‘side’ Category

  1. spinach artichoke dip

    December 14, 2016 by Angie

    I’ve tried several spinach dip/spinach artichoke dip recipes. This one is the go-to. It’s never too soggy, too tart, or too rich. It’s a Cooking Light recipe so it’s a little less terrible for us than some other recipes out there. It also doesn’t call for any mayonnaise (blah!) which means it’s the cheesy, delicious kind of spinach dip rather than the far inferior, mayo-based variety.

    I used this Cooking Light recipe posted on myrecipes.com with slight variations.

    Ingredients

    1 8 oz package of shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
    1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
    4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
    14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
    2 8 oz blocks light cream cheese, softened
    10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
    crackers or chips for serving

     

    spinach artichoke dip on a triscuit
    Enjoying some of my spinach artichoke dip at the campus potluck

    Instructions

    1. Open the package of spinach and place the frozen spinach in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 2 minutes. Flip and microwave for two more minutes. After that, I stirred the spinach around to expose the frozen bits and microwaved for one more minute.

    2.Put the cream cheese blocks out on the counter to soften them.

    3. Construct a spinach draining apparatus. I put a double layer of paper towels in a colander over a plate and poured the thawed spinach in there. I put another layer of paper towels over that and squished the water out. I had to change the paper towels again. You want to be sure the spinach is drained really well.

    4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

    5. Drain the artichoke hearts. I again placed a double layer of paper towels on a plate (RIP trees), picked the artichoke hearts out of the can and placed them there, then topped with another layer of paper towels. Press them paper towels to get the water out. Chop the artichoke hearts into small pieces.

    6. Mix 1.5 cups of the shredded Mozzarella, the sour cream, 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, the black pepper, the minced garlic, and the cream cheese blocks together in a large bowl.

    7. Add in the spinach and the artichoke hearts. Stir everything together until it’s a beautiful dip.

    8. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees on the middle rack or until it starts to get bubbly.

    9. Serve with crackers or chips. I like Triscuits!

    pan of spinach artichoke dip

    The whole pan of dip – I bakcd it at home but forgot to get a photo. This is after warming it in the microwave at work.


  2. vegan mashed potatoes

    November 27, 2016 by Angie

    I am really bad at making mashed potatoes. I get horrified by the ingredients in the internet’s favorite recipes: bucket of sour cream, 19 sticks of butter, multiple cups of heavy cream, gallons of whole milk. I feel guilty enough about the potatoes. I have tried several healthier versions over the years and they have all sucked.

    This year I based my attempt on a vegan recipe that pledges to be “the creamiest vegan mashed potatoes” from the blog My California Roots. They were cold by the time I got to eat them on Thanksgiving Day, but Robbie and I loved the leftovers. I would make and eat these again and again. I think next year I need to explore a vegan gravy to go on top.

    Thanksgiving 2016

    There they are with apple and onion stuffing, cranberry sauce (I used brown sugar this year – yum), tofu vegetable pot pie, and cheddar bay biscuits. Mom’s sweet potato casserole and Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s vegan pumpkin chocolate chip cupcakes were dessert.

    I changed things around a little so here is what I did.

    Ingredients

    1 cup water
    1/2 cup raw cashews
    2.5 lbs gold potatoes
    4 tablespoons Earth Balance margarine
    2 tablespoons (probably more like 5, but who’s counting?) minced garlic
    salt and pepper to taste

    Instructions

    1. Wash, peel, and chop the potatoes.
    2. Submerge the potatoes in water in a large pot.
    3. Microwave a cup of water in a bowl.
    4. Add the half cup of cashews to the boiling water. Set aside for at least half an hour.
    5. When it’s getting closer to meal time, boil the potatoes in the pot for about thirty minutes or until the potato chunks are tender when poked with a fork.
    6. While the potatoes are cooking, make the cashew cream by blending the water and cashews together. I used my crappy food processor and it worked out fine.
    7. Drain the potatoes.
    8. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher. Add the cashew cream, Earth Balance, garlic, salt, and pepper.
    9. Using a hand mixer, blend everything together for as little time as you can while still getting the lumpy to smooth ratio you like for your mashed potato consistency.
    10. Eat them right now! They get cold in a hurry.

  3. bruschetta

    May 21, 2016 by Angie

    The jar of pesto in my pantry was in danger of expiring, therefore, bruschetta. Eating bruschetta is much more enjoyable than throwing pesto away. I made a good life choice.

    pretty bruschetta

    Ingredients:

    loaf of fresh French bread
    jar of basil pesto (I would guess I used about 3 tablespoons – the jar is still quite full.)
    1 cup of cherry tomatoes
    reduced fat feta cheese (I used almost the entire container.)
    balsamic vinegar

    Preparation:

    1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with olive oil.

