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Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad with green onions, pickle relish, shredded carrots and cilantro // Karista's Kitchen

Simply saying the word “summer” evokes some of the sweetest of memories.  Grilling outdoors with a cold beverage or tasty cocktail in hand, fresh fruit in abundance sitting on the kitchen counter, berry picking until our hands are bright red or purple, sweet cobblers and homemade ice cream, walking barefoot (my favorite!) and feeling the earth beneath my feet and of course Macaroni Salad.

Summer just wouldn’t be summer without macaroni salad.

I’ve made Grandma Eilene’s Macaroni Salad for years and my Bennett Crew adores this side dish.  However, recently I developed and photographed another very popular macaroni salad for my lovely clients, Home By Design Magazine.  Hawaiian Macaroni Salad.  Not surprising that it was a huge hit at my house.  I’d sampled versions of Hawaiian Macaroni Salad when visiting Maui a few years ago and I totally fell in love with this version of the quentisential American side dish.

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is still macaroni salad but it’s loaded with all sorts of delicious ingredients.  

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad // Karista's Kitchen

It’s quite heavy on the mayonnaise as well, which doesn’t bother me one bit because I love mayonnaise.  I love it so much I’m terrified we’ll run out so I keep two extra jars in the pantry at all times.  I also make mayonnaise on occasion and my homemade version is so absolutely divine in this salad. Using your favorite mayonnaise is key because mayonnaise plays a big part in flavoring this salad.

I’ve recently discovered this mayonnaise from Thrive Market. My new favorite!  My youngest gal is allergic to canola oil, for reasons I won’t get into here unless you want me to stand on my non-GMO and Monsanto is bad soapbox. 😉  So I’m always looking for a tasty alternative mayonnaise to keep in stock.  On occasion I can find this at my local market but most of the time I purchase through Thrive Market.  This online market is such a convenient option for all your healthy pantry items, not to mention many of the items are priced less at Thrive Market than at my own market.

No kickbacks or payment for this mention, I just wanted to pass on my fun and fabulous find!   I still support local as much as possible. While were on the subject of supporting local… I love Barn2Door for my other local and regional ingredients.  Clean, sustainable food right from the people who grew it! 

Now that we’ve chatted mayonnaise and markets, I’ll get back to the rest of the salad ingredients.  I include shredded carrots, cilantro, sliced green onions, sweet pickle relish, sometimes shredded or cubed cheddar cheese, hard boiled eggs and avocado slices for garnish.  Loaded with flavor and texture, Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is a deliciously festive side dish for all our summer barbecues.

Wishing you all a very happy and healthy summer!

Loads of Love,


Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

Serving Size: 6

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

You’ve never had a macaroni salad quite like Hawaiian Macaroni Salad. Creamy, dreamy and filled with flavor, this salad is fresh comfort food at it’s best. Traditional Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is laced with a sizeable amount of mayonnaise. Personally, I adore mayonnaise and often make it at home. But if it’s not on your favorite ingredient list, feel free to adjust measurements.


  • 1 lb macaroni pasta cooked according to package directions
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • 4-5 hard boiled eggs, coarsely chopped or sliced
  • ½ cup sliced green onions
  • 2 cups mayonnaise (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup sweet pickle relish
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar (optional)
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • Avocado slices for garnish


  • In a large bowl, add the shredded carrots, chopped cilantro, hard boiled eggs and green onion to the cooked macaroni.
  • Then gently fold in the mayonnaise, white wine vinegar and pickle relish. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Let the macaroni salad sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving. This will help the macaroni absorb all the delicious flavors.
  • To serve, place the macaroni salad in a large serving bowl and garnish with avocado slices.
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    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Sassy Side dishes

    Bacon, Apples and Brussel Sprouts

    Brussels sprouts, apples and bacon side dish or one dish meal // Karista's Kitchen

    I have to admit, roasted Brussels sprouts with a little olive oil, salt and pepper is simple perfection.  I make them often but on occasion I switch things up and make this lovely Bacon, Apple and Brussels Sprouts side.  It’s easy to prepare and combines three distinct flavors that pair exquisitely together.  The smokiness of the bacon combined with the sweet of the apple… honestly, I could eat these two ingredients all by themselves.  But toss in some Brussels sprouts and the recipe somehow tastes complete.

