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Sunday Supper Movement

Sides

My hubby and I ate very differently when we started dating. With me being raised in New England and my hubby from the deep South, we grew up on different foods. My family ate a lot of comfort foods (meatloaf Mondays anyone?) and from my Italian and Polish roots. My hubby grew up on casseroles, catfish, and whatever game came home from hunting trips.

So when we started dating, it was easy to impress him with what I considered old-standbys, like pasta with meat sauce and chicken parmesan. He was not quite as open-minded about trying new vegetables, however. To this day, I still remember making him these Roasted Brussels Sprouts and hearing the doubt in his tone when I served them. It’s a Brussels sprout, and you know those have a bad reputation. He was convinced that they were going to be terrible.

Hubby didn’t expect to love roasted Brussels sprouts as much as he did. Today, he not only requests this side dish, but he peeks into the oven to see how much longer until they’re done.

Brussels sprouts really do get a bad rap. But when you roast them perfectly, they’re amazing. Crispy on the outside, just under al dente on the inside. The recipe below is my favorite way to make them – very simply, seasoned only with a healthy sprinkling of kosher salt and pepper. If you want to get fancy, you can throw a few slices (probably 6-8 for the recipe below) of diced, raw bacon in there when cooking. My hubby loves it when he finds a bacon surprise in one of his favorite vegetable dishes. 🙂

These Roasted Brussels Sprouts are just one of the healthy, green recipes the #SundaySupper tastemakers have put together for you, for your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for more inspiration on healthy options for your St. Patty’s Day.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

By Books n’ Cooks

Serves 8-10

Ingredients:

  • 4 lbs. Brussels sprouts, stems trimmed, halved, with outer leaves discarded
  • 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. kosher salt
  • 1/2 Tbs. freshly ground black pepper

Preheat an oven to 450F.

In a large Pyrex or baking dish, toss Brussels sprouts with oil until mostly coated. Sprinkle with half of the salt and half of the pepper. Toss. Sprinkle with remaining salt and pepper. Toss.

Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes. Brussels sprouts should be cooked throughout but not be soft, and leaves will be beginning to get crispy.

Serve immediately.

Check out more fabulous healthy, green recipes for your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations below, from the #SundaySupper tastemakers.

Best Breakfasts

Must Make Main Dishes

Scrumptious Salads

Stunning Sides

Dreamy Desserts

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

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Avocado Corn Salad

Can you believe it’s football season already? I can’t. Football and baseball seem like the longest seasons in the world to me. To say I’m not a football fan would be an understatement – I’ll do just about everything I can to get out of watching a game, live or on tv. On the other hand, my hubby is a HUGE football fan, particularly college football. So I’m kinda stuck with having the sport on tv a good bit of the time as well as playing the occasional hostess when my hubby’s college team is playing.

Football entertaining in my house is all about super easy dinners or heavy munchies. Chili and buffalo chicken dip are two of our favorites, but really, if I put out some homemade chips and guac, my hubby is happy. This avocado corn salad is equally as easy but a nice change from those old standbys. We like to serve it as a chunky dip with tortilla chips (perfect for game day!), although it can also stand on its own as a side for burgers or tacos. I first tried this salad when my sister-in-law made it, and my hubby and I were instantly big fans. The fresh, ripe veggies shine. Below is our favorite way to make the salad, but adjust the quantities ingredients according to your tastes.

Avocado Corn Salad

Avocado Corn Salad

Inspired by Live Dine Party

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 4 ripe avocados, large dice
  • 2 plum tomatoes, small dice
  • 1/4 red onion, small dice
  • 1 c. corn kernels (from 1 ear of grilled corn, or use canned corn, drained)
  • 3 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • juice of half a lime
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 Tbs. honey
  • kosher salt
  • pepper

In a medium bowl, gently toss avocado, tomato, red onion, corn and cilantro to mix.  Add lime juice, olive oil, and honey and toss again. Vegetable should be just barely coated. Season with salt and pepper.

Add more cilantro, lime, honey or salt/pepper to taste.

