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Sides and Breads

Sides and Breads Recipe Index

Apple Spring Rolls
Baked Beans
Basic Asian Stir fry sauce
Big Fries
Black eyed peas with Tomatoes and Greens
Broccoli Casserole
Broccoli Cornbread
Broccoli Raab with Garlic
Brussel Sprout Casserole
Buttermilk Biscuits
Cauliflower with Indian Spices
Cheddar Cabbage Casserole
Couscous with Toasted Almonds and Raisins
Creamy Fried Corn
Curry Lentils
Easy Stewed Apples
Fingerling Potato Fries
Fried Cabbage
Fried Eggplant
Fried Green Tomatoes
Fried Rice
Fried Sweet Potatoes
Fried Tofu
Green Beans
Harvard Beets
Homemade Spring Rolls
Jalapeno Cornbread
Marinated Green Beans
Mashed Potatoes
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Polenta with Mushrooms and Swiss Chard
Potato Cakes
Quinoa with Spinach and Shitake Mushrooms
Roasted Asparagus
Roasted Red Peppers
Scalloped Potatoes
Spinach Casserole
Spinach with Garlic
Sweet Potato Croquettes
Tomato Dumplings
Twice baked Sweet Potatoes
Vegetarian Hotdog Chili
Watermelon Rind Pickles
Yellow Squash and Onion



Curry Lentils

Healthy and delicious side dish or main dish.

Curry Lentils

1 cup lentils
2 ½ cups vegetable broth
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. hot curry powder
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. cumin
½ tsp. turmeric
¼ tsp. paprika
Dash of cayenne pepper
Salt and Pepper

1) In sauce pan, heat olive oil on medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté a few minutes. Add garlic and sauté an additional minute.

2) Add all spices and stir.

3) Add lentils and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low heat. Simmer for about 20 minutes until lentils are tender.

4) Serve with Basmati rice or as a side dish for your favorite entree.



Black eyed peas with tomatoes and greens

This recipe was made in a Whole Foods cooking demonstration that I attended. I liked it so much I made if Christmas Eve, and my brother liked it enough to make it for New Year's.

2 cans of black-eyed peas (15 oz. size) (no meat)
1 package smoked tempeh (you can find this in the dairy case or where the tofu is – tofu is near the vegetable section usually)
3 tbsp. Olive oil, maybe a little more
1 28 oz. can stewed or diced tomatoes (he suggests fire roasted)
1 large onion (diced)
3 cloves of garlic, diced
2 cups of chopped hearty greens (such as Kale—spinach is not recommended)
Salt & pepper to taste

1) Chop the tempeh and onions and dice the garlic. Place the onion in a large kettle with a couple tbsp. of olive oil on medium-high heat. Saute for about 5 or 8 minutes, until onion is translucent.

2) Add the tempeh and sauté another couple minutes. Then add garlic and sauté a couple of minutes. Add the garlic last because it burns easily.

3) Add the greens and simmer until they are soft.

4) Drain the black eyed peas and add them along with the tomatoes and about ½ cup of water or so. Bring to a quick boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer about 10 minutes or more if you like. Add salt & pepper to taste.




Cauliflower with Indian Spices

Serve with Basmati rice or couscous as a main dish or serve as a side dish.

Cauliflower with Indian spices

1 medium onion, sliced thin
½ Cauliflower head, cut into pieces
¼ cup golden raisins (optional)
3 cloves garlic, diced
2/3 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
1 tbsp. curry powder
1 tbsp. Hot curry powder
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. cumin
½ tsp. coriander
½ tsp. cilantro
Olive oil

1) Toss cauliflower with 2 tbsp. olive oil and place on a shallow packing pan. Place in preheated 450 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes or until cauliflower is fork tender. Turn cauliflower once during baking.

2) While cauliflower is roasting, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté about 5-7 minutes or until onion is carmelized. Add garlic and spices and sauté a couple more minutes, but don’t burn the garlic.

3) Remove cauliflower from oven and add to sauté pan and sauté a couple of minutes.

4) Add vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce heat to low simmer.

5) Add raisins (if desired).

2 main dish servings or 4 side servings.


Apple Spring Rolls

These spring rolls are Vegan, healthy and absolutely delicious. Enjoy them for breakfast, a snack or dessert.

