Category Archives: sides
My kitchen is under renovation so I am not cooking at this very moment but that doesn’t mean you all aren’t cooking. This is totally delicious and definitely easy and worth a try. And no cooking involved!!!
I had this broccoli salad at a friend’s house and completely fell in love with it. It was so delicious. Mind you I don’t even love raw broccoli , I usually prefer it cooked. This was really good and I even broke my own rule and made a new recipe for company. It is so simple to make and ingredients are easily obtainable. No fuss and no muss here.
I put it together in the morning but you can definitely put together the night before. I would suggest making it at least 8 hours ahead of time so broccoli softens and soaks up some of the delicious marinade. Mix bowl throughout the day . I left it out for 2 hours before serving to bring it to room temperature. It’s a great summer salad that you can make ahead of time and doesn’t require any cooking!
I also made it with broccoli slaw ( you can shred yourself or buy bags already made) Pre-made broccoli slaw is available almost everywhere now. If using the slaw I would use 3- 12 oz. bags . Just keep mixing it and make ahead so it can absorb, it was equally as yummy. I put photos of both salads on here.
Great recipe for those of you who don’t want to turn on the oven!!!!
1 Large Bunch of Broccoli, broken up into florets
1/2 cup Red Grapes, I sliced them in half
1 cup chopped celery
1 bunch of scallions greens and whites only , sliced thinly
1/2 cup pignolli nuts or sunflower seeds
1 cup mayonnaise ( you can use light but not fat-free please)
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 Tablespoon of fresh lemon juice , I used the juice of one small lemon.
In a large bowl mix all the ingredients for the salad.
In a small bowl whisk together the mayo, sugar and lemon juice.
When dressing comes together and has a nice consistency pour over the broccoli give it a good mix and refrigerate. Give it a few mixes during the day and that’s it!
This one I got from a neighbor in Colorado, and it’s become a staple in the Kolen household in the summer. But it’s great all the time! It’s the time of year when cold salads are abundant but this beauty is wonderful all year round.
Napa Noodle Salad
4 cups sliced Napa Cabbage ( I cheat and buy the cabbage in a bag. It’s not always Napa but sometimes I don’t feel like chopping. if you buy the bag, it’s fine, just use 1 whole bag. It’s more than 4 cups but it’s fine, and if all you can find is the cole slaw kind it’s Ok too, it will just have some carrots and some purple cabbage.
5 green onions (scallions) sliced very thin (green parts only)
Mix cabbage and green onions and refrigerate for a few hours (at least 2). This gives it a chance to meld and wilt a bit.
2 packages of Ramen noodles (It doesn’t matter which flavor you buy b/c you should throw away the flavor pack )you won’t be needing it for this salad.
handful of sliced almonds
1/2 cup sesame seeds (available in the spice aisle)
1/4 cup butter
Take the noodles (hard crunchy ones) and put in a large plastic bag. Bang noodles with a mallet or your fist (fist is fine) and just crack them up. They’ll be easier to work with. Add the almonds and sesame seeds and brown all together in the butter.
1/2 cup sugar ( I know, but I never said I cook DIET)
1/2 cup salad oil (plain old vegetable oil will do just fine)
1/4 cup vinegar (I use white rice vinegar, which is available in Asian section of supermarket or just wherever the vinegars are.)
1 Tbsp. soy sauce (low sodium always)
Toss all together and Serve
*cabbage and onions need to meld and wilt a bit, so make sure to give them at least 2 hours in the fridge. The hard noodles should stay a little crunchy. Don’t burn–just brown–the ingredients until the butter gets a bit bubbly; not burnt. Be careful. While you’re browning the noodles with the almonds and sesame seeds, move them around with a wooden spoon so it all gets buttery.
I know this is fattening, but isn’t everything fattening so yummy??? And you’re not eating the whole thing, so enjoy!!!
Of course you can double up this recipe, it’s just a whole lotta cabbage to toss! As a side dish, this is a nice amount as is.
