Category Archives: Side Dishes

Roasted Beet Salad with Feta – Recipe of the Day

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Roasted Beet Salad

Try this Roasted Beet Salad soon! Next time you roast beets for dinner, roast a few extra, so you can enjoy this delicious salad. Canned whole beets will also work, but freshly roasted beets are always better. To roast the beets – cover them in foil and put them in a 400º F. oven for about one hour. Chop the ends of the beets and peel them while they are still warm.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 medium roasted beets, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons high-quality olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped lemon thyme
  • Field greens or lettuce mix (optional)
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta (goat’s cheese)
  • ¼ cup pine nuts or chopped walnuts, pecans, etc.
  • Salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine the beets, oil, lemon juice and lemon thyme in a mixing bowl.
  2. Prepare four servings bowls with a bed of mixed greens (if you are using them – can be served with or without the greens).
  3. Top with the beet mixture.
  4. Sprinkle with feta and pine nuts.
  5. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

Note: If you don’t have lemon thyme, use fresh basil, oregano or regular thyme. Dry herbs will also work, but use them sparingly. 



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Oven Roasted Asparagus – Recipe of the Day

[typography font=”Myriad Pro” size=”24″ size_format=”px” color=”#ba0615″]The Perfect Side Dish[/typography]

Oven Roasted Asparagus
Image by Mr T in DC

Oven roasted asparagus is one of the best ways to bring out the natural flavors of this wonderful vegetable. This quick and easy recipe makes a great weeknight side dish that pairs well with beef, chicken, pork or seafood. It also works very well in a number of white sauce pasta dishes.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound fresh asparagus, rinsed thoroughly and tough ends removed
  • 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh lemon zest (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over asparagus and toss to coat well.
  3. Arrange on a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil in a single layer.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste.
  5. Roast for 25 minutes or until crisp tender.
  6. Garnish with a little fresh lemon zest, if desired.

Note:  Can also be roasted on the outdoor grill if you desire.



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Best Baked Beans – Recipe of the Day

Baked Beans
Image by jeffreyw

Baked Beans is a hearty winter dish that will warm everyone nicely after coming in from the cold weather. The beans are delicious as a side dish with ribs as shown in the photo. Or – serve with fried eggs or as a stand-alone main dish with hot buttered corn bread and a crisp green salad.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 pound center-cut thick bacon, cut into 1″ pieces
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard
  • 1 can (15 oz) dark kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can (15 oz) butter beans, drained
  • 1 can (30 oz) pork and beans, undrained

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Sauté onion in olive oil over medium high heat until it starts to soften.
  3. Add 1 pound center-cut bacon and cook until crispy.
  4. Remove bacon and onions from pan with a slotted spoon and place on folded paper towels.
  5. Blot with extra paper towels to remove as excess fat.
  6. Combine ketchup, sugar, brown sugar, white vinegar and mustard in a large oven-proof dish.
  7. Add drained kidney and butter beans along with un-drained pork and beans.
  8. Add bacon and onions to bean mixture. Stir well to combine.
  9. Bake uncovered for ~45 minutes – until hot and bubbly.

NOTE: If prepared in advance and refrigerated before cooking, the baking time will be extended.



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Perfect Turkey Dressing

Turkey Dressing and Gravy
Image by jeffreyw 

This is truly the perfect turkey dressing. It has a small number of ingredients, but is richly flavored with onions, nuts, and butter (which good stuffing always requires). Plus and this is one of the highlights, it is easy to put together – minimal chopping. I don’t know about you, but rich turkey dressing with lots of gravy is one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving Dinner. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cubes butter (not margarine)
  • 1 cup onion, very finely diced
  • ½ cup nuts (my preference is pine nuts, but you can use pecans or walnuts, which must be chopped)
  • 6 to 8 cups bread crumbs (my preference is cornbread crumbs, but regular bread crumbs will also work  –  or you can make your own fresh bread crumbs)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, very finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste
  • ½ cup green onions, minced
  • ½ cup fresh parsley (no stems), very finely chopped

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place butter in a large, heavy skillet (cast iron is good) – over medium heat.
  2. When the butter is melted add the onion and sauté, stirring constantly until softened (~5 minutes).
  3. Add nuts and continue cooking, stirring constantly until nuts are lightly browned (~3 minutes)
  4. Add the bread crumbs and herbs – toss to mix and reduce the heat to low.
  5. Add salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste.
  6. Stir in the chopped green onions.
  7. Toss again to be sure all ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
  8. Taste again and adjust seasonings – then, stir in the parsley.
  9. Remove from the heat.

Note: You can prepare the stuffing in advance to this point and refrigerate (well-covered) for up to one day before stuffing the turkey.

     10. When ready, stuff the turkey in your usual manner; or, if you prefer, bake in a glass casserole dish during the last 45 minutes of roasting the turkey.



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Quinoa and Butternut Squash Soup – Busy Mom’s Series

[typography font=”Myriad Pro” size=”24″ size_format=”px” color=”#b01025″]Quinoa and Butternut Squash Soup[/typography]

Quinoa and Butternut Squash Soup
Image by Lynn Gardner

Quinoa and Butternut Squash Soup is a delicious, healthy soup bursting with unusual flavors. It is a must try for the harvest season.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped onions, (yellow or white)
  • 2 cups peeled, seeded, butternut squash (in bite-sized cubes)
  • 1 cup fresh yellow corn (blanched and cut from cob)
  • ½ cup red or green pepper, very finely diced
  • ¼ cup Smucker’s® Natural Creamy Peanut Butter, well-stirred
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cans (14 oz.) vegetable broth
  • ½ cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely minced
  • Cayenne pepper to taste, if desired

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place the oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat.
  2. When the oil is hot, add onions, saute until soft and yellow in color.
  3. Stir in squash, corn and red pepper and cook 5 minutes more.
  4. Place peanut butter, water, cumin, and salt in blender and blend until thoroughly mixed.
  5. Stir mixture into the vegetables in saucepan.
  6. Stir in vegetable broth and quinoa and bring to boil.
  7. Reduce to simmer – cover cook 10 to 15 minutes or until quinoa is tender.
  8. Remove from heat, stir in cilantro, cover, and allow to thicken for 10 minutes.
  9. Season to taste with cayenne pepper, if desired, and additional salt if necessary.

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