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.
During the summer all my family wants are ice cold treats, especially ice cream! It’s easy to buy your favorite ice cream and stock up your freezer for when a craving calls! But, as a mom of 3 active girls, sometimes the summer days can be long and there is always an activity needed to be done. Making ice cream has become one of our favorite things to do together! We can use whatever ingredients we have on hand, and we have fun coming up with flavors! I also don’t feel bad because I know the ingredients we use are wholesome and not over-processed! I definitely win at being a mom during those times 😉
- 2 cans coconut milk (full fat or light)
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- ¾ cup vegan chocolate chips, or regular chopped dark chocolate
- Using your Magic Bullet, add coconut milk, syrup, and ½ cup of the chocolate into the larger cup. (If using the smaller sizes just divide the ingredients and blend.)
- Blend for about 30 seconds.
- Add your chocolate chips to the mixture, and pour the mix into an ice cream machine. Make ice cream based on your machines directions. You can get a great ice cream machine for under $30 right here.
- Eat immediately after ice cream is done, or let is set in the freezer. If it’s frozen solid, which is will, let it sit out for 10-15 minutes and it will be ready to eat and scoop!
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!
The first time I tried a white pizza was with my husband at a pizza restaurant close to where we live in the city. We accidentally ordered it from the menu. Growing up, all we ever had was pizza with red sauce, so we both completely missed that this restaurant offered a few pizzas with white sauce! He was not a fan, but I loved it. My favorite topping on white pizza sauce is broccoli. They go so well together. To make white pizza sauce, you need milk, flour, butter, garlic, basil, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese. I like to sprinkle Mozzarella cheese on top of the pizza before it goes into the oven for extra cheesiness.
Broccoli White Pizza
1 package dry active yeast
1 cup warm water
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 head broccoli, chopped and slightly steamed (optional)
1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
White Sauce Ingredients
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 3 Tbsp flour
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- Mix the yeast with water and sugar in a large bowl, then add the salt and oil.
- Gradually add the flour and stir with a spoon until the dough is dry enough to hold in your hands and no longer sticky.
- Knead the dough for 10 minutes, then place in a bowl and cover with a towel. Set in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.
- Add the milk, cheese, garlic, basil, salt and pepper to a Magic Bullet cup and blend.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan and stir in the flour.
- Add the milk mixture to the saucepan and whisk over medium heat until bubbles begin to form. Lower the heat and continue to stir until the sauce thickens.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Roll the dough out and spread onto a greased pizza pan.
- Top the dough with sauce, broccoli and Mozzarella cheese.
- Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until slightly browned.
Makes 1 Large Pizza
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.
An ice pop is more than just a tasty treat. It’s a symbol of happiness, nostalgia and friendship (I’m allowed to be sentimental!). Who isn’t having a great time while eating an ice pop? And now with the help of the Magic Bullet, it’s also incredibly easy to make! This recipe combines fresh watermelon, strawberry and some lime juice into a delicious treat you’ll be making for yourself and friends time and again.
- 3 Cups Chopped Watermelon
- 3 Strawberries
- 3 Tbsp Sugar
- 2 Tbsp Lime juice
1) Chop watermelon. Combine with lime juice in Magic Bullet and blend.
2) Chop strawberries.
3) Add to Magic Bullet and blend once more, roughly (this is so we get some pieces of strawberry in our pops!)
Remember: having sticky hands means you’re having fun.
Have you ever seen golden beets? They’re a rare find, but I strongly prefer golden beets over red because they have a much more subtle flavor, but are still really healthy for you!
Recently, I discovered they go incredibly well in pastas. Bake them in the oven, peel them, chop them up and toss them together with steamed kale, pine nuts, bow tie pasta and a light alfredo sauce quickly whipped up in your Magic Bullet and you have yourself a deliciously healthy comfort dish.
Didn’t know healthy comfort dishes existed? Try this one, it’ll surely change your mind!
Golden Beet Farfalle
- 1 pound farfalle (bowtie) pasta
- 3 large golden beets
- 2 cups chopped, cooked kale
- ⅓ cup pine nuts
- ½ tsp. lemon pepper
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ⅔ cup Parmesan cheese (plus more for topping)
- ½ cup 1% milk
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Add the olive oil, Parmesan cheese, milk and garlic to your small Magic Bullet cup and blend. Set aside.
