Category Archives: Sides

RECIPE: Deviled Eggs

Now in my family if there’s deviled eggs you better get out of the way because we’re going in. There are a few of these recipes in my family that will get this reaction, things like creamed spinach, apple pie (specifically my grandmother’s recipe that unfortunately may have gone to the grave with her) and, of course, Deviled eggs. Any special occasion, holiday, get together is fair game for deviled eggs with this clan.

So it was only natural that I make these for Christmas Eve for Matt and I. Now I make these slightly different than my family does I am sure but to be honest I’ve been making them this way for so long I don’t remember exactly how the rest of my family makes them but here’s my recipe.

Ingredients:

6 eggs, hard boiled

2-3 Tbsp Mayonnaise

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp horseradish

Paprika

Put the eggs in a saucepan and add water until covered. Put on high and bring to a boil. Don’t wait for the water to boil before you put the eggs in. They won’t come out right. Add the eggs to the water before it’s heated and bring to a boil. Once the water comes to a boil let it remain at a boil and cook for about 15 minutes to make sure they are hard-boiled.

I usually peel the eggs right away under cool running water. One, it enables you to actually handle the boiling hot eggs and two, I find the running water seems to help get the shells off cleanly without pulling the eggs apart which is a real nuisance when you want them to look pretty.

Once peeled cut each egg in half long way and carefully pop the egg yolk out and into a small bowl. Place egg halves on a separate plate. With a fork mash the egg yolks up until they are like mashed potatoes without a lot of lumps. Add the dijon mustard and the horseradish and mix. Then add the mayo slowly until you get a nice consistency and there’s enough to fill all the egg white halves.

Fill the egg white halves with the yolk mixture and sprinkle each egg with paprika. Viola! You now have really yummy deviled eggs that you’ll have to fight people for. Enjoy!

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RECIPE: Goat Cheese-Asparagus Crustless Quiche

I love goat cheese. I love quiches. I love asparagus. Therefore, I knew this one would be great. I found this recipe in the January/February 2011 issue of the Vegetarian Times. It’s called Goat Cheese-Asparagus Crustless Quiche.

The ingredient list is really simple for this recipe so there’s really no worries about it coming out good or not. Simple ingredients, simple quiche, great food! What more can I say.

The goat cheese (yummy!) and shallots give this recipe just enough flavor to satisfy and delight your senses. I served this with a green salad and wine that to be honest I can’t remember and I forgot to write down. Sloppy of me, I know, but it’s the truth. 🙂

Try this recipe. It’s a great tasting, simple recipe that is satisfying and light.

RECIPE: Avocado And Quinoa Salad

Okay, I don’t even know where I got this recipe. I tend to read magazines and pull recipes out and through them on the pile of ‘must try’ and usually at the bottom of the page it will say where it’s from so I don’t make any effort to write where I got it on the recipe. This is definitely the exception because it did not state where it’s from so we’ll just let it be a mystery then, shall we?

I was drawn to the idea of this salad because in my ever widening search for healthy but tasty meals I’ve been wanting to incorporate more quinoa in our diets. For those of you who don’t know quinoa is an ancient grain that used to be served to Egyptian royalty long before any of us were thought of or even know it existed. It’s really high in nutrients particularly vitamin C and is high in fiber and lots of other great things. Look it up and check it out.

Now quinoa can be found at health food and nutrition stores but it is now popping up at grocery stores usually in their ‘green’ or health sections. It is a bit pricey but the nutritional bang for your buck that you get from it is worth the price. Trust me on this one.

Quinoa is also a grain that absorbs the flavor of whatever you pair it with so it’s slightly nutty flavor can be mixed with just about anything you want to. I’ve even made cheesy quinoa before when I was looking for an alternative to the mac and cheese I was craving and it worked wonderfully well.

Ingredients:

2 organic avocados, cut into pieces

1 cup of red quinoa (I didn’t have the red variety so just used the regular white variety)

1 medium tomato, cut into pieces

1/4 cup diced red onion

2 fresh basil leaves, crushed (I actually shredded them instead)

Dressing Ingredients:

1/3 cup organic extra virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 garlic clove, minced

juice of two limes

sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan, bring two cups of water to a boil and add rinsed quinoa. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until water is absorbed. Cool and set aside.
  2. Mix the dressing ingredients together in a small mixing bowl. Mix all the other ingredients together in a large mixing bowl and then add cooled quinoa.
  3. Toss with dressing. Chill and serve.

I really liked this recipe. It was totally healthy and the avocados when mixed with everything created a creamy consistency that really appealed to me. The flavors were bold but individual and not over-powering to me. I served it with vegetarian Nature’s Burgers. Definitely a recipe that I’ll try again.

