Category Archives: Side Dishes

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Strangely I’ve never made a stuffed mushroom before. I saw these organic portobello’s at my local grocer and grabbed them. They stared at me for a few days every time I opened up the fridge with me wondering “what am I going to do with these guys?” I wanted to use them as a meat substitute, served with pasta or rice. Cheese makes everything taste amazing right? Right. So I came up with these guys – and oh boy were they ever GOOD. Sorry the pics aren’t that great this time…


4 large Porotobello mushrooms
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups chopped broccoli
1/4 chopped spinach (optional)
1/4– 1/2 cup cream cheese
1 tablespoon of pesto or chopped basil (optional)
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh pepper
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Brush any dirt off of the mushrooms and pull out the center stem. Brush the inside gills with olive oil and crushed garlic.

In a separate bowl mix finely chopped brocolii and spinach with cream cheese. I also chucked in a leftover tablespoon of pesto. Add breadcrumbs and seasonings and half the mozzarella cheese.

Fill each mushroom with the filling and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Bake for around 20 minutes or until the cheese on top is bubbling and browning.

Serve with pasta or a nice big salad? Really up to you. I served ours with freshly made spinach pasta with pesto. I could have eaten another one it was so delicious!


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Beet Fennel & Mint Slaw’s.been.forever.

Summer finally arrived in Vancouver and it has taken me forever to finally sit down and do a quick blog. I have taken pictures of plenty of my food, but have not gotten around to posting them yet. This recipe is perfect for summer and thought I’d quickly share it with you. My sister Trinity gave it to me and I changed it up just a little. It’s always a hit when she makes it for her friends so i thought I give it a try. The interesting combo of fennel, beets, mint, rasins and the miso dressing come togther really nicely. It’s light, fresh and healthy to a fault. Definitely give this one a try!

Beet Fennel & Mint Slaw

7 tablespoons rice vinegar
5 tablespoons white miso paste (I used the light brown kind)
4 teaspoons honey or agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup raisins
3 golden or red beets, peeled and grated
1 fennel bulb, fronds and bulb thinly sliced (so the entire thing, thin as you can get it)
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2/3 cup mint leaves, sliced

In a smaller bowl, whisk together vinegar, miso, honey and pepper. Set aside.

Soak raisins in boiling water for 5 minutes then drain. In a large bowl add beets, fennel, green onions and mint. Toss in dressing to coat. Simple as that. Trin recommends tossing in dressing an hour before you eat it.


Filed under Side Dishes, Vegan, Vegetarian

Purple Potato Salad

Vancouver has had a longer than usual ‘spring’ this year. Endless days of rain and cloudy skies. Maybe making summer style food will bring back the sun? My pal Hamsa made this salad a few years back and i fell in love with it. A new twist on an old favorite. It is easily made vegan by using a vegan mayonnaise. Super tasty and a hit every time I make it for friends. Give it a go for your next BBQ…

Purple Potato Salad


2 lbs. Small purple potatoes or a mix
1 small red onion, diced
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup mayonnaise (or vegan mayonnaise)
1/4 cup Dijon and/or grainy mustard
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp apple cider or white vinegar
1 lemon, juiced
Salt & pepper, to taste

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the potatoes until fork tender but no mushy, about 20 minutes depending on potato size. I found these cute little mini potatoes at the store the other day. Add the cut up veggies to the hot potatoes.

In another bowl, stir together mayonnaise, mustard, celery seed, cayenne, vinegar, and lemon, salt and pepper. I didn’t have enough grainy mustard and made up for it with a little Dijon.

Add the dressing to the vegetable mixture. Doing this while the potatoes are still hot is always best as they really absorb the flavors of the dressing. Toss gently to coat and then season with more salt and pepper if you need to. If there is too much dressing for your liking just save it and use as a salad dressing.

Great a side to your bbq’ed meat and corn on the cob or bring it to a potluck!


