Archive for the ‘side dish’ Category

I like my veggies.

My mom is probably squirming with joy at that statement. She used to make my sister and I eat cooked carrots and I hated them…with a capital H. Nevertheless, as I got older I began to appreciate the taste of vegetables, many kinds, the various ways to cook them and their nutritional value!

One of my favorite veggies is cauliflower and one of my favorite condiments is mustard. Yellow, grain, honey, spicy, pretty much all kinds! Well, there is some German in my lineage so I’m positive that’s where my love of mustard originates. Is there a condiment or smear you like?

I was online and inspired by this recipe. (A) Because it’s simple and (B) It’s packed with flavor and good things for your body. Cauliflower contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits! I decided to add Herbs de Provence to the line-up because I love those aromatic flavors. Eat up friends!

Spicy Mustard Roasted Cauliflower
Inspired by this recipe

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3 Tbls spicy mustard
11/2 Tbls extra-virgin olive oil
1 pinch of sea salt
1 pinch of ground pepper
1 Tbls Herbs de Provence
2 head(s) (about 2 pounds) cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a bowl, whisk the mustard, oil, Herbs de Provence and season with salt and pepper. Toss in the cauliflower; spread on a baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes. Enjoy!


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Ok. You may be thinking…”Soup? I thought this was a baking blog?”

Well, it is! However, I used the oven to prep for the soup so I figured it deserved a post. Why not! Plus, I think you’ll like it. If you’re vegan, you’ll definitely like it! Just omit the sprinkle of parmesan at the end.

If you’re not vegan, you’ll certainly reap the benefits. Flavorful and good for you! Brussel sprouts contain cholesterol-lowering and anti-inflammatory benefits. Additionally, beans are naturally low in fat and contain a nice dose of fiber, protein and iron among other fab health benefits!

I was inspired by this recipe, but wanted to give it deeper flavor so I oven roasted the brussel sprouts and added 1 teaspoon of cumin. I LOVE cumin!

Oven Roasted Brussel Sprout Soup with White Beans

Inspired from this recipe

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– 1 lb Brussel sprouts

– 1 12 ounce can white beans

– 1 small white onion, chopped

– 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth

– 1 tsp ground cumin

– 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

– sea salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Toss Brussel sprouts in 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast in oven for about 30 to 35 mins. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Cut the oven-roasted sprouts in half or quarters.

In a large pot or dutch oven, brown onions in 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Add the Brussel sprouts to the onions, add beans, cumin and vegetable broth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cook until all the vegetables are cooked. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup inside the large pot. I like my soup a bit chunky with some beans and Brussel sprouts so I didn’t puree the entire soup. Use the immersion blender based on your preference.

Enjoy with a generous sprinkling of aged parmesan cheese!

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The smell of roasting vegetables lifts my heels off the floor. I immediately have warm thoughts, warm feelings and my anticipation for dinner rapidly increases. I love to roast all root vegetables with olive oil, salt and pepper…so simple and so good.

Brussel sprouts, although not a root vegetable, is also one of my favorite veggies to roast. The taste of oven roasted Brussel sprouts is heavenly. If it was 100 degrees out, I would probably still roast ’em!

It’s a win-win with these oven roasted Brussel sprouts. They taste amazing and the rosemary is the perfect compliment to the oven roasted flavor. Moreover, Brussel sprouts are packed with vitamin C, E and A. All of which offer antioxidant support. The vitamin K in Brussel sprouts offer anti-inflammatory benefits. More about the nutritional perks!

Oven Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Rosemary
Serves Two

Print Recipe

– 2 cups Brussel sprouts, halved
– 1 Tbls fresh rosemary, chopped
– 1 Tbls extra virgin olive oil
– sea salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with non-stick cooking spray.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Lay Brussel sprouts on baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove from oven and enjoy!!

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I peered into my fridge the other day and realized I had smorgasbord of ingredients on inventory.

Brown rice

Courtesy of Tim Gunn…”Make it work.” It was one of those days; I didn’t want to get out of my slippers and go to the market. Well, Mr. Gunn, I made it work and the end product was a filling and nutritious lunch for three days.

I found a simple recipe and swapped out quinoa for brown rice and added a bit of cumin instead of paprika. I love the smokiness cumin adds to dishes.

As I just mentioned above, this is good for you and it tastes good. The brown rice is rich in fiber, the carrots are packed with natural sweetness and beta carotene and zucchini provides a healthy dose of Vitamin C. Winning combos in my book. Plus…I wouldn’t put anything on this blog if it didn’t taste good. 🙂

Nutritional perks –

    Brown rice

Brown Rice with Carrot & Zucchini
Inspired by this recipe

Print Recipe

– 2 cups uncooked brown rice
– 2 Tbls extra virgin olive oil. Original recipe suggests 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil.
– 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
– 1 large zucchini or 2 medium zucchini, chopped
– 2 tsp ground cinnamon
– 2 tsp cumin
– sea salt and ground pepper to taste

Cook brown rice according to package.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add carrots; sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add zucchini; sauté until tender, about 3 minutes. Mix in cumin and cinnamon. Add brown rice to skillet; toss to blend. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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It’s been over one week since I shared a recipe with you all. This is quite uncharacteristic of me. Well, these days work is keeping me busy…so busy that the last thing I want to do when I get home is hop on the computer to blog, check email or do anything but watch a good show on TV. Have you ever had these weeks or months? I am sure you can relate.

