Fixin’s, side dishes, etc.

Pan Roasted Potatoes with Crispy Sage

I think potatoes are one of the most versatile vegetables there is. Although I know many treat them as a vegetable, I did low carbohydrate for so long I treat potatoes and corn more like a grain. They come in a wide variety; russet, fingerling, Yukon gold, sweet potato, etc. and they all possess their own unique traits for color, taste and texture.

One of my favorite potatoes is the Yukon gold.  They have a naturally golden color, buttery taste with a creamy texture.  They are great boiled, fried and roasted. Continue reading “Pan Roasted Potatoes with Crispy Sage”

Southern Butterbeans

So what’s a butterbean, you may ask.  It refers to the larger, flatter, paler lima bean which when cooked has a buttery taste and texture to it. The other variety of lima bean is a baby lima which is small, firmer and greener.  To try to simplify this, a pot of lima beans that are large, beige or pale yellow, served alone as a side dish are butterbeans.  Succotash, which is another Southern favorite, consists of sweet corn and small, green, firm lima beans.

Lima beans have been cultivated since 2000 AD, mainly in Central and South America.  They originated in Peru and when they were introduced to Europe and America, the crates were labeled from Lima, and that is how both varieties of these beans got their names. Continue reading “Southern Butterbeans”

Ranch Roasted Carrots

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I was never exposed to much in the way of vegetables when I was growing up.  My father was forced to eat them as a child and hated them.  He probably didn’t hate the vegetable itself but more likely in the way in which they were cooked, or should I say, overcooked and probably minimal if any seasoning.

Some of the vegetables we did have when I was growing up were, potatoes, peas, corn and carrots, I’ve always loved carrots. Maybe it was the brainwashing that they are good for your eyes and I didn’t want to wear glasses.  Whenever there was a party with a veggie platter, I always went for the carrots and dipped them into gobs of ranch dressing.   Continue reading “Ranch Roasted Carrots”

Biscuits & Gravies

Yes, you read that right . . . gravies! Plural, because we are going to do two different gravies.

The first gravy is a staple in the South, sausage gravy.  Here in the South sausage gravy is a standard in most households. It is served not only at breakfast time but lunch and supper too.  Sausage gravy is great on mashed potatoes, fried chicken, chicken fried steak and of course, biscuits.  If you are like me, I can eat sausage gravy on its own.

Sausage gravy starts out with, you guessed it, sausage!  You want a good quality breakfast sausage, like the ones that come in the big roll that you slice into patties. The problem with most of the pork sausage at the grocery store is that they are high in fat. Ah, so you think the logical substitute, turkey sausage but the problem with most turkey sausage is they are lacking the fat that you will need to make the gravy.  Another problem is that many manufacturers of turkey sausage sell them precooked and you need it raw. What do you do? Simple, make your own.  I know it sounds too complicated but it is really no more complicated than browning ground beef with seasoning. Continue reading “Biscuits & Gravies”

Olive Oil, Walnut & Garlic Spaghetti

When you want something to fix that is easy, this is a good go-to dish that is wholesome whole grain and packed with flavor that is also low in saturated fat. It makes a great side or main dish and the best part, most of us have all the ingredients in our pantry so no special trip to the market.

I start off with whole wheat or whole grain spaghetti, you can certainly substitute any type of pasta you want for this recipe; bow tie, elbow, fettuccine, etc. will all work fine.  The pasta is cooked to al dente, which is firm to the bite but not hard.  Al dente in Italian means “to the tooth”. Continue reading “Olive Oil, Walnut & Garlic Spaghetti”

Baked Potatoes ~ Two Ways

I should call this “waste not, want not” which simply means, wise use of one’s resources will keep one from poverty.  Although that may be a little overkill, who wants to waste food?  Remember what our parents told us of the starving children in other countries?  Sadly nowadays it happens in our own country.  That cast aside, these two recipes share ingredients so nothing goes to waste, your mama would be proud.

First off is a pub and bar favorite, potato skins. Potato skins are like a small version of a fully loaded baked potato; cheese, green onions and uncured bacon with plain Greek yogurt to dip.  Yes, Greek yogurt, while you could use sour cream why do it when Greek yogurt is better for you and has probiotics that as Dr. Travis Stork (The Doctors) will tell you, is good for you little buddies, the microbes in your gut and it tastes the same if not better.  My 20 year old son didn’t even know it was yogurt, make it your little secret.  It doesn’t just have to be an appetizer or snack, it makes for a good for a lunch or dinner too, maybe served with a side salad.  Continue reading “Baked Potatoes ~ Two Ways”

Lemon & Thyme Roasted Asparagus

Growing up I was never forced to eat vegetables, in fact, for the most part they were never cooked.  My mama on occasion would cook herself green beans, cauliflower and cabbage.  Always when my papa was not around, either on a business trip or at work.  I wouldn’t try it, papa said they were nasty and the smell was nasty too. It turns out that my papa’s mama would force him to sit at the table and eat a pile of vegetables he hated which with his stubbornness usually ended in a stand off that lasted hours.  The only vegetables he would eat was succotash, green peas, corn, potatoes and green salad.  It wasn’t until I was around 30 did I try broccoli, cauliflower and asparagus.  Cooked the right way, I loved them all.

Asparagus, by far, is my favorite vegetable.  I love when spring hits and the grocery stores are full of fresh asparagus, the small pencil like size.  Although I have bought the larger ones and surprisingly, some turned out tender as the narrower ones.  When in season, asparagus is really cheap, grocery stores and farmer’s markets run some really good deals on them. Continue reading “Lemon & Thyme Roasted Asparagus”