Archives for category: Side Dishes

A few months ago we started sponsoring a little girl from Lebanon. After I received her information I looked into the school she attends. I came across one of the ways they raise money for the school. They sell an Irish and Lebanese cookbook! All the proceeds go directly to the school.

One of my favorite things in the whole world is Baba Ghanouj. You can imagine my excitement to find a recipe for it in the cookbook I purchased. I adapted it a little bit. I have since made it twice, both times to rave reviews.


  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 5 tablespoons tahini
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • sweet paprika
  • olive oil
  • fresh finely chopped parsley.

Preheat oven to 400

Clean off the green leaves of the eggplant, but leave the stem on. Once the oven is heated, place the whole eggplant on a parchment paper lined baking pan. Also place the whole peeled garlic on the pan. Cook the eggplant until it is tender. The time will vary depending on the thickness of the eggplant. Keep an eye on the garlic pieces. When they are roasted and started turning brown, remove and set aside.

Once the eggplant is tender, remove from the oven. Carefully peel the skin off the eggplant. You can allow it to cool for a few minutes first, it may be easier to work with that way. Scoop out the inside of the eggplant. Add it to your Vitamix or food processor along with the garlic. Blend. Slowly and alternately add the lemon juice, tahini, and sea salt. Blend until it becomes thick and creamy.

Pour/scoop the Baba Ghanouj into a bowl. Use an olive oil sprayer to spray some olive oil on the top. You can have fun with it and make a pretty design if you want. Then sprinkle a bit of sweet paprika to taste/aesthetic. Top that off with a sprinkle of parsley.

Serve with pita or pita chips. You could also serve with baby carrots. I have tried it all three ways. With the carrots is tasty but the pita bread/chips are even tastier! Such is life 😉

It has been some time since my last recipe post. Sometimes, something has to give. These two sweet boys of mine keep me very very busy! They have so much energy! We are always on the go or in action.

This is one of my favorite recipes. It is adapted from my mother in law. It is always a hit wherever we bring it. People love it. My family has grown to expect that I will be preparing some salsa for get togethers. Ha! What I love about it is how laid back it is. The ingredients do not have to be exactly to a science. You don’t have to eat it with chips either! It is super simple to make.


Fresh salsa served over spinach, shrimp, and brown rice.

Fresh Salsa

  • 2-4 tomatoes, depending on the size.
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Cilantro, to taste. (I like to be generous!)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 lemon juiced (this is usually a little over 2 Tbsp)
  • Jalapeno, 1, 1/2, 1/4, depending on how spicy you want it. The more jalapeno, the spicier!

Combine all ingredients into a good quality blender or food processor. I use my Vitamix. Use the pulse setting to keep it from being totally liquified. You can make it as chunky or as smooth as you want.

It can be served with tortilla chips as a yummy snack or appetizer. It can also be for a meal. I used some leftovers for my dinner. I boiled some shrimp and chopped up some spinach. I served those over some brown rice and topped it off with this yummy healthy salsa. It was a delicious and health dinner!

Jackson begs me to buy cauliflower all of the time. He is also known for just tossing a bag of fresh green beans into our cart without knowing if I had it on my list! When he saw that I was cooking the purple cauliflower he stopped in his tracks to exclaim his joy. If your veggies are this fun of a color, what’s not to love? This recipe is a great side dish. I made my Lemon Pepper Chicken to go along with this dish. I skipped the pasta and the green beans. I didn’t have and green beans. I added two shortly zoodled zucchinis and a couple handfuls of spinach instead. They went together very well!

I was supposed to get this posted yesterday but I have found my laptop to be in use all of the time lately. Jackson has discovered AbcMouse. A wonderful learning site. We signed him up the other day. It is the first thing he asks to do in the morning. Yesterday he started his morning at 6am. Very early for my chronically late sleeper. That is my normal writing time. Better late than never, though. Hope you get to squeeze this yummy side dish into your week.


Roasted Purple Cauliflower and Red Potatoes

  • 1/2 head purple cauliflower (approximately)
  • 4-5 medium/small red potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp lemon olive oil. I used this
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 405

Cut up potatoes into bite size pieces. Break apart cauliflower florets. Add all to a large bowl. Add the olive oil, Italian seasoning, and sea salt. Mix/toss well until all pieces are coated. Pour onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for around 30 minutes.  Serve!

We eat sweet potatoes often. They are just so yummy. Both of my little men love them as well.  As I was beginning to prep dinner, I asked Jackson if he wanted sweet potatoes or red potatoes. He picked sweet potatoes! Both boys started off with pureed sweet potatoes as infants. Jackson LOVED them and Alexander has followed suit. Bringing sweet potatoes to the dinner table for all of us is so yummy. This is just one of my recipes. Jackson absolutely loves it. It pretty much tastes like you are eating something not totally nutritious and healthy. But they are and you are! Yum!


