Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sexy side dishes

When I was a kid, I was super picky.  I would eat peas and broccoli, but as far as vegetables go, that was about it.  No mushrooms, no spinach, probably no carrots, definitely no peppers (ok, I still hate those most of the time.)  The last couple of years though, I've started really enjoying them, and I believe if I can do it, anyone can.  Let's face it, there are cultures that are mostly living on animal products, but if you're not eating odd bits, you may have a hard time meeting nutritional needs from just animal products.  Some folks may feel a little lost when it comes to the idea of no longer having their usual rice pilaf, white potatoes, bread, etc. with their dinner.  Well, it's time to get friendly with vegetables!  If you cook them right and use a healthy helping of fat, they will be wonderful, I promise.  You may notice roasting as a theme here; roasted veggies are the shizz.  Here are some of my fave side dishes as of late:

Roasted Brussels Sprouts (like most of us, I used to HATE these, now they are one of my favorite things in the world)

1 pound fresh brussels sprouts
6 oz (half a pack) bacon- get the highest quality you can
a few shakes of Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute, or whatever strikes your fancy
3 TBS melted clarified butter

Slice the bottoms off the sprouts, remove the outer leaves, and slice them in half lengthwise
Chop bacon into small pieces
Toss together sprouts with butter and seasoning
Spread in a single layer in roasting pan, sprinkle the raw bacon pieces over top
Roast at 400 for about 30 minutes until sprouts are golden brown

Roasted Broccoli (or Cauliflower)

1 lb broccoli florets
3 TBS melted clarified butter
1 TBS chopped garlic

Toss ingredients together, and spread out on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with sea salt and pepper
Roast at 425 for about ten minutes, until broccoli is bright green and some florets are starting to brown.
**Roasted cauliflower is GREAT as a vehicle for curry if you are missing your rice- I sprinkle it with a little curry powder and roast the florets for about 20 minutes until the tops start to get golden.**

Skillet Taters

1 lb blue potatoes
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 cup clarified butter (if you have duck fat USE IT!)

Slice potatoes as thinly as possible (I ran them through the food processer)
Add butter to large pan, bring to medium-high heat
Add everything to the pan, and sautee for about fifteen minutes, stirring potatoes every couple of minutes until they soften and some are crisping up.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Green Leafies

1/2 lb spinach, swiss chard, arugula, you get the idea
3 roughly chopped garlic cloves
2 TBS clarified butter

Sautee garlic in butter over low-medium heat until it starts getting a little golden-brown.  Add your greens, and sautee for a couple minutes until they wilt.  Add some salt & pepper to taste, and a squeeze of lemon if you have it.

Sweet Potato Hash Browns

2 large sweet potatoes
2 TBS coconut flour
1 large egg, scrambled
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pepper

Shred the sweet potatoes with a grater or food processor
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl
Cook in clarified butter or coconut oil over medium-high heat; either just dump it in (may be a 2-batch job) and stir every few minutes until golden brown (about 15 minutes) or shape into patties for sweet potato pancakes!

Make any veggie palatable
-Roast it (duh)
-Add bacon (double-duh)
-Slather it in pastured butter like Kerrygold or Organic Valley Pasture Butter
-Sprinkle on some quality cheese
-Put it inside meat (stay tuned for my stuffed chicken breasts)
-Don't overcook!  If your veggies are always coming out as mush, on your next attempt, cook them half as long as you normally would.

Didn't really have any side dish pics handy, so here's some
lovely local produce


  1. Thanks Julia for the comment! Love your blog. Will definitely use it for ideas. Thanks again :-)