olive oil, but I think they are delicious without. Green Beans with Red Onions and Tomatoes Printable Recipe Makes 2 servings *Note: Measurements are approximations; I usually just eyeball the amounts. Ingredients: 2 cups green beans, washed and ends trimmed 1/4 cup minced red onion 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes Salt and ... [Continue Reading]

Sweet Potato Fries

We make these sweet potato fries at least every other week, as a side for turkey burgers. I think that sweet potatoes have such a delicious flavor on their own, that they hardly need anything added to them to make them taste great. (In fact, sometimes all we do is add a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper, and bake.) This recipe combines a simple mix of seasonings that I always have on hand in my spice cupboard. You can feel good about eating these fries, too, because they are baked, not fried. Sweet potatoes are a nutritious choice because they are a good source of fiber and vitamins, including beta-carotene. The next time you need a side to go along with your burger, try this recipe! Sweet ... [Continue Reading]