Tag Archives: sides
This is my absolute favorite way to indulge in mashed potatoes, that does not have some kind of extra-indulgent aged cheddar in it. I don’t always follow this recipe specifically but I do come by fairly close. The last couple of years I’ve replaced milk with unsweetened vanilla almond milk and I honestly can’t taste a difference. If anything it lacks an extra thicker texture but flavor is still there. I also sometimes use vegetable stock if I don’t have chicken stock and it works just as great.
BUT unless you have a really good quality garlic powder that is super fine, not those tiny granules then you must use fresh garlic. Oh, and of course fresh ground pepper instead of store bought ground pepper makes a big difference. I NEVER not use fresh ground pepper. It’s a must! Okay, that’s all. ENJOY!
RED SKIN MASHED POTATOES
Place the potatoes in a large pot and fill with water just to the very top of the potatoes.
Bring them to a boil over medium-high heat and simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
Drain the potatoes into a colander. Place the butter and garlic into the pot, add the potatoes and mash them about half way. Add the chicken stock and milk then finish mashing until desired consistency. Add a little more chicken stock if the potatoes seem dry.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
This is a very straight forward recipe that only takes minutes to cook. It’s so simple and so good for you. Most of the meal prepping I do is literally veggie dishes so I can easily heat up and only worry about the main deal. This recipe goes great with practically anything. Bake, pan sear/fry whatever it may be your favorite fish, or chicken breast, steak and lay it on top a bed of the Shredded Radicchio & Brussels. I’ve added a small handful of it to a rough chopped salad among whatever other random goodies I have in the fridge for a quick, lazy lunch or even dinner. BUT, my absolute fav is creating a circle of this in an oiled iron skillet, leaving a 4-5inch in diameter space in the center where I crack an egg or two in the center. Place the lid on top and let cook on medium-high heat for several minutes. Cajun seasoning sprinkled on top is divine! With toast and the oozing yolk, OH MY GOODNESS!
Sooo my point is, make a big batch of this ahead of time. Use it in all sorts of things. Make your life easy. Get your veggies. Be healthier, feel healthier. And life is good. Hey, feel free to add or replace ingredients too. I love it when you guys go outside the box, after all that’s the whole point of this food blog. Creativity and options is endless. Last thing though… To make life that much easier, I buy the bags of shredded carrot but by all means feel free to save some money by using the good ole cheese grater. You can do the same with the brussels sprouts. Personally, I prefer using a very sharp knife and making thin slices to each one. The radicchio though, you’ll have to use a knife to get the shredded effect. It’s about 1/4 of a radicchio head to get a solid cup of thin slices. Okay, I’m done babbling. Go make nowwww!
SHREDDED RADICCHIO & BRUSSELS
In a large saute pan over medium-high heat drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil and add everything except the lemon juice.
Stir frequently for about 5-7 minutes or until the brussels sprouts turn a vibrant green.
Then, squeeze the lemon juice on top, add salt and pepper. Stir for about 30 seconds and remove from heat.
I’m diving straight into this one quickly. You can usually find these baby carrots packaged in a microwaveable steam bag. BUT I never steam my veggies in a microwave! This is so much better. And same goes for these French green beans also known as haricot vert. They’re the best tasting green beans in my opinion. They’re thin, crispy and can be mildly sweet. If you can find either of these sold in bulk, even better… probably cheaper too! When it comes to healthy, flavorful veggies… the key is KEEP IT SIMPLE! Spices really do go a long way. You don’t need a crap ton of butter or canned cheese! Trust me.
I have made this recipe by tossing everything together into a baking dish and roasting them for about 12-15 minutes for when I don’t want to stand in front of the stove. They’re amazing. If you don’t want thyme, use Italian seasoning, or just rosemary. Honestly, you can use whatever herbs you like, even fresh. Experiment with it. Most times I’ll make a big batch of this, use for sides or simply rough chop some of it and toss into a salad.
When it comes to cooking your veggies, I truly believe using a quality salt (NOT table salt) is what really makes the natural flavor of the veggies pop. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on salt either, just get yourself a good kosher sea salt to start with. With that said, yummy veggies ready in ten minutes. Who said healthy cooking takes forever?
