Baked Polenta Fries (Not-Potato Fries)

Not Potato Fries

Creamy polenta with Parmesan cheese is baked up into golden brown, crispy fries with warm tomato sauce or ketchup for dipping. My Italian answer to the french fry.

The method is easy but time-consuming because the polenta has to be thoroughly chilled to hold it’s french fry shape. I use 5-minute polenta and cook it for 10 minutes until it’s super thick then spread it flat in a pan and pat it down well to compact it and make it dense. … 

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Hash Brown Brussels Sprouts

Hash Brown Brussels Sprouts

Diced potatoes, baby Brussels sprouts and onions are roasted to crispy, golden brown in this baked version of hash browns.

Hash browns are normally breakfast food but I think of this as more of a side. I didn’t feel the urge to eat them with eggs but alongside a hearty meatloaf for dinner. It was a perfect match. You know what would of made it better? Bacon. Mix in a chopped-up slice, maybe two or even three and you’ll bring it one step closer to perfect.

I posted a similar version of this recipe all the way back in 2009. An entire five years ago. I can’t even believe … 

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Bacon, Apple & Cheddar Broccoli Slaw

Bacon Apple Cheddar Broccoli Slaw

This cool, crunchy broccoli slaw gets a ton of flavor from juicy apples, sharp cheddar cheese, crispy bacon and red onion dressed in a tangy honey mustard. It’s ridiculously easy to throw together and makes a great side for anything you can imagine from burgers to chicken.

If you’ve never seen broccoli slaw before in your market it’s usually hiding next to the bagged coleslaw and lettuces. It’s made of shredded broccoli stalks, carrots and sometimes red cabbage. If you can’t find broccoli slaw you can use cole slaw instead.

For the dressing I use a good quality honey Dijon mustard right from the jar with a little bit of mayonnaise. When you first mix it together there might not seem to be enough dressing but after it sits for an hour in the refrigerator it loosens up. Some of the juice from the apples mingle with it and the broccoli releases some water. The vegetables soften a little too and the flavors meld. If you prefer it crunchy you can eat it right away.

To make it vegetarian skip the bacon and add a big handful or two of nuts like sliced almonds. You can add them anyways, if you like, along with a handful of cranberries or raisins.

Cheddar Apple Broccoli Slaw

Bacon, Apple & Cheddar Broccoli Slaw

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Bacon, Apple & Cheddar Broccoli Slaw

This cool, crunchy broccoli slaw gets a ton of flavor from juicy apples, sharp cheddar cheese, crispy bacon and red onion dressed in a tangy honey mustard. It's ridiculously easy to throw together and makes a great side for anything you can imagine from burgers to chicken.

INGREDIENTS:

12 ounces broccoli slaw
2 of your favorite apples, peeled and shredded [I like Gala]
1 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/4 cup honey Dijon mustard (not dipping sauce)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
salt and pepper, to taste
*4 - 5 slices crispy cooked bacon, crumbled

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a large mixing bowl toss the slaw, apples, cheese and red onion together.
  2. Add the honey mustard, mayonnaise, a few dashes of salt and pepper and toss again. Cover with saran wrap and refrigerate at least 1/2 hour or longer - until ready to serve.
  3. Just before serving mix in the bacon, taste and season again with salt and pepper if needed.

Notes:

*To make it vegetarian skip the bacon and add a handful or two of nuts like sliced almonds.

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/bacon-apple-cheddar-broccoli-slaw/

Southwestern Mashed Potatoes

Southwestern Mash

Just five ingredients come together to make these zesty and delicious southwestern mashed potatoes! I started with Simply Potatoes Traditional Mashed Potatoes and mixed in cheddar cheese, corn, avocado and jalapeno peppers. You can create your own five ingredient fix using Simply Potatoes and enter them in the five ingredient recipe contest for a chance to win a grand prize of $3,000.

Simply potatoes are fresh, refrigerated potatoes that have never been frozen. They’re easy to prepare and made with only real ingredients like whole milk, butter and salt.

These are the creamiest mashed potatoes on Earth! The cheese melts right into them along with the mashed avocado making them rich and even more buttery than they are to begin with.

The avocado turns them a pretty shade of green and the corn gives them little pops of texture. The jalapenos aren’t overpowering but more on the subtle side. Everything comes together to make a flavorful side dish to spice up you meals. A new favorite in my house.

I hope I inspired you to enter your own five ingredient fix in the recipe contest! Simply potatoes makes it so easy and convenient for you, there’s no excuse not to. I can’t wait to see your creations!

