Friday, January 9, 2009

Friday's Family Recipes

Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead. ~Louisa May Alcott

When trying to eat healthier, it's always a challenge coming up with good side dishes that the entire family will eat. I stopped by the section at the store with the boxes of flavored noodle dishes and though the fat content didn't seem too horrible, one serving was OVER 300 calories. No matter how healthy your main dish is, if you add a side dish with that many calories the meal tips the scales. If you serve salad a few times a week and vegetable dishes like the ones below you can sneak in some rice and potatoes at other times and not worry about the extra
calories or carbs.

Sautéed Mixed Greens

1 bunch mixed greens
1/3 medium head cabbage, coarsely shredded
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced and halved
2 tsp. wine or herb vinegar

Wash the greens, remove stems and coarsely chop. Use collard,turnip, dandelion or any mixture of greens that you like. In a large pan, boil 3 quarts of water. Add the greens, return to a boil and cook for 4-5 minutes until greens are tender-crisp. With a slotted spoon remove the greens, leaving the juices/water in the pan. Set aside the cooked greens. Return the water to a boil, add cabbage and cook 1-2 minutes. Pour into a colander to drain and add to the greens. Set aside. In a large skillet, heat olive oil and sauté garlic and onion until softened-don't brown. Add the cooked greens and cabbage and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring. Add the vinegar and toss. Serves 6.

Vegetables with Ginger

1 cup baby carrots-cut large ones in half lengthwise
1 cup cauliflower florets
1 cup broccoli florets
2 small zucchini, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
1 piece fresh ginger root, peeled and cut into 3 or 4 pieces

Steam all of the vegetables and the ginger in the microwave with a small amount of water, or use a steamer basket in a pan of water. Cover and steam for 5-7 minutes until they are JUST tender. Remove to a serving dish, and take out the ginger pieces. These can be served as is, or seasoned with salt and pepper. Serves 8.

Green Bean Sauté

1 pound fresh green beans, cut in 1-inch pieces
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 large sweet onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8-1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. fresh parsley, minced

Rinse and trim the green beans before cutting into pieces. You can also use frozen beans. Cook green beans in boiling water for 10-12 minutes or steam until just tender. Drain well. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Sauté onion and garlic over a medium heat until softened---stir and don't brown. Stir in green beans,salt and pepper. Heat through and toss with the parsley before serving. Notes: I like a lot of pepper and use 1/4 tsp., but you can use less.

Roasted Carrots

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 pounds baby carrots

Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a 13x9x2 baking pan with cooking spray. Mix all ingredients except carrots in a large bowl. Toss with the carrots and bake uncovered for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Makes 4 Servings. Notes: I think a glass pan works better for this.

On OFL we have an easy Chinese menu to try:

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