Side Dishes

Mashed Cauliflower – 21 Day Fix Approved

This clean recipe for mashed cauliflower is creamy and delicious, containers NO butter, and can be whipped up for a last minute side dish. Plus, it is 21 Day Fix approved.

Mashed Cauliflower

Ingredients:

16 oz cauliflower florets
2 tbsp Greek yogurt
2 tbsp goat cheese
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Fresh ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

Cook cauliflower until tender. Drain, return to pan, cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes.

Add cauliflower, Greek yogurt, goat cheese, and garlic powder to a food processor. Process until smooth and creamy.

Top with fresh ground pepper.

Depending on the size of your cauliflower, makes 2-4 servings.

21 Day Fix: portion out with your green container, I don’t worry about counting anything for the cheese or yogurt since it is such a small amount

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Recipe Re-visit: Sauteed Brussels Sprouts

To make up for Monday’s post I will once again tout my love for Brussels sprouts. Seriously, try them sauteed and they are so yummy! If you still are feeling doubtful, try this recipe (hello, it has bacon and bacon makes everything better).

I posted this simple “recipe” awhile back and it is one that I needed to re-visit and update photos for. It is a great, simple, quick and healthy weeknight veggie. See the original post and the recipe here.

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Macaroni and Cheese

Mmmm…. mac and cheese. Carbs and cheese? Seriously? Who invented this? You deserve a medal. I decided to try out the Pioneer Woman’s versions since I usually trust her whenever calories are not a restriction and butter is a necessity. You can serve this without baking it for a creamy, succulent version, but I decide to bake it. I’m not sure which way I prefer. Baking it dries up the sauce some so you don’t get the same creaminess but it does have the added bonus of a crunchy topping.

Ingredients:
4 cups dried macaroni
1 egg
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 heaping teaspoons dry mustard
1 lb cheese blend of your choice, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Optional spices: cayenne pepper, paprika, thyme

Directions:
Cook macaroni until very firm. The macaroni should be too firm to eat right out of the pot. Drain and set aside.

In a large pot melt butter over medium-low heat. Sprinkle in flour and whisk together. Cook for five minutes, whisking constantly. Do not let mixture burn. Add milk and mustard, whisk until smooth. Cook for five more minutes, until very thick. Reduce heat to low.

Beat egg in a small bowl. Scoop 1/4 cup of the sauce out of the large pot and slowly pour it into the beaten egg, whisking constantly to temper the egg. Whisk until smooth.

Pour egg mixture into sauce, whisking constantly until smooth. Add in cheese and stir until melted. Add salt, seasoned salt, and pepper. Taste and add more salt as needed. Do no under salt.

Add cooked macaroni to sauce and stir to combine. Serve immediately for creamy mac and cheese or pour into a buttered baking dish, top with extra grated cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 or until bubbly and golden on top.

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Texas Caviar

Since I have lived in the DC area for the majority of my life, most people don’t know that I was actually born in Southern Texas. I love Southwestern/Mexican food but I didn’t live there long enough to give the real thing a try. Unless my mom blended up enchiladas and spoon fed them to me. Which is highly doubtful. Although, possibly yummy.
Anyway, this recipe is from my mom and I am posting it as a homage to my birth state. Also, it is highly delicious. I ate it all week long for lunch. You can eat it straight up as a side dish or serve it like a salsa with tortilla chips. It is super easy to make but is better made a day ahead so the flavors can blend over night.

Ingredients:
2 – 15 oz cans black-eyed peas (drained and rinsed well)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 green pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced (or leave the seeds in for extra heat)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 to 2/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and refrigerate overnight.
 

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Quinoa Black Bean Salad

I love quinoa! If you haven’t tried it before, you really should. It is similar to a grain but is actually an edible seed with a mild flavor. It is high in protein and gluten free. It makes an excellent side dish or substitute for rice and is easy to prepare. This salad was delicious and tasted great the next day for lunch. I love eating stuff like this for lunch, the beans and quinoa really help keep me full and satisfied throughout the day.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 Serrano pepper, minced
1 cup corn (I used leftover grilled corn on the cob)
1 cup diced tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes, halved)
1/4 cup diced red onion (or green onion for milder flavor)
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
5 tbsp lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
Salt & pepper, to taste
Directions:
Cook quinoa according to package directions. Place in a medium bowl. Add beans, peppers, corn, tomatoes, onion, and cilantro. Add red wine vinegar, and gently toss ingredients together.
In a small bowl, combine lime juice, olive oil, cayenne, and cumin. Drizzle over quinoa mixture, tossing as you go until evenly coated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve. Refrigerate leftovers.

Adapted from Cooking with Karyn.

Linked to Good Cheap Eats What’s on Your Plate? and Little Brick Ranch Foodie Friday.

