Tag Archives: side dish

Greek Quinoa Salad

Alright it’s already February  (how’d that happen?) and I planned to post this as a healthy new-years resulotion-type recipe. Oh well, better late than never! This is a nice, light and healthy recipe inspired by a Mediterranean cous-cous recipe my mom used to make. I started making it back in college and people seemed to really love it. I used some of the same ingredients in this recipe and swapped quinoa for cous-cous for added nutrional benefits. I also added chickpeas (because I’m obsessed) and omitted arugla, which I think I will keep next time for some added greenery. Greenery is a word right?

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Marscapone Creamed Spinach

This was another dish we made for our Christmas feast. I had some leftover marscapone from the stuffed mushrooms I made and thought I’d try to use it to make creamed spinach. As if creamed spinach needs to be more decadent?! It worked out well and everyone loved the spinach.

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Gruyere and Broccoli Mac and Cheese

This is another holiday dish that was a big hit.  I have been making mac and cheese for years and it’s my first real dish that inspired all of this.  I actually got the original recipe in middle school cooking class.  For this occasion, I wanted to switch it up and make it a bit classier so along came Gruyere and broccoli!  It was sort of tough to decide what to name this to hit on all of the key parts without saying and, and, and.  In the end, I felt there and wasn’t and much and of a choice.  And.

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Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

When we were in Phoenix for Thanksgiving, my sister made these stuffed mushrooms for an appetizer and I absolutely loved them. It was just a matter of time before I found the perfect occasion to make them myself. I decided to give it a go on Christmas day and served them as an appetizer. They’d also be a great side dish.

As you can see from the photo I super stuffed these mushrooms, stacking extra filling on top. I still wound up with some extra stuffing despite this and they were not the most photogenic or pretty as they could have been, but I figured more stuffing > pretty mushrooms. After later conversing with my sister, she suggested having some extra mushroom caps handy to stuff, as it will be inevitable to have extra stuffing. Good to know!   Continue reading


Tomato Panzanella Salad

Greg and I were invited to a family BBQ and knew we wanted to bring something good for a side dish. We remembered a great dish that Ash brought over one time, tomato panzanella salad, and decided it would be the perfect thing to make. You can find the recipe here on Ash’s site (I didn’t alter it much as you will see).

We bought the tomatoes at a local farmer’s market. Obviously for this dish the quality of the tomatoes can make or break it. I was so happy to get these tomatoes. As imperfect as they look, they tasted great!

I cut the tomatoes and added some thinly sliced red onion. I actually completed this step the night before the BBQ, as I knew I would be facing some time restrictions the following day.

Similar to the importance of using good tomatoes for this dish, the quality of the bread is also something to be mindful of. We picked up a french baguette from our favorite place on Earth, Pittsburgh’s strip district (wahoo!), the day before the BBQ. On the day of the BBQ I cut the bread into bite-sized cubes (slightly larger than croutons) and baked them for 20 minutes. 20 minutes was about 2-3 minutes too long and some of the pieces were a little too baked for my liking. I recommend keeping an eye on them after the 15 minute mark.

Sorry for the blurry pic! You can get a sense of the size though.

While the bread was baking I assembled the rest of the dish by adding fresh basil, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and salt and pepper to the tomatoes and red onion.

I just love all the colors in this dish!

Once the bread is done baking it gets added to the salad. You want it to absorb moisture from the dressing and tomatoes while still maintaining some of it’s crunch.

The final step in making this salad is to top it with ricotta cheese and a little olive oil. Since we were transporting this dish to another house I felt it would be best to keep the ricotta and olive oil in a separate container prior to serving. Before dinner was served the ricotta was placed on top of the salad.

Overall, this was a true crowd pleaser! I received several compliments on the dish and answered some questions about it too. People seemed to really enjoy it and want to recreate it themselves.

Take advantage of the Summer tomatoes while they last! Hope you like this one.

-Eileen 8)