    2. Slice the French bread into small discs. Arrange the bread slices on the cookie sheet and spritz them with olive oil.

    3. Bake the bread slices until slightly toasty. You have to keep a close eye on them – they want to burn.

    4. Quarter the cherry tomatoes. Combine the tomatoes and feta in a bowl.

    5. Spread pesto on the toasted bread slices. Top with the tomato feta mixture. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over the bruschetta, if you’re into that. Enjoy!

    plate of bruschetta


  4. stuffed zucchini

    March 6, 2016 by Angie

    I’m always looking for new sides. Somehow (maybe MyFitnessPal emails?), I came across this post for Summer Veggie Stuffed Zucchini from the Mountain Mama Cooks blog. I can rarely leave a recipe alone so I changed it up a little.

    eat zucchini filled with zucchini!

    Ingredients

    olive oil spray
    2 zucchini per serving, depending on the size of the zucchini. I used 6 small zucchini. Larger zucchini will work out better.
    1 small red bell pepper, diced
    1 bunch of green onion, diced
    tablespoon of minced garlic
    about 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, quartered
    1/2 cup to 1 cup fresh spinach, stems removed
    1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
    1/2 cup breadcrumbs
    salt and pepper, to taste

    stuffed zucchini in a row

    Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray it with olive oil.

    2. Wash the zucchini and trim off the ends. Slice all the zucchini in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to gently scoop out the insides of the zucchini halves. Save the insides in a bowl.

    3. Arrange the zucchini “boats” on the prepared cookie sheet.

    4. Prepare the red bell pepper, green onion, cherry tomatoes, and spinach. Cut up the zucchini pulp.

    5. Spray a pan with olive oil and cook the bell pepper, white parts of the green onion, and the zucchini insides with a tablespoon of minced garlic over medium heat for about ten minutes.

    6. Add the rest of the green onion, quartered cherry tomatoes, and spinach. Cook until the spinach is wilted and everything is heated through.

    7. Pour the vegetable mixture into a bowl. Add in the shredded parmesan and breadcrumbs and stir. Start filling the zucchini “boats” with the vegetable/cheese/breadcrumbs mixture. Sprinkle more breadcrumbs and parmesan on top of each stuffed zucchini if desired.

    8. Bake the stuffed zucchini for about 25 minutes.

    stuffed zucchini with baked tofu


  5. garlicky cauliflower and goat cheese puree

    December 30, 2015 by Angie

    It may not look like much, but this new side dish is soooo good! It’s from my favorite low-carb blog, Kalyn’s Kitchen. She calls it pureed cauliflower with garlic, parmesan, and goat cheese. I followed her recipe except I didn’t add any half and half or cream. It’s similar to very creamy mashed potatoes and was not difficult to make. 10/10 will eat cheesy cauliflower again!

    yum!

    So cheesy.


  6. butternut squash & goat cheese penne

    November 8, 2015 by Angie

    I like fall and squash. I saw this recipe for penne with butternut squash and goat cheese on the Food Network’s site. I made deliciously cheesy pasta based on it.

    butternut squash & goat cheese penne

    Cheesy penne and butternut squash closeup

    Ingredients

    box of penne pasta
    medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into small cubes
    yellow onion, diced
    olive oil
    salt & pepper, to taste
    about 5 oz goat cheese
    dried basil
    garlic powder
    parsley flakes
    crushed red pepper
    shaved parmesan cheese

    big bowl of yum

    Directions

    1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
    2. Wash the butternut squash. Peel the skin off using a peeler. Cut the squash into small cubes.
    3. Dice the onion.
    4. Oil a cookie sheet with olive oil. Arrange the butternut squash cubes and diced onion on the cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 45 minutes. Set the vegetables aside to cool once cooked.
    5. While the vegetables are baking, start boiling water to cook the pasta according to the directions on the box.
    6. In a large bowl, add the goat cheese and break it up with a spoon.
    7. Add in the cooked and drained pasta. It’s okay if a little hot water gets in there – it will help melt and mix up the goat cheese. Stir to coat the pasta with the goat cheese.
    8. Add in the baked butternut squash and onion and stir gently.
    9. Top with the spices to taste and stir. Sprinkle with a handful of shaved parmesan cheese.

    a serving

    So good!


  7. vegan tofu & vegetable frittata

    June 10, 2015 by Angie

    I have been on a quest for a new breakfast. I love the blog Fat Free Vegan so I looked there for protein-packed breakfast recipes. I made a slightly altered version of her vegan zucchini frittata Tuesday night. It is potentially too labor- and dishes-intensive to be my every weekday breakfast, but, man oh man, it is phenomenal tasting. I love it so much. The seasoning is just right and the silken tofu, tahini, and soy milk make it deliciously creamy. I ate some of it right out of the oven because I couldn’t help myself!

    tofu frittata

    I warmed some up for breakfast yesterday and today and still have enough to eat tomorrow morning. I could have stretched it to four meals, but I get shaded out by leftovers after the third day.

    Breakfast!
    Tofu frittata and a soy latte lovingly made by Robbie = perfect breakfast!

    The substitutions I made were in the vegetables used. I used three green onions, a medium sized zucchini, a medium sized yellow squash, and a lot of minced garlic. I meant to include fresh spinach but totally forgot 🙁 I couldn’t figure out how to “shred” the squash so I diced them and it worked out just fine.