Egg Roll Wraps

4 egg roll wrappers
2 large apples (I used Granny Smith)
1 tbsp. cinnamon (for filling) plus 1 extra tbsp. (to sprinkle on spring rolls)
1 tbsp. of powdered sugar (if desired)
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. allspice
¼ tsp. ginger
½ cup water
Several tbsp. of canola oil (enough to coat bottom of skillet)


1) Peel and core apples. Cut into slices or chunks.

2) Mix apple pieces together with the other ingredients in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high until tender (about 4 minutes).

3) Heat canola oil on medium-high heat in large skillet.

4) Place about ¼ cup of apple filling in each of the egg roll wrappers. Roll up sides and seal edges with a tiny bit of water, if needed.

5) Place each apple spring roll in hot oil. Fry a couple of minutes until brown on one side. Turn with tongs and fry the other side.

6) Remove and place on paper towel to drain excess oil. Sprinkle with cinnamon and powdered sugar, if desired.

Apple Spring Rolls. Delish!

Makes 4 spring rolls.



Spinach with Garlic

This is a super-easy side dish to prepare and everyone loves it.

10 -12 cups of baby spinach
1/4 cup of olive oil
6-8 cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 cup of water

1) In a deep, large kettle, add half of the olive oil and bring to medium high heat.

2) Add the minced garlic and quickly stir fry (a minute or less--don't burn it).

3) Add the spinach in bunches, stirring it from the bottom. Add remaining olive oil and water and continue stirring. Spinach will quickly wilt down.

4) Remove from heat once spinach wilts.



Basic Asian Stir-fry Sauce

Stir this sauce into your sauteed vegetables or tofu for great flavor.

Stir fry with Veg Chicken Strips and Jasmine Rice

3 tsp. Cornstarch
3 tsp. Soy sauce
2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. Sesame Oil
1/2 tsp. Chili paste
1/2 tsp. lemongrass
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 cup water plus 1 tbsp.

1) Whisk all ingredients together.

2) Pour over stir-fried vegetables and/or tofu and stir.

Makes enough sauce for 2 servings of vegetables. Try with Asian Stir Fry




Couscous with Olives and Capers

Try these savory toss-ins with couscous for an easy side dish.

Couscous with olives and capers

1 cup plain couscous
1 cup water or vegetable stock
¼ cup pitted calamata olives, cut in half
1 tbsp. capers
¼ tsp. grated dried garlic
6 or 7 basil leaves, torn

1) Boil water or stock. Add couscous and remove from heat. Stir and let set a couple of minutes.

2) Stir in olives, capers, basil and garlic.

4 side servings


Homemade Spring Rolls

The hardest thing about making these is chopping the vegetables. They are worth the effort!

Serving suggestion

¼ cup broccoli, chopped
¼ red pepper, diced
1 cup shredded cabbage, chopped
4 mushrooms, chopped
¼ cup of extra-firm tofu (approx), patted dry with a paper towel and cut in small pieces
¼ cup onion, chopped
½ large carrot, cut in small pieces
1 or 2 tbsp. canola oil (stir fry) plus
¼ cup canola oil (frying spring rolls)
2 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
½ tsp crushed red pepper, if desired.
8 egg roll shells

Egg roll wraps. Available in produce section usually.

Place filling in center of eggroll shell

Roll up the sides.

They cook fast!

1) Heat 1 or 2 tbsp. canola oil and soy sauce and crushed red pepper (if desired) in wok on medium heat. Add chopped onion and sauté a few minutes.

2) Add broccoli and cabbage and 1 or 2 tbsp. of water.

3) Add carrot and red pepper and stir fry together.

4) Add mushrooms and tofu last. Stir fry mixture together until vegetables are tender. Remove to bowl.

5) Heat remaining canola oil in large frying pan to medium heat. Place ¼ cup (approx) of filling in the center of each egg roll shell. Roll bottom up and then each side and then top portion up to form the roll. Place in hot oil seam side down. Fry until brown on the bottom (a couple of minutes). Flip with tongs and cook the other side.

6) Remove to paper towel to drain and dry. Serve with dipping sauce, if desired.

Makes 8 egg spring rolls.

Drain on paper towel




Easy Stewed Apples

Perfect topping for waffles or delicious stirred into oatmeal or served with vanilla ice cream.

