Archive for the ‘Side Dishes’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Garlic Rice Pilaf

An alternate title to this post could be “My Favorite Side Dish.” I have been making this garlic rice pilaf for years and I’m surprised I haven’t shared it with you. I think the reason why I haven’t shared it yet is because I can never seem to take a good picture of it. Some things are definitely difficult to photograph, and rice is one of them. I’m not saying this is a “good” picture by any means, but it’s the best I’ve got.

This recipe is absolutely delicious, very easy to make, and makes your home smell heavenly. What’s not to love about that? I usually serve this with island chicken (which is a favorite in our household) and a vegetable. The island chicken cooks at 350° and this dish cooks at 375° so I usually average the temperature to 360° and they both cook perfectly. Make this and your family will thank you.

Garlic Rice Pilaf

2 Tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 cup long-grain white rice
2½ cups chicken broth, divided
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
Squeeze of lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 375° F.  Have ready a covered casserole dish.  In a saucepan or skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic and rice to the pan and cook until both are golden brown, about 3-4 minutes.  Stir in 1 cup of the chicken broth, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.  Pour the mixture into the casserole dish, cover, and bake for 25 minutes.  Stir in the remaining 1½ cups chicken broth and bake, covered, for another 45 minutes.  About 15 minutes before it is finished baking, stir in a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Note: This recipe can be doubled without increasing the baking time.


Source: Annie’s Eats, originally from What’s Cooking in the Orange Kitchen?


PostHeaderIcon Strawberry Spinach Salad

I’m usually pretty good at coming up with ideas for dinner but a healthy side dish to go along with dinner is another story. I tend to focus only the main dish, then by the time we eat I either don’t have a side dish to go with the meal or I just throw together a small salad. Since salads have become a side dish staple in our household I decided to spice things up with this awesome strawberry spinach salad. I love strawberries in anything so I knew this dish wouldn’t disappoint. Needless to say, my husband and I both enjoyed it.

If you like to make things ahead of time, which I do, you can make the dressing hours before dinner and store it in the refrigerator. I made the dressing using my little food chopper and it worked nicely. Also, I purchased a little bottle of champagne to make the dressing, rather than buying an entire bottle for a tablespoon and a half. The almonds and strawberries are such a delicious combination with this dressing – you must make this soon!

Strawberry Spinach Salad

For the dressing:
1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
2½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1½ tablespoon champagne
1 tablespoon sugar
Pinch of salt

For the salad:
Baby spinach leaves, rinsed and dried
Sliced almonds, for topping
Sliced fresh strawberries, for topping

In a blender or food processor, combine the strawberries, vinegar, champagne, sugar and salt.  Process until the mixture is well combined and completely smooth.  Transfer to an airtight bottle or container and refrigerate until ready to use.

To serve, portion baby spinach leaves out on salad plates.  Drizzle with the strawberry champagne vinaigrette.  Top with sliced almonds and strawberries.  Serve immediately.


Source: Annie’s Eats, originally from Epicurious


PostHeaderIcon Cilantro Potato Salad

The first time I saw this recipe, I knew I had to put it on my to-make list. Well, it was on that list for some time and last weekend I finally decided to get my butt in gear and make it. I have never made potato salad before and was excited to make this recipe since it had a nice cilantro twist. I was a little unsure as to how long I was suppose to boil the potatoes for since it didn’t say in the original recipe….and since I was a potato salad virgin. With a call to my mom I found that 6-7 minutes would do the trick. This was so quick to make that I started and finished this potato salad all while talking to her……or maybe it took a long time to make and I just talk too much. :)

I served this potato salad with slow cooker barbecue pulled chicken sandwiches and the result was one delicious meal. I enjoyed the original recipe as stated below. However, my husband doesn’t like mustard so I’ll definitely omit it the next time I make this. Whether you include the mustard or not, it will make a great side dish to any meal.


Cilantro Potato Salad

1 lb. red potatoes, quartered
1/3 cup red onion, chopped finely
1/3 cup celery, chopped finely
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 – 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 lemon, juiced
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped

In a large saucepan, bring potatoes to a boil and cook until tender (around 6-7 minutes); drain and let sit until cool.

In a large bowl, mix together the onion,celery, garlic, mayo, mustard and lemon juice. Add in the potatoes and toss to coat. Gently mix in the cilantro and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Chill, covered, for 1 hour before serving.

Adapted from: With a Cherry on Top


PostHeaderIcon Texas Caviar

Ever since I can remember, my favorite part of watching a football game is all the great food!

I vividly remember getting excited when my mom would plan to have people over for a football game since I knew she would make tons of snacks and appetizers (How am I not morbidly obese? Never mind, don’t answer that.). I love to graze when I eat so a table full of appetizers is ideal for a gal like me!

I’ve seen this dish made two different ways. The first way is with a bottle of italian dressing, the second (and my favorite) is with a combination of red wine vinegar, olive oil, and fresh lime juice. Both ways are delicious but the second way is my favorite since it uses freshly squeezed limes instead of bottled dressing. The original recipe only called for 1/2 lime but I used two limes and it was perfect! This dish is a great appetizer or side dish to some mexican food.

Texas Caviar


1 can (15 oz) black eyed peas, drained and rinsed

1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can (15 oz) corn, drained and rinsed

1 whole tomato, chopped

2 whole green onions, chopped

2 whole jalapenos, finely chopped

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 limes, juiced

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

3 pinches ground cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Stir and chill for several hours or overnight.

Serve cold on its own as a side dish or with chips as an appetizer!

Source: adapted from Tasty Kitchen