I think that easy, delicious, complex side dishes are a genre that needs more exploring. For example, this dish. It takes very little work, uses ingredients that pack a ton of vibrant yet nuanced flavors, is salty and a little bit sweet, and is very healthy to boot. The base of the sauce is a miso-soy, garlic-ginger concoction, which basically just screams “ingredients that punch above their weight!” I use it here with asparagus, but really it would go well with any green vegetable; the original recipe from which I’ve adapted it from Kitchn.com, which used broccolini, but regular broccoli or even broccoli rabe or kale would be terrific and delicious.
Serve this opposite any simply prepared meat and starch, and you have yourself a surprisingly sophisticated meal, easy enough for a weeknight yet elegant enough for company. The marinade, if you want to call it that, seasons and oils the vegetable all in one, and if you coat your cookie sheet with aluminum fool you’ll have very little cleanup. Done and done.
10-Minute Miso Asparagus
- 1 bunch asparagus, woody ends chopped off
- 1 Tbsp miso paste
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp minced ginger
- 1 clove garlic
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Blend the garlic in the Magic Bullet, then add all the other ingredients except the asparagus and pulse a few times.
- In a big bowl, rub the miso mixture all over the asparagus.
- Put on a cookie sheet and roast until browned and soft, stirring once or twice during cooking if you like. Serve.
Sun-dried tomato! Just mentioning it makes you feel healthy and closer to nature. Tomatoes? Dried by the sun? Count me in! So why not blend this delicious natural treat into a tasty salad dressing that compliments its own natural flavors?
This simple sun-dried tomato salad dressing is unique, rich, and with help from the Magic Bullet, incredibly easy to make!
- 1/3 Cup Packed Sun-dried Tomatoes
- 1 Cup Water
- 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 1/2 tbsp. Maple Syrup
- 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
- Salt & Pepper
1) Let sun-dried tomatoes sit in warm water for 10 minutes to soften.
2) Combine all ingredients in Magic Bullet and blend.
Top your salad with some feta cheese, chicken, corn or other favorite salad ingredients, and dig in!
Polenta is one of those things that makes you wonder exactly what you’ve been doing with your life. OK, that’s an overstatement, but still, you can whip up this delicious, rich, corny and creamy side dish in about fifteen minutes with minimal work and expense. It’s only about three ingredients.
I buy polenta – rough ground cornmeal – from the Whole Foods bulk bins, and it’s comically cheap. If you’re waiting for the catch, the catch is that it took you (however many years old you are) to figure this out, and what’s your excuse? Or maybe you knew all about polenta — knew about it your whole life, in fact. Well, good for you.
In any event, I like to serve this as with meats braised in a savory sauce, like short ribs in red wine, or anywhere you’d normally serve mashed potatoes. It’s also great the next day under a fried egg, for breakfast.
Polenta with Butter and Parmesan
- 1 cup polenta (rough ground cornmeal)
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 large chunk parmesan (about 1/4 cup after blending)
- Salt to taste
- Blend parmesan in Magic Bullet.
- In a large pot, heat four cups of water and a big pinch of salt over high heat.
- When the water is boiling, add the polenta bit by bit, whisking all the while.
- Reduce heat to low and cook about eleven minutes until the polenta is very thick.
- Turn off the heat and add the butter and then, gradually, the parmesan cheese. Keep whisking and taste for salt.
- Serve with a saucy dish.
My husband’s favorite food has always been tacos, and sometimes it’s hard to switch up the flavors on something that wows him!
Luckily, I know he loves spice, especially the kind that wakes him up! 😉 This sauce has been made repeatedly and added to pretty much everything he eats. Quesadillas, tacos, sandwiches, burgers, dips for French fries, you name it! If you have a spice-lover in your life, this sauce has their name written all over it!
Give it a try on these super easy-t0-make tacos that won’t take you very long at all, and use the leftover sauce on your favorite dish.
Spicy Chipotle Adobo Sauce on Black Bean Tacos
For the Sauce
- ¾ cup plain greek yogurt or sour cream
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, or 1 for less spice
- 1 tsp. adobo sauce, or ½ tsp. for less spice
- Zest of 1 lime
- Juice of ½ lime
For the Tacos
- Corn tortillas
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 Tbsp Olive oil
- ½ onion
- 2 Tbsp chopped garlic
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. cumin
- chopped lettuce
- In your Magic Bullet, add the yogurt, peppers, lime zest, lime juice, and adobo sauce. Blend until pureed. Add to a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Heat a skillet on medium heat. Add your olive oil, onions, and garlic. Cook 2-3 minutes, then add your black beans and spices. Cook until the beans are heated through.
- Assemble your tacos with lettuce, cilantro, beans, and adobo sauce. Squeeze some lime juice on top and enjoy!
White bean dip is a classic snack or appetizer. And by using the Magic Bullet, it’s also a simple and quick recipe to prepare!
I’ve added some parsley to give the dip color and a deliciously unique flavor. If you’re feeling spicy, add some red pepper flakes to give it a little kick. You can also substitute parsley for cilantro.
White Bean Parsley Dip
- 1 can cannellini beans
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup parsley
- 1 small clove of garlic
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Add beans to Magic Bullet cup and blend.
- Chop parsley and garlic.
- Combine all ingredients in Magic Bullet cup and blend once more, until you reach a smooth, thick consistency.
Spread over toast or a cracker and enjoy!
What is it with grain salads? For decades, we didn’t know they existed, and now they’re everywhere. Here’s a hint: they’re delicious.
In this one, I tried out a new grain: pearled barley. It’s sort of like farro, but a little less nutty and a little more… barley-ey? It’s great for a weeknight, since it boils up to al dente in fifteen minutes.
