Archive of ‘Side Dishes’ category

P.F. Chang’s Spicy Green Beans (copycat)

Looking for a tasty new way to serve those yummy summer green beans you get from the grocery store, Farmer’s Market or your own garden?  How about this delicious, quick and easy recipe for P.F. Chang’s Spicy Green Beans (copycat)?P.F. Chang's Spicy Green Beans (copycat) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I’ve grown my own green beans for years now, so I’m always on the lookout for new ways to cook and serve them.  I found this recipe on Pinterest and decided to give it a try.  I think you will be surprised how GOOD these green beans are… the addition of an Asian pan sauce makes them “practically perfect in every way” (to coin a phrase from Mary Poppins).  All in all the beans take only 5-6 minutes to cook… really!  The “hardest” thing you will have to do is snip the ends off the beans… ha ha!  Here’s how to make this delicious (restaurant copycat) side dish, from the comfort of your own home:

First make the Asian sauce by mixing ingredients in a small bowl. See how EASY that was? Now set the bowl aside until ready to use.

P.F. Chang's Spicy Green Beans (copycat) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Put sesame oil into a large skillet or wok (you can buy sesame oil in the Asian food section of most supermarkets). Turn heat to medium high heat for 30 seconds.  To the hot oil add the chopped green onions, minced garlic, and the red pepper flakes. Stir well and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly and being careful NOT to burn the garlic.

P.F. Chang's Spicy Green Beans (copycat) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

P.F. Chang's Spicy Green Beans (copycat) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Add the green beans to the skillet. Stir constantly and cook for 3-4 minutes, until they are just about fully cooked. The beans will turn a deeper green color as they cook.

P.F. Chang's Spicy Green Beans (copycat) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

When beans are done, move them over to one side of the skillet. Give the Asian sauce a good stir and add it to the skillet. Stir well, and cook the sauce for 30 seconds (still on medium-high heat); let the sauce come to a boil, then turn the heat to LOW. The sauce will thicken slightly.

P.F. Chang's Spicy Green Beans (copycat) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Stir the sauce into the green beans to coat.  Cook beans and sauce for another 30 seconds, then remove skillet from heat.

P.F. Chang's Spicy Green Beans (copycat) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Place the hot green beans and sauce onto serving plate or in a bowl, and garnish with sesame seeds (if using). Serve the green beans while hot… and ENJOY!

P.F. Chang's Spicy Green Beans (copycat) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

P.F. Chang's Spicy Green Beans (copycat) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

We enjoyed trying this recipe for fresh green beans. They are NOT too spicy at all, and have fantastic flavor!  I used only 1 pound of green beans, so if you are using 2 pounds of beans the quantity will be much larger than shown in my photos!  Hope you will consider trying this recipe… and I trust you will find it just as delicious as we did! Have a great day!

P.F. Chang's Spicy Green Beans (copycat) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Source: http://domesticsuperhero.com/copycat-pf-changs-spicy-green-beans/

P.F. Chang's Spicy Green Beans
 
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Fresh green beans are cooked in a flavor-filled Asian sauce in this delicious P.F. Chang's copycat recipe!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
For Beans:
  • 1-2 pounds fresh green beans, ends trimmed and beans cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 2 green onions, chopped thin
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
For Asian Sauce:
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon white granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • Sesame Seeds, for garnish (optional)
Directions
  1. Make the Asian sauce by mixing ingredients in a small bowl. Set the bowl aside until ready to use.
  2. Put sesame oil into a large skillet or wok. Turn heat to medium high for 30 seconds. To the hot oil add chopped green onions, minced garlic, and red pepper flakes. Stir well and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly and being careful NOT to burn the garlic.
  3. Add the green beans to the skillet. Stir constantly and cook for 3-4 minutes, until they are just about fully cooked. The beans will turn a deeper green color as they cook. When beans are done, move them over to one side of the skillet. Give the Asian sauce a good stir and add it to the skillet. Stir well, and cook the sauce for 30 seconds (still on medium-high heat); let the sauce come to a boil, then turn the heat to LOW. The sauce will thicken slightly. Stir the sauce into the green beans to coat. Cook beans and sauce for another 30 seconds, then remove skillet from heat.
  4. Place the hot green beans and sauce onto serving plate or in a bowl, and garnish with sesame seeds (if using). Serve the green beans while hot... and ENJOY!

Here’s one more to pin to your Pinterest boards!P. F. Chang's Spicy Green Beans / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

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Swiss Chard with Bacon and Mushrooms

Recently I cooked Swiss Chard with Bacon and Mushrooms as a side dish for dinner, and was pleased with the results. The addition of bacon, mushrooms, onion and garlic to Swiss chard made this quite a flavorful vegetable dish!Swiss Chard with Bacon and Mushroms / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I started growing rainbow chard in my garden several years ago, so I enjoy trying new ways to prepare it (in the photo below you can see the young chard-with red and white stalks, growing in our garden)!  Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable that has been around for centuries. The chard develops large stalks, once mature. The leaves can be green or slightly red, and the stalks can vary in color, such as white, yellow or red. The leaves are very nutritious, and fresh young leaves can be eaten raw in salads.  For this recipe I used red chard, and did not use a published recipe, only my ideas for what might taste good.