2 medium apples (local if possible)
1 tbsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. allspice
¼ tsp. ginger
½ cup water
1) Peel and core apples. Cut into slices or chunks.
2) Mix apple pieces together with the other ingredients in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high until tender (about 4 minutes).
3) Serve immediately or refrigerate and enjoy later. Spicy flavor gets more intense after the apples sit for a day or two.

Serves two.


Broccoli Raab with Garlic

Delicious accompaniment to an Italian meal.

Saute pan with garlic and olive oil.

1 large bunch of broccoli raab
5 or 6 cloves of garlic, minced
Several tbsp. olive oil
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper
Salt & pepper

1) Wash broccoli raab and trim off and discard about the bottom 2 inches of each stem.

2) Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add a little olive oil. Add the broccoli raab to the water and boil about 5 or 6 minutes.

3) Drain and place in icy cold water bath for a minute.

4) Add garlic and olive oil to large pan and sauté for a few minutes. Add broccoli raab and sauté about another 10 minutes.

Side dish or appetizer for two.

Broccoli Raab with garlic.


Quinoa with Spinach and Shitake Mushrooms

Quinoa is a gluten-free grain with great texture. It partners well with the spinach and garlic in this recipe.


1 cup quinoa
1 1/4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or water
4 cups fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup shitake mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup water
2 tbsp. olive oil
Salt & pepper

1) Pour the quinoa into 1 cup boiling broth or water. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 12 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes and fluff.

2) In large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add diced garlic and sauté a minute. Add shitake mushrooms and saute a couple of minutes more.

3) Add the fresh spinach and ½ cup water. Stir together for a few minutes. Spinach will cook down. Remove from heat.

4) Place the spinach over the quinoa and serve together.

Quinoa with spinach and mushrooms.



Creamy Fried Corn

Kids can’t get enough of this dish.


6 ears of corn
2 tbsp. of butter (or Smart Balance or other butter substitute)
1 tsp. Salt

1) Shuck corn. Hold clean ear of corn over bowl and take a serrated knife and remove kernels from entire ear. Scrape corn cob with knife edge after removing kernels to get the “creamy” part of the corn.

2) Place butter in medium-sized kettle over medium heat. Once the butter is bubbling, add corn and stir.

3) Then add ½ cup of water and ½ tsp. salt and bring to a boil. Turn stove down to simmer and stir occasionally and add water as needed (to keep dish from burning) until corn is tender and creamy (about 15-20 minutes). Watch and make sure it doesn't burn.

4) Remove from heat and add salt to-taste.


Fried Green Tomatoes

This Southern classic is great as a side dish or appetizer.

2 large green tomatoes
¾ cup flour
1 organic egg, beaten or 3 tbsp. egg whites
2 tbsp. reduced fat milk
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
½ tsp. pepper
½ cup canola oil

Choose firm, green tomatoes. The one on the right is actually not green enough.

Green tomatoes in the pan

1) Beat together egg and millk. In separate bowl, stir together flour, cayenne and pepper.

2) Heat canola oil over medium heat in large skillet. Slice tomatoes about ½ inch thick.

3) Once oil is hot, take each slice of tomato and dip it first in the egg and then the flour. Do both sides. Place in the hot oil. Depending on the size of your pan and your tomato, you can probably fry one tomato at a time. Fry on one side until it is brown and crispy (a few minutes). Flip and fry the other side.

4) Remove and set on a paper town to drain excess oil.

Four side servings.

The finished product



Big Fries

My mom says everyone knows how to make these, but I didn’t know how until I asked her. My niece loves them. Try them with a veggie burger.

2 medium sized russet potatoes (you can use any type of white potato actually)
¾ cup of canola oil

Potato wedges

Potatoes cooking

1) Pour oil in a deep kettle and heat to medium-high.

2) Wash and peel the potatoes and slice length-wise into long, but thick wedges.

3) Carefully drop each wedge into the hot oil. Turn with metal tongs after about 7 minutes or when one side is golden brown. Cook the other side until also golden brown.

4) Place on a paper towel to cool and drain off excess oil. Sprinkle with salt.

Veggie Cheeseburger in Paradise

Be careful when making these because it’s a lot of hot oil.



