Category Archives: sides

Dallas’s Grilled Balsamic Eggplant

Dallas's Grilled Balsamic Eggplant - Just the TipThis recipe hails from my mom, Dallas. This recipe makes for a great, easy summer side dish and it is my absolute favorite way of cooking eggplant. Enjoy!

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Mediterranean Rice Salad

Mediterranean Rice Salad - Just the TipThis is a great summer dish to feed a crowd. Bring it to your next BBQ or potluck – people will love it!

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Sweet and Spicy Island Pork with Coconut Rice

Island Pork and Coconutty Rice - Just the TipThis pork is goooooood. I wasn’t sure what I thought when I first saw the recipe, as it called for a ton of brown sugar and I’m don’t have a big sweet tooth. I do, however, have a salt tooth, so I just decided to reduce the amount of sugar called for and it was perfect. But, truthfully, I was drawn to this recipe because of the coconut rice. I mean, rice (I used basmati), cooked in coconut milk? Awesome. Life changing. If Brian didn’t think he hated coconut (he loved this rice so clearly he doesn’t), I would have garnished with some toasted, flaked coconut on top too. This whole meal was super easy and came together within 30 minutes. Weeknight score.

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Spinach and Artichoke Quinoa

Spinach and Artichoke Quinoa - Just the TipI’ve really been enjoying quinoa lately – sometimes as a salad for lunch, sometimes as a side. This side-dish recipe was was quick, healthy, and yummy.

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Mashed Unpotatoes / Cheesy Cauliflower Puree

IMG_4395Soooo, I’ve been taking a little break from the blog, if you haven’t noticed. And I’m sure you’re thrilled that in my reappearance I give you cauliflower. It’s not the most popular vegetable, I know, but I’ve been making this a ton and it’s awesome! Considering cauliflower is among Brian’s top 3 hated foods (along with mushrooms and olives – he doesn’t know what he’s missing!), that’s saying a lot. I’ve tried my hand at faux mashed potatoes before, and those are good, but there’s just something about the consistency which screams I’M NOT A POTATO. This recipe, however, only whispers “I’m not a potato, but I’m the next closest thing if not better!” For real. It’s amazing what a little cheese does to making the cauliflower thick and creamy. Make this, I promise you won’t be disappointed!

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Roasted Romaine: Caesar Style

IMG_4353I’m not sure where this craving came from, but I really wanted some sort of warm salad. Hot lettuce may sound like an odd choice, but I tell you, it was delicious. It may be my go-to salad from now on.

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Easy Fiesta Beans

This is the perfect bean side dish to go along with mexican food. Easy and delicious. Definitely going in the favorite file.

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Three Bean Salad

This recipe jumped off the page of my latest Cooking Light mag and I will be making it a lot. We’ve been buying big bags of trimmed haricot verts from Costco and I always have these other ingredients on-hand. Side dish no-brainer.

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Potato Salad with Chilies, Celery, and Capers

I wanted to make a potato salad but something about the idea of heavy, goopy mayo was not appealing to me with this heat. I remembered a Rachael Ray recipe I once saw where she used capers and celery in an olive oil and vinegar dressing – yum. I spiced it up with a few thai chilies, which I have a zillion of right now and will be putting in everything. These are not for the faint of heart – start with 2 and work your way up. Continue reading

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Lia’s Pasta Salad with Salami, Pecorino, and Broccoli Rabe

*Content and photos updated July 2012*

This was first inspired by a salad made for a BBQ by a new addition at my  team at my former place of work. Follow that? No need, really. All you need to know that this salad is yummy, travels well, and I’ve made it a half a dozen times for cook-outs and the like. Both the simple and bold flavors make it a perfect summer party salad.
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Orange-Chipotle Black Beans

I love to serve beans alongside mexican (ish) fare, and this was a great find. This recipe comes from weight watchers and is yummy and easy! I did make a few changes to boost the flavor a bit.

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Massaged Lacinato Kale Salad

I am OBSESSED with this salad. Obsessed. To be fair, I love kale, but I’m convinced someone not familiar with kale would love this too. This is the first time I’ve ever tried kale raw, and now I would like to eat a gallon of this salad every day. Dressed simply with a lemon and garlic dressing, this salad is a perfect side dish for summer as it requires virtually zero cooking.
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Stewed Black Beans

I love beans. Breakfast, lunch or dinner – I would like a side of beans, please. One of my favorite simple breakfasts, in fact, is a dish of over-easy eggs with some black beans and spicy green salsa on the side. Yum. But that’s neither here nor there (even though these stewed beans are great with eggs the next day…as I had this morning). These quick stewed black beans are a perfect side dish to anything even remotely tex-mex flavored. I will be making these often.

