Who doesn’t love a relish tray to graze on instead of filling up on heavy appetizers? Well, it’s a healthy thought! I do enjoy putting together a creative relish tray that the grandkids will enjoy before we jump into it. This idea popped up on Pinterest and I had to try it. I’ve tried the Turkey Relish Tray and had fun with that. What’s next? Can I sculpt my older women self for Mother’s Day?
Roasted Vegetables are divine and when I saw this recipe, I had to try it! It’s very tasty and the orange flavor was perfect when served immediately. It would be a special side dish for the Thanksgiving table this year! Megan and I were chatting about the recipe and decided next time we will try roasting carrots, onion and fennel. Mix it up!
Note: I saved leftovers for the next day and the goat cheese mixture was very strong with orange flavor. Perhaps a sprinkle of orange zest on the top only, would be enough.
Roasted Radish and Carrot Salad with Orange-Honey Whipped Goat Cheese
1 lb. carrots, peeled and chopped into 1.5 inch pieces
1 lb. radishes, trimmed and halved
1 small red onion, halved, then thickly sliced
2 T. olive oil
1/2 T. sugar
1 tsp. dried oregano
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
3 T. fresh parsley (or 1 T. dried parsley)
2 oz. goat cheese
3/4 cup Greek yogurt, full fat
2 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme)
1/2 tsp. salt
.1/2 of orange zest
2 tsp. honey
2 T. fresh parsley (or 1-2 tsp. dried parsley)
1/4 c. pecans, roasted & chopped
sprinkle of orange zest
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Add the carrots, radishes, onion, sugar, oregano, salt, pepper and parsley to a sheet pan or roasting pan. Toss to combine then place in the oven and roast for about 35-40 minutes until the veggies are tender.
While the veggies roast, make the goat cheese. Add the goat cheese, yogurt, thyme, salt, pepper, orange zest and honey to a food processor, Process until smooth.
When veggies are done, spread the whipped goat cheese onto a plate/platter. Top with the veggies. Garish with parsley, orange zest, pecans and honey drizzle.
This flavorful dish is like a burst of autumn in your mouth. Each bite is full of flavor. The addition of raw apple kicks it up a notch. What a wonderful dish to share at holiday gatherings.
This main dish is delicious on its own but, if you prefer more protein, add a bit of pork, chicken or beef. I had leftover pork roast and added a few slices and thought it added even more to the dish. This has become a real favorite and one I’ll be making over and over again.
Roasted Brussel Sprouts Salad with Maple Butternut Squash, Pumpkin Seeds & Cranberries
1 ½ lb butternut squash peeled, seeded, and cubed into 1-inch cubes (Yields about 4 cups of uncooked cubed butternut squash)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons maple syrup
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cups pumpkin seeds
1 cup dried cranberries
2-4 tablespoons maple syrup optional
Optional: Add sliced cooked pork, steak or chicken
Roasted Brussels Sprouts:
Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly grease the foil-lined baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Make sure Brussels sprouts have trimmed ends and yellow leaves are removed. Then, slice all Brussels sprouts in half. In a medium bowl, combine halved Brussels sprouts, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt (to taste), and toss to combine. Place onto a foil-lined baking sheet, cut side down, and roast in the oven at 400 F for about 20-25 minutes. During the last 5-10 minutes of roasting, turn them over for even browning, the cut sides should be nicely and partially charred but not blackened.
Roasted butternut squash:
Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly grease the foil-lined baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
In a medium bowl, combine cubed butternut squash (peeled and seeded),1 tablespoon of olive oil, maple syrup, and cinnamon, and toss to mix.
Place butternut squash in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning once half-way through baking, until softened.
Note: You can roast both Brussels sprouts and butternut squash on 2 separate baking sheets at the same time, on the same rack in the oven.
In a large bowl, combine roasted Brussels sprouts, roasted butternut squash, pumpkin seeds, and cranberries, and mix to combine. (OPTIONAL): For more sweetness, add 2 or 4 tablespoons of maple syrup, if desired – do not add all maple syrup at once, start with 2 tablespoons, then add more, if desired, and toss with the salad ingredients to combine.