RECIPE: Sliced Potatoes, Onions And Spinach

This recipe is just something that I make when I want some sort of potato side and I am not feeling really original.

The recipe ingredient can rotate depending on what I have in my pantry so like most of my recipes it’s made to be adjusted to your likes and what you have on hand. Feel free to get creative.

Let me know what creative things you do to make this your specialty too. I would love to try it.

INGREDIENTS

1/2 Vidalia onion, sliced thin

4 medium sized Red Potatoes, sliced thin

3 Tbsp Olive Oil

Sea Salt & Garlic powder to taste

1 Cup of Spinach

1 Tbsp of Butter

Once the onion and potatoes are sliced toss them in a baking dish with the rest of the ingredients and toss until everything is evenly coated. Place in oven preheated to 400 degrees and bake for about 30-45 minutes. Make sure you keep checking on this and tossing the ingredients around a few times during cooking so everything gets evenly browned.

While you’re waiting for the potato and onion mixture to cook saute the spinach with the butter and a little salt until nicely wilted and bright green.

Once the potato and onion mixture is done toss the spinach mixture with it and serve. It’s that easy and quite tasty too.

I served this with my go to Chicken Scallopini recipe (Veggie, of course. I use Gardien Chikn Scallopini for mine though) and corn on the cob. It’s a nice easy, hearty meal that is always a good to recipe in this household. Meat eaters and vegetarians alike will be satisfied and happy.

RECIPE: Cheesy Risotto

A nice creamy, cheesy, flavorful risotto is one of life’s great pleasures as far as I am concerned. There use to be a day when I only got to enjoy this wonderful treat when I was dining at a fancy restaurant somewhere. I would enjoy it so completely and then dream about it for years after that. The sad fact is that not many restaurants these days actually have risotto on their menus and because of that I wasn’t able to indulge my risotto cravings. That has changed.

I used to think that making risotto was so hard to do. After all the slow adding of broth in batches and waiting for it to absorb before adding more always seemed to me to be an arduous task. Boy, was I wrong. Making a really enjoyable risotto at home is not only fairly easy but it really doesn’t take much more time then most home cooked meals. The ingredient list is really simple for a basic risotto too.

Now over the last few years I’ve tried several different risotto recipes and most were either not creamy enough and bordering on dry or they were nearly tasteless. But recently I found this recipe for a basic cheese risotto on the back of the bag of Arborio rice (what a novel idea, right?). I was hesitant to try it because I’ve done that before and was let down but this one turned out to be surprisingly different and yielded a fantastic risotto.

The ingredient list is small and most of the stuff you probably already have in your pantry.

INGREDIENTS

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Large Onion, diced

1 Cup Arborio Rice

5 Cups of hot stock

3/4 cup White Wine

1/4 to 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese

2 Tbsp Butter

In a large saucepan saute the onion in the oil until soft and translucent. Then add the rice and saute with the onion for a few minutes. Add the white wine to the mixture and cook until the wine is absorbed. I used a nice Pinot Grigio (Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Pinot Grigio 2010 – California). I LOVE the smell of cooking with wine. It just fills the house with warmth and love in my opinion but I digress…make sure this mixture is cooking on medium heat.

After the wine is absorbed start adding 1/2 cup of the hot broth to the mixture and wait until it is almost completely absorbed before you add 1/2 cup more. Continue this process until all the liquid is used and absorbed. The whole process might take about 30 to 40 minutes. Don’t try to rush it by turning up the heat or skimping on the amount of liquid. This process is what makes risotto creamy and…well…yummy. Trust me it’s worth it. For the hot broth I used 5 cups of water and added 2 cubes of my favorite Rapunzel Vegan Veggie Bouillon with Sea Salt and Herbs. I really think that this made all the difference when it came to the deep flavor of this risotto.

Once all the liquid is absorbed add the Parmesan cheese and mix in until well incorporated. Remove from heat and add the butter and mix well. I used Smart Balance Organic Whipped Buttery Spread but you can use regular butter or margarine if you like too. Now all that’s left is to serve to your waiting diners.

I served the risotto with a veggie chicken patty (Gardien Chik’n Scallopinin) dredged in flour and cooked in olive oil until golden brown but I am sure this risotto would go great with real chicken as well. 🙂 I also served it with a side of steamed Asparagus in a lemon buttter sauce.

I loved this risotto and will definitely make it again. There are times where I just want a nice, decadent feeling rice side and this one definitely fits the bill. Give it a try. I am sure you’ll like it too.

RECIPE: Quinoa Burgers with Coleslaw