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Lentils with Sausage and Spinach

Lentils with Sausage and Spinach // Karista's Kitchen

The simplest meals are often my favorite. Lentils with Sausage and Spinach comes together without too much fuss and fulfills the need for healthy comfort food.

This dish usually happens when dinner inspiration has gone missing. Or when I didn’t make it to the market as planned. Which happens all too often.

I’ve sort of been in a Fall slump lately and I think it might be because my kids are away at college and there are no little ones to share the beginning of the holiday season. When my kids were little, we would spend an entire weekend decorating the house for fall and for Halloween. Then I’d let the girls choose one Halloween movie to watch each weekend. We’d usually make pizza or their favorite pasta and always Tamale Pie on Halloween night.  Weekend mornings I’d make bat and ghost shaped pancakes for breakfast and then we’d launch into Halloween cookie baking.

The only kids at home now are my two fur babies. Tank really doesn’t care about fall festivities unless there is a comfy sofa and tasty bone involved. Gus however, is very happy to accommodate my need to be outside in the falling leaves and brisk cool air.

While I was feeling less than festive last week I whipped up this little dish of comfort. Lentils with Sausage and Spinach seem to always make the day a bit more cozy and delicious. Although I added ground sausage to this dish for a bit more hearty texture, you can certainly keep it vegetarian and add a mix of greens to the dish.

Lentils with Sausage and Spinach

I’ve found the key to making lentils soar with flavor is to add aromatics and herbs while cooking them. This creates the loveliest lentils and a delicious base in which to add additional ingredients.

On occasion I’ll add diced pancetta or cooked bacon rather than sausage. And sometimes I load it up with extra veggies and skip the meat. However you prepare this dish, it’ll warm the heart as well as the belly.

Wishing you a festive and delicious fall season!

Loads of Love,

Karista

Lentils with Sausage and Spinach

Serving Size: 4-6

Lentils with Sausage and Spinach

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried chives
  • 2 cups lentils (I like the French green lentils but any kind will work)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-4 cups of vegetable broth (enough to cover the lentils)
  • 1/2 lb cooked ground sausage (optional) You can also use ground chicken or turkey sausage
  • 3 handfuls of baby spinach or assorted greens such as kale, chard and mustard greens (about 1 5-ounce package)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Shaved Pecorino or Parmesan to garnish

Instructions

  • In a medium to large pot, add the olive oil and heat over medium to medium high heat. Add the onions, garlic, carrots, celery, parsley, oregano, thyme and chives. Saute the vegetables just until soft and then stir in the lentils.
  • Add the bay leaf and enough vegetable broth to cover the lentils. Bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and let it cook for about 20 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and continue to simmer five more minutes to allow some of the liquid to reduce. If you don't have much liquid left you won't need to drain the lentils. However, if you have more than a cup of liquid still in the lentils, you may want to drain at least half. I like a bit of liquid still in the lentils as they will absorb the liquid as they sit.
  • Next, take the pot off the heat and stir in the sausage and then the spinach. Season to taste with salt and freshly cracked black pepper and then give it another drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil. I like to serve this dish with freshly shaved pecorino or parmesan cheese.
  • Notes

    This dish also makes a great side without the sausage. I pair it with hearty roasts or a whole roasted chicken.

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    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Sassy Side dishes

    Skillet Green Beans with Crispy Shallots

    Skillet Green Beans with Crispy Shallots // Karista's Kitchen

    Vegetables are one of my favorite foods to eat. I know, that might sound weird but I’d rather eat veggies than a big slice of meat. Not that I don’t love a good ole piece of pork belly, but I just feel better when I eat veggies. And there are so many different ways to prepare them that make them ridiculously delicious.

    This Skillet Green Beans with Crispy Shallots recipe has won over even the pickiest of vegetable eaters.

    The green beans are blanched, cooled, dried and then pan fried in extra virgin olive oil. If that’s not enough to get me to eat a green bean, then they’re smothered with crispy fried shallots and a pinch of salt. Tender yet crisp and slightly charred and topped with fried onions. I think I could eat an entire four servings.

