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It was time for a break from the soups and stews, for something a little lighter. Husband found this delicous recipe and it was very much enjoyed.

sesame chicken with toasted quinoa

Sesame Chicken Toasted Quinoa
adapted from how sweet eats

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
6 green onions, sliced
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Dressing
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce

Heat a saute pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Add chicken and cook through, about 5-10 mins per side. Remove and let cool. Shred or chop into small bites, set aside. Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add 1/2 tablespoon of sesame and olive oil. Add in garlic and quinoa and stir to coat, then toast for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in chicken stock and increase heat to high, bringing the quinoa to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover, cooking for 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed and quinoa can be fluffed with a fork. Whisk together dressing ingredients and set aside. Add in chicken, green onions and dressing, tossing well to coat. Add in sesame seeds and toss once more. Serve!

OMG! These are SO GOOD. One of my recent favorites and surprisingly easy for meatballs. Definitely going into the weeknight rotation. And there’s something about cooking with tumeric; I love the bright beautiful color it makes everything. For the yogurt sauce, we doubled the recipe below so that we had a little extra to mix into the rice. And it was still amazing the next day for leftovers.

tandoori chicken inspired meatballs_raudette

Tandoori Meatballs
via healthy delicious

For the meatballs:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground chicken breast
1/4 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
1 egg
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the yogurt sauce:
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
lemon wedges (from remaining 1/2), for serving

Heat oven to 350F. Spread the oil onto the center of a rimmed baking sheet.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the chicken, bread crumbs, egg, cilantro, lemon juice, and spices. Mix gently to combine. Form into 12 balls (a medium cookie scoop is perfect for this). Arrange the meatballs on the baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes. Turn the meatballs over and bake another 10 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine the yogurt and remaining spices. Coat the cooked meatballs in yogurt sauce and return to the baking sheet. Bake an additional 10 minutes.
Serve with lemon wedges. We also served over basmati rice and peas.

Green Goddess. I never really tasted something that captured that for me until this dish. Lemony green goodness. I’m so looking forward to leftovers tomorrow. I imagine this is just as delicious cold as warm! I’ll be adding it to the list of possible pasta salads, coming to a summer BBQ near you!
{update: this is AWESOME cold and I will definitely be using it as a sauce on at least 10 summer pasta salads this year. Yum!}

broccoli feta pasta_raudette

Broccoli & Feta Pasta
via the kitchn

1 pound broccoli, trimmed and cut into large chunks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup chopped Italian parsley
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup feta cheese, divided
1 pound pasta

Cut the broccoli into small florets and steam on the stove or in the microwave with 2 tablespoons of water. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Set aside. Start your pasta water and cook to al dente (I cooked mine in the broccoli water).
While the pasta is cooking, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large sauté pan. Cook the onion and garlic until it just begins to soften then add the broccoli. Cook for several minutes or until the onion turns translucent. Add the parsley and cook until it’s well wilted. Pour in the lemon juice and simmer for about two minutes. Transfer to a blender and add 1/4 cup of the feta cheese and the 1/4 cup water. Puree until smooth, adding a drizzle of olive oil and a little more water if it sticks and turns to a lump. Puree until as smooth or chunky as you prefer. Taste and add any necessary additional salt and pepper. Serve over your pasta of choice with additional feta to taste.

After a long week, I love to sit down with the husband and enjoy a pint of chocolate or coffee ice cream. And yes, I usually eat the whole pint in one sitting. Well, I stumbled across this little recipe recently and fell in love. It’s incredibly delicious on it’s own, and amazing with just a few mix-ins! I went for Nutella this time, just a spoonful added to my bowl, but any nut butter would be great, along with cocoa, sprinkles, fresh berries, honey, almonds… the options are endless! I have the feeling this will become a weekly ritual.

banana ice cream

And after two small bowls each (it’s so good and there’s no guilt!), we had just enough to fill up a little mason jar and toss it in the freezer for tomorrow night. It just needs a few moments to soften on the counter and voila!

banana ice cream

1 Ingredient Ice Cream
via the kitchn

4-6 ripe bananas

Start with ripe bananas: They should be sweet and soft. Peel the bananas and cut them into half inch slices. Put the bananas in an airtight container and freeze for at least 2 hours, but ideally overnight.
Blend the frozen banana pieces in a food processor. The banana will look crumbly at first; scrape down the food processor and keep blending. As the last bits of banana smooth out, you’ll see the mixture shift from blended banana to creamy, soft-serve ice cream texture. Blend for a few more seconds to aerate the ice cream. (If adding any mix-ins, like peanut butter or chocolate chips, this is the moment to do it). Transfer to an airtight container and freeze until solid: You can eat the ice cream immediately, it will be more like the texture of frozen yogurt. We ate most this way because we couldn’t wait!