    I followed the blender part as directed except I used a food processor because I only have an immersion blender. I also followed the pan preparation directions by spraying oil then putting a circle of parchment paper on top. I had no issues getting the frittata out of the pan. In fact, it pretty much flew out and then I couldn’t get it back in the pan without injuring it. I don’t mind because it’s just for me, but if I made this for a fancy brunch I would be sad, so beware.

    close up tofu frittata
    Hot out of the oven!

  8. soy crumble and black bean taco casserole

    June 2, 2015 by Angie

    I haven’t cooked anything new in way too long. I saw this recipe for a one-pot taco casserole in an email I got from My Fitness Pal. I changed it up a little to make it vegetarian and eliminate the need for a packet of taco seasoning. Robbie and I both really liked it and, while it took two pots, it was worth it. In the future, I think I will add more veggies, possibly a bell pepper and some fresh spinach, and garnish with avocado slices.


    a little serving

    Ingredients

    safflower oil
    Two 12 oz bags of soy crumbles (I used Morningstar Farms Grillers Crumbles.)
    half of a 10 oz bag of frozen corn kernels (I used less because Robbie is not a corn fan.)
    One 15 oz can of black beans, drained (El Ebro is where it’s at.)
    One and half cups of salsa (I used Green Mountain Gringo brand in mild.)
    a yellow onion, diced
    about one and half tablespoons of homemade taco seasoning: equal(ish) parts garlic powder, onion powder, crushed red pepper flakes, dried oregano; followed by a larger amount of paprika; an even larger amount of cumin; and a very large amount of chili powder (I really winged this and it tasted awesome. If you want to measure out a big batch and store it, more power to you.)
    salt and pepper to taste
    about one cup of shredded reduced fat Mexican cheese

    soy crumble and black bean taco casserole

    Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

    2. Heat a large pan and add a few drops of your favorite oil. I used safflower oil because it doesn’t impart a taste onto the soy crumbles the way olive oil can. Add the soy crumbles. Cook, stirring occasionally. When the crumbles are about half way through cooking, add the diced onion. Continue cooking until the crumbles are cooked through and slightly browned.

    3. Add the salsa, frozen corn kernels, and homemade taco seasoning to the soy crumbles mixture. Cook for about 2 more minutes.

    4. Pour the mixture into a large casserole or glass baking dish. Pour the drained black beans on top. Bake for about 20 minutes.

    5. Sprinkle a layer of cheese on top and baked for another five minutes.

    6. Serve with tortillas, chips, taco shells, avocado slices, cashew queso – whatever you’re into!

    Robbie made tiny burritos with his

    Robbie made adorable mini burritos with low carb tortillas!


  9. cheesy artichoke dip

    January 31, 2015 by Angie

    I made this hot artichoke cheese dip from the Cooking Light website for my job’s dip eating/tailgate party on Friday. The first time I made it was as a Thanksgiving appetizer last year. Robbie and my parents and I think it’s awesome. Everyone at the tailgate party really liked it too. You should make it tomorrow and feed it to people while they watch football because it’s cheesy and delicious and not difficult to make.

    Tailgate star: cheesy artichoke dip

    I followed this recipe from Cooking Light with a couple of changes. This time I used about half of a small yellow onion instead of a green onion, Vegenaise instead of reduced fat mayonnaise, and skipped the lemon. I served it with a baguette at Thanksgiving, which I highly recommend, and with cracked pepper lentil chips at the tailgate party, also delicious.

    cheesy artichoke dip

    Eat cheesy artichoke dip and go team!


  10. curry roasted sweet potatoes

    September 3, 2014 by Angie

    You know I’m always on the lookout for more side dishes. I semi-recently borrowed the cookbook More Peas, Thank You by Sarah Matheny from the public library and was intrigued by this recipe for curry roasted sweet potatoes. I am a sweet potato fan but have only cooked them a few times. Robbie and I both liked this and would enjoy having it again – the flavors and texture were great. The only downside is that sweet potatoes are really difficult to chop into wedges! We both worked at it for longer than seems reasonable.

    unphotogenic curry roasted sweet potatoes

    We ate this with Thai coconut tofu so the unphotogenic sweet potatoes appear oilier and less appealing than they were in real life.

    Yields way more than Robgeleen could eat.

    Ingredients
    2 tsp curry powder
    3/4 tsp ground ginger
    1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/2 tsp garam masala
    1/2 tsp salt
    2 tbsp unsweetened soy milk
    1 lb sweet potatoes
    olive oil spray

    Instructions
    1. Preheat the oven to 425 and spray a cookie sheet with olive oil.
    2. Cut the sweet potatoes into large wedges.
    3. In a large bowl, combine the spices, then add and combine the soy milk. Add the sweet potato wedges and stir to coat them with the spice mixture.
    4. Place the sweet potato wedges on the baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, turning at least once while baking.

    on the baking sheet

    The curry roasted sweet potatoes roasting on a baking sheet.