    Although I’ve been making this recipe for my clients and family for years, I’ve never posted it until now. It’s the perfect fall and winter side dish and compliments hearty pork or beef roasts, roast chicken and even a gorgeous piece of salmon.

    Or, if you’re like me, sitting down to a big plate of skillet green beans with crispy shallots as the entree makes me completely happy. With a glass of crisp but slightly fruity Sauvignon Blanc of course. 🙂

    It’s shaping up to be a busy Fall here at Karista’s Kitchen. I have a mountain of recipes I want to post here and although I have good intentions, sometimes my schedule doesn’t allow it. But I’ll try my best! Follow along on my Instagram and Facebook for all the latest food fun and maybe a few photos of what I’ve been up to. As well as some snaps of our newest little family member, Gus. He’s gotten so big!

    Delicious Fall Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Skillet Green Beans with Crispy Shallots

    Serving Size: 4-6

    Skillet Green Beans with Crispy Shallots

    Ingredients

    • 1 lb. fresh green beans, washed and ends trimmed
    • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or ghee, divided
    • 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
    • ½ lemon, squeezed
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. While the water is heating to a boil, prepare a large bowl of ice water. This will help stop the green beans from cooking after they’ve been blanched in the hot water.
  • Once the water is boiling, gently add the green beans and then let them cook for about 2 minutes. Then gently transfer them to the ice water with a slotted spoon or mesh spoon. Once the beans have cooled, transfer them to a paper towel lined plate. Set aside.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the shallots and sauté until brown and slightly crispy. Season with little salt and pepper. Transfer to a plate or bowl.
  • In the same pan, add two more tablespoons of oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the blanched green beans and let the beans cook for another 2-3 minutes until the beans are slightly browned or seared.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon. Top the beans with the crispy shallots and serve warm.
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    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Salad Sassy Side dishes

    Classic English Pea Salad

     

    Classic English Pea Salad // Karista's Kitchen

    I’ve been eating this Classic English Pea Salad all summer long and I can’t stop. 

    I make this salad every weekend and then I keep it in the fridge for a quick-lunch or an easy side salad for dinner. I’ve also been known to walk by the fridge and snag a few spoonfuls for a snack.

    This is the kind of pea salad I used to find sitting on the potluck table when I was a kid. I didn’t think much of pea salad back then. I usually skipped those bowls and moved on to the tapioca pudding or spoon bread. However, these days, I am all about this Classic English Pea Salad.

    Of course, this is my version of Classic English Pea Salad. I’ve tried several versions over the years but for me, this salad must include peas, bacon and cheese. I use shredded cheese rather than cube the cheese. I like cheese, I just don’t like cubes of cheese in this salad. It feels to heavy. Using shredded cheese keeps the textures in the salad a bit more consistent. Other ingredients may vary but the essential three are crucial to this tasty salad.

    Along with the peas, bacon and cheese I like to add two kinds of onion. Red onion and green onion. I think layering the onion flavor gives the salad a little more sass and compliments the salty bacon and sharp cheddar.

    When I’m feeling lazy (I have my moments) I toss this with our favorite organic ranch dressing. Otherwise, when I’ve got all the ingredients on hand, I make my own dressing which is super easy.

    Although fall is headed this way, this is a salad I usually make year round. You’re going to love this Classic English Pea Salad so much you just might end up making it every week too! 

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Classic English Pea Salad

    Serving Size: 6

    Classic English Pea Salad

    Ingredients

      For the salad
    • 2 cups or 16 ounces of peas (I use fresh or frozen that have been steamed and cooled)
    • 1/2 cup diced or thinly sliced red onion
    • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion
    • 1/2 cup diced cooked bacon (or more to taste. I love bacon!)
    • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
      For the dressing
    • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
    • 1/2 cup buttermilk
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon onion powder
    • 2 teaspoons dried chives
    • Dash of Worcestershire sauce (or two)
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • Squeeze of lemon

    Instructions

  • Whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, garlic powder, onion powder, dried chives and dash of Worcestershire. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, add the peas, red onion, green onion, bacon and cheddar cheese. Toss with as much dressing as you like. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • This salad holds well in the refrigerator for up to three days.
  • Notes

    When I'm feeling lazy (it happens) I skip making the dressing and use my favorite ranch dressing instead. Although this dressing recipe is super easy and super delicious.