Swiss Chard with Bacon and Mushroms / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Here’s how I made this veggie side dish:

Stack bacon pieces on top of each other. Using a sharp knife, slice bacon into thin strips. Place bacon pieces (sliced) into a large skillet. Cook on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until bacon pieces begin to brown (3-4 minutes). Leave all bacon grease in the skillet (this photo is from another recipe, but shows how I slice the bacon).
Swiss Chard with Bacon and Mushroms / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add chard stems, sliced mushrooms and chopped red onion to the bacon and bacon drippings in the skillet. Continue to cook until chard stems become slightly tender (3-4 mins).  Add chopped chard leaves, and stir to combine. Continue to cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until leaves have wilted and are cooked through (2-3 minutes).

Swiss Chard with Bacon and Mushroms / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add minced garlic and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute, being careful to not burn the garlic. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

Swiss Chard with Bacon and Mushroms / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Serve hot.

Swiss Chard with Bacon and Mushroms / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I cut the Swiss Chard stalks into fairly large slices as you can see from the photos, so if you prefer smaller bites, slice them to the thickness you prefer.  Hope you will consider trying this recipe, and as always, I sincerely hope you enjoy it!

Swiss Chard with Bacon and Mushroms / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Swiss Chard with Bacon and Mushrooms
 
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Swiss chard, bacon, onion and mushrooms are featured in this easy to prepare vegetable side dish.
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Vegetable Dish
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 4-5 slices bacon, (cut into thin pieces before cooking)
  • 8-10 mushrooms, sliced thin
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion
  • 3 Tablespoons bacon grease (approx. from cooked bacon)
  • 1 head Swiss chard (I used red chard), chopped and divided (stems separated from leaves)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Directions
  1. Stack bacon pieces on top of each other. Using a sharp knife, slice into thin strips. Place bacon pieces (sliced) into a large skillet. Cook on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until bacon pieces begin to brown (3-4 minutes). Leave all bacon grease in the skillet.
  2. Add chard stems, sliced mushrooms and chopped red onion. Continue to cook until chard stems become slightly tender (3-4 mins).
  3. Add chopped chard leaves, and stir to combine. Continue to cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until leaves have wilted and are cooked through (2-3 minutes).
  4. Add minced garlic and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute, being careful to not burn the garlic.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste, then serve while hot.

Here’s another to pin to your Pinterest boards!Swiss Chard with Bacon and Mushroms / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

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Cauliflower Rice with Parmesan and Garlic

One of the foods trending recently is “cauliflower rice”, which is a healthy side dish for those wishing to avoid some of the carbs and starches found in “regular” rice (and a great way to get more veggies onto dinner plates). I recently found a recipe for Cauliflower Rice with Parmesan and Garlic, and decided to check it out.Cauliflower Rice with Parmesan and Garlic / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
The dish is called “rice” because a head of cauliflower is processed in a food processor (or by using a box grater) so that the florets become small enough that they LOOK like rice.  The cauliflower is then cooked and served. This recipe adds a bit of flavor to the cooked “rice” by means of fresh grated Parmesan cheese, minced garlic and butter.

It’s very easy to make this side dish. If you’ve been curious like I was as to how to make it, give this simple recipe a try and see for yourself!  Here’s how to make it:

To “rice” the cauliflower, remove outer leaves and core from a medium sized head of cauliflower. Cut the cauliflower into small florets.

Cauliflower Rice with Parmesan and Garlic / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Place the florets into a food processor (with blade attachment).  Pulse several times until the cauliflower florets are small like grains of rice. If you do not own a food processor, no problem… simply use a box cheese grater and grate into small rice sized pieces!

Cauliflower Rice with Parmesan and Garlic / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Melt butter in a large skillet or saucepan on medium-low heat. Add minced garlic and continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes, so that the garlic flavor is infused into the melted butter. It is important NOT to burn the garlic, so keep an eye on it!  Add the “riced” cauliflower to the skillet, stir, and turn the heat up to medium-high.

Cauliflower Rice with Parmesan and Garlic / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on top and stir well, to combine. Cook cauliflower for about 5 minutes, or until cauliflower is tender, stirring often.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste. I added in some dried parsley at this point, as well. Stir to completely mix all ingredients, and reheat, if necessary to serving temp.

Cauliflower Rice with Parmesan and Garlic / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Pour the rice into a serving dish, garnish with chopped fresh parsley and additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.  Serve hot.

Cauliflower Rice with Parmesan and Garlic / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Hope you will consider trying this recipe for cauliflower rice.  It fools the eye because it LOOKS like rice on the plate, but tastes like cauliflower (with some seasonings)!  What a great way to get more veggies onto the ol’ dinner plate, right?  Have a great day!

