Top 10 of 2010: Main Dishes & Sides

As we get ready to welcome 2011, there are a few recipes that I’ve posted in the past year that I’d like to highlight once again. These are the recipes that are family favorites, the ones that are so good that I will make them over and over again. I tried to choose just 10 recipes, but there were so many that I love that I decided to choose my top 10 favorite main dishes and sides, and my top 10 desserts and baked goods. I’ll post the top 10 desserts and baked goods tomorrow. Here are my favorite main dishes and sides of the year; I hope I can inspire you to try a new recipe in your kitchen!

Chicken Tacos with Cucumber-Avocado Salsa: I discovered this taco recipe this year, and I think it’s safe to say they are the best tacos I’ve ever had. I love the way the salsa brightens up the flavor of the tacos, and they have just the right amount of spice. The cucumber-avocado salsa works great with steak tacos as well.

Romaine Salad with Chicken, Cheddar, Apple, and Pecans: I’ve been making this salad for a number of years, and it never disappoints. If you’re skeptical about eating a salad for dinner, this is the recipe for you. Between the chicken, cheddar, apples, and pecans, this is one filling meal. Whether you top your salad with the homemade cranberry vinaigrette, or your favorite store-bought dressing, this salad is a winner.

Zucchini Sub Sandwiches: These sandwiches are one of my family’s all-time favorite meat-free meals. They are super simple to make and the flavors please adults and kids alike. While my family likes these best with grilled zucchini, other grilled vegetables, such as eggplant or portabella mushrooms, would be delicious as well.

Sweet Potato Fries: I make these at least every other week, and a home-cooked burger just isn’t the same without these fries on the side. The sweet potatoes are tossed with a little olive oil and a mixture of spices before being baked in the oven. These sweet potato fries couldn’t be easier, and are good for you too!

Open-face Steak Sandwiches with Herbed Goat Cheese and Tomatoes: This is one of those meals that looks really fancy, but is so easy to make. This open-face sandwich is the perfect way to turn leftover grilled steak into an amazing meal. Thick slices of bread, tangy herbed goat cheese, juicy tomato, salty Parmesan, need I say more? I can’t wait until summer, when the tomatoes will be juicy and delicious again, so that I can make this sandwich.

Pasta with Mini Turkey Meatballs: This delicious pasta dish includes some of the best meatballs I’ve tasted. I like the flavor and healthfulness of the turkey meatballs, but you could easily substitute beef or ground chicken. The pasta is tossed with a simple tomato sauce, cubes of mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil.

Pitas with Chicken and Tzatziki Sauce: I love how the flavors of this meal come together. Garlic lemon-flavored chicken, yogurt-based Tzatziki sauce, red onion, and tomatoes are delicious wrapped up in whole wheat or white pita bread.

Pear, Gorgonzola & Walnut Pizza: This is my all-time favorite homemade pizza. While they’re not traditional pizza toppings, pear slices, Gorgonzola cheese, and walnuts are an amazing combination atop homemade pizza dough. If you haven’t tried this pizza, it should definitely be on your list of recipes to try in 2011.

Sweet Potato Pecan Casserole: When I set out to try this recipe, I had no idea how good it would really be. I’ve made this casserole at least 3 times in the past month, and the flavors are outstanding. Each time I serve it, it is met with rave reviews. This casserole is a delicious and much healthier version of a traditional sweet potato casserole (and it turned out to be my top post of 2010!)

Carrot-Ginger Soup: This soup combines carrots, onion, ginger, chicken broth, butter, and half n half, and turns them into something wonderful. I’ve made this soup many, many times, and it’s perfect as a main course for a light dinner, as a first course, or as a warm lunch on a cold day.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the Top 10 Desserts and Baked Goods of 2010!

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