Side Dish

Honey & Thyme Golden Beets

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Golden Beets

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introducing our new favorite Paleo Side Dish! This was a totally random dish that I made the other night to go with our left over Risotto. Let me tell you…they were wonderful! My husband had to restrain himself from eating all of them in order to have a few left over for his lunch. They were very simple and easy to make and can go with so many different meals due to their gentle flavors. These wonderful and highly nutritious beets will definitely be making a regular appearance as a side dish during dinner time.

Ingredients:

  • 5 – 6 Medium Golden Beets (trimmed & peeled)
  • 3 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • 2 Tbsp Honey (use organic if possible)
  • 4 Cups Water

How To:

  1. Slice your beets into 1/4 ” slices.
  2. Place beets flat into a large and deep skillet. (mine fit in 2 layers)
  3. Sprinkle in the thyme leaves and drizzle in the honey.
  4. Add the water over the beets to make sure they are all submerged.
  5. Place a lid on the skillet and begin cooking. Once the water starts to boil, lower the heat to medium/high.
  6. Cook the beets partially covered for 25 – 30 minutes. Check and stir them gently occasionally. Once they have softened they are ready.
  7. Remove from the heat and let them sit in the juice for a few minutes.

* This amount of time will still leave the beets sightly hard and crunchy, if you prefer them softer simply cook a bit longer.

Serve and Enjoy

Portobello Mushroom & Herb Risotto

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Portobello Mushroom Risotto

 

 

 

 

 

 

I cannot believe I have never attempted a Risotto in this house before. After watching the show Chopped on the Food Network and learning what definitely not to do I set out to make my own. It is in fact super easy and while it takes a bit of time to make it is totally worth it!. This can be a meal in itself or serve it up as a very filling side dish. Either way you will have leftovers if you are cooking for just two people.

Ingredients:

  • 6 Cups Chicken Broth (I used low sodium, No MSG)
  • 1 ½ cups Arborio Rice
  • 4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter (divided)
  • 1 Medium Shallot (finely chopped)
  • 1 Garlic Clove (minced)
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tsp White Truffle Oil
  • 2 Tsp Pepper
  • 3 Medium – Large Portobello Mushrooms (chopped)
  • ½  Cup Dry White Wine
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Thyme Leaves (if you use dried Thyme use 1 Tbsp)
  • ¼ Cup Italian Parsley (chopped)
  • ¼ Cup Chives (chopped)
  • 5 Tbsp Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese

How To:

  1. In a pot bring your broth to a boil and set it aside.
  2. In a skillet, melt 2 Tbsp of butter then toss in your mushrooms.
  3. Drizzle the truffle oil over the mushrooms while they cook.
  4. Add in the pepper and thyme and combine. Allow the mushrooms to cook down for about 3-4 minutes. Set aside and cover.
  5. In a large pot melt the remaining butter with the olive oil. Add in the shallots and garlic and allow them to cook until golden.
  6. Add the rice and combine until the rice takes on a golden color as well.
  7. Pour in the wine and allow it to cook down.
  8. Add in 1 large ladle of broth and stir. Reduce the heat to medium. Once the liquid is cooked down add in another ladle of broth. (I had to add another ladle in every 3-4 minutes so keep the pot of broth close by)
  9. Continue stirring occasionally and adding the broth in in increments until all the broth is used.
  10. This process should take 20 – 30 minutes. By the end your rice will be perfectly soft and cooked.
  11. Once the rice is ready, add the cooked mushrooms with all their juices, parsley, chives and Parmesan, stir to combine.
  12. I served ours with some fresh chives and Parmesan on top but this is optional.

Baked Brussel Sprouts

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brussel sprouts

Don’t panic. I know what the vast majority of people will think when they see this title…”Brussel Sprouts…Yuck!” If you are anything like me you are probably reliving all the family dinners from your childhood when your parents tried to force you to eat brussel sprouts. Personally I have never been a fan of these tiny cabbages, that is until now. It all changed this past Christmas when my lovely sister-in-law served up these bad boys at the family dinner, this is also to say that I cannot take credit for this recipe as it is something I got from her 🙂 This is a super easy and quick side dish that is sure to please even the most determined hater of brussel sprouts.

Ingredients:

  • 30 – 40 Brussel Sprouts
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Coarse Salt & Pepper to taste

How To:

  1. Wash the sprouts, peeling off any loose bits.
  2. Trim off a bit from the bottom of the sprouts then cut then in half.
  3. Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
  4. In a bowl toss the sprouts with the olive oil and some salt and pepper. (I used approx. 1 Tsp of each)
  5. Place the halves face down on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
  6. Take out of the oven and check the sprouts. If they are golden on the bottom remove and serve. If they aren’t golden yet, flip them over and bake for another 5 minutes.

Serve and enjoy 🙂

These baked brussel sprouts go great with a little bit of white vinegar sprinkled on top too

Sage Butter Yams

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Sage Butter Yams

Looking around at some other blogs it looks like I am not the only one who has either not posted as frequently or is behind on stuff this month. Between decorating, doing all the Christmas shopping, wrapping gifts and most recently taking care of our injured dog who took a stick in the throat, punctured it and almost severed his tonsils, I have been M.I.A from blogging. For those that follow me, I do apologize for this but on a good note our pup is expected to make a slow but full recovery :). Until then, he has taken up residence on our bed and since we do not have the heart to tell him to leave, we now have an 80 pound snoring dog in between us on a queen sized bed. Basically my husband and myself have spent the last week clinging to the edges of the bed, getting great sleeps of course…I can’t imagine how this will play out once we decide to have kids lol.