Cauliflower Rice with Parmesan and Garlic / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Adapted From: http://kirbiecravings.com/2016/05/garlic-parmesan-cauliflower-rice.html

Cauliflower Rice with Parmesan and Garlic
 
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As Prepared By:
Serves: 4 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 medium head of cauliflower (will yield approx. 4 cups of cauliflower "rice")
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Dried parsley (just a shake or two)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
  • Parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)
Directions
  1. To "rice" the cauliflower, remove outer leaves and core from a medium sized head of cauliflower. Cut the cauliflower into small florets. Place florets into a food processor (with blade attachment). Pulse several times until florets are small, like grains of rice. No food processor? Use a box cheese grater and grate into small rice sized pieces!
  2. Melt butter in a large skillet or saucepan on medium-low heat. Add minced garlic and continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes, so the garlic flavor is infused into butter. It is important NOT to burn the garlic, so keep a good eye on it! Add "riced" cauliflower to skillet, stir, and turn heat to medium-high.
  3. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on top and stir well, to combine. Cook cauliflower for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until cauliflower is tender. Season with salt and pepper (to taste) and dried parsley. Stir to combine all ingredients, and reheat if necessary, to serving temp.
  4. Transfer the rice to a serving dish, garnish with chopped fresh parsley and additional Parmesan cheese, if desired. Serve hot.

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!

Cauliflower Rice with Parmesan and Garlic / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

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Crispy Homemade French Fries

I LOVE french fries, which is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because Crispy Homemade French Fries are easy to make and delicious, and a curse, because they are easy to make and delicious! See my dilemma? Uh Huh.Crispy Homemade French Fries / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I tried a recipe for beer battered fish last year, and ended up making some homemade fries (chips) to serve on the side. Boy, oh boy… they were delicious, and actually very easy to make.  Crispy on the outside… soft on the inside. Thought I’d share it with you.  Here’s how you make ’em:

Peel, rinse, then cut potatoes, by slicing potatoes lengthwise into 1 inch slices, then cutting each slice into finger thickness sized strips. Dry the potatoes as much as you can by patting them dry with paper towels.

Crispy Homemade French Fries / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Heat oil in large skillet or stock pot until it reaches 350 degrees. I used my electric skillet, which has a temperature gauge on it. (No electric skillet? Try using a meat or candy thermometer to get the accurate temperature). To ensure you get a good “fry” on the potatoes, make sure oil is heated to 350 degrees.  Carefully put cut, dried potatoes into hot oil. Let them cook for about 8 minutes, turning to cook on both sides.

Crispy Homemade French Fries / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Remove potatoes from hot oil (Use a slotted spatula or slotted spoon to help remove them).

Crispy Homemade French Fries / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Place hot potatoes onto a baking pan or a wire rack with paper towels underneath, to drain the oil off of them (without the paper towels sticking to the fries). Then let the fries rest on paper towels for just a minute while you reheat oil back to temp.

Crispy Homemade French Fries / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Heat the oil back to 350 degrees. Once oil is at temperature again, carefully add the fries for a second cooking (this is what gives them a crispy texture on the outside). Cook for 3-4 additional minutes, until crispy and hot! Remove chips and drain on paper towels once again.

Crispy Homemade French Fries / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Season to taste with salt (or seasoning salt). Serve and enjoy your crispy homemade french fries!

Crispy Homemade French Fries / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

It’s really easy to make your own delicious and crispy fries at home… the key is cooking them twice and the temperature of the oil being ACCURATE and hot enough.  If I can do it, so can YOU.  Hope you have a great day, and please pass the ketchup to dip my fries in, okay?

Crispy Homemade French Fries / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

 

Crispy Homemade French Fries
 
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It's EASY to make your own delicious, crispy french fries at home!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 3-4 servings
Ingredients
  • 3-4 small to medium russet potatoes
  • Vegetable oil (enough for 2 inches depth in skillet)
  • Salt (or seasoning salt), to taste
Directions
  1. Peel, rinse, then cut potatoes, by slicing potatoes lengthwise into 1 inch slices, then cutting each slice into finger thickness sized strips. Dry the potatoes as much as you can by patting them dry with paper towels. The drier the potato strips, the less oil splatters you should have.
  2. Heat oil (enough to cover skillet with 2 inches of oil) in large skillet or stock pot until it reaches 350 degrees. Use a thermometer (meat or candy) to gauge temperature. I used my electric skillet, which has a temperature gauge on it. Carefully place cut, dried potatoes into hot oil. Let them cook for about 8 minutes, turning to cook on both sides. Remove potatoes from hot oil (I used a slotted spatula to help remove them). Place hot potatoes onto a baking pan or a wire rack with paper towels underneath, to drain the oil off of them).
  3. Let them rest for just a minute while you reheat oil temperature back to 350 degrees.
  4. Carefully add the chips for a second "fry". Cook for 3-4 additional minutes, until crispy and hot! Carefully remove fries from hot oil with a slotted spatula or spoon and drain on paper towels.
  5. Season to taste with salt (or seasoning salt). Serve hot, and enjoy!

