Posts tagged #side dish

Homemade Pumpkin Puree

Now that halloween has passed you may have some extra pumpkins hanging around. I love pumpkin flavored... well anything. I try to avoid pumpkin in a can and love to make it homemade. It is way too easy, and too yummy not to! Follow this easy Alton Brown recipe.

I like to season mine with salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. If I am getting crazy I'll add in a little goat cheese!  OR I like to make an easy 4 ingredient pancake with it:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 egg (yolk and whites!! this holds the pancake together)
  • 2tbs of pumpkin puree
  • cinnamon/ pumpkin spice

Mix together well. Heat up and grease your pan.  Make your pancakes and enjoy! What do you add into your puree?


Posted on November 10, 2014 and filed under apps/side dish, cooking, breakfast.

Fiesta Quinoa side dish or snack


Quinoa is just awesome. And this easy to make, looks like you worked harder than you did dish makes it even better! This can be served cold or at room temperature so it is perfect for summer.You can make this for your next BBQ or to keep in the fridge ready to take out and eat as a snack or side dish.  (** the picture above does not have black beans OR cilantro)


  • 1 cup Cooked Quinoa
  • 1.5- 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes cut in half (you can cut it again to make it smaller if you wish)
  • 1 large avocado
  • 1 can or 2 cups black beans (you can get canned black beans or make them fresh! Follow bag directions for fresh black beans)
  • 3 ears fresh corn
  • 1 batch cilantro chopped 


  • Cook your Quinoa and then set aside to cool off completely
  • dice tomatoes 
  • chop cilantro
  • dice your avocado 
  • if you are using fresh beans this may take a whole night to prepare. Follow package directions. You can use cans if this is all you have.
  • I think fresh corn is BEST for this dish. So try to avoid the canned stuff. How to make corn? You have options:
  1. grill
  2. boil
  3. bake (simple and comes out really good! Add salt and paper to the corn before you place in the oven)

Let the corn cool off and then CAREFULLY cut the corn off the cob. 

After everything is prepared and cooled off you will get a large flat dish to lay out your quinoa. On the side mix the avocados, black beans, corn, tomatoes and cilantro. To this mixture add 3-4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and one whole juicy lemon! Salt and pepper to taste. 

Place dressing and vegetable mixture on top of quinoa. Do not mix. The vegetables are meant to say on top of the quinoa and get mixed in as people serve themselves.

This makes an amazing dish. If you have leftovers it keeps great in the fridge! Enjoy!

Posted on July 17, 2013 and filed under snack, apps/side dish.

Mashed Cauliflower

photo (7)

photo (7)

Easy to make. Tastes Delicious. What more could you want?

My friend Liz sent me an awesome cauliflower recipe from Linda Wanger's blog. I read through the ingredient list and realized I had everything but my Almond milk had gone bad... gross! So I nixed the almond milk and changed up the recipe.


1 head of cauliflower

water - I did not measure but I would say it was about 1 cup  (while you are blending the cauliflower if it still feels too thick add more water)

2 oz of goat cheese (Linda's recipe asked for 4 oz but I did not have 4 oz)

pepper and garlic powder to taste


I followed Linda's suggestion and cooked my cauliflower her way and it worked out great:

"I’m all about speed and ease so this is my shortcut to steaming veggies. Fill a pot or saucepan with water about 1 inch deep. Add 1/2tsp sea salt and bring to a boil. Add chopped vegetables and cook until soft, about 3-6 mins depending on the vegetable. Drain the excess water and you’re done!"

After the Cauliflower was steamed I let it sit in a strainer for about 4 minutes just to cool off a bit. I then placed the cooked cauliflower in a blender, added some water and blended away. I added the goat cheese, pepper and garlic powder and blended some more. The goat cheese melted nicely because the cauliflower was still a little hot!

The end result was yummy, but I do have to say the cauliflower has a strong taste. The taste was not a  cauliflower taste, it is hard to explain. More like a garlic taste that you can't get our of your mouth. I am not sure if this taste was so strong because I did not put much dairy? Next time I will try it with the almond milk to see if it dulls the strength of the cauliflower.

*If I were to make this again I would add something to make it a bit more creamy, whether it be almond milk or a cheese wedge!

How do you make mashed cauliflower?

Posted on September 10, 2012 and filed under food, apps/side dish.

Black rice... very nice!



