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Lightened Up Garlic Mashed Potatoes

26 Nov

With Thanksgiving just a few days away, it’s the perfect time to share my go-to mashed potato recipe.


I scaled it down to make the perfect amount for two people but it can easily be multiplied to fit the crowd you’re feeding. They are the perfect creamy and buttery side to accompany your meal without multiplying your waistline.

I’ve made these with a few varieties of potatoes but prefer the texture and taste when made with Yukon golds. It’s important to start the potatoes in cold water so they cook evenly.

Lightened Up Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Serves 2 (generously)

12 oz Yukon gold potatoes (4-5 small potatoes), peeled and diced into 2-inch cubes

1 tablespoon skim milk

1 tablespoon low-fat cream cheese

1 tablespoon light butter

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

Salt and pepper to taste

1. Place diced potatoes into a small pot and enough cold water to fill 1-inch above potatoes. Cover pot and bring water to a boil. Boil until potatoes are fork tender, about 15-20 minutes.

2. Drain potatoes and return to pot off the heat. Cover pot and allow potatoes to sit for 5 minutes.

3. Add milk, cream cheese, butter, onion and garlic powder. Using an electric mixer whip potatoes at medium speed until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Warm Autumn Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad

2 Nov

The weather man described today as a blustery fall day. He was right. And I love it! There is something about a cozy fall day that can’t be beat.


When I lived in Florida, the thing I missed most about the Midwest was fall. My warm-blooded friends didn’t get it. They would look at me cross-eyed when I couldn’t contain my excitement about heading north for a fall weekend.  Wearing sweaters, bundling up in a puffy jacket, throwing on a pair of boots, and eating “fall food”. Things look, smell, and taste better during a Midwest fall.

This Autumn Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad is just the thing to warm up with on your next cozy fall day. It’s great on its own as lunch or a light dinner or would be great paired with simple roasted chicken or pork tenderloin. You decide 🙂 Just make sure you pour yourself a healthy glass of red wine, crank on the oven, and enjoy the beginning of the hibernating season.

IMG_2669 IMG_2668

Warm Autumn Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad

Makes 2 meal servings or 4 side servings

*The dressing will make more than you need for this recipe, save the rest in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. It works great as a dressing for a simple greens salad.

The Squash:

1 small butternut squash, peeled, and cut into 1-inch cubes

1 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

The Salad

1 cup cooked quinoa

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup pecans, chopped

The Dressing*

1/4 cup canola oil

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon herbamare (this is a dried herb seasoning blend)

1/4 teaspoon dijon mustard

1. For the squash: preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a shallow baking dish, pour the melted coconut oil and cinnamon over the cubed squash and apples. Gently toss to combine. Roast squash in the oven for about 45 minutes until tender, stirring occasionally.

2. While the squash is roasting, Prepare the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, herbamare, and dijon mustard. Slowly whisk in the canola oil. Next, soak the dried cranberries in 1 cup of hot water for about 10 minutes until they are plump. Drain.

3. When the squash and apples are done roasting, in a medium bowl, combine the squash mixture with the quinoa, chopped pecans, and cranberries. Toss lightly with the dressing as desired (I used about 3-4 tablespoons of dressing for the entire recipe). The flavors marinate more the longer it sits so don’t be afraid to toss the entire salad all at once ahead of time.

Summer Corn Relish

8 Sep

I LOVE Saturday mornings. Saturday mornings mean waking up to a piping hot cup of coffee, a Miracle Greek Yogurt Breakfast, watching an episode of The Pioneer Woman, only to be totally inspired to head to my local farmer’s market to see what I can whip up with my weekly share.

Last weekend, this is what I came up with.


Summer Corn Relish

I used poblano pepper and a fair amount of cayenne because I like things on the spicy side. If you prefer things less spicy, cut back on the cayenne and poblano or substitute a red bell pepper for the poblano. I liked this best served over a bed of arugula with some cherry tomatoes. It would also be great as a topping on a burger or taco. Either way, you want this in your fridge!

3 ears of corn, kernels shaved from the cob

1 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon agave nectar

1/2 cup shallots, finely diced (about 2 small)

1/2 cup poblano pepper, finely diced (about 1/2 medium)

1 tablespoon lime juice

Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a small bowl, combine corn kernels, cayenne pepper, and salt. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add corn and cook until corn in tender, 4-5 minutes. Add apple cider vinegar and agave nectar and cook for an additional minute.

2. In a medium bowl, combine corn mixture with shallots and poblano pepper. Add lime juice and salt and pepper to taste.

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