 

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Summer Vegetable Tian

There are a lot of fantastic Summer veggies coming into season right now. This Summer Vegetable Tian is a GREAT way to simply & creatively serve fresh veggies to those you love!Summer Vegetable Tian / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
The recipe serves 6, and is very inexpensive to make (especially if you have a backyard garden like me, and are bursting with harvested zucchini, onions, yellow squash and tomatoes about this time of year)!  If you have ONE onion, ONE zucchini, ONE yellow squash, ONE potato, and ONE tomato, then you have almost everything you will need to make this great side dish!

Here’s how you make this beautiful, delicious dish:  Start by sautéing the diced onions and minced garlic in olive oil for a few minutes. Note: I added garlic during the last minute of cooking, so it wouldn’t burn or become bitter.

Summer Vegetable Tian / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Spread softened butter on the bottom and sides of a baking dish (again… playing with your food).

Summer Vegetable Tian / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Spread the cooked onions and garlic on the bottom of the dish.

Summer Vegetable Tian / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Alternating veggies, stack the sliced vegetables in the dish vertically until dish is filled. (You will notice there won’t be as many tomato slices as everything else- no worries, just add them in.  Have fun playing with your food!  Season the veggies generously with salt and pepper, then add dried thyme.

Summer Vegetable Tian / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil, and place the pan in a preheated 400 degree oven. Bake veggies for 30 minutes, then take the foil off the dish, cover the top of the veggies with the shredded Parmesan cheese, then continue baking for another 15-20 minutes. This is what they looked like when I removed the foil. (oops-forgot to take a picture after adding shredded cheese to the top after this!)

Summer Vegetable Tian / the Grateful Girl Cooks!

When done, the Parmesan cheese will be melted and light brown in color, and the veggies will be cooked through.  Remove baking dish from oven, and serve while hot!  I found it easiest to remove a “serving sized section” of veggies using a spatula to keep them together in a compact, colorful line.

Summer Vegetable Tian / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

On the plate, and ready to eat! I served this vegetable side dish with Baked Dover Sole Rollatini, but it would be a great side dish for a variety of main courses!

Summer Vegetable Tian / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I don’t think you can EVER go wrong with fresh vegetables on the table! The alternating colors displayed so beautifully made it a very appetizing looking dish. The vegetables tasted wonderful, too, so I will definitely be making this again! Have a blessed day!

Summer Vegetable Tian / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Source:  http://www.budgetbytes.com/2011/08/summer-vegetable-tian/

Summer Vegetable Tian
 
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Delicious and colorful baked vegetable side dish, featuring zucchini, yellow squash, potato, tomato, herbs and Italian cheese.
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Side Dishes
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 medium sized brown onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium sized zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium sized yellow squash, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium potato, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and Pepper (to taste)
  • 1 cup shredded Italian Cheese (I used shredded Parmesan)
  • Non-stick spray (or softened butter), for pan. I used butter!
Directions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400º F. While oven is preheating, dice the onion (finely) and mince the 2 cloves of garlic. Heat olive oil in skillet on medium heat. Add onions; sauté them for 4-5 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Add garlic the last minute of cooking, so as not to burn it. Set aside.
  2. THINLY slice zucchini, yellow squash, potato and tomato. It is best if these vegetables are all about the same circumference around, for uniformity.
  3. Spray an 8x8 baking dish with non-stick spray or coat bottom and sides of pan with softened butter (I used butter!). Place the cooked onions and garlic on the bottom of pan, spreading evenly.
  4. Evenly stack the thinly sliced vegetables vertically in dish (alternating veggies) to form a long line of colorful veggies in the pan. When one row is done, start another row, until all veggies have been distributed. (Think of this as playing with your food!)
  5. Once vegetables are arranged in dish, season them liberally with salt and pepper, then add thyme.
  6. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil; Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Take the foil off the dish, cover the tops of the veggies with shredded Parmesan cheese, then continue cooking (uncovered) for an additional 15-20 minutes (until the cheese turns light brown).
  7. Remove pan from oven, and serve! Enjoy!
Notes
I found it is easiest to serve the veggies by lifting a "section" out of the baking dish with a long spatula. That keeps the veggies together in a compact, colorful line.

 

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Skillet Zucchini, Mushrooms And Peppers With Parmesan

You know how Moms always say “EAT YOUR VEGETABLES!”?  Well… I AM a Mom, and I still have to tell myself this all the time! I’m always looking for new ways to make veggies more appealing!  So here’s a quick & tasty side dish for Skillet Zucchini, Mushrooms and Peppers With Parmesan.Skillet Zucchini, Mushrooms And Peppers With Parmesan / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Sometimes it’s nice to get out of the “vegetable rut” and cook a new combination of veggies for taste and color of the dish, for a change! Here’s how easy it is to make this side dish:

Melt 1 teaspoon butter in skillet. Add chopped red onion and sliced mushrooms; sauté on medium heat for 3-4 minutes, until mushrooms have softened, and are cooked through.

Skillet Zucchini, Mushrooms And Peppers With Parmesan / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add sliced zucchini and red pepper to the skillet. I kept the mushrooms in the skillet, but moved them to the side while cooking zucchini.  Continue cooking and and stirring this mixture for 4-5 minutes until zucchini is cooked through (but not too soft).