This past weekend, I tried black rice for the first time. I had never heard of, seen, or tasted black rice before. It tasted similar to brown rice, kind of nutty in taste and sticky in texture, but was a little chewier.  When it's cooked, black rice turns into a DEEP purple. Now, we know that brown rice has more nutritional value than white rice, but how does black rice compare? My curiosity got to me and I have done a little research on black rice and its nutritional value:

Benefits of black rice:

  • has anti inflammatory properties
  • has similar nutrient levels to brown rice
  • has high amounts of antioxidants
  • has high fiber and iron
  • is packed with anthocyanins (Anthocyanins are phytochemicals that are found in foods with a deep purple color like blue berries. These phytochemicals are said to fight chronic disease such as cancer and heart disease.)
  • has the same superfood properties as blueberries, but it is much cheaper
  • has more fiber and less sugar than blueberries
  • has the highest amount of protein when compared to white and brown rice and double the fiber of brown rice
  • A 100g serving of black rice has 8.5g of protein, 3.5mg of iron and 4.9g of fiber 
  • A 100g serving of brown rice has 3g of protein, 2mg of iron and 2g of fiber

NOTE: Different resources listed different amounts for protein iron and fiber for 100g of the black and brown rice. I took the average.

Have you ever tried black rice? What do you think? I am personally going to try to cook black rice more often!

Posted on February 29, 2012 and filed under food, apps/side dish.

root vegetables galore



My mom once made this baked root vegetable dish, and it was quite awesome. Today we spent the morning together and decided to go to Russo's (an amazing produce place in Watertown, MA) and get everything we needed to make the "Root Vegetable Galore"!

photo (5)

photo (5)

Ingredients: (pictured from left to right)

  • parsnips (eh it was OK)
  • sweet potato
  • jicama (never baked it, but SO good!!)
  • carrots
  • turnips
  • celery root
  • beets
  • fingerling potatoes
  • kohlrabi (forgot to get in "root vegetable shot", but separate image  is down below)
  • garlic
  • onion
  • EVOO
  • salt and pepper
  • rosemary (optional)
photo (4)

photo (4)


  • pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
  • peel and wash vegetables (no need to peel fingerling potatoes)
  • cut vegetables into cubes ( not too small, cut the beets a little smaller as they usually take longer to cook)
  • cut onions into small slivers
  • peel garlic and keep whole
  • cover everything with  EVOO,  add salt and pepper to taste. Mix around to make sure all is coated *when it comes to the beets, mix them in a separate container, then add to the mixture. Beets will discolor everything!
  • place vegetables, onions and garlic on a large baking pan and spread out


  • bake at 400 degrees for about an hour. Mix around vegetables every 25 minutes. Each oven cooks differently, so use your own digression. Vegetables should be tender and delicious!  ENJOY!

Below we have kohlrabi. I have never cooked with this vegetable before, but it is great!

photo (2)

photo (2)

photo (1)

photo (1)

Make sure you take off the stems and peel before you cut it.

If you make this dish let me know how it goes and if you made any changes! XO

cauliflower and spinach soup... SOUPer easy!

Thanks to my client for sharing this easy to make recipe with me. She got it from her mom who got it from! It's filling, yummy, and makes you look like you can cook! I tweaked it a little and left out the butter. Still tasted wonderful.


  • 1 medium size cauliflower head (pulled into pieces)
  • 1 bag of spinach
  • EVOO (to coat the pan and cook the spinach)
  • 3 cups of vegetable broth (you can add more or less depending on your preference)
  • seasonings: salt, pepper, anything else...


  • place a soup pan on medium heat and add EVOO let it heat a little then add bag of spinach. Cook until wilted. Add salt and pepper.
  • toss in pieces of cauliflower, mix a little
  • add in vegetable broth and bring to a boil
  • lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes, mixing occasionally
test lh 358

test lh 358

Try to stick a fork though the cauliflower. If it pierces easily then you are ready for your next step!

Let the soup cool off a little then puree. Food processor or blender, both work! Mix until smooth. I left some chunks of cauliflower. I thought it added a nice surprise. Sorry,  no final product picture. But it pretty much turns green and smooth :) enjoy.

One more thing, if you think the soup is too thick when you are done, you can add water to it. Just a little goes a long way.

Posted on November 10, 2011 and filed under food, soup, apps/side dish.

what I'm eating now...

brew fest 2011 028

brew fest 2011 028

brew fest 2011 024

brew fest 2011 024

I currently have an obssesion with beats! Fresh are the best, but "ready to eat" steamed and pealed beats are pretty darn good too. Find them at Trader Joes. No dressing needed; they have so much flavor on their own. I cut up Persian cucumbers (my favorite) , added goat cheese and beats.

brew fest 2011 025

brew fest 2011 025

Final product!

Posted on July 19, 2011 and filed under snack, apps/side dish.