Serve with tortilla chips for a quick dip or as a standalone side.

Avocado Corn Salad_Pint

Serve at room temperature within an hour of putting together.

Check out what my #SundaySupper friends are serving for game day. And big thanks to Coleen at The Redhead Baker for hosting!

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Appetizers

Main Dishes

Side Dishes

Desserts

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

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Warm Pasta with Grilled Zucchini and Tomato

When my family comes to visit, sometimes I feel like meal planning is a real struggle. I always try to accommodate everyone’s food preferences – there is no Mexican food and limited Asian-inspired options; the meal has to be substantial enough for two big guys (salad, sandwiches, quesadillas, etc. aren’t the best options for dinner); and there are few seafood options that the majority will eat. But the hardest person to cater to is my little brother. He’s is the only vegetarian in our immediate family, and having a husband that prefers meat at almost every dinner (this Pasta with Walnuts and Parmesan is the only vegetarian dish I’ve made to date that really leaves him happy and satisfied), I don’t have much of a repertoire of vegetarian meals in my arsenal.

While my brother would happily fend for himself, he visits enough (and is so good to my daughter!) that I’ve been trying to make an extra effort to prepare new dishes (eggplant parmesan gets tiring after a while!) that he would enjoy. Last time he was in town, we tried out this warm pasta salad with grilled tomatoes and zucchini – definitely substantial enough on it’s own but paired with grilled chicken for the carnivores. I could have eaten the whole thing myself. The pasta and grilled vegetables are lightly dressed in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, which lets the sweetness of the warm tomatoes and the saltiness of the freshly grated Pecorino Romano shine through. (Don’t skimp and buy buy the pre-shredded/shaved/grated stuff – the freshly shaved cheese really makes this dish).

Warm Pasta with Grilled Zucchini and Tomato 2

Recipe Note: The original recipe calls for chopped thyme and chives, which is reflected below. I’ve also omitted these and made the salad with a sprinkle of Herbes de Province sea salt and chopped fresh basil (pictured here). The basil was a stronger flavor, but the pasta salad was equally amazing.

Serving Note: While the pasta salad is meant to be served warm, the cold leftovers were also good.

Warm Pasta Salad with Grilled Tomatoes & Zucchini

Adapted from Fine Cooking, Issue #86

Serves 4-5 as a meal; 8+ as a side

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 lb. ripe plum tomatoes (about 8), cored and halved lengthwise
  • 1-1/4 lb. small zucchini, trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tsp. chopped fresh thyme (see recipe note above)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 oz. Pecorino Romano, shaved with a vegetable peeler (about 2 cups)
  • 1 lb. dried penne
  • 1/4 c. thinly sliced fresh chives (see recipe note above)
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar, more to taste
Prep & Grill the Veggies: Preheat grill to medium heat. Meanwhile, toss veggies in a bowl with 2 Tbs. oil, 2 tsp. thyme, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Set bowl aside – do not empty or clean bowl.
Grill veggies, cut side down for about 5 minutes before flipping and cooking for another 5-8 minutes, until desired doneness (I like my zucchini still slightly crunchy). Remove from grill and return them to the same bowl.
Allow to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package. Drain and set pasta aside.
Assemble the Salad: Coarsely chop the warm veggies and toss with half of the cheese, 3 Tbs. chives, remaining olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with remaining chives, thyme, and cheese.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
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What's_Baking_BadgeThis month’s theme for What’s Baking? – baking bread – was chosen by Heather at Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks. I definitely debated about whether to use this as an excuse to make a warm, crusty baguette. I contemplated a dinner of fresh bread and cheese, maybe a little fresh fruit and olives… but I bet my hubby would tell me that’s not an acceptable dinner. After all, he scoffed at a box of Girl Scout cookies for lunch. Apparently 6+ months pregnant isn’t an excuse to indulge. Anyway, in the end, I decided that with the cold weather we’ve been having, I’d make a hearty dinner of chili and made-from-scratch traditional cornbread.