Skillet Zucchini, Mushrooms And Peppers With Parmesan / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add minced garlic to the veggies; cook for an additional minute, stirring often. Do not let the garlic burn. Season vegetables with salt, pepper, and oregano to taste.

Skillet Zucchini, Mushrooms And Peppers With Parmesan / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

When done, pour the sauteéd vegetables into a serving bowl. Finely grate fresh Parmesan cheese over the top of the vegetables while they are still hot, so it melts.

Skillet Zucchini, Mushrooms And Peppers With Parmesan / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Serve this simple dish while it is still hot… and enjoy! It’s a nice combination of vegetables, and the colors make it more tempting to want to dig in! I enjoyed creating and eating this vegetable dish, and the recipe can be EASILY doubled. Sometimes it’s more fun to have a mixture of colorful, tasty veggies than to just have a lump of broccoli on the plate. Amen!

Skillet Zucchini, Mushrooms And Peppers With Parmesan / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Skillet Zucchini, Mushrooms And Peppers With Parmesan
 
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Quick and tasty side dish featuring pan sauteéd zucchini, mushrooms and red bell peppers, topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Vegetables
Serves: 2-3 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • ¼ cup red onions (chopped)
  • 1 large green zucchini (or 2 medium sized), sliced
  • ½ cup red bell pepper (sliced or chopped)
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • Fresh Parmesan cheese (finely grated- amount is your choice!)
Directions
  1. Melt butter in skillet. Sauté sliced mushrooms and red onion on medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
  2. Move mushrooms to side of skillet; add sliced zucchini and red bell pepper. Cook zucchini, etc. for 4-5 minutes, or until zucchini has softened slightly , but is not "soggy". Add minced garlic to pan. Stir to combine. Cook for additional minute, stirring often. Do not let garlic burn.
  3. Season with salt, pepper and oregano, to taste. Remove mixture to serving dish. Immediately grate fresh Parmesan cheese over the top of the hot veggies. Serve... and enjoy!

 

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Garlic Infused Roasted Asparagus

There’s nothing like the abundance and great taste of fresh asparagus in the Springtime! It’s especially tasty when it is Garlic Infused Roasted Asparagus! Roasted in the oven, with garlic infused olive oil flavor… YUM!Garlic Infused Roasted Asparagus / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I love fresh asparagus, either steamed or roasted, but roasting it is my favorite way to make it.  It’s very simple to make this delicious vegetable side dish. Here’s how you make it:

Add olive oil to a small skillet. Turn heat to medium.  Lightly smash 3 medium sized garlic cloves (if small, use 4). Remove the peel, then add the smashed cloves to the oil in skillet. Cook until the oil starts to get bubbly around the garlic pieces. Once it starts bubbling, turn the heat down to LOW. Continue cooking until it gets heated through, but do not let the garlic turn brown or burn (if you overcook the garlic it will become very bitter tasting!)

Garlic Infused Roasted Asparagus / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Once the oil is heated through, remove the garlic from the oil; discard garlic. Trim the thick bottom ends off of each asparagus stalk (I snap the ends). Arrange them in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Pour the garlic infused olive oil over the asparagus.

Garlic Infused-Roasted Asparagus / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Toss to fully coat asparagus, then season with the salt and pepper.

Garlic Infused Roasted Asparagus / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Roast asparagus in a preheated 450 degree oven for a total of 12-15 minutes (time varies, depending on size of asparagus stalks! Keep an eye on them at the 10 minute mark- I once forgot to check on them (got really busy in the kitchen), and because they were teensy, tiny stalks, I killed them. True story! With dinner guests in attendance… oh the horror!).

After the asparagus has cooked for 6 minutes (halfway through cooking time), flip the asparagus over to the other side, and continue baking for the remainder of baking time.   See how the asparagus has begun to roast up in the photo below? This is a good thing!

Garlic Infused Roasted Asparagus / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Once the asparagus is done, remove from oven. It’s ready to serve! The asparagus is fantastic with a bit of shaved Parmesan cheese on top, too! (When I took these photos I was making this for a meal with a Vegan in attendance (no dairy!), so I left the fresh Parmesan curls off as a garnish), but trust me… it’s delicious BOTH ways!

It’s a gorgeous day here in the great Pacific Northwest, so I’m gonna head outside in the fresh air and sunshine while it’s here!  Have a fantastic day!