Southwestern Mashed Potatoes

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Southwestern Mashed Potatoes

Just five ingredients come together to make these zesty and delicious southwestern mashed potatoes! Simply Potatoes traditional mashed potatoes, cheddar cheese, corn, avocado and jalapeno peppers.

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound 8 ounce package of Simply Potatoes Traditional Mashed Potatoes
3/4 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup cooked corn
1 avocado, mashed
1/4 cup jarred or canned jalapenos, diced, with a little of the juice they're packed in

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cook the Simply Potatoes Traditional Mashed Potatoes according to package directions.
  2. Scoop it into a large, microwave safe mixing bowl and stir in the cheddar and corn. Microwave 30 seconds. Stir well.
  3. Mix in the mashed avocado and jalapenos including a tablespoon or two of the juice. Serve immediately.

Notes:

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/southwestern-mashed-potatoes/

For rules on how to enter the Sweepstakes click here.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Simply Potatoes. The opinions and text are all mine.

Mashed Broccoli with Ricotta, Parmesan & Garlic

Mashed Broccoli with Ricotta & Parmesan

If you want your family to eat their broccoli then try feeding them this! Broccoli florets smashed up with ricotta cheese and a whole lot of tasty things like Parmesan, garlic, lemon zest and walnuts. They’re creamy like mashed potatoes and make a great low-carb alternative.

You can use fresh or frozen broccoli that you will need to cook real well – until it’s fork tender and on the brink of falling apart. This will make the creamiest mash. A food processor works best at pureeing everything together so it’s smooth.

This is one of those recipes I like to have up my sleeve for . . . I hate to say “tricking” people . . . changing their minds is a better way to put it. This can entice a broccoli hater to try it and chances are they will end up liking it. I’ve seen it with my very own eyes.

I love when that happens.

Mashed Broccoli

Mashed Broccoli with Ricotta, Parmesan and Garlic

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 6 servings as a side

Mashed Broccoli with Ricotta, Parmesan and Garlic

Broccoli florets smashed up with ricotta cheese and a whole lot of tasty things like Parmesan, garlic, lemon zest and walnuts. They're creamy like mashed potatoes and make a great low-carb alternative.

INGREDIENTS:

2 pounds broccoli florets, fresh or frozen
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
3 shallots or a small onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
coarse salt and fresh black pepper
1 cup Ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pine nuts
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (just the yellow part, not the pith)
a pinch or two of red pepper flakes

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Steam the broccoli until fork tender - cook it well.
  2. While the broccoli cooks in a medium sized frying pan (preferably non-stick) heat the oil and butter together over medium-low heat, add the onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook until tender, stirring often. Turn the heat down to low and add the ricotta and Parmesan, cook just until warm.
  3. Place everything in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl if needed.
  4. Season - well - to taste - with salt and pepper - if you don't add enough it will be bland tasting.

Notes:

Inspired by The Chew

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/mashed-broccoli-ricotta-parmesan-garlic/

Feta Meatballs with Spinach Couscous & Tzatziki

Baked Greek Meatballs

Baked meatballs loaded with feta cheese, roasted red peppers, Greek yogurt, onions, garlic and Parmesan cheese with a no-cook couscous freckled with spinach and a bright tzatziki sauce for serving.

The delectable meatballs come together quickly in one bowl and bake up nicely on an olive oil greased baking sheet. They brown and take on a little crispiness with tender, flavorful insides that stay moist thanks to the Greek yogurt and onion. You can’t taste the Greek yogurt in the final product and you can substitute with sour cream or milk if you like. While they’re baking you can throw together the couscous, tiny orbs of pasta that cook in mere minutes.

The couscous is one of the easiest sides in existence to make using just one-bowl and ten minutes of time to prepare including prep. It’s made by combining finely chopped baby spinach, red onions and couscous in a bowl then pouring hot water over it. Cover the bowl and five, magic minutes later you can fluff it up, mix in a little Parmesan, give it a squirt of fresh lemon and a drizzle of olive oil for a side dish that’s ready to serve with just about anything. It’s good in a pinch and tastes like you went to more trouble than you really did.

Tzatziki is a cucumber sauce traditionally made with Greek yogurt. For a richer sauce I make mine with sour cream or sometimes a mix of both, plus dill, garlic and lemon. It’s cool, creamy, tangy, and a little sweet from the dill weed. You should make the sauce first so the flavors have a little time to marry.

