Category Archives: Side Dishes

Fall In Love With Beets

beets harvested from my garden

Do you love beets? Wish you loved beets? Today over at The Balanced Platter, I’m sharing some reasons to love these beauties, as well as a collection of delicious beet-ful recipes, guaranteed to turn even the beet-averse into beet-lovers. Head on over and check it out!

Dijon Brussels Sprouts with Proscuitto

When it gets cooler, I start to crave cooler-weather vegetables. Usually that means pumpkin and winter squashes, but brussels sprouts are also on that list. It might sound somewhat odd, but they remind me of Thanksgiving. It seems as though often someone brings brussels sprouts for Thanksgiving dinner, and while they’re often looked over, as people tend to gravitate towards the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pie, I love them. When I found a nice healthy stalk at our brand-new Trader Joe’s and knew I just had to have them.

During the week, I tend to take a minimalist approach to vegetables. They’re often simply steamed, with a sprinkling of salt and pepper. But this time, I wanted a little more. With minimal additional effort – some proscuitto, dijon mustard and a touch of honey - these brussel sprouts were transformed into a comforting, satisfying little side dish that still retained its freshness and vibrancy. And honestly, with proscuitto, dijon, and honey, how can you go wrong?

And I can’t promise anything, but telling your brussels sprouts-hating husband/wife/kids that there is proscuitto in here might just change their mind!

Print Recipe

Dijon Brussels Sprouts with Proscuitto (gluten-free, dairy-free)

1 stalk brussels sprouts (or about 4-5 cups worth)

1 t olive oil

1/2 oz proscuitto, chopped

1 T dijon mustard

1 t honey

salt and pepper to taste

Place the brussels sprouts in a pot fitted with a steamer insert (or in a steamer basket) and steam until bright green and just tender enough to be pierced by a fork, about 5-7 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Empty the pot and dry it out (or get another medium saucepan or skillet) and add oil. Heat over medium heat and add proscuitto. Cook proscuitto, stirring, for a minute or two or until crispy. Add back the brussel sprouts and stir. Lower the heat to low and add dijon mustard and honey. Stir to coat completely, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4-6.

Interested in learning more about traveling while gluten-free? Join us in a Live Chat on Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 9PM EDT at Udi’s Gluten-Free Living Community to discuss tips on successful gluten-free travel!


Raw Summer Beet Slaw

I mentioned before that we’ve gotten quite a few beets in our CSA share – we get a bunch each week. I love beets, but I’ve been running out of ways to prepare them. I’ve made lacto-fermented beets, I’ve roasted them, I’ve thrown them in salads, I’ve made truffles with them, and I’m even trying to figure out how to bake with them. But still, there are more beets.

Did you know that beets are a wonderful powerhouse of nutrition? According to The World’s Healthiest Foods, beets are a great source of betalains, which provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support. They also are a great source of folate, manganese, and fiber, as well as other vitamins. I personally love them for this, but more importantly, for their flavor.

I didn’t always enjoy beets though, and I know there are many out there in the “eww, beets” camp. My experiences with beets as a child were rare, but when I did encounter them, they were canned. Blah. When I became an adult, however, I tried them again, and found that fresh beets are sweet and bursting with flavor. They also taste much different when roasted vs. steamed, and again are entirely different raw. If you’ve been a beet-hater most of your life, I encourage you to try them again – you might find there is a way you can really enjoy these beautiful veggies.

This simple slaw is one unique way to try them again. I’m not sure if you can call this a “slaw” – the ingredient list is much shorter than traditional slaws, and the only resemblance to a slaw ultimately is the fact that the beets are shredded. But I’m calling it a slaw, so it’s a slaw.

Even though the ingredient list is short, the flavors are full, fresh, and bright. The lovely part about this slaw is that those other ingredients transform the beet flavor into something less “earthy” – an attribute some beet-aphobes dislike about beets. The beets are a bit sweet, the lime a bit tart, and the pepper brings a bit of heat. I personally love the cilantro, which really bumps that “ooh, it’s summer!” freshness factor. If you’re anti-cilantro, you could opt to replace it with parsley or maybe even some mint. Basil might even play nicely.

This little slaw is delicious on its own, but I personally enjoyed it on top of my salads throughout the week. It was easy to throw together and lasted for several days, making it a convenient way to get more nutritious raw veggies into my diet. I might just make it again, seeing as how there are still beets to be had in my refrigerator, and it’s getting too hot to turn the oven on!

Raw Summer Beet Slaw (gluten-free, vegan)

2-3 large beets, peeled and shredded

1/4 c thinly sliced red onion

2 Anaheim chiles, seeded and diced (can substitute other chiles, just be mindful of the heat if you use jalapenos or serranos)

1/3 c chopped fresh cilantro

Juice of 1 lime

Salt to taste

Toss together all ingredients and season to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Will keep for a few days in the refrigerator.