BABY CARROTS & GREEN BEANS
In a large skillet over medium-high heat drizzle the olive oil and start sautéing the carrots and French beans. After a couple of minutes add the minced garlic, dried thyme, sea salt and pepper. Stir.
Let sauté for a total of 10 minutes give or take, stirring often.
I think one of the most common vegetables I see people eating from a can is green beans and it just makes me wonder WHYYYY!!! When you can make some of the best tasting green beans FRESH and reap so much more nutritional benefits. There’s always the usual quick saute of green beans in a pan with olive, sea salt, pepper and maybe some garlic but this recipe is even better. Sure you’ll spend a few extra minutes assembling everything but it doesn’t take long and it’s so worth it. I wanted to take the idea of bacon wrapped veggies and go another step beyond that so I chose to use capocollo. Capocollo is an Italian dry-cured pork usually available spicy and found at the deli counter. It’s literally a must have on any Italian sandwich and now it’s a must have for roasted green beans.
You can always use regular green beans but keep in mind they’re a bit thicker so you may want to use fewer in a bunch for the recipe. Although haricot verts (also known as French green beans) are thinner, they have a better flavor and retain it’s crisp texture when you cook them. I recently made these to go with a grass-fed Bison filet that I found at Whole Foods; it was to DIE FOR. If you don’t have dark brown sugar, don’t worry light brown sugar will do just fine. You can also just use maple syrup alone instead. When baking at 400 degrees for 12 minutes, I still make sure the capocollo looks crispy like bacon to determine when it’s done. Some ovens may require longer time. But don’t worry, you won’t get sick, it’s cured meat so it doesn’t have to be cooked all the way through. Let me know how they taste for you. It’s definitely one of my favorites.
MAPLE CAPOCOLLO HARICOT VERTS
Gather 8-10 green beans in a bunch, making 4 bunches.
On a large working surface, lay four slices of capocollo overlapping each other vertically. Lay the first bunch of green beans on top of the capocollo, starting at the bottom. Slowly roll up wrapping the capocollo snug around the green beans. Place on a baking dish. Repeat for the last three bunches.
In a small bowl, mix the maple syrup and brown sugar together. Brush the tops of the capocollo wrapped green beans generously. Crack fresh black pepper on top.
Lightly drizzle the tops with olive oil and bake for about 12 minutes at 400 F degrees.
There’s more to a sweet potato than just throwing a bunch of brown sugar and spices to it just to make it taste good or making french fries out of it. Try something different this time by making a twice baked potato out of it. The natural sweetness of the potato mixed with the sharp cheddar and a little salty from the bacon will likely have you drooling a little.
The only time consuming part is baking the potato, but you can literally throw it in the oven for an hour, set a timer, walk away to do other things. Feel free to throw in the chopped bacon into the sweet potato mash if you prefer instead, it works out just as great. And if you can’t find chives, then green onion works great too. And most importantly, take this recipe and make your own version tailored to the flavors you love most. Enjoy!
BROWN BUTTER TWICE BAKED SWEET POTATO
Wash the sweet potatoes and dry. Rub them all over with some olive oil and toss in a bowl with sea salt. Bake at 400 F degrees for a hour or until done. Remove and let cool.
With a sharp knife slice the top third of the sweet potatoes off and with a spoon remove the flesh into a bowl leaving about 1/8" left all around. Mash the sweet potatoes that are in the bowl, add the salt, mix, and set aside.
In a small sauce pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter and let it come to a boil. Keep stirring until brown bits start to appear at the bottom. Keep a close eye as the butter can burn real fast. Once you start to smell a caramel scent from the butter and it’s fairly golden brown reduce the heat to low, add the maple syrup, and stir for about two minutes.
Pour the maple brown butter into the mashed sweet potatoes, add the chives, shredded cheddar, and mix everything together really well.
Spoon the mixture back into the sweet potato skins, top them with the chopped bacon and extra cheddar cheese. Place them back into the oven for about 10-12 minutes or until the cheese on top is completely melted.