Vegetarian Hotdog Chili

Vegetarians don’t have to deprive themselves of delicious chili on their veg dogs.

1 cup ground veggie burger
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. onion, chopped fine
1 1/2 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
Salt & pepper

1) Heat olive oil in skillet on medium-high heat. Add chopped onions and sauté about 5 minutes, maybe a little longer, until translucent.

2) Add ground veggie burger and spices. Stir together and cook in the pan about another 5 minutes.

3) Add to your veggie dog.

Makes plenty of chili for two hot dogs. A nice topping of chili for four dogs.



Susie's Baked Beans

Perfect for your Summer cookout.

2 cans (15 oz.) vegetarian baked beans
l can fat-free navy or great northern beans (drained)
1 can fat-free pinto beans (drained)
1 small onion, chopped
1 small green pepper, chopped

2/3 cup catsup
1 tsp. prepared mustard
1/3 cup brown sugar (more if you like it sweeter)
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 tsp. Worstershire sauce
2 tbsp. barbecue sauce (Such as Sauers or Jack Daniel's)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1) Mix first five ingredients together in large oven-safe pot.

2) Add sauce ingredients and stir together.

3) Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, reduce heat in oven to 250 degrees. Bake uncovered for an additional one hour. Cover dish with foil and bake another 30 minutes.


Yellow Squash and Onion

Great, easy way to enjoy Summer vegetables.

2 yellow crookneck squashes, chopped or sliced
½ large sweet onion, roughly chopped
1 tomato, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp. olive oil
Salt & pepper

1) Heat olive oil in medium sauce pan on medium high heat. Add onion and saute a minute or two.

2) Add squash and saute until both squash and onion are tender.

3) Reduce heat and add tomato, salt and pepper.

Yellow Squash and onion



Mashed Potatoes

It took me a long time to figure out how to make good mashed potatoes. Make them healthier by using low-fat buttermilk. Buttermilk is lower in fat than regular milk and it also gives the mashed potatoes extra flavor.

2 large Russet or 3-4 smaller variety of potato like Yukon gold or red skin
½ cup reduced fat milk or buttermilk
3 ½ tbsp. butter or butter substitute (Smart Balance is fine)
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Potatoes ready for cooking

1) Fill medium-large pot ¾ full with water and bring to boil. Add ½ tbsp. butter and good dash of salt to water.
2) Wash and peel potatoes and cut into large chunks.
3) Add potatoes to boiling water and boil about 15 minutes or until fork tender.
4) Drain water from potatoes in colander and return drained potatoes to cooking pot. Add remaining butter and milk and salt and pepper. Mash with a potato masher until lumps are gone and potatoes are smooth and creamy.

Mashing potatoes

Mashed potatoes

Feel free to add roasted garlic, sour cream, chives, cheese, or whatever you like. Leave the potato skins on if you like them that way. I don’t like skins in my mashed potatoes.


Charlotte’s Potato Cakes

These are delicious. Great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Try them as the main course with a large salad on the side.

Potato cakes in pan

Flipping potato cakes

1 cup plain mashed potatoes
2 tbsp. onion, finely diced
1 ½ tbsp. flour (whole wheat flour works fine)
1 tsp. butter or butter substitute (Smart Balance)
Salt & generous shake of pepper
2 tbsp. canola oil

1) Heat oil to medium-high heat in skillet.

2) Combine mashed potatoes, onion, flour and salt & pepper.

3) Using your hands, form potato mixture into small patties.

4) Place patties into hot oil. Fray a few minutes on one side. Flip and cook the other side. Should be golden brown and crispy on both sides.

Potato cakes and salad

Makes about 3 potato cakes.


Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

A delicious way to eat one of the super foods.

2 medium-sized sweet potatoes
2 tbsp. reduced fat cream cheese
1 tbsp. Smart Balance or butter
splash of low-fat milk
½ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. allspice
¼ tsp. ginger

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes1) Prick sweet potatoes with a fork and bake in microwave. (One sweet potato takes about 4 minutes on high in my microwave.)

2) When baked, cut sweet potatoes in half and scoop out the insides with a spoon and place in a medium-sized bowl. Add other ingredients and mash together.

3) Scoop the mixture back into the sweet potato peels and cook in microwave for about 30 seconds. Serve.

