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Category Archives: Side Dish

Balsamic Glazed Pecans

Balsamic Pecans

Was working all weekend but Caitlin was coming for brunch so had to make something somewhat fancy to make up for my Longo’s bought quiche (though it was delicious). Made a nice spring mix salad with lemon poppy seed dressing, sliced strawberries and these delicious nuts on top!

1 cup pecans
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic
¼ cup brown sugar
A sprinkling of coarse sea salt

Bake pecans on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper at 325 degrees for 10 minutes. When there are a couple minutes left, in medium sized frying pan, over medium-high heat boil oil, vinegar, and brown sugar together. Stirring constantly until thick and kind of frothy. Took me about 2 minutes. Take pecans out of the oven and add to the frying pan, stir until evenly coated. Pour onto parchment paper and sprinkle with sea salt. Let cool. Break up for salad topping, or eat them as a snack! Recipe is easy to double or triple… haven’t tried it any bigger than that! Enjoy!


Mediterranean Couscous Salad

Mediterranean salad with couscous quinoa and orzo

Mediterranean salad with couscous quinoa and orzo

I was looking for a light and nutritious side dish to serve with a chicken dinner and asparagus that would also work as the main for myself (vegetarian). I had this Mediterranean mix my mom bought from the States while she was there. It was a mix of couscous, quinoa, orzo and red lentils. I decided to cook that up and make a salad.


3 cups cooked and cooled couscous and/or quinoa and/or orzo
1 cup washed cherry tomatoes sliced in halves
Small handful of fresh basil chopped up
Small bunch of green onions cut up
¼ cup of feta cheese diced

1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar
A few splashes of red wine vinegar (I did this at the end to get more distance out of the dressing, could just do more balsamic)
¼ cup of olive oil
1 tablespoon of honey
Garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste


So I cooked the package as the directions say. If you were doing this at home I would cook up just couscous/quinoa/orzo or combination of, as directed and let cool.

Mix in all of the ingredients for the salad. In a separate dish mix together dressing ingredients until honey is well dissolved.

Drizzle over salad and mix. Let sit in the refrigerator (if you can – its addictive!) for a couple hours and serve. Amazing side dish, great on its own, or on top of spring mix with a little extra balsamic vinegar. Love this! Enjoy!


I am going to try this again soon with just a mix of couscous and quinoa to see if it tastes the same. I am sure it will….

Lentil Salad

Lentil SaladThis nutritious and delicious salad is easy to make and a great way to get protein in without meat, and its loved by my non-vegetarian husband.


1 can lentils (rinsed and drained)

1 can peaches and cream corn (rinsed and drained)

1 tomato deseeded and diced

2 green onions chopped

¼ cup feta cheese crumbled

2 cloves of garlic minced

Juice from ½ lemon

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

2 tablespoon olive oil


Mix everything together and stir well. Let chill for a couple hours. Its that easy! Enjoy!

Noodle-less Vegetarian Lasagna

No Noodle Vegetarian LasagnaPart of our Meatless Monday movement (which Mike is completely against) I made a vegetarian lasagna, but tried it without the noodles. I liked the results, and Mike was willing to look the other way on another no-meat dinner.


1 eggplant sliced into thin medallions
2 zucchini cut thin lengthwise
1 onion chopped
1 red pepper cut thin strips
4-5 mushrooms sliced
4 cloves garlic crushed
1 cup fresh spinach chopped
1 container cottage cheese
2 eggs
¼ cup parmesan cheese
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Jar of marinara sauce


Preheat oven at 375 degrees. Bake eggplant and zucchini in oven spread out over two cookie sheets for 20 minutes – or you can sauté them in a frying pan with a little olive oil and set aside to cool while you continue to step 2. Heat a large skillet with 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add in onion and sauté for two minutes. Add in garlic, red pepper and cook for another two minutes. Add in Mushrooms and spinach. Cook for another 5 minutes. Set aside. In a bowl mix together; egg, cottage cheese, parmesan, and ¼ cup of the mozzarella cheese. 

In a 9×13 dish pour ¼ cup of the marinara sauce and spread evenly. Then a layer of eggplant followed with a layer of zucchini. Top with ½ of the cheese mixture. Cover that with the sautéed vegetable mix. Pour 1/3 of the marinara sauce over. Make a second layer of eggplant followed with a layer of zucchini. Top with second ½ of the cheese mixture. Pour 1/3 of the jar of sauce over. Make last layer of eggplant followed with a layer of zucchini. Pour remaining sauce over and sprinkle with reserved mozzarella cheese. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes then serve. Sprinkle some fresh grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Cucumber Chickpea Salad

Chickpea Cucumber SaladI was planning on making this great lentil salad as a side dish for our veggie burgers last night but didn’t have any corn so I made this up and it turned out quite good, and just in time for summer – this will be a new go-to for a light and healthy side:


1 English cucumber, cut into bite size pieces (I cut them in ½ moon)
1 cup rinsed and drained canned chickpeas
1 tomato diced (recipes always call for deseeding, but I never do… so its up to you)
½ purple onion diced into tiny pieces
2 cloves of garlic minced
¼ cup feta cheese crumbled
½ lemon squeezed
2 tbsp olive oil


Cut up the cucumber, tomato, onion and garlic mix together with the chickpeas and feta in one bowl. Squeeze lemon, and pour olive oil over the salad and stir together. Best if you let sit in the fridge to absorb the flavours. Enjoy!