Garlic Infused Roasted Asparagus / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Garlic Infused Roasted Asparagus
 
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Oven roasted fresh asparagus, lightly flavored with garlic infused olive oil... yum!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 bunches fresh asparagus, thick ends trimmed
  • 2½ Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 medium sized garlic cloves (4, if small), lightly smashed, then peeled.
  • approx. ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • Freshly shaved Parmesan cheese curls, if desired, for garnish
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Smash and peel garlic cloves. Add them to olive oil in a small skillet. Heat oil on a MEDIUM heat. Once the oil around the cloves begins to bubble up a bit, make sure to turn the heat down to LOW. Cook until heated through, but be careful not to brown or burn the garlic (cause it makes the garlic have a bitter taste-not good!). Remove from heat; discard the garlic cloves.
  3. Place the trimmed asparagus stalks onto a large baking sheet, in a single layer. Pour the infused olive oil over the asparagus. Toss gently to fully coat with the oil, then season with salt and pepper.
  4. Bake in preheated 450 degree oven for 6 minutes. Flip the asparagus over, and cook for an additional 6-8 minutes, until roasted through. Check the stalks to ensure you do not overcook them (last half of cooking time will vary, due to various sizes of asparagus stalks).
  5. Serve while hot. Garnish with freshly shaved Parmesan cheese curls, if desired.

 

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Easy Homemade Rice Pilaf

Do you buy rice pilaf from a box on the grocery store shelf? What if I told you it’s VERY easy to make your own and it tastes FANTASTIC?!!! That’s right… this Easy Homemade Rice Pilaf is my latest recipe “find” and it is amazing. Seriously GOOD.Easy Homemade Rice Pilaf / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I love rice pilaf, and have been buying boxes of it (“The San Francisco Treat” – wink, wink) for years and years… until I found this recipe. It is delicious, and very easy to prepare… and now it is my “go to” rice pilaf recipe.

Here’s how easy it is to make this great side dish:

Melt 2 Tablespoons butter in a medium-sized  skillet. Add in the orzo pasta and black wild rice; cook  on medium-low heat until the orzo becomes golden brown in color.

Easy Homemade Rice Pilaf / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add the diced onions and continue cooking until the onions have softened and become translucent in color. Add minced garlic and cook for an additional minute.

Easy Homemade Rice Pilaf / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add rice, salt and pepper, turmeric and chicken broth to the skillet. Stir to combine.

Easy Homemade Rice Pilaf / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Bring the mixture to a boil, while stirring often. Once the liquid is boiling, reduce the heat to Low. Put a cover/lid on the skillet. Continue to cook rice for 25-30 minutes. *Note: I checked the rice at 25 minutes… rice was almost done, but not all the way, so I added just a touch of water, gave it a stir, then cooked it for another 5 minutes so I could be sure rice was done.

Easy Homemade Rice Pilaf / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Here it is when done. The rice will be soft (and the little bit of black wild rice will have a touch of firmness). It looks very similar to what you get from a boxed mix (but I honestly think it tasted better).

Easy Homemade Rice Pilaf / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

When rice is done, remove skillet from heat. Take the lid off the skillet. Let the rice stand (uncovered) for a couple minutes, then fluff it up using a fork, and serve!

Easy Homemade Rice Pilaf / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I served the rice pilaf as an accompaniment to a chicken dinner I made recently (Rosemary Chicken With Caramelized Onion Wine Sauce). I have also used it as a side dish for seafood, with great results. It is a perfect side dish for beef, poultry, pork or seafood, and in my book, you can’t beat that! The leftovers were incredible, too (with a good stir and a quick heat up in the microwave!).

Easy Homemade Rice Pilaf / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I really hope you will give this delicious rice pilaf a try. We LOVE it, and it’s now been added to our regular rotation. I love being able to make rice pilaf from scratch, and not having to run to the grocery store for a boxed mix every time I want to serve this great side dish.

Have a great day!

Easy Homemade Rice Pilaf / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Adapted From:  http://www.favfamilyrecipes.com/stovetop-rice-pilaf-with-orzo.html

Easy Homemade Rice Pilaf
 
Prep time
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This easy to prepare rice pilaf is the perfect accompaniment to beef, poultry, pork and seafood.
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Side Dishes
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup orzo
  • ½ medium brown onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup white rice
  • 1 Tablespoon black wild rice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ⅛ teaspoon turmeric (a spice, gives the rice it's yellow color & it's good for you!)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
Directions
  1. Melt butter in medium skillet. Add orzo and black wild rice; cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally until the orzo is golden brown in color (about 5 minutes).
  2. Add diced onion and cook until onions soften and are translucent. Add minced garlic; cook for one minute, stirring often.
  3. Add white rice, salt and pepper, turmeric, and chicken broth. Stir to combine.
  4. Cook mixture until the liquid comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to Low, put a lid on the skillet. Continue simmering the rice for 25 minutes. When done, the rice will be softened, and the liquid will be absorbed.
  5. *Test the rice at the 25 minute mark. If the rice is in need of a bit more cooking (but most liquid is absorbed already), add just a touch more water, and cook for another 5 minutes. The black wild rice will still be a bit firmer than the rest of the rice... (that's okay).
  6. When rice is done, remove the skillet from the heat. Take off lid, and let it stand for a couple minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork, and serve. Enjoy!

