Thursday, December 6, 2012


Light-ish, Hippie-ish, Side Dish Ish/Help

From the inbox:

Dear The Hairpin,

I know it's early to plan (is it? isn't it?) but I think it's good to remember the pains of Thanksgiving dinner in order to slightly avoid that for Christmas. My husband and I are hosting my parents, my grandmother, and his mother. A lovely sit-down, candle-lit pretty thing of an event is what I have in store. Every year my father makes his amazing prime rib, and this year will be no exception. My question is: What should I make with it that isn't solely made up of starch starch bread butter cream cream? I want to make some sides that are delicious and a little luxurious, but I don't want everyone to feel SO loaded down with food that we can't enjoy desserts and coffee (or, more drinks).

My husband and I tend to cook a little hippie-ish in that we love kale, whole grains, lentils, tahini, etc. I'd like to make some healthy sides that are also delicious and won't make our older (but awesome) guests question their ingredients. Help??

Well, I don't really cook anything, although I do have one signature "recipe," which is that I open Trader Joe's Roasted Seaweed Snacks a day before eating so the sheets are tougher and don't crumble as much, and that's it. Cookbook pending.

But I figured we'd open this up to readers, in case anyone/everyone had recipes or links they'd like to share. And it might not be particularly luxurious, but the Times has some good lentil coverage this week, including a recipe for Mediterranean Lentil Purée. And this Saag Paneer recipe on Food52* also looks great. Ditto their homemade hot sauce.

*Speaking of Food52, the reliably lovely site about eating and cooking is offering Hairpin readers 10% off almost everything in their online Holiday Shop (mushroom-growing kitsillustrated recipes, a board for the ages, etc.), until the end of the year, with the code hairpin10, if you're looking for kitchen or food-related items. (There's also a little fine-print about that, which is that it doesn't apply to past purchases, discounts are limited to 10 per person, the minimum purchase is $20, the travel and copper offers are excluded, and it's redeemable only if you mail in a pint of your own blood, powdered. Just kidding, but the first stuff is true. Look at this ham!)

But — luxurious, delicious, vaguely hippie-ish, essentially healthy side dishes. Thoughts?

130 Comments / Post A Comment

Kim Weisberg@twitter

My family's cranberry pear crumble is to die for...It is covered in sugar, but you can cut the sugar by half and it's still delicious :) Once the seal is broken at Thanksgiving, I pretty much make this weekly until cranberries stop being seasonally cheap. Recipe and photo tutorial here: http://www.kimskitchensink.com/2009/12/thanksgivingfinally.html


always pretty@n

apples and oranges

aghh there's this Lebanese dip that I forget the name of, but it's (I think) just parsley, tahini, garlic, and some lemon? SO GOOOOOD. You could eat that with bread or crackers, or maybe put it on some veggies. Which I haven't done, but now want to experiment with...

There is also the wide world of squash. Seasonal, healthy, and yummy!


@kangerine baba ghanouj? so YUMMY.

Dirty Hands

@kangerine Parsley thing = tabouli, maybe?


apples and oranges

@Dirty Hands @Cielo
Not baba ghanouj or tabbouleh.. although both of those are delicious as well!! This looks like the recipe: http://www.lekhafoods.com/healthy-recipes/recipes/cat-healthy-recipes/lebanese-parsley-dip

Beatrix Kiddo

@kangerine Not making fun of you at all, but in most of the Middle East, I think they just refer to that as "tahini" (the name for the sesame paste itself and the sauce are kind of interchangeable).

apples and oranges

@Beatrix Kiddo Ah! Thanks! A Lebanese friend made it for a party and I thought she called it something in particular but maybe I goofed.


Roasted vegetables--easy, delicious, and recognizable by the older crowd. Cut whatever you want into chunks, toss with a little olive oil and S&P and roast at 425-450 for 20-30 minutes. Brussels sprouts with diced bacon or cauliflower tossed with cumin seed are great.

The NYT also had some kale salad recipes recently that look great.


yes, roasted vegetables are the best!
If you want a little more guidance, one good version is: asparagus with portobello mushrooms sliced and laid flat over them, drizzled generously in olive oil, more sparingly in balsamic vinegar, plus salt and pepper.
Or: slice good carrots, sprinkle with brown sugar and some fresh nutmeg, roast.
Or: roast cauliflower drizzled in olive oil, and then top it with this butter that you simply melted in a small pan on the oven and to which you added lemon juice and possibly a little mustard, definitely salt.
giving up all my secret recipes today!...


