Tag: sensational sides

Picnic Pasta Salad Season Is Here — Sensational Sides

by in Recipes, May 14th, 2015

Spinach Artichoke Pasta SaladRepeat after us: You will not buy gloopy, mayo-clad, made-yesterday pasta salad from the deli container this summer. No way. As the most-fun salad of all the salads (seriously), summer pasta salad is the one irresistible picnic side we just can’t wait to make, partly because of how crazy-easy it is to throw together. Taken cold with an array of pasta shapes, the pasta salad genre can take so many different forms, each fresh, satisfying and bound to bulk up your picnic without much effort. Toss these bold summer pasta salads at home for on-the-go eating ideal for any outdoor potluck, low-key picnic or backyard cookout you come across this summer.

Make your first pasta salad of the season extra-special by doing it up with cheesy tortellini. Rachael Ray uses the tender store-bought stuffed pasta for an extra-satisfying Spinach Artichoke Pasta Salad (pictured above) that will be the star of the potluck from the very first spoonful.

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6 Ways to One-Up Side Dish Favorites with Cheese — Sensational Sides

by in Recipes, May 7th, 2015

Goat Cheese Mashed PotatoesCheesy does it, cheese lovers. In addition to taking your favorite food by the block, don’t forget that one of the most-splendid ways to use cheese is in go-to side dishes.

1. Mashed Potatoes + Cheese

Mashed potatoes are normally improved upon with a lake of gravy in the center, but they’re even better than that when a little cheese gets involved. Ina Garten stirs garlicky herb goat cheese (as well as sour cream, butter and half-and-half) into her Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes for Food Network Magazine (pictured above). After sprinkling the creamy side with Parmesan, she sets it in the oven so it gets a nice golden-browned top. You might never take your mashed taters without cheese again.

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The Freshest Ways to Pass the Peas, Please — Sensational Sides

by in Recipes, April 30th, 2015

Pasta, Pesto and PeasWho are we kidding? You probably aren’t on the edge of your seat waiting for peas to come in season. That’s because, as far as frozen fare goes, peas are the king, requiring little defrosting before you can toss them into a dish and start eating. Still, even if that lifestyle works for the rest of the year, springtime is the time to get your fresh pea fix. In the spirit of the season, we’ve got quite a few ways for you to put these little green gems to use. Most of these recipes call for the frozen alternative, but you can make your dishes worthy of springtime by swapping in the fresh stuff to your heart’s content.

When a need for pasta salad arises, Ina Garten’s Pasta, Pesto and Peas (pictured above) is the freshest way you can make it. Toss the pasta with homemade pesto and be sure to swap in fresh peas for frozen for that extra pop.

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Why Side Salads Are the Best Salads — Sensational Sides

by in Recipes, April 23rd, 2015

Why Side Salads Are the Best SaladsThe utterance “I’m going to get a salad” often evinces visions of diets and other streaks of healthy eating. But, if you’re asking me, leafy greens and their accompaniments are anything but punishment. On the contrary, our favorite green salads emanate fresh vibrancy with every invigorating bite. Plus, when they’re enjoyed as a main dish, they bring a certain brightness to the main event. Next time you’re on the hunt for a side dish, think of these glorious side salad recipes for all kinds of leafy greens.

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5 Quirky Grain Switch-Ups You Gotta Try — Sensational Sides

by in Recipes, April 16th, 2015

Healthy Farro Fried Amazing grains, how sweet the sound! (That is how the song goes … right?) Either way, there’s no denying the awesome powers of whole grains. Beyond the obvious health benefits of swapping them in for pasta, white rice and more, using grains as a nourishing alternative brings a welcome quirkiness to your go-to side dishes.

1. Take the rice out of your fried rice by using farro instead.

The glory of digging fried rice out of a takeout container could never be fully replaced, but making a good grain swap is a sure way to keep things interesting. Look to farro, an Italian grain of wheat that’s satisfyingly tender and chewy, for Healthy Farro Fried “Rice” (pictured above) that ups the texture of the classic Asian staple.