Makes 2-4 servings.
Takes about 8 minutes to prepare, including cooking time.



Broccoli Casserole

This casserole is a hit at family get-togethers.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2 large bunches of fresh broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
5 or 6 large mushrooms, sliced
½ cup diced onion
1 cup of cream of mushroom soup
½ cup of low-fat milk
¾ can French fried onion rings
1 can water chestnuts, drained
1 cup low-fat cheddar cheese

1. Saute onion, broccoli and mushrooms in large sauce pan or wok in olive oil or butter until slightly tender. (Add the mushrooms last.)

2. Mix the soup and milk together.

3. Place 1/3 of all ingredients in a casserole dish. Continue layering and top with cheese and onion rings.

4. Bake for 30 minutes or until cheese begins to brown on top.


Roasted Asparagus

A lot of people wonder the best way to cook asparagus. Roasting asparagus is incredibly easy, enhances the flavor and preserves the texture.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

asparagusFresh asparagus spears (allow 6 - 10 spears per person)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

1) Break off the bottom 3 inches of the asparagus spear and place on a cooking sheet greased with olive oil.

2) Pour about one tablespoon of olive oil for each 10 spears of olive oil right onto the asparagus and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

3) Use clean hands to toss the asparagus with the oil.

4) Bake for 10-20 minutes depending on the thickness of the asparagus. Should be tender when tested with a fork.


Tomato Dumplings

My mom, who is from Southwest Virginia, invented these. Delicious alternative to pasta.

2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes
1 can water (use empty diced tomato can)
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
½ tsp. sugar
Salt and pepper
2 ¼ cup Bisquick
2/3 cup low-fat milk

1) Add the first five ingredients to a large, wide pot and bring them to a boil.

2) Stir the Bisquick and milk together until a soft dough forms.

3) Drop the Bisquick mixture by spoonfuls into the boiling tomato mixture. Then reduce heat and cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Reduce heat a little more, put a lid on the pot, and cook 10 minutes more.

Dumplings should be fluffy and light.


Fried Cabbage

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, here is a recipe that consists of an Irish staple. It is also inexpensive, easy to make and healthy.

½ of a head of cabbage
3 tbsp. of olive oil or canola oil
¾ cup of water
Salt and pepper, to tasteFried Cabbage

1) Cut the cabbage into thin strips.

2) In a large skillet, heat the oil on medium high heat.

3) Add the cabbage into the hot oil and stir fry for a couple of minutes.

4) Add the water, salt and pepper and reduce heat to medium. Continue to stir fry until cabbage is tender, about 10 minutes. It should be tender, but not limp.

Makes enough for four side servings.


Cheddar Cabbage Casserole

My aunt shares this recipe. She made it with visiting friends one year for Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone loved it and fought for the last bit in the dish.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2 and ½ cups coarsely crushed cornflakes
½ cup Smart Balance or butter
4 and ½ cups shredded cabbage
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 (10 oz.) can cream of celery soup, undiluted
1 cup low-fat milk
½ cup Vegenaise or low-fat mayo
1 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese

1) Toss ½ the cornflakes and butter together. Sprinkle half of the mixture into a greased 13 inch X 9 inch casserole dish.

2) Layer the cabbage, onion, salt, pepper.

3) In a bowl mix together the soup, milk and mayo until smooth. Spoon mixture over top.

4) Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and remaining cornflake mixture.

5) Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for approx. 45 minutes, or until golden brown.


Fried Sweet Potatoes

This was my grandmother’s favorite dish!

4 Sweet Potatoes, sliced
½ stick butter (or butter substitute, such as Smart Balance)
¼ cup sugar
½ cup water

1) Heat butter in large skillet. Add sweet potatoes and sugar.

2) Sauté sweet potatoes on medium-high heat for a few minutes; flip, and sauté on the other side.

3) Add ½ cup water, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 20-30 minutes.


Grandma’s Buttermilk Biscuits

Great hot. These biscuits will make any meal better.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2 cups self rising flour (White Lilly if you can find it)
½ cup Crisco* shortening
¾ cup reduced fat buttermilk

1) Measure flour into mixing bowl.

2) Work shortening into flour until it begins to form dough.
Add buttermilk as needed to form a soft dough.