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    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Sassy Side dishes

    Easy Coconut Rice Video

    Easy Coconut Rice from Karista's Kitchen

    I’ve been making this easy coconut rice for years. It goes with just about everything.

    I pair it with my Hawaiian Slow Roasted Pork, marinated pork tenderloin that I throw on the grill with some pineapple, grilled or roasted chicken breast, stir fry’s, miso sake roasted fish, grilled or roasted veggies and sometimes I make it just to eat with my nori.

    This is the ultimate and easiest side dish for a busy weeknight, weekend barbecues or slow cooked roasts.

    Because this easy coconut rice is one of my most pinned recipes on Pinterest, I thought I should post a video of how easy it is. So I had one made! Here’s the video and I’ll post it on my Facebook and Instagram pages as well.

    Enjoy this Easy Coconut Rice and let me know how you like it.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Easy Coconut Rice

    Serving Size: 4

    Easy Coconut Rice

    Ingredients

    • ¾ cup canned coconut milk (not light or low-fat)
    • ¾ cup water
    • 1 cup Jasmine or Basmati rice
    • Pinch of salt

    Instructions

  • Prepare the coconut rice by combining the coconut milk, rice, water and pinch of salt in a saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring occasionally so the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • Then turn down the heat to low, cover and simmer for 15-18 minutes, or until the rice is tender.
  • Fluff with a fork and keep it covered until ready to serve.
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    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

    Summer Ratatouille

    Summer Ratatouille // Karista's Kitchen

     

    I posted this decadent Summer Ratatouille photo on my Instagram page last week. I also thought I had posted the recipe here.

    Maybe I had thought about posting it but I never followed through. I usually have excellent follow through but this delicious recipe definitely slipped through the cracks. I can only blame my busy schedule and although I have the best of intentions, sometimes I miss a few things. My apologies if you searched for this recipe and couldn’t find it!

    This photo got a lot of love on my Instagram page and for good reason. It’s a beautiful dish, easy to prepare and completely delicious. I made this Summer Ratatouille at least 20 times last summer.

    Because I was late getting my seeds started last summer, I went to my local farm and found loads of beautiful new starts. I wanted to plant a lot of cucumbers so I could use them in salads, do a bit of canning and then make some pickles. So I purchased 6 cucumber plants and 1 zucchini plant. That should be enough. Because zucchini plants can quadruple in size and produce a mountain of zucchini, I only bought one plant. Or so I thought.

    Zucchini starts look almost identical to cucumber starts. Apparently, someone also thought the same and put all the zucchini starts with the cucumbers. I ended up with 5 zucchini and 2 cucumber starts. So by the end of summer I had way more zucchini than I could use and started giving them out to the neighbors and friends, freezing zucchini noodles and shredded zucchini, I canned a few and the rest went into various zucchini recipes like this Summer Ratatouille.

    I certainly didn’t mind making this ratatouille. It’s truly one of my favorite ways to enjoy summer squash, zucchini, tomatoes and eggplant. The combination of flavors combined with aromatics and fresh herbs makes this dish light and lush all at the same time. 

    It makes a lovely presentation and pairs beautifully with grilled meats, fish and poultry or doubles as a delicious vegetarian entrée. I could eat this alone with a glass of white wine and be completely happy. 🙂

    Cheers to a delicious summer!

    Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Summer Ratatouille

    Serving Size: 6-8

    Summer Ratatouille

    This lovely vegetable dish is beautifully flavored with herbs and aromatics and looks impressive when placed on the dining table.

    Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 small red onion, finely diced
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
    • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
    • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
    • 1 ½ cups tomato sauce
    • ¼ cup red wine
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 1-2 zucchini, sliced thin, but not paper thin
    • 1 yellow squash, sliced thin
    • 4 Roma tomatoes, sliced
    • 1 Japanese eggplant, sliced
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • ¼ cup grated parmesan
    • ½ cup crème fraiche for garnish
    • 9 or 10 - inch baking dish, either round, oval, square or rectangular

    Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
  • In a skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the onion and sauté until soft and wilted. Then add the garlic and sauté for one minute longer. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the tomato sauce, wine, chives, parsley and smoked paprika.
  • Pour the tomato mixture into the bottom of the baking dish. Beginning at one side of the baking dish, alternate slices of zucchini, yellow squash, roma tomato and eggplant until the baking dish is filled. I usually get about 3-4 rows of vegetables in my baking dish.
  • Drizzle the vegetables with the 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and then the grated parmesan.
  • Cover loosely with foil and place the baking dish in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes and then remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes. If you’d like the top a little toasted, I let the ratatouille sit under the broiler for a few minutes before I take it out of the oven.
  • Remove the baking dish from the oven and let it cool for about 5-10 minutes. Serve warm with dollops of crème fraiche and extra grated parmesan.
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    Appetizers Grilling Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

    Mexican Grilled Corn on the Cob (Elote)

    Mexican Grilled Corn on the Cob (Elote) // Karista's Kitchen

    If there is one food I could eat every day of summer, it’s Mexican Grilled Corn on the Cob or what is referred to as Elote.  

    This popular Mexican street food can be found prepared a variety of different ways.  However, it’s typically highly seasoned, grilled and then served on a stick for easy eating.

    What sets Mexican Grilled Corn on the Cob apart from a typical summer grilled corn are all the delicious ingredients that can be found covering this very humble vegetable. Some of the recipes I found include chile powder, smoked paprika, garlic, Mexican oregano, ground cumin, ground coriander, lime juice and of course mayonnaise.

    Mexican Grilled Corn on the Cob (Elote) // Karista's Kitchen

    For my recipe, I’ve slathered the corn cob in a lime juice laced mayonnaise and then rolled it in the salty Mexican cheese called Cotija.  Then I dust it lightly in the Mexican seasoning Tajin, which is a little sweet but also a little spicy. The result is so delicious I can’t stop at just one!

    I adore making Mexican Grilled Corn on the Cob for Cinco de Mayo, but I also like to serve it at all my summer barbecues. Grilled corn on the cob is always a good thing but Mexican grilled corn on the cob makes my taste buds sing.

    A little side note, I have a new instagram handle @lifearoundmytable.  I’ve had one heck of a time trying to resolve my @karistaskitchen account and it seems hopeless. So onward and upward and meeting all sorts of new challenges this month like growing a second Instagram account. Which isn’t on the top of my fun things to do list. Ha! Me and social media have a love/hate relationship.  So if you’re on Instagram, I’d truly appreciate the follow and a few shares.  Thank you all for your support!

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Mexican Grilled Corn on the Cob (Elote)

    Serving Size: 8

    Ingredients

    • 8 ears of corn, husks pulled back or removed
    • 2 tablespoons oil
    • ½ cup mayonnaise
    • 1 lime juiced
    • 1 garlic, minced
    • 1 cup crumbled cotija cheese
    • Tajin Classic Mexican seasoning

    Instructions

  • Pre-heat the grill or a grill pan to 350F.
  • Brush the ears of corn with vegetable oil and grill the corn for about 8-10 minutes or until the corn is nicely charred and soft. Watch the heat to be sure you don’t burn the corn.
  • Once the corn is done, transfer them to a platter. Mix together the mayonnaise, lime juice and garlic. Place the crumbled cotija in a plate. Brush each ear of corn with the mayonnaise mixture and then roll it in the crumbled cotija. Sprinkle with Tajin Classic Mexican Seasoning and serve immediately.
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    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Salad Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

    Radish and Mandarin Orange Salad

    Radish and Mandarin Orange Salad with Zesty Lime Vinaigrette // Karista's Kitchen

    I’m writing today from my new office which has the loveliest view of rolling hills and a menagerie of deep green trees. I think this is going to be the perfect spot for loads of creativity and mouth-watering recipes. I’m still in the midst of unpacking boxes and trying to find a place for everything so this post is short and sweet; and of course, delicious.

    This Radish and Mandarin Orange Salad is vibrant in color, not to mention quite sassy in flavor. 