This recipe is super easy – it took only a few minutes to put together and surprisingly little time to bake. My oven runs a tad hot, so I ended up with a slightly crispy edge that I couldn’t help but eat first. 🙂

Skillet Buttermilk Cornbread

Skillet Buttermilk Cornbread

Adapted from Fine Cooking No. 107 (p. 37)

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 c. stone-ground yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. table salt
  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into a couple of pieces

Ensure that a rack is placed in the center of the oven. Place a 9-10 inch cast-iron skillet in an oven and heat to 425°F. Allow skillet to sit in the oven until the oven is completely preheated, if not longer.

In a large bowl, whisk together remaining cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a small pot, bring 1/2 c. water to a boil. Whisk in 1/2 c. of the cornmeal until a thick mush has formed. Whisk in buttermilk, sour cream, and eggs until smooth.

When oven has been properly preheated, about 20 minutes, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir together with a wooden spoon until smooth and no clumps remain. Switch to a whisk if a few stubborn clumps remain.

Remove hot skillet from oven and add butter pieces, swirling pan to spread the butter and coat the bottom. Immediately pour cornmeal mixture into pan. Return to oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, until top is golden and bread begins to pull away from the sides.

Remove from oven and turn out onto a wire rack. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Serve hot.

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I’ve spent the past couple of weeks trying to get used to being back at work full-time. It’s been an adjustment all around. How do I manage to balance work with not just home life – cooking, cleaning, being a wife – but also being a mom? It has been a challenge for sure, but my husband and I are beginning to find our routine, even if that means me going to sleep right after the baby to compensate for her new wake-3-times-a-night habit.

This new schedule has meant that I’m focusing on simpler meals in the kitchen. We’ve been doing a lot of grilling and pairing whatever we grill with fresh and easy sides. This southwest quinoa salad is one of our new favorites. The slight kick from the jalapeno is balanced with sweetness from the mango and red bell pepper. Feel free to toss in a little more mango and veggie than the quantities listed below, I know I do.

Southwest Quinoa Salad

Southwest Quinoa Salad

Adapted from The Plant-Powered Diet by Sharon Palmer via Skinny Taste

Yields 6 1-cup servings

Ingredients: 

  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. ground tumeric
  • 15 oz. can low-sodium black beans, rinsed & drained
  • 3 c. cooked quinoa
  • 1 c. fresh or frozen corn
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 c. fresh mango, chopped
  • 1/4 c. red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 c. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped

Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, cumin, chili powder, and tumeric in a small bowl. Set aside.

Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Pour dressing over salad, stirring to combine.

Serve immediately (at room temperature) or refrigerate until serving.

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The weather is gorgeous – 70+ and sunny. Love it! It’s the perfect weather to renew good habits. I’ve been taking regular walks outside both to enjoy the weather and to start training for the Susan G Komen 3-Day for the Cure, which I’ll walk later this year. I’m also loving all the fruit that’s starting to appear in the stores and farm stands. I’ve been getting tired of apples and bananas and have been waiting for berries and nectarines.

This is one of my favorite fruit salads – mixed berries topped with just a touch of homemade vanilla syrup. The syrup adds a brightness and uniqueness to the berries and is a great way to dress up a simple fruit salad for a more formal event, such as a wedding or baby.

Mixed Berry Salad with Vanilla Syrup

Adapted from Fine Cooking, June/July 2004

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 c. fresh mixed berries (any type that are in season. I like a combination of strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries)
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 1/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/4. c. water

Instructions:

  1. Clean and slice berries and toss in a large bowl. Cover and place in the fridge to keep cold.
  2. Fill a small saucepan with 1/4 c. water and 1/4 c. sugar.
  3. Split vanilla bean lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds from one half of the vanilla bean and place in the saucepan with water and sugar. (Save the vanilla bean pod for a garnish, or place in your jar of vanilla sugar or vanilla extract.)
  4. Over medium heat, bring water and sugar to just boiling. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Lower heat and simmer for 7 minutes, allowing the vanilla to infuse the syrup.
  5. Allow syrup to cool before moving to a refrigerator to chill completely.