3) Turn onto a floured board. Roll out to about 1/2 “ thick. Cut out biscuits and place on greased baking sheet. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes or until brown on both sides.

*Contrary to popular belief, Crisco is 100% vegetable shortening and is suitable for Vegans. It isn't known for being a healthy shortening though, so use in moderation.


Fingerling Potato Fries

These are easy and tasty. They go great with veggie burgers.

Preheat oven to 400.

20 fingerling potatoes (I used purple, red and white)
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. paprika
Salt and pepper

1) Slice fingerling potatoes into thin slices.

2) Grease pizza pan or cookie sheet with olive oil.

3) Spread potato slices onto pan and pour additional olive oil onto them. Sprinkle on paprika and salt and pepper and, using your hands, roll the potatoes to coat them in olive oil and spices.

4) Bake for about 10 minutes. Turn using spatula and bake about another 5 minutes.



Baked Polenta with Mushrooms and Swiss Chard

Try this with a side salad of red leaf lettuce, toasted sliced almonds and chickpeas for added protein. Vegans may omit cheese and substitute olive oil for butter and it will still be delicious.

Baked Polenta with Mushrooms and Swiss Chard

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

4 cups water
2 cups instant polenta mix
2 cups mushrooms, sliced thin (I used a combo of white button, shitake, crimini and oyster)
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 large Swiss chard fronds, sliced or torn into strips
2/3 cup mozzarella cheese
¼ cup parmesan cheese
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter or butter substitute (Smart Balance)
Salt & pepper

1) Boil water and slowly add polenta, stirring until it thickens, about 4 – 5 minutes.

2) In large saucepan, heat 1 tbsp. butter or butter substitute on medium heat. Add 2 cloves of the minced garlic and sliced mushrooms and sauté for a few minutes. Remove to a bowl.

3) Add olive oil to the same saucepan used to cook mushrooms and heat on medium-high heat. Add one clove of minced garlic and the Swiss chard and sauté about 5 minutes (may need to add a splash of water).

4) In a medium casserole, layer ½ of the polenta and add ½ of the remaining butter (cut into small pieces). Then add ½ of the mushrooms, ½ the chard and ½ the cheese. Repeat with a second layer.

5) Bake at 375 degrees for 7 or 8 minutes. Serve.


Couscous with Toasted Almonds and Golden Raisins

Couscous has got to be the easiest side dish to make on the planet.

1 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth
1 cup plain couscous
½ cup toasted, sliced almonds (I use unsalted)
½ cup golden raisins

1) Boil water or broth in medium saucepan.

2) Add couscous and stir once or twice. Remove from heat and cover for a few minutes.

3) Stir in almonds and raisins and fluff with fork.




Roasted Red Peppers

These are delicious as part of a sandwich or as the sandwich’s main ingredient. Easy to make and better than their cousin that comes in a jar.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

1 red pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
Salt and Pepper

1) Slice red pepper into long strips and spread onto a baking sheet.

2) Pour olive oil over red pepper strips and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

3) Using your hands, toss the strips to coat evenly.

4) Bake at 425 degrees for about 10 minutes. Red pepper should be fork tender.

Makes enough for three sandwiches. Stores well for several days in the refrigerator.



Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are considered to be a super food. They can take the place of a starch in a balanced meal, but are healthier than white potatoes, white rice or pasta.

Mashed sweet potatoes

3 medium sweet potatoes
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. butter or butter substitute (I use Smart Balance)
1 tbsp. low-fat cream cheese
1 tsp. of either honey or brown sugar
Dash of Nutmeg
1 tbsp. low-fat milk
Salt & pepper

1) Peel sweet potatoes and cut into large chunks.

2) Heat kettle of water to boiling, add tsp of butter to water. Add sweet potato chunks and boil uncovered about 10 minutes or until fork tender. Please check the potatoes after about 5 minutes because cooking time will vary depending on how big the chunks are.

3) Drain sweet potatoes and return to the kettle you cooked them in. Add remaining ingredients and mash with a potato masher until creamy and smooth.

Allow one sweet potato for each person. Make extra for leftovers.




Sweet Potato Croquettes

These are a tasty treat! A yummy side dish to a meal or fabulous appetizer. They are crispy and golden on the outside and smooth and creamy in the middle. My suggestion: make extra Mashed Sweet Potatoes one night and the next night use the leftovers for Sweet Potato Croquettes!