    Of course I throw in some fresh garlic and sometimes add a splash of parmesan to the finished dish.  I think some shredded Irish cheddar would be tasty as well.

    Not only does this make a great side dish or one dish meal, it’s a lovely side for all the holiday dinner celebrations.  It happily accompanies turkey, prime rib, whole roasted salmon and a honey glazed ham.  Now I’m hungry!

    Just in case you’re not convinced Brussels sprouts are for you… I’ve added a few additional sides to browse.  You know, just in case. 😉

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!


    Bacon, Apples and Brussel Sprouts

    Serving Size: 4-6

    Bacon, Apples and Brussel Sprouts


    • 6-8 ounces bacon, diced
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 cups thin sliced apples, whatever is local and in season (I use Oregon local Honey Crisp)
    • 1 1/2 - 2 lbs Brussels sprouts, cleaned, bottom ends trimmed but core intact and then halved through the core. I prefer the smaller to medium sprouts if you can find them.
    • 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • Squeeze of lemon


  • Fill a large pot with water and season the water generously with salt. Bring the water to a boil and add the Brussels sprouts. Turn the heat down to a simmer and let the sprouts cook for about 5-7 minutes or until the sprouts are tender. Drain and rinse with cold water. Shake out the excess water and set aside.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, add about 1 - 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil is hot add the diced bacon and cook. When the bacon is crispy, remove it with a slotted spoon and add the Brussels sprouts.
  • Increase the heat to medium high allowing the Brussels to brown and crisp a bit. When the Brussels look golden brown, gently toss in the garlic and the apples.
  • Turn the heat back down to medium and let the apples cook until crisp tender. Once the apples are done, stir in the bacon and give it a squeeze of lemon.
  • Season to taste with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Serve warm.
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    Mashed cauliflower side dish

    Cauliflower Mashers


    Several years ago I posted this Cauliflower Mashers recipe in a post with several other enticing side dishes. 

    Roasted Cranberry and Mandarin Salad with Pistachos and Toasted Coconut


    Another lovely and sweet side for Roast Turkey and Honey Baked Ham.

    roasted beet salad with gorgonzola and candied walnuts

    Winter Roasted Beet Salad


    A gorgeous and delicious salad easily prepped and served – making your holiday celebration stress free.

    Green Bean and Smoked Goat Cheese Salad with Dried Cherries and Toasted Pine Nuts

    Green Bean and Smoked Goat Cheese Salad with Dried Cherries and Toasted Pine Nuts


    Hands down one of my favorite salads.  Again, easy to prepare and so delicious paired with Roast Turkey, Whole Roasted Salmon, Duck Breast, Honey Baked Ham or Prime Rib.

    brussels sprouts gratin

    Brussels Sprouts Gratin


    Brussels Sprouts are grand all on their own, but combined in a gratin with cheese and cream totally elevates this dish to spectacular!

    Karista's Kitchen Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

    Sassy French Lentils

    French Lentils with vegetables or squash

    What a summer it’s been.  Another move, a bit of travel, family visits, lots of delicious recipes tested and photographed, a new driver in the family, our college student returning to the city soon and Tank and I found new trails to run, cows and chickens to photograph and juicy ripe blackberries to snack on while we’re supposed to be running.  I think Tank loves the blackberry breaks more than me.

    Life is in perpetual motion and although this is a good thing, there are moments I need to put on the brakes, settle into a comfy chair and enjoy a quiet moment.  Hopefully with something tasty to sip – and always with a good book.  This does not happen often enough unfortunately, but today, I find myself scheming to find that moment in the near future.  I think you should to!  My little soapbox speech for the day. 🙂

    Mirepoix for French Lentils

    I’m in a bit of a sassy mood (can you tell?) and in honor of my sassiness, I’m posting this sassy little French lentil recipe.  Lentils have never thrilled my culinary taste buds – they’ve always just been there.  A side dish or ingredient that has useful qualities.  Mashed and blended with other exciting ingredients into lentil cakes or stirred into soups and stews to create a hearty texture.  Sometimes I’ll toss them into salads for extra texture and protein but I think I love them best prepared in the French style.

    French Lentils with vegetables or squash

    This is a recipe I can get excited about.  Layering flavor after flavor and then combining all those lush flavors with the lentils and summer vegetables makes for the loveliest entrée or side dish.   This dish is so simple and so delicious, I often pair it with grilled salmon or steak.  My oldest gal adores this dish a la carte, 0ften taking the leftovers for lunch.