@harebell All of those veggie dishes sound great.


@FashionablyEvil Don't forget to throw some whole garlic cloves into the roasting pan with those veg!


@harebell Well, now I definitely know what I'm doing with that cauliflower tonight. Thanks!

Not Quite Sonic

My favourite recipe (not as in "favourite recipe for cauliflower" but as in "favourite recipe ever") is roasted cauliflower with curry. Cut into florets, toss with olive oil, curry spice blend (I like plain old Clubhouse Indian Masala) and salt, and roast at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

Broccoli gets the same treatment but with olive oil, lime zest, chopped garlic and S&P.

I have had success roasting cabbage, kale, butternut squash, eggplant, zucchini, radishes, beets, pretty much you-name-it.

Roasting vegetables is the greatest!

Beatrix Kiddo

@Not Quite Sonic YES, that is the best way to cook cauliflower. I do this all the time and want some right now.


@FashionablyEvil broccoli, with several cloves of garlic (to taste) and a handful of pine nuts*. Toss with olive oil, roast till brownish. Pull out of the oven and immediately toss everything with lemon juice, parmesan, and salt to taste. AMAZING. You will never eat broccoli another way again.

*pine nuts optional


@jule_b_sorry You speak the truth!! That Ina Garten method is the absolute best.

I did roasted veggies -- brussels sprouts, parsnips, butternut squash -- at thanksgiving, but people were generally uninterested. Which was a little unexpected, but whatever, more leftovers for me!


@Not Quite Sonic That is also my favorite recipe for cauliflower, with one addition: toss the florets with a heaping tablespoon of sambal oelek - chili paste that is similar in flavor to sriracha and lives in the same part of the grocery store. You'll never go back!


@harebell what are "good" carrots? like... not baby? i really don't know, i guess there are varieties of all plants but i guess i just thought there were just carrots. i am totally useless with cooking, sorry, but now i need to know!

edit - i googled and OH MAN did you guys know carrots come in basically every color? I SURE DID NOT. but still, how do you know which ones are "good" and which ones are just basic?


I don't know that your standard grocery-store aisle has the greatest selection in carrots, but the general recommendation is getting younger, smaller carrots. ("baby" carrots are actually usually made from the bigger, cheaper, hardier ones) I'm told that a "really good" carrot is one with a lot of internal sugar, which is why we're told that we can add them to lots of foods to up the sweetness (puree them into your tomato sauce, for example).

I am, however, too lazy to peel carrots on a regular basis, so I'm guilty of just cooking the baby ones, especially on weeknights. My secret isn't really old-people friendly, but: make a spice rub of equal parts cinnamon and cayenne pepper, and obviously S&P to taste. Rub it on white fish fillets that get sauteed and toss the carrots with it before oven roasting. Serve with couscous (or other grain of choice), which is cooked with chicken stock and mixed with golden raisins and nut of choice before serving. It's not really authentic anything, but it is tasty. Plain yogurt can be used to adddress/reduce the heat.


@FashionablyEvil Carrots and parsnips cut into sticks about 1/2" thick, shallots cut in half, a few whole garlic cloves, olive oil, salt, black and white pepper, some chopped thyme. Roast. Delicious and colorful.


On the day after Thanksgiving, my boyfriend's cousin made this *incredible* raw Brussels sprouts salad, shredded with some apples and maybe some slivered almonds? The dressing was maybe just a squeeze of lemon juice? There was no mayonnaise or anything heavy. It definitely qualified as hippie-ish and there were some questionable glances cast at the bowl, but then we tried it and it was soooooooo good.

Sorry I don't have a recipe; she had just brought this little newspaper clipping and I haven't emailed her to get it from her. This looks pretty close though...


@empem Oooh, yes. Anything brussels sprouts!

Beatrix Kiddo

@empem That kind of salad is also really good with thinly sliced fennel bulb in it!


As a side dish, green beans and asparagus, lightly sauteed in a little bit of balsamic vinegar and soy sauce are REALLY yummy, and I think every big meat needs a veggie for a side. You can also just steam them and put a little butter on them so they seem special?

My sister in law makes carrot souffle, which sounds really weird, but is REALLY good. I think she got the recipe off epicurious or something of that ilk.


@Ophelia Asparagus! <3 <3


@rimy green beans in lemon sage butter.

