Side Dish

Oven Roasted Root Vegetables

This is a delicious fall recipe that also looks beautiful on a Thanksgiving table! The vegetables listed in the recipe make a wonderful, unique combination, but can be substituted any favorite root vegetables you have on hand- sweet potatoes, rutabagas, turnips, carrots and more. The addition of fresh herbs like rosemary is another idea to customize this dish to your family’s tastes.

beets and veg.jpeg

1 large butternut squash, (1 1/2 to 2 pounds) halved, seeded and peeled

3 large Yukon gold potatoes (1 1/2 pounds), scrubbed

1 bunch medium beets, (about 1 1/2 pounds), scrubbed and tops trimmed

1 medium red onion

2 large parsnips (about 8 ounces)

1 head garlic, cloves separated, and peeled (about 16)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

See the entire recipe and directions at The Food Network.

Spring Risotto with Brown Rice and Asparagus

Spring is nearly here, and delicious young shoots of asparagus can be found in the grocery store! This is a wonderful risotto recipe that uses whole grain brown rice instead of the processed white rice found in most risotto recipes. It makes a great side dish or light dinner!


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
½ Vidalia onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup brown rice
2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth if vegetarian)
¼ cup 1% milk
1 bunch fresh asparagus, cut into 1-2 inch pieces using only the top ¾ of stalk
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

See the entire recipe and directions at Tastefully Julie.

Corn and Summer Vegetable Sauté

This is a perfect summer dish that uses veggies fresh from the farmer's market!  


1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup chopped green onions (about 4)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup sliced fresh okra (about 4 ounces)
1 cup chopped red bell pepper (about 1)
1 finely chopped seeded jalapeño pepper
1 cup fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup minced fresh cilantro
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

See the entire recipe and directions at My Recipes.

Chia Lemon Quinoa Bowl (gluten free and dairy free)

This recipe is simple, light, and fresh, and perfect for our warmer weather!

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1½ cups almond milk
  • 4½ Tbsp. pure maple syrup (or honey)
  • 3 Tbsp. slivered almonds
  • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • pinch fresh lemon zest

See the entire recipe and directions at The Healthy Apple.

To read more about the many benefits of quinoa, see this article.

Powerhouse Bulgur Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

Bulgur is a wonderful, quick cooking, high fiber, and high protein grain!  


1 cup bulgur
2 cups water
2 cups torn kale
1 apple, chopped
½ cup chopped pecans
¼ cup dried cranberries
1 chopped avocado (optional)
¼ cup crumbled goat cheese (optional)

For the vinaigrette:
Juice of 1 orange
3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon minced ginger
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

To see the complete recipe and directions go to the Neighbor Food Blog.

Black Bean and Brown Rice Salad

This salad is great on its own or makes a fantastic wrap for lunch or dinner!

  • 1 1/2 cups home-cooked black beans, or 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drain and rinse
  • 3 cups cooked and cooled brown rice, cooked to package directions (optional quinoa)
  • 1 1/2 cups finely grated raw zucchini
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 14 teaspoon black pepper
  • Kosher or sea salt to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Read the complete recipe and directions at


Ina Gartens Orzo with Roasted Vegetables

Orzo is a wonderful pasta, and it pairs perfectly with fresh vegetables.  This is a light and different salad to enjoy this summer!




  • 1 small eggplant, 3/4-inch diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, 1-inch diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, 1-inch diced
  • 1 red onion, peeled and 1-inch diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup good olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound orzo or rice-shaped pasta

For the dressing:

  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (juice of 2 lemons)
  • 1/3 cup good olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

To assemble:

  • 4 scallions, minced (white and green parts)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 3/4 feta cheese (Ina says "good" feta, not crumbled, but I used crumbled - sorry girlfriend)
  • 15 fresh basil leaves, cut into julienne

Read the complete recipe and directions at

Black-Eyed Pea Salad with Tomatoes and Peppers

I love black eyed peas.  They’re full of protein and fiber and are absolutely delicious.

•    3 tablespoon(s) olive oil
•    2 tablespoon(s) balsamic vinegar
•    1 clove(s) garlic, finely chopped
•    1 teaspoon(s) granulated sugar
•    Kosher salt
•    Pepper
•    2 can(s) (15 1/2 ounces each) black-eyed peas, rinsed
•    2 plum tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
•    1 small red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
•    1 jalapeño (seeded for less heat, if desired), finely chopped
•    1/2 cup(s) roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Read the complete recipe and directions at

Easy Spicy Black Beans and Sweet Potatoes

This is a great recipe for a fast, healthy lunch or dinner.  Sweet potatoes and black beans are perfect partners, and are full of fiber which helps you to feel fuller, longer.


2 ½ cups black beans and their cooking liquid (or 1 can of black beans)
2 cups chopped sweet potato
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 avocado, diced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Read the complete recipe and directions at

Spring Buckwheat Salad


1 cup whole buckwheat groats
2 cups water
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 large handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
juice from 1/2 lemon, or more to taste + more for the asparagus
1 drizzle cold-pressed olive oil or rapeseed oil + more for the asparagus
1 tbsp honey, preferable unheated
1 bunch asparagus (approx. 15 spears)
4 thin slices wholegrain sourdough rye bread
1 bunch radishes (approx. 15), sliced
1 lb. strawberries, sliced
10 slices of shaved parmesan cheese
1 small handful pea sprouts

Read the complete recipe and directions at

Brussels Sprout Fried Rice

I love this recipe blog, and this recipe is delicious.  Brussels sprouts are incredibly nutrient dense, and this is a tasty new way to eat them!


2 tablespoons refined coconut oil, divided
12 oz Brussel sprouts, trimmed and quartered
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced into thin half-moons
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup fresh basil
1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro
1 cup finely chopped scallions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger
4 cups cooked and cooled jasmine rice
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon agave


Sriracha to serve

Read the complete recipe and directions at The Post Punk Kitchen

Four Grain Salad

This is a fantastic salad that makes a great lunch.  Fiber and unprocessed grains do not cause spikes in blood sugar and can help you to feel full longer, aiding weight loss.

  1/2 cup brown rice

  1/2 cup black heirloom rice

  1/4 cup barley

  1/4 dried winter wheat berries

  1 large sweet onion, rough chopped

  6 ounces grape tomatoes, sliced

  4 green onions, sliced

  1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

  6 ounces sliced white mushrooms

  Kosher salt

  Freshly ground black pepper

  ½ cup toasted chopped pecans (optional)

Read the complete recipe and directions at

Ratatouille in the Crock Pot

This is my favorite crock pot recipe.  It's very good, and easy. It's a great accompaniment to pasta and also makes a wonderful sandwich on garlic bread.


2 large onions, cut in half and sliced

1 large eggplant, sliced, cut in 2 inch pieces

4 small zucchini, sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 large green bell peppers, de-seeded and cut into thin strips

2 large Tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch wedges

1 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste

1 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon sugar

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Read the complete recipe and directions at

Sweet Potato & Turnip Mash with Sage Butter

This is a wonderful side dish recipe that’s full of antioxidants!  To make this recipe dairy free, substitute Earth Balance Buttery Sticks for the butter.

  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 8 ounces turnips (about 2 medium), peeled and diced
  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • 30 fresh sage leaves, divided (12 left whole, the rest cut into strips)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely cracked pepper

Read the complete recipe and directions at

Faro with Pistachios and Herbs

This Is a wonderful, unique side dish!  Faro is a grain that is in the refrigerated section of the store.

  • 2 cups farro 
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 ounces salted shelled pistachios, (about 1 cup), toasted and chopped  
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Read the complete recipe and directions at