Serves 4 – 6 as a side dish
Most perfect summer salad and it is a vegetarian delight . It is totally vegan. I am not a vegan but totally love this salad with all it’s fresh flavors . I had 2 beautiful ripe avocados on hand and all the ingredients for this yummy salad. I had some fresh corn so I just brought the water to a boil threw it in and when it turned yellow took it out and threw it in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Of course I love jalapenos , use your own discretion and this would be amazing without as well but it was kick ass with them. You can make the salad ahead and let juices meld but don’t add the avocados till you’re ready to serve. You can give them a little squeeze of fresh lime juice so they won’t turn brown so fast. I like to serve salad at room temperature, you just don’t get the flavors when it’s too cold. It will keep in fridge for a few days, but you’ll have to take out the leftover avocado since it will turn brown. I cut this salad in 1/2 for the 2 of us. This easily will serve 6 as a side. By the way Joel took a bite but too much healthy stuff going on in here for his liking, although he’s gotten better he’s not quite up to this yet, it’s OK because there was more for me with leftovers.
I was inspired for this recipe from the Barefoot Contessa recipe for Guacamole Salad. The corn was my idea.
2 cobs of fresh corn ( cook and then shuck corn off the cob) if no fresh corn available use frozen . I use frozen when I have to and 1 small bag is usually sufficient. The frozen corn will defrost very quickly so just take it out and when you mix in with other ingredients it will start to completely thaw by the time you’re ready to serve. You want to serve at room temperature anyway.
1 pint grape tomatoes , halved
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced into small pieces ( app. 1/2 “)
1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup small diced red onion
2 tablespoons minced fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded ( app. 2 small jalapenos) use at your own discretion . Remove Seeds
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice ( 2 limes)
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 ripe Hass avocados, seeded, peeled and cut into small cubes.
Place the tomatoes, yellow pepper, black beans, red onion, jalapeno peppers, and lime zest in a large bowl. Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, garlic and cayenne pepper. Pour over the vegetables. Toss well. In the meanwhile cook the corn , bring water to a boil throw in for a few minutes to turn bright yellow, then I throw in a bowl of ice water for a few minutes to stop the cooking and lock in flavor and color. Then remove corn from cob. I let the salad sit for about an hour before adding avocados into the salad. Just fold avocados into the salad when you’re ready to serve. Check for seasoning and serve at room temperature.
So so good, that’s how good.
This is a perfect side dish and very healthy, to boot. Completely vegan, protein packed and very filling. I’m certain it would be delicious with broccoli as well. Give this a try!
Thanks again to Gwyneth Paltrow and her cookbook It’s All Good . It is all good!
1 14 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained and then dried in a kitchen towel.
1 head of cauliflower, outer leaves removed and discarded, cut into bite size florets.
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, plus 1/4 cup of olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard–I love Maille brand Dijon Mustard for just the right bite, but any Dijon mustard will do.
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard ( if you don’t have whole grain , just use all Dijon) it just adds a nice texture and looks good.
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
freshly ground black pepper
*sprinkling of about 1/4 cup of chopped Italian parsley
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and set the rack in the middle.
Toss the chickpeas and cauliflower together in a large roasting pan with the 3 tablespoons of olive oil and a big pinch of kosher salt. Roast, stirring now and then, until everything starts to brown up nicely, and the cauliflower is quite soft (about 45 minutes.)
Meanwhile, whisk together the mustards, vinegar, and 1/4 cup of olive oil, and a few healthy grinds of black pepper. I didn’t think it needed more salt, the mustard was salty enough as was the cauliflower. While the chickpeas and cauliflower are still warm, toss them with the mustard dressing and if you like, add a little sprinkling of parsley.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
This is my easiest Charoset. It’s traditional in the sense that it’s an Ashkenazi (Eastern European) recipe. I add a little brown sugar instead of white sugar and it gives it just a bit more character. This makes about 4 cups, but you can easily double it. My family loves it, so I always make a double batch. Remember, while a reminder of the mortar used in making bricks for Pharaoh, charoset is really just a sweet condiment of apples and wine!
