Side Dishes

Mexican Brown Rice

I don’t eat grain every day but I haven’t taken it completely out of my diet because I am not in the business of deprivation. When I do make a grain side, recently it’s been brown rice. I find that a reasonable serving of brown rice, coupled with protein, digests very well and doesn’t leave me bloated. For many of us, as we age and change, it makes more sense to be careful about the carbohydrates we choose. I will sometimes pass on the rice at dinner but I will have it the next day at lunch with leftovers. It makes more sense for my body to have grain in the middle of the day because I need the energy. But my active 21-year-old son needs those with dinner! A big part of my health journey has been to realize that you don’t have to be afraid of grain. My philosophy is you need to know how it makes your body feel and if it will help you reach your goals or not. This Mexican rice recipe is filled with veggies and delicious flavors, you will feel good serving it to anyone, knowing they are getting the best possible choice. Ingredients: 1 cup brown rice 1 tbs. olive oil 1 14 ounce can tomato sauce 8 ounces chicken stock 1 tsp. sea salt ½ medium yellow onion, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 cup frozen corn 1 cup frozen peas Directions: 1. In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil. Add […]

Green Beans with Goat Cheese and Roasted Cashews

This dish is my nutrient dense, flavorful and wholesome answer to traditional green bean casserole. Out with the canned cream of mushroom soup and fried onion ring topping. No thank you! Give me all the goat cheese, roasted cashews and fresh herbs and mushrooms. Yum! This dish is so rich in flavor I guarantee you will not miss the old recipe one bit. I am really excited to make this! Don’t be afraid to add your own spin on traditional dishes! Especially any tweaks that add nutrition, flavor and freshness. Ingredients: 1 pound green beans ¼ cup chopped roasted and salted cashews 2 shallots ¼ cup butter ½ pound mushrooms sliced 1 tsp. Thyme ¼ cup sherry ½ pound chevre goat cheese ¼ tsp. salt ¼ tsp. Pepper ½ cup grated parmesan   Directions: 1. In a medium-size saucepan, cover green beans in salted water. Boil until green beans are just done, (still have a snap to them). 2. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and saute shallots until translucent. Add mushrooms and saute until mushrooms are browned. 3. Deglaze pan with sherry and let simmer for about 1 minute. 4. Lower heat to medium-low and stir in goat cheese until melted. Add thyme, half of the parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. 5. Stir in green beans until evenly coated. 6. Sprinkle with nuts and the other half of the parmesan cheese. 7. Pour into a small casserole dish and put in the oven at 350 […]

Cauliflower Mash

Let’s talk about cauliflower! What an incredible substitute for potatoes. For me personally, I need all the cruciferous vegetables and cauliflower is packed with fiber and helps the body eliminate fake estrogens. I love using cauliflower as a side option and it gives me more bang for my buck nutritionally.  Enjoy this simple and filling recipe. It would be perfect alongside my turkey meatloaf or a leg of lamb for Easter dinner. Yummmm.    Ingredients:  1 head of cauliflower ¼ to ½ cup chicken or vegetable stock 1 T ghee 2 green onions, finely chopped Salt & Pepper to taste   Directions:  1. Chop a head of cauliflower and put in a medium saucepan with ¼ cup of stock.     2. Steam, adding additional stock if needed.   3. When Cauliflower is soft, using a potato masher or large fork, mash in a saucepan adding ghee, salt & pepper.     4. Transfer mixture to a bowl.  Stir in green onion and serve.               © The Sown Life LLC, 2019

Candied Tomatoes

  This recipe comes from a Suzanne Sommers book from back in the day when I followed her.  I have been making them for as long as I can remember. They are so delicious and easy and  I promise you will fall in love with them!! These are wonderful on their own and you will probably find that you can’t stop eating them once they come out of the oven.  They are also great as a salad topper or paired with cheese or my homemade ricotta on a crostini.     Ingredients: 2 quarts cherry tomatoes, halved ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil Salt      Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 325. 2. Line a sheet pan (with sides) with parchment paper. 3. Toss tomatoes with olive oil and salt. 4. Line the tomatoes on a baking sheet with the cut side up.     5. Roast for 2 hours or until outside of the tomato is wrinkly and browned and the inside of the tomato is still moist. 6. Store in olive oil in the fridge.   Enjoy these on just about anything!!                 © The Sown Life LLC, 2019