Cinnamon Sweet Potato Bites

  • 1 large and 1 medium sweet potato, cut into chunks
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside

In a large bowl add the cut up sweet potatoes, olive oil, cinnamon, and sea salt. Mix well so that all pieces are coated. I usually cover with press n seal and shake until I feel each piece gets covered.

Pour contents onto parchment paper. Bake at 400 for about 25-30 minutes. Checking once or twice and flipping the pieces around. They are done when they begin to brown on the bottom and are soft to the touch (with a spatula! Don’t burn your fingers! ha!)

Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day. My feeds were filled with images of corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes. I went back and forth on what I should make for dinner. Ultimately I decided I wasn’t in the mood for corned beef. I did not really want a big heavy meal. I have had a slight cold or sinus infection this week. Nothing to knock me off my feet, but enough to be a touch annoying. Jackson does not recall having corned beef before. He has. I wasn’t really in the mood to try to convince him to try a brand new meat. Or cabbage! Sometimes he is not a big fan of change.

We went to the grocery store and I did show him what corned beef looks like. He said he wanted chicken for dinner. He didn’t have to twist my arm. I still wanted to have fun with St. Patrick’s Day though! I decided to make it about COLOR!

There are two recipes in this post. Happy St. Paddy’s Day!!! A day late, but with two recipes in hand 😉


Lemon Honey Chicken

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 lemons juiced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Tbsp & 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard (look for one that has the least ingredients. Mine just has mustard, vinegar, sea salt)
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • Several handfuls chopped spinach

Heat olive oil and garlic in a large pan for a couple minutes. Add chicken, and begin to cook. Add lemon juice, honey, mustard, oregano, and sea salt. Bring the sauce to a nice bubble, cooking chicken through. Reduce to a simmer so the sauce reduces and gets a little thicker. Add spinach and cook until wilted. My spinach was in there a touch too long. You can add it a minute or two before serving so it stays a brighter green.

Sautéed Orange and Green Peppers

  • 1 orange pepper, diced
  • 1 green pepper diced
  • Drizzle of olive oil

Combine the peppers in a medium sized pan. Drizzle some olive oil over them. Cook until tender.

I served the chicken over the peppers and it was a nice combination!

Potatoes are a big hit in our home. They are one of Jackson’s favorite foods. Not baked potatoes. Not mashed potatoes. Not potatoes au gratin. Nope. They HAVE to be my potato bites in some form. This is a twist on my normal recipe, which I will also have to share. Sometimes I have to switch it up a tiny bit for my husband and myself.

I always use colorful potatoes. Usually I am cubing up red potatoes. Sometimes I find the one bite multi colored potatoes. That is what we have here today. If I can find foods that are bursting with color I am one happy person!


Lemony Potato Bites

  • I used approximately 32-36oz of these multi colored one bite potatoes. A bag and a half. Cut into pieces.
  • 1 Lemon, juiced
  • 2 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 400

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Cover with press and seal wrap, shake bowl until everything is well coated. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour bowl’s contents onto the parchment paper. Bake until potatoes are soft and a little bit browned. I usually flip them over once. I don’t have an exact cooking time because it always seems to vary. I just watch them and look for the browning and softness.

Note: Sometimes I use red potatoes. I would say about 5-6 medium/large red potatoes could be substituted.

I love nothing more than a delicious, bright, crisp, veggie filled salad. I am the person who quite literally will get a craving for a salad. Leafy greens are where it’s at! This salad and dressing I brought to a family party yesterday. I have previously made the dressing for other parties. At my son’s 4th birthday it was gone. Not a drop was left.

I do not consume store bought dressing anymore. Unless I am out at a restaurant. In my home though, I always prepare a dressing myself when I want one. They are actually very simple to make. There are no gross added ingredients. The sodium and sugar levels are in check. They are still flavorful! They are fresh!


Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 1/4 tsp ground mustard seed

I combine all of the ingredients in an Oxo Salad Dressing Shaker. Close that bad boy up and shake well to mix. It is that simple. It is such a tasty recipe.

I do love the dressing shaker. Be warned though, it can pour out a little quickly. So drizzle with caution.


This is truly up to you and your tastes. For this salad I added spinach, arugula, radishes, purple/yellow/orange carrots, and cucumber. The last time I made this salad/dressing combo for a party I made it with spinach, arugula, orange carrots, tomatoes, and cucumbers. The dressing is tasty on any kind of leafy green/veggie combination.