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Posts from the ‘Side Dish’ category

8 Flavors of Rice


Coconut rice, Indian spice rice, pineapple lime rice, chicken rice, spicy green rice, Mexican  rice, soy ginger rice, lemon dill rice




I rarely make plain white rice, it never was a staple in my household. I have very much trying simple add-ins to make basic rice more flavorful as well as coming up with different options for vegetables to load up the rice with and make it more healthy/nutritious. Most of the recipes below show 2 options for each rice flavor, 1 for the simple rice, and 1 that includes add-ins to mix in with the rice or cook with the rice.


Coconut Rice



This has long been one of my favorite side dishes. It is sweet and absolutely delicious. I love how easy it is to make!

Simple version



  • 2 cups white or Jasmine rice
  • 1 can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 1.5 tsp Kosher salt
  • Splash of white vinegar
  • 3 tsp white sugar
  • Handful of chopped green onions for garnish
  • Black pepper to taste


  • Combine rice, coconut milk, water, salt, vinegar, and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil
  • Turn heat to low and cover for 20 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Allow to stand 5 minutes.
  • Add green onions, black pepper (if desired), and additional salt if necessary.

Add-in version



  • For add-ins I sauteed 2 small yellow squash and 1/2 cauliflower head (both chopped) until tender, then threw in some snap peas (~1 cup) at the end (since they take less time to cook).
  • After the rice was cooked, I mixed these vegetables into the rice


Indian Spice Rice



I make this dish frequently. It is such a delicious way to pack in lots of veggies and makes the house smell amazing. This is just a very simple set of spices to try out that turns out well, it is very easy to try adding different quantities of other spices.

Simple version



  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 tbs cumin seeds (if you don’t have these just add extra ground cumin)
  • 2 cups uncooked basmati rice
  • 1 tbs curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tbs salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne (change the amount of cayenne to suit your spiciness preference)
  • 4 cups water


  •  Heat olive oil and cumin seeds in a large pot until cumin is fragrant
  • Add uncooked rice and all the spices. Stir rice to coat with spices and toast ~2 minutes.
  • Add water, bring to a simmer, cover the pot and cook ~20 minutes until rice soaks up all the water. Stir occasionally to keep bottom from burning. If rice is still slightly hard, add more water 1/4 cup at a time to reach desired consistency.

Add-in version



I never make this dish without veggie add-ins! As opposed to some of these rice dishes, I add the veggies during the cooking process instead of at the end.

  • When I add lots of veggies I double the spices added (so 2 tbs curry powder, 2 tsp ground cumin, 1 tbs salt, 1/2 tsp cayenne)
  • Veggies I used – 1 onion, 1 green bell pepper, 1 small head broccoli, 1/2 head cauliflower, handful green beans, handful peas
  • Heat olive oil, onion, and cumin seeds in a large pot until cumin is fragrant
  • Add chopped veggies (except peas) and all spices. Stir for ~5 minutes to begin cooking the vegetables.
  • Add the rice and peas. Stir to coat rice with spice and toast for ~2 minutes.
  • Add the water, bring to a simmer, cover, simmer about 20 minutes until rice is cooked through. Add more water as needed 1/4 cup water at a time.

Pineapple Lime Rice



This sweet and citrusy rice dish is a great accompaniment to all kinds of different different grilled meat or you can add meat in directly to make this a main dish. The flavors here are great, and again this rice is so easy to make!

Simple version



  • 1.5 cups long grain rice
  • 20 oz can crushed pineapple
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 1 tbs butter
  • zest from 1 lime
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • handful chopped cilantro
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 3 chopped green onions


  • Combine rice, pineapple, water, butter, lime zest, and salt into a pot. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until rice is soft. Stir occasionally to make sure the rice on bottom doesn’t burn. Add more water if needed (the rice starts to burn or you run out of liquid before the rice is soft).
  • To cooked rice, add chopped cilantro, lime juice, and green onions, stir to mix.

Add-in version




  • I added some veggies to this dish by sauteing 1 orange bell pepper and a handful of green beans (both chopped) with a bit of olive oil and salt ahead of time and mixing them in after the rice was cooked.


Chicken Rice



Using stock (chicken, beef, vegetable) instead of just water to cook rice is an extremely easy way to add some flavor to plain old rice. For the add-ins I used classic soup vegetables that pair well with the chicken stock flavor. Depending on the flavor strength of the bouillon you use you may want to do 1.5x or 2x the needed amount for the water in this recipe to give it extra flavor, especially if you’re adding vegetables. You can also certainly use actual chicken stock instead of bouillon!