Steam beans. Dress with lemon butter with sage sauteed in it.

So good. Soooo good.

Also green beans and red bell pepper with almond slices.


Roasted sweet potatoes (in skins, then scooped out and put under the broiler with bourbon, salt and black pepper or cubed and roasted in olive oil, salt pepper and rosemary). Sweet potatoes require so little to be delish.

Lightly steamed kale or raw baby spinach tossed with balsamic vinaigrette, with steamed beets, goat cheese or gorgonzola and spiced candied pecans. It's super pretty, with the dark greens, deep burgundy beets and bright white cheese.

loren smith

@laurel Oh, I have a sweet potato recipe too! My mother does them by roasting in the skins until soft, then scooping out and mashing with butter, honey, and the juice of a lime. So amazingly delish, and can be prepared ahead of time and reheated. For the full hippy experience, try finding a place to reheat them in the oven because you don't have a microwave, just like my mum!

usually just lurking

I made this for Thanksgiving and it was a big hit:
Smitten Kitchen spicy squash salad with lentils


Gratins are the way to go. I made one last week and ate it every day for breakfast with a poached egg.

Beatrix Kiddo

@absofreakinglutely The other day I made a spaghetti squash gratin with tomato, feta, caramelized onion and lots of parsley. Gratins are the best.


This went over well on Thanksgiving: Haricots Verts with White Beans and Shallot Vinaigrette


@sophia_h I would eat that all day. Yum.


@Ophelia I wish I could mail you some! The recipe made a full Dutch oven's worth and we still have leftovers. I would recommend halving it unless your family is huge on green beans.


Not necessarily hippie-ish, but my father made this for the holidays and it was divine: Brussels Sprouts with Maple Syrup


prime rib screams either spinach, mushrooms or tomatoes. We are not in tomato season anymore, alas. One of my fav side dishes to make is a roasted veggie napoleon, and mushrooms can be a star of this. Also, I swear by a spinach salad with sauteed sweet potatoes, smoked pecans and fried shallots. These dishes have wow factor and the napoleons feel decadent.


I was thinking spinach, too. If you want to stay away from salady stuff, just some wilted spinach with olive oil, garlic, and any misc seasoning is super easy and delicious.


@NeverOddOrEven That plus plumped currants and toasted, sliced almonds is my go-to spinach dish! Easy, delicious and slightly fancy.


@cuminafterall I do mine with toasted pine nut, sauteed shallot, and cranberries! And the spinach is in the pan for, like, 30 seconds - I like it barely wilted. It's the easiest, and does look kinda fancy.


One idea that I made recently-

Parmesean Celery and White Bean salad: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/parmesan-celery-salad-recipe.html

Erin Lucille

So many great recipes already!! Thank you everyone for the contributions, I will not only make one, two or seven of these for our Christmas dinner but I'm going to make them just for me. And maybe share. Maybe.


Yum Universe is an awesome vegan/gluten-free resource. They have a really good buckwheat, sweet potato and kale salad that's satisfying but not heavy. Every recipe I've tried from them has been fantastic.


This one is a real crowd pleaser and not difficult. Also zero starch, zero meat, a pleasant change of pace from the yoozh. http://www.oregonlive.com/mix/index.ssf/vegan-vegetarian-recipes/roasted-cauliflower-with-lemon-capers-and-parsley.html


Roasted cauliflower is The Best. Doing that thing where you puree them for a mashed potatoes substitute would be good here too, I'd think.


@NeverOddOrEven That cough*southbeach*cough thing.


Anything from Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every Day! I've cooked my way through the entire book and my decidedly non-vegetarian boyfriend has loved every hippie-crunchy recipe. (Special rec: Black Bean Salad with Oven-Roasted Tomatoes.)


@Megan@twitter Heidi Swanson's recipes are amaaaazing. I don't own her book, but her 101 Cookbooks site is full of great veggie recipes. Literally every single thing I've made from one of her recipes has gone into heavy rotation in my kitchen!


@Mira Ha, I was going to say, "Pick anything from 101cookbooks, and you're good to go." Totally luxurious, faintly-hippie-ish veggie dishes.


@Mira The only Heidi Swanson recipe I've ever tried was her cottage cheese muffins, and they are seriously the Most Perfect Breakfast Food. (Although don't sweat using extra flour in place of ground almonds and changing up the mix-in's. They will be glorious.)

If all her recipes are that good, I need to get this book, stat.