This fish sauce vinaigrette, adapted from The Kitchn, pulls everything together nicely with tart, umami, and salty notes. Although fish sauce is famously not fishy, here, I play up the seafood element by pairing the sauce with griddled scallops (scallops a la plancha). To get a beautiful crust on the scallops (or any protein), I recommend salting them a day before and leaving uncovered in the fridge. And roasted brussels sprouts, too, for vegetal, crispy, chewy deliciousness. Obviously.
Fish Sauce Vinaigrette with Pearled Barley Salad
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tsp. honey
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- ¾ cup pearled barley
- 1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
- Half a bundle of scallions, sliced
- Protein of choice, cooked to taste – I used scallops
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Blend the vinegar, fish sauce, honey, and olive oil in your Magic Bullet.
- Meanwhile, boil the pearled barley in heavily salted water for fifteen minutes or until al dente. Rinse with cold water to cool.
- Toss the brussels sprouts with a dash of olive oil and a hefty dash of salt and roast in the oven until crispy and brown, about twenty minutes.
- Toss brussels, scallions, barley, and protein with the vinaigrette.
The summer can be brutal, and the majority of the time, I just want to enjoy a nice, refreshing piece of fruit. Almost daily, my kids and I venture to the pool with packed lunches and sunscreen. The last thing I want to eat is a sandwich, so I created this salad as my g0-to. 😉 It’s light, refreshing, but still totally filling. And, you won’t feel full or bloated in your bathing suit!
We all know how important that it!
Strawberry Mint Watermelon Salad
- 2 cups chopped, seedless watermelon
- 1 cup chopped strawberries
- 1/3 cup feta
- ½ lime, juiced, or 1 whole lime if it’s not super juicy
- 6-7 mint leaves
- zest of ½ lime
- In a bowl, add chopped watermelon, strawberries, and feta. Using the smallest Magic Bullet cup, add in your lime juice and mint leaves.
- Blend until the mint leaves are chopped up and the lime is well incorporated.
- Add the dressing to the salad and mix. Top with lime zest, and enjoy!
Dessert or appetizer dip? You decide! This chocolate chip cookie dough dip is secretly healthy, although nobody would know unless you told them the secret ingredient: white beans! Yes, the base of the dip is white kidney beans. But I promise — you don’t taste them at all once they’re blended with all of the other ingredients, which helps create a delicious and strong cookie dough flavor.
My favorite thing to eat this cookie dough dip with is graham crackers, but I’m sure you can think of a lot of other things it would go great with! Last time I made it, I ate the whole batch myself. It’s very addicting!
Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip
- 1 cup white beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 Tbsp milk
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp almond butter
- Pinch of baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- ¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Add all ingredients except chocolate chips to a Magic Bullet cup and blend until creamy and smooth.
- Stir in chocolate chips and sprinkle on top.
Makes 1 cup.
Hello salad, my old friend.
I’ve come to enjoy you again.
Because as lately, I’ve been eating,
Foods that I should not be eating –
Pizza, mac n’ cheese,
Cheeseburgers, wings –
And yet the hunger deep inside my stomach
And so… I eat salad.
(With salmon and farro and Brussels sprouts, and a lemony vinaigrette.)
Salmon, Farro, and Brussels Sprouts Salad
- 1 medium wild salmon filet, about 8 ounces
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and sliced
- 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
- 2/3 cup farro
- ¼ cup olive oil, plus more for cooking
- Juice and zest from 1 lemon
- 2 Tbsp mustard (I used a mix of Dijon and spicy brown)
- Add a dash of olive oil to a large pan over medium-high heat and add the brussels sprouts. Cook until beginning to brown, then remove to a bowl.
- Pat the salmon dry with a paper towel and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add more olive oil to the pan and add the salmon, skin side down. Cook until salmon skin will release from pan without any resistance, then flip the salmon over and cook few minutes more until the salmon is medium-rare on the inside.
- Meanwhile, boil the farro in two cups of salted water until cooked, about twenty minutes.
- In Magic Bullet, blend the olive oil, lemon juice and zest, and the mustard.
- Add the farro, cucumbers and brussels sprouts to a bowl. Add the vinaigrette and stir everything around. Plate the salad, topping with salmon.
Buddha bowls are my new favorite way to get in all of my vegetables for the day. If you haven’t heard of them yet, I’m sure you’ve seen them around the web, since they’re kind of a thing right now. But what’s with the name?
They actually called “Buddha” bowls because they look like, well, a Buddha belly with all of those vegetables piled on top! In terms of what vegetables you can add to them, you can go crazy and add whatever you want! The base of this Buddha bowl is made with quinoa, and it is topped with some of my favorite vegetables, including bell pepper, radish, cauliflower, asparagus, carrots, kale and avocado. You can also switch it up and make the base out of brown rice, or mix in some cooked black beans. My favorite part about this bowl is the dressing—it is so delicious and adds so much flavor to this healthy vegetable quinoa salad.
Buddha Bowl with Tahini Dressing
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 1/3 cup cooked kale
- 1 radish, sliced
- 1 carrot, thinly peeled into ribbons
- 1/2 cup purple cauliflower
- 1 asparagus, chopped
- 1/2 avocado, sliced
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper, sliced
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup tahini
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- Bring the water to a boil, then add the quinoa and turn to low heat and cover. Cook for about 20 minutes, then uncover, stir and cool.
- Add the olive oil, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, and maple syrup to a small Magic Bullet cup and blend well.
- Spread the quinoa over the bottom of a large bowl and top with the veggies, followed by the dressing.
Makes 1 large bowl.