Category Archives: Side dish

Curried Couscous with Broccoli and Feta


I have to give my hubby Aaron credit for finding this recipe. He and I have made it 4 or 5 times in the last few months, and we do not usually repeat a recipe that often. It’s loaded with flavor, veggies and is meat-free. It can be eaten warm, room temp or cold (I prefer it cold-room temp). The combination of sweet from the raisins, spice from the curry and salty feta is perfect!

Curried Couscous with Broccoli and Feta

  • 1 cup uncooked couscous
  • 1 medium head of broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup roasted cashews
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons curry powder (I usually use 2)
  • 1-2 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup feta cheese, freshly crumbled


  1. Cook couscous according to the directions on the package. While the couscous is cooking steam the broccoli until it reaches your desired tenderness (about 5-8 minutes).
  2. In a large bowl combine the remaining ingredients (except for the feta). Add the couscous and broccoli when they are done cooking.
  3. Serve in bowls and top with the crumbled feta.

Makes about 6 servings.

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light


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Filed under Main dishes, Side dish

Black Bean and Corn Guacamole Dip

Spring is in full swing, yippy! This dip will be the perfect thing to bring to that spring or early summer pot luck/cookout. It’s really simple and a crowd pleaser. The black bean dip perfectly compliments and adds pizzazz to the more traditional guacamole.

It’s so good that you can even accidentally put cinnamon in place of chili powder and it’s STILL good! (Yes, I did that, I will always make sure my spices are in their correct spot from now on 😉

Black Bean and Corn Guacamole Dip


  • For the Black Bean Dip:
    • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1/4 cup red onion, roughly chopped
    • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and chopped (optional)
    • 1 garlic clove
    • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
    • juice of 1/2 lime
    • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
    • salt and pepper
  • For the Corn Guacamole:
    • 2 ripe avocados
    • juice of 1/2 lime
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • salt and pepper
    • 3/4 cup frozen sweet corn, thawed
    • 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • Toppings:
    • 1 tomato, seeded and chopped
    • 1/2 cup crumbled Cotija cheese (could use feta or shredded monterey jack)


  1. Add garlic clove to food processor and process until chopped. Add the remaining ingredients for the black bean dip and process until smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Taste and add more spices or salt and pepper if necessary. Smooth into the bottom of a 9″ pie pan.
  2. In a medium bowl add avocados, lime juice, garlic, salt, and pepper then mash with a fork until smooth. Stir in thawed sweet corn and cilantro then smooth on top of the black bean dip. Sprinkle chopped tomatoes and crumbled Cotija cheese on top and serve with tortilla chips.

Recipe adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

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Brussel Sprout & Cranberry Salad


I’ve been on a roll lately, cooking up a storm! November and December are most definitely my favorite months to cook and bake. Thanksgiving and Christmas food = THE BEST!

This salad could easily be added to the Thanksgiving menu. To jazz it up for a holiday I would also add something that makes everything better… bacon!! Even my Dad went back for a second helping, and he isn’t always easy to please 😉

Now, how ridiculously adorable are these two?! 

Brussel Sprout & Cranberry Salad

  • 3-4 cups brussels sprouts, tough outer leaves pulled away
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese crumbles (I like to buy the brick and crumble it myself)
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 2 jumbo shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • For the Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette:
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
    • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. To shred the brussel sprouts hold the brussel sprout by the core and thinly slice it with a very sharp knife. Discard the cores. Place shreds in a medium bowl. Add cranberries pecans, feta and apple.
  2. To make dressing combine vinaigrette ingredients in a small mason jar. Shake well to combine.
  3. When you’re ready to serve the salad prepare the shallots. Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil and butter. Add half of the shallots and caramelize until just golden. Remove and place on a plate with paper towel. Do the same with the second half of the shallots. They get kind of crispy and really make the salad great!
  4. Add shallots to the salad and toss with the dressing.

Makes 6-7 servings.

Recipe adapted from Iowa Girl Eats.

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Filed under Salads, Side dish

Apple Almond Quinoa with Maple Sausage


I hope you have been enjoying this beautiful October and all of the wonderful things fall has to offer! I’ve been doing lots of this lately:


I love trying unique food combinations and I am a big fan of this one. I’m also a sucker for sweet and savory and this quinoa salad has just that. It’s surprisingly filling and makes the perfect lunch.

Apple Almond Quinoa with Maple Sausage

  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1.5 cups gluten-free chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 8-12 oz maple breakfast sausage patties
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 apple, diced
  • 1/3 cup almonds, chopped
  • 4 Tablespoons  dried cranberries
  • salt and pepper, to taste (if needed)


  1. Rinse quinoa very well in a fine mesh strainer. Bring chicken broth and quinoa to a boil in a covered medium sauce pan.  Once the broth begins to boil reduce heat to low and simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl to cool.
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add sausage then break up into small pieces and brown the sausage until fully cooked. Add cooked sausage, green onions,  apple, almonds, and cranberries to the slightly cooled quinoa. Toss well to combine. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes about 5 good sized servings.

Recipe adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

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Filed under Main dishes, Side dish

Pecan & Grape Salad


Can you tell I’m a lover of summer side salads? My last post was broccoli and cauliflower salad, have you tried it yet? I have received some great positive feedback on it’s deliciousness!

I had never heard of grape salad before one of my wonderful coworkers brought it to one of our potlucks (yes, my workplace is awesome because we have occassional celebratory potlucks).

This “salad” really belongs more in the dessert category. But hey, I live on the edge and eat it right along side of a meal. 😉

Pecan & Grape Salad

  • 7 or 8 cups red seedless grapes, washed & stemmed (about one very large bag, or two small bags)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Pecan Topping

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup toasted pecans, chopped


  1. Combine sour cream, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Stir in the grapes until well coated. Pour the grape mixture into a large serving bowl.
  2. In a small bowl combine the brown sugar and pecans. Evenly sprinkle the sugar and pecans on top of the grapes. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Makes about 10-12 servings.

Recipe adapted from Deliciously Sprinkled

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Filed under Salads, Side dish, Sweet indulgences

Broccoli & Cauliflower Salad


Now that summer is in full swing, so are summer salads! How can you go wrong with fresh summer veggies covered in bacon and cheese?! 🙂 The slightly sweet (from the raisins and dressing) and salty combination is spot on.

This recipe makes a ton and is easily made the night before a party or cookout.

Broccoli & Cauliflower Salad

  • 3-4 small heads of broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 of a red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 7 slices of thick cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup  sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • pepper, to taste


  1. In a large bowl combine the broccoli, cauliflower, red onion, shredded cheese, bacon and raisins.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the mayo, sugar, vinegar and pepper. Slowly add the dressing until you have the desired about of dressing mixed in. I usually don’t use it all, but it also depends on how much broccoli and cauliflower you use.
  3. Refrigerate the salad for at least 2 hours, or overnight.

Makes 10-12 servings.

Recipe adapted from Life in Pleasantville


Filed under Salads, Side dish