@TheLetterL They are all that good. She obviously tests her recipes to death because they all turn out.


@Megan@twitter Every recipe of hers that I have ever made has been exceptionally delicious. You cannot go wrong with anything from her books or her site - and the site is so well organized!

kid madrigal

I like to make mujadara (it's basically lentils, onions & rice) instead of dressing at Thxgiving, because I don't like dressing but it fills the same savory side dish place. It's so simple but deceptively delicious. Best results when you carmelize the onions slowww (like 45 min). My midwestern meat+potatoes family loves it, despite their initial skepticism.


I made a side salad for Thanksgiving from an Emeril recipe on GMA. It only consisted of spring mix, orange slices, thinly sliced shallots, goat cheese crumbles and I threw in some candied walnuts to mix it up. The dressing was just a mixture of olive oil and balsamic with a splash of some leftover orange juice and S+P. Easy and good!


@HeyMatilda You know what would be an amazing Christmas salad? Something like I made last night!
It was baby arugula, soft goat cheese, sliced avocado, and an eff-load of pomegranate seeds. I just did an oil-and-lemon juice dressing and a bit of salt. For Christmas, maybe spinach, goat cheese, the pomegranate, and toasted pecans or pumpkin seeds? It would look so festive!


@gobblegirl Yes! I came down to post the salad I am serving Christmas Eve, which is very similar to yours - baby spinach topped with avocado, mandarin oranges, TONS of pomegranate seeds, and dressed with a TBD citrus vinaigrette. Now I think I should add goat cheese!


@LurkiLoo I had it the night before with oil and balsamic, and that was delicious too!


@LurkiLoo Goat cheese makes everything better.


@gobblegirl pomegranate in salad FTMFW. So bright and pretty, and with a snap of flavor.


@HeyMatilda That sounds amazing! Try it with an avocado dressing - it's my new favorite and I'm totally obsessed. Basically just food process a whole ripe avocado with vinegar, oil, lemon, garlic, salt, and pepper. Yum!

Kim Weisberg@twitter

AAAH YES TO BRUSSELS SPROUTS! I like to just slice 'em in half and roast. Aluminum foil on the pan, olive oil (with salt, pepper, garlic powder) on the foil, brussels cut-side down on the oil, swirl them all around so they're all in some oil, squeeze with lemon juice, bake for 20 min or so at 375 or 400 or 425...basically, hot-ish oven, bake until they start to get brown and crispy on top. Bonus: leaves that fall up get ULTRA crispy and delicious.


I have the world's best, lightest, and freshest sweet potato dish. I wish I could attribute it properly, but I don't remember where I first encountered it. I have tweaked it over the years, and I am doing this on the fly, but here goes:

Step 1: Scrub about five pounds of sweet potatoes. This is something like 8 sweet potatoes, if I remember correctly. Cut them up in big bite sized chunks - I'll leave the method to your discretion.
Step 2: This one is optional - it is the par boiling step. You can put all of the chunks in a dutch oven-type pan filled with cold water, bring it to a boil, and boil for about 7-10 minutes. If you do this step, it is critical that you drain them really well, then pop them onto a cookie sheet and put them in a 300 degree oven for about 5-10 minutes. You want them as dry as possible after the boiling.
Step 3: Put the cut sweet potatoes on a lined cookie sheet/baking tray. Glug olive oil all over them. Now, you also need to melt about a half to a full stick of butter (your call) and pour that all over them, too. Then salt them with the good salt (kosher) and be generous. Same goes for the pepper (I use white pepper for no particular reason). Now use your hands and toss it well. Get every last piece of sweet potato covered in the oil/butter and salt/pepper.
Step 4: Roast it like woah. Put it in a convection oven at 400 or a regular oven at 425. Roast for 35-50 minutes (this will depend on your oven, mostly - you are looking for a carmelized, crunchy texture on the outside, and creamy goodness on the inside).
Step 5: While your potatoes are roasting, chop up a bunch of cilantro and a bunch of chives. If you hate cilantro, go nuts on the chives. Also, I am sorry for your loss in life. If you like both, chop up a whole shit ton of them. You will think it is too much herbs. You will be wrong. You want, at the very least, a big handful of herbs.
Step 6: The lime stage. You need two limes. Zest both of them, taking pains not to get any of the...white stuff (can't remember the name of it right now). You just want a nice pile of green stuff, right next to your mountain of herbs. After you have zested, you need to juice. Juice the hell out of those two limes, which should net you around two tablespoons of juice.
Step 7: Combine the lime juice with about half a cup of water and a quarter cup of sugar, in a small saucepan. Bring that to a boil, then reduce the heat slightly (simmering boil) and reduce the liquid by about a third (maybe five minutes?)
Step 8: The assembly. Pull your potatoes out of the oven. Pour half the lime reduction over them. Add all of the herbs and the lime zest. Toss and taste. Add more of the lime juice as needed.