- Wrap the beets in foil and bake them in the oven at 425 degrees F for 45 minutes, or until tender.
- Allow them to cool, then peel and cube them and toss into a large mixing bowl.
- Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain and add to the mixing bowl.
- Add the kale, pine nuts and alfredo sauce to the mixing bowl and toss well.
- Serve warm and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Makes 4 servings.
Here’s an easy, delicious side salad that goes well with almost anything. Bitter arugula contrasts nicely with sweet corn, made flavorful by browning in a pan, and rich, fragrant, and sweet shallots – all cut by a simple lemony vinaigrette that’s deliciously tart. This is incredibly easy – I used frozen corn – and hits all the flavor receptacles in your brain. Hat tip to Blue Apron for coming up with the recipe idea.
I served this with some salmon “croquettes” from Trader Joe’s, warmed up in the oven and served on toast with mayo. The lemon in the vinaigrette really cut the fattiness of the salmon, and the salad has enough going on that the meal is really well rounded. I happened to have some avocado lying around so I threw that in too just for good measure.
Make sure to really get the corn good and brown for extra flavor. Of course, you could use freshly shucked corn, and that’d be even better, but we’re not really seeing that in the farmers markets around here anymore.
Shallot-Corn Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
- 1 Tbsp butter
- ½ lb frozen corn, thawed
- 1 bag arugula
- 3 shallots, peeled and sliced
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 Tbsp vegetable or olive oil
- chunks of avocado, to taste
- Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook until softened, then add the corn and cook until quite brown.
- Blend lemon juice and oil in Magic Bullet.
- Mix arugula and shallot-corn mixture, dress with the vinaigrette, and add avocado if you like. Serve with a salmon sandwich or anything, really.
If you like sweet potatoes, you’re in for a treat, my friend!
These lovely sweet potatoes are baked twice. Why? First to cook the filling, which is then blended together with milk, butter, and spices in the Magic Bullet and then stuffed back into the sweet potato shell and baked again. Oh, and don’t forget the sweet pecan topping, which bakes to perfection during the second baking session. I would almost consider these twice-baked sweet potatoes a dessert, but they also make a healthy side dish to almost any meal you can have.
Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes
- 2 sweet potatoes, scrubbed and dried
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 Tbsp butter, melted
- 1/4 cup milk
- Handful chopped pecans
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- Bake the sweet potatoes in the oven at 375 degrees F for 1 hour, or until a fork easily pierces through.
- Cool to touch, then slice off the top third of each potato and scoop out most of the filling (leaving some to keep the shell stable) into your Magic Bullet cup.
- Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper, butter, and milk and blend.
- Scoop the filling back into the potato shells and sprinkle with pecans and brown sugar.
- Bake in the oven for 15 more minutes.
Makes 2 sweet potatoes.
Lasagna noodles should not be used for anything other than lasagna!
Well… Or you can also break them up and use them in a delicious pasta just like any other pasta, except with nice chewiness and softness and breadth and all the things that you love about lasagna with completely different flavors. So there’s that.
This is a nice, basically one-pot meal; you cook the sweet potatoes in the same pot as the noodles with delicious butter, thyme, and garlic, and add creamy ricotta to pull it all together. (It’s lasagna. There should be ricotta.)
As a cheffy extra step, the fresh sage is also fried in butter and dried on paper towels to make it extra crunchy and delicious. You can skip that if you don’t want crispy, fried delicious crunch and sage flavor on your pasta… But you do want that, don’t you?
Adapted from Food52.
Lasagna Noodles with Sweet Potato, Ricotta, and Sage
- 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” cubes
- ½ pound lasagna noodles
- 3-4 Tbsp ricotta cheese
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 bunch sage, leaves removed
- leaves from a few sprigs of thyme
- Bring a pot of heavily salted water to boil. Add the potatoes and cook until soft, about ten minutes. Remove to a bowl with a slotted spoon.
- Break the noodles in half and add to the water. Cook until al dente.
- Meanwhile, blend the garlic and thyme leaves in your Magic Bullet.
- Add butter to a pan over medium heat. Wait until butter is melted and beginning to foam, then add the sage and cook until crispy. Remove to paper towel-lined plated with a slotted spoon.
- Add the garlic-thyme mixture to the butter and cook until fragrant, just 30 seconds.
- Mix together the garlic, thyme, and butter with the sweet potatoes and noodles in a bowl. Salt to taste. Serve with the fried sage on top.