Herb Roasted Onions

  With fall approaching, I have been turning my attention to more root veggies… like onions! I know that roasted veggies aren’t exactly a new thing, but let me tell you, these roasted onions really took on a life of their own. They became this perfect addition to just about anything. The first time I made them I was having a little gathering at my house and we just took these onions and spread them on bread with some goat cheese. They were so delicate and melted in your mouth good! I always seem to have extra onions around so I love being able to use them up like this!     Marinade Ingredients: ½ C water ½ C white balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar 1 T raw honey 1 tsp. Herbes de Provence ½ tsp. Sea salt ¼ tsp. Black pepper   Roasting Ingredients: 2 large onions or 4 small onions 4 TBS. butter or ghee     Directions: 1. Combine all marinade ingredients in a bowl and pour into the bottom of an 8×8 baking pan. 2. Slice the ends off onions and cut in half horizontally. 3. Remove skin. 4. Place onion face down in marinade. 5. Marinate covered in the refrigerator for 6 hours or more, flipping onions over halfway through so that marinade is absorbing the onions on both sides.     6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 7. Roast in the oven for 1 hour or until golden, turning onions over halfway through. 8. Serve! […]

Crispy Skillet Smashed Potatoes

  Potatoes get quite a bad reputation. They are a whole food, full of nutrition and plant-based so why hesitate? There are so many varieties at the farmer’s market now and believe me…. I will be taking advantage of that. I think this recipe for Crispy Smashed Potatoes might be my favorite! way to eat them. This recipe is super easy and can make a weeknight dinner exceptional.  I pre-boil the potatoes so they are quick and easy to prepare when I am ready to serve them.  Seriously, if you have been cutting potatoes out of your diet it is time for a change!   Ingredients:  2 lbs small red or white potatoes Salt and Pepper  1 T Ghee 1 T Fresh herbs such as parsley, thyme or rosemary     Directions:  1. In a medium saucepan, boil whole potatoes until soft when pierced through with a fork. 2. Drain potatoes and allow to sit out until skins are entirely dry.  (Many times I will boil my potatoes on the weekend during meal prep and then refrigerate until ready to cook them up.) 3. Smash potatoes with a flat metal spatula. 4. Preheat cast-iron skillet or skillet of choice on medium-high heat. 5. Salt and Pepper the outside of the potatoes. 6. Add Ghee to the skillet then crisp up the potatoes on each side until nice and golden brown. (You can add more ghee if desired). 7. Sprinkle with a fresh herb of choice and serve.       […]

Chili Spiced Sweet Potato Fries with Chipotle Aioli

A favorite when eating out is always fries! Kids love them, adults love them and our brains love the instant gratification that comes with refined, fried and salted potatoes.  Enter the homemade sweet potato fry!!  They are baked in the oven with a little seasoning and entirely delicious!!  You can make these for a party or pair with burgers, grilled chicken or a juicy steak!  This recipe includes a quick and easy Chipotle Aioli as well that is out of this world! Sweet potatoes are so good for you and are an excellent replacement for regular potatoes especially if you struggle with elevated blood sugar.  I hope you enjoy this simple recipe that will make any stay at home meal a winner!   Sweet Potato Fries Ingredients: 2 sweet potatoes cut into 3-inch wedges 3 T Olive oil ½ tsp. Chili powder ½ tsp. Salt  ½ tsp. Pepper     Directions:  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees 2. In a medium bowl toss sweet potatoes with olive oil, chili powder, salt, and pepper. 3. In a single layer, place sweet potatoes on a parchment-lined sheet pan. 4. Roast, tossing frequently for about 18-25 minutes until golden brown.     Chipotle Aioli Ingredients:  ½ C Avocado Oil Mayonnaise 1 tsp. Chipotle chili powder ¼ tsp. Garlic powder 1 tsp. Freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 T double concentrated tomato paste Pinch of salt   Directions:  1. In a small bowl, mix mayo with all the seasoning and taste. Add any additional salt or […]