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The Asparagus Motto: The Simpler, The Better — Sensational Sides

by in Recipes, April 9th, 2015

Roasted AsparagusThere’s a time and a place for a really involved recipe — and cooking with fresh, seasonal asparagus in springtime is not one of those times. It doesn’t take much for a side of asparagus to shine. When in-season asparagus is simply roasted, steamed or grilled, its innate flavors are given the chance to come out without any distractions. In the spirit of loving asparagus in its truest state, each of these spring-focused recipes is as simple as it gets, using just eight ingredients at the very most.

With just four ingredients on the roster, Ina Garten’s Roasted Asparagus (pictured above) reins in more than 300 reviews and a five-star rating. Simply drizzle fresh asparagus with quality olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt, as well as freshly ground black pepper, and roast until tender but still crisp. Watch Ina Garten make it herself and you’ll never have lackluster asparagus again.

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5 Fuss-Free Easter Side Dishes — Sensational Sides

by in Holidays, Recipes, April 2nd, 2015

Mushroom, Barley and Roasted Asparagus SaladFace it: When you’re busy hunting down eggs, opening up your Easter basket and dyeing eggs, who has time to throw together a massive spread? After you pin down your master plan for your Easter ham or rack of lamb, feast your eyes on extra-easy side dishes that won’t consume your Easter Sunday.

Tossing high-impact ingredients like seasoned barley, lemon-marinated mushrooms and roasted asparagus together brings on a multi-textured, elegant Mushroom, Barley and Roasted Asparagus Salad (pictured above) with only 20 minutes of active prep. Plus, while you leave the asparagus to roast in the oven, you’re free to get to work on your other dishes.

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5 Crazy-Good Ways to Do Up Mashed Potatoes — Sensational Sides

by in Recipes, March 26th, 2015

Baked Mashed PotatoesChances are you’ve ladled out your fair share of mashed potatoes over the years. Though this creamy, dreamy side could never, ever get old, there’s something to be said for dressing up your family’s tried-and-true recipe every once in a while. This week, in celebration of our first installment of Sensational Sides, we’re digging into mashed potato recipes that come to the table with a few extra-special touches.

Bake them

When you sink a spoon into Giada De Laurentiis’ Baked Mashed Potatoes with Parmesan Cheese and Bread Crumbs (pictured above), you’re met with a crunchy, buttery topping that contrasts just right with the creamy, rich mashed potato center. Browned on top and served in a casserole dish, this cheesy take on mashed potatoes gives a special edge to a weeknight staple.

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A Whole Week of No-Cook Sides — Sensational Sides

by in Recipes, May 15th, 2014

Pinto Bean Salsa Salad

When it comes to favorite sides, FN Dish is on a no-cook kick. That means no stove, no oven, no grill, no Bunsen burner. Rather than charring, boiling or sauteing veggies down, we’re digging into a week’s work of no-cook sides that’ll breathe serious life into your weekly repertoire. Call it your last-minute “raw” cleanse before swim suit season, or just think it as a way of keeping things ultra-fresh.

Day 1: Despite its name, Pinto Bean Salsa Salad (pictured above) is more than just a condiment. Instead, it’s a chunky, spicy and colorful combination that’s good even without a tortilla chip.

Day 2: Some of the best no-cook sides just take some avid knife work. Take the Tomato, Onion and Cucumber Salad. After slicing the ingredients up, all there’s left to do is toss in an easy red-wine vinaigrette.

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Cheesy Brunch Sides — Sensational Sides

by in Recipes, May 8th, 2014

Cheesy Brunch Side Dish RecipesOn a lazy weekend morning, whether you set an alarm or not, what better way to wake up than with melted cheese stringing from a pan to your plate? FN Dish is down for cheesy dishes all day long, but some of our favorite cheesy sides are a match made in heaven for eggs, sausage, toast and more. Especially with these recipes on your plate, you can bet a weekend brunch featuring cheesy sides is in the works.

Peeling and shredding potatoes can be a process, especially when you wake up hungry. Buy frozen hash brown potatoes — pre-peeled and shredded — to satisfy a last-minute potato craving. Easy Cheesy Potato and Sharp Cheddar Hash is so crispy and good that you won’t need ketchup.

This Southern staple is made that much better when a cheesy trinity is involved: Food Network Magazine’s Bruleed Cheese Grits are rich with a blend of cheddar, Gruyere and gouda. Placing the grits in the broiler at the very end leaves the cheesy top nice and bubbly.

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