Tag Archives: sides

Oven-Roasted Summer Squash

P1050922The next few posts, I want to share my favorite ways to enjoy summer squash. (whether that be yellow or zucchini!)

I always look forward to that first wonderful taste of freshly picked summer squash each summer, because I do love this vegetable! It’s so versatile and there are many ways to enjoy eating it. You probably already assume that since it is a vegetable, that it is good for you. And this is true! But, do you know HOW good for you summer squash really is? According to whfoods.org, Summer Squash is high in copper, manganese, vitamin C, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, potassium, folate, Vitamin B6, Vitamin K just to name a few!

So, what are some of my favorite ways to prepare and eat this great veggie? Comin’ right up!

Today’s version is roasted in the oven. It really could not be any simpler than this. When you bake the squash, the flavors become more concentrated and I feel like the taste is a little more bold.

You only need about 5 minutes to put this together, and only about 20 minutes to let it bake. I love to serve squash with steak, chicken, or burgers!

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Crock Pot Applesauce (low sugar)

P1050255Many days throughout fall, as long as I have apples, my house is filled with the sweet and enticing smell of this crock pot applesauce.

I think this just might be my favorite ‘apple’ treat that I look forward to eating when apple season finally arrives.

My very favorite way to enjoy this applesauce, is straight from the crockpot- still hot, then slathered on top of a freshly made buttered biscuit!! O my goodness- talk about YUMMY! In my opinion, this is a hands-down winner, a beautiful pair, and something you must make as soon as possible!

But, I must admit, I do also love to eat P1050257this applesauce cold from the refrigerator the next day, too!

I go back and forth as to which I like better!

The preparation couldn’t be simpler. The ingredients are few, and the amount of sweetener used is minimal- allowing the sweetness of the apples to do most of the work, while also keeping a little tartness in the mix, too.

Fill your crock pot in the morning, and enjoy the smell as the apples cook all day. By dinnertime, you will end up with a delicious chunky applesauce.

Here’s how you make it….

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Baked Pearl Barley

P1040953If you are wanting to eat healthier- you might want to try out pearl barley.

What is it? Well…

Pearl barley (or “pearled barley”) is barley processed to remove its hull and bran. Barley must have its fibrous outer hull removed before it can be eaten; pearl barley is taken a step further, polished to remove the bran layer.

Pearl barley is the most common form of barley for human consumption, probably because it cooks faster and is less chewy than other, less-processed forms of barley. (source: wikipedia).

…..Because pearl barley undergoes more processing, some insoluble fiber, trace minerals and micronutrients may be lost. Pearl barley is not considered whole grain. However it’s important to note that pearl barley (even heavily pearled barley) retains significant amounts of fiber, particularly heart-healthy soluble fiber. This is because, unlike some other grains, barley contains fiber throughout the entire kernel and not just in the outer bran layer. (source: barleyfoods.org)

Read about the many health benefits of barley, here.

Not only is barley a great way to add fiber, vitamins and antioxidants- it tastes good, too! The texture is comparable to brown rice- just a little plumper and maybe a tiny bit chewier. This makes it easy to substitute in the place of rice in some of your dishes.

My kids loved it and said they actually liked it better than rice. If you wonder where to find it in the grocery store, I found it with the dry beans.

Here is a simple, easy way you can prepare Pearl Barley to serve with your other dishes. The ingredients are almost the same as my Baked Brown Rice recipe, and the method is exactly the same. Only the measurements are different.

You could also branch off into many different versions of this basic recipe. Use chicken broth instead of water or add different spices in addition to the salt and pepper. Lots of options!

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Buttery Yellow Squash and Mushrooms

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This buttery dish of veggies is delicious served alone, or as a topping for baked potato, or served over pasta! Yum!

We eat a lot of squash in the summer! And, if this popular plant is a part of your garden, I bet your family eats a lot of it, too! Squash plants are notorious for giving you a bountiful harvest- often faster than you can eat it. But I do love this veggie, and am always craving it by the time summer rolls around!

So, if you’re wondering what to do with all the yellow squash that you keep gathering from the garden, I can tell you this is a delicious solution.