    So, my friends, plan a quiet moment with something tasty to sip, a good book…  and make yourself some Sassy French Lentils.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,


    Sassy French Lentils

    I use organic canned lentils for time sake, but feel free to use dried lentils that have been cooked.

    Serves 4-6


    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

    1 red onion, diced

    2 anchovies

    1 medium carrot, diced

    1 rib celery, diced

    3 cloves garlic, finely diced

    1 3 inch sprig rosemary

    3 sprigs fresh thyme

    1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley

    1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

    1 cup diced summer tomatoes (or canned)

    1 15 ounce can organic lentils or 2 cups cooked lentils

    1 teaspoon Dijon or stone ground mustard (optional)

    Squeeze of  lemon juice

    Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

    Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

    Add ins:  sliced roasted or grilled summer squash and zucchini, eggplant, green beans, corn and any other summer vegetable you adore, just stir them in or layer them on top of the finished dish.  If preparing this dish Fall/Winter I love to stir in diced roasted sweet potato or butternut squash.


    In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat and when it’s hot, but not smoking, add the onions, anchovies, carrots and celery.  Sauté until the veggies are nice and soft.

    Then stir in the garlic and sauté for one minute longer.

    Next stir in the rosemary, thyme, Italian parsley, oregano, tomatoes and lentils.  Let them heat through and then simmer on low for about 10 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Remove the sprig of rosemary and then stir in the Dijon or stone ground mustard, squeeze of lemon juice (about a teaspoon), and drizzle of olive oil.  Continue to simmer on low for another 5-8 minutes.

    Take them off the heat and let them sit covered while you prepare the rest of your meal.  Or let them sit for about 5 minutes to allow all the flavors to meld together.  Taste for seasoning before serving.

    If you are pairing the lentils with veggies, ladle the lentils onto a platter and then top with the veggies.  If using diced roasted sweet potato or butternut squash, I like to gently fold those into the lentils and then ladle onto a platter.

    Garnish with fresh chopped Italian parsley and dollops of plain Greek yogurt.

    Serve with lemon wedges if desired.

    Bon Appetit!









    Karista's Kitchen Salad vegetarian

    Butter Lettuce Wedges with Green Goddess Dressing

    Butter Lettuce Wedges with Green Goddess Dressing / Karista's Kitchen

    Do you remember this blast from the past?  Green Goddess Dressing.  My Mom used to serve this dressing with our dinner salad at least once a week.  As a kid I thought it was such a peculiar name for a salad dressing and I remember I liked to say “Green Goddess” as if it were some magical word that might turn me into a super hero.  Yes, those were the days I was watching Electra Woman and Dyna Girl on Saturday mornings.  Ah… the mind of a child.

    Butter Lettuce Wedges with Green Goddess Dressing / Karista's Kitchen

    Today, the dressing doesn’t quite hold the same meaning for me – but it’s still magical to my taste buds.  Although this dressing is prepared with a mayonnaise and sour cream base, it’s rather light with fresh lemon and assorted fresh herbs, garlic, intensely flavored anchovies and of course the crowning glory of my version of this lovely dressing, avocado.  Whipped up into a lovely pastel colored dressing for greens, vegetables, salads, shrimp and fish.

    I adore Oregon pink shrimp, the small bay size shrimp, and if I have them stocked in my frig, I’ll toss those over the top as well.   And on occasion, I’ll slather it on toast and then proceed to make myself a summer tomato and avocado sandwich.

    Wishing you all Loads of Love and Delicious Wishes!


    Butter Lettuce Wedges with Green Goddess Dressing


    1 ripe medium avocado

    1/4 cup mayonnaise

    1/4 cup sour cream

    2 anchovies

    2 tablespoons lemon juice

    1 clove garlic

    1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs (I like Italian parsley, basil, oregano and chive)

    1/4 cup fresh chopped chive for garnish

    Salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

    Sprinkling of diced cooked bacon (optional)

    Bay Shrimp (optional)

    Avocado slices

    lemon wedges


    Place in a blender or food processor the avocado, mayonnaise, sour cream, anchovies, lemon juice, fresh herbs and garlic clove. Puree until smooth.  Season to taste with salt and fresh cracked black pepper.

