Tag 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
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
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!


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!


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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Browned Butter Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes

So, have you all seen the recipes floating around pinterest for crock pot mashed potatoes?  And ever wondered if it really worked?  Well, I’m here to tell you that it does and they are wonderful.  Plus, add browned butter to anything and you’ve got instant greatness!  The set it and forget method is great for Thanksgiving when you have a million other things going on in your oven and on your stove. These are not a pinterest fail.


I always peel my potatoes and then rinse them off.


Chop them up into one inch cubes.


Add to the potatoes, browned butter, and some chicken or vegetable broth to the crock pot.  Set it and forget it.  4-5 hours on high or 8 hours on low.


The potatoes are so soft they almost just mash up by stirring them around.  I added 4 oz of cream cheese and some salt and that was it!  Another Thanksgiving side simplified!

Browned Butter Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Browned Butter Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes
Serves: 8-12
  • 5 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 can chicken or vegetable stock
  • 4 oz cream cheese, cubed
  • salt to taste
  1. Place your stick of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Let it melt, then it start to foam like crazy, and then it will take on a nutty aroma.  Once the foam dies down the butter will be a darker color.  Do not walk away from your butter while its browning.  It will go from browned to burned in 2 seconds flat.
  2. Add the potatoes, stock, and browned butter to the crock pot.  Cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 8 hours.
  3. When the potatoes are tender add in the cream cheese and mash with a potato masher or beat with a hand mixer.  Salt to taste.
  4. Eat!


Roasted Carrots

I don’t know why, but I always seem to forget about carrots as an easy (and nutritious) side dish.  This recipe could not be simpler.

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Take your carrots and peel them up.


Slice them on the diagional so they look pretty, or just slice them into coins.  Your call.


Place on a cookie sheet and toss with some extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast at 450 for about 20 minute.


Top with some chopped parsley.  Yum!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Roasted Carrots
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Roasted Carrots
Serves: 4
  • 6-7 carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal.
  • Extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper
  • chopped parsley
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Place carrots on baking sheet and toss with oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Roast for 20 minutes or until lightly golden brown and soft.
  4. Top with chopped parsley.
  5. Eat!


Spicy Mac ‘n’ Cheese

This recipe is awesome.  There really is nothing more to say about it.  It uses a controversial ingredient (velveeta!), but it is sooo creamy.

This is another brain child from my grandma Betty.  Boy she was great.

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Start by chopping an onion, and sautéing it in some butter.


Then cube up your velveeta,


and throw it into a pan and cook until melted.

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Then stir in the sour cream and Rotel. Once it is combined add your cooked pasta.


We like to eat it as a side dish to any dinner, or in a dark corner with spoon.


5.0 from 1 reviews
Spicy Mac 'n' Cheese
Spicy Mac 'n'Cheese
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ¼ c. butter
  • 1 lb of velveeta, cubed
  • 1 pint sour cream
  • 2 cans Rotel, lightly drained
  • 1 lb penne, cooked according to the package directions
  1. In a large skillet cook the onion in the butter until soft over medium heat.
  2. Melt in the velveeta.
  3. Turn the heat to low, and stir in the sour cream and Rotel. Stir well to combine.
  4. Add in the cooked pasta coat well.
  5. Eat!