When I’m stretched-thin or overwhelmed, I turn to soups. Soups calm me, warm me and clear my mind. Some of my favorite soups are creamy tomato, a hearty minestrone, split pea and the iconic chicken noodle soup. Nevertheless, a soup I’ve always wanted to attempt in making is hot and sour soup. Especially for the hot factor. I love spicy!

A long story, short. I loved the hot and sour soup I made. In fact, I didn’t deviate too far from the original recipe. I simply added bean sprouts and sliced raw mushrooms rather than dried. I would be lying if I didn’t mention I made it a bit spicier than advised. This soup is good.

Some nutritional perks –


Hot & Sour Soup
Inspired from this recipe

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– 2 cups sliced white mushrooms
– 2 cups bean sprouts
– 1 (32oz) carton of low sodium vegetable broth
– 21/4 cups water, divided
– 1 Tbls grated fresh ginger
– 1 tsp minced garlic
– 1/4 cup rice vinegar
– 1 Tbls low sodium soy sauce
– 1 tsp black pepper
– 1/2 lb extrafirm tofu, drained and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
– 21/2 Tbls corn starch
– 4 large egg whites, lightly beaten
– 1/2 cup chopped green onion
– 1 tsp dark sesame oil
– 2 tsp sriracha sauce (optional)

In a medium to large saucepan, combine broth, 2 cups water, ginger, and garlic over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Add mushrooms. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Add rice vinegar, soy sauce, pepper, and tofu; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup water and cornstarch, stirring with a whisk.

Stir cornstarch mixture into broth mixture; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 3 minutes or until soup thickens slightly, stirring frequently. Slowly pour egg whites into broth mixture in a steady stream, stirring constantly but gently with a wooden spoon. “Ribbons” of egg white will appear. Remove from heat; stir in onions and sesame oil. Add sriracha sauce for heat. A perfect soup!

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Guess what…

I was a Brussels sprouts virgin until I was in my early twenties. Is that strange? Is that too much information? I figured since we’re all friends here, it was safe to openly admit my “first-time.” Well, my first-time was lovely. I really enjoy eating those round, green sprouts! In fact, I could maybe eat them everyday…grilled, sauteed, steamed, roasted or sliced for a salad!

Another reason I could eat brussels sprouts everyday is because the plant nutrients in Brussels sprouts help our body protect itself against cancer, in particular colon, bladder and liver cancer. How great is that? More information about the nutritional perks of Brussels sprouts.

It was warm this past weekend, so I decided to make a salad of Brussels sprouts, feta and a grilled peach! Heaven!

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Feta and a Grilled Peach

Print Recipe

– 6 to 8 Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced with a mandolin or knife
– 1 white or yellow peach, halved.
– 1 Tbls crumbled feta cheese
– 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
– 1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
– sea salt and pepper to taste

Spray a grill-pan with non-stick cooking spray and place over medium heat. Place each peach halve on the grill pan and grill until peach becomes softened. This should take about 5 to 6 minutes. Keep an eye on the peach to make sure it doesn’t burn.

In a medium bowl, toss the shaved Brussels sprouts with the olive oil, lemon juice and sea salt and pepper to taste.

Remove peach from the grill pan and slice. Add to the Brussels sprouts and sprinkle the salad with feta.

Enjoy it’s crispy, leafy and sweet flavors!

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Cabbage and noodles. Noodles and cabbage. Krautfleckerl.

Krautfleckerl can be found in almost every Austrian household. I stumbled on this recipe and it immediately reminded me of Vienna. While there, a few years ago, I enjoyed (over and over) warm comforting dishes containing egg noodles, vegetables and some variety of protein…usually beef.

This dish is tasty. It’s simple to make. It’s good for you.

I consider finding this recipe the gateway to cooking with cabbage…the gateway for me and maybe for you…who knows! Most recently, I wanted to take a stab at cabbage. Not literally…can you imagine?! Me going ballistic on a head of cabbage?! The truth is, I haven’t cooked with cabbage…ever. I like cabbage; in fact, I like it alot. However, buying cabbage at the market never dawned on me until a few days ago.

The original recipe is loaded with butter, which makes it not incredibly nutritious. So, I modified the original recipe by omitting six tablespoons, yes, SIX tablespoons of butter and incorporating 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil instead. I also added paprika for extra flavor.

Nutritional perks –

    Cabbage – A good source of calcium, iron and magnesium. A great source of dietary fiber, Vitamin C, K and B6. Cabbage also contains cancer-preventative phytonutrients.

Adapted and inspired from this recipe

Print Recipe

– 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
– 1/2 head of cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
– 2 Tbls extra virgin olive oil
– 1/2 tsp paprika
– 1 cup uncooked egg noodles
– sea salt and pepper to taste

Cook egg noodles until al-dente. Drain and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and onion. Cook the onion, stirring frequently, until lightly browned. Add the sliced cabbage and stir frequently so that it’s incorporated with the cooked onion. Season with the paprika. Add sea salt and pepper to taste. Continue cooking until the cabbage begins to brown.

Add the cooked noodles to the onion and cabbage and continue stirring and cooking for about five minutes. Enjoy! Enjoy with Austrian beer if you gottem’.

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