    This salad is filled with spicy watercress and radishes mixed with sweet mandarin sections drizzled with a zesty lime vinaigrette creates a flavorful, beautiful and refreshing salad.  If watercress isn’t to be found, this is just as delicious over shredded cabbage. I like to garnish with fresh cilantro but you can certainly use fresh mint or basil.

    I’ve got several new recipes to post soon so stay tuned!

    Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Radish and Mandarin Orange Salad with Zesty Lime Vinaigrette

    Serving Size: 4-6

    Radish and Mandarin Orange Salad with Zesty Lime Vinaigrette

    Ingredients

    • 8 oz red radishes, thinly sliced
    • 16 oz canned mandarin orange wedges, or 2 cups fresh mandarin orange wedges
    • 1 bunch watercress, trimmed
    • ¼ cup cilantro leaves
    • 1 lime juiced, about 2-3 teaspoons
    • 2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
    • ¼ - 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

    Instructions

  • Whisk together the lime juice, mustard and ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, adding additional oil to taste. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Next, layer the watercress on a platter, then layer the oranges and then top with the radishes and cilantro. Drizzle with lime vinaigrette and serve immediately.
  • Notes

    I originally created this recipe for Home By Design Magazine in 2016.

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    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Risotto Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

    Lemon Risotto with Crispy Mushroom and Mint Gremolata

    Lemon Risotto with Crispy Mushroom and Mint Gremolata // the perfect spring meal from Karista's Kitchen

    It’s the first full week of spring and my mint plant is blooming the prettiest Chartreuse green leaves. These gorgeous green leaves are inspiring a constant stream of recipe ideas like this Lemon Risotto with Crispy Mushroom and Mint Gremolata.  

    I adore adding fresh mint to my recipes and I often add it to my quinoa salads, cucumber and papaya salsa, and even a few stir fry recipes. And now mint has made it’s way into my lemon risotto with a crispy mushroom and mint gremolata.

    Mixing fresh herbs with sautéed mushrooms compliments a dish and gives it a little extra something special.  I like to combine fresh mint, parsley and basil in my gremolata because each of those herbs play so well together. Not to mention, the herbs compliment the lemon risotto so beautifully you’d think they were made for each other.

    Lemon Risotto with Crispy Mushroom Gremolata // Karista's Kitchen

    This lovely recipe is bright with flavor but still comforting in texture. Lemon risotto with crispy mushroom and mint gremolata highlights the dawn of a new season with  a playful twist of fresh ingredients.

    This is a short, although delicious, post today but I’ll be back soon with more tempting recipes from a new kitchen!

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Lemon Risotto with Crispy Mushroom and Mint Gremolata

    Serving Size: serves 4 (recipe can be doubled)

    Lemon Risotto with Crispy Mushroom and Mint Gremolata

    Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons ghee or extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/2 - 3/4 cup diced yellow onion (about 1/2 of a large onion)
    • 1 cup arborio rice
    • 1/2 cup dry white wine
    • 4-5 cups warm vegetable broth (I like a creamy risotto so I use extra broth)
    • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
    • 1 medium lemon zested
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 cups sliced assorted seasonal mushrooms
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
    • 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
    • A squeeze of fresh lemon
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    Instructions

  • To make the risotto add 2 tablespoons of ghee or olive oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add the diced onions and sauté until tender, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the rice and stir for one minute longer. Add ½ cup dry white wine and stir until absorbed, about 1 minute.
  • Next, stir in 1 cup of the warm broth and simmer until it’s absorbed, stirring frequently. Continue to add 1/2 cup of broth at a time, stirring often and allowing each addition of broth to be absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup. Cook for about 20-30 minutes or until the rice is almost tender, al dente.
  • When the risotto is done, take it off the heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese and lemon zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • To make the gremolata, heat a skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot add the mushrooms and saute until slightly browned and a little crispy. Then stir in the minced garlic, fresh chopped herbs and squeeze of lemon. Take the skillet off the heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • To serve the risotto, ladle risotto into individual bowls or one large serving bowl. Top the lemon risotto with the crispy mushroom and mint gremolata and serve with additional grated parmesan cheese.
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    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

    Braised Red Cabbage

    Braised Red Cabbage pairs perfectly with slow cooked pork roast, roast pork tenderloin or roast chicken // Find it at Karista's Kitchen

    I often prepare braised thick-cut pork chops for dinner and I love to serve this braised red cabbage with the pork chops.