@karion I want you to write all my recipes.


I got to the cilantro part and was about to comment that you lost me there, but you went on to address that. Do not pity me, I am okay.
A couple months ago, I made stuffed shells, and was doing it from memory. It was one of those things where I think I'm supposed to do the counterintuitive thing - so I'm like, I hate cilantro, therefore I think I am supposed to use cilantro instead of parsley. I know, it was a really stupid mistake! I did eat all the cilantro flavored shells over the next week because I am not going to not eat stuffed shells.
I may try your recipe sans cilantro.


@karion I do a very similar recipe but with tons of garlic, no chives, parsley instead of cilantro, and no butter. People flip their shit every time I bring it to a potluck. Soooooooo good, and I was going to suggest this to the LW but you got there first!


@karion This is a damn fine recipe! I'm gonna try it for after-finals comfort food!
PS: white stuff is "pith".


@karion OMG. I thought nothing could beat:

--Bake 5lbs sweet potatoes.

--Mash the hell out of them- use the balloon whisk on a Kitchenaid if you can, or run through a food mill.

--Butter/milk/cream/half&half till lovely and light. You can be less generous with this and it will still be good, but it's best with DAIRY.

--A generous glug of sriracha.

--Salt and pepper.

--A shot of maple syrup.

--Spread in baking dish.

-- Stud with soft chevre like goat cheese.

--Bake till cheese is lovely and browned on whatever heat your oven is already on for other things.

Aaaaaaand, I think you managed it. That sounds so good. Bitter lemon zest + sweetness of sweet potatoes= OMG.

Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)

@karion Sweet potatoes mashed with some butter (you can replace that with something else if you prefer, I guess) and maple syrup. Add some cinnamon and nutmeg. DELISH.


Best brussel sprouts recipe EVER:
I've never used a food processor for them, I just slice them myself (a mandolin will not work, because they're so little). Don't worry about how thin your slices are.
My mother used to hate brussels sprouts until I made this, and then we caught her eating the leftovers in the middle of the night. It tastes light, it's seasonal, and it's really easy - slice the sprouts early in the day/the day before, and then it takes 10 minutes to throw the rest together as the meat is resting.


@gobblegirl What is this genius and why have I never made it before??? I'm super excited to make this sometime soon!

Oh, squiggles

Kale salad is pretty great, and pairs well with heavy meat dishes, because it adds the light, crisp, crunch to help balance it out. It's not luxurious though...Well, if you buy reallllly good olive oil and balsamic to dress it with, then it kind of is?

Grilled or wood smoked vegetables? The luxurious comes from the fact that you had to spend more money/time/effort to grill or smoke them. Squash, asparagus, artichokes, green onions, tomatoes. So delicious...

Roasted brussel sprouts?

I don't know, I don't think veggies are luxurious, per se, but they are delicious and I want to go eat all of them now.


@Absurd Bird An excellent suggestion, and here's one of the greatest kale salads ever. Tip: You can't chiffonade the kale too finely. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Lacinato-Kale-and-Ricotta-Salata-Salad-236940


@Absurd Bird This is a kale salad that FEELS luxurious! It is so, so good. http://www.notderbypie.com/kale-salad-with-avocado-dressing/

Oh, squiggles

So taking kale salad and adding cheese, or avocado?! Two of my favorite things on top of another of my favorite things! Sounds amazing, thanks for the recipes!

Beatrix Kiddo

@purefog Kale also makes a pretty awesome Caesar salad.

Claire Zulkey@twitter

This baked pea and spinach risotto is insanely easy. Rich but not too much so and you get two veggies in one dish!

Dirty Hands

@Claire Zulkey@twitter Mmm, I want to try this!

almighty jugs

I have no suggestions, but Edith, I envy whatever neurological superiority gives you the extraordinary ability to not completely inhale the whole thingy of TJ's seaweed snacks within five minutes of opening the package. THEY'RE JUST TOO DELICIOUS


My cousin made a dish of braised red cabbage with bacon once for Thanksgiving and it was RIDICULOUSLY good. No specific recipe, but I would try using apple cider for the braising liquid? And you could probably go very easy on the bacon.