Sweet Potato Croquettes

2 cups mashed sweet potatoes (See recipe above. Each sweet potato makes about 1 cup of mashed sweet potato.)
4 tbsp. flour
2/3 cup Panko* Japanese bread crumbs
2/3 cup Canola oil

Croquettes in the Pan

Turn the croquettes with tongs til golden brown all over

1) Refrigerate mashed sweet potatoes over night or a couple of hours.

2) Add flour to mashed sweet potatoes in medium-sized bowl and stir til blended.

3) Put Panko into small bowl.

4) Heat Canola oil in large, deep frying pan on medium-high heat.

5) Form sweet potato dough into small balls, a little smaller than a golf ball. Roll each ball in the Panko. Place each ball into the hot oil. Fry a couple of minutes until golden brown, then turn with tongs and fry the opposite side. Continue turning until each part of ball is equally brown.

6) Remove to plate covered with paper towel to absorb any extra oil. Serve warm.

*Panko breadcrumbs are available in almost every grocery store. Use Panko rather than regular breadcrumbs because they give it a light crunchy coating on the outside.



Audrey’s Cornbread

If you like cornbread, this is the real deal, honed over decades of practice in the mountains of southwest Virginia

1 ½ cups self-rising cornmeal
¼ cup flour
¾ cup buttermilk
2 tbsp. vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

1) Pour oil in iron skillet (preferably seasoned) and place empty skillet in 450 degree oven for about 15 minutes.

2) In large bowl, combine cornmeal and flour. Add buttermilk slowly until all is combined and batter is thick but pourable.

3) Remove skillet from oven and pour in the batter.

4) Return skillet to oven and bake cornbread at 450 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden and set in the middle.




Scalloped Potatoes

Soul food.

3 medium potatoes, sliced thin
½ cup chopped onion
2 tbsp. butter or butter substitute (Smart Balance)
2 tbsp. flour
1 ¼ cups milk
¼ tsp. pepper
Dash of salt

1) Grease a medium casserole dish and set aside.

2) Heat butter in sauce pan on medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until tender. Add milk, flour, salt and pepper, and stir over medium heat until thick and bubbly.

3) Place half of the thinly sliced potatoes in the bottom of the casserole dish. Cover with ½ of sauce. Repeat for another layer.

4) Cover casserole dish with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

5) Uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.



Harvard Beets

These beets make a spicy and different side dish.

Two 15 ounce cans or jars of sliced beets
1/3 cup vinegar
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
¼ tsp. salt
1 tbsp. butter or butter substitute

1) Drain beets and reserve about ½ cup of the beet liquid.

2) In a medium-size sauce pan, mix the vinegar, sugar, cornstarch, salt and the ½ cup of beet liquid until smooth.

3) Add the butter and cook the mixture over medium heat until thickened, stirring continuously.

4) Add the beets and heat until just heated through (a few minutes). Keep stirring.

Makes about 6 side servings.



Mary’s Watermelon Rind Pickles

Don’t throw away those watermelon rinds, recycle them into delicious pickles. Note: this recipe has a lot of sugar in it - use a sugar substitute if you are trying to avoid sugar.

4 quarts peeled and cubed watermelon rind
1 lemon, deseeded and thinly sliced
3 tbsp. pickling lime
2 quarts cold water
2 tbsp. whole cloves
3 sticks cinnamon
7 cups sugar
1 quart white vinegar
1 quart water
2 pieces ginger root

1) Trim dark skin and pink flesh from thick watermelon rind and cut rind into 1 inch pieces.

2) Dissolve lime in 2 quarts of water; pour over rind. If needed, add more water to cover rind.

3) Let stand 2 hours. Drain, rinse and cover rind with cold water.

4) Cook until tender and drain.

5) Tie spices in a cheesecloth bag. Combine spices with remaining ingredients and simmer until transparent. Add boiling water if syrup becomes too thick before rind is clear.

6) Remove spice bag. Pack, boiling hot, into sterilized canning jars, leaving 1/8 inch space at the top.

7) Remove air bubbles, wipe jar rims. Cover jars with metal lids and scre on metal bands.

Yields about 7 pints. Pickles will be sweet and crispy.