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Grilled Asparagus and Mushrooms with Blue Cheese

We’ve been grilling vegetables a ton this summer. So easy and delicious. Since I can’t say no to blue cheese (or any cheese for that matter), I decided to try this recipe out. It was as good as I knew it would be. The blue cheese added a tangy bite. Next time I might add in sun dried tomatoes to the mix for a little variation in flavor and color. The original recipe called for mustard seeds which I didn’t have, so I omitted them.

Ingredients:
1 lb asparagus, trimmed
8 oz cremini mushrooms, halved
3 oz blue cheese, crumbled
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Place asparagus and mushrooms in a zip lock bag. Whisk together balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Dijon, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Pour dressing mixture over the vegetables in the zip lock bag. Shake until vegetables are evenly coated.
Prepare grill. Place veggie mixture in a grill basket and grill until asparagus is browned and caramelized. Remove from grill and top with blue cheese.
Adapted from Coconut & Lime.
Linked to Ekat’s Kitchen Friday Potluck and Prairie Story Recipe Swap.

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Southwest Slaw

I made this rendition of coleslaw to go along with fish tacos (I will post the recipe for them soon) and both Casey and I loved it. We love spicy things, and this slaw had just the right amount of kick. Not your typical, goopy, mayo-y slaw. I pretty much can’t stand mayo so this works really well for me. This would be great as a side or on burgers, tacos, anything really! Adapted from patiodaddio on Tasty Kitchen.

Ingredients:
Slaw
¼ heads green cabbage, sliced thin
⅛ heads red cabbage, sliced thin (alternatively, you can do what I did and buy a bag of premade coleslaw mix)
¼ medium red onion, sliced very thin
¼ cup cilantro, chopped (reserve some for garnish, if desired)

Dressing

3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 whole limes, juiced
1 whole chipotle chile, in adobo sauce (from a can)
1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from the can)
1 teaspoon garlic salt
Directions:
Combine the red and green cabbage, onion, and cilantro in a large bowl.
Blend all of the dressing ingredients together using a stick blender or a food processor until fully combined.
Add the dressing to the cabbage mixture, a little at a time, tossing to coat. Continue adding more dressing until the cabbage mixture is evenly coated.
Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes prior to serving. Garnish with reserved cilantro.
Makes roughly 4 cups.

 

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Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Walnuts

Who would have ever thought Brussel sprouts would make such a comeback? They’ve had a bad rap for years but can be truly delicious if prepared by sauteeing or roasting them. This recipe from Pinch My Salt was fabulous and makes an excellent side dish to beef or pork. Casey and I both loved it!

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon walnut oil (or oil of your choice, or apple cider)
4 slices thick cut bacon
1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed and shredded (you can use the shredding blade on a food processor)
1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts
kosher salt, to taste
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Directions:
In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, sugar, and oil; set aside.
In a large skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon, cut or crumble into pieces, and set aside. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of drippings in pan (if there aren’t enough drippings to equal 2 tbsp, add a little butter or oil).
Heat drippings over medium-high then add shredded brussels sprouts. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until just tender. Remove from heat and stir in bacon, walnuts, and dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.
Servings: 4
 
Linked to Ekat’s Kitchen Friday Potluck, Fudge Ripple Tuesday Night Supper Club and Real Sustenance Seasonal Sundays.

Purchase your 21 Day Fix Challenge Pack here and join my next online accountability group. Already have the 21 Day Fix but need help getting started? Make me your free coach and I will help you get started!

Great Grandma’s Mac and Cheese

I love this Mac and Cheese recipe, my mom used to make it for us as kids and I just recently decided I wanted to try it as an adult. This recipe comes from my grandmothers’ mom and is a whole different type of mac and cheese then the saucy ones we see so often. The top noodles are crusty, the bottom noodles are soft, and they are all surrounded by pops of sharp cheddar cheese and nestled into a custard-y filling. Very delicious! This would make an excellent side dish or a main dish served with a salad. I served ours with my favorite Winter Salad.

Ingredients:
4 cups hot drained boiled macaroni (8-12 oz uncooked)
Dots of butter (2 Tablespoons)
2 cups cut-up sharp cheese (1/2 inch cubes)
2 eggs, beaten
3 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Paprika
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Layer macaroni, butter, and cheese in a casserole dish coated with cooking spray. Combine beaten eggs, milk, salt, and pepper and pour over the macaroni mixture.

Sprinkle the top with paprika. Bake until golden brown on top, 40-50 minutes.
Serves: 6
 

Linked to: Tasty Tuesday at For The Love of Blogs and Prairie Story Recipe Swap Thursday.

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The Perfect Mashed Potatoes

I make the Pioneer Woman‘s Creamy Mashed Potatoes every Thanksgiving. I first posted about them here and if you haven’t tried them before, you are missing out! These will be gracing our table again this year.

Yummy potato goodness!

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