Tag: side dishes

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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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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5 Seasonal Sides for Your Holiday Table — Fall Fest

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 18th, 2014

Christmas Stuffing with BaconThough your holiday preparations may not have gone beyond trips to the store and hours spent scrolling for gifts online, another most-important element of the holiday season is coming up fast: Christmas dinner. While you may think of your recipes for Christmas ham and rib roast as yearly centerpieces, remember that seasonal side dishes are an integral part of your holiday spread. Start rounding out your celebratory meal by adding ingredients for in-season, produce-heavy side recipes to your shopping list. Here are some of our favorites:

Just like Thanksgiving, Christmas dinner puts the spotlight on stuffing. To differentiate from what was eaten in November, Giada De Laurentiis makes her Christmas Stuffing with Bacon with two varieties of rice (short-grain brown rice and wild rice) in place of bread, and stocks it with hearty veggies like pearl onions, Brussels sprouts and chopped bacon.

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Cheesy Summer Squash Casserole — Down-Home Comfort

by in In Season, Recipes, June 13th, 2014

At its simplest, squash casserole consists of thinly sliced tender summer squash and a cheese sauce to bind it all together, perhaps with a smattering of crispy, buttery crumbs strewn on the top for crunch. But, as with many favorite dishes, there are a whole lot of opinions about which recipe is the absolute best. Variations include those with homemade white sauce, those with sauces made with familiar red-and-white cans of cream of fill-in-the-blank soup, decadent heavy cream and cheese-laden versions crowned with smashed sleeves of crackers and pats of butter, and mayonnaise-cream cheese dump-and-stir versions. The truth is, nearly all are foolproof, crowd-pleasing favorites, because nothing, absolutely nothing, spells Down-Home Comfort like a casserole. Read more

More to Mash — Sensational Sides

by in Recipes, April 24th, 2014

Mashed Potato SkinsThe babies in your life may be all about mashed veggies, but big kids (including adults) find just as much down-home comfort in them. This week, FN Dish is  zeroing in on this fool-proof technique that works for potatoes and beyond. Feast your eyes on these favorite mashed recipes, each perfect for weeknight eating.

Potatoes are eaten in abundance year-round for a reason. To get in the spring spirit, add market-fresh produce into your mashed potatoes for a different kind of side. Giada’s Baked Mashed Potatoes with Peas, Parmesan Cheese and Breadcrumbs, for instance, go in the oven until crispy and golden brown on top. For a different dose of greens, try Giada’s Mashed Potatoes with Kale, which  have mascarpone cheese folded in for added creaminess.

Chives, a mellow onion-esque herb now starring in a leading role at your local farmers market, add more than vibrant color. Chop them up and fold into Tyler’s Chive and Garlic Mashed Potatoes.

For a loaded appetizer gone side dish, leave the skins on — and fold in some crispy turkey bacon — get Rachael’s Mashed Potato Skins (pictured above) from Food Network Magazine.

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Side Dishes Your Kids Will Love — Sensational Sides

by in Family, Recipes, April 10th, 2014

Side Dishes Your Kids Will LoveWhen it comes to growing your kiddos into the best eaters they can be, it’s all about baby steps. And, if you’re asking us, your side dishes are perhaps the best place to start. With sides come the veggies, the strange textures and the other tough sells. But don’t you fret. These winning kid-friendly sides expose your little ones to new tastes without throwing the baby out with the bathwater. That way, your kids will go from full-on picky eaters to budding food connoisseurs in no time.

Little morsels of toasted orzo are so easy to eat, your kids won’t even realize all of the big-kid, Mediterranean ingredients they’re devouring. Rest assured that the “big kids” (cough, cough) will love Toasted Orzo Salad (pictured above) on their plates too.

