Category Archives: Side dishes

Recent Recipes…

The whole having a baby thing has put me behind the blogging 8 ball.

I have made a few recipes lately that I don’t want to lose 🙂

so in no particular order…

  • I got Steve a grill for fathers day. It has been so nice being able to grill food…especially with the whole gluten thing. Grilling is an easy way to cut the carbs out of a meal. This sweet & spicy salmon was awesome. Super flavorful! Definitely make-again-able 🙂
  • For our 4th of July gathering I volunteered to make baked beans. I had my eye on these Alton Brown beauties for a week or so and the get-together presented the perfect opportunity!! The only change I made was to use 1 bottle of dark beer instead of veggie broth. Next time, I think I’d use about 1/2 a bottle of beer. These were super yummy!!
  • I also took a stab at making a gluten free tuna casserole with quinoa. I made the roux out of trader joes gluten free flour and butter (and then added in milk & cheddar). The final dish was good…but the sauce by itself was a bit grainy. I’ll have to try something else next time.

More to come 🙂


Leave a comment

Filed under Main Course, Main dishes, Seafood, Side dishes, Weekly Menus

Red Quinoa, Mango & Black Bean Salad

I think my favorite thing about this dish is that it looks pretty 🙂 I’m a big fan of food that is beautiful to eat and tastes yummy. This dish fits BOTH bills 🙂

Now Steve… he’s is not a huge quinoa fan. He tolerates it…but he doesn’t love it.  I’ve told him since we have to go Gfree, that he’s going to have to learn to love it…or at least love it enough to eat it weekly!

This salad was really good though. Refreshing. BUT, it absolutely NEEDS the mango. If you can’t buy really sweet/ripe mango, skip this salad. Or add in a sweeter dressing… or another comparably sweet fruit. You really need to have something sweet in here in order for it to fly. I personally also feel that it needs the avocado~ but I’m a huge avocado fan 🙂

I especially liked the red couscous~ perhaps better than the regular quinoa. It was more mild, maybe?


  • 1. 5 c. red couscous, dry
  • 1 large mango, diced
  • 2 green onions, diced
  • 4 grape tomatoes, cut into 8ths
  • 1.5 large avocados, diced
  • 1 can organic black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro minced
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle pepper seasoning
  • salt & pepper to taste

Prepare the couscous according to package directions. Chill.

Then add in all of the ingredients to the quinoa up through the cilantro.

In a separate bowl, mix the lime juice, honey, and seasonings. Feel free to add more sweetness if you wish. Toss together and enjoy.

This would be GREAT with some red onion or even a minced jalapeno…yum!


Leave a comment

Filed under Gluten Free, Salads, Salads, Side dishes

Wheat Berries & Root Veggie Salad

When we lived in Norway, there was this soup. Oh, the soup. It was amazing. It was a fish soup (ok, I know I lost some of you here)….that was so creamy and had an undertone of sweetness (orange juice!) to it. Anyway, the reason I bring this up is b/c I’m pretty sure it was the first time I ever at a rutabaga.

Don’t get me wrong, I had heard about rutabagas before…I’d just never actually purchased one at the store and attempted to cook it. Big mistake. I missed out for nearly 3 decades (at the time…cough cough).

I eventually made the soup at home after returning to ATX and was successfully able to navigate the rutabaga!! YAY!

Enter this recipe. I was searching for something to make with Farro (or wheat berries)…which incidentally, I just learned are very similar (but not the exact same). They come from different types of wheat plants…one grown in colder weather states and one in warmer. But I digress.

I happened up on this recipe and knew I had to give it a whirl.

As far as the veggies were concerned, I included: carrots, butternut squash, celery, parsnips, & onions…. no rutabagas. Sad. The recipe called for them, but the store was out that day!!!

I followed this recipe and added in the thyme, olive oil & a splash of vinegar. OH so good! The idea of root veggies seemed a bit out of season but the dish hit the spot nonetheless!

Leave a comment

Filed under Salads, Side dishes

Lemon Pesto Basil Potato Salad & Dill Chive Tuna Salad

It was a day of “salads”… the best kind of salads 🙂

Yesterday I made a few dishes including these two beauties.

Pioneer Woman’s Creamy Lemon Basil Potato Salad (boiled & cooled potatoes, 1/2 c. mayo, 2 lemons, a few TBSP olive oil, TBSP pesto, basil, S&P). I skipped the pine nuts ($$$$!!!!)

And then I created a healthy and fresh stuffed tomato tuna salad:

  • 1 container fage 2% greek yogurt
  • 2 cans tuna, in water, drained
  • 1 tsp fresh dill, minced
  • 3 chives, minced
  • 3 stalks celery minced
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt & pepper
  • topped with feta & basil (and possibly olives next time!!)
  • 4 tomatoes (with the pulp scrapped out of the center)

Mix all ingredient (except tomatoes), chill & serve in the tomatoes.

Refreshing & healthy 🙂

Leave a comment

Filed under Salads, Seafood, Side dishes

Sweet Potato Casserole…

…ehm, dessert. Sweet potato dessert.

Would you believe that up until this year I had NEVER in my life made a sweet potato casserole (SPC). Okay, maybe you could believe that. But what if I told you I had never even TRIED a SPC? True story. Never, ever, ever. It just wasn’t a tradition in my family.

Honestly, I think that SPC has a much greater following in the southern states. Us northerners just don’t eat healthy potatoes rich in vitamin sugary goodness!