    Serve over fresh butter lettuce wedges and garnish with chopped fresh chive, avocado slices and lemon wedges.  For a heartier meal I love sweet bay shrimp tossed onto the butter lettuce wedges or diced cooked bacon.

    This dressing is also lovely over mixed greens, grilled romaine or romaine wedges.

    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Salad Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

    Carrot Cilantro Salad with Pumpkin Seeds and Ginger Peanut Dressing

    Carrot Cilantro Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing and Pumpkin Seeds

    It’s Wednesday and it’s already been a whirlwind of a week.   I don’t want you to think I’ve forgotten you, so I thought I’d drop by and deliver this lovely little salad.  Truly, if you lived next door I’d bring you this salad. 🙂

    Perfect with grilled shrimp or chicken for a busy weeknight, or a delightful and flavorful side for your grilling or slow cooked weekend.  Lush, gorgeous color and mouthwatering flavor.  A little summer sunshine on a plate.

    Carrot Cilantro Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing and Sesame and Pumpkin Seeds

    More deliciousness posting soon!

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,


    Carrot Cilantro Salad with Pumpkin and Sesame Seeds in a Ginger Peanut Dressing

    Serves 4 – 6


    4 cups shredded organic carrots

    ½ -3/4 cup cilantro leaves

    ¼ cup pumpkin seeds, raw or roasted

    2 tablespoons sesame seeds, white or black


    ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (I use California Olive Ranch Everyday Fresh EVOO)

    ¼ cup raw honey (I buy local raw honey)

    2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar

    1 tablespoon creamy organic peanut butter

    ¼ -1/2 teaspoon of Thai Kitchen Roasted Red Chili Paste or a dash of Sriracha

    2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger (or more if you love ginger)

    1 small clove garlic, peeled and smashed

    A squeeze of fresh lime juice

    Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste Directions


    Puree dressing ingredients in a small food processor or blender and then season to taste with salt and pepper.  If the dressing feels too thick, add a tablespoon of cold water.

    In a medium to large bowl, toss together the shredded carrots, cilantro leaves and seeds.  Gently toss the carrot mixture with just enough dressing to coat the carrots.  You don’t want the carrots swimming in dressing.  Reserve remaining dressing for a marinade for shrimp or chicken, or another salad.

    Pour onto a large platter and garnish with additional cilantro and seeds.

    The salad ingredients can easily be adjusted to your tastes.  A little more red chili paste or hot sauce or a little less ginger, however you prefer.  Pair with grilled shrimp or chicken for a one dish meal.


    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

    Arugula and White Bean Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

    Arugula and White Bean Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

    Oh to be sitting on a Tuscan veranda, sipping Chianti and dining on Italian cuisine with friends…. Ahhh the memories.

    As you can see, I’m still re-living my visit to Tuscany and pining away for a return visit.  But alas, I’ll have to settle for this lovely little Tuscan salad and a bottle of my favorite Sangiovese from Tuscany, the DaVinci Brunello.  Which isn’t so bad, right?

    While traveling the Tuscan countryside last Fall, I sampled a few enchanting versions of this salad.  However, I’ve been preparing this particular salad for my family and clients at least ten years now.  Hands down, this is one of my favorite salads to whip together for an impromptu dinner party or pair with grilled meats, poultry or fish on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

    Arugula and White Bean Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

    Although my family adores this salad with arugula, I sometimes use baby spinach with a mixture of spring greens and throw in all the little extras from the produce bin.  Like the three remaining mini sweet peppers, the lone green onion that didn’t make it into the morning eggs or extra kale or Swiss chard that’s not looking so lively.  Then I ladle the beans on top and then sprinkle with the sliced red onion.  Last, drizzle with my best balsamic vinegar and my favorite extra virgin olive oil.

    If you’re serving the salad immediately season the greens and veggies and dress with the vinaigrette.  If it’ll be a while before serving the salad, drizzle the vinaigrette over the top so the greens don’t wilt – and then you’re left with a very sad-looking salad.  I speak from experience.

    Fresh, fast, flavorful …and beautiful on the table.  Perfect for spring and the approaching grilling season!  I love this salad as a light lunch or dinner, but I also love it paired with grilled steaks, burgers, chicken, ribs, salmon and shrimp.  Grilled lobster might be nice too 🙂

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!


    Arugula and White Bean Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

    Serves 4 but can easily be doubled


    1 cup (or more if you like) cannellini beans, cooked and drained.  I usually cook my own beans but I always keep a few spare cans of organic white beans in the pantry so I can make this salad in a pinch.