Nutella, so far, is my favorite mix-in. What would yours be?

My husband is a HUGE pickle fan and has been on a roll with pickling lately. He started just last month and we’ve already eaten our way through jar after jar of deliciousness. But he really topped himself this week with these amazing sesame ginger pickles. They are super fresh and crunchy and packed with flavor! We served them as an appetizer to our favorite Paleo Chicken Pad Thai. We almost ate an entire jar each (and some the next night too!). This is a super simple recipe, great for beginning picklers.

sesame ginger pickles 01

Sesame Ginger Pickles
via The Joy of Pickling

1 lb Asian or pickling cucumbers (about 3/4 inches in diameter)
1 teaspoon pickling salt
1 scallion, cut into 1 inch lengths then slivered
1-inch piece fresh ginger slivered
1 to 2 fresh jalapeños, seeded and slivered
3 tbs rice vinegar
5 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs sesame oil

Halve the cucmbers lengthwise and then cut them into 1-inch long pieces. In a bowl, toss the cut cucumbers with the salt. Let them stand at room temperature one hour. Drain the cucumbers and return them to the bowl. Mix them with the scallion, ginger and jalapeños. In another bowl, stir together the vinegar, soy sauce, and oil, and pour the mixture over the cucumbers. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap (he transferred them to mason jars here). Let the pickles stand at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours, or in the fridge for 24 hours, turning the cucumbers occasionally. The pickles will keep in the fridge for about a week (day 3 today, and they’re still delicious and crunchy!)

sesame ginger pickles 03

(ps) this is how much my husband loves pickles…. meet Mr. Pickle:

mr pickle

This was a lovely brunch this weekend! Packed with veggies and super hearty, SO MUCH better than my usual boring scramble. A little messy the first go around, but once I figured out to set the top before flipping, it turned out magnificient.

spanish tortilla

Spanish Tortilla with Roasted Red Peppers and Asparagus
adapted from whole foods

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 3/4 pound red or yukon gold potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, to taste
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 cup asparagus, chopped into 1/2 in pieces
1 cup thinly sliced roasted red peppers, drained well
8 eggs, lightly beaten

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook about 2 minutes. Add potatoes, salt and pepper, stir well, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are just about tender, about 15 minutes. Add the asparagus and cook 3-5 minutes more, until it’s just al dente. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool about 10 minutes. Stir peppers and eggs into potato mixture, once it’s cooled. Wipe the skillet clean.
Heat another 1 1/2 teaspoons of the oil over medium heat. Transfer potato mixture to the skillet and cook, running a spatula around the edges and gently shaking occasionally to prevent sticking, until eggs are set and bottom is golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Place a lid or large plate over the top for the last 4-5 minutes of cooking to set the top. Carefully invert onto a large plate. Heat remaining oil in the skillet and slide tortilla back in, cooked side up. Cook about 5 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer tortilla back to the plate and let cool at least 10 minutes. Slice into wedges and serve.

 

So, so delicious and so easy! This was the perfect side to a bit of chicken this week. I had a few radishes in the fridge leftover from the weekend that I rolled in olive oil & salt and tossed on the pan too. I almost didn’t touch the chicken, this veggie mix was awesome. And the vinegary parsley oil paired with each so perfectly. I love an easy veggie side that’s really just a few minutes in the oven – minimal prep is my fave.

roasted acorn squash with carmelized shallots

Roasted Acorn Squash & Caramelized Shallots with Parsley Oil
via with food and love

2 large acorn squash
6 – 8 large shallots
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt & more for finishing
pinch ground pepper

Preheat the over to 400 degrees and line a baking tray with parchment paper (or foil). Half the squash & scoop out the seeds, then quarter the squash so you have 8 pieces. Trim the ends of the shallots and peel the thinnest outer layer off. Arrange the squash (with one of the cut edges down) and shallots together on the baking tray, rub them gently with a little olive oil and pinch of sea salt. Roast for 15 minutes, the edges that are down should be golden brown. Flip the squash to the other cut edge and flip the shallots, roast for another 15-20 minutes. The shallots should be beautifully caramelized and the squash should have brown edges and soft centers, if they need a little more cooking, lower the heat to 350 and continue cooking until satisfied. As the squash and shallots are cooking you can prepare your parsley glaze. In a small mixing bowl combine the chopped parsley, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, sea salt and pepper. When the squash is done cooking immediately rub the mixture all over each piece and serve warm!