Simple version



  • 2 cups rice
  • 4 cups water
  • chicken bouillon (optional: double the amount needed for 4 cups water)


  •  Add rice, water, and bouillon to a pot. Bring to a simmer. Simmer for ~20 minutes until rice is cooked. Add more water if needed, stir occasionally.

Add-in version




  • I used carrots, onions, celery (chopped somewhat small to help with cooking time), and sliced mushrooms.
  • Heat 1 tbs olive oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook for 3 minutes. Add carrots, celery, and mushrooms. Stir and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Add water and bouillon, bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add rice and another 1/2 cup water. Simmer for ~20 minutes, or until rice is cooked.

Spicy Green Rice



This is the only recipe where I did mix in any add-ins because I included the peppers and zucchini in the base recipe. This turned out delicious! I enjoy this method of blending up vegetables to add to the rice and might play around with this even more.

Simple version



  • 14 oz vegetable broth
  • 2 poblano peppers, stems and seeds removed, roughly chopped
  • 3 serrano peppers, stems and seeds removed, roughly chopped (the amount of serranos can be adjusted depending on spiciness preference, using 3 made it fairly spicy. You can also substitute jalapeno peppers if you prefer)
  • 2 small zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1.5 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain rice


  •  Add peppers and zucchini to vegetable stock in a pot, bring to a simmer, simmer for 15 min
  • Pour peppers, zucchini, and stock into a blender. Add cilantro, garlic, and salt and blend together until not chunky.
  • Heat oil over medium-high  heat, add onions and cook until tender, add rice and toast for ~2 minutes. Pour pepper mixture into the pan, bring to a boil then simmer for ~20 minutes until liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked through.  (add more water if needed)

Add-in version



  • I ended up not adding any additional vegetables to this dish since I blended the zucchini up with the peppers, but it would be easy to saute some bell pepper, more zucchini or squash, or a variety of other veggies and stir them into the mix.


Mexican Rice



The simple version is a take on classic Mexican rice you get at restaurants. Tomatoes and spices add a great flavor to the rice.

Simple version



  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 8oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup vegetable broth or water
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  •  Put all ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 min until liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked through. Add more water if needed, stir occasionally to make sure the bottom rice doesn’t burn.

Add-in version



This recipe makes a great base for adding in all kinds of veggies.

  • Cooked with the rice – 1 chopped onion, 3 minced cloves garlic, 1 cup frozen peas, 1 cup frozen corn kernals, 1 cup diced carrots
  • Added into the rice after cooking – 2 chopped Roma tomatoes, chopped cilantro
  • I doubled the spices from the recipe above
  • Heat 1 tbs olive oil over medium-high heat in a pot. Add onions and cook for 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Stir in rice and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add tomato sauce, vegetable broth, corn, carrots, peas, and spices. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer ~20 minutes until rice is cooked through
  • Stir in chopped tomatoes and garnish with cilantro

Soy Ginger Rice



Delicious Asian flavors make this rice awesome. This is an alternative to making fried rice where you add already cooked rice in with the stir-fry.

Simple version



  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tbs sherry
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 2 tbs Sriracha
  • 1 tbs minced fresh ginger
  • 1 cup uncooked rice


  •  Mix all ingredients into a pot. Bring to a simmer. Simmer for ~20 minutes until rice is cooked. Add more water if needed, stir occasionally.

Add-in version



  • You can load this recipe up with tons of veggies and they taste great! I added: 2 cloves garlic, 1 red bell pepper, 1 head cauliflower, 1 head broccoli, 1 carrot, a handful of snap peas, 1 can of cut baby corn.
  • Double the sauce ingredients if you are adding several vegetables. (double soy sauce, sriracha, brown sugar, ginger, and sherry).
  • Option 1: cook plain rice and mix into stir-fried veggies with more sauce to make fried rice
  • Option 2: Cook rice alone in the sauce as in the simple version, stir-fry the veggies in more of the sauce and add them into the rice after they are cooked
  • Option 3: Stir-fry veggies in pot with sauce, add rice and water and simmer until rice is cooked. Directions: heat 1 tbs sesame oil in pot. Add garlic and cook till fragrant. Add all veggies and the soy sauce, sherry, brown sugar, sriracha, and ginger. Stir fry until veggies almost cooked. Add the rice and water, simmer 20 minutes until the rice is cooked through.

