Category Archives: sides


Mexican Quinoa

Welcome to healthy recipe Monday brought to you by Fitness For Mommies.

So, who has tried my Mexican rice?  It’s good huh?


Well, I bought one of the huge bags of quinoa from Costco and have been trying to use it up ever since.

So I had this crazy idea, what if I used quinoa instead of rice?


And you know what?  I like it even better.  But please don’t tell the rice, it might get its feelings hurt.

Mexican Quinoa
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Mexican Quinoa
Serves: 6-8
  • 1 tablespoon oil, (I like to use extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 1 small can tomato sauce
  • 2 cans of vegetable stock
  1. Cook the onions and garlic in the oil for 5 minutes.
  2. Add in the quinoa and cook for 3 more minutes.
  3. Stir in the tomato sauce and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Stir in the stock, 1 teaspoon of salt, and bring to a boil.
  5. Cover. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender.
  6. Fluff with a fork.
  7. Eat!


Lemon Potatoes

Way back in the day I used to date a Greek guy.  Alas, the guy didn’t stick around but his mother’s lemon potatoes did!  I love these as a side dish to any dinner.
(I’ve even been known to eat them cold out of the fridge. Please don’t tell on me.)


It doesn’t get any better than a plate of lemon potatoes straight from the oven.

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Lemon Potatoes
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Lemon Potatoes
Serves: 6
  • 4-6 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed (enough to cover the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish)
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup of lemon juice
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 4 cloves of garlic, grated
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place the potatoes in a 9x13 baking dish.  In a bowl mix together the rest of the ingredients.  Pour over the potatoes and toss. It might seem like a lot of liquid, but the potatoes will absorb it.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes, tossing the potatoes around a few times while baking, until fork tender.
  4. Eat!


Roasted Beets and Sweet Potatoes

Who thinks that beets can sometimes taste like dirt?  (Me.) I really like the pickled ones out of a can though.  Enter this recipe.  It is so good it will turn even the worst beet hater into a beet lover.  Plus, the color of a red beet can’t be beat.  They are like little jewels and so beautiful.


Be sure to wear gloves or use a towel when dealing with beets.  But hey, if you like fuchsia hands then by all means good for it.  I know one of my forever friends Mardi, (hi Mardi!) wouldn’t mind.  She made me wear fuchsia at her wedding.  True story.  But that is a different story for another time.

Back to the beets!

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The colors of this dish just can’t be beat.  The brightness of the red beets and the pale orange of the sweet potatoes make for one beautiful picture.


See?  Soooo good. Plus this dish is crazy good for you.  Sweet potatoes are one of the best bangs for your buck at the grocery store.  The most nutrients for your money.  Its a win win situation all around!

Roasted Beets and Sweet Potatoes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Roasted Beets and Sweet Potatoes
Serves: 4-6
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 medium or 6 small beets
  • 2½ pound sweets potatoes (I used 2 large)
  • 2 small yellow onions
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Peel and chunk the beets.  Place on a baking sheet toss with a little salt and pepper.  Roast for 20 minutes.
  3. While the beets are getting a head start, peel and chunk the sweet potatoes and onions.  Place in a bowl and toss with the garlic, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and 3-4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
  4. Add the sweet potato mixture to the beets and roast for an additional 40 minutes, tossing after 20 minutes.
  5. Eat!


Black-Eyed Pea Salad

Are you in the camp that has to have black-eyed peas on New Years Day or your year will be ruined?  Well this is the recipe for you.


This salad is so good and chock full of things that are good for you too.  What better way to start the new year?

This recipe calls for corn on the cob and I’m going to share my ultra secret tip to cooking corn on the cob.  I eat corn so much more now that I’ve figured this out!

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Holiday Cranberry Salad

This is another family gem that completes the holidays in my family.  This recipe is originally my aunt Diane’s, but now my mom has taken over the duties of making it every year.


Start with your cranberries and sugar.  Plus the cranberries in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Combine with the sugar and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.


Then place the cranberry sugar mixture in a mesh drainer and drain for 2 hours. (I know a little time consuming, but not a lot of work, and its worth it! Trust me!)

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Salt and Vinegar Potatoes

If you haven’t noticed already, I love tart and sour things.  Fish and chips?  Give me the vinegar over the tarter sauce any day. Any time you get lemon as a garnish at a restaurant? You better bet that lemon is going all over my food. These salt and vinegar potatoes are right up my ally.  They are an easy side dish to really any dinner and another pinterest win!


Start with come potatoes.  I used yukon golds for this. Scrub them really well.


Slice them up.

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Greek Spaghetti Sqaush

Who is still in a food coma from Thanksgiving?  Me.  This is a simple and light dinner or side that is quick and delicious. This recipe also comes from my friend Desi, who shared her lovely sugar cookie recipe with me as well.

Plus, I think I am still a little cooked out and needed something that didn’t take a long time in the kitchen.  I added some grilled fish and a green salad and called it dinner.


Get yourself and spaghetti squash,

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hack it in half, scoop out the seeds, and microwave until fork tender.


Shred with a fork.

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Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Streusel Topping

Need a last minute sweet potato recipe for Thanksgiving tomorrow??? Well here it is.  Twice baked sweet potatoes with streusel topping.  Does it get any better than this?


Start by cooking off some sweet potatoes.  I like to try and get some that are about the same size so they cook at the same time.


When they are fork tender they are done.


Cut in half and scoop out the flesh. Be really careful to leave some flesh in the sweet potato jackets as the skin by itself is really flimsy and will tear easily.

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Roasted Green Beans

Still looking to add to your Thanksgiving table?  Still not that big of a fan of green bean casserole, but feel like green beans should be included somewhere?  Enter roasted green beans.  A quick and easy side for Thanksgiving or any night of the week.


Start by trimming up your green beans,

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Red Hot Cranberry Sauce

Sooo, in another life I was a special education teacher and boy did I love it.  Then babies arrived and I decided to be a stay at home mommy for awhile.  While I was a teacher one of the Adapted Physical Education teachers gave me this recipe for cranberry sauce (hi Karen!).

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Cranberries and Red hots?  Huh?  But it totally works and its sooo good.

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