For the game yesterday (go hawks!!!), I finally made this killer corn dip that’s been sitting on my to-do list since the summer. And it turned out awesome! I can’t even put into words what a perfect mix of flavors and textures this is – and so easy! Definitely my new go-to for parties and football sundays. Particularly in the summer, when the corn will be even sweeter. Yum!

corn and cotija cheese dip

Corn & Cotija Cheese Dip
via minimalist baker

2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
3 cups fresh corn, cut off the cob (about 3-4 ears)
1 shallot, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup sour cream (or you could use plain Greek yogurt)
4 ounces cream cheese
1 cup grated cotija cheese + more for topping
1/4 tsp each sea salt and ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Heat a cast iron or oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add 1 Tbsp olive oil and shallot. Stir constantly to prevent burning, cook for 3 minutes, until the shallot begins to turn translucent, add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add corn, 1/4 tsp each sea salt and pepper and stir. Cook for 5 minutes until shallots appear softened and the corn is slightly darker in color. Then remove from heat.
In a large bowl mix together sour cream, cream cheese, cotija. Add corn mixture to the bowl and stir until well combined.
Use the additional tbsp of olive oil to lightly grease the skillet, so the dip doesn’t stick. Spoon dip back into the skillet (I grated a little additional cotija on top here, about 1/4 cup) and bake 10-15 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Sprinkle the green onions on top and serve immediately.
We served it with tortilla chips, but veggies, crackers or bread slices would be great too!

I’d been craving brussels sprouts, but I needed a break from bacon. Crazy right? I know. But I really needed to try something new when it came to these little balls of green deliciousness. Mustard and sauteed onions for just the right amount of tang? Yes, please! The original recipe called for tossing in a handful of pecans at the end too, if that’s your thing.

brussels sprouts with warm mustard dressing

Grilled Brussels Sprouts with Warm Mustard Dressing
via pbs

1 lb brussels sprouts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium red onion
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Remove the tough outer leaves of the Brussels sprouts and then trim and cut the the sprouts in half (top to bottom so that the core holds the leaves together). Add the Brussels sprouts to a bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil to coat evenly. Add the salt and pepper and toss to combine. Grill the brussels sprouts cut-side down on a medium hot grill until the sprout is lightly charred and cooked through about 4-7 minutes. If you are using a broiler, broil them cut side up.
While the sprouts are grilling, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a saute pan and fry the onions until tender. Add the mustard and honey and continue frying until the honey starts to caramelize. Add the vinegar, stir to combine, and then pour the hot dressing over the grilled Brussels sprouts. Serve warm.

This meal is SO quick, especially with a little prep the night before. We cooked the rice the evening prior, and mixed it up while the chicken was cooking and voila! A 15 min dinner. We did only marinate the chicken for the minimum 10 minutes, and it was absolutely delicious, but next time I’m going to try marinating it overnight to see if we get a little more kick of out of the jalapeños (and we will definitely be making this again soon!).

honey jalapeno chicken avocado cilantro lime rice
Honey Jalapeño Chicken
via bookpage

¼ cup honey
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 jalapeño peppers, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons kosher salt
¾ teaspoon black pepper
3 pounds chicken tenders
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Sour cream for serving

Preheat the grill and oil the grill rack.Whisk together the honey, soy sauce, oil, garlic, jalapeños, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Toss the chicken in the marinade and let stand for at least 10 minutes. Grill the chicken until well browned and cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes. Serve the chicken sprinkled with the cilantro and with a dollop of sour cream on the plate.

Avocado Cilantro Lime Rice
via cooking classy

4 – 5 cups cooked brown (preferably day old)
2 medium, ripe avocados
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 small clove garlic, minced (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Mash avocados in a large mixing bowl. Stir in lime juice, cilantro, cumin and garlic, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in warm cooked rice and serve warm.