Artichokes were a staple in my house growing up. Slowly over time they started to evolve. It started with steamed artichokes dipped in melted butter, to stuffed artichokes and then finally grilled artichokes.
We were always grilling fanatics. I remember our grill was out of commission for a month once and I almost went into a deep depression. So clearly I love anything grilled.
Grilled artichokes are great for a side dish or even better as an appetizer. Often times when you are grilling for a group of people they are waiting around for their round of food to come up. Instead of having them wait around eating chips and dip, give them some grilled artichokes to munch on and they will forget what they are even waiting for. (more…)
Spaghetti squash seems to be one of those vegetables that my entire group of friends had no idea existed until I started making it. It definitely looks weird to someone who is staring at a big bowl of yellow strings, that hesitation goes away once they realize how yummy it is. I try not to make too much pasta but I love SAUCE so this puts me in a pickle. How do I get the yumminess of a sauce without the carb overload of the pasta? The answer is simple – spaghetti squash. What I love about this particular veggie is that it is the ideal pasta substitute. It has no taste unless you give it one, so like pasta just add some sauce and you got yourself a healthy alternate to pasta nights!
Step by step cooking instructions for spaghetti squash.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Fill a square glass baking dish (large enough to fit your squash) with a light layer of water, enough to cover the bottom of the pan.
Pierce your squash all over using a fork. Place the squash in the glass baking dish and bake for 45 minutes or until you can easily pierce it with a fork. (if you buy a smaller squash start testing at 30 minutes)
Remove from the oven. Once cool enough to handle, place on your cutting board, cut the stem off and then cut it in half LENGTHWISE.
Using a fork take out the seeds from each side of the squash and discard. Continue using your fork to scrap out the insides of the squash until they are bare and place in a bowl.
Add whatever sauce you like to it and tada you have a yummy healthy meal!
I can eat sweet potatoes every day of every week. What’s so great about them is that not only are they enjoyable by themselves but they can also be played around with to add some complexity to a somewhat normal sweet taste.
This recipe is great when you’re looking to add color to your meal and let me tell you they are a definite crowd pleasure. They are cheap and easy (YAY!) which is great when you’re trying to feed the masses like I so often am. I would typically serve this with anything BBQ but it really can be served with anything. Make this and I’m telling you, you won’t regret it.
- 2 Sweet Potatoes
- 2 tbsp. Butter
- 1 Tsp. Cinnamon
- 1 tbsp. Brown Sugar
- 1 tsp. Paprika
- A Dash of Cayenne Pepper (spicy, so add at your leisure)
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Put a small pot of water on the stove to boil. Peel and slice the potatoes into ½ inch in diameter circles. Once the water has boiled, add the potatoes. Let the potatoes sit in the water for 5 minutes. While the potatoes are in the water combine all the dry ingredients in a small dish and set aside.
Check the texture of the potatoes by seeing if you can pierce one with your fork. The key here is that you want the potatoes to be soft enough that you can easily pierce them but not too soft that they will fall apart once you do. Once they are at the desired consistency, strain the potatoes from the water and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350. Grab a baking sheet and sprinkle with your misto (or pam – yuk!). Lay the potatoes in the pan making sure they aren’t touching. Next, take a fork and gently press down on the middle of the sweet potato so they get “smashed” and spread out a little bit. Its ok if they break away, just use your fingers to bring it back together.
Next, melt the butter in a small dish and drizzle every sweet potato disk with a little butter. Sprinkle (generously) each disk with the dry seasoning blend, if you run out you can make more.
Place the trays of sweet potatoes in the oven and cook for 10 minutes or until the top is goldenny brown.
*One time I made these and it spun into this huge conversation which led to a google of what’s the difference between a yam and a sweet potato. Very fascinating stuff!
As some of you might have realized, Kale has become one of the “popular” vegetables. I love kale, so when it became popular to the point that you could find it in every recipe, every supermarket and every restaurant I was thrilled.
Not only is Kale a “powerhouse” veggie, it is also super cheap. One bunch of it is only 99 cents at your local supermarket. Kale is great raw in salads or cooked in any array of ways. For this recipe, which I adapted from Gwyneth Paltrows recipe in her cookbook “My Father’s Daughter” the Kale is chopped and added to a stir fried rice combination. It’s a great side, especially when served with my miso chicken: https://thatszogood.wordpress.com/2011/07/06/miso-chicken/
- 2 bags of Trader Joes Frozen Brown Rice
- 1 Bunch of Kale – chopped
- 1 Tbsp. Chopped Fresh Ginger
- 4-5 Chopped Garlic Cloves
- 2-4 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
- 2 Tbsp. Veggie Oil
Heat your wok up with the veggie oil. Spread the oil around and add the garlic and the ginger and reduce to a lower temperature so the garlic doesn’t burn. Stir for about 2 minutes and then add the kale. Continue to combine for another 5 minutes or until the kale has reached a vibrant color green. Add the defrosted brown rice to the wok and stir well for about 5 minutes so it is very well combined and the rice appears to be almost crispy. Add the 2 tbsp. soy sauce, mix and then taste to see if it needs more soy sauce. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and serve hot.
*serves 6—8 people as a side.
*for more fun facts about kale check out:
- Miso Chicken (thatszogood.wordpress.com)
- Kale Egg Rolls (notecook.com)
- Forbidden Rice with Ginger Tofu, Asparagus & Kale (missiondelectable.wordpress.com)