    4 cups (packed) fresh arugula, either large leaf or baby arugula

    1/2 red onion, peeled and sliced thin

    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

    2 tablespoons quality aged balsamic vinegar – pull out your good stuff for this salad

    2 teaspoons honey

    Salt and pepper to taste


    If you are using full grown arugula, wash the arugula in a large bowl of water to remove all the sand and grit. Dry the arugula well, preferably in a salad spinner, and transfer it to a large mixing bowl.  My farmer’s market stocks baby arugula, which I love, so I often use this instead of the larger full grown arugula.  The taste and texture are slightly more delicate.

    Whisk together the balsamic vinegar, oil, honey and taste for seasoning.

    If you’re serving the salad immediately, go ahead and dress the greens by tossing them with the vinaigrette.  Ladle the salad onto a platter and top with the white beans.  Season with fresh cracked black pepper and a pinch of salt and then top the beans with the thin sliced red onion.  Serve immediately.

    If you’d like to prepare the salad but won’t serve it immediately, place the greens on a platter, top with the beans, season and then top with the sliced red onion.  Before serving drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and serve.

    This salad is delicious with grilled steak, chicken, ribs, fish and additional grilled veggies.  It’s also great on it’s own for a light meal paired with crusty Italian bread, bruschetta or your favorite crostini.  Oh, and a glass of Chianti!


    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

    5 Sassy Sides

    sweet potatoes

    Coconut Sweet Potato Mashers

    “A side dish, is a side dish, is a side dish”, said one of my sassy gals.  Until, of course, she tasted one of my sassy sides.

    brussel sprouts

    Roasted Brussel Sprouts

    A sassy side can rev up dinner and make it take off to new heights.  Especially when fresh, lovely produce is abundant and time is of the essence.  A sassy side is the most perfect complement to a simple but tasty meal.


    Cauliflower Mashers

    I love to pan sear chicken thigh and leg quarters, and then finish them off in the oven. (I’ll post that method soon)  All that’s needed is a little oil, salt and pepper.  They turn out divine!  But what takes this dinner over the top is the side dish.

    green beans with shallots

    Green Beans with Brown Butter and Shallots

    These are five of the Bennett Crew faves.  And yes… my two sassy gals love these five sassy sides. 🙂

    Roasted Delicata Squash

    Five Spice Powder Roasted Delicata Squash

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!


    Coconut Sweet Potato Mashers

    Serves 4-6


    1 – 1 ½ lbs sweet potatoes (about 3 medium to large)

    1 cup coconut milk (Thai Kitchen canned organic is what I use)

    Salt and pepper to taste

    Pinch of cinnamon (optional)


    Pre-heat the oven to 400F.

    Pierce the sweet potatoes with a fork and set on a baking sheet.

    Roast the sweet potatoes until soft to the touch.  About 45 minutes.

    When the sweet potatoes are cool, remove the skins and lightly mash.

    Place them in a food processor or blender and add the coconut milk ½ cup at a time. Pulse until the coconut sweet potato mashers are at a desired consistency.  I like mine smooth but thick.

    Season to taste with salt and pepper and if desired a pinch of cinnamon.

    These can be prepared one day prior to serving. 🙂

    Roasted Brussel Sprouts

    Serves 4


    1-1 1/2 lbs Brussel Sprouts

    2 tablespoons high heat oil

    Salt and pepper to taste

    2-3 tablespoons grated parmesan (optional)


    Pre-heat the oven to 375F.  If using a convection oven I only heat to 350F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment.

    Slice the brussel sprouts in half, trimming the ends.  Place them in a bowl and toss with the oil.

    Pour them onto the baking sheet in a single layer.

    Roast for about 10-15 minutes until toasty and soft.  I like my brussel sprouts very toasty 🙂

    Pull them out of the oven and sprinkle with salt and pepper and a little parmesan if desired. Serve immediately.

    Cauliflower Mashers

    Serves 4-6


    1-2 heads cauliflower (or one really large head cauliflower)

    salt and pepper to taste

    1-2 tablespoons of really good extra virgin olive oil ( I use California Olive Ranch Everyday Fresh) or 1 tablespoon melted butter

    1 clove garlic, minced (optional)


    Cut the cauliflower into florets.

