Category Archives: sides

Friday, November 11, 2011

5 Super Easy and Super Tasty Side Dish Ideas For Your Thanksgiving Feast (dairy free, gluten free, white potato free, cane-sugar free, vegan)

Turkey is great, but a side dish can be the star of the Thanksgiving show!  I love to see what people have lined up at their Thanksgiving mealyou know the turkey is going to be there, no big surprise, but let me loose on the buffet table so I can check out how the sweet potatoes are dressed, what’s going to shine in the cranberry sauce, what’s that awesome looking bread?  Creating alternatives to traditional Thanksgiving cuisine is super easy.  Check out my 5 very easy side dishes.  There are endless possibilities for your meal, but my motto is to keep it easy, keep it fun and keep it super tasty!
Roots and Fruits
(Roasted Parsnips, Apples, Pears and Walnuts)

5 medium parsnips, peeled and chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
2 pears, peeled and chopped
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 cups of  walnuts
Oil (of choice)
Garlic granules 

How To
*Add parsnips, onion, pears, & apple to favorite baking dish
*Drizzle with oil
*Add 2 tablespoons garlic granules
*Roast at 400 degrees for about 35-40 minutes (check at 35)
*Lightly toast walnuts in saute pan
*Add to roasted roots and fruits 
*Mix together
*Add salt if desired, I omit.  
*Serves 4-5
Socca Bread 
Gluten free, Grain free, Sugar free, Vegan, ACD, Xanthan gum free, Yeast free, Egg free….absolutely AMAZING flatbread!!!
(recipe from December/January issue of Living Without Magazine, pg.41)
1 1/2 cups chickpea flour (garbonzo bean flour)
1 1/2 cups filtered water
2 1/2 tablespoons oil (I used grapeseed)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary (you must use fresh!
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon minced dried onion (I used onion powder)

How To
*Whisk together chickpea flour, water, 2 tablespoons oil, rosemary, salt, pepper, onion (minced or powder).  Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.  This gives the batter a chance to thicken up a bit
*Coat a large round nonstick skillet with oil and heat over med until hot (add oil to pan after removing the socca and get it nice and hot for the next one)
*Pour 1/2 cup batter into pan and swirl around a bit (sort of like a crepe).  use heat-safe spatula to loosen sides
*Cook socca until crispy on one side, flip and brown on the other side
*Serves 4-5
Smashed Sweet Potatoes and Cauliflower 
(this is really nice substitute for those of you who don’t want white potatoes at your meal; the cauliflower adds a nice texture and balances out the sweetness of the sweet potatoes – and best part, no boiling required!)

3 large sweet potatoes, chopped
1 head of cauliflower, separated 
Oil of choice
Garlic granules (or 4 cloves fresh garlic)

How To
*Add sweet potatoes and cauliflower to your favorite roasting dish
*Drizzle with oil 
*Add about 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic granules (or smash the fresh garlic cloves and add in)
*Toss ingredients with oil and garlic 
*Roast at 400 degrees for 40 minutes
*Keep ingredients in roasting pan and use a potato masher to smash ingredients together.  Add another drizzle of oil for some additional moisture
*Add 1/4 teaspoon salt 
*Smash everything together well 
*Top with a little cinnamon (optional)
*Serves 4-5
20-Minute Cane-Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce
(my kids ate this up like candy!)

4 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup filtered water
1 sweet red apple, small chop
3 dates, seeded and small chopped 
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup honey
1 large orange

How To
*In medium sauce pan bring cranberries and water to a boil, stir and turn down to a simmer
*Add apple, honey, dates and briskly stir
*Turn down to low and gently simmer for about 15 minutes 
*Turn off heat and add juice of 1 orange and cinnamon 
*When cool, transfer to fridge until ready to serve
*Top with orange zest
Fig and Walnut Stuffed Acorn Squash 

2 acorn squash
2 cups fresh chopped figs
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped
1 ripe pear, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
Oil of choice
3 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of ground ginger 

How To
*Cut squash in half and remove seeds, run oil around inside of squash
*Place face down in baking dish, coated with a little oil 
*Bake at 400 for 30 – 40 minutes (check at 30)
*In sauce pan, add oil, apple, pear, & walnuts, saute or a few minutes
*Add figs and salt, saute for a few minutes
*Add in honey and spices, saute together and cook on low until all ingredients are soft and have combined juices and most of the honey and oil has cooked off.  Turn off and allow to cool a bit before adding to baked squash
*Remove squash from oven when finished and turn over.  Allow to cool face up
*Add mixture to squash
*Serves 4 very hungry folks or up to 8 if each squash half is divided 