Filed under Side Dishes, Vegan, Vegetarian

Perfect Parmesan Croutons

Nothing quite says success as when when your guest recognizes the little things. Salad was finally served. “These are real croutons… And real bacon bits!” yes – yes they are! I thought I was the only one who would notice this type of thing but apparently not, so again, the little things are always worth it. Bump up that salad with an easy personal touch.

Perfect Parmesan Croutons


1/2 loaf ciabatta bread (stale bread of any kind will work)
2 cloves garlic – finely grated
1 teaspoon dry basil
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1/4+  cup olive oil
freshly ground pepper and salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cut bread into 1/2 inch cubes. I like to use a chewy yeasty type of bread like ciabatta.

Toss the bread cubes in a bowl with olive oil. Be sure everything is coated evenly.

Add in grated garlic, basil, cheese and pepper and mix again. Spread bread evenly on a baking tray.

Sprinkle a little bit of salt over the bread and place in a hot oven and bake until crisp and golden for 10 to 15 minutes.

These will go great in any salad or in your favorite bowl of hot soup.

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Filed under Appetizers, Side Dishes

Potatoes Dauphinoise

Potatoes can get boring after a while and mixing up the way we prepare them can renew an old love with an old stand-by. I’m usually mashing or baking mine simply because it’s easy. I love Potatoes Au Gratin but didn’t want to bother with making a rue etc etc… Surely there was a simpler way to get the creaminess without all the work. Well there is. These potatoes were seriously so easy to make and quick too. A great side dish for any meal. It would be a hit at a potluck dinner as well.

Potatoes Dauphinoise
Serves Four+ Double for more servings.


1 pound Yukon or other small potatoes peeled
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup half and half
2 garlic cloves chopped
salt and pepper
pinch or two nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
1 cup sharp shredded cheddar
(I used mozza, cheddar and provolone)

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter your baking dish (9×9 inch for this recipe 9×13 inch dish for doubled recipe). Put the milk, half and half, garlic, nutmeg, salt and pepper and rosemary into a pot and heat till simmering.

Peel the potatoes and rinse. Slice thinly in a food processor or use a mandoline. If you have neither of these, then slice VERY carefully into thin rounds. Don’t rinse them.

Put them in the milk mixture and turn up the heat to get the milk boiling, then reduce to low heat and simmer for 13 minutes. Give the sauce a taste and add more seasonings if you need to. Pour half the potatoes and milk into the buttered dish and lightly sprinkle with some of the cheese.

Add the remaining potatoes and sauce and flatten out the top. Sprinkle with the cheese. Slide into the oven for 45 minutes or until the cheese is golden and bubbling.

This can be cooked along side a roasted chicken so they are both ready at the same time. Let it rest a few minutes before cutting up and serving. Great as a leftover as well!

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Filed under Side Dishes, Vegetarian

Creamy Coleslaw

Summers coming – I SWEAR it is. Pretty soon you’ll be walking around barefoot with a Corona and lime, listening to The Aggrolights, tossing chunks of meat around on the BBQ and serving up corn on the cob and coleslaw, basking in the late evening sun on your patio.
We’ve always gotten our coleslaw from the store – pre-made, but it’s SO easy to make, and always tastes better. The sour cream in this recipe lightens up the sauce and the Granny Smith apple gives it a nice fruity accent. Making coleslaw is far less work than potato salad, and it doesn’t just have to be a summer side dish. Roast up some chicken and potatoes and slop some of this tangy goodness on the side…

Serves 3-4. Double or triple up for more…


1/2 head green cabbage
1 carrot
1/4 onion
1/2 granny smith apple
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons + a splash apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
fresh ground pepper

Shred all of your veggies and apple. I like to give them all a slightly different texture, so I juliened the carrots, thinly diced and chopped the cabbage, grated the onion and apple.

In a separate bowl mix all of the wet ingredients and salt and pepper. You could throw in 1/4 teaspoon of celery seeds if you like. Mix the wet and slaw together, cover and refrigerate for around 2 to 4 hours. This will let the flavors really sink into the slaw.

Tonight I’m serving this up with some oven roasted chicken n’ gravy n’ potatoes. Can’t wait!

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Filed under Side Dishes, Vegetarian