Jalapeno Cornbread

This cornbread is spicy and savory. Serve as either an appetizer or as bread with a meal.

1 1/2 cups self-rising cornmeal mix
2 eggs
4 tblsps. self-rising flour
1 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup oil
1 cup milk

1 onion (grated)
1 small can cream-style corn
1/2 lb. low-fat cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped Jalapeno peppers

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

1) Mix together the first 7 ingredients. Then stir in the onion, corn, cheese and jalapeno peppers.

2) Method one: To make as an appetizer: Slightly grease a miniature muffin pan. Pour batter into muffin cups (about half-full) and bake in a 375 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

Method two: To make as bread: Pour half the batter in a greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Spread the peppers and cheese on this layer and then pour the second half of the batter on top. Bake in 375 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes.



Brussel Sprout Casserole

If you think you don’t like brussel sprouts, you have never tasted this dish!

About 28 Brussel sprouts, cut in half or thirds (allow about 7 per person)
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan/Romano cheese blend
1/3 cup olive oil
Salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

1) Mix ½ of cheese and all other ingredients together in medium casserole dish.

2) Top with remaining cheese.

3) Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender and cheese is browning on top.

Serves 4.


Cindy’s Marinated Green Beans

Cindy used to serve this marinated salad at Gourmet Delights (formerly of Carytown in Richmond)

2 cans canned green beans, whole, not cut
½ red onion, sliced
1 small can water chestnuts
1/3 cup Canola oil
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 ½ tsp. dill weed

1) Combine oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper and dill. Set aside. Drain and rinse green beans.

2) Place about ¼ of green beans in a medium-sized glass or ceramic bowl. Top with ¼ of the onions and sprinkle with water chestnuts. Pour ¼ of the vinegar mixture over it. Continue layering until you’ve used everything.

3) Refrigerate overnight before stirring and serving.


Green Beans

When I found out how easy it was to make green beans, I started making them a lot. They are especially tasty and healthy when made this way.

About 1 cup of green beans
2 tbsp. olive oil

1) Wash beans. Cut of the ends and cut into two or three pieces, depending on size.

2) Heat water to boiling in a large kettle. Add olive oil to water.

3) Add beans to boiling water and cook for 5 minutes.

4) Drain.


Broccoli Cornbread

Yummy twist on cornbread. Your kids won't know there's broccoli in this tasty treat.

1 box chopped broccoli
2 pouches (6.5 oz. size) Betty Crocker cornbread mix
2 eggs
6 oz. light cottage cheese
1/2 stick butter or Smart Balance, melted
Chopped onion to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

1) Mix all ingredients and pour in greased 8 or 9 inch square pan.

2) Bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes or until lightly browned.



Fried Eggplant

Fried eggplant can be used in eggplant parmesan, as a tasty side dish with any meal, or as an appetizer with a dip.

2 medium-sized eggplants
¾ cup of flour
2 organic eggs, beaten or ½ cup of eggbeaters
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
Salt & pepper, to taste
¼ cup Canola oil

Frying eggplant

Fried eggplant

1) Slice eggplant. Slice a larger eggplant in about 1 inch circles. Slice a smaller eggplant length-wise. Leave the skins on.

2) Mix flour together with all seasonings.

3) Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.

4) Dip each slice of eggplant first in the egg mixture and then in the flour mixture. Do both sides. Place in hot oil.

5) Fry for about 5 minutes until crispy on one side. Flip and cook the other side.

6) Remove to plate with a paper towel on it and allow excess oil to drain into the paper towel.

7) Serve as desired.

Fried eggplant with pasta (serving suggestion)



Spinach Casserole

My mom makes this casserole for family parties.

2 pkgs. Frozen chopped spinach (cooked and drained)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion chopped
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 organic, free range egg or 3 tbsp. egg whites
1 cup herbed stuffing mix
½ cup parmesan cheese
½ cup grated low-fat, Monterey jack cheese
½ cup low-fat sour cream
Salt & pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1) Saute onion in olive oil for a few minutes. Add garlic and sauté a minute more.

2) Add spinach and stir.

3) In separate large bowl, stir together egg, stuffing mix, cheeses, sour cream, salt & pepper.

4) Bake at 350 degrees in a 9 X 13 inch glass baking dish for about 30 minutes.


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