My sweet friend Lacy gave me this recipe. It was everything she claimed it would be and more. To Die For.

  • 3-4 large sweet potatoes, peeled, and diced into small pieces for roasting
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/4-1/2 c. half & half
  • 1/4-1/2 c. brown sugar
  • vanilla


  • 1/4-1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/4-1/2 c. sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 c. quick cooking oats
  • 1/4 c. chopped pecans
  • 2-4 Tbsp cold butter

Peel and dice sweet potatoes. Roast at 425 until soft (the time depends on how small you cut the pieces!).. I think I roasted mine for like 30 minutes. Toss the sweet potatoes, butter, 1/2 & 1/2,  brown sugar, and a dash of vanilla in a large mixer (or big bowl) and blend up till sweet and smooth. Tasting is mandatory.

Then spread the potatoes in a casserole dish (I think that the shallow long ones like a 9×13 are the best because you have more room for topping, duh!

Combine all of the topping ingredients (except for the marshmellows) in a small bowl. Use your fingers to squish everything together in a crumb like mixture. Then put on top of the potatoes. Top with a handful of mini marshmellows.

Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes until the potatoes are steamy, the top is crunchy, and the marshmellows have browned up a bit.

I kid you not, I ate this cold out of the fridge for breakfast on Friday. Yeah… I definitely need to make my way to a tread mill soon!! 🙂

ps. this photo sucks, I know.

pps. If I ever become a professional blogger (HA!!!) then I will pull out the trusty Nikon and take real photos of food again. Till then, the iphone SO much quicker!

Leave a comment

Filed under Side dishes

Bacon, Apple, and Fontina Panini with Roasted Sweet Potato “Salad”

Bacon and cheese? Sweet potatoes, chipotle, and cranberries~ YES PLEASE!!!

I have to say that Cooking Light is my absolute favorite guilty reading pleasure. When IF I can find the time to read for pleasure, it’s the first thing I pick up. This month’s issue featured a “Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Cranberry-Chipotle Dressing” by Mark Bittman. I’m a big Bittman fan. He preaches whole REAL foods and balance. His approach to food fits very well with in my own food “paradigm”

And no, the bacon & cheese panini is NOT a light recipe ~ but that’s what makes it yummy, right?

For this particular panini I decided to take an american twist on the meat, bacon instead of it’s costly counterpart pancetta. I know I know, and authentic panini would never use bacon. But the extra smokiness is oh so good. And the price, well, you can’t beat it!

6 Sandwiches

  • 12 slices of good quality, hearty bread (we bought a loaf at Kroger)
  • 1 package (12 piece) of bacon
  • 1 honey crisp apple, very thinly sliced
  • 6-7 oz package of fontina cheese, sliced

Assemble sandwiches & grill on panini press (or george forman grill or in a regular pan with a plate & then a heavy can on top)

No oil/butter needed!!

*If I were to do this again, I might add a “sauce” after the fact… I think an apple butter would be WONDERFUL! I love fall


My folks got me…ehm…us a panini press for Christmas last year. I love it!! It’s an easy way to make a quick sandwich seem elegant and guest-worthy. Also, it reminds me of Italy. When I was a senior in high school we traveled to Italy for choir. I still remember the sounds and smells of the cities, Rome in particular. On almost every street corner you would see vendors selling paninis off their food trucks. They were gooey, steamy, and amazing. Love at first bite!!

The sweet potato dish was equally as yummy


I modified the recipe slightly~ here’s my revised version below!

  • 4 large sweet potatoes, peeled, and cubed into 1 inch pieces
  • 3/4 c. whole frozen cranberries (or fresh when available)
  • 1/4 c. water, plus about another 1/4 c. at the end
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 small can chipotle chiles in adobe sauce (You will only use a tiny bit of this)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 c. pumpkin seeds
  • 3-4 green onions, diced

Toss the diced, peeled sweet potatoes with a touch of olive oil (approx 1-2 tbsp), pepper, and cinnamon. Spread out on a jelly roll pan or baking sheet & roast at 450 for 30-45 minutes turning at least once. The original recipe said 30 min but I wanted a brown edge on my tots 🙂 Once they come out of the oven, you can sprinkle with salt. I like to salt my potatoes at the end of baking so that the salt doesn’t draw out the moisture in the potato and make them stick to the pan.

While the tots are baking ~ combine the cranberries, water, 1 Tbsp olive oil, cinnamon in a small sauce pan. Open chipotle chilies and mince one chili finely. Add the chili & 2 tsp of the adobe sauce to the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, and cook on medium/low for approx 10 minutes until cramberries have popped. I added a little more water at the end of the cooking process to thin the sauce out a bit. Maybe 1/4 cup a tbsp at a time… Mash the sauce ingredients until everything is well incorporated.

Toast the pumpkin seeds dry in a pan for a few minutes until fragarent.

Combine the potatoes, cran mixture, pumpkin seeds, and green onions in a dish and toss to coat.

I personally like this served warm. 🙂

** You can add more/less chipotle chilies and adobe sauce depending on your tolerance for heat!!


Leave a comment

Filed under Main Course, Side dishes

Making this again…

…some time this week!

I am in love with fingerling potatoes. They are awesome. They cook up quickly and taste fantastic. Plus, I just love things in miniature form. It makes me feel like I can eat more of them!! 🙂

Ina recipe for fingerling potatoes

Leave a comment

Filed under Side dishes