Lemon Dill Rice



Simple version



  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
  • chopped fresh dill
  • chopped green onions



  •  heat olive oil in a pot, add lemon zest, rice, and turmeric, stir to coat.
  • Add vegetable stock, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 20 minutes until rice is cooked through.
  • Mix in dill and green onions.

Add-in version



  • For this rice I added some garlic and onions in while cooking and then afterwards stirred in some dried cranberries, cherry tomatoes, and pine nuts.
  • Before adding lemon zest, rice, and turmeric, add onions and garlic to the oil and cook for a few minutes, then proceed with the rest of the recipe
  • Add in other components after rice is cooked.

Compound Butters

I decided to make some different flavors of compound butters. It was extremely easy and delicious and was fun to come up with accompanying food to go with them.
The 8 flavors I made are:
1. Lemon rosemary thyme butter
(1/2 cup butter, zest 1/2 lemon, 3 large sprigs rosemary, 2 small sprigs thyme)
2. Moroccan spice butter
(1/2 cup butter, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, 1/2 tbs grated ginger, and 1/2 tsp grated turmeric heat in a pan with a small amount of oil, 1/4 tsp ground cumin, 1/4 tsp ground coriander, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp cayenne, zest 1/2 lemon, 2 tbs chopped cilantro)
3. Red wine shallot butter
(1/2 cup butter, 1 small shallot, minced cooked in 3 tbs red wine till the shallots absorb the wine, 2 tbs parsley)
4. Maple cardamom butter
(1/2 cup butter, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1 tsp ground cardamom, 1 tsp whole cardamom seeds)
5. Fig butter
(1/2 cup butter, 3 tbs fig preserves)
6. Herb butter
(1/2 cup butter, handful of basil leaves, 2 sprigs oregano, ~6 chives)
7. Vanilla cinnamon honey butter
(1/2 cup butter, 1/4 cup honey, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp vanilla)
8. Cranberry butter
(1/2 cup butter, 1/4 cup fresh cranberries, sweeten with honey or sugar to desired sweetness)
I used salted butter so if you use unsalted I would add some salt to the recipes above. The exact amounts of the additions don’t have to be accurate. Keep adding things till the butter is to your taste.
I placed 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter into a small food processor and mixed with all the add-ins till they were evenly distributed. Then I scooped the butter onto a piece of plastic wrap and wrapped it into a log shape. For add ins that are heat up first (like the red wine shallot butter), let cool completely before mixing in.

Grilled bone-in rib-eye with red wine shallot butter

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Biscuits with vanilla honey cinnamon butter and maple cardamom butter


Cheddar zucchini pancakes with herb butter

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2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup grated cheese
2 eggs
1 cup bisquick or other biscuit making mix
vegetable oil as needed
Mix all ingredients until well combined
Heat vegetable on a griddle or frying pan over medium heat. Scoop 1/4 cup batter into pan and flatten. Cook until browned, 3-4 minutes per side.

Orange scones with cranberry butter

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2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 cup  sugar
1 tbs baking powder
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tbs grated orange zest
1 1/2 sticks butter (3/4 cup), diced
2 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 egg beaten with water or milk for egg wash
Preheat the oven to 400 F
Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and orange zest. Add cold butter and cut into mixture until butter pieces are about pea-sized.
Combine eggs and heavy cream. With a mixer on low speed, add in the flour and butter mixture. Mix until just blended.
Knead the dough into a ball.
Separate dough into 8 pieces. Form into 2-3 inch discs. Place onto a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops with egg wash and bake for 20-25 minutes until the tops are browned.

Arugula cheddar grilled cheese sandwich with fig butter


Butter inside pieces of bread with fig butter. Add cheese and arugula between slices. Use a frying pan or sandwich press to heat sandwich and melt cheese.

Baked potato with Moroccan spice butter

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Preheat oven to 350 F
Rub potato with a small amount of oil and salt the outside. Pierce a few times with a fork.
Place directly on top rack of oven (with a pan or something underneath to catch any drips).
Bake for 1 hour or until soft when pierced with a fork and the skin is crispy.