3 medium Fuji apples (or any other kind you like), peeled, cored and finely diced (use processor to make your life simpler) I usually use whatever is in the house, but on Passover I go through so many apples, so buy what you like (I always like Granny Smith because they are nice and tart)
1 1/2 cups walnuts, chopped (buy them pre-chopped)
1/2 cup sweet red wine such as Manischewitz Extra Heavy Malaga or just Concord Grape is fine
*20 pitted dates, chopped; or 1/2 cup golden raisins (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
*for a bit of extra added flavor you can add 1/2 teaspoon of powdered ginger (optional)
After chopping apples, stir all ingredients in a large bowl. Keep in refrigerator ’til ready to serve. Serve at room temperature. You can also pulse everything together in processor, just be very careful not to over-process. I often do this to save time. You don’t want it too fine, so just go gently with the processor if you go that route. I do it in the processor, and I know exactly how I like it to come out, so go easy with the chopping. If it’s a little dry or too thick, you can always add more wine. I find this always tastes better after it sits and allows the wine to really soak and ripen for 24 hours. Before serving, check for consistency and add a little more wine, if necessary.
I must preface this with the fact that anyone who’s ever had this farfel dish loves it. It is steeped in tradition, it was made absolutely the best by my Grandma Regina, and only seconded by my mother (G’ma Millie). It is a very tricky dish to make, and after many failed attempts, I figured out that doubling it doesn’t work, and you must let it dry out!!! It should probably sit out to dry for at least 2 hours. I know this sounds crazy, but it’s true. Of course, G’ma Regina never wrote a single thing down, so you’ll be winging the spices and the oil, because I always do. It’s not the healthiest thing in the world, but it’s so delish and we only make it but once a year. When I was little I couldn’t wait to have it at my grandparents’ house. We looked forward to it every year at Seder. It’s no surprise that it’s Joel’s favorite. He remembers my grandmother’s and that’s a tough act to follow even after all these years. It’s tradition in our house to always have it on Passover, and what better way to remember Grandma Regina. There is no better legacy to a great cook than a well cooked farfel.
This recipe is definitely passed down with love and lots of patience because this recipe takes time and love. It is well worth it though.
1 1/2 canisters matzoh farfel–I used 14 ounce containers
1 lb. mushrooms, sliced (regular white mushrooms)
2 spanish onions, peeled and sliced thinly
Kosher salt (app. 1 tablespoon)
Freshly ground black pepper (app. 1/2 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon garlic powder (every year I guess this amount. If you’d like, you can also use fresh garlic, and then it would probably be approx. 2 minced cloves.)
Paprika (get some good paprika here and use a good dash for color)
Beat eggs with spices (the paprika will add a red color). Coat the farfel with the egg mixture. Add oil to a large heavy skillet, about 1/4 inch deep, and heat over medium-high flame. Toss farfel in the hot oil, and coat well; farfel should brown a little bit. (Don’t burn.) Then add water to just cover the farfel, bring to a boil, then simmer until water dissolves. After the water is all gone I turn the flame off and just let it sit there and dry out. I cannot emphasize enough how important this step is. Go out and do something else, and come back to it.
Meanwhile, in a separate pan, saute the mushrooms and onions with salt and pepper and a dash of paprika here as well. The farfel is very bland and you’ll need the salt and pepper. Put this in a container ’til you’re ready to use it. You will eventually add it to dried out farfel. When farfel is completely dried out (at least 2 hours), add the mushroom and onion mixture to it. Taste for salt and pepper. Mix well and bake in a Pyrex dish at 375 degrees for about 1 – 1/2 hours. You want it to get crispy. If it’s too dry, add a little more oil to baking dish. Stir it often–you’ll have to open oven a few times and stir. Your house will smell great while making this. My family likes this on the crispy side, so I let it cook for a long time, but you’ll be able to tell when it’s done–it will be bubbly and crispy! Enjoy and good luck!