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Garlic Cheddar Biscuits

What’s a soup without a dipper?! You’ve got to have a dipper, as far as I’m concerned, and these easy biscuits were fab. Based on a “copycat” recipe of the famous Red Lobster biscuit, these definitely hit the mark. Yum.

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Roasted Brussels and Sweet Potatoes

I asked Brian what he would like to say about this veggie side dish and he said “oh, that it was a great combination. Firm and soft…sweet and salty…” Dirty old man. And even though his description doesn’t really make sense, it really was a good combination. Yum!
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Spanish “Rice”

I’m trying to avoid carbohydrates for a while, and have been curious about some of the faux-cauliflower recipes out there. This faux-rice is kind of awesome! I mean, if someone fed you this blindfolded, you wouldn’t necessarily know it was rice, but it sure looks like it! And you can flavor it however you like. To go with my stuffed peppers tonight I wanted a mexican/spanish flavor, so I went with some onions, peppers, salsa, tomatoes, and taco seasoning. I will definitely be using this method again…probably this weekend to go along with beef and broccoli for the kids! Let’s see if the kids will buy it…that will be the true test. 🙂
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Kale and Potato Salad in a Creamy Mustard Vinaigrette

This salad is DELICIOUS. I love how I feel after I eat a ton of dark leafy greens — like you just did something good for yourself. It doesn’t hurt when they’re tossed in a flavorful, creamy vinaigrette using greek yogurt, maple syrup, red wine vinegar, and grainy mustard, either. Oh, and toss it all with some teeny tiny potatoes and bacon. Eat your greens!

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Pan-Roasted Chicken Leg and Gnocchi with Brussels Sprouts

So over Christmas I got some heat from a few family members about slacking off on my blog. I was a little taken aback…I mean, I feel like I cook almost every damned day, but I guess it’s true — I’m definitely not posting as frequently. I think this is partly because I really actually like my favorite recipes and tend to make them over and over again, but also because if I’m trying to eat healthy, who wants to see/read about a boring dinner salad? Or, conversely, when I talk about eating healthy then cave in and make an ohmygodsogood mac & cheese, do I always post that? Nopers. These reasons, along with my growing photo snobbery, perhaps are why I’m not posting as frequently. Quality, not quantity, maybe? Anyway, I’m gonna try to keep it real.

For instance, this recipe. Roasted chicken with some simply roasted brussels and some fried gnocchi. The brussels — a super basic Ina Garten recipe in my head. The gnocchi — something I saw on Nigella’s show a long while back that suddenly popped in my head tonight. Probably not something I would normally have posted. Not that it wasn’t really delicious (which it was!), but it just seems like such a simple meal. I didn’t really follow a recipe for any of the dishes (but can vaguely remember the origins), it was a bit of on-a-whim meal. That said, my cousin’s voice still lingered in my head and I decided this was the kind of dish that I used to post at the start of this blog — in fact, these were the types of dishes that I started this blog for. To document, file away for future reference as something I would certainly like to make again. Well, consider it posted and filed. 🙂
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Lemon Rosemary Chicken with Cheddar Grits and Roasted Asparagus

Usually I’m pretty modest (if not critical) when eating my own food, but tonight, I can honestly say that this dinner was something you could easily find in a restaurant — and it’s so basic. I had some chicken breasts staring at me from the fridge (what a conundrum) so I pulled out my trusty 3-ring binder of recipes and looked for something to cook under the “chicken” tab. This binder contains both tried and true recipes, and also new recipes that I want to get to eventually.  I wanted something comforting enough to block out the “order pizza” chant that was in my head since about 3pm today. But, since we’re trying to watch what we eat, I wanted whatever we made for dinner to be fairly healthy and also pretty straightforward. While starches are a bit of a no-no for us right now, these fluffy, creamy, cheesy grits sure are a lot better than a large pizza. This is harm-reduction at its best. Like how I justified that?

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Roasted Fall Vegetables

I am a big fan of roasted vegetables in general, and this is just a perfect combination to accompany pretty much any meal. We had this alongside roasted chicken a couple of nights ago, as a “hash” for breakfast today with some poached eggs, and am about to transform the rest of the leftovers into a yummy fall pizza. Versatile and super simple.

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