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Archive for the ‘Yummy Sides’ Category

We have been having such a hot summer and the last thing that I want is to make something hot for dinner. I made this pasta salad the other night and it was light, healthy, and delicious. The best part was all of the leftovers- I think I got at least 4 meals out of it! I love the crunchiness of the veggies and knowing how healthy it is with the salmon and whole wheat pasta. It would be a fabulous side to bring to a BBQ or party!

Ingredients:

  • 2 5oz. cans salmon (in water)
  • 1/2 cucumber, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/ 2 cup mayonnaise
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. dried dill
  • 1 lb. whole wheat pasta
Directions:
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. While pasta is cooking, mix together all other ingredients.
  3. When pasta finishes cooking, drain and let cool. Gently mix in other ingredients and put in the fridge to chill before serving.

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This appetizer sampler was inspired by a lot of random things in my refrigerator… another time that my scrounging has led to yumminess! Sometimes I will make this for a little dinner for myself or I will make it for a group if I am entertaining. I didn’t list amounts in the ingredients since you can pretty much just make as much as you need! I love cheese and crackers at any time and the salami is an added yummy factor. Asparagus and proscuitto is a simple appetizer that a lot of people think sounds complicated but it it super easy and quick to prepare. Babybel cheeses are little and fun and they have so many different flavors to choose from: Original, Bonbel, Gouda, and White Cheddar (and I may be forgetting one or two). Try this little appetizer platter and you will wow everyone- yourself included!

Ingredients:

  • Your favorite crackers (I like the big round whole wheat ones)
  • Sliced deli cheese (I like all kinds but especially Swiss and Cheddar for this)
  • Salami
  • Prosciutto
  • Asparagus
  • Babybel cheese (I love all flavors!)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Olive Oil
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle olive oil over a large baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cut ends off of asparagus and rinse. Pat dry and roll asparagus in oil, salt, and pepper and place on baking sheet. Put in the oven and cook on both sides until it starts to brown (turn it after about 5 minutes but check in on it depending how hot your oven is).
  2. While the oven is preheating and asparagus is cooking, work on everything else. ūüôā Cut cheese slices into 4 and assemble salami and cheese onto the crackers. I like the big round crackers since the salami fits perfectly on top (I use Safeway brand whole wheat crackers but I am sure there are a ton of other similar kinds).
  3. When asparagus is done cooking, let it cool and then roll it the long way in the prosciutto.
  4. Arrange everything on a large serving plate (or you can have a plate for each appetizer if you are making lots of each). Something else fun that I like to do is make a little plate for everyone that I am entertaining but you can do whatever you want to. ūüôā
Serve with: White or red wine and/or cocktails. This is a perfect starter for an Italian meal- I used it as my starter for a meal of stuffed shells and Caesar salad and it was a perfect pairing. ūüôā

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I’ve eaten a staggering amount of kale this summer and am constantly finding endless ways to prepare it.¬† Here’s the latest from Mom/Auntie Joan…

Wash and dry a bunch of kale leaves and remove stems and spines (I use my kitchen shears). Slice the kale. In a frying pan, saute half a sliced onion and a crushed clove of garlic in olive oil.¬† Add the kale and continue to stir fry for a few minutes.¬† Add 1/2 cup of chicken broth, put a lid on the pan, turn down the heat and let steam for a few minutes.¬† It’s the perfect side dish for almost everything.¬† Enjoy!

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My mom has been making pesto bread for as long as I can remember and it is one of my favorite appetizers. The combination of warm, fresh bread and flavorful pesto is oh so delicious and just thinking about it right now is making me crave it! This is a great party appetizer and it’s so easy to make. If you keep pesto frozen in your freezer, you can make pesto bread at any time of the year!

Ingredients:

  • Pesto (homemade or store bought, but homemade is best :))
  • 1 large loaf of fresh French bread (or your favorite bread)
  • Olive oil¬†

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. You can also cook this on the grill in the summertime, just turn up your grill to high.
  2. Coat one side of the bread with olive oil and the other with pesto, as much as you like.
  3. Place bread on cookie sheet (or grill) oil side down and pesto side up.
  4. Cook for 5-10 minutes, until pesto starts to melt into the bread a bit.
  5. Let cool for a few minutes and then enjoy!

Note: Want to spice up your pesto bread a bit? You can add mozzarella and/or tomato, prosciutto, or whatever else you like!

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Photo Credit: Ifinite Trends

I got an email from Auntie Martha yesterday with a note about a bruschetta she was making to take to a friend’s house for dinner that evening – the ingredients were decidedly summery (namely the fresh peaches) and the combo sounded delicious so I thought I would share…

Topping: fresh tomatoes, fresh peaches, basil, parsley, onions, garlic, olive oil and a bit of balsamic vinegar to liven it up. Served over toasted bread which she brushed with olive oil before hand. Yum!

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I have definitely been MIA on the blog lately with a new job and summer school, but I wanted to post this yummy recipe since it has been a big hit at my house. Usually when I ask my boyfriend what kind of veggie he wants with dinner, his response is “no veggie.” Since I am studying nutrition and know the importance of veggies, this is really frustrating to me, but I have found a veggie that he loves now, so I try to make it as often as I can. We came up with this recipe pretty randomly but I am glad that we did, because it is delicious. It is so tasty that it almost seems like dessert, but it’s also good for you, since sweet potatoes are high in complex carbohydrates,¬†dietary fiber,¬†beta carotene¬†(a¬†vitamin A¬†equivalent nutrient),vitamin C, and¬†vitamin B6.

Here is the recipe for these delicious sweet potatoes:

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 large sweet potatoes (depending on how many people you are feeeding)
  • Butter, for greasing the cookie sheet(s)
  • Brown sugar
  • Cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Grease cookie sheet(s) with butter or PAM spray.
  3. Peel and rinse sweet potato(es). Slice into thin rounds, about 1/4 inch thick.
  4. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar onto greased cookie sheet, just as much as you would like. I do a medium coating. Place sweet potato rounds on top and then sprinkle more brown sugar and cinnamon on top. Place cookie sheet(s) in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, until sweet potato rounds are soft.

Note:¬†I think that this would be an amazing side dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner too… it will definitely be on our dinner table when these holidays come up!

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Shrimp is one of my favorite foods and I love it every way, but I especially love it grilled. It’s so easy to make too.

Here is what you need to do to make your very own grilled shrimp… Purchase large cooked shrimps, rinse, and skewer them. Season both sides with lemon or lime juice and desired seasonings (we like lemon pepper), place on the grill, and cook, turning after about 5-7 minutes and cooking for another 5 minutes or so, but you will be able to tell when they are ready to turn, they just need to be starting to brown a bit. Make sure to use a potholder or mitts when turning the shrimps, since the skewers will be hot.

Serve with rice or pasta salad and fruit, like we did. Enjoy!

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