Side Dishes

Oven Baked Asparagus Fries

As you know, I am working to be more creative with our veggies.  So far I’ve made Bacon and Ranch Roasted Cauliflower and Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Bacon Pieces.

Today I bring you Oven Baked Asparagus Fries.  These savory asparagus are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.  They are kid–friendly.  You can pick them up with your fingers and dip them in ranch if you want.  Adults will find them tasty enough on their own.

You’ll have to click on over to Passionate Penny Pincher to see the actual recipe!

This post is part of allergy friendly friday, Healthy 2Day Wednesday

Bacon and Ranch Roasted Cauliflower

I have found myself in a vegetable rut.  I can fix some mean green beans and summer squash, but other than that, my veggies are fairly boring.  I am determined to spice things up!  Last week I made some awesome Brussels Sprouts, and this week I am bringing you Bacon and Ranch Roasted Cauliflower.

Every now and then I come up with a good idea.  Let me tell you, this recipe  is one of those ideas!  I mean seriously, who doesn’t like bacon and ranch?

My husband says bacon and ranch roasted cauliflower tastes like  loaded fries.  That’s a good thing!  The first time I made this, he and I ate the whole pan without sharing with the kids.


Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Bacon Pieces


I never liked brussels sprouts growing up.   Even now, when I see them swimming in some kind of butter sauce at the local buffet, I pass them up.  No, thank you!

I am determined to eat more veggies.  So when I heard about caramelized Brussels sprouts, my ears perked up.  I mean, I can eat just about anything caramelized.

After googling a few recipes, this is what I came up with: caramelized Brussels sprouts with bacon pieces.  It’s really good.  At first bite, it tastes sweet and smokey.  While there is a mild cabbage after taste, you hardly know you are eating Brussels spouts.  In fact, because the Brussels sprouts are sliced into ribbons, it doesn’t even look like you’re eating Brussels sprouts.

The ultimate recipe test is always whether or not my kids eat it.  I am happy to report, two of my kids ate their sprouts without too much complaining.  In my opinion, that’s a win for Brussels sprouts! (more…)

Gallo Pinto Recipe

This is our go-to beans and rice recipe.   Gallo Pinto is a common dish served in Costa Rica and Nicaragua.  The Worcestershire sauce and ginger give this beans and rice dish a unique smokey flavor.  The Costa Ricans are known to serve Gallo Pinto aside eggs or meat.  We typically enjoy it as a main dish.   My kids like to garnish their Gallo Pinto with cheese and sour cream.


Cinnamon Sweet Potato and Apple Bake

I know what I’m bringing to Mom’s for Christmas brunch this year!   This cinnamon sweet potato and apple bake turns the humble sweet potato and apple into something a little fancy without any fancy prep work.

Once you pop the cinnamon sweet potato and apple bake in the oven, the smell of cinnamon starts floating through the house.  It smells like Christmas.

It’s no secret that I love sweet potatoes.  You can read how I freeze sweet potatoes here.


4 Fun Edible Crafts for Thanksgiving

Check out these fun edible turkeys!  I can’t wait to make these with my kids.

1. Gobble up Some Fruit

Fun and healthy!  This is my kind of snack.  We will definitely be making this fruit turkey this week.  You can find the instructions at Kitchen with my 3 Sons.  I love this blog!



Skillet Meal: Pizza Rice

This recipe was inspired by a pound of “Italian Pizza Sausage” made by a local farmer.  I had no idea what I was going to do with it, but I was so excited to see locally and humanely raised pork that I couldn’t pass it up.  We have been addicted ever since.

We affectionately named this meal “Pizza Rice” after my non-allergic kids favorite carry out meal: sausage pizza.  Obviously, pizza is not allergy-friendly, so this is a great way to enjoy the flavor of sausage pizza without the allergens and additives.

Because I try to keep rice cooked in chicken stock in the freezer at all times, this meal comes together very quickly.   I cook a stock pot full of rice, let it cool, divide and toss in the freezer.  This way I am always ready for a quick stir-fry or Mexican dish.

“Pizza Rice” has been a great dish to take  to our church pot luck dinners.  It’s something everyone can enjoy as a side dish, and if there is nothing safe for Bella to eat, this will be satisfying and filling in itself.


Pizza Rice Skillet Meal


  • 1 small Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 1 small Red Pepper, chopped
  • 1 pound Bulk Italian Sausage
  • 3 cups Rice, cooked


  1. Cook onion, pepper and sausage in a large skillet until meat is done and onions are translucent.
  2. Stir in rice and cook until heated through.  Enjoy!

