Category Archives: Side Dish

Easy Corn Esquites + A Giveaway

Easy Corn Esquites

It’s almost Labor Day, which means Summer’s almost over, which is pretty darn depressing.

Luckily, I got to try the Just Mayo line from Hampton Creek for one last taste of Summer and a lift in spirit.

For my whole life I didn’t think I liked mayo up until a couple of years ago when I actually tried it and–surprise, surprise–got hooked on the savory spread. I loved all of the Hampton Creek flavors, but the sriracha was by far my favorite even though I don’t like regular sriracha. It’s just the right amount of spice and cooling creaminess.

The garlic came in a close second when I made a killer potato salad for a camping trip with it that got eaten up almost immediately. Overall I love that these get a ton of flavor from a few simple ingredients. 

I had an amazing corn salad in the city with chipotle mayo, parmesan, and smoky spices. I knew I wanted to try it out myself because it highlighted the flavors of the ingredients with true simplicity. I’m sure you’ll eat more corn and mayo over Labor Day weekend but be sure to sneak this recipe in, too. 

Easy Corn Esquites

You can really prepare the corn for this anyway you want(you can even use frozen–just don’t admit to it). I roasted it since that’s easiest to do in a small NYC apartment but grilling would add a great smoky flavor.

Easy Corn Esquites

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 2 servings):

  • 2 corn cobs, washed and cleaned 
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3 Tablespoons parmesan
  • 2 Tablespoons spicy mayo
  • 2 lime wedges for garnish

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease the corn with the oil.
  3. Roast for 30 minutes until the corn turns golden.
  4. After the corn’s cooled slightly, separate it from the cob with a sharp knife.
  5. In a large bowl mix together the corn, salt, lime juice, and chili powder.
  6. Scoop evenly into two small bowls. Sprinkle the parmesan and a dollop of mayo on top. Serve with a lime wedge at room temperature or slightly warmer.

Hampton Creek Mayo

Giveaway!

Want to try some of every flavor? Tell me what mayo-centric recipe you would make with it. Including what flavor/recipe you would use is optional but encouraged. I’ll pick a winner at random next Tuesday, the 2nd, right after Labor Day. Good luck! 

Roasted Garlic Parmesan Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Garlic Parmesan Brussels Sprouts

Brunch is the best meal there is; the competition’s not even close. You can go sweet or you can go savory(you can even go both!). It can be at 10am or 3pm. And even when it’s at 10am it’s always acceptable to have alcohol. What could be better?

My favorite items on any brunch menu are the different roasted vegetables(and home fries, but that’s a given). They’re something that you have to put time into but end up being well worth the effort.

If you want to wake up with savory food, these brussels sprouts are perfect for you. They’re just the right amount of crispy, satisfying, and seasoning to wake you up. Combine them with a runny yolk from a fried egg and they’re that much better. 

Roasted Garlic Parmesan Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Garlic Parmesan Brussel Sprouts

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 35 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 2 servings):

  • 1 1/2 cups brussels sprouts, trimmed and washed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 large garlic clove, diced
  • 3 Tablespoons parmesan

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Toss the brussels sprouts, salt, and 2 Tablespoons of oil together.
  3. Lay the brussels out on a non-stick baking try and roast until slightly crispy(about 30 minutes for small-medium brussels)
  4. Heat the remaining Tablespoon oil in a pan over low heat.
  5. Toast the garlic until browning.
  6. Add in the brussels sprouts and toss until well mixed and they’re cooked in the oil.
  7. Remove from the heat. Sprinkle the parmesan over and toss until well-mixed.
  8. Serve hot. 

Creamy Feta and Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

Creamy Feta and Sun-dried Tomato Dip

The best way to be a better cook is find recipes you like and learn to make them your own way. Some months I get lazy and never make anything new–I don’t mind the same lunch every day of the week. But reading blogs help me find recipes good enough to break me out of my rut.

This recipe from Mississippi Kitchen looked too good to pass up. I never buy as much spinach and salad mixins as I should so instead I wanted to take the same flavors and put them in a dip. This has a ton of savory, salty flavor and surprisingly healthy ingredients. You could serve this at a party and they’d never know it’s a bean dip!

Creamy Feta and Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

Seasoning should be the last step of this recipe. There’s no right amount of salt–you’ll need to taste it and figure out how much to add based on how salty your ingredients are.