You can serve these layered in bowls the way I did – and loved – or stuff them into pita pockets or wraps. You can just make the meatballs (or use the leftovers) and drop them into your favorite tomato sauce to serve with pasta. They would make great appetizers too! Stick a toothpick in them with the sauce on the side for dipping and you’re good to go.

They will disappear fast no matter how you chose to serve them.

Like all tasty things it’s hard to eat just one.

Greek Meatballs with Spinach Couscous

Feta Meatballs with Spinach Couscous & Tzatziki

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 18 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Feta Meatballs with Spinach Couscous & Tzatziki

Baked meatballs loaded with feta cheese, roasted red peppers, onions, garlic and Parmesan cheese with a no-cook couscous freckled with spinach, and a bright tzatziki sauce for serving.

INGREDIENTS:

tzatziki:
1 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
1/2 cucumber, peeled and diced, remove the seeds
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
1 - 2 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
a couple pinches each salt and pepper
meatballs:
olive oil, for greasing pan
2 eggs
1/4 cup Greek yogurt, sour cream or milk
1 + 1/2 pounds ground beef (85% lean)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 roasted red pepper, diced
1/3 cup minced yellow onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed between fingertips
1 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
couple pinches of nutmeg or cinnamon
1 cup crumbled feta

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a large roasting pan or baking sheet with sides generously with olive oil.
  3. In a large mixing bowl whisk the eggs and yogurt together. Add the remaining meatball and use a fork or your hands to combine. Form into balls one to one and a half inches wide. Place on baking sheet, close together but not touching. Bake 12 - 18 minutes until cooked in the middle. Break one open to check.
  4. Meanwhile make the couscous. The recipe is below this one.

Notes:

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/greek-meatballs-with-spinach-couscous-tzatziki/

Spinach Parmesan Couscous

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Spinach Parmesan Couscous

INGREDIENTS:

4 cups fresh baby spinach
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 + 1/2 cups couscous (like this )
1 + 3/4 cups boiling water.
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
coarse salt and fresh black pepper
a handful of pine nuts, sliced almonds or chopped walnuts, optional

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Make stacks of the spinach leaves and cut them into thin strips lengthwise then cut the strips across into tiny pieces.
  2. Add them to a heat safe large bowl with the onion and couscous.
  3. Pour in the boiling water, stir and cover tightly with a plate or a piece of aluminum foil. Let sit five minutes.
  4. After five minutes fluff up the couscous with a fork.
  5. Add the parmesan, lemon and oil and work it in with a fork until it's evenly combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Garnish with nuts if desired.

Notes:

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/greek-meatballs-with-spinach-couscous-tzatziki/

Parmesan Potato Puffs

Potato Puffs

Pan-fried potato puffs with my secret fry sauce for dipping. They have lightly crisp outsides that give way to soft middles that melt in your mouth. Along with Parmesan cheese, they’re lightly seasoned with paprika, garlic and onion powder.

Pan-frying is a must. See those pale, insipid looking things in the back? I baked them, because inevitably, I knew you’d ask. They came out flat, dense and unappetizing. It was hard to believe they were even made from the same mixture, so different they were from the fried ones.

Frying magically poufs them up and out giving them light and creamy interiors with beautiful browned outsides, exactly how I imagine something called a “puff” ought to be like. The insides remind me a little of tater tots, but the outsides don’t have quite the same crunch. They’re crunchy enough, just not tater tot crunchy.

Now for my favorite fry dip, my go-to that I’ve been making forever. Barbecue sauce and mayonnaise, equal parts mixed together. Nothing fancy. It’s creamy, tangy, rich and addictive. Good on fries, onion rings, crispy chicken of any kind, and burgers.

You can serve these as a side or appetizer. For appetizers make them a little ahead of time and keep them warm in a low oven.

Parmesan Potato Puffs
Parmesan Potato Puffs

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Yield: serves 4 as a side

Parmesan Potato Puffs

Pan-fried potato puffs with my secret fry sauce for dipping. They have lightly crisp outsides that give way to soft middles that melt in your mouth. Along with Parmesan cheese, they're lightly seasoned with paprika, garlic and onion powder.