Serve: Pour 1-2 Tbs. syrup over fruit & enjoy!

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Have I ever mentioned that my hubby is a picky eater? While he’s gotten much more adventurous since we moved in together 3 years ago, there’s still a number of items I can’t make for him. No tomatoes or bell peppers, unless they’re hidden so he can’t see them. No light vinaigrette in salads (Ranch and honey mustard are his favorites). Squash… not so much. Maybe on the rare occasion when we’re grilling. Polish stuffed cabbage? Hell no.

So what do I do when I want to make dishes using tomatoes (like this Greek Pananella) or another one of the banned items? I try to save them for potlucks with friends, but when that doesn’t pan out, or I get impatient, I call a good friend. K has offered to move in, just so I have someone a little less picky to cook for. Thanks K, but I’ll just invite you over for dinner weekly. 🙂

With an invitation to a friend’s secured and all of the ingredients in the house, I gave these roasted tomatoes a whirl. I loved the way roasting the tomatoes made them slightly sweet and super soft. The basil pesto was a burst of flavor. I imagined eating one of these atop a slice of crunchy French bread or making these as a side to a roasted or grilled fish for an extra punch of flavor. The best part? This recipe can easily be adjusted to serve 1 or 12.

Roasted Tomatoes with Pesto

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That? (p. 179)
also on Food Network

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 – 2 1/2 lbs. large red tomatoes
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 c. pesto
  • 1/2 c. freshly grated or shredded Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425.

With the tomato stem facing up, slice tomatoes into 1/2-in. thick slices. Place slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with oregano, kosher salt (~1 tsp.), and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes, until tomatoes are beginning to soften, but still hold their shape.

Remove baking sheet from oven. Top each tomato slice with a bit of pesto (~1/4 – 1/2 tsp. on each) and then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Return to the oven for another 7-10 minutes, until Parmesan begins to brown and the tomatoes look softened.

Remove from oven and sprinkle with a little more salt (if desired). Serve hot or at room temperature.

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Old-Fashioned Potato Salad

As summer approaches (some might argue that it’s already here, with our 90+ degree weather), so do cookouts, BBQs, and summer picnics. Almost weekly, my friends and I get together for some sort of pot-luck — lunch or dinner accompanied by soccer and kayaking in the park, an impromptu Sunday BBQ, or a summer holiday festivity. We all bring something and end up going home with containers of leftovers. It really is an awesome time.

I do have my stockpile of recipes set aside for these occasions – tortellini salad or a summer orzo salad for a side; skirt steak marinated simply with a little kosher salt and pepper; or easy cookies for dessert. This past Memorial Day, I decided to try something new, Ina’s Old-Fashioned Potato Salad. I was a little skeptical about the dish. I tasted the dressing when I first made it, and it was super tangy. But, it was too late to run to the grocery store and make something else, so I threw it in the fridge for an hour and hoped for the best. I’m so glad I stuck with it! After sitting for a few hours, the dressing had mellowed out and my girlfriends and I were gathered around the bowl, forks in hand, eating right out of the serving dish. (Plates were ignored and the guys were at the grill). This salad was a winner, and incredibly addictive. Less than a week later and I am already getting requests for it.

Ina’s Old-Fashioned Potato Salad

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa At Home (p. 86)

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs. small red potatoes or other thick-skinned potatoes (potatoes with thinner skins tend to be a little messier, with the skin peeling off)
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 c. mayonnaise
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • 2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbs. whole-grain mustard
  • 1/2 c. fresh dill
  • 1/2 c. diced celery
  • 1/2 c. diced red onion

Fill a very large stockpot with water and 1-2 Tbs. kosher salt. Bring to a boil. Add whole potatoes and cook, 10-15 minutes, until potatoes are “barely tender” when pierced with a knife.