Always taste a sauce or dip with whatever you’re using for dipping; if you’re using vegetables you’ll want the dip to be on the saltier side, while if you’re using seasoned crackers keep it on the bland side.   

Creamy Feta and Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 12 servings):

  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained

  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes

  • 1/3 cup sour cream

  • 1/2 cup – 3/4 cup buttermilk

  • 4oz feta, crumbled

  • Salt to taste

  • Vegetables for dipping 

Method:

  1. Add the beans to a food processor and pulse until smooth.

  2. Add in the tomatoes, sour cream, 1/2 cup buttermilk, and feta and process.

  3. Slowly add more buttermilk to get the dip to the right consistency while processing. Only add as much as you’d like to make it the right thickness.

  4. When done, season to taste with salt.

  5. Serve at room temperature. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator when not enjoying. 

How To Cook Nachos At Home

How To Cook Nachos At Home

Happy seis de Mayo!

Nachos are my favorite bad food. You can get them anywhere(and I have), especially anywhere worth going. After a few drinks there’s nothing else I’d rather have–not even Reese’s cup brownies.

Making them at home, though, has never been as simple as it out to be. You can’t put them in the microwave or the chips get soggy. I’ve literally set a pan on fire in the oven not understanding how a burner works. Bad bad bad.

Skillet Nachos

These are the most satisfying nachos I’ve made at home. They’re warm and melty on top while the chips stay hot and crisp–not soggy. It’s easy to make and you can eat it from the pan so you don’t have to dirty dishes. What could be better?

Skillet Nachos

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

  • 1-2 Tablespoons oil
  • 4 handfuls of tortilla chips
  • 1/2 cup refried beans
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese*
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup guacamole

*Make sure to use a cheese that melts well since you don’t want this on the burner for too long. Avoid processed shredded cheeses with lots of added ingredients and stabilizers.

Method:

  1. Rub a pan with a cover with oil to make sure the tortillas won’t stick or burn.
  2. Add the chips into the pan. Add the beans and cheese around on top evenly.
  3. Turn the burner onto a medium heat and cover immediately with a pan cover.
  4. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the cheese has melted and remove from the burner immediately.
  5. Add the salsa, sour cream, and guacamole and enjoy.

Savory Garlic Green Beans

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A lot of the time I’m asked if this is purely a dessert blog. It’s not, but I can see where the confusion comes from between brownies and bark and cookies.

Desserts are just easier to photograph. You don’t have to worry about them cooling too much. You can even wait a whole day before cutting a slice. But spend 10 minutes photographing green beans and all you’re left with are mediocre pictures and cold vegetables.

You’ll only get one mediocre picture from this blog post, but a darn good recipe. If you like vegetables—or even if you don’t—using garlic and shallots and just the right amount of salt makes these greens addictive.

Savory Garlic Green Beans

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 2-3 servings):

  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 shallot, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 1lb fresh green beans, end chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Method:

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan over medium heat.
  2. Add in the shallots and garlic and cook until they begin to brown.
  3. Add in the rest of the oil and the green beans. Sauté moving constantly so that the green beans cook on all sides.
  4. Season with salt and toss before removing from the pan. Serve while hot.

Buffalo Cream Cheese Chex Dip + Giveaway

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I love being challenged to make recipes with a few ingredients(a la Chopped). I think it’s easier than starting with a blank canvas. Chex & General Mills challenged me to make something with Chex cereal and Frank’s hot sauce—an odd combination for sure. But immediately I had an idea and I’m happy it turned out so well.

This recipe’s a twist on a savory cheese ball and my vegetarian buffalo chicken dip. The last time I had that dip was for the Super Bowl; I think this one’s going to be the winner for college basketball and any other party I go to this month. It’s just as tasty but a little simpler because there’s no baking involved—perfect for bringing to a party where you won’t be able to heat anything up.

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I debated which Chex cereal to suggest making this with. Using rice or corn makes it gluten-free, but some people might prefer wheat. I would recommend matching it to whatever cracker you’re serving with this. If they’re corn-based, go with corn, wheat-based go with wheat, etc.

