Black Eyed Peas with Bacon

We always do black eyed peas for New Years Day, because…well, they’re supposed to be lucky!  And even more delicious with bacon (what isn’t?!).  Made this as instructed and it was excellent – this is from Serious Eats.  You can adapt this for canned beans – just less liquid, and combine everything in a sautee pan instead of the oven until the beans are heated through.



Mexican-style Black Beans

For an easy side dish with any Latin or Mexican-style dish, this is a fun one.  We made this to go with lettuce wrap tacos, but it also would do well on its own as a filling for a taco, etc. I usually cut a bit of the chili – a little goes a long way with the beans, I feel.  It also makes excellent leftovers, and is a bit less heavy than doing rice and black beans (another favorite of mine).   I love a little cotija cheese sprinkled over them as well. 🙂


Sichuan Green Beans

I love crispy green beans in restaurants, so thought I would give them a try at home.  This came out well, but watch how long you boil your beans – I went a little bit long and they were not crisp!  Still absolutely deliciosu though – I could eat them in any form!  I served these with Momofuku’s ginger scallion noodles.


Spicy Roasted Brussel Sprouts

I never get tired of brussel sprouts, and my favorite way to prepare them is roasted.  This is a nice garlicky, spicy side that goes well with many different dishes – I like to use it to accompany a mild main dish.

  • 1-2 lb brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 1.5 teaspoon olive oil
  • Pinch Kosher salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes


Preheat oven to 425.  Place sprouts and all other ingredients in a roasting pan and toss to combine.  Roast for 20 minutes or until browned.

Roasted Curried Cauliflower

•    1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
•    1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
•    1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
•    3/4 teaspoon curry powder
•    1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
•    1/2 large head cauliflower, cut into large florets
•    Nonstick olive-oil cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. In a large bowl, stir together oil, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry powder, and salt. Add the cauliflower, tossing to coat thoroughly with spice mixture.

Arrange cauliflower in a single layer on prepared sheet. Roast until florets are browned on bottom and tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, about 35 minutes. Serve hot.  Makes about 4 servings.

Baked French Fries

A year ago I went on a business trip to Brussels (and London after), and I have definitely been thinking a lot about those nine days in Europe this weekend!  Beyond the fact that it was a wonderful, fun, life-changing trip, the food was awesome. 😉  So to celebrate this weekend, I made Moules Frites, or mussels and chips, served with some delicious Belgian beer and a baguette to soak up the broth from the moules.  Here is the recipe for the fries, which is a tried and true one for me.



Scalloped Potatoes

I have to admit that in three holiday meals this year, I’ve made scalloped potatoes every. Single. Time.  I just love them.  Especially given that I’m not the world’s biggest fan of spuds, this is a winner.  This is a Cooking Light recipe I got years ago.  I’ve always made it as-written, and am always happy with it.



Herb Roasted Potatoes

Easy side dish that goes well with lots of different mains – I’ve made it with everything from fish to steak to roast chicken.

  • 1-2 lb potatoes (I particularly like Yukon Gold or Purple Potatoes), quartered
  • 1-2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Herbs de Provence (or a similar mix of dried herbs to taste)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400.

In an oven-proof dish, toss potatoes with olive oil, garlic, herbs and salt and pepper.  Roast for approximately one hour, or until brown and crisp at the edges.  Stir twice during roasting.


Sesame Udon Noodles

This is a great base recipe to use for a side dish.  It is very versatile…add as many veggies as you want, or even add some chicken, pork, or tofu and turn it into a main dish.  I just used what I had on hand.  It also makes plenty, so can easily serve a crowd or make leftovers for lunch.  We loved this one.