    I get juicy, perfectly thick-cut chops from my favorite Willamette Valley farm, Red Bird Acres.  I should have posted that recipe first but the chops always get gobbled up before I can snap a photo. I promise, I’ll post it soon.

    Although this braised red cabbage recipe is divine with pork chops, it’s also lovely with my Italian slow roasted pork, roasted pork tenderloin or roast chicken.  If I’ve got a bowl of apples to use up, I’ll toss in some apple slices during the last half of braising time which gives the braised red cabbage a bit of a sweet with savory flavor. Pears also “pair” nicely with this cabbage dish. 😉

    I’ve always had an affinity for cabbage. I adore it thrown in my weeknight greens and mushroom sauté which adds a bit of “crisp” to the greens.  I also like shredded cabbage mixed in with my salad, added to a soup or stew, grilled and topped with a chimichurri sauce or roasted in big “steaks” like my friend Alyssa’s recipe from Everyday Maven.  I even toss it in this pasta dish that was inspired by my trip to Italy.

    I believe cabbage is best when it’s in season from late fall through winter. It’s economical, satisfying and full of all the good stuff to make a body healthy.  

    When I was researching cabbage a few years ago, I stumbled across this little bit of trivia.  Ancient healers said cabbage contained moon power because it grew in the moonlight.  How dreamy is that?! I am such a romantic about food, I know it sounds weird. But I’ve always admitted to being a wee bit quirky.

    Cabbage is truly a power house of vitamins and an excellent source of folate. It contains a large amount of vitamin C, which is good for the immune system.  It also contains vitamin K, which helps with mental function and concentration. Not to mention it’s a great source of fiber and helps fill you up so you don’t grab that extra cookie after dinner.

    The next time you put the slow cooker on with a pork roast or you’re roasting a chicken for dinner, try pairing this braised red cabbage recipe with your entrée. It’s a simple, seasonal and fresh side dish that will compliment your fall or winter meals.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!

    Karista

    Braised Red Cabbage

    Serving Size: 4-6

    Braised Red Cabbage

    Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons of ghee, clarified butter, divided
    • 4 ounces of bacon, diced
    • 1 red onion, halved and thin sliced
    • 1 head of red cabbage, cored and shredded
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • ½ cup apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar
    • ½ cup vegetable broth
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

    Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
  • In an oven proof skillet or Dutch oven, heat one tablespoon of ghee over medium high heat. Add the diced bacon and cook until the bacon is crispy and fat is rendered.
  • Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of oil from the pan.
  • Next add the sliced onions, shredded cabbage and minced garlic to the pan. Cook for about 5-8 minutes until the cabbage begins to wilt. Add the bacon back into the pan.
  • Stir in the vinegar and vegetable broth. Bring the liquid to a boil and then cover the skillet or Dutch oven with a lid and place it in the oven for about 45 minutes. Give the cabbage a little stir about every 15 minutes or so.
  • Remove the cabbage from the oven, stir in the last tablespoon of ghee and season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
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    Appetizers Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Sassy Side dishes Soup

    Carrot Ginger Coconut Soup

    Carrot Ginger Coconut Soup // Dairy Free // Karista's Kitchen

    This gorgeous Carrot Ginger Coconut soup is a revised version of my original carrot soup recipe.  As time passes, and the more I prepare a recipe, chances are it’s going to get a few makeovers now and again.

    Although I do love my original recipe, I’ve created this version with coconut milk to appease my nagging dairy allergy and to create a different flavor twist to the soup.

    I prepare carrot ginger soup almost year round.  My family completely adores this soup in the fall and winter months because of the soothing properties of ginger.  It’s also equally as loved in the spring and summer for the bold taste of earthy, sweet carrots and the tropical flavors of coconut milk.

    Last week I topped the carrot ginger coconut soup with candied blood orange that my brother and sister-in-law sent me from Japan.  The simple touch of orange elevated the flavors yet again, creating the most delightful winter soup.

    I often make the soup on the weekend and store it in the fridge for quick weekday lunches or a light weeknight meal.  It also makes a delicious starter to Sunday dinner or a late night snack.