This recipe belongs to my sister, Pamela. She is a great cook, and this is her signature Thanksgiving Dish. We count on it every year as her contribution. I highly suggest it if you like spicy because it is! It definitley packs some heat, be careful when you buy the chipotle peppers in adobe sauce , just make sure they don’t say Hot or you might be blowing the roof off of your Thanksgiving Dinner! Be prepared for a lot of flavor ! If your family likes spicy this is an awesome recipe, and you all know how much I like spicy by now. This is certainly a new take on Sweet Potatoes because they aren’t sweet. I also make a Sweet Potato dish with Marshmallows (* see recipe) and the two are always on my table, one sweet and one spicy. Thanks Aunt Pammy.
5 lbs.Yams or Sweet Potatoes
Kosher Salt ( about 1/4 to 1/2 cup)
Heavy Cream ( about 1 1/2 quarts)
Chipotle Peppers in Adobe Sauce (canned) *look in Mexican Food Aisle in most supermarkets
Slice Potatoes thinly and add salt. Place in baking dish you are going to use and cover with kosher salt, start with 1/4 cup and go to the 1/2 cup. Use your clean hands and toss together.
Puree Chipotles in small food processor .* you can keep pureed chipotles in fridge for up to 2 months. So you can do this step ahead.
Put approximately 1 – 2 tsp. of chipotle pepper puree in heavy cream and mix together
Pour Cream Mixture over Potatoes in an ovenproof baking dish ( earthenware is nice for this)
Potatoes should be somewhat set and browned on top when ready.
Enjoy! and Happy Thanksgiving
I made this recipe for the first time Thanksgiving 2011 and it is now the only Stuffing I make. I found it in a Barefoot Contessa cookbook, loved all of the ingredients and thought it was delicious. I know there a lot of stuffings out there and unfortunately they are not vegetarian (I am still on the lookout for a very tasty vegetarian one, so please feel free to send it to me if you have a great veggie one.) I don’t cook my stuffing in the turkey. I make it ahead of time and cook it in a buttered gratin dish the day of. This is the stuffing that won out this year.
3/4 cup diced dried figs, stems removed
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup Calvados or brandy (I used Calvados, bought the bottle last year)
2 yellow onions, diced (approx. 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 cup (3 stalks) celery, diced about 1/2 inch
1 lb. pork sausage (I do 1/2 sweet and 1/2 hot. Feel free to substitute any kind of sausage you would like. Try to get the butcher to take it out of casing for you. It’s one less thing to do.)
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary (please don’t leave this out)
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (put in oven at 400 for about 5 minutes and watch them!)
3 cups herb-seasoned stuffing mix (I use Pepperidge Farm)
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 extra large egg, beaten
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Place the dried figs and cranberries in a small saucepan and pour in the Calvados and 1/2 cup water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, then lower the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Melt butter in a large saute pan over medium heat, add the onions and celery and saute until vegetables are softened and onions are translucent (don’t burn them.) Add the sausage, crumbling it as you go. Continue to saute, stirring frequently and breaking up sausage. Keep cooking for about 10 minutes, until cooked and browned up. Add the figs and cranberries with their liquid, the chopped rosemary, and pine nuts, and cook until all ingredients come together, for a couple of minutes. Scrape up and remove all the brown bits with a wooden spoon.
Place the stuffing mix in a large bowl. Add the sausage mixture, chicken stock, beaten egg, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and mix well. (This can be prepared ahead and stored in the refrigerator overnight, which is what I do. It’s just too much to do the day of.)
I put the stuffing in a well-sprayed, slightly buttered (optional), baking (gratin) dish. If you put this in the preheated over, you will likely cook it for at least 45 minutes and probably more like an hour to two hours if it’s doubled. I also stir frequently while it is cooking, and then let it go for the last 15 minutes and it browns up. Taste for Salt and Pepper.
obviously if you are doubling this recipe you will need to use a large (very) frying pan. Or you can just do it in batches. You will need a very large pan to cook it up in though. You need to spread it out while it cooks so it cooks through. Once it is cooked you can always put it in a pretty baking dish and as it heats up just mix it through every once in a while so top doesn’t burn and bottom won’t be soggy.
I know everyone thinks that their stuffing is the best, but if made properly this one is absolutely amazing!
*This will probably serve at least 8 as one of many sides, but feel free to double.