Broccoli Salad has always been a favorite of mine, a regular staple at a local restaurant, Sweet Tomatoes. During the hot summer months, this is a great side to BBQ, sandwiches, or really anything. I was so excited about making this salad, I forgot to photograph it WITH the dressing. OOPS! That’s why I’m not a professional blogger. I’m just a woman with a passion for good food!
Broccoli Bacon Almond Salad
½ pound bacon
2 heads fresh broccoli
1 small red onion
¾ cup raisins (I used craisins)
¾ cup sliced almonds
1 cup mayonnaise (I used olive oil mayo–also vegan)
½ cup white sugar
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Place bacon in a deep skillet and cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown, 7 to 10 minutes. Cool and crumble.
Cut the broccoli into bite-sized pieces and cut the onion into thin bite-sized slices. Combine with the bacon, raisins, and almonds and mix well.
To prepare the dressing, mix the mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar together until smooth. Stir into the salad.
Cauliflower is a vegetable I has grown to enjoy, raw and roasted. I’ve roasted cauliflower with or without broccoli and other vegetables dozens of time, drizzled with olive oil and kosher salt. Adding toasted pine nuts and raisins was a delicious treat! I chose to roast flowerettes vs. cauliflower steaks. Either way, it’s delicious!
The recipe could easily be adapted to Vegan by substituting olive oil for the butter. I used traditional raisins and dried parsley and, in the future, I plan to try the recipe with Craisins or dried cherries instead of raisins. Play with it…Make it your own… Enjoy!
ROASTED CAULIFLOWER WITH PINE NUTS & RAISINS
2 heads cauliflower
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup fresh parsley, torn
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Cut off the cauliflower stems, then place the heads cut-side down and slice into 1/2-inch-thick steaks. Arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides. Transfer to the oven and bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes, flipping after the first 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, add the pine nuts to a dry medium sauté pan and toast over medium heat until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add the raisins and butter and season with salt. Cook, tossing, until the butter has melted and coats the pine nuts and raisins. Off the heat, stir in the parsley.
Transfer the roasted cauliflower to a serving platter. Pour the pine nut-raisin mixture over the top. Season with salt.
Irish Potato Casserole is a favorite recipe shared with me by my sister-in-law, Betty, many years ago. I have served it often as a side with Prime Rib or with Baked Ham with many compliments. This is a wonderful potato dish that you can prepare the day before and have ready for the oven before your guests arrive. Over the years, I’ve substituted low-fat cream cheese and sour cream with equally good results. It’s a winner, winner chicken dinner kind of recipe!
I’ve shared a photo of the casserole before baking. Every time I make this, I am in such a hurry to serve the meal, that I forget to take a picture after. The after picture would be very similar but with a browned top….never said I was a professional blogger!
This Christmas we will again, have the Irish Potato Casserole with Prime Rib and other family favorites!
IRISH POTATO CASSEROLE
8 to 10 medium potatoes, peeled
8 ounces cream cheese
8 ounces sour cream
1/2 cup melted butter
1/4 cup chopped chives
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt paprika
Cook potatoes in boiling water until tender. Drain and mash.
Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add potatoes and all other ingredients (except paprika) and beat until well combined.
Spoon into lightly buttered casserole and sprinkle with paprika.
Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove from refrigerator 1 hour before baking. Uncover and bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
In 2020 I planted golden beets for the first time in my garden. I love a fresh beet and goat cheese salad but the big surprise for me was how delicious beet greens are.
My friend, Jan, told me about a Swiss Chard with Tahini recipe, referenced below, which I adapted to use with beet greens, minus the extra sauce. I made it several times last year and will be making it every year that I grow beets or can purchase beets with greens. Out of this world!
BEET GREENS WITH PINE NUTS
2 3/4 lb. beet greens or Swiss Chard
2.5 tbsp. unsalted butter and 2 tbsp. olive oil
scant 5 tbsp. pine nuts
2 small cloves garlic, sliced very thin
1/4 cup dry white wine
sweet paprika, to garnish (optional)
salt and pepper
Clean the beet greens or Swiss Chard. Chop into strips.
