All posts filed under: Sides

How to Cheat a Holiday Meal

It’s that time of year again–Thanksgiving, Christmas caroling, presents, and oh the food! If you’re hosting a holiday party or, like me, have a large number of family members coming in for the holidays, preparing that holiday dinner may seem daunting.  I know I had grand plans of creating an elaborate menu from scratch.  But . . . 16 is a large number of mouths to feed and I don’t really want to spend the entire day cooking.  So . . . here’s a holiday meal hack that will save you on time and keep your sanity in check.

How to Cheat a Holiday Meal

It’s that time of year again–presents, Christmas caroling, and oh the food! If you’re hosting a Christmas party or, like me, have a large number of family members coming in for the holidays, preparing that Christmas dinner may seem daunting.  I know I had grand plans of creating an elaborate menu from scratch.  But . . . 16 is a large number of mouths to feed and I don’t really want to spend the entire day cooking.  So . . . here’s a holiday meal hack that will save you on time and keep your sanity in check.

Fourth of July Eatery Series: Star-spangled Pasta Salad

Here’s another salad for the Fourth of July Eatery Series.  It’s hearty, it’s healthy, it’s flavorful (couldn’t think of another “h” word lol). What You’ll need: 8 ounces uncooked penne pasta 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved (or whole) 2 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion 3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary 1 (4-ounce) package crumbled goat cheese  1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1 tbsp minced garlic 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/8 cup olive oil 1/8 cup white wine vinegar 1/8 cup white cooking wine  How to Make: Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. While pasta is cooking, make a lemon vinaigrette by whisking together the lemon juice, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil. Set aside. In a large bowl, toss pasta with tomatoes and remaining ingredients.  Add lemon vinaigrette mixture and lightly toss. Serve immediately or chilled.  If preserving some lemon vinaigrette for other uses, seal in an airtight container and refrigerate. Good up …

Fourth of July Eatery Series: Red, White and Blue Fruit Salad

This sweet side is probably the easiest recipe in the entire Fourth of July Eatery Series.  It makes about 5 servings at roughly 89 calories/serving.  The honey permits the natural sweetness of the fruit to come through. Mmmmm…. What You’ll Need: 1 (10-ounce) package of raw strawberries, hulled and quartered 1 (6-ounce) package of raw blueberries 2 tbsp honey 2 tablespoons lemon juice 2 bananas How to Make: Mix honey and lemon juice in a bowl; set aside.  Mix the strawberries and blueberries together in a bowl; drizzle lemon and honey mix, then toss lightly. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  Cut bananas into thick slices.   Add and lightly toss with strawberry and blueberry mixture.  Serve. Told ya it was easy ;-). Enjoy!

Fourth of July Eatery Series: Corn on the Cob

There’s a wee tropical storm a-brewing, so we’re taking this classic Fourth of July Eatery Series meal indoors.  The manner of cooking is essentially the same regardless of whether you’re using an outside grill or your oven, so feel free to make this recipe on a grill if the weather where you permits. The cinnamon and sugar in this recipe really provides a sweet zing.  Even better, each ear of corn is only 64 calories! What You’ll Need: 4 or 5 ears of corn 2 tbsp butter (or olive oil) 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp brown sugar (optional) How to Make: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (or high heat if using outside grill). Remove husks and silks from corn. Lightly brush  melted butter or olive oil over the corn and wrap each individual ear in foil. Place directly on rack and roast in oven for 30 minutes.  If using preheated grill, turn occasionally  until fully cook, about 10-15 minutes. Once corn is cooked through, remove foil, brush corn with butter or olive oil and sprinkle with cinnamon and …

Fourth of July Eatery Series: Tasty Sirloin Skewers

What’s Independence Day without a variety of skewer meats? Here’s another side for the Fourth of July Eatery Series that’s sure to please your taste buds!  Coming in at approx. 89 calories/skewer (makes 14 skewers), the scale will be pleased too. Here’s What You’ll Need: 1/4 cup lemon juice 1/4 cup olive oil 1/4 cup soy sauce 1 tsp dried oregano 3 tbsp minced garlic 2 medium yellow onions, cut into 1 inch pieces 2 large green bell peppers, cut into 1 inch pieces 3 tbsp dark brown sugar 3 tbsp distilled white vinegar 1/2 tsp garlic powder 1/8 tsp seasoned salt 2 pounds beef sirloin steak, cut into 1 inch cubes 8 oz white mushrooms 6 skewers How to Make: In a large glass bowl, mix together lemon juice, olive oil, soy sauce, oregano, minced garlic, brown sugar, distilled white vinegar, garlic powder, and seasoned salt. Reserve about 1/4 cup of this marinade for basting.  Add steak  and mix well. In a 2 gallon Ziplock bag, add onions, mushrooms and green peppers.  Top with marinade and shake. Refrigerate overnight (or if you’re in a …