Drain water, returning potatoes to pot. Cover with a clean dish towel, allowing the steam to continue to cook the potatoes until tender but still firm, another 15-20 minutes. Once cooked through, uncover and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, combine mayo, milk, mustards, dill, 1 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. pepper in a bowl. Set aside.

When potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut into 1 1/2-in. pieces. Toss with 3/4 of the dressing, adding more if needed. Toss onions and celery, along with 1 tsp. each salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

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This year was the first time I’ve participated in a CSA (community supported agriculture). I love that I’m supporting local farmers and providing them with a reliable source of income. However, I do have mixed feelings on the program. I love the CSA I belong to – I love the variety of fruits and veggies I get, and the quality. However, I don’t like not knowing what I’m going to get each Tuesday. It makes it hard for me to plan, since I do so much planning and cooking on the weekends.

That being said, getting some unexpected surprises has helped me broaden my horizons and test out new recipes. For instance, I’ve mostly only had butternut squash, although I’ve had acorn squash a few times. Every time, I prepare it in the same way – halved, scoop out the middle, and roast it with butter and brown sugar in the middle. This recipe is close, but the rosemary and white wine add a lighter flavor (as opposed to pure butter and sugar). An added bonus? My squash-adverse hubby actually liked this recipe. One more point for Fine Cooking.

Enjoy!

Acorn Squash with Rosemary & Brown Sugar

Adapted from Fine Cooking No. 107 (p. 24)

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 lb. acorn squash (unpeeled), halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 c. dry white wine
  • 3 Tbs. packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh rosemary (be sure to use fresh – dried rosemary isn’t nearly as good!)
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Wash the squash and cut it in half. Scoop out the seeds and then slice the squash along each ridge, so that the squash is in wedges.

Heat a 11-12 in. sauté pan over medium heat. Add butter and oil. When melted, add squash, arranging in a single layer. Cook until all sides are golden-brown, flipping as needed, about 10 minutes total.

Add wine to pan, scraping bottom to get up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle brown sugar, rosemary, lemon juice, salt, and pepper over squash.

Cover and lower heat. Summer until squash is almost tender, about 10 minutes.

Raise heat and cook for another 5 minutes. Sauce will thicken and squash will be tender. Season with more salt and pepper to taste, and serve hot.

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This Roasted Potato Salad is another favorite of mine for summer cookouts. Not only does it stand up well to the heat, but it showcases summer vegetables very well. I also love that it is an easy recipe to adjust to taste. As you can tell from the photo, I skipped the tomatoes this time around, but added in extra bell peppers and corn. The one thing I don’t normally change about this recipe is the basil (I love basil!), but feel free to use the herb of your choice.

If you experiment and come up with new combinations that you love, please share!

Roasted Potato Salad with Bell Peppers, Corn & Tomatoes

Adapted from Fine Cooking No. 80 (p. 50)

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb. small red-skinned potatoes or Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 1/4 cup + 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt & black pepper
  • 2 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 ear of corn in husk, or 1 can of corn (drained)
  • 1 1/2 bell peppers, any color or color combination, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1/2 small red onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1/2 c. chopped fresh basil
  • 3 Tbs. red-wine vinegar

Roast the Potatoes: Preheat oven to 450F. Place potatoes in a single layer on a heavy-rimmed baking sheet. Toss with 3 Tbs. olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper. Make sure potatoes are coated. Roast for 20-30 minutes, until potatoes are slightly browned and tender when pierced by a fork. Set aside to cool.

Put Together Salad: Toss roasted potatoes, peppers, onion, tomato,basil,  and corn (is using an ear of corn, remove husk, rub with 1 tsp olive oil, and roast for 20 minutes, rotating once, until kernels are lightly browned)  in a large bowl.

Just prior to serving, whisk remaining 1/4 c. olive oil and red-wine vinegar. Then you have one of two options:

  1. Drizzle on salad. Season with salt, pepper, and if desired, more basil. Serve immediately.
  2. Or, set olive oil mixture on the side and allow people to drizzle their serving separately. This is best for BBQs or dinners where the salad might sit out for a while.
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