On to the food…to try and make up for this lack of posting I am posting a Christmas related dish. By this I mean something you can quickly and easily whip up as a side dish for your spectacular Christmas feast. There are so many classic dishes to choose from around the holidays and for each of those dishes there are endless variations. At our house yams are always a must and generally do not last long. Typically, I prepare them with just butter and a bit of salt and they have always been great, but last year I wanted to add a bit of panache to them. I bought a bunch of fresh sage for our turkey and since there was so much left over I did not want it to go to waste. Staring at all the food on our island I had a light bulb moment, I would infuse the butter I needed to use with sage to add a subtle rich flavor to our yams.

Sage Butter

For the Sage Butter…

Ingredients:

  • 6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 10 – 15 Fresh Sage Leaves (finely chopped)

How To:

  1. Melt your butter in a small pan on medium heat.
  2. Once your butter is melted and bubbling, add in your sage.
  3. Stirring constantly, allow the sage to crisp up a bit in the butter (approx. 2-5 minutes)
  4. The golden butter should turn a light green color from the fresh herbs, once you see the leaves are crisped up remove from the heat.

For the Yams...

Ingredients:

  • 4 Medium Yams (Peeled)
  • 2 Tsp Sea Salt

How To:

  1. Cut your yams into cubes (mine were about 2 inches) Helpful tip: if you are in a rush, cut the yams smaller so they boil faster.
  2. Put your yams into a medium pot and add enough water to just cover the yams and add your salt.
  3. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Once it is boiling reduce the heat to medium.
  4. Cook the yams until they are soft. (approx. 15 – 20 minutes depending on how big the cubes area) Helpful Tip: Use a fork or small pairing knife to check the doneness of your yams, if they are soft and fall off the utensil easily they are ready.
  5. Strain your yams and place  back into the pot.
  6. Add in your sage butter and mash the yams.

Spicy Ginger Green Beans

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DSCN1235

 

 

 

 

 

 

A week ago we decided to go out for a dinner and  a new item on the menu caught our eye. They were spicy green beans and they were delicious! Ever since then I have wanted to try my hand at making these. Last night as we were leaving from the vet, my father-in-law drove past us and my husband quickly gave him a call to let him know he was spotted. Earlier that morning I had put in a ridiculous amount of pork into the slow cooker so I figured why not invite him over for dinner. However, all we had at home was just that, pork. Now I also had some of my recently pickled onions but my father-in-law flat out refuses to eat onions so those were off the table for him. (The recipe for those amazing things will be posted soon along with the pork) Alright back to the beans. I had recently picked up some lovely looking green beans at the market for the purpose of attempting to recreate the spicy beans from the dinner. So last night was the night I gave it a shot, I have to say for something so easy and quick, they were delicious! If my father-in-law hadn’t shown up soon after I made them I think me and my husband would have easily polished them off as an appetizer.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Pack of Green Beans
  • 2 Small Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Ginger (grated)
  • 1 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
  • 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 ½ Tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 ½ Tbsp Chili Flakes
  • 1 ½ Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
  • Fresh Pepper to taste

How To:

  1. Rinse your green beans and cut off the tips a bit for freshness. Set aside.
  2. Mix all the other ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. Heat up your wok and pour a little bit of water mixed with some olive oil into the bottom.
  4. Once the water is bubbling, throw in your beans and sauté them until they are bright and starting to get a bit golden (approx. 5 minutes)
  5. Pour in your sauce and cover the beans. Saute them for about a minute more.
  6. Remove and serve right away.

Steamed Beet Roots with Balsamic Reduction

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DSCN0671DSCN0673

Beets make an amazing and healthy side dish for any meal. They are full of phytonutrients and vitamins, some of which may even help fight off cancer! From lowering blood pressure to giving you your daily dose of fiber these guys pack a punch in your daily intake of healthy foods. There are many different ways to enjoy them, you can pickle them, steam them, juice them, eat them raw and even make an amazing soup from them called Barszcz. I will post my moms recipe on here for this soup once I have been able to master making it. While the origins of the soup are Ukranian and many eastern and central European countries have their own take on the soup, each family has a recipe handed down from mother to daughter and is very popular around holidays.

Alright back to the beets themselves. I found an awesome article about some of the benefits of beets here. Have a read through and see why adding these guys into your diet is worth it.

For the side dish pictured above, I chose to steam the beets with a water and vinegar mixture. You can cook them for less or even more time if you choose, but remember the longer you cook them, the more nutrients you lose so try not to over do it. This is such a simple dish that will go with just about anything. Best of all it won’t take you long to make for all the busy people out there trying to eat healthy.

Ingredients:

  • 6 Medium Red Beets
  • 4 Medium Golden Beets
  • 2 Tbsp White Vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 8 Cups Water
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil

How To:

  1. Peel your beets and cut them into wedges. **Use gloves otherwise you will be walking around with bright red hands for awhile**
  2. Fill a large deep pan with the water, oil and vinegars then place your beets in.
  3. Cover then cook on high for 20 minutes or until most of the water steams out.

I served mine drizzled with a Balsamic Vinegar Reduction.

How To:

8 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar and 2 Tbsp Water. Slowly reduced in a pan on medium heat.