Category:

Sides

Fresno peppers are a delicious pepper that grows out here in California. They resemble a jalapeno, but are fruitier in flavor and rest somewhere between the heat level of a jalapeno and a serrano. They’re so good!

That being said they are a little on the pricier side sometimes soaring as high as almost nine dollars a pound. Ouch! So if Fresno chiles aren’t in the budget feel free to use green or red jalapenos and mix 2 teaspoons of sriracha into the goat cheese mix. Since sriracha is made from Fresnos you’ll get the flavor without the high price. Fig jam would also be a delicious addition here if apricot isn’t…your jam lol.

California Poppers

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
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Ingredients:
 
  • 8 large Fresno chiles
  • 8 strips bacon
  • 6 oz goat cheese
  • 2 oz cream cheese
  • 2 Tbsp apricot preserves
  • 16 toothpicks (*optional)
Instructions:
  • Preheat your oven to 400°F
  • Slice the tops off of your Fresno peppers and slice in half length wise. Discard the seeds.
  • In a bowl mix together the goat cheese, cream cheese, and apricot preserves.
  • Slice the bacon in half, leaving you with 16 short slices of bacon.
  • Fill the hollowed out peppers with the cheese mixture and wrap each pepper with bacon. You can secure the bacon with toothpicks if desired.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until the bacon is cooked to your liking. If you own a smoker you can also smoke these bad boys for one hour at 300°F for a delicious smokey treat. Enjoy!

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Jeera rice is a delicious and easy rice from the northern region of India. It’s flavorful enough to enjoy on it’s own, quick enough to make it to your weeknight rotation, and the perfect accompaniment to curries and heavily spiced dishes. Balance is the name of the game here! Cumin seeds are surprisingly high in antioxidants, iron, and help to promote digestion making this side dish not only a delicious choice, but a healthy one too!

Dairy not your thing? Try it with vegan butter!

Jeera Rice (cumin rice)

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4
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Ingredients:
 
  • 1 ½ cups Basmati, or long grain white rice
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 4" cinnamon sticks
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Tbsp cumin seeds
Instructions:
  • Wash the rice until the water runs clear, drain, and set aside.
  • In a small pot over medium-high heat add the butter and allow it to melt.
  • When the butter has melted add the cumin seeds, cinnamon sticks, and bay leaf. Cook stirring constantly for 1 minute, and add the rice. Coat the rice in the butter and cook for 2 minutes longer.
  • Shut the heat to your pan off and look at your hand so your palm is facing you. Look at your index finger. The first line of your finger closest to your finger tip is the PERFECT measure for water to rice ratios. On a flat surface place your fingertip on top of the rice and fill with water until it reaches that line. Be careful of the hot pan!
  • Place the pot back over medium-high heat and bring the rice and water to a boil. Turn the heat to low and cover leaving a small gap to allow steam to escape. Follow the cook time instructions on the package for your rice. Cooking should take roughly 10-20 minutes depending upon your rice selection.
  • This recipe also works in a rice cooker if you have one available! Just place the toasted rice and spices into the cooker, cover with a the appropriate amount of water, and allow the cooker to work it's magic.
  • When your rice is cooked fluff it up with a fork or rice paddle and remove the cinnamon sticks and bay leaf. Serve with your favorite dish and enjoy!

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An easy and flavorful side dish perfect for warm summer days spent with friends. Dairy not your thing? Try it with olive oil or vegan butter!

Grilled Garlic Butter Zucchini

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Course: Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
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Ingredients:
 
  • 4 zucchini
  • 4 Tbsp butter (melted)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
Instructions:
  • Heat your grill to high or about 400°F.
  • Wash and trim the ends from your zucchini, and slice length wise.
  • In a small bowl melt the butter, and stir in the salt, pepper, and minced garlic.
  • Brush both sides of the zucchini slices with the seasoned garlic butter and grill for 5 minutes per side, or until the zucchini is as soft and charred as your prefer. Feel free to baste again as desired, and enjoy!