Wishing You a Health-full and Happy Thanksgiving
Posted by Amber at

Labels: cane sugar free, dairy free, egg free, gluten free, sides, soy free, thanksgiving side dishes, vegan.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Kale and Golden Beet Salad with Tahini-Cider Dressing

I really love kale, but it doesn’t love me! Having Crohn’s makes it incredibly hard to digest, which is why I rely on green drinks to get my kale.  The other day I was shopping at our local Coop and perusing the salad deli.  There I spotted a tasty looking raw salad with kale as the base ingredient.  I tried it and just about fell over.  It. Was. Amazing.  So I wrote down the ingredients, ran through the store gathering what I needed, raced home and within an hour I had like 5 lbs of this salad – and I am pleased to say it tasted exactly like the deli version.  I was lucky with my ratios, especially with the dressing.  My daughter loved it and we both enjoyed it for our afternoon snack.  It was so good and I tried not to eat too much.  Although  I can’t go wild on this salad, I enjoy making it for others. I served it as an appetizer that evening for dinner and my husband asked if there was Parmesan cheese in the salad.  Pssh…are you serious?, I asked him.  I know, I know he replied, it just tastes so…cheesy.  It really does have a wonderfully complex flavor.
-1 bunch of kale, chopped (with the large vein removed)
-1 large carrot, grated (I used the shredder on my food processor)
-3 golden beets, grated (same as above)
-1 large green pepper, chopped
-1 bunch of green onions, sliced (use both white & green)
-1/2 cup hemp seeds
-1/4 cup tahini (start with that and see how you like the flavor, add more if desired)
-1/4 cup walnut oil (or oil of choice)
-1/2 cup coconut aminos
-1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
-1 tablespoon garlic granules
-1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
-1/2 teaspoon dried basil
-1/2 teaspoon salt
How To
1.  Mix together the kale, carrot, beets, green pepper, onions & hemp seeds in large bowl
2.  Add the dressing ingredients to a bowl and mix until thick and emulsified
3.  Pour the entire bowl of dressing onto salad ingredients and mix
Posted by Amber at

Labels: raw, salad, sides, summer cuisine, vegan, vegetarian.


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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cool Kohlrabi Salad

If you’re looking for a little something different to munch onplease look no further.  Meet kohlrabi.  It’s hard to describe the texture and flavorit’s like cucumber meets radish meets carrotI don’t know, that sounds like a strange combo so just try it and see what you think!  If you are familiar with this delicious (root-looking but not actually a root) vegetable than you are a lucky-duck.  I envision endless opportunities with kohlrabi.  However, I kept this recipe simple and easy.  It’s a stifling 100 degrees here in Northern California and so I wanted something cool, crunchy and delicious.  Kohlrabi gets a check, check and check on that list.  
-3 to 6 kohlrabi, julienned 
-Drizzle of oil (I like walnut oil) 
-Lemon juice to taste 
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-Dried or fresh herbs such as parsley, mint, basil, dill, etc. 

How To
1.  To kohlrabi, add lemon juice, salt and oil to taste 
2.  Toss and place in fridge for 30-45 minutes
3.  When chilled garnish with favorite herb

Kohlrabi Benefits

Kohlrabi is high in bioflavonoids, plant pigments that work with vitamin C and other antioxidant to prevent the cell damage that promotes cancer.

Kohlrabi is also high in indoles, chemicals that reduces the effects of estrogen, and thus may reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Kohlrabi helps stabilize blood sugar imbalances and is beneficial for hypoglycemia and diabetes.

Kohlrabi is a good source of vitamin C; a 1/2 – cup serving provides 50% of the adult RDA. This vitamin so essential for maintaining healthy skin, connective tissue, and a strong immune system.

Kohlrabi is a good Source of Potassium. Potassium is one of the most important minerals in the body. Potassium is important for proper functioning of every cell in the body and is critical for muscle contractions and controlling the heartbeat. It also helps to lower blood pressure. Studies have shown that a potassium rich diet can also reduce blood pressure in those who are hypertensive.

Kohlrabi is high in dietary fiber. A serving of kohlrabi provides five grams of soluble fiber – the kind that’s important for heart health.

Kohlrabi is low in calories and fat, with only 36 calories in a cup of raw kohlrabi, it’s a food you can enjoy without regret. Its little fat content is needed to absorb the fat soluble vitamins.

Nutrient Content 
per 1 cup (140g) raw Kohlrabi

Vitamin C: 84mg

Potassium: 472mg

Carbohydrates: 8.4g

Protein: 2.3g

Fiber: 4.9g

Calories: 36 


    Shared on: Summer Salad Sunday
Posted by Amber at

Labels: raw, salad, sides, snacks, summer cuisine, vegan, vegetarian.

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