INGREDIENTS:

2 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
coarse salt
vegetable oil, for frying
dipping sauce:
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 cup mayonnaise

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Put the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water, set over high heat and bring to a boil. Turn heat down and maintain a simmer until they are fork tender.
  2. Drain them and put them back in the pan, set it over the heat, cook for a minute or two to dry up the excess water on them.
  3. Mash them with a potato masher or pass them through a ricer into a large bowl. Stir in the egg, butter, Parmesan, flour, paprika, onion powder and garlic powder. Season well with salt - about a heaping teaspoon.
  4. Lightly flour your hands and roll into 1 to 1 + 1/2-inch sized balls.
  5. Heat about 1/2 inch of vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet or Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Once it starts to shimmer add one of the potato puffs - the oil should bubble and sizzle immediately, if it doesn't let it heat up a little longer. Cook the puffs in batches, don't crowd them because they will pouf up a little as they cook.
  6. Cook about 2 minutes a side or until golden brown, then turn and repeat, then turn and repeat again if needed so you can get all sides of the puffs nice and golden brown. Add more oil to the pan as needed.
  7. Drain on a paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle with coarse salt.
  8. Serve hot or at room temperature with fry dip (just whisk equal parts barbecue sauce and mayonnaise together) or ketchup.

Notes:

Adapted from Food & Wine

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/parmesan-potato-puffs/

Baked Broccoli Cheese Rice Fritters

Baked Broccoli Cheese Fritters

The most irresistible oven-fried cakes you will ever meet! Golden brown on the outside with cheesy middles, they’re filled with broccoli, brown rice and sharp cheddar cheese. No frying required for great results.

The fritters come together easily using cooked brown rice, chopped broccoli florets, sharp cheddar cheese, eggs and a touch each of Parmesan and flour to help bind them together. Surprisingly, they crisp up nicely in the oven when baked on a lightly greased, nonstick baking sheet. Flipping them a little more than halfway through helps them get nicely browned on both sides.

I made these in two different sizes resulting in different outcomes. The smaller ones you see here are more like latkes, flat and thin with lots of crusty, chewy edges and just a tiny amount of creaminess to the centers. These are easy to eat with your hands, qualifying them as great appetizers.

Then I doubled their size making them considerably thicker. This gives them lots of soft middles with the same golden brown, crispy outsides. You can eat these with your hands too but not as easily. Since you have to bake them in two batches you can try them both ways, if you like, and decide for yourself which ones you prefer. It just so happened I liked both equally. I would.

One of my favorite things in the world is broccoli rice au gratin, so wrapping all that up inside a crusty little hand-held patty is certain to make my heart beat a little quicker.

It’s safe to say these will be a staple in my diet. Forever and always.

Broccoli Cheese Rice Fritters

Baked Broccoli Cheese Rice Fritters

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Yield: about 15 large or 30 small

Baked Broccoli Cheese Rice Fritters

The most irresistible oven-fried cakes you will ever meet! Golden brown on the outside with cheesy middles, they're filled with broccoli, brown rice and sharp cheddar cheese. No frying required for great results.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup uncooked brown rice (2 + 3/4 cups cooked)
12 ounces broccoli florets (2 heaping cups cooked)
2 eggs
1 + 1/3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more for sprinkling on top
a dash or two of black pepper
2 tablespoons flour, plus more if needed
olive oil, for greasing the pan
sour cream, for serving

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cook the rice according to package directions. Steam the broccoli until tender, then place in a colander to drain off any excess water. Allow both to cool off. Pat the broccoli dry with paper towels.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a large non-stick baking sheet with olive oil.
  3. In a large mixing bowl whisk the eggs with a fork until well beaten. Chop the cooked broccoli into little pieces and add to the bowl with the cheddar, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Mix to combine.
  4. Add the rice and mix well then add the flour and mix well. If the mixture is too wet to hold together add more flour, a tablespoon at a time. The mixture should still feel moist but stick together when you form the patties.
  5. You can make small, thin fritters or a bigger pancake type of patty. {Or some of each.} For the small patties scoop up 2 tablespoons of the mixture and form into a patty, place it on the baking sheet and flatten it out slightly. Repeat, placing them about a 1/2-inch apart. You will have to cook them in 2 batches. Cook 12 minutes or until golden on the bottom then flip and cook 8 more minutes.
  6. For the larger pancakes scoop up 1/4 cups of the mixture and pat into a round patty about 1/2-inch thick. You will need to cook them in two batches. Bake about 20 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom, then flip and cook 10 - 12 more minutes.
  7. Sprinkle coarse salt over them when they come out of the oven. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature with sour cream.

Notes:

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/baked-broccoli-cheese-rice-fritters/