 

 

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Roasted Delicata Squash with Maple and Sage

Have you ever tried Delicata Squash before? The truth is, I had never even HEARD of delicata squash before I saw a recipe on Pinterest that I wanted to try. So I bought two of them at the grocery store and made this wonderful side dish… Roasted Delicata Squash with Maple and Sage! It was really GOOD.Roasted Delicata Squash with Maple and Sage / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I did a little research on this cylinder shaped winter squash via Wikipedia. They are between 6-8 inches long, cream-colored with stripes, have a very thin rind, and belong to the same species as zucchini, pattypan squash, and yellow crookneck squash. It’s believed they were first introduced to North America in 1894, and are a good source of fiber and potassium. Now, don’t you feel much more intelligent now that your brain is packed with all that squash knowledge? Ha Ha!

I used two delicata squash for this recipe (which makes 4-6 servings). The recipe is easily cut in half or doubled (to fit your serving size needs).

Rosted Delicata Squash with Maple and Sage / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Each squash was sliced in half, lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Slice off the ends of each squash half. They should look like this when done (this picture was taken before ends were cut off)…

Roasted Delicata Squash with Maple and Sage / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

After both ends of each squash half were sliced off, each half was then cut into one inch thick slices. I put the slices in a bowl, and tossed them with olive oil and salt. The slices were then placed on a foil covered baking sheet, and baked for 10 minutes. Definitely use aluminum foil under the squash. It will make clean up so much easier!!!

Roasted Delicata Squash with Maple and Sage / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

After 10 minutes, I flipped the pieces of squash over. Can you see how the squash is caramelizing from the roasting? This is good. Continue baking the squash for another 15 minutes (or until tender- use a knife or fork to test).

Roasted Delicata Squash with Maple and Sage / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

While those pretty squash slices are roasting, you can make the Maple Sage sauce. Heat butter, real Maple syrup and sage in a pan or skillet for a few minutes (this will help the maple and sage to permeate the butter with wonderful flavor!).

Roasted Delicata Squash with Maple and Sage / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

When the squash is done, I removed it from oven and placed it into a heatproof bowl. Then the Butter, Maple & Sage sauce was drizzled over the squash. I carefully gave it a quick stir to coat everything, then placed it onto a serving platter, and served it while hot!

Roasted Delicata Squash with Maple and Sage / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

It looks good… and more importantly, it TASTES great!

Roasted Delicata Squash with Maple and Sage / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

The rind is so thin, it is OKAY to eat it with this dish if you want!

Roasted Delicata Squash with Maple and Sage / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I LOVE finding new side dishes to try. This side dish was very economical to make, as well (I paid .99 cents for each squash). Hope you will consider trying this recipe. It was really delicious.

Roasted Delicata Squash with Maple and Sage / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Recipe Source:  http://www.afamilyfeast.com/maple-sage-roasted-delicata-squash/

Roasted Delicata Squash with Maple and Sage
 
Prep time
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Easy and delicious side dish, featuring oven roasted delicata squash, glazed with maple syrup, butter, and sage.
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 delicata squash (whole)
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh sage (cut into pieces- may substitute 1½ Tablespoons dried sage)
  • 2 Tablespoons real Maple syrup
Directions
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Wash the outside of the squash. Using a sharp knife, cut the squash in half from top to bottom. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon (discard the seeds).
  3. Cut off the ends of each squash half. Discard ends.
  4. Slice across the squash; cutting it into one inch slices. Leave the skins on (they are so thin, you can eat them, as well)
  5. Put the squash slices in a large bowl; drizzle with olive oil and salt. Mix well, to coat the squash.
  6. Place the squash on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet. Bake them at 425 for 10 minutes.
  7. Flip the squash over to other side and bake for 15 minutes (or until tender- test with a knife or fork).
  8. While squash is baking, make the sauce: Cook the butter, sage, and maple syrup for a few minutes in skillet or pan, to help the flavors of maple syrup and sage permeate the melted butter.
  9. When squash is done, drizzle with Butter/Maple and Sage sauce and stir to combine(I transferred them to a large bowl to do this!). Place glazed quash on serving platter, and serve while hot!

 

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Mushroom Risotto with Pan-Seared Shrimp

In all my years of cooking, I have NEVER made risotto, even though I’ve thought about  it many times. Sooo…I recently tried a mushroom risotto recipe I found on Pinterest, added some pan-seared shrimp to it… and LOVED it!  This Mushroom Risotto with Pan-Seared Shrimp was far easier to make than I originally thought it would be… I will make it again!! Mushroom Risotto with Pan-Seared Shrimp / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
The only hard thing about making risotto (and it’s not hard at all), is the continual stirring of the rice as you add in broth and wine as you cook. If you have all the ingredients ready to go before beginning this recipe, it’s really no big deal! Here’s what you do to make this absolutely delicious dish:

Clean and cut mushrooms into quarters. Melt butter and olive oil in large saucepan. Saute mushrooms until lightly browned (several minutes). Salt, then continue cooking for a couple additional minutes. Remove mushrooms from pan; set aside.

Mushroom Risotto with Pan-Seared Shrimp / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

The salt helps moisture be released from mushrooms… they are looking good.

Mushroom Risotto with Pan-Seared Shrimp / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

After removing mushrooms from pan, melt additional butter and olive oil. Saute the chopped onion for 5 minutes (medium-high).