You may also enjoy Italian Sausage and Summer Squash Skillet and Beefy Zucchini Skillet.

This post is part of Real Food 101, Real Food Wednesdays, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Ultimate Recipe Swap, Full Plate Thursday, Pennywise Platter Thursday and Allergy-Friendly Friday.

How to Roast Garlic

You haven’t had garlic bread ’till you’ve had toasted bread smeared with warm, freshly roasted garlic.  Roasting garlic is very simple.

How to Roast Garlic

You will need:

  • Head of Garlic
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Aluminium Foil
  • Baking Sheet or Muffin Tin


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Chop the head off the garlic, exposing the cloves.
  3. Peel the outermost layer of the skin.
  4. Drizzle some olive oil on a small piece of aluminium foil.  Place the garlic head in the olive oil.
  5. Drizzle more olive oil onto the garlic oil and salt.
  6. Wrap the garlic in the foil and place on a baking sheet or in a muffin tin.
  7. Roast for 30 minutes or until the cloves are soft.
  8. When cool enough to handle, use a cocktail fork to remove the garlic cloves or squeeze the head onto toast or dish and spread with a knife.

You may also enjoy:







Photo 1 credit: VirtualErn Photo 3 credit: janeyhenning

Fresh Summer Corn Salad

Welcome to the final recipe in our Simple Sides series.  I hope you have enjoyed this series as much as I have.  So far we’ve had some Beautiful Tomato & Basil Bruschetta, Refreshing Melon Citrus Salad and a lovely Mango Summer Salad. 

This week I offer you this Fresh Summer Corn Salad…  

This recipe can be made year round using frozen corn and tomatoes from the supermarket but it really shines with fresh in season produce from your garden or local farmer’s market. 

Is there anything that says summer more than fresh corn on the cob and homegrown tomatoes?  Throw in some chopped bell pepper, onion and cilantro and toss them with a simple dressing made of lime juice and olive oil and you have a delightful summer side dish with a zing. 

If you have any leftovers, add some gluten-free taco seasoning and transform your salad into a Mexican corn salad.  Special thanks to Tatertots & Jello for sharing this recipe!

Fresh Summer Corn Salad


  • 8 ears of Sweet Corn cut off the cob or 4 cups of Frozen Corn, thawed
  • 1 Large Red Pepper, chopped
  • 1 Red or Vidalia Onion, chopped
  • 25 Cherry or Grape Tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/3 cup Cilantro, chopped
  • 1/3 cup Lime Juice
  • 1/3 cup Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Optional Add-ins:

  • Avocado, chopped
  • 15 oz Black Beans, rinsed
  • 2-4 Tbsp Gluten-Free Taco Seasoning


  1. Cut the corn off the cob.  The easiest and mess free way to do this is to stick the cob it in the center of a bundt pan and cut away.
  2. In a large bowl, gently combine all the produce (corn, pepper, onion, tomatoes, and cilantro).
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the lime and olive oil together.
  4. Liberally salt and pepper the corn mixture and add the dressing to the salad.  Toss gently and chill.  

Thanks for stopping by!  Take a minute to enter to win one gallon of Tropical Traditions Palm Shortening while you are here.

You may also enjoy Asian Chicken Salad and Grilled Asparagus and Artichoke Salad.

Simple Sides: Mango Summer Salad

It’s time for some bloggy friends and I to share some simple summer side dishes with you.  So far we’ve had some Beautiful Tomato & Basil Bruschetta and Refreshing Melon Citrus Salad.

Up this week is Mary from Bare Feet in the Kitchen.  I love the name of her blog.  I have to admit, there is no way I’m going bare foot in my kitchen.  At any given moment you could step on a crayon or a grape (yuck!).  Be careful by my fridge ’cause you might slip on a melted ice cube!

This week Mary is sharing this Mango Summer Salad.

Mary writes…

In the summertime especially, I’m a huge fan of fresh fruit in our salads. Whether it’s a Strawberry Spinach Salad, Spring Salad with Poppyseed Dressing, Red Wine and Honey Salad with Fruit, or Cashew Chicken Salad with Grapes, there is often fruit in our salads or in the dressings.

Since I’m not a huge dressing fan, I must have friut in my salad.  I have a mango sitting in my fridge.  I may have to have this salad for lunch today!

Stay tuned next week for the final simple sides recipe brought to you by yours truly!