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No-Brainer Holiday Sides — Fall Fest

by in Holidays, December 19th, 2013

Christmas Stuffing with BaconTying bows on those last few holiday gifts (or – who are we kidding? – the first few) can be stressful enough as we near closer and closer to Christmas. Luckily, there’s one thing you can be sure about by the time you finish reading: your roster of holiday sides. As we start the final countdown to December 25, use this recipe roundup to brainstorm comforting, seasonal side dishes for your family’s festive holiday dinner.

We won’t argue with you – traditional mashed potatoes are a holiday mainstay. But for something a bit different, Anne Burrell’s Chestnut-Potato Puree for Food Network Magazine comes along with a nutty finish. They may not be roasted on an open fire, but cooking the chestnuts with the potatoes allows for the nuts’ innate sweetness to shine through. Or, switch out potatoes for Sunny’s Holiday Parsnip Puree, which hits the table with a sharper aftertaste and a pinch of nutmeg.

Get more holiday side dish recipes from friends and family

Vegetarian Sides for Thanksgiving — Meatless Monday

by in Holidays, Recipes, November 11th, 2013

Green Bean Casserole with Crispy ShallotsWhether you’re planning to prepare an entire vegetarian menu for Thanksgiving or you’ll be cooking for just a few meatless eaters amid demanding carnivores this year, it can be tricky to keep the entire table happy. After all, the centerpiece of most Turkey Day dinners is the juicy, crispy-skinned bird, and if you remove the turkey, you’ll want to replace it with something equally hearty and comforting. The key to pleasing both meat eaters and vegetarians alike on Thanksgiving is offering an array of satisfying side dishes, as they’re a naturally must-have element of the feast that nearly every guest will crave. Most traditional sides, like mashed potatoes, casseroles and stuffings, are naturally vegetarian, and if they’re not, they can be made meatless simply by swapping in vegetable broth or stock for the chicken variety. Check out a few of Food Network’s favorite vegetarian Thanksgiving sides below to find easy-to-prepare classic recipes worthy of the fall feast.

Combining the freshness of vegetables with the stick-to-your-ribs comfort of the holiday, green bean casserole is a timeless Thanksgiving pick, and Ellie’s lightened-up version — Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Shallots from Food Network Magazine (pictured above) — proves to be light and meatless without sacrificing flavor. She mixes string beans and garlic-thyme mushrooms into a thick sauce with nutty Parmesan cheese, then bakes the casserole with sweet fried shallots until the top is golden brown.

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Mayo-Free Side Salads — Weekend Cookout

by in Recipes, June 22nd, 2013

Roasted-Pepper Pasta SaladThis summer, Food Network’s Grilling Central is packed with recipes for the entire family’s taste buds, boasting the best in burgers, dogs, chicken and more all season long. But with so many recipes, where do you start? Each Friday, FN Dish is giving you a complete menu that is stress-free, and this weekend’s spread will be rounded out with sun-safe side dishes free of mayonnaise.

When temperatures spike and it becomes hot and humid outside, you may be tempted to turn your alfresco soiree into an indoor, air-conditioned bash for fear of unknowingly eating heat-spoiled dishes. But while you should always be sure to keep all food — whether it’s served outdoors or not — at appropriate warm and cold temperatures, you can decrease your risk of foodborne illness at outdoor cookouts by cutting one key ingredient from your side dish spread: mayonnaise. Mayo is made largely of egg yolks, and as they tend to spoil quickly, they’re especially prone to bacterial growth if left in the heat for hours at a time. Instead of trying to time your salad servings or shuttling the dishes between inside and outside, make mayonnaise-free recipes. Thanks to citrus-based dressings and simple vinaigrettes, these made-over sides are every bit as flavorful and satisfying as their creamy counterparts.

Ready to eat in just 30 quick minutes, Food Network Magazine‘s Roasted-Pepper Pasta Salad (pictured above) is a go-to potluck dish or simple side with which to entertain. This easy dish boasts crunchy almonds, sweet sauteed bell peppers and bite-size mozzarella balls mixed with short pasta and a lemon-olive oil topping. Finish the salad with a sprinkle of fragrant basil to add freshness and a burst of color.

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