Buffalo Cream Cheese Chex Dip

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Serves about 8-10 people):

  • 1 8oz block of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup cannellini beans
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 1/4 cup Frank’s RedHot buffalo wing hot sauce
  • 2/3 cup crushed rice, corn, or wheat Chex cereal
  • Chips and vegetables for dipping

Method:

  1. Combine the cream cheese, cannellini beans, shredded cheese, hot sauce, and 1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon crushed Chex cereal in a large bowl.
  2. Using a potato masher, forcefully mix all of the ingredients until it forms a smooth, even-colored dip.
  3. Using your hands and a clean, non-stick surface, form the dip into a ball.
  4. Lightly bread the outside of the cheese ball with with the remaining Chex cereal.
  5. Serve at room temperature with tortilla chips and vegetables to dip.

Chex-Franks

Giveaway:

Want to make your own? You can get the same inspiration I did to make this pictured above. Just do one or multiple entries as listed below and I’ll pick a winner at 11:59pm on Sunday, March 9th.

Good luck!

5 Vegetarian Super Bowl Dip Recipes

This weekend might be the biggest weekend for football, but it’s also the biggest weekend for dips. As a vegetarian I usually live off of nachos whenever I’m at a party or sports bar. I could never get tired of spicy salsa and creamy guacamole, but making your own dips always tastes better than buying a pre-packaged one from the store. Here are 5 recipes to satisfy the vegetarians and meat-lovers alike at your party who just want to dip on in.

Vegetarian-Buffalo-Chicken-Dip_thumb

Vegetarian Buffalo Chicken Dip

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients(Serves 8-12 people):

  • 8oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce
  • 8oz shredded cheddar or Mexican-blend cheese, divided
  • 1 15oz can white beans, rinsed and drained

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the hot sauce, cream cheese, and 6 ounces(about 1 1/2 cups) of shredded until mixed.
  3. Fold in the beans, adding a little bit of water if necessary until fully incorporated.
  4. Scoop the dip into an oven-safe bowl and spread out the remaining cheese on top to cover it.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cheese begins to brown and the center is hot.
  6. Remove from the oven and serve hot with crudité and nachos.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients(Serves 6 people):

  • 2 cups chickpeas
  • 1 roasted red pepper with the skin peeled
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 Tablespoons neutral oil
  • 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar

Method:

  1. For the roasted pepper, heat an oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cut the pit out of the pepper and lay it on a baking tray.
  3. Brush the pepper with olive oil and roast it for 15-20 minutes until the skin starts to blister away. Let the pepper cool before trying to peel off the skin.
  4. Add all of the ingredients into a food processor and blend until the hummus is completely smooth.
  5. Move into a bowl to serve or store in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to a week.

Firecracker-Guacamole-dip_thumb

Firecracker Guacamole

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Serves 6 people):

  • 3 ripe medium-sized avocadoes
  • 1 small tomato
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1 habanero pepper
  • 1/2 Tablespoon lemon or lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro(optional)

Method:

  1. Peel and mash your avocadoes together in a large bowl.
  2. Carefully dice the onion, tomato, and pepper. Add the tomato and pepper in with the avocado reserving the onion.
  3. Heat a large pan over medium with a little water in the bottom. Quickly sauté the onion in the water for a couple minutes until the diced onions are semi-translucent. Remove from the heat and add in with the avocado.
  4. Add in your citrus and salt and cilantro if using and mix all of the ingredients together.
  5. Serve at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator for up to a day.

Avocado Sour Cream Dip

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes about 8 servings):

  • 1 ripe medium avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 3/4 cup sour cream or low-fat sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons freshly chopped chives

Method:

  1. In a food processor(or however you’d like to do it), puree the avocado until it’s completely smooth.
  2. Fold together the avocado puree, sour cream, onion powder, salt, and 2 ½ Tablespoons of chopped chives.
  3. Transfer the dip to a serving bowl and garnish with the remaining chives.
  4. Serve with Kettle Brand Chips and veggie crudités

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Creamy Avocado Onion Dip

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 1 minute

Ingredients(Serves about 4 people):

  • 1 medium-sized avocado
  • 2 Tablespoons plain 0% Stonyfield Greek
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons minced onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Method:

  1. Pit and seed the avocado and put the meet in a small mixing bowl.
  2. Mash the avocado with a fork until it’s smooth and uniform in color.
  3. Add in the Stonyfield Greek, salt, and olive oil and mix.
  4. In a small pan, heat some cooking oil and sauté the minced onions quickly until they turn brown(this shouldn’t take more than 30 seconds). Keep the pan moving so that they don’t burn.
  5. Add the onions and onion powder to the dip and mix until smooth.
  6. Transfer the dip to a serving bowl and serve with chips and crudités.