Coconut and Mango Black Forbidden Rice

  Have you ever tasted black forbidden rice?  I had no idea it existed until a few years ago.  I love the nutty flavor and sometimes enjoy it hot for breakfast with raw honey and almond milk. This Coconut and Mango Black Rice is the perfect side dish to the Smoky Jalapeno Chicken Skewers that I posted last week.  I like to make extra because it goes really well with almost any form of protein. I like Lotus Foods Heirloom Forbidden Rice and purchase it on Amazon. It is linked below! Enjoy!!   Ingredients: 1 C black forbidden rice    1 C coconut milk 1 ¼ C chicken or vegetable stock 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 shallot, finely chopped 1 TBS. coconut oil  1 tsp. Sea salt ¼ C finely chopped mango (optional)     Directions:  1. In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt coconut oil. 2. Add garlic and shallot and saute for 1 minute.     3. Add rice and saute rice, stirring so it doesn’t stick to the bottom, for about 3 minutes until toasted.     4. Add coconut milk, broth and salt.     5. Follow directions on the back of the rice package.  6. When rice is done, add mango (if using) on top of rice and put the lid on.  Allow mango to heat up. 7. Stir and serve! I like to serve it with my Jalapeno Chicken Skewers and Garlic Yogurt Sauce!                   […]

Orange Honey Roasted Carrots

  Have you ever bought carrots directly from a farm? They have so much more flavor!! I bought these from Fall Line Farms and they are delicious. Carrots are in season now and this new recipe with an orange glaze is such a delicious way to eat them! You can also use the glaze in this recipe for other root veggies like turnips and parsnips and sweet potatoes. Don’t be afraid to make substitutions and get creative with what you have!      Ingredients:  1 ½ lb. thin whole carrots 3 T olive oil 1 tsp. sea salt ½ tsp. pepper 1 large orange, sliced thinly 1 T lavender leaves, finely chopped 8 thyme sprigs Raw Honey to drizzle   Directions:  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  2. Layer a sheet tray with parchment paper. 3. In a large bowl, toss carrots with olive oil, salt, and pepper. 4. Layer carrots side by side on a sheet tray. 5. Slice the orange in thin slices and layer them over carrots. 6. Sprinkle carrots with lavender and thyme sprigs. 7. Roast for 15-20 minutes until soft and easily pierced with a fork. 8. Drizzle honey over the top of carrots and serve.               © The Sown Life LLC, 2020

Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower rice I’ve found to be a satisfying substitute for grains. You don’t have to be strictly paleo to want to substitute grain sometimes. As you can tell by my other recipes, I’m not against whole grain in any way; I don’t believe in haphazardly removing food groups for no reason, however, it is true that many of my clients benefit greatly from either eliminating or reducing their grain intake. It just depends on the person. For example, someone who has high blood sugar or who is insulin resistant should not partake in very much grain at all.  While whole grains are amazing in so many ways, they still turn into sugar in your body. For most, that sugar is compensated for by the amount of fiber in the grain but for someone who is insulin resistant, those sugars are still going to be stored in your body as fat. Enter cauliflower rice! Cruciferous vegetables (like cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts etc.) are so great for removing fake estrogens from the body and help level out your hormone levels. Plain white rice does not do that for you. Think of cauliflower rice as an easy way to add more goodness into your diet and treat your body right. This is one food trend I can get on board with, I love a grain free option that still satisfies. You can do so much with this easy recipe! Ingredients: 1 head cauliflower 3 green onions, finely chopped 3 TBS. Ghee Salt and […]