    Steam the cauliflower in a stove top steamer or for a more toasty flavor you can roast the cauliflower florets by tossing in a little oil and roasting on a baking sheet lined with parchment in a preheated 375F oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the cauliflower is soft.  Phew! That was a long sentence. 🙂  If you’d like to serve these florets as a side, just season with salt and pepper to taste and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.  To make mashers proceed with the recipe below.

    Once the cauliflower is soft, set the cooked florets in a colander and let them drain any excess water.

    Place the florets in a blender, food processor or vita mix and pulse just until nicely smooth.  Season with salt, pepper and olive oil or butter.  Serve immediately.

    Green Beans with Brown Butter and Shallots

    Serves 4


    1 lb fresh green beans, washed and ends trimmed

    1-2 shallots, sliced

    1 stick unsalted butter

    Salt and Pepper to taste


    You can either steam the green beans in a stove top or microwave steamer or you can roast them.

    To roast, I preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment.  Toss the beans in a little oil and then place them in a single layer on the baking sheet.  (Just like we did for the Brussel Sprouts) Roast just until nicely tender.

    While the beans are cooking, in a medium sauce pan melt the butter over medium heat.  Lightly swirl or stir the butter in the pan.  Just as it starts to develop those lovely little golden brown flecks, add the shallots and let the shallots crisp in the butter.  This should only take a minute longer.  The shallots should be slightly crisp and the butter brown.  Pull it off the heat and add the green beans to coat, seasoning with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

    Pour into a serving platter and serve immediately.  For a little variation you can add fresh chopped herbs with the shallots, or a squeeze of lemon before serving.

    Five Spice Roasted Delicata Squash


    1 ½ – 2 lbs Delicata Squash

    1 tablespoon brown sugar

    1 ½  teaspoons Five Spice Powder

    2 tablespoons high heat oil

    Salt and Pepper


    Pre-heat the oven to 400F.

    Mix together the brown sugar, five spice powder and oil until the brown sugar is mostly dissolved.

    Wash the squash and then slice about ½ inch of each end.  Slice down the center vertically and clean out the seeds in the squash with a spoon or small ice cream scoop.

    Then slice the squash to make little half moons.

    Put the slices in a bowl and toss with the Five Spice Powder, brown sugar and oil.

    Layer on a parchment lined baking sheet.

    Sprinkle with a little salt and black pepper.

    Roast on 400F for about 20-30 minutes or until nice and fork tender.

    This little dish can be served piping hot or at room temp.  Leftovers store easily in the frig for about 3 days.  Great for midnight snacking!

    Kid Friendly Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

    Roasted Broccoli Parmesan

    Roasted Broccoli Parmesan

    Sometimes I just can’t get enough broccoli.  I love it raw, steamed, stir fried and roasted.  I think roasted is my favorite.

    Oven Roasted Broccoli

    Roasting veggies, especially broccoli, cauliflower and Brussel sprouts, brings out the most unique and caramelized flavors.  Add a little garlic, Romano or parmesan and I’ve got the perfect side dish for a dinner meal.  Suzie Q, my youngest gal, likes to personalize her roasted broccoli with a sprinkling of shredded cheddar.  🙂

    I often roast a baking sheet of broccoli, cauliflower or Brussel sprouts while I’ve got a pork loin or chicken roasting in the oven.  Just pop the baking sheet of veggies into the oven on the rack below, about 15 minutes before the pork or chicken is done.  Then everything comes out of the oven at the same time and dinner is done.  Gotta love that!

    Roasted Parmesan Broccoli

    1-2 lbs fresh organic broccoli, washed, dried and cut into bite sized pieces

    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

    Salt and fresh cracked black pepper

    1/4- 1/2 cup fresh grated Romano or Parmesan cheese


    Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment.

    Place the broccoli pieces in a large bowl and toss with a drizzle of oil and season with salt and pepper.

    Place the dressed broccoli on the baking sheet lined 10 minutes, or until the tops of the broccoli are toasted in color and crisp tender to the touch.

    When the broccoli is done, remove from the oven and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese.  Transfer the broccoli to a platter and serve immediately.

    For a little variation add crushed cloves of garlic to the broccoli before roasting.  This will make a lovely garlic roasted broccoli.  You can also sub grated Asiago or Romano for the Parmesan… or of course, shredded cheddar. 🙂