Category Archives: Side Dish

Oven Fries


I am back!  I have not been posting much during my pregnancy because 1.  I haven’t really been experimenting with new recipes and 2.  I have just been too tired!  But, a lot has been going on…

Our not-so-little puppy has been growing like a weed over the past several months.  At 8 months she reached a whopping 65 pounds – and still growing.

Willa has made a new friend!

Willa and Ella

**notice the water all over the patio.  They had fun, to say the least.

And Bernie turned 29 again! 🙂

Bernie's delicious cookie cake from the American Cookie Company - wait, does that say "Bennie??"

On to the fries…

These fries deserve a post, and get a rave review.  I have done baked fries before, but these do not taste baked – they taste like the real thing.  Bernie thinks they taste like 5 Guys Burgers & Fries french fries, which are some of the worst (nutrition-wise) fries out there – but delicious.  And, considering my eating habits during pregnancy and new found love for all things greasy, these were right on the money – without the grease or guilt (not that I have been experiencing any guilt latetly)!

Oven Fries, from Prevention RD

6 large red potatoes (about 2 pounds)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 dashes salt
cooking spray


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.

Wash potatoes and cut into matchsticks. Put the potatoes into a large ziplock bag and coat with olive oil. Shake to coat evenly. Add paprika, garlic powder, and salt and shake to coat evenly.

Spread potatoes on the cookie sheet in a single layer. Bake about 30 minutes, to desired crispness and serve immediately. Yum!!

Yields: 6 servings

Nutrition per serving:  164 calories, 7g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 57mg sodium, 27g carbohydrates, 3.33g fiber, 4.2g protein, 3.22g sugar

Best baked fries ever!  I did try these re-heated and they are just not the same, so definitely serve out of the oven!


Sweet Potato Casserole


We all have our holiday favorites.  Outside of sweets, my favorite holiday dish is stuffing.  I don’t care what kind, I love stuffing.  Bernie’s favorite dish is sweet potato casserole.  I volunteered to make it this year, and knew the pressure was on.  There are different ways to make the casserole, some just have a butter/pecan/sugar topping, others go all out and have marshmallows.  I asked Bernie which type he wanted and he responded by basically saying go big or go home – he wanted the whole shebang, marshmallows and all.  I found this recipe on the Cooking Light website, it is just a lighter version of the traditional dish – but not without the butter and sugar.  The only change I made was reducing the sodium, it seemed just a tad high, and it turned out great.  My mom said I will have to make this every year now 🙂

Traditional Sweet Potato Casserole

from Cooking Light


2 1/2  pounds  sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
3/4  cup  packed brown sugar
1/4  cup  butter, softened
1 1/2 1/2 teaspoon  salt
1/2  teaspoon  vanilla extract
1/2  cup  finely chopped pecans, divided
Cooking spray
2  cups  miniature marshmallows


Preheat oven to 375°.

Place the sweet potatoes in a Dutch oven, and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes or until very tender. Drain; cool slightly.

Place potatoes in a large bowl. Add sugar and next 3 ingredients (through vanilla). Mash sweet potato mixture with a potato masher. Fold in 1/4 cup pecans. Scrape potato mixture into an even layer in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup pecans; top with marshmallows. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until golden.

Nutrition per serving: 186 calories, 5.5gfat, 2g saturated fat, 8mg cholesterol, 126.7mg sodium, 33.1g carbohydrates, 2.5g fiber, 1.6g protein

The verdict:  Bernie said I passed!  This is a really great dish, perfect for holidays!

Loaded Potato Soup


This soup is really filling!  We had this as an appetizer but it could definitely be a whole meal.  I have to say, I saw a little surprised, but this soup was pretty tasty.  Even Bernie approved!

Loaded Potato Soup, from Cooking Light – October 2010


4 (6 oz) red potatoes
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup prechopped onion
1 1/4 cups fat-free, lower sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups 1% low-fat milk, divided
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 turkey bacon slices, halved
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 teaspoons thinly sliced green onions

1. Pierce potatoes with a fork. Microwave on HIGH 13 minutes or until tender. Cut in half; cool slightly.
2. While potatoes cook, heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; saute’ 3 minutes. Add broth. Combine flour and 1/2 cup milk; add to pan with 1 1/2 cups milk. Bring to a boil; stir often. Cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream, salt, and pepper.
3. Arrange bacon on a paper towel on a microwave-safe plate. Cover with a paper towel; microwave on HIGH for 4 minutes. Crumble bacon.
4. Discard potato skins. Coarsely mash potatoes into soup. Top with cheese, green onions, and bacon.

Yields 4 servings (serving size about 1 1/4 cup)

Nutrition per serving: 325 calories, 11.1g fat, 5.2g saturated fat, 13.2g protein, 43.8g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 27mg cholesterol, 670 mg sodium.