Pork chops with lemon rosemary thyme butter

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Shredded Broccoli Salad


This past month I have been working 10-12 hour days, working weekends, and my boyfriend Mark has been visiting me so he was doing a lot of the cooking and the rest of the time we just made something quickly and I didn’t have time for photos and blogging. I should start having more time to myself in the evenings now that things are settling down and I’m excited to be back in the kitchen 🙂

This broccoli salad is very delicious and a lot healthier than a lot of broccoli salad recipes you might come across (which use far more mayonnaise, or sour cream, or sugar).

You can easily double this recipe if you want more leftovers or are serving a larger crowd. This should serve 2-4 people depending on if you’re using it as a side dish or eating a larger portion for lunch or whatever. The salad has delicious flavor and a good crunch with added nuts and can easily be modified to use whatever ingredients you prefer or have on hand.

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  • 1 lb broccoli (~ 1 medium head) (or equivalent bag of pre-shredded broccoli)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries (could also substitute raisins, currants, grapes, other fresh or dried fruit)
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup sliced or chopped almonds (could also substitute or add sunflower seeds or other nuts)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tbs rice vinegar
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • fresh ground pepper to taste (I love pepper so I used quite a bit)


  • Using the grater disk attachment of a food processor, shred the whole head of broccoli in a food processor (including the stalk). You can also run the onion through the shredder disk or just finely chop it with a knife.
  • In a large bowl, combine the shredded broccoli, cranberries, onion, and almonds.
  • Whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, salt, and fresh pepper. Pour the dressing over the broccoli mixture and stir to combine. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes in the fridge so the flavors can mingle. You can also make this ahead and store overnight in the fridge before serving.

Recipe from The Kitchn

Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Cranberries


This recipe was jaw-droppingly amazing. The flavor of the butter and pecans is SO tasty on these shredded brussels sprouts. I’ve never tried shredding them before cooking but it turned out extremely well. I’ll probably try out some more recipes preparing them this way. Try this recipe! It’s incredible!

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  • 1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts, rinsed and trimmed
  • 4 ounces coarsely chopped pecans
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 4 ounces coarsely chopped dried cranberries (I used fresh ones just because I had them on hand, if you use fresh ones they are quite tart, I added them in at the same time as the sprouts to cook in the pan)


  • Slice the Brussels sprouts using the thinnest slicing disk of a food processor. If you do not have a food processor, you may slice thinly with a knife or a mandoline.
  • Set pan over medium-high heat and add the pecans. Cook, stirring continually, until the pecans darken in color and begin to give off a toasted aroma, approximately 2 minutes. Add the butter to the pan and stir to combine. Once the butter has melted, add the Brussels sprouts, salt and pepper and cook, stirring continually, until the color brightens and the sprouts are just tender, approximately 6 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, add the cranberries, toss and serve.

Hasselback Sweet Potatoes

Hasselback Sweet Potatoes

Hasselback Sweet Potatoes

I’ve made regular hasselback potatoes before with cheese and bacon bits, yum! When I saw these they looked like a delicious treat for something like thanksgiving or another fall dessert type dish (similar to sweet potato casserole). There are certainly ways to get these flavors with less work 😛 but these look cool when they’re done. I loved them 🙂



  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 tbs apple sauce
  • 1/2 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tbs butter, melted
  • 1 tbs maple syrup
  • 1/2 apple chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries


  • Preheat oven to 400 C. Wash and peel the sweet potatoes. Thinly slice the potatoes most of the way though, without cutting through all the way to the bottom.
  • Mix together the apple sauce, brown sugar, melted butter, and maple syrup. Pour some of this mixture in between the slots in the potatoes. Carefully stuff the cuts in the potatoes with the apple bits, pecans, and cranberries. Pile the remaining stuffing on top and drizzle with a bit of maple syrup and the remaining applesauce mixture.
  • Place in a baking dish lined with foil or parchment paper and cover the dish with foil. Bake for 45 minutes covered then another 15 minutes uncovered.

Sriracha Orange Glazed Green Beans

Sriracha Orange Glazed Green Beans

Sriracha Orange Glazed Green Beans


Green beans are such an easy vegetable to prepare (especially if you buy the ones where the ends have already been snapped off) and this sauce gives it a fun kick 🙂 This was tasty and was so easy to prepare! Also I have added a new tab to the top where most the recipes I’ve posted so far should be organized for easier sorting so you don’t have to scroll through whole blog posts and archives to find what you want.



