Category Archives: Side Dishes

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For the Holidays: Comfort Food That’s Almost Healthy!

This year Labor Day and the first evening of the Jewish High Holiday season happen to coincide on September 6, which calls for celebratory food—like this utterly scrumptious Updated Noodle Kugel. Whether you’re going to a Labor Day potluck or preparing food for Monday’s Erev Rosh Hashanah family dinner, the beginning of the Jewish new year 5782, this dish will be a sure crowd pleaser.

I developed this recipe especially for my friends and readers who follow a gluten-free, lactose-free diet. And let’s be honest: as I approached my birthday, I was craving favorite childhood dishes that I hadn’t tasted since I went gluten-free!

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Love Your Greens—As Sides or Entrées

I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that kale and other greens are among Mother Earth’s superfoods—and today’s recipe for Kale and Beets with Spiced Pecans will help you take advantage of your favorite greens deliciously!

Did you know that there are at least 10 different types of kale?

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Can’t Get Asparagus out of My Mind!

That’s the sum of it: organic asparagus spears are still available so I’m using them every which way, whether as an Asparagus & Sweet Potato Side, in a simple gluten-free Asparagus & Sweet Potato Pasta, or as a topping for Baked Spaghetti Squash with Chickpeas & Veggies (recipe coming soon on this blog). And of course, my now famed Asparagus Soup (Sacred & Delicious, page 92, made perfect with Easy Vegetable Soup Stock (Sacred & Delicious, page 90). After all, asparagus is the culinary herald of springtime, and it must be eaten with reverence!

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Sweet Potato Latkes for the Season of Light

When we were children, my brother and I looked forward to Hanukkah with great anticipation. The excitement was all about opening gifts, because Hanukkah had become the gift-giving time of year for modern Jewish families—likely because, falling as it did sometime in December, this Jewish holiday always had proximity on the calendar to Christmas. Rick recalls sneaking into the den closet to examine the wrapped presents hidden there. I fondly remember the Hanukkah when I was given my first

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Thanksgiving Sides Your Guests Will Never Forget!

For vegetarians and vegans, Thanksgiving is all about the traditional mouth-watering side dishes, and of course, I’m all about making them as healthy as they are delicious!

Today I’ll point to all of my favorite holiday sides and introduce you to a new recipe: Reimagined Green Bean Casserole.

When I was young, in the ’50s and ’60s, cooking for convenience was all the rage, and there was no cornucopia of fresh vegetables readily available in grocery stores. I can’t fault my mother for her frozen spinach with canned mushroom soup—though just the thought of it now makes me cringe! Even then, I had no taste for such food. I learned to love vegetables only when I began cooking with my college roommate, Ellen Brock, who grew up picking fresh veggies out of her mother’s garden.

But there was nothing wrong with the idea behind my in-laws’ green bean casserole with canned mushroom soup and canned onion rings. The potential is there for a great dish. I invite you to expand your culinary imagination with this recipe.

This Reimagined Green Bean Casserole is a vegan and gluten-free dish made with fresh ingredients: green beans, caramelized onions, fresh almond milk (if available), fresh ginger, and shiitake mushrooms

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Ahh…Sweet Corn!

“As American as apple pie” is the turn of phrase for most anything associated with U.S. culture, but really—if you’re counting by the pound—corn is king! For that reason, and because it’s summer when sweet corn is fresh in local farmers’ markets or ready to pick in your garden, I will offer an easy and delicious vegan corn dish.

 

I’m not talking about just any corn. I’m talking about sweet corn, the delicious corn you can eat on the cob and that, when it’s just been picked or is still reasonably fresh, almost melts in your mouth with natural sweetness.

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Spring Side Dishes

As fresh organic asparagus come streaming into our Carolina markets during March and April, they often awaken my creativity, sparking a quest to develop a new recipe for these divine green spears. Today, let me introduce Asparagus with Leeks and Shiitake Mushrooms.

This is a simple dish of steamed asparagus with sautéed leeks and shiitakes. I added the shiitakes because they’re delicious—and also because they’re known to improve immunity.This year our pollen levels have hit record levels, and many people have succumbed to head colds because their immune systems were weakened by allergy season. So, in years to come, I’ll remind readers to pull out this recipe at the beginning of spring!

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Spring Cleaning with Vegan Collards

When spring marches in, we naturally want to throw open the windows of our home and clean out all the dust and cobwebs. In the same way, Ayurveda recommends that we give our bodies an annual spring cleaning! Once the autumn chill descends, and all the way through the cold winter, we tend to eat heavier foods. This way we can put on a little fat to stay warm. Spring invites us to help the body transition to the new season by eating lighter foods.

I always recommend a mung soup fast along with light vegetables for a few days or a week at the beginning of spring. This helps to detoxify the colon, liver, kidneys. Cooked greens of any kind are a great side dish to support a spring detox, and today I’d like to generate some enthusiasm for collard greens. Collards belong to the dignified family of Southern “soul food,” brought to

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Easy Summer Sides: Yellow Crookneck Squash

Long before the June solstice, summer is heralded by Memorial Day, picnics, backyard barbecues, and abundant yellow crookneck squash. This colorful squash dish with red bell pepper and fresh basil or dill (suit yourself) is great for summer entertaining, and it travels well to a potluck. I tasted something like this dish once at a potluck supper way back, and of course, since I live in the South, it would have been smothered with cheese. I think this dish proves the winning possibility of creating a casserole without cheese that everyone will still love —

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Fun Food: Vegan Asparagus Wraps

You may recall that I promised a new asparagus recipe still in its gestation period. Today I’m delivering it: Vegan Asparagus Wraps. What I love most about these wraps is that, in my humble opinion, they fit into the category of fun foods. Children (or adults) who say they don’t like vegetables may just try something new if it looks like it might be fun to eat—and anything in a wrap looks like it’s hiding a secret treasure.

Cook the asparagus until just tender, and you’ll hear a crunch with every bite, which creates a pleasure sensation. Crunchy food involves all five senses—you see it, smell it, touch it, taste it, and hear it—amplifying the pleasure explosion in your mouth. (For this reason, I suggest that you buy stalks of a medium thickness rather than the pencil-thin spears, which can

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