    And sometimes, I just find myself stopping by the fridge and snagging a spoonful of the silky, lush soup. It’s delicious room temp or warm and obviously, I eat it when it’s cold. 😉

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Carrot Ginger Coconut Soup

    Serving Size: 4-6

    Carrot Ginger Coconut Soup

    Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 yellow onion, diced
    • 12-15 medium carrots, chopped
    • 2 ribs celery, diced
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/4 cup sliced fresh ginger
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 4 cups vegetable broth or 2 cups vegetable broth and 2 cups carrot juice (enough liquid to cover the veggies in the soup pot)
    • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
    • Pinch of ground cloves
    • 1 cup canned organic coconut milk (not the light coconut milk)
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, carrots, garlic and dried thyme. Sauté for about 10 minutes or until all the veggies have softened.
  • Add the 4 cups of vegetable broth or 2 cups vegetable broth and 2 cups carrot juice and sliced ginger. (enough liquid to cover all the vegetables in the pot) Bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer. Let the soup simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove the ginger slices, or as many as you can.
  • Either using a hand blender or pour the soup into a blender, Vitamix or food processor and puree. You may need to do this in stages as all the soup may not fit in the blender/food processor all at once.
  • Pour the pureed soup back into the pot and stir in the allspice, pinch of cloves and coconut milk. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. If the soup feels too thick, stir in ¼ cup of vegetable broth at a time until the consistency feels right.
  • Serve immediately. You can keep it warm on the stove if needed. Just keep the heat on low. This soup can be refrigerated for about 3 days and reheated stove top, or microwave.
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    http://karistaskitchen.com/2017/01/06/carrot-ginger-coconut-soup/

    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Sassy Side dishes

    Roasted New Red Potatoes with Lemon and Basil

    Roasted New Red Potatoes with Lemon and Basil // Karista's Kitchen

    A potato side dish can taste indulgent, comforting or even refreshing like this Roasted New Red Potatoes with Lemon and Basil.  

    Although I’m a huge fan of classically prepared potatoes such as mashed potatoes, I do have an affinity for a simply roasted potato dish.  Roasting new potatoes or fingerlings gives a crisp outside and soft, creamy inside which pairs well with all sorts of lovely ingredients.

    Often I use chopped fresh rosemary, garlic and lemon and finish with sea salt.  But this recipe uses the combination of lemon and basil, which I think are two ingredients that were made for each other.

    Sometimes I’ll gently warm a bit of sliced garlic in extra virgin olive oil and then when the potatoes are done, I’ll toss the potatoes with the garlic infused oil and top with the lemon and basil.  And sometimes I skip the garlic and simply finish roasted new or fingerling potatoes with a sprinkling of lemon zest and basil chiffonade.

    Or you can do what my youngest gal does… slather these potatoes with some sour cream, Irish cheddar cheese and dig in. 😉

    Roasted New Red Potatoes with Lemon and Basil // Karista's Kitchen

    When I’ve had my fill of potatoes dauphinoise, gratin, scalloped or mashed potatoes, this lovely side dish is a most refreshing change and a delicious compliment to a meat or poultry entrée.

    This potato dish is also fabulous in the spring paired with roast lamb or whatever you might serve for Easter or Mother’s Day Dinner.

    This will be my last post until after the Christmas holiday, but until then, you can follow all my food finds and kitchen chaos on Instagram and Facebook.

    Thank you for your continual support and for sharing Karista’s Kitchen with your friends and family.

    Wishing you loads of love, true joy and the most delicious food!

