Category: Vegetables, sides & appetizers

Labor Day Potato Salad (without the Mayo)

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Hopefully everyone had a great Labor Day Weekend. I enjoyed a blissful 5 days off from work and spent 3 of those days at the beach. It was a good way to offically end summer, although I’m pretending summer isn’t really over yet. I love the warm days and if I’m being honest, I’m never really ready for fall.

Yesterday (Labor Day) we spent the day at my parents house. My mom and I both are trying to lose a few pounds, especially after the extra few we picked up vacationing at the beach so our Labor Day spread was actually very healthy. We had pork tenderloin, hot dogs and sausages for those that wanted them, and TONS of vegetable side dishes including grilled yellow squash, zucchini two different ways (grilled and sauteed in a creamy sauce), salad with homemade croutons, cucumbers in sour cream and vinegar, a cucumber and tomato salad with cilantro, my signature guacamole, and last but not least, a mayo-free potato salad. (more…)

Grilled Corn & Black Bean Salsa Salad

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It’s been way too long since I last blogged! I’ve been in Maui (be jealous) lounging on a beach and eating some fantastic food. My goodness, Maui is beautiful! I felt like I stepped into a post card. Stay tuned for a blog post on Maui. In the meantime here’s a quick and easy recipe for a corn and black bean salad (or salsa depending on how you eat it). (more…)

Tilapia with bacon and pea puree

tilapia 1

I’m obsessed with the Food Network and Cooking Channel. I can sit for hours watching people cook. Matt can’t understand this. He thinks it’s the most boring thing in the world. Although we have a lot of things in common, TV is not one of those things. I mean I can’t really blame him. I’m not sure how many men out there like watching cooking shows and the Bravo TV network, although he will watch Million Dollar Listing with me and we both love House Hunters International. (more…)

Balsamic roasted mushrooms and eggplant

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Sometimes some of my best creations in the kitchen happen by accident. This was one of them. I had one lonely leftover eggplant that was in danger of going bad and a whole pack of sliced portabello mushrooms that I hadn’t used yet. I had already decided that I was going to be cooking up some mahi mahi burgers from the freezer that night because I really didn’t feel like cooking but then I remembered that I had these vegetables and the thought of food going bad and then throwing it out makes me really sad. So, I thought I’d just try roasting them. I roast veggies all the time and I think it’s the best way to cook them. They get carmelized and crisp on the outside but tender on the inside. Delicious. To be honest, I wasn’t sure how eggplant and mushrooms would turn out if I just roasted them in the oven like I do so many other favorite vegetables. Sometimes eggplant can be bitter if it’s not cooked the right way so this was a gamble. But, as I said, I didn’t feel like cooking and roasting vegetables is so easy that it almost doesn’t even count as cooking. The oven does all the work.

Let me just say that what I thought would be an average maybe even bad dish turned out to be one of the best vegetable side dishes I’ve ever made. And it is SO easy. I am going to stop at the grocery store after work today to pick up more eggplant and mushrooms because I’m going to make it again tonight. It was THAT good. (more…)

Spring time couscous

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It’s officially spring time here in New Jersey! Although the weather is not reflecting the season currently, I still felt inspired to create a spring time dish. I also desperately need to make a trip to the grocery store, and so last night was basically a night to use up some of the remaining ingredients in my fridge. The reason I call it a spring time dish is because it has so many bright flavors that people normally associate with the weather warming up. Scallions, corn, and lemon are the main components of this dish aside from the couscous, obviously. (more…)

Green Beans two different ways

beans & bacon

Green beans are not a favorite vegetable of mine but lately I’ve been experimenting with them a bit more. My desire to cook with them more started after a good friend of mine made one of the best green bean dishes I have EVER had in my life for Thanksgiving. The green beans were sauteed in a buttery, garlic wine sauce and topped with crunchy slivered almonds. I begged her for the recipe and, thankfully, she decided to share it with me. I will share that recipe here, however, I had a HUGE bunch of green beans to cook up so I decided to cook half of them using my friend’s recipe, and half of them another way.

I’ve mentioned, many times before, how much I believe in roasting food, especially vegetables. Roasting does something amazing to the vegetables and they carmelize beautifully, and green beans are no exception. After roasting them, what could make these green beans better? The answer is BACON! Duh! Bacon makes everything better, but I wanted to make the green beans even more rich and flavorful, which is why I made a blue cheese butter to top the beans with. (more…)

Top your collard greens with a fried egg

I got this idea from watching Paula Deen on Food Network. Normally her dishes are full of butter and cream, but this one was actually really healthy. I didn’t follow her recipe for the collard greens, but I did use her idea of topping the greens with a fried egg. The combination of the runny yoke and the bitter greens is devine. Plus it’s a great way to get your veggies and your protein in. It may sound strange, but give it a try. This would work well with any leafy green veggie, especially with kale I would think. (more…)

A salad worth writing about

Generally I don’t think of a salad as needing a recipe. I know there are some good salads out there, but when I make one I usually just put some lettuce in a bowl, add a few toppings and some bottled dressing to make it taste good and call it a day. I don’t really take the time to prepare a salad. Salads are usually the precursor to the main meal; Something to just fill you up so you don’t overeat later. It’s very rare that I find a salad that I actually like almost more than the main course and that I actually look forward to eating, but this salad is pretty good. If I found it worth writing about, it’s actually a pretty darn good salad.

This salad is very simple, but you will need a few quality ingredients: (more…)

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Before you say ew, hear me out. I know brussels sprouts are not the most popular veggie out there, but that’s because a lot of people aren’t sure how to cook them. Truth be told, brussels sprouts are a favorite vegetable of mine, because if they are cooked right, they can have great flavor and they are very good for you. They are actually pretty simple to prepare.

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Fool proof recipe for Guacamole

Guacamole is a staple in my house, meaning, I make it and eat it on a regular basis. I know there are thousands of recipes out there for guacamole, but I really believe mine is the best. Maybe that’s arrogant, but it comes out perfect every time and my dad, who is not a guacamole fan, actually eats mine. So, it’s pretty darn good. It’s especially good this time of year, when the tomatoes are ripe and the avocados are in good condition. I made an especially good batch last night… (more…)

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