@anachronistique I LOVE braised red cabbage. But hoooo boy does it make me fart.


@anachronistique ROASTED red cabbage is kind of bizarrely good. Chop into wedges, thinly slice onions, toss with olive oil and S&P and caraway seeds, roast both in a hot oven until the cabbage is pretty soft and crisp around the edges and the onions are caramelized, dress with a mix of grainy mustard and apple cider vinegar. Glorious.


Squash and chickpea curry! There are a million recipes/variations online, but it's super easy no matter which way you do it. Plus it's filling without being heavy. Basically, saute onion/garlic in olive oil, add spices (curry, garam masala, cumin, turmeric, pepper, salt, etc - go nuts), toss in a can or whatever of chickpeas, then add pre-baked or thawed frozen squash or pumpkin. Let it simmer awhile, add some lemon juice, and voila! Plus it just gets better the longer you let it sit, so you can make it early or the day before. Rice and quinoa both go really well with this stuff, too.

I eat this a lot.


Oooh, we make something like that, but with a lot of diced avocado. Just a tip if you want more fat calories.


@rbrtposteschild When do I ever not want more fat calories.


Anything with roasted squash. But especially spiced couscous with roasted squash. It works best with Israeli couscous, which has bigger grains, but you can use regular couscous as well.
Peel & cut a butternut squash into 1-inch chunks, toss with olive oil and roast.
Boil water for couscous, add stick of cinnamon to the water. Cook couscous (About 2 cups uncooked per 1 good-sized squash).
Toss cooked couscous with squash, 1 cup golden raisins, 1 tsp each of paprika and cumin, and 1 finely chopped preserved lemon. If you don't have preserved lemon, you can substitute with fresh lemon juice.


I'm just going to bookmark the permalink to this post so I can come back and make pretty much all of these recipes!


@Ophelia Me too! I'm trying to eat more vegetables and these are some fantastic ideas. Woman cannot live on empanadas alone, she needs some greens up in her life, and I'm gonna cook all of these.


Ah, what fortune this post was made today! I have to make a side dish for a dinner party on Saturday and was unsure of what to make. Thanks for all the ideas, everyone!


My mom made a great roasted butternut squash chunks with orange zest, ginger and dried cranberries as a Thanksgiving side this year. It was a welcome replacement for sweet potatoes, which along with the regular mashed potatoes, were too heavy.


Okay I just got really excited about the mushroom kits - but does anyone know if Food52 works for Canadians? They don't have any info on their site, but don't have provinces as options in the billing info list!

Chesty LaRue

@gobblegirl I was looking at some spices and they said "no international shipping" somewhere, so I think we're out of luck.


I love how many people love brussel sprouts.

This recipe is my most favourite luxurious brussel sprouts recipe, and it is INCREDIBLE, but it doesn't quite qualify as light. But everyone make it though, you will be happy forever.



Do the Moosewood Sweet Potato Gratin! Someone brought this to my place for dinner once and it was the star of the show. It's less of a gratin and more of a hearty but not heavy rice and bean casserole, and though it has lime and cilantro, not too hippie.

Kirsten Hey@facebook

Cut cauliflower and broccoli into florets. Crush salt and garlic cloves together in a pestle and mortar. Mix the veg and salt/garlic together in a bowl with a good slug of olive oil until the veg is well coated with the mix. If you want to, add some crushed coriander seeds. Transfer to an ovenproof dish and roast in a 200C/400F oven for 25-35 minutes.


My contribution to the brussels sprout love is to point out the Trader Joe's has bagged shredded brussels sprouts. I think they call them "shaved." Saute them with your favorite flavor combo (olive oil/lemon/garlic/parm? goat cheese/cranberry/walnut? BACON?) and you're good to go.


I usually make brussles sprouts with bacon, but when I'm trying to go a little healthier this is what I do: sautee some brussels sprouts in olive oil and garlic, add a splash of apple cider vinegar-lots of people don't notice the difference between the cider vinegar recipe and the bacon recipe. Then top it off with some thinly shaved parmesan (the good stuff, you really don't need a lot).