    Karista

    Roasted New Red Potatoes with Lemon and Basil

    Serving Size: 4-6

    Roasted New Red Potatoes with Lemon and Basil

    Ingredients

    • 1lb red new potatoes or fingerlings, scrubbed clean
    • 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
    • Salt and pepper
    • 1 clove garlic, sliced
    • Zest of one lemon
    • 1 bunch basil, sliced chiffonade or chopped
    • Sea salt to finish

    Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 425F
  • Toss the potatoes in 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and then season with some salt and pepper. Place the potatoes in a single layer on a lined baking sheet and place them in the oven.
  • Roast the potatoes for 25-30 minutes or until toasty brown on the outside and soft on the inside.
  • When the potatoes are done remove them from the oven and let them cool for five minutes.
  • While the potatoes are cooling, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a saute pan over low heat and then add the sliced garlic. When the garlic becomes fragrant, about 3-5 minutes, remove the garlic from the oil.
  • Transfer the potatoes to a bowl and toss with the garlic oil, lemon zest and basil chiffonade. Season to taste with sea salt and then transfer to a serving bowl or platter. Serve warm.
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    http://karistaskitchen.com/2016/12/18/roasted-new-red-potatoes-with-lemon-and-basil/

     

     

     

    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

    Creamed Swiss Chard

    Creamed Swiss Chard // Karista's Kitchen

    Creamed Swiss Chard is always a welcomed side dish on my dinner table. It never fails to bring a smile to my hungry family’s faces.  But really, who could ever resist creamy, cheesy, leafy green goodness?! 

    This gorgeous leafy green is a staple in my kitchen and I use it in all kinds of recipes.  Swiss chard finds its way into our weeknight sautés, salads, rice bowls, weekend egg dishes, pastas and even my savory bread pudding.  Although I do love kale, mustard greens, spinach and collard greens, lately Swiss chard has been my “go to” green.   Mostly because it grows so voraciously in my garden and I typically get a good 7-8 months worth of chard each year.  It’s the leafy green that just keeps on giving!

    Swiss chard is a tall leafy green that belongs to the same family as beets and spinach.  It tastes similar to spinach, which makes Swiss chard an excellent substitute in cooked dishes.  It doesn’t cook down quite as much as spinach and it omits less water – making it a meatier option for sautés and gratins.  Honestly, sometimes I prefer it to spinach because it holds up a little better when cooked. Not quite as hearty as kale, but not quite as delicate as spinach.

    Creamed Swiss Chard // Karista's Kitchen

    This gorgeous Creamed Swiss Chard makes a delightful side dish to any meal.  It’s especially complimentary to grilled or roasted meat or poultry or prepared in individual dishes for a light lunch or brunch.  For a one dish meal, I add diced ham to this recipe and serve with a warm crusty baguette and a glass of wine. Ahh… my kind of meal.

    I’ve paired this Creamed Swiss Chard with leeks, however shallots work just as well.  And on occasion when I’m out of both leeks and shallots, a yellow onion will do the job just fine.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!

    Karista

    Creamed Swiss Chard

    Serving Size: 4-6

    Ingredients

    • ¼ cup panko bread crumbs
    • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
    • 1 tablespoon of butter
    • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
    • 1-2 leeks, trimmed just as the light green turns to dark green, cut in half lengthwise, rinse and dice
    • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
    • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
    • ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
    • 2 bunches of Swiss chard or about 2lbs, stems removed (I save the stems for stock or soup), leaves coarsely chopped
    • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
    • Salt and Pepper to taste

    Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 375F. Mix together the panko bread crumbs and grated parmesan cheese. Set aside.
  • In a large oven safe sauté pan or skillet, add the butter and olive oil to the pan and place the pan over medium high heat.
  • Once the butter is melted and oil is hot, add the chopped leeks and chopped fresh Italian parsley and sauté until wilted and slightly golden. Then stir in the minced garlic and sauté for one minute longer.
  • With tongs, add the chopped Swiss chard in batches to the pan and toss with the leeks, continuing to toss the greens and leeks gently, until all the greens are in the pan and wilted. Sprinkle with the grated nutmeg and season with ½ - 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of black pepper.
  • Pour the heavy cream into the pan and gently toss with the greens. Sprinkle the panko parmesan mixture over the top of the creamed Swiss chard and then place the pan in the oven.
  • Let the creamed Swiss chard bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the sides are bubbly and the cream has thickened. To toast the panko parmesan mixture, set the pan under the broiler for just a few minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and let the creamed Swiss chard sit for about 5 minutes before serving.
  • Notes

    I originally created this recipe for Hobby Farms Magazine Spring 2016

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    http://karistaskitchen.com/2016/11/04/creamed-swiss-chard/