Archive | Side Dishes

Eat Your Greens!

This is the season for celebrating dark leafy greens. Packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals, they are some serious food. Kale, collards, chard, spinach, and mustard greens top my list. Before cooking with greens, fill a sink basin or large bowl with cold water and swish the greens around in it, then lift them from the water, leaving any sand and grit behind in the water. Repeat this process until the water is clear.

This week’s post is a collection of recipes designed to inspire you to add more dark leafy goodness into your diet. Get on with it!

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French Lentils

Served warm, this dish is tangy and satisfying. It makes a great side kick to chicken, fish, or a hunk of crusty bread. It would also be delicious as part of a composed salad that included grilled vegetables, feta cheese and greens. Lentils are a legume, low in fat and high in fiber. The dark green French lentils called for in this recipe, commonly called “Le Puy” lentils, take a little longer to cook than other varieties, but they hold their shape well. I use milder brown lentils for soup, stew and other side dishes. Read more for recipes!

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More Polenta, Please!

Polenta is basically medium-grind cornmeal boiled in water and/or milk and salt. It becomes a thick, porridge-like mixture. Incredibly quick and versatile, polenta can be served creamy, like mashed potatoes. Add grated Parmesan cheese to the mix and some fresh herbs – oh my. Or, you can spread it out in a sheet pan and chill it, then slice it and grill it with a little olive oil and salt. It can also be spread into thin layers like lasagna noodles (a great gluten-free alternative!). Read more for the recipes…

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Cooking with Quinoa

Since I published my recipe for Superfood Salad, I’ve gotten quite a few inquiries about quinoa (pronounced keen-wa). Quinoa is an ancient (gluten-free!) food, more closely related to spinach than rice. Widely available these days, quinoa is treated like a grain and is one of the few vegetarian sources for complete protein. When cooked, the grains “unravel,” triple in size, and become translucent.

This week’s post includes instructions for cooking one cup of quinoa and a collection of recipes showcasing its versatility. Enjoy!

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yellow tomatoes

The Taste of Summer: Tomatoes

A visit from my parents-in-law yielded pounds of Roma, Early Girl and Purple Prince tomatoes. Organic, fresh and home grown, they don’t get better than this. In celebration, I wanted to make a light and summery sauce for pasta, so I turned to Pim’s Super Quick and Fantastic Tomato Sauce. I used fresh basil, red pepper flakes and sherry vinegar to boost the flavor of the tomatoes. It is indeed fantastic!

Read more for links to other great recipes featuring fresh tomatoes that will deliver the taste of summer to your table. Enjoy!

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Grilled Polenta and Balsamic Mushrooms

Here is what I love about this recipe. In combination, the grilled polenta, balsamic mushrooms and arugula make a delightful meal. Individually, the methods for preparing the polenta and mushrooms can be used over and over again in a variety of ways. For instance, the balsamic mushrooms are nice sliced over grilled steak. Serve the grilled polenta on its own as a side dish for any grilled vegetables or meats. Make the polenta ahead of time so it has time to chill before grilling. Enjoy!

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