Appetizer, Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Side, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Crisply Baked Spicy Bang Bang Cauliflower

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Let’s bring these bad boys back to basics. All the recipes I found for Bang Bang Shrimp or Bang Bang Cauliflower called for panko, breadcrumbs, mayo, honey, eggs, sugar, milk . . . I mean, man, those recipes were still delicious. Breaded, crisply fried and just packed with a kick. I needed a better, lighter option. I obtained a recipe for Bang Bang Shrimp using only four ingredients for the sauce via Pinterest. With some tweaking and using this as inspiration, I cut the original recipes’  fluff and kept all the flavor. (Double points if you add even more spice to your life and prep these Bang Bang Cauliflower, while listening to “Bang Bang.”)  A great option for anyone allergic to seafood, has gluten-free or vegan needs or just willing to try something different. Plus, these super spicy morsels are baked, not fried, and still get crispy and perfectly browned in the oven. Sounds like an all around winning dish to me.

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Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Italian, Side, Vegan, Vegetarian

The New Classic Side

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What a simple, easy, delicious side and most importantly, a new classic. This is one of the main recipes in my arsenal that I repeatedly use; it goes with anything and everything — substitute for pasta, pairs well with fish, chicken sausage, chicken, turkey meatballs . . . The Spicy Garlic Sautéed Kale & Spinach gives you some of your daily dose of greens and adds color and flavor to any plate. Can’t deny that, right?

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Appetizer, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Local Finds, Salad, Side, Vegan, Vegetarian

Hearty Autumn Kale Salad

IMG_4952 I’ve been waiting for the leaves to change to resurrect this healthy and colorful Baby Kale, Sweet Potato & Apple Salad. The acidity of the fresh lemon juice and tartness of the dijon mustard both pair well with kale’s heartiness. The crisp apple, sweet potato and creamy delicata squash also somehow diminish and enhance the earthy and sometimes bitter flavors of kale. I’ve made this with curly kale, dinosaur kale or baby kale. I prefer baby kale for the milder taste. No matter the type of kale used, the subtle flavors in the salad and the crunch added by the walnuts create a salad you’ll want again and again. Continue reading “Hearty Autumn Kale Salad”

"How To" Guides, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Local Finds, Side, Vegan, Vegetarian

Deliciously Delicate Delicata

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Autumn brings all sorts of fun, unique and seasonal flavor — apple cider, pumpkin and pumpkin spice, different types of squash, roasted vegetables . . . I discovered delicata at the Ithaca Farmer’s Market last fall, and it effortlessly became one of my personal favorites to enjoy. And you leave the skin on so it’s even that much easier to prepare compared to most. If you like butternut squash or sweet potatoes, delicata squash has a similar smooth, creamy and sweet flavor (and can act as a substitute for either in recipes). Delicata squash is sometimes hard to find, but once found, definitely worth the buy.

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Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Italian, Side, Vegan, Vegetarian

Hearty, Flavorful & Abundant Beans

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Our family friend, Vin, showed my mom this idea for sautéing cannellini beans. Naturally, she brought it home and introduced it into our dinner repertoire, and I had to try this idea for sautéing cannellini beans. Here’s my take of Rosemary Cannellini Beans with Sautéed Spinach. It’s quick, easy and most importantly, delicious. It’s a great cold-weather side, as we transition into fall (or great in the warm weather too, especially next to something grilled). The rosemary and fresh baby spinach add flavor and greens to your meal, while the white beans add some heartiness and protein.

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Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Salad, Side, Vegan, Vegetarian

Make a True Salad From Your Potato Salad

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Ok, I have a confession. I stole this recipe from my mom because it was that good. This Arugula Potato “Salad” was entirely her idea, but it was too good not to share! A perfect side for one of those last BBQs or a hot day in September before summer truly ends. This is exactly what you need when you want all the fixings of a potato salad without all the mayo and additives. This salad would pair quite well with fish, chicken, burgers, ribs, steak — anything you’d serve for a classic BBQ or even an untraditional BBQ, like one with veggie or black bean burgers.  You’ll definitely want seconds of this arugula potato salad and hope you leave enough for leftovers!

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Appetizer, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Mexican, Side, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Holy Guacamole

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Guacamole is an instant crowd-pleaser, and it’s so easy to make! This recipe allows the natural creaminess of the avocados to speak for itself without any added sour cream, yogurt or mayo; Homemade Guacamole smooth and rich enough as is. The fresh ingredients add enough flavor without overwhelming the guacamole as a whole. This pairs perfectly with your favorite salsa and some blue corn tortilla chips, multigrain tortilla chips or sweet potato chips. This fresh guacamole is so good, you’ll never spend money on that store-bought stuff again!

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