Put half of the butter and the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the large frying pan and place over medium heat. Once hot, add the pine nuts and toss them in the pan until golden, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove them from the pan.
Throw in the garlic. Cook for about a minutes until it starts to become golden
Carefully pour in the wine. Leave for a minute or less, until it reduces to about one third. Add the chopped beet greens and the rest of the butter and cook for 2-5 minutes, until the beet greens are wilted.
Season with slat and black pepper. Divide the greens among the individual serving bowls, and scatter with pine nuts. Drizzle with additional olive oil and paprika, if you desire.
Spring Bliss Bowls are so yummy that I made it twice within two weeks. There were so many ‘wows’ in this recipe. Wow, I have NEVER used pesto on rice…it’s amazing! Wow, I’ve NEVER roasted radishes…they are delicious! I roasted all vegetables on the same cookie sheet and it worked fine. You can also add protein such as sliced chicken breast if you like. If you don’t like the vegetables in the recipe, change it up. Any combination of vegetables will be great. Go for it!
SPRING BLISS BOWLS
1 cup short grain brown rice extra virgin olive oil seasoned salt and pepper 10oz. bag cauliflower florets, trimmed into similar sized florets 3 small golden beets, trimmed, peeled and chopped 1 bunch radishes, trimmed then halved or quartered if large 1/2 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed then chopped into 2” lengths 1/3 cup + 1/4 cup prepared basil pesto, divided (recipe recommends Buitoni-I used my homemade pesto) 2 Tablespoons chicken or vegetable broth 1/4 cup pepitas/pumpkin seeds (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees then line two half sheet pans with foil, spray with nonstick spray, and set aside. (I used one cookie sheet vs. two).
Add brown rice plus 1-3/4 cup water, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and a sprinkling of seasoned salt to a small saucepan with a tight fitting lid. (Refer to the cooking instructions on your particular bag.) Bring to a boil then place a lid on top, turn heat down to low, and gently simmer for 40 minutes. Taste – if rice is still crunchy, add 2 Tablespoons water then continue to cook for 5 more minutes. Remove pot from heat then let sit and steam with the lid on for 7 minutes before fluffing and cooling slightly. Once slightly cooled, stir in 1/3 cup pesto.
Meanwhile, add cauliflower to a medium-sized bowl then drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season with seasoned salt and pepper. Spread onto one half of the first sheet pan then oil/season beets in the same bowl and spread onto the other half. Roast for 15 minutes then stir.
While the cauliflower and beets are roasting, oil/season the radishes then spread out onto one half of the second sheet pan. Roast for 10 minutes with the beets/cauliflower then stir. Add oiled/seasoned asparagus to the remaining empty half of the second sheet pan then roast with all the other vegetables for 10 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender.
Ratatouille is a vegetable side dish filled with wonderful flavors. Every time I say the word ‘Ratatouille’ I have to smile and think of the Disney animated film Ratatouille. The young rat, Remy, dreams of becoming a famous French chef. Such a funny film, great to watch with children, grandchildren or in the privacy of your own adult home…no one needs to know you’re watching a cartoon!
Celebrate after watching the film by enjoying the real deal!
LAYERED BAKED RATATOUILLE
2 cups (16 oz.) crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 small onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves (or 1 tsp dry) (plus more for sprinkling)
½ tsp. salt (plus more for sprinkling)
¼ tsp. pepper (plus more for sprinkling)
2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced*
2 medium yellow squash, thinly sliced*
2 small eggplant, thinly sliced*
2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and cut into 1” squares
Parmesan cheese, to top (optional)
Preheat oven to 375F.
Spread 1 tbsp. olive oil in the bottom of a 9 inch cast iron skillet. In a small bowl, mix the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, onion, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Pour the mixture into the base of your skillet.
Layer the sliced vegetables vertically around the skillet, packing them as tight as you can. (We find that it is easier to layer the zucchini, squash, and eggplant in the skillet and then go back in and tuck the red peppers within the layers after the other vegetables have been filled in.)
Season the top of the vegetables with additional salt, pepper, and thyme. Drizzle with more olive oil.
Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until bubbly and the vegetables are softened and starting to brown slightly.