Baked Herbed Potato Wedges


Baked Herbed Potato Wedges, from The Mediterranean Heart Diet

2 large baking potatoes, unpeeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon dried-leaf oregano
1 teaspoon dried-leaf thyme
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Scrub potatoes, pat dry and cut lengthwise into eighths. Brush with oil and place in a baking dish. Sprinkle with cumin seeds, oregano, and thyme. Bake about 35 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Season with salt and pepper.

4 servings

Nutrition per serving: 201.3 calories, 7g fat, 1g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 15.4mg sodium, 32.1g carbohydrates, 3.6g fiber, 1.8g sugar, 3.8g protein

Cornbread Muffins


Cornbread Muffins, adapted from Allrecipes


1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup egg substitute
1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line muffin pan with 5 paper liners.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder. Stir in egg substitute, buttermilk and canola oil until well combined. Pour batter into muffin tin, filling eat paper liner 3/4 full..
3. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes.

Makes 5 muffins.

Nutrition per muffin: 121.7 calories, 4.7g fat, 0.4g saturated fat, 0.8mg cholesterol, 289mg sodium, 16.3g carbohydrates, 0.8g fiber, 3.5g sugar, 3.7g protein.

Sesame Vegetables


I love to serve these vegetables with salmon.  This dish is so easy and packed with nutrition!

Sesame Snap Peas with Carrots & Peppers, from Eating Well


8 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed (about 2 cups)
1 small red bell pepper, cut into strips (about 1 cup)
1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame olive oil
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
Freshly ground pepper , to taste


Place peas, bell pepper and carrot in a steamer basket over 2 inches of boiling water in a saucepan. Cover and steam, stirring once, until crisp-tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Toss with soy sauce, oil, sesame seeds and pepper.

Serves 4

Per serving: 82 calories; 4 g fat (1 g sat, 2 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 9 g carbohydrates; 2 g protein; 3 g fiber; 168 mg sodium; 219 mg potassium.

Mexican meal: Enchilada chicken and mexican corn


Everyday at my job I am asked questions about what foods are healthy, what foods we should eat, etc.  Mexican food tends to have a lot of cheese…queso, enchiladas, tacos, burritos…is there any mexican dish that doesn’t have cheese on/in it?  Yesterday, actually, one of my members asked me – “What is up with cheese, can I eat it if I want to lose weight and be healthy?”  The answer is: yes!

I love cheese.  Full fat cheese is high in fat (especially high in saturated fat).  One serving of dairy, in regards to cheese, would be 2 slices of cheese.  Looking at american cheese, 2 slices would have about 6g of saturated fat – 30% of what you should have in one day – in 2 slices!  This is why low-fat or fat-free cheese would be best, you still get the protein and calcium, without the fat.  Or, choosing a cheese that is naturally lower in fat: mozzarella cheese.

But I don’t like the taste of low-fat cheese!  I don’t either!  That is fine, just eat less of the good stuff.  So go ahead, eat some cheese – just eat it less often and don’t use it as a main ingredient, but as an accent for your food.

Enchilada Chicken, slightly adapted from The Biggest Loser Family Cookbook

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 teaspoon salt-free mexican or southwest seasoning (Mrs. Dash Chipotle)
olive oil spray
3 tablespoons enchilada sauce
1/4 cup cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put the mexican seasoning in a bowl. Place chicken in bowl with seasonings and coat evenly. Place a large ovenproof non stick skillet over high heat. When hot, lightly mist with the olive oil spray and add the chicken. Cook until the chicken is golden brown on the outsides.

Remove the pan from the heat and top chicken with enchilada sauce, then cheese, and cilantro. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 4-5 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink inside and the cheese is melted.

Serve over rice (I like spanish rice!).

Serves 2.  Nutrition per serving: 146.3 calories, 6g fat, 3.3g sat. fat, 56mg cholesterol, 191.9mg sodium, 1.7g carbohydrates, .2g fiber, 20.2g protein.

Mexican Corn, source: Me!

2 ears corn (white, bicolor or yellow)
1 red pepper, diced (seeds removed)
1-2 tablespoons poblano pepper (seeds removed)
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
olive oil spray

Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. While waiting for the water to boil, shuck the corn and remove all the silk. Once water is boiling, boil corn for about 5 minutes, depending on how soft you like your corn.

While corn is boiling, heat a medium-sized pan and mist with olive oil spray. Place both peppers in the pan and cook until just soft.

Once the corn is finished, cut off the cob and place in pan with peppers. Stir in cumin and chili powder and let cook for a couple more minutes then enjoy!

Serves 2.  Nutrition per serving: 103 calories, 1.3g fat, 0.2g sat. fat, 0mg cholesterol, 18.4mg sodium, 23g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 2.9g sugar, 4g protein