Have other ideas on how to keep the kitchen cool while making a healthy meal? Share at Udi’s Gluten-Free Living Community!

Vegan Butternut “Cheesy” Cauliflower

Do you miss comfort foods such as macaroni and cheese? Doesn’t everyone?

Today over at The Balanced Platter I’m sharing a healthy, vegan and grain-free cauliflower dish that has lovely creamy “cheesy” qualities to it, without the dairy. All the happiness of comfort foods without those negatives such as intestinal discomfort or lack of nutrients!

Head on over to check it out!

Review and Giveaway: Simply…Gluten-Free Quick Meals

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of Simply Gluten-Free Quick Meals at no cost. This in no way influenced my review.

This giveaway is now closed. The winner was commenter #54 – Nicole, who says her favorite quick gluten-free meal is Miracle noodles with veggies and sauce. Congrats, Nicole! Enjoy your copy of Simply…Gluten-Free Quick Meals!

One of the struggles many people who switch to a gluten-free diet, especially when they wish to focus on healthy foods, is finding the time to prepare meals. For many people who rarely cooked before their transition to gluten-free, this can be especially daunting. But in an effort to heal our bodies after gluten, we make the commitment:

I’m going to learn to cook gluten-free for my family.

But how? Carol Kicinski’s new book, Simply…Gluten-Free Quick Meals, is an excellent tool to help you through that process. Carol is the author of the blog Simply…Gluten-Free and another cookbook (which I also reviewed!), Simply…Gluten-Free Desserts. She is incredibly talented, especially at making gluten-free recipes that are so good, you’d never guess they were “free from” anything! I’ve made quite a few recipes from her book and blog over the years, and they’ve been excellent!

Her newest creation, Simply…Gluten-Free Quick Meals, is possibly her greatest yet. The entire book is organized by meals, giving you a main course, side dishes, and desserts. This way, you can plan dinner for every night of the week! Carol gives you time-saving hints before each meal (such as suggesting you use frozen vegetables to save on prep time), which are essential when you only have about a 30-minute window for dinnertime. The recipes are very family-friendly, easily customizable (if you have dairy-free needs, Carol makes notes for dairy-free recipes as well), and the best part – they’re delicious. There are recipes for macaroni and cheese, polenta pot pie (I’ve made this before from her blog; it’s delicious!), shepherd’s pie, and SO much more.

I opted to make her Vegetarian Curry and Spiced Basmati Rice with Cashews. I love curries, but rarely opt to make a vegetarian version. This curry was easy, as it called for a jarred gluten-free curry base, and when using frozen cubed butternut squash, prep was a breeze. What would normally take an hour to prepare was done in a flash. She did offer a recipe for easy Mango Lassis, which I didn’t make, but can only imagine would be a perfect sweet treat to finish the meal. The curry was delicious – not too spicy, creamy, and comforting. The rice was the dark horse – it seems unassuming, but the spices were just enough to really keep you interested. Of course, the cashews provided a lovely crunchy contrast. It might have stolen the show! It was a great weeknight meal.

Sound good? Are you ready to learn how to win a copy of Simply…Gluten-Free Quick Meals? Here’s how you can do it:

1. Leave me a comment telling me YOUR favorite gluten-free quick meal, or a previously gluten-full quick meal recipe you’d love to see converted to gluten-free.

2. “Like” Tasty Eats At Home on Facebook and leave me a comment telling me you did so.

3. Follow Tasty Eats At Home on Twitter and leave me a comment telling me you did so.

4. “Like” Simply…Gluten-Free on Facebook and leave me a comment telling me you did so.

5. Follow Simply…Gluten-Free on Twitter and leave me a comment telling me you did so.

That’s it! The giveaway will end on Sunday, April 15 at 11:59PM CDT. I’ll then randomly pick one winner and notify you via email!


Turnip-Rutabaga Puree over at The Balanced Platter

Do you love mashed potatoes, but don’t love that they’re pretty gosh-darn high on the glycemic index? How about a lower-carb alternative?

I’m sharing our new favorite side dish over at The Balanced Platter today. Head on over there to check it out!

Bok Choy with Shiitakes and Sesame Seeds

We’re still getting a local box of produce every week (although lately I’ve been considering signing up for a CSA with a nearby farm, since the cost is about the same), so I’m coming up with inventive ways to incorporate all of the veggies we’re getting. Recently we got a head of bok choy and some shiitake mushrooms (yeah, I know, I don’t think bok choy OR shiitakes when I think of local Texas produce either), so at the last minute, I thought I’d toss them together in a quickie little stir-fry that was perfect to accompany some lettuce wraps I was making for dinner.

