Thursday, April 19, 2012

Just a Little Something On the Side

Ahhhh. My great dilemma. Side dishes. For most dinners, it is an after-thought. A last-minute scramble to come up with something to fill the rest of the plate. Unless it's a Sunday dinner, I'm asked to bring a side dish to a pot-luck or dinner, or I'm having guests, I very rarely think of side dishes these days. That didn't used to be the case. Back before I had kids, I planned ahead much more often and had a plethora of side dishes.

However I am experimenting more with bread-making. More on that later! I'm sure I'll come up with quite a few blog posts with that topic. It's actually a lot of fun. I just haven't had 1) the time, or 2) the oven access before now to do it.

My lack of time to plan and prepare side dishes these days doesn't mean that my family doesn't have a good stash of favorite side dish recipes to choose from. And, of course, that doesn't stop us from discovering more great side dishes...every Sunday! :) During the week, it's a can of green beans, rice-a-roni, or frozen corn for me! But Sunday? That's when we discover new delectable things to eat on the side.

Oh, and I noticed that this time around, a lot of these recipes are potato-based. I promise that potatoes aren't the only side dish we eat! If you don't believe me (or if you do believe me, but want to check out our favorite side dishes), click here. That link takes you to a list of all of our recipes listed alphabetically by category. So, just scroll down to the side dish category and you'll see all of our favorite side dishes such as baked polenta fries, basil corn on the cobb, herbed basmati rice, lime rice, Mexican corn salad, mixed berry salad with mint, orange glazed carrots, etc. Just to name a few.

So, sit back, loosen your belt, relax, and enjoy the side-dishes!

Cheesy Roasted Cauliflower


8 cups cauliflower florets
1 red onion, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
Juice from 1 large lemon (about 1/4 cup)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup Breakstone's or Knudsen sour cream
1 1/2 cups Kraft finely shredded triple cheddar cheese


Heat oven to 450 degrees F.

Combine first 5 ingredients; spread onto foil-covered rimmed baking sheet.

Bake 40 minutes, stirring after 20 minutes.

Stir in sour cream. Top with cheese; bake 5 minutes or until melted.

Makes 6 servings (1 cup per serving)

Recipe Notes: For a special addition, you can cook and crumble 4 slices of bacon; sprinkle over roasted vegetable mixture just before serving.

Nutrition information: 210 calories, 16 g fat, 35 mg cholesterol, 220 mg sodium, 10 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 9 g protein.


Notes: Oooh, I loved this. It was so good. Whether you like cauliflower or not, you're going to like this. My sister hates onions, but they were big enough that she was able to pick around harm done!

True-Blue Potato Salad


2 1/2 pounds small red potatoes, cooked and cubed
3/4 cup chopped green onions
3/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup fat-free sour cream
1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled blue cheese


In a large bowl, toss the potatoes, onions, and celery. In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, parsley, vinegar, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Pour over potato mixture; toss to coat. Sprinkle with blue cheese. Cover and refrigerate for several hours before serving.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size is 1 cup).

Nutrition Information: 175 calories, g fat, 12 mg cholesterol, 622 mg sodium, 31 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 7 g protein.

Source: Taste of Home recipe found in one of their cookbooks (I'll have to find out which one, specifically, from my Mom).

Notes: For awhile there, my Mom wasn't sure that she could find this recipe again. I was very worried. I knew that if she didn't find it, that I would crave it the remainder of my days. :) This is a very good, and unique, potato salad recipe.

Sweet and White Potato Salad


3/4 lb. new potatoes (about 9), quartered
3/4 lb. sweet potatoes (about 1 large), peeled, cut into 1-inch chunks
1/2 cup Kraft mayo with Olive Oil Reduced Fat Mayonnaise
1 tbsp Grey Poupon Harvest Coarse Ground Mustard
1 Tbsp honey
1/4 tsp ground red pepper (cayenne)
6 slices Oscar Mayer Bacon, cooked, crumbled
2 green onions, sliced


Bring 1 1/2 qt. water to boil in large saucepan. Add new potatoes; cook 3 minutes. Add sweet potatoes; cook 10 minutes or until all potatoes are tender. Drain potatoes; place in large bowl. Cool.

Mix mayo, mustard, honey, and pepper. Add to potatoes with remaining ingredients; mix lightly.

Refrigerate 1 hour.

Recipe Notes: If you like your potato salad extra spicy, increase ground red pepper to 1/2 tsp. You can also substitute 1/2 cup chopped Oscar Mayer ham for the bacon. In addition to that, you can substitute Miracle Whip Dressing for the mayo, if you prefer (which I don't!).

Nutrition information: 110 calories, 5 g fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 210 mg sodium, 14 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 3 g protein.


Twice Baked Potatoes


Large baking potatoes
Cheddar Cheese
Garlic Salt or Garlic Powder
Sour Cream
Salt and pepper, to taste


Wash potatoes and pat dry, then pierce with a fork (after the potatoes are dried and pierced, you can also rub the potatoes lightly with oil and sprinkle with sea salt, if you like).

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours (depending on the size of your potatoes).

Remove the potatoes from the oven. Allow to cool slightly. Scoop potatoes out of the skins (taking care to keep the skins intact) and place in a large bowl. Place the potato skins (skin side down) on a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan. Set the potato skins aside.

In the bowl with the potatoes, add cheese, garlic salt/garlic powder, to taste. Add butter and sour cream (2 tbsp butter and 1/2 cup sour cream for every 6 potatoes). Stir to mix. You want the mixture to be well incorporated, but you also want it to still be a little chunky--not mashed until it's smooth.

Once the potato mixture is complete, scoop it back into the reserved potato skins. Sprinkle additional cheddar cheese on top of the potatoes.  Return the potatoes to the oven and continue to bake for an additional 30 minutes or until the cheese has melted, the potatoes are hot, and the tops are slightly browned.

Source: We've had these twice-baked potatoes as long as I can remember. I don't know the source. My Mom will have to help out with that one.

Notes: I've never actually seen a written copy of this recipe, so I am estimating the ingredient amounts from memory. I usually just add the ingredients according to taste. If there is an actual recipe out there, I would be much obliged if my Mom would share it with me (and all of us!).

Three Bean Salad


1 can cut green beans
1 can red kidney beans
1 can cut yellow wax beans
1 small green pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped


3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/3 cup salad oil
2/3 cup vinegar


Drain beans. Add beans, onion, and green pepper to bowl and toss gently.

Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.

Pour dressing over bean mixture, stirring gently to coat well. Let salad marinate in refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Serve chilled.

Source: This is one of my favorite side dishes. But the recipe always seemed to elude me. Until Pinterest came along! I found this recipe on Pinterest. It is from a lovely blog which you can find here.

Notes: You could also use red onion in place of the regular onion, if you like. This also makes a lot of dressing, you could reduce it by half and still have enough to coat the beans.


  1. See the sweet and sour potato salad is something I would crave. You didn't really like it, but I took it to work all that week and it was wonderful. The sweet with the kick of cayenne was really good. I would mix the cayenne really well in the mayo because there were times you got a bite with too much and others not enough. We'll have to try the bleu cheese one again. Notice there's no mayo!

  2. Oh, and the twice baked...something my mom used to do; so we're talking generational.