 

Savory Cinnamon Rice and Chickpeas

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I love cinnamon in just about any dessert this time of year, or sprinkled on top of coffee or into yogurt. But it’s not used as much in savory dishes as it should be.

Just a little bit of cinnamon and nutmeg make simple rice into a perfect seasonally spiced rice pilaf. You’ll be surprised how much this rice smells like a snickerdoodle cookie but tastes earthy and subtle.

If you want to take this recipe to the next level, roast the chickpeas while the rice is cooking to add a chewier texture and garnish the dish with salted pumpkin or sunflower seeds on top of extra sour cream.

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Savory Cinnamon Rice and Chickpeas

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups uncooked brown rice
  • 3 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 Tablespoon sour cream or butter
  • 2 15oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Method:

  1. In a rice cooker or over the stove, combine the brown rice and vegetable stock and boil until the rice has cooked.
  2. add the rest of the ingredients in with the cooked rice and mix well.
  3. Season with extra salt and pepper to taste and serve hot.

Low-Fat Butternut Squash Casserole

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Stonyfield recently asked their Clean Plate Club members to help them with their latest challenge to squash pesticides out of diets with healthy squash recipes. All of Stonyfield’s yogurts are organic with no GMO or pesticides in the ingredients

Truthfully I don’t buy organic as much as I should, especially organic fruits or vegetables whose skin I usually eat. Living near an organic-only grocery store has gotten me into the habit of buying more organic. Maybe going all organic all the time can be unreasonable in today’s lifestyle, but focusing on making small changes every time you go to the grocery store makes it easy.

October 13th 002

Using greek yogurt in this casserole makes the dish a little lighter but just as creamy and adds a slight tang to the flavor. Use whatever your favorite herbs are whether that’s basil, rosemary, dill or a mix.

Low-Fat Butternut Squash Casserole

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 90 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 8 servings):

  • 2 medium-sized organic butternut squashes
  • 1 6oz container plain Stonyfield Greek
  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Tablespoon dried herbs
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 ounces herbed goat cheese(optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees
  2. Prepare the squashes by removing the skin, stem, and seeds or roasting them whole and waiting to do this.
  3. Roast the squash for 45 minutes to an hour until it is soft and easy to poke with a fork.
  4. Move the squash to a big bowl. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix until it forms an even batter.
  5. Pour the squash puree into a casserole dish. Level out the top.
  6. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes until a light crust forms and the squash is baked through.
  7. Remove from the oven and serve hot. Top with goat cheese or fresh herbs if desired.

Gluten-Free Cornbread

gluten-free cornbread

There are two kinds of cornbread. There’s the dry, stale, bland kind and then there’s the sweet, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth kind. This one is thankfully the latter.

I’ve been wanting to make(and eat) cornbread for a while now. Trader Joe’s recently added their own brand of gluten-free all-purpose flour to their shelves I’ve been meaning to try and this was the perfect way to kill two birds with one stone.

The bread came out sweet and slightly savory—better with a pat of butter. Even with the gluten-free flour it doesn’t crumble until it hits your tongue. 

gluten-free cornbread overhead

Adding a little bit of cinnamon and paprika gives the bread a subtle savory smokiness to it. If you want more of a dessert, omit the paprika and double the amount of cinnamon. You could also simply substitute all-purpose flour for the gluten-free all-purpose flour if gluten sensitivities aren’t an issue.

Gluten-Free Cornbread

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 9 squares):

  • 1 1/2 cup corn meal
  • 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika

gluten-free cornbread yield

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the corn meal, flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
  3. Crack the eggs into the ingredients and add the milk and begin whisking.
  4. Slowly add the melted butter in as you’re whisking.
  5. Add in the cinnamon and paprika and beat until the batter is uniform.
  6. Grease an 8 x 8 pan and pour the batter in.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes until the bread has set.
  8. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before cutting. Serve with butter and honey.