Posts Tagged ‘side dish’

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

Print Recipe

– 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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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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It’s “Battle Corn” for the good ‘ol monthly Beet ‘n Squash YOU, which is hosted by the ladies of She Simmers and Gourmet Fury.

Originally, I was going to make a cornbread muffin with half the batter mixed with blueberry preserves. Aethetically, the muffins looked stellar but it’s too bad the batch tasted grainy and I burned the bottoms. Woppps! Muffin fail.

Time for Plan B! How about the the taste of roasted corn with the sweet and tart blueberry bursting from within? Oh yes! This is good and incredibly simple to make as a side side. These oven-roasted corn and blueberry pots taste sweet, tart and juicy and are packed with good things! Good things for your body!

Nutritional perks –

    Corn – Carries a great deal of folate, which contributes to heart health. It also contains thiamin, which helps with memory. Corn also supports lung health.
    Blueberries – Packed with antioxidants that destroy free radicals. Protects the brain from the development of Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia. Blueberries also help prevent colon and ovarian cancer. That’s awesome!

Oven-Roasted Corn & Blueberry Pots

Print Recipe

– 2 ears of corn, husked
– 1 cup fresh blueberries
– 1 Tbls dark brown sugar
– 1 Tbls chilled unsalted butter, cubed into small pieces
– pinch of sea salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Use a medium to large bowl for this step. Using a sharp knife, cut off the corn kernels into the bowl, using a downward motion. Try to cut as close as possible to the ear of the corn so that the juices are included with the corn kernels. The corn juice will add to the sweetness!

With the corn kernels in the bowl, add the blueberries, brown sugar and pinch of salt. Mix well. Divide the mix into two individual ramekins. I had a little bit of corn left-over, so I saved it to add to soup later.

Divide the chilled and cubed unsalted butter between the two ramekins by pushing the butter down into the mixture and leaving a cube or two on top!

Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

Allow to cool for a small bit and enjoy!

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Memorial Day is right around the corner and that means a few things: gatherings with friends and family, the day off from work (yes!), travel (maybe), and food! It’s no doubt the food and gatherings go hand-in-hand because lets be honest…having loved ones and food around is pretty much great fun! Oh and cocktails are a PLUS!

For your upcoming Memorial Day fete how about some eggplant parmesan? How about a hand-held eggplant parmesan? That’s right. A deconstructed Italian classic and healthier too. The eggplant is not breaded and pan fried and the amount of cheese per serving is reduced because the serving is a finger-food size, rather than a gaping hole from a casserole dish.

I was struck with inspiration when I spotted the egg roll wrappers at the market. I didn’t want to create an Asian dish but rather a twist on a classic. So, the deconstructed eggplant parmesan emerged and It. Is. Good.

Nutritional perks –

    Eggplant – Helps to lower cholesterol levels and contains numerous vitamins such as vitamin K, B6 and C. A good source of thiamin and folate and an excellent source of fiber.

Eggplant Parmesan [deconstructed]
Print Recipe

– 1 medium eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
– 16 egg roll wrappers
– 1 egg, beaten
– 2 Tbls extra virgin olive oil
– 16 whole milk petite mozzarella balls (1 ball per roll)
– 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
– 1 Tbls dried basil
– 1 Tbls sea salt for prepping the eggplant
– marinara sauce for dipping. I used an organic store-bought version, but you can find a homemade version here.
– sea salt and pepper to taste

Cover all eggplant rounds generously with the 1 tablespoon of sea salt. Place the rounds in a colander and place over a bowl to drain for 1 to 2 hours. After the draining period, rinse the rounds in cold water and squeeze dry.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cover a baking sheet in parchment paper, and place the rounds in an even layer on a baking sheet. Use a pastry brush to brush extra virgin olive oil on the rounds. Season with sea salt, pepper (to taste) and dried basil. Do this on both sides of the eggplant rounds. Bake for 20 minutes.

When the eggplant is cooled, cut it into cubes.

To assemble the deconstructed eggplant parmesan, lay one sheet of egg roll wrapper on a flat surface. Add 1 tablespoon of the roasted eggplant, top with a generous sprinkle of parmesan. Slice 1 mozzarella ball and gently place on top of the eggplant and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Fold over the short sides of the wrap and then gently roll over one long side. With the remaining long side still open, lightly brush the end with the egg wash. Fold over the remaining long side. The egg wash will act like the glue to seal the wrap.

With an oil mister filled with extra virgin olive oil or a non-stick cooking spray, spray a medium saute pan, which is placed over medium heat. Add two wraps at a time, seam-side-down. Brown on both sides. This should take about 4 to 5 minutes per side.

Cut the wraps in half and enjoy! For full enjoyment, dip those babes in marinara sauce. So good!

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