Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Few Random Side Dishes

Here are a couple of side dishes that don't really go together, but what they hey! Well...maybe there is a little bit of a theme...two sweet potato recipes...and one recipe that I served alongside sweet potatoes!

Whipped Sweet Potato Bake


3 cans (15 oz each) sweet potatoes, drained
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
3 cups miniature marshmallows

Directions:  Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Beat potatoes, butter, and spices with mixer until blended.

Spoon into a 1 1/2 quart casserole sprayed with cooking spray; top with marshmallows.

Bake 15-20 minutes, or until mixture is heated through and marshmallows are lightly browned.

Recipe Tip: To make in the microwave, mix all ingredients; spoon into microwaveable 1 1/2 quart dish sprayed with cooking spray. Do not top with marshmallows. Microwave on high for 8-10 minutes, or until heated through, stirring after 5 minutes. Top with marshmallows; let stand 2-3 minutes, or until marshmallows begin to melt.

You can also substitute 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice for the cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.

Yield: 10 servings, 1/2 cup each.

Nutrition information: 170 calories, 5 g fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 85 mg sodium, 32 g carbohydrate, 3 g dietary fiber, 17 g sugar, 1 g protein.

Source:, found here.

Notes: I was going to make this for Thanksgiving not last year, but the year before (2011), but my whole family came down with the stomach flu so we all stayed home. I was going to make and bring this because I was asked to bring a sweet potato casserole. I've been curious to try it ever since. I missed my window of opportunity this last Thanksgiving (2012). Rather than waiting for Thanksgiving 2013, I thought that I would just make it as a random side dish for one of our meals a few weeks ago. This was beyond easy and so tasty. I highly recommend them!

Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping


2 (29 oz) cans sweet potatoes in syrup, drained and mashed (about 4 cups mashed)
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted


Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add whipping cream; stir well. Pour into a lightly greased 3-quart slow cooker.

Combine pecans and remaining 3 ingredients in a small bowl. Sprinkle over sweet potatoes.

Cover and cook on high 3 to 4 hours.

Recipe tips: This is a great alternative to the oven. This is a great holiday side that cooks on the countertop while your turkey and dressing fill your oven.

Source: Southern Living recipe from the Southern Living Slow-Cooker cookbook, Oxmoor House, 2006. Recipe found online here.

Quinoa and Pepper Pilaf


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium red pepper, diced (about 1 cup)
1 medium yellow pepper, diced (about 1 cup)
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
2 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


Heat the oil in a 2 quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the peppers and quinoa and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the broth and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 20 minutes or until the quinoa is tender and the liquid is absorbed. Stir in the parsley. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Source: This was a recipe I got in my Swanson email newsletter from You can find the recipe here.

Notes: This was a great and easy way to use some of the quinoa in my cupboard. It was delicious. In fact, I think the leftovers were just as good, if not better!


Above: Notice that I served these with salad, chicken, and just plain and simple baked sweet potatoes (with a little butter, salt, and pepper.) You can bake or microwave a sweet potato the same way you would a regular potato. Delicious stuff!

1 comment:

  1. I can't recommend that crockpot sweet potatoes casserole enough. We made it this year without the pecans and it wasn't quite as good. But that's what we do.

    It was so easy and one less thing to worry about on Thanksgiving. It would only work if you are serving buffet style, though. No way to transfer it to a serving dish. But it was like eating pie.

    So, so good.