Category Archives: side dish

Roasted Carrots – Another great, easy Top 8 Free side dish

roasted carrots 2The other day I made Crash Hot Potatoes and pork steak. But when I grabbed for a bag of frozen vegetables from the freezer, I realized we were totally out. I had gone to the grocery store that day and had stocked up on regular, long carrots because The Hubs (a weirdo in my opinion) prefers them to the easy, sweeter-tasting baby carrots. I immediately Googled roasted-carrot recipes and I came across Ina Garten’s recipe on the Food Network Web site. I didn’t follow her directions exactly (I rarely do!), but they turned out well, just the same.


  • carrots
  • oil (Ina calls for olive; I did canola because I really don’t like the flavor of olive oil)
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • parsley to taste (Ina also suggests dill – I just used only roasted carrots parsley)

Peel carrots and coat them in oil. Place them on a cookie sheet and sprinkle them with salt, pepper and parsley. Bake them in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until tender and brown.

Crash Hot Potatoes – the perfect top 8 free side dish

crash hot potatoes and roasted carrotsI’ve been in love with Crash Hot Potatoes for about five years now. They are amazing, and VERY easy to make. Everyone at our house LOVES to eat them, including Lil Z, who is the pickiest-of-picky eaters. Lil Z calls them, “Those tasty crunchy potatoes.”

The Pioneer Woman (a.k.a Ree Drummond, who now apparently has her own cookbook and show on HGTV) blogged on these several years ago and she has made these potatoes pretty famous. Anyway, they are sooooo good. If you have never made them, you really need to make them. Like today. Get on it. Now.

I made them with less oil than is called for, and they are good, but not nearly as delectable as the original recipe. So, if you are not trying to watch your waistline, make them the way the Pioneer Woman suggests because they are so crunchy and good, and they achieve one of her favorite cooking principles: creating “Flavorful, Crispy Surface Area.”


  • several potatoes (The Pioneer Woman calls for small red potatoes, but I just use regular old russet potatoes and they still taste good)
  • 3 tablespoons oil (I use canola, but the original calls for olive)
  • salt to taste (the original calls for kosher salt)
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Herbs of choice (I used parsley, but the original calls for rosemary)

Boil your potatoes in a pot of salted water until they are fork tender.

Drizzle oil on a cookie sheet and place fork-tender potatoes with lots of room between each potato.

With a potato masher, smash the potatoes flat and generously drizzle and brush oil over each potato again. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and herbs to taste.

Bake in a 450 degree preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown

Manimal gets his eat on as he enjoys crash hot potatoes, roasted carrots and pork steak.

Manimal gets his eat on as he enjoys crash hot potatoes, roasted carrots and pork steak.

Individual Scalloped Potatoes

This dish easy and fast to make, and I can’t even begin to tell you how delicious it is. You can make it in muffin tins, or even better, in individual ramekins (there is no dairy or cheese to bind the potatoes together, so keeping the potatoes in the ramekin makes you feel like you actually are eating the old-fashioned scalloped potatoes.

For those of you who make scalloped potatoes from scratch, this is MUCH easier, and tastes just as delicious.

3-4 russet potatoes, peeled and sliced
½ yellow onion, diced
canola oil
salt and pepper to taste
spices (like oregano, Italian seasoning, parsley, etc)

Mix potatoes, onion, salt and pepper in bowl and transfer to greased muffin tin/ramekins. Sprinkle spices on top, cover with aluminum foil and bake in a 375° oven for 20-30 minutes. Bake uncovered 10 more minutes, or until tops are golden and potatoes are soft.

Creamy-Without-the-Cream Chicken & Mushrooms Wild Rice

This was pure delight to eat. It reminded me of wild rice soup, and although it had no dairy in it, tasted so smooth and creamy. It was delicious.

1 cup wild rice
10 oz cooked and shredded boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 large onion
2 cups chicken stock (if you don’t have an allergy friendly broth, use mine)
3 celery ribs, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped into rounds and half rounds (depending on diameter)
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1 bay leaf
¼ tsp crushed red pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil
green onions, if desired

Saute onion, celery, carrots, mushrooms, salt, pepper and red pepper in olive oil. Add garlic and chicken and saute for another minute or two. Add chicken stock and bay leaf and bring it to a boil. Add wild rice, stir, reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for 45 minutes. Top with green onions if desired.

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Easy Oven Fries

These are really easy and tasty.

3-4 well scrubbed large potatoes cut into large wedges
garlic powder and any other seasonings to taste
canola oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. In a gallon-sized zipper baggie mix canola oil and seasonings. Put potato wedges in bag and shake. Place well-coated potato wedges on the cookie sheet (skin side down) and lightly salt the tops. Bake uncovered 15-25 minutes until soft and golden.

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Savory Chicken Pasta – Quick, cheap and easy allergy friendly meal

A couple of nights ago the pork roast I made was taking too long to cook, and by the time it would have been done cooking, it would have been way past Little Z’s bedtime. It is difficult to make quick healthy meals, especially if they have to be allergy friendly (it is not like I can whip up a batch of scrambled eggs for the little guy or give him store-bought chicken nuggets). This is a meal that I made in less than 20 minutes, it is healthy, and fantastically delicious and flavorful. Little Z loved it, and my husband and I ate it as a side dish with dinner. My husband RAVED about how good it was (he usually hates rice pasta).

1 frozen chicken breast
½ large onion diced
1 carrot (peeled and diced)
1 rib of celery diced
canola oil (or safe oil of choice)
spices to taste
(I used garlic, Italian seasoning, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, salt, black pepper and fresh basil)
4 oz Rice pasta (I used penne because it is an easy-to-pick-up toddler food)
½ cup peas
2 cups homemade chicken stock (see below)or allergy friendly stock

Boil the frozen chicken breast with a dash of salt. While the chicken is boiling, saute the onion, celery, carrots and spices until caramelized. When chicken is no longer pink in the center remove from water and cube it (save the water the chicken was boiled in! You’ll use this homemade chicken stock for the rice pasta and the vegetable saute).

Add ¼ cup of the homemade chicken stock to your veggies, along with your chicken pieces. Let it reduce down until your vegetables are soft and the chicken is golden. As you are cooking your veggies and chicken, bring the homemade chicken stock back to a boil and add your rice pasta. When the rice pasta is halfway done (usually about 3 ½ minutes) add the peas. When the pasta is soft, rinse in cold water (if you adapt this using wheat pasta, don’t rinse) and add to your vegetables and stir

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