Tag Archives: Side Dish

A Side that Won’t Hurt Your Sides

Faux is not a word I generally include in my vocabulary.  Let’s be real, this Bite-Sized Blonde keeps it real, and that’s the way I like my fur and my food.  Faux-fur…more like faux-pas.  But there is one faux that is definitely more friend than foe and that’s faux fat.  Faux fat – as defined by the Bite-Sized dictionary is a term used to describe something luscious but low-cal; also see deceivingly distending.

I’ve been known to throw caution my waistline to the wind and eat what I want when I want.  You only live once to me really just means you eat what you want.  See here, here and here.

But sometimes, as luck will have it, some of the most dynamic recipes end up being figure friendly and seriously kind to your behind.  Case in point, Banging Brussels sprouts.  Brussels sprouts are trendy these days, probably because they are hearty and filling but light and leafy, not to mention de-li-cious.  The short, but impactful, recipe below is approachable and totally unexpected, and what you’re left with is a dish that is familiar but extraordinary.

Apple cider vinegar is an underrated ingredient.  It adds an element of tanginess that will keep your taste buds on their toes.   The crème fraiche and mustard mixture adds an element of creaminess that screams fat; but it’s faux! One tablespoon of crème fraiche is about 55 calories. Mixed with 1 tablespoon of mustard, only 30 calories, this dish is low cal – high taste that is sure to impress.

Banging Brussel Sprouts

Ingredients
16 ounces of Brussels Sprouts
1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tbs. Crème Fraiche
1 tbs . Grained Dijon Mustard
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher Salt

Directions
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Wash the Brussels Sprouts. Some of them might have a long stem, so trim the sprouts that do. Make sure not to cut the stem off entirely, or the sprout will fall apart! Cut the Brussels Sprouts in half. And place in a plastic Ziploc bag with the apple cider vinegar and let sit for approximately 10 minutes. Place the Brussels Sprouts on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil and season with kosher salt. Place in the oven for approximately 40 minutes or until they look well done. They should be dark brown and crispy. When they are completely cooked, remove from the oven. In a medium bowl, combine the crème fraiche and Dijon mustard and mix well. Add the Brussels Sprouts to the mixture and toss. Coat the Brussels Sprouts well.  Serve, enjoy, grab a fork and let the guilt be gone!

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As Feast Week Continues…

Twas the night before Thanksgiving, and all through the house,  were scents of sweet dishes that were sure to arouse…Seriously though, my apartment smells fantastic!! Today was my first official day of cooking and baking in preparation of the feast, excluding the ice cream making I did last week.  And man, am I ready for tomorrow or what.  I mean mentally ready, cause damn I’m tired.  But I still have a few more dishes to finish off tomorrow.

In the meantime, here are a few more recipes to get your juices flowing…

Cranberry sauce is a staple at the Thanksgiving table.  But, it can be kind of boring.  So, I put a Bite-Sized spin on this classic dish and added alcohol.   Now the dish is delish and has it’s own catch phrase: “Cranberry sauce you can get sauced from.”  Okay, I’ll work on the catch phrase, but this cranberry sauce really is spectacular.

Drunken Cranberry Sauce
Ingredients
1 12 ounce bag of fresh or frozen cranberries
½ cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
¾ cup of orange juice
¼ cup of water
1 shot of orange liquor (Grand Marnier)
1 orange

Directions
Place all of the ingredients, except the orange, in a sauce pan and cook on medium – high heat for about 15 to 20 minutes or until most of the liquid has reduced, stirring occasionally. You will hear the cranberries pop, which is a good thing! Once most of the liquid has been reduced, remove from the heat and let cool.  While the cranberry sauce is cooling, segment 1 orange.   To segment the orange, slice off the top and bottom of the orange.   This will give you an even surface for cutting.  Cut off the peel, including the white pith.  Try not to remove too much of the orange along the way! Cut the orange between the membranes and remove the fruit.  Then, cut into quarters and add to the now cool sauce.  Cool the sauce in the refrigerator until it’s time to serve.

Presentation is 9/10ths of the law, the law of eating that is.  So to make this sauce look even better, I brulee a couple orange slices to add to it.   First, thinly slice half an orange.  Lay out a few slices on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle liberally with sugar.  Using your kitchen torch, brulee those babies and add them to your sauce as a garnish!

Another Thanksgiving staple, that is totally one of my favorites, is Sweet Potatoes.  But like I told you before, I’m not adding any marshmallows to this dish.  Instead, I’m making Coconut Ginger Mashed Sweet Potatoes.  Sounds a little funky, but I promise this dish will be huge hit around the dinner table.  Trust me, and if you don’t trust me, then trust Heidi Swanson, author of www.101cookbooks.com, where I found this intriguing recipe.

Coconut Ginger Mashed Sweet Potatoes (serves 6)
Ingredients
2 1/2 pounds orange-fleshed sweet potatoes
1/3 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1/3 cup raw, unsweetened grated coconut
2 tablespoons olive oil or melted butter
1/3 cup toasted macadamia nuts, chopped

Directions
Preheat your oven to 350F degrees. Pierce each sweet potato numerous times with the tines of a fork and wrap in foil.  Place in the oven for somewhere between an hour and an hour and a half, until each is baked through. Times vary greatly depending on the size of your sweet potatoes – in the end you should be able to cut through the center flesh as if it were soft butter. Remove the potatoes from the oven, let them cool for a few minutes, and cut each sweet potato in half. Scrape the flesh into a medium mixing bowl. You should have about three cups of sweet potatoes. In a large bowl mash the sweet potatoes with the coconut milk. Stir in the ginger, maple syrup and salt. Let it sit for a few minutes, stir again and taste – adjust the seasoning if you need to.

Spoon the sweet potato mixture into a large baking dish, sprinkle with coconut, drizzle with olive oil and bake uncovered until warm and the coconut golden roughly 30 – 40 minutes. Remove and sprinkle with the toasted macadamia nuts.

To see the recipe by www.101cookbooks.com, click here:
http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/nikkis-sweet-potatoes-recipe.html

Still waiting on that Turkey recipe, huh? Well, guess what? You are going to have to wait one more day! Tomorrow wouldn’t be Turkey day without a Turkey, now would it?