Mushroom Risotto with Pan-Seared Shrimp / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Now add ARBORIO rice (have to have this kind of rice to make risotto, folks).

Mushroom Risotto with Pan-Seared Shrimp / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Stir the rice in with the onions. Cook a couple minutes until rice begins to turn a light brown.

Mushroom Risotto with Pan-Seared Shrimp / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Now here’s the important step. Add wine, let liquid boil and be absorbed. Then add a cup of broth into mixture, while stirring constantly. Continue to stir rice. When almost all of liquid has been absorbed, add more broth 1/4 cup at a time. Continue cooking and stirring, then adding 1/4 cup broth at a time to rice as liquid is absorbed, until finally all the broth has been incorporated into rice. (this will take about 25-30 minutes in total).

Mushroom Risotto with Pan-Seared Shrimp / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

When done, all the broth should have been used, and the rice should be tender, but not smushy. (there should still be a tiny bit of liquid left in pan). Add cooked mushrooms to rice.

Mushroom Risotto with Pan-Seared Shrimp / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add grated fresh Parmesan cheese, and some salt and pepper (to taste). Stir ingredients well, to combine. Remove pan from heat. Cover the pan and let the risotto sit for 4-5 minutes. While risotto is resting (such hard work being stirred so much, right?), cook the shrimp.

Mushroom Risotto with Pan-Seared Shrimp / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Cook cleaned, de-veined, and seasoned shrimp in butter and olive oil in separate skillet. Cook for abut 2-3 minutes per side on medium high heat.

Mushroom Risotto with Pan-Seared Shrimp / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Spoon out individual serving portions of the mushroom risotto and place 4-5 pan-seared shrimp on top. Garnish with parsley, and additional grated Parmesan cheese. Serve hot!

Mushroom Risotto with Pan-Seared Shrimp / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Sure hope you will give this one a try. It is so creamy, full of flavor… and EASY! This is a versatile recipe. If you want the risotto as a side dish… omit the shrimp! If you want it vegetarian- omit the shrimp! If you don’t like shrimp… how about using pan-seared chicken pieces? How easy is THAT!

I am so glad I tried making risotto (finally), and am looking forward to creating many new risotto dishes (now that I learned the technique for making it – thanks to Martha, at “A Family Feast”)!

Have a fantastic day, friends. Make it a good one!

Mushroom Risotto with Pan-Seared Shrimp / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Mushroom Risotto Recipe Source: http://www.afamilyfeast.com/mushroom-risotto/

Mushroom Risotto with Pan-Seared Shrimp
 
Prep time
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Creamy mushroom risotto, cooked with wine and Parmesan cheese, and topped with pan-seared shrimp. YUM!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
For mushrooms:
  • 1 8 ounce pkg. mushrooms (baby bella or white button-I used white button)
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt
For Arborio rice:
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ large brown onion, finely diced (total of 1 cup diced onion)
  • 1 cup Arborio rice (no substitutes!)
  • ⅓ cup dry white wine
  • 2½ cups chicken stock or broth
  • ¾ cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
For Shrimp:
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ pound medium shrimp (about 10-15)
  • Garlic powder, dried parsley (enough to lightly season shrimp)
For Garnish:
  • Dried parsley flakes
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
Directions
  1. Have all ingredients ready/prepped before beginning.
  2. Prepare The Mushrooms:
  3. Clean mushrooms, then cut into quarters (include stems). Melt 1 T. butter and 1 T. olive oil in medium skillet. Cook the mushroom (stirring often) on medium-high for several minutes until lightly browned. Sprinkle with just a bit of salt, then cook for another minute. Remove pan from heat, and set aside.
  4. Prepare the Rice:
  5. Melt olive oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  6. Add rice; cook and stir for a couple minutes until rice begins to turn a light brown color.
  7. Pour in white wine. Let liquid come to a boil, then be absorbed into rice.
  8. Pour one cup of broth into rice, and stir constantly. Make sure to keep the heat at a medium simmer. Each time almost all (but not all) of the liquid has been absorbed, add ¼ cup more broth, stirring constantly. Continue this process (rice absorbs liquid, adding more liquid) until broth is gone. This will take about 25-30 minutes.
  9. When done the rice should be tender (and there should be only a little bit of liquid remaining). Turn off the heat, then add the mushrooms, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Str well, to fully combine. Put a lid on pan, and let sit for 5 minutes. While risotto is sitting covered, quickly cook the shrimp.
  10. Sprinkle shrimp lightly with garlic powder and dried parsley flakes and mix together, to coat shrimp (this is easier/quicker if you season shrimp at time you clean and de-vein them- before you begin cooking this recipe). Melt butter and olive oil in hot, medium-high skillet. Add seasoned shrimp. Cook quickly... about 2-3 minutes per side, until done.
  11. Spoon risotto into (or onto) individual serving dishes. Place 3-5 pan-seared shrimp on top of each portion. Garnish with additional grated Parmesan cheese and parsley flakes. Serve hot, and enjoy!

 

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