  • 1 lb of green beans (ends snipped and discarded)
  • Salt
  • 1/3 cup sweet orange marmalade
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sriracha


  • Boil a pot of water that will fit your beans. Add 2 tsp salt to the water. Place the green beans in the water and cook for 5 minutes. When they are tender, strain them from the hot water and add the beans to a bowl of icy water to quickly stop them cooking further. Place in a serving bowl.
  • Stir together the marmalade, salt, soy sauce, and sriracha (adjust to desired spiciness)
  • Add the sauce to the cooked beans and toss to coat. Serve hot


Adapted from Simply Recipes

Southwest Pasta Salad

I had a very disappointing, flavorless southwest pasta salad at work the other day and I needed to make up for it, so I made this dish for a potluck. It has great flavor and makes for wonderful leftovers if you don’t finish it all. I’ll definitely be making this again! You can easily modify it at add in bell peppers or other beans or cheeses or whatever you like. DSC_0287


  • one package of corkscrew or shell style pasta (13-16 ounces)
  • 1/3 cup canola OR olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbs of chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 15oz frozen corn
  • 15oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 12oz jar of roasted red peppers, chopped and drained
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 4 green onions, sliced thin
  • 1 block of spicy pepper jack OR monterey jack cheese, cubed


  • Cook pasta according to package instructions in salted boiling water.
  • Combine oil, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, salt and garlic.  Mix well.  Toss with warm pasta and cool to room temperature.
  • Add corn, black beans, roasted peppers, cilantro, green onions and cheese.
  • Toss all ingredients together and chill in refrigerator for a couple of hours or overnight until ready to serve.

Roquefort Pear Salad


I tried this salad for the first time when my dad was given some Roquefort cheese and had no idea what it could be used for or what it tasted like. The combination of flavors of the toppings with the dressing is great and it’s always a hit! I gobbled down 2 bowls of it last night.


  • ›1 bag Romaine lettuce mix
  • ›2-3 pears, cored and chopped (you can peel them first if you want, but I don’t bother)
  • ›5 oz Roquefort or blue cheese, crumbled
  • ›1 avocado, diced
  • ›½ cup sliced green onions ›
  • 1/2 cup walnuts or sugared pecans


›1/3 cup olive oil ›3 tbs red wine vinegar ›1 ½ tsp mustard ›1 ½ tsp white sugar ›1 clove garlic, minced ›½ tsp salt ›Black pepper to taste


  • Mix dressing ingredients together, stir vigorously
  • Toss all components together and drizzle with dressing

Oven-Baked Sweet Potato Fries


These are SO GOOD! These fries are extremely easy to make and much healthier than actually frying them. Be generous with the salt and pepper and make sure they’re cooked till they start to char a bit. I usually just eat these as a snack but they can work as a side dish too.



  • ›1 large sweet potato
  • ›Sea salt or kosher salt
  • ›freshly ground black pepper
  • ›Olive oil


  • Preheat oven to 450 F
  • You can peel potato or leave the skin on. Wash potato and dry well. Cut into slices ½ to ¾ inch thick.
  • Toss slices with small amount of olive oil and spread out onto a baking sheet covered in foil. Sprinkle generously with sea salt and ground pepper
  • Bake for 15 minutes, flip the fries over and put them back in the oven for 10 more minutes

March Hare Salad


This is a unique side dish that my parents made frequently when I was growing up. I believe it comes from one of the Moosewood Cookbooks. The combination of the cottage cheese with the crunch of the sunflower seeds and some of the veggies is very appealing. This is a very refreshing tasting and healthy side. This was the first thing I made when I got my new food processor because it helps a lot with all the chopping. We would always make a big batch of this and then have yummy leftovers for a few days.




  • ›3 cups (1.5 pints) cottage cheese (may be low fat)
  • ›2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • ›4 tablespoons toasted sunflower seeds
  • ›1 carrot, grated or diced
  • ›1 tomato, diced
  • ›2 scallions (spring onions), sliced
  • ›1 small bell pepper – any color – diced
  • ›1 celery stick, diced
  • ›1 small cucumber – diced
  • ›1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
  • small handful alfalfa sprouts
  • ›juice of 1 lemon
  • ›salt and pepper to taste

Optional extras:

  • ›1/2 a diced apple
  • ›handful of raisins
  • ›hardboiled egg, chopped
  • ›3 or 4 cooked, chopped potatoes
  • ›1/2 cup black eyed beans


  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate
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