Browsing Tag

side dish

BLT Pasta Salad

 

Since flaking on my post yesterday, I wanted to make up for it by posting something that included bacon. This BLT pasta salad is something I’ve been dreaming about. When reality set in, I was not disappointed. This turned out fantastically. For me, spring/summer time sides are so fun. Various salads, fresh produce, so many options. Pasta salad is not something we eat often, but when we do, I want to make it worthwhile. Also, any time I have an excuse to add bacon to a dish, I will gladly do so. Any pasta would be great, but for this I opted for heartier tortellini. The dressing is adapted from this veggie dip that I had made, which essentially tasted like a homemade ranch dip. It was the perfect dressing for this dish. Bonus, the fresh herbs make it look so pretty.

Ingredients

For the salad

For the dressing

Instructions

  1. Cook your tortellini according to the package instructions. For the bacon, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Place strips of bacon on your baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes or until crispy. Baking time will vary depending on the thickness of your bacon.
  2. To make the dressing combine the ingredients in a small bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Let the tortellini cool. Once at least room temp, add to a medium size bowl. Add in the dressing. I start with small amounts and gradually add more as I feel it needs it. Add in the chopped tomato and spinach. Toss to combine. Crumble the bacon over the top of the dish.

Notes

Mexican Rice

 

It’s Cinco de Mayo a day to enjoy all the yummy eats and drink some tequila. Actually it’s only about 6AM here so no tequila for me yet. Maybe a tequila sunrise would be appropriate? In all honestly, I saw a post from a fellow blogger, How Sweet Eats for Rose Sangria, and I just happen to have some Rose, so that will most certainly be happening this evening. Anyway, back to this rice. I dare to be different today and post a side dish rather than taco inspiration. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE tacos! So much, actually, that I’ve researched apparel ad nauseam to express my affections. But this rice dish caught my eye a while ago. I was focused on my health for a bit and got completely distracted by potato chips and Easter Candy, but I didn’t forget and I’m trying to regain focus. If you are trying to stay healthy, or eat something a bit lighter, just like me, you are going to enjoy this dish. It uses brown rice and fresh veggies so it’s super healthy, and super flavorful. I had it as a side, but brought left overs for lunch because it’s that good and satisfying. If you want to limit your taco intake or perhaps have a side dish to enjoy, try this dish.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Prepare the rice according to the package directions.
  2. In a pan, heat a bit of olive oil about 1-2 tsp. Add in the onion, jalapeno and tomatoes. Cook about 8-10 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook about a minute more. Add in the tomato paste and spices and heat through. Add in the cooked rice, salt and pepper, and mix together. Serve warm.

Notes

Recipe from Skinnytaste.

Cheesy Mushroom Quinoa

Oh my gosh it’s finally Friday. It’s also a long weekend for me, so I could not be happier at the moment. We’re going to be doing some serious Easter prep over the next couple days so our schedule is going to be packed, but I had to share this meatless meal. I’ve mentioned, maybe too much for such a new blog, that I absolutely love cheese. This cheesy quinoa is amazing. I’m sort of a late quinoa convert as it often tasted like dirt when I prepared it. It’s not until I started to use recipes that incorporated a lot of flavors that I realized how much I actually like it. This dish is substantial enough to have as a main meal or simply reduce the portion size and you have a great side dish. Did I mention the cheese? I used a smoked Gouda for this version and really think it kicked up the flavor. Even my husband, who really dislikes anything healthy, really enjoyed this. He is your standard meat and potatoes kind of guy. Keep it simple and he’s happy. I tend to b more adventurous with my eating preferences so this was a very happy medium. If you’ve never tried quinoa and are looking for a first time recipe that will not disappoint you, definitely try this one out.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Rinse and drain the quinoa. Add to a pot with 1 1/2 cups of the vegetable broth and cook until done.
  2. Preheat the over to 400 degrees. Grease a casserole dish and set aside. In a pan, add half of the olive oil. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5-8 minutes. Add in the mushrooms and cook until the liquid from the mushrooms has been released and evaporated. Add in the garlic and the thyme. Add in the remaining broth and cook until the liquid is almost evaporated. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.
  3. Add the cooked quinoa to the mushroom mixture. Stir in the yogurt, remaining olive oil, and 2/3 of the shredded cheese. Add the new mixture to the casserole dish and top with the remaining cheese.
  4. Bake for about 12-15 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.

Notes

This recipe is very slightly adapted from Annie’s Eats.