Sides Dishes

Kale, Butternut Squash and Dates Salad

I don’t have a picture again:(

Excuses include: 2 kids, slow computer, and hunger.

But…I don’t want to forget this recipe. It was so good.

Ingredients
Kale, chopped
Dates, chopped
Butternut squash, steamed and chopped
Onions, sliced and caramelized
Walnuts, roasted and chopped

Saute kale in 1 t. olive oil. Add dates and squash and onions. Season with salt and pepper and top with walnuts.

Optional: Drizzle with vinegar (white wine or balsamic) and a little extra olive oil.

Kale Salad with Sweet Potatoes in Yogurt Sauce

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Recipe adapted from Moar Fit’s blog for Warm Sweet Potato and Chickpea Salad with Greek Yogurt Dressing:
http://moar-fit.com/2014/03/25/warm-sweet-potato-and-chickpea-salad-with-greek-yogurt-dressing/

This is the best thing you can do with kale. It is delicious, healthy and a definite crowd pleaser. I mix sauteed kale with the salad listed above. I sauteed the kale in 1 T. olive oil for 2 minutes. I add 1/4 cup water and cover the pan. I cook the kale on medium for about 8 minutes. Drain the water and mix the kale with the sweet potato salad. Its so hearty. It is great as a potluck side dish for a vegetarian main dish. ENJOY!

Kale Chips

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Easiest thing ever! I served them with big Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Burgers.

Ingredients
Kale leaves (1 bunch)
1 T. olive oil
Desired amount of salt (a little goes a long way here)

Directions
Place kale in a bowl. Toss with olive oil and salt. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes. I lean more on the 10 minutes side as I don’t like my kale chips completely crunchy. When its too crunchy it gets powdery in your mouth.

Corn salad

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Ingredients
1 cup corn (fresh or frozen); thawed and cooked (be careful not to over cook)
1 avocado, chopped
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/4 of a cucumber, seeded and chopped
1/2 a jalapeno, seeded and minced
a handful of cilantro, chopped
about 1 T. olive oil, or less
kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

Directions
Combine all the ingredients into a bowl and stir. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Tastes great the next day!

Farro Mac-n-Cheese with Spinach

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I love this side dish! The farro holds the cheese sauce beautifully. This is healthy stick-to-your-ribs comfort food.

Ingredients
Farro:
2 cups loose baby spinach
1 cup farro, rinsed
3 cups water
salt and pepper
garlic, minced (optional) I don’t use it if I am making it for my daughter:)

Cheese Sauce:
1 cup milk
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
salt and pepper
1/2 c. cheddar cheese
1/3 c. feta cheese

Directions
To make farro, boil water in a medium sauce pan. Add farro, then reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 20 minutes or until farro is tender. Drain water if necessary. Return farro to sauce pan and add spinach, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.

To make cheese sauce, melt butter in a small saucepan. Add flour and stir  until combine. Slowly pour milk into saucepan, constantly stirring with a whisk. Continue to stir until the sauce thickens and the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and stir in cheddar cheese and half of the feta cheese. Stir until cheese is melted.  Pour cheese sauce into farro and stir to combine. Add remaining feta cheese, salt, and pepper. Pour farro mixture into an 8×8 casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees or until the sauce begins to bubble a bit.

Serve warm with fruit and salad or along side burgers, brats, or a main meat like pork.

Cauliflower Mash

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Served with Lemon Garlic Chicken and asparagus.

I actually think that cauliflower mash is better than mashed potatoes. The consistency is better than you think it would be. Its creamy and soft. The flavor is delicious…so much better than when cauliflower is just cooked whole. If you haven’t tried this, then do it. It is easier and tastier than you think!

Ingredients
1 whole cauliflower
1 1/2 T. reduced fat cream cheese
2 T. milk
1 T. butter
salt and pepper

Directions
Cut cauliflower into pieces and steam over the stove until the cauliflower is tender, like 10 minutes. Drain any water in the pot. Add the remaining ingredients and puree. I use a puree wand, but if you don’t have that you could transfer everything into a food processor and pulse until combine and creamy. Serve warm.

p.s don’t use an electric mixer like you would with mashed potatoes.  

Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta


I made up this recipe and it was fabulous! I have finally figured out how to make good Brussel sprouts. I seriously could not stop eating these and just finished them off at lunch. I served them with pork chops and roasted potatoes.

Ingredients
Brussel sprouts (1 lb. bag)
1  full T. chopped pancetta
1/8 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
salt
fresh ground pepper…a little more than usual

Directions
Add 1 T. olive oil to hot pan. Add pancetta and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Add sprouts. Brown for 3-4 minutes. Add white wine, salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes. Add broth. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the lid. Turn the heat to high and cook until almost all liquid is gone. Serve warm.

Cauliflower with Cheese Sauce


This is an old Clyde family classic: broccoli or cauliflower with cheese sauce. I don’t think we ever ate these vegetables without cheese sauce. I distinctly remember getting married and thinking, “How else do you eat broccoli?” Oh, how times have changed for me. I think the last time I made this was during my first your of marriage. I’ve been married 7 1/2 years:)

Needless to say, cauliflower is delicious with cheese sauce. And if your kids won’t eat vegetables, this is certainly a way to make them.

Ingredients
cauliflower (cut and steamed until crispy soft)

cheese sauce:
1 1/2 T. butter
1 1/2 T. whole wheat flour
1 cup milk (any percent will work)
cheese, sliced (as much as you want and which every kind you want. I used some cheddar, Fontina, and Monterey jack. Just cheddar would be great too)

Directions
To make cheese sauce, melt butter in a small saucepan. Add flour and stir constantly until combine. Slowly add milk while continuing to stir. Continue to stir until mixture begins to bubble. Turn to low and add the cheese. Stir until melted. Use when ready by serving over cooked cauliflower.

Red Lentil Dal with flatbread

Very slightly adapted from Cooking Lights, “Red Lentil Dal with Carrot Saladn and Coriander Flatbreads” (September 2012)

This was a bit of a tapas dinner, which I always enjoy. I served vegetables with hummus, lentils, flatbread and a salad. This orginial recipe calls for serving the lentil dal over rice, but I thought it was too much starch and needed something bright adn cold. The lentils were great though and very filling!

Ingredients
3 cups water
3/4
cup small red split lentils (I got mine from Trader Joes)
1 T. olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 T. grated fresh ginger
1 T. garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. garam masala
1/2 t. curry powder
2 serrano chiles, minced
4 cups fresh spinach, chopped

Directions
In a large bowl, combine water and lentils. Let it sit for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat garlic, onion and ginger in oil. Add chiles and spices. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add lentils and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and summer for 23 minutes. Stir in the spinach. Cook until wilted. Serve warm with flatbread or over rice.

The flatbread was easy, just buy store-bought pizza dough. Grill it for about 2-3 minutes on each side. Be sure to coat it in Cooking Spray to prevent sticking. The recipe called to sprinkle it with coriander and salt. I thought it was a good addition:)