Thursday, January 20, 2011

Super Side Dishes...Mmmmmm, Good!!

So, if you find yourself dreading mealtime because you are cooking the same things over and over are some great side dishes to liven up your grilled chicken or fish!

Mashed Cauliflower...totally never eating Mashed Potatoes again!!
1 head Cauliflower
2 pats of butter
2-3 Tbs. Half and Half or Heavy Cream (such a little amount that it's almost negligible in the overall nutrition count)
Salt and Pepper to taste (We always use Sea Salt and fresh ground Pepper)

Trim cauliflower and cut or break into large chunks.
Add to pot of lightly salted, boiling water.
Boil until tender and drain immediately.
Put into large bowl, add butter and cream.

Using potato masher, mash away!!  Mash until it becomes the consistency you prefer.  We leave it a bit "piecey" because we like the texture.
Hardly any fat calories and tons of fiber....and more yummy than you can imagine!!

Brussel Sprouts...YEP, that's what I said...Brussel Sprouts!!!!
1 pkg fresh Brussel Sprouts
2 toes fresh garlic OR Garlic Salt...we prefer fresh...
Olive Oil

Pull all "soft" outer leaves off of the sprouts and trim off the woody stem.  Cut each sprout in half, lengthwise (with the stem at the bottom, so that you cut through the stem)

In a large skillet, give about 2 full turns of Olive Oil, and heat through.  Add all sprouts, and if you're picky, turn them all flat side down so they get nice and browned.  Saute for about 8-12 minutes; less if you like 'em crunchy, adding fresh garlic about halfway through the cooking time.  If you use the Garlic Salt, wait until they are nearly done cooking (last 30 seconds...)
Toss with just a drizzle more Olive Oil and serve.  We eat these 1-2 times a week.  Tons of fiber, very few calories and hardly any fat, which comes from the Olive it's the "better fat"!!

**For a different twist on this dish, you can also slice up mushrooms and saute them with the sprouts.

Squash-ta Aioli....Gotta love that pasta replacement!!
(And thanks to Jessica; Mastering the Art of Paleo Cooking; for the name given to the squash)
1 Spaghetti Squash
2 toes fresh garlic (more if you're a big garlic lover). Minced or shaved works well.
Red Pepper flakes
2-3 Tbs.Olive Oil

Cut squash in half, lengthwise and remove seeds.  Bake with cut sides down, at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Remove squash from its skin using to forks to shred into "spaghetti".

In large saute pan, heat Olive Oil, add Garlic and Red Pepper flakes.  Saute for 1-2 minutes, watching garlic so it doesn't overcook.  Add "sqaush-ta" and toss to coat with mixture.  Serve with your favorite grilled fish or chicken.  Such a great pasta alternative!!!

Hopefully, these will inspire you to give up some unhealthy side dish choices; all the while, enjoying your meal so much more!!!

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