Dude, mushrooms. Unless you hate mushrooms. I swear these are good, though. Toss them with garlic, capers, oil, salt and pepper, put a little butter on top and bake them at 450 until they get bubbly at 450. Add parsley and lemon juice.

If that feels not...seasonal enough? Not decadent enough? I don't know. Anyway, let's talk sweet potatoes. Roast some sweet potatoes, scrape out the orange part and hand mixer it with butter, a little maple syrup, as much bourbon as you want, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and pepper. You can put hazelnuts on before you eat it, or you can just eat it. It should be a little bit sweet and a little bit bourbony. If you don't like bourbon I don't know what to tell you and I'm not sure we can get past this rift.

KALE IS AMAZING. But best in salads, right? Kale, mustard greens, scallion, a sliced up apple, hazelnuts, olive oil, rice vinegar if you have some left over from that time you were like "let's learn to make sushi!" but then you got creeped out because that's RAW FISH that you bought from Whole Foods or something.


Typically I go straightforward and do either or of the following:
Sautee a little garlic, shallot in oil til soft in a pan, throw in a big bag of green beans, add salt, pepper and cook til bright green and tender but still crisp, then toss a little balsamic in there. BOOM

Also pre heat an oven to about 400, on a baking tray put asparagus, drizzle with olive oil and fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper, toss to coat (adding lemon slices over asparagus if you'd like) and pop in the oven for about 10-12 minutes, depending on how big they are.

Also Mark Bittman has a great recipe on roasted sweet potatoes out there that's equally great.


ohhhh i have just the thing for you! http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Wilted-Kale-and-Roasted-Potato-Winter-Salad-350884

it has some crunchy-granola cred, but nothing so crazy that it can be identified as hippie fare. it has potatoes and cheese--for people who need potatoes and cheese with their prime rib--but also kale and tahini. it is also so, so, so delicious. i make it all the time in the winter. sometimes i make a huge batch, add some handfuls of almonds, and bam it's lunch.

they lie about the kale wilting when you put the potatoes on top, though. i have never had this happen. i usually blanch it for like three seconds and then toss everything together.


At Thanksgiving, someone in my boyfriend's family made a red grape-fennel-celery salad with some sort of light, lovely vinegary dressing; it sounds weird? But add some feta and walnuts, and I would eat at every meal forever. It went beautifully with heavier, more traditional roasted vegetables, and also made a nice break from meat and turkey and stuffing and starch. I don't have a recipe, but wing it? It was amazing.


@BadWolf This sounds beautiful - like a hipster (but not in an irritating way) Waldorf salad


I don't really cook and when I do, it's usually a huge batch of stew or soup to last the week, so I don't have any side dishes to contribute BUT you should be checking out Tasteologie http://tasteologie.notcot.org/ . They've got recipes for EVERYTHING, it's pretty fantastic. If you start flipping through the archives, you'll find something. Or you can search by ingredient/ dietary whatever


One more: Orange, fennel, olive salad. It gets better if you make it ahead and let it sit. I use more orange than shown here (navels are good, but then, we have a sometimes prolific tree), and I like to stir in some watercress right before serving too.



How about steamed or boiled green beans dressed with lemon butter and flaked almonds? Roasted cauliflower with yoghurt, feta and pomegranate seeds, from Smittenkitchen.com? Also, wheat grain salad; wheat grain boiled and tossed with a variety of seeds and maybe some chopped spring onions, feta, grated carrot and the like, then dressed with sme kind of vinaigrette (I use pomegranate molasses mixed with some olive oil, lemon juice and rock salt). Mmmmmmmmmmm, FOOD.


Morrocan Yams (or pumpkin)

1 lb. yams
5 oz. raisins soaked in water
1 TB honey
pinch saffron
pinch turmeric
¼ tsp. salt (to taste)
¼ tsp. pepper (to taste)
½ tsp. cinnamon (to taste)
2-3 TB cooking oil

Peel and cube yams. Sauté in oil with spices. Add water to cover. With lid on pan, simmer 20 mins. Drain water from raisins and add. Add honey. Add a little water. Taste sauce and adjust salt, pepper, cinnamon as desired. Cover and cook 10 minutes. Stab yams with knife to check for doneness. Serve hot or cold.

good havens

To further all the kale/brussel sprout love, I've made this salad two years in a row for Thanksgiving, and it is such a hit!! Especially rad, since it's better if you make it a day in advance, so it takes one more thing off your plate the day of.

