A Tale of Two Sides

It's quite easy to dismiss a side dish as just that, a side. You either steam it, sauté it or roast it and that's great and all but are they really getting any love? I'm guessing that the answer is along the lines of "not always". Just think of how many times a side dish has been put in front of you with little more than some olive oil, salt and pepper on it (maybe some garlic powder, if you're lucky). It's a bit disappointing because honestly you still need to eat your veggies! Today I'm going to show you a way that I like to jazz up my side dishes so they become more than just a side. All you're going to need is a few more spices and a lot more love!

Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Honey and Apples

1 lb. Brussel Sprouts, halved
1 Granny Smith Apple, cut into large chunks

For the Dressing:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Freshly Cracked S&P
1 Tbs. of Honey
2 Tbs. Balsamic Vinegar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a sheet pan with cooking spray. In a small bowl whisk together all of the dressing ingredients. In a larger bowl combine the Sprouts and the Apples together with the dressing. Lay out in a single layer on the sheet pan and for some extra sweetness add another light drizzle of honey over the whole thing. This will make them sticky and help them roast and caramelize in the oven, which equals deliciousness. Roast for about 25 minutes or until the apples are tender and the sprouts are crispy. 

Maple Spiced Butternut Squash

1 Package of Butternut Squash, cubed
1 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Freshly Cracked S&P
1 Tbs. Maple Syrup
Spices-Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Cumin

{Disclosure: I usually eyeball this entire recipe because you really can't go wrong}

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a sheet pan with cooking spray. Add the Squash into a large bowl and drizzle in the olive oil and maple syrup. Next add your salt and pepper and the spices. I listed the spices in the order of largest amount to smallest. I would say about teaspoon of Cinnamon and than less of each spice in the order listed. {Side Note: I just discovered that Pumpkin Pie spice is basically my spice mixture for this recipe so if you've got it, use it!} Mix with a large spoon to combine and than spread out the squash in one layer on the sheet pan. Roast for about 30 to 45 minutes, turning once, until fork tender on the inside and caramelized on the outside. Enjoy!


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