Most of the time, these last minute side dish ideas are less than exciting. I’m a big fan of steaming a big bunch of whatever is fresh and calling it good, especially on a weeknight. It’s delicious, in my opinion, and it gets the job done, but it’s not really a blog-worthy event. I was pleasantly surprised with this, though, and it didn’t really take any more time than my usual steam-and-go routine. I love shiitake mushrooms, and they definitely contribute a great earthiness to any dish. With the slight crunch of the bok choy, it was a side dish that was more than the sum of its parts. I found myself nibbling away at it quite a bit while I was getting dinner ready (a common issue I have while cooking).

Needless to say, it was another winner from the local box! Hoping we get more bok choy and shiitakes soon so I can make it again!


Bok Choy with Shiitakes and Sesame Seeds

1 t coconut oil

3.5 oz fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced

1/2 t ginger, minced

1 clove garlic, minced (or use a clove from your garlic confit, if you made some!)

1 head boy choy, chopped

1/2 c water

1 t wheat-free tamari or coconut aminos

1 T sesame seeds

Heat coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and saute for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add ginger and garlic and saute for another 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add bok choy, water, and tamari or coconut aminos and stir, then cover with a lid. Allow to “steam” for 2 minutes, then stir and allow to steam again for another minute or so, until bok choy is tender-crisp. Remove lid and allow excess liquid to evaporate, stirring occasionally. Add sesame seeds and toss once more. Serve.

Serves 2-3.

Want some ideas on delicious gluten-free spring foods and recipes? We’ll be chatting at Udi’s Gluten-Free Living Community about all things SPRING this Thursday, April 5, at 9PM EDT about Spring! At 9 PM EDT, just visit here to start chatting with us!

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays over at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free.

Creamy Chipotle Butternut Dip – Superbowl and Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten-Free

It’s that time of the year – time to gather around friends and family and watch football! Superbowl is one of those events that draw football fanatics and non-football watchers alike. After all, it’s a big party that often includes booze and delicious-but-unhealthy snacks, and it’s an opportunity for people to get together and have fun.

But what if you are following a gluten-free or other allergen-free diet? Or are simply trying to eat healthier? What do you do to combat the beer, pizza, wings, and chips-and-dip-fest that occurs at a Superbowl party? Bring your own healthier, wholesome, nutritious snack, that’s what! This dip is creamy and slightly spicy, but packs a good amount of vitamins from the butternut squash, and healthy fats from cashews, tahini, and olive oil. It’s also addictive – I love it paired with gluten-free crackers, but it really works well with raw veggies, such as celery sticks.

This is like an indulgent party dip, but in fact, it’s full of whole, healing foods, and for that reason, I’m sharing this recipe also as part of Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten-Free this month, hosted by Maggie of She Let Them Eat Cake. The theme this month is Foods That Heal.

While I’m a huge fan of vegetables in all forms (I do green smoothies and love them), I realize not everyone shares the same enthusiasm. However, veggies are an integral part of healing your body – something many of us on a gluten-free diet are working to do. When the opportunity comes along to eat something healing and nourishing that feels like party food, well, that’s a win-win for everyone, as even those that usually shy away from veggies can be enticed to indulge!

Of course, this isn’t a Superbowl party-only treat. I have been enjoying it in my lunch lately. I even shared it on Instagram the other day.

See that orange in the background? Yep – it was an orange-y food kind of day.

Anyway, this dip is easy to throw together in advance, and will store in the fridge for a few days (tastes great cold), so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t find a reason to make it. It’s like a sweet-and-spicy orange hummus. Only better.

Creamy Chipotle Butternut Dip (Gluten-free, Vegan)

1 ½ c cooked butternut squash

½ c raw cashews

¼ c tahini

2 garlic cloves

1 lime, juiced

2 T olive oil

1 T maple syrup

½ t cinnamon

½ t chipotle chile powder

¼ t ground cumin

½ t salt


Roast butternut squash – either cut in half and scoop out seeds, and roast cut-side-down in an oven at 375 degrees until soft (about 45 minutes), or do like I do – poke holes in the squash with a knife, place on a plate, and microwave until soft, about 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool, and then cut in half and scoop out seeds.

Place cashews and tahini in food processor and puree until smooth. Scoop out cooked butternut squash and add it, the garlic, lime juice, olive oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, chipotle chile powder, and salt. Puree until smooth. Adjust seasoning as needed.

Serve with gluten-free crackers, chips, or raw vegetable crudités.