Ellie Bailey@facebook

swiss chard with tahini/lemon sauce is divine...

and i tend to do green beans a bit differently. look for haricots verts. pop black mustard seeds and then saute finely chopped shallots in olive oil with just a teeny splash of toasted sesame oil, and then add the green beans at a rather high heat. i like to use a wok. the mustard seeds go in towards the end, season with salt and voila.


You MUST Google tabouleh! If you don't find a recipe you like, I will post my mom's.


Thanks to this thread, I have realized that I can bring a dish to a party this weekend almost without shopping! It will be a salad of kale, quinoa, thinly-sliced shallot, sectioned cuties, avocado, a pomegranate I have to go buy, and dressed with olive oil, lemon, and pomegranate vinegar. Yay!



I made it! It was delicious. No fewer than three people who professed to hate kale had seconds.

For posterity:

-a couple glugs olive oil
-one glug pomegranate vinegar
-one glug red wine vinegar
-juice of two lemons
-juice of one clementine
-one mushed up avocado
-one finely diced shallot
-two good pinches salt
-a couple grinds black pepper

for salad:
two bunches kale, chopped into ~1" peices
1 cup dry quinoa, cooked

mix with dressing

top with:
3 clementines, sectioned
1 pomegranate's seeds
some toasted pepitas

this made a giant party-sized bowl of salad.


The carrot and lentil turkish-inspired stew from the 'pin post SAUCY HOT COOOOOOLL was my summer standby. It's hearty, sweet, spicy, rich and SO delicious. And it is one of the easier things I've ever made. Perfect!


My friend made this and then sent us the recipe in an e-mail titled 'Quinoa Mouthgasm'. I made it, and HOLY HECK was she right!

This is a delicious, simple salad made with very few ingredients. It's a little sweet (mint, honey), a little tart (lemon juice, scallions), and surprisingly hearty (quinoa). It's also waaaaaaay more delicious than reading the recipe would lead you to believe. I recommend it without reservation!


I have the BEST recipe and it fits your requirements - Mushroom and Farro Oven Risotto - healthy-ish, hippie-ish, and yet feels very luxurious and can definitely be served to company. And it's EASY to make! I've adapted it slightly from a Wegman's recipe in case you don't have a Wegmans (but if you do, here is their version: http://www.wegmans.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10052&catalogId=10002&productId=732698)
But here is my adaptation:
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 small Chopped Onion
1 1/4 cups(2 1/2 oz) sliced shiitake mushrooms
1 1/4 cups(3 oz) sliced White Mushrooms
1 pkg(8 oz) Farro
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
2 cups vegetable or chicken Stock
1/2 cup, diced, roasted or sundried tomatoes
1 Tbsp chopped Parsley
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
1.Add olive oil to oven-safe pan on MEDIUM-HIGH. Add onion; cook, stirring, 2 min, until onion begins to soften. Add mushrooms and farro; cook, stirring, 2-3 min to toast farro. Add soy sauce and stock. Bring to a simmer on HIGH; cover.

2.Transfer pan to oven; cook 35 min.

3.Remove from oven; let rest 10 min.

4.Stir in roasted tomatoes and parsley.

Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)

Slice up some carrots or use really small baby carrots. Boil them, coat them in butter and lime juice and throw some lime zest on top. So easy and so good.


Lately I have been making vegan cheese sauce and putting it on everything (pasta, veggies, casseroles, eggs). The main components are 1/3 cup almond milk, 6T nutritional yeast, S&P. The variations are endless: You can add 1 Tflour to thicken it up or some ground up chickpeas, more lemon juice, dijon mustard, garlic, curry powder, paprika, cilantro, whatever you've got! Plus the sauce stores for at least a week in your fridge.


@chiselpuff so much cheaper than regular vegan cheese. i might have to make this. stat.


@theotherginger And 8 grams of protein in 1T!

Ramona Adair@facebook


she is a genius


Citrusfruit salad! Get several different oranges and grapefruits so you can mix up the color a bit, peel them and trim the segments directly into the bowl (to catch the juice). You can add jicama in thin slices, or shredded coconut, or both. Parsley is a good garnish if you don't use coconut. I don't add any sugar, but a bit of powdered cardamon is a nice addition.


chopped mint is an excellent topper for this too!

katie s.@twitter

Roast Brussels sprouts.

josh yudell

Wow it's really great,I made it once! It was so delicious.

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josh yudell

wow thats yummy joshyudell loves it & likes to have that dish.


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