Squash, mushrooms, and onion are simply sauteed in butter, which becomes like a ‘sauce’ for the veggies. So good! Add to that- it’s also very quick, easy!

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Corn, Peppers, and Onions

P1040156Nothing complicated or complex here. Just a simple and tasty side dish!

Colorful and savory, it’s  one of my favorite ways to prepare corn to go along with dinner.

It takes just a few minutes and uses whole ingredients. (perhaps you have some of these growing in your garden this  year!)

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Slow Cooker ‘Baked Beans’ (made-from-scratch..not canned)

P1030813Baked Beans! They’re sweet and saucy and a favorite staple at summer cookouts. I love eating deviled eggs topped with a little taste of baked beans- or a little coleslaw and a little baked beans on the fork together. Perfect combination!

I’ve been in the process of replacing the processed foods that my family eats. Slowly but surely, progress is being made and I am finding acceptable replacements. One of these foods that we enjoy that needed replacing was canned baked beans.

I had tried a few different variations of ingredients, looking for a similar taste as the Baked beans I was used to, but kept falling short.

BUT- I am finally pleased with this version I am sharing today! You even start with dry beans- nothing canned!

But, you might be thinking- “Sorry, Kari, I don’t want to be going through the whole soaking beans process and get that involved just to have something simple like baked beans.”  And I say- “Yes- I completely agree! But you don’t have to do all that. This uses a slow-cooker- and there is not preliminary soaking required. Start the beans in the morning, go about your day, and with just a couple other steps, you will have baked beans-completely from scratch- for dinner!” How does that sound?

PRINTABLE RECIPE

  • 1 1/2 cups dry white great northern beans
  • 1 1/2 cups dry pinto beans
  • 12-15 c. water
  • 1 T salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup 
  • Large squirt of ketchup (i recommend an organic variety)
  • Large squirt mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 whole onion, diced
  • 1/2 of a Green or Red pepper, chopped

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Sweet and Spicy Butternut Squash and Apples

P1020807This is a great side dish for the fall and winter months- using produce that is easy to find this time of year- apples and butternut squash. However, spring is upon us here in Virginia (Hooray!), so I am enjoying the last of these tastes until next season!

I love this dish because it is a great combination of sweet and savory. Winter squash paired with sweet apples. Continuing with that theme, the spices are also sweet and savory, with some spicy heat added in, too!

  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 3 small apples
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. brown sugar
  • 1/8- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (1/4 tsp. gives it a pretty good kick. If you don’t want it as spicy- go down to the 1/8 tsp.)
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper

Peel the squash with a vegetable peeler. Cut off the ends. Now, cut the whole thing in half length-wise. Scoop out the seeds. Dice the squash into small chunks.

Peel the Apples and dice into small chunks.

Lightly grease an 8in. dish or baking pan.

Add the squash/apples. Pour the oil over them and toss to coat them well.

Sprinkle on the sugar and spices.

Mix it all up together.

Bake at 400 for at least 30 minutes- or until the squash and apples are tender.

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Basic Mashed Potatoes

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This is just a simple recipe for your basic, smooth & fluffy Mashed Potatoes- nothing dressed up. And really, mashed potatoes are always a star all by themselves. No need to add a lot of extra ingredients to make them special. So, grab a spoon a dive in!

4-5  large russet potatoes or 6 medium size

Salt for Seasoning

1/4-1/2c. milk

1/4 c. butter

Peel the potatoes with a vegetable peeler. Cut into chunks. Cover with cold water until you are ready to bring to a boil. (this keeps your potatoes from getting black spots)

Bring Water to a boil. Sprinkle in a little bit of salt to add flavor (approx. 1/2 tsp)

Continue boiling for 15-20 minutes. After 15 minutes, check the potatoes for tenderness with a small knife. When there is no resistance and the knife easily pokes through the potato, it is done.

Carefully drain the water from the potatoes

Move the potatoes to a large mixing bowl.

Add 4 Tbs. butter

Add 1/4 c. milk for starters.

Begin to beat with a hand mixer- working your way around the bowl with the beaters. Continue to add milk a little at a time until the mashed potatoes reach your desired consistency.

Transfer to a serving bowl and dot with butter.

Will Serve 4-6

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