Looking for more gluten-free Superbowl recipes? Check out this forum discussion at Udi’s Gluten-Free Living Community, or these recipes:

Texas Chili

(Dairy-Free) Nacho Cheese Stuffed Jalapenos

Adzuki Bean Spread

Deviled Eggs

Turkey Pumpkin Chili

Spicy Roasted Cashews

Quinoa Pizza Crust


This post is linked to Allergy-Free Wednesdays at Tessa the Domestic Diva.

Collard Greens with Crimini Mushrooms and Smoked Sun-Dried Tomatoes (Gluten-Free and Vegan!)

I am a Texan. I grew up here in the Lone Star State, and I still live in the Dallas metroplex, not very far from where I grew up. Does that make me a little less worldly than some others? Perhaps. I’d like to think I make up for it with adventurous dishes with international flavors, like this beef curry or a big bowl of menudo. Sometimes, though, I love embracing foods a little closer to home.

I didn’t grow up eating much Southern food. My parents aren’t from the South, and so foods like grits, okra, fried chicken, biscuits and gravy, or collard greens were mostly foreign to them. I discovered these foods as I grew older and started eating outside of my own home, and let me tell you - I’m hooked. A great many Southern foods are humble and simple, making them the ultimate comfort food.

Collard greens are fairly common in my home today, and for good reason. Of course, they’re a delicious comfort food, as previously stated. In fact, this isn’t the first time I’ve blogged about them. But they’re also inexpensive and healthy, packing a good amount of vitamins A, C, E and calcium. I love them prepared in the traditional manner – simmered for a long time with some smoked ham hocks or bacon and onion, and doused with a bit of Tabasco when served – but  I also love them prepared in a speedier and lighter manner. Surprisingly, this version is just as tasty, without the ham or bacon.

My fellow Southerners might lynch me for considering such a notion, but hear me out. There is a product out there in the world that is smoky and delicious and is not bacon. The secret to my collard greens? Smoked sun-dried tomatoes. I find mine in the Italian food section of my specialty grocery (They’re California Sun-Dry brand, and no, I’m not being paid by this company to write about these babies, I just love this product.) They’re like vegan bacon, and they’re addictive. Try sprinkling some on salads, or incorporating them into a dip. Just try not to eat them all straight out of the bag. I dare you. If you don’t have access to this ingredient, you can always substitute regular sun-dried tomatoes (or even make your own!), but you might want to include some smoked paprika or something similar to add a depth of flavor to your greens. I encourage you to seek these out though.

The other main player in these easy greens is crimini mushrooms. I love them for their meaty texture and rich umami flavor. Slice a few of these up, and you’ve added a great element to a delicious dish.

There’s not much else to it. I intentionally wanted to keep this recipe fairly straightforward, so it could still speak to the simplicity of the more traditional version. Contrary to popular belief, Southern food doesn’t have to be all butter, deep-fried, and heart-attack-inducing. Traditional foods of the South never were about those things at all. Many people in the South simply learned to create delicious dishes on very humble, inexpensive, local ingredients, and nothing went to waste. If you ask me, this should be the philosophy of any great cuisine (and is the foundation of many traditinal foods!). Serve these up alongside some gluten-free cornbread, as a side dish, or as I often do with greens, as part of a warming breakfast. But whatever you do, make them soon!

Collard Greens with Crimini Mushrooms and Smoked Sun-Dried Tomatoes (Gluten-Free, Vegan)

1 T olive oil

4 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced

1/3 c smoked sun-dried tomatoes

1 large bunch collard greens, cut from stems and chopped

1-2 c vegetable broth

salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Sauté mushrooms and dried tomatoes for 5-7 minutes or until mushrooms are soft. Add collard greens and sauté for another minute, tossing to coat them in the remaining oil. Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes or until greens are wilted, opening the lid to stir occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4.

This post is linked to 5-Ingredient Mondays at The Daily Dietribe.

The Balanced Platter, Simplicity, and Braised Cabbage

Have you checked out The Balanced Platter yet? It’s a brand-spanking-new website, just launched on January 1. It’s an amazing resource for reliable, comprehensive, accurate, and easy-to-access information about balanced, healthy living, and is the creation of two of my most favorite gluten-free bloggers, Amy Green of Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free and Maggie Savage of She Let Them Eat Cake. This site will feature tips and recipes for healthy living, whole foods based recipes, helpful hints for living a full and balanced life and a lot more. I feel particularly blessed, as I’ve been asked to be a regular contributor to The Balanced Platter.

In fact, today is my first post! If you visit, you can read a bit about keeping things simple when trying to maintain a healthy diet, and you can check out my recipe for braised cabbage.

It’s not the most glamorous of vegetables, for sure, but it’s comforting, easy, and delicious, which makes it perfect for keeping your “must eat more vegetables” plan on track. It’s so simple, it barely needs a recipe, in fact. To read more about it, visit The Balanced Platter. Check back often – there is a lot of valuable information to come!