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Love caprese? Then you’ll love this delicious twist on the famous Italian salad. Using fresh summer fruit in place of tomatoes give this well known dish an unexpected twist. Sweet and crunchy watermelon pairs so well with traditional caprese ingredients you’ll ask yourself why you didn’t think of this sooner!

Watermelon Caprese Salad

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
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Ingredients:
 
  • 4 cups watermelon
  • 4 oz fresh mozzarella
  • ¼ cup basil leaves
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Instructions:
  • Remove the rind of the watermelon, and chop the flesh into bite sized pieces. Place into a large bowl.
  • Cut the fresh mozzarella into a bite sized pieces, and slice the basil leaves into thin strips. Place both into the bowl with the watermelon.
  • Season the watermelon and cheese with the salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar. toss to coat, and enjoy!

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Made in rice cooker or on the stove top the perfect flavors of summer collide in this coconut lime rice. It’s a great side dish for kebabs, grilled meats, and curries. Coconut milk absorbs quicker than water so you’ll want to keep a close eye on this rice if making it on the stove top!

Toasted Coconut Lime Rice

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Caribbean
Servings: 4
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Ingredients:
 
  • ½ cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 2 cups long grain white rice
  • 13.5 oz can coconut milk
  • 2 limes (juiced)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • water
Instructions:
  • Preheat an oven to 400°F
  • Toast for five minutes or until the coconut is golden brown.
  • While the coconut is toasting wash the rice until the water runs clear. When the coconut is toasted remove from the oven and set side.
  • In a pot over medium-heat or in a rice cooker combine the washed rice, coconut milk, ¼ cup of the toasted coconut, sugar, and water. Stir well. To measure the water press your index finger lightly to the top of the rice and fill until the water reaches the first line or joint on your finger.
  • If using a rice cooker close the lid and allow it to do all the work! It should take roughly 25 to 30 minutes.
  • If using the stove top method allow the water to come to a boil and the reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the water and coconut milk are absorbed and the rice is cooked and fluffy.
  • Plate your rice and top with the remaining toasted coconut, and squeeze the limes over top. Enjoy!

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A fun twist on standard roasted eggplant this Greek roasted eggplant makes for an easy and delicious side dish. This pairs well with a grilled protein and a nice glass of chilled white wine or as the star of the show in a gluten free grain bowl!

Greek Roasted Eggplant

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
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Ingredients:
 
  • 1 ½ pounds eggplant ((about 2 large eggplants))
  • cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 lemon (juice and zest)
Instructions:
  • Preheat your oven to 400°F
  • Slice the green tops off the eggplants and chop into bite sized pieces.
  • On a large baking sheet combine all ingredients and coat the eggplant well tossing with your hands.
  • When the oven is ready roast the eggplant for 45 minutes or until the skin is lightly browned and the flesh is soft. Enjoy!

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Being a military spouse I’ve lived from coast to coast and one of the things I know I can get everywhere is decent guacamole. Who can mess that up right? Except….one of my BIGGEST pet peeves with guacamole is when you take a big ol’ scoop and bite down then -BAM- raw onion is now all you can taste. This is great if onion is all you *want* to taste, but since I’m not the Grinch your girl did not just throw down eight dollars on some table side guac to taste a fifty cent onion. So I’ve brought to you my method of softening the ingredients in lime juice before mixing into the avocado. Essentially making a quick pico de gallo. This method mellows out the onion while also allowing the flavors to intermingle for a bit which makes for a more delicious guacamole overall. I think you’ll be pleased!

Tex-Mex Guacamole

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
rest time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Tex-Mex
Servings: 4 cups
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Ingredients:
 
  • 4 ripe avocados
  • 1 cup red onion (chopped)
  • 1 cup tomato (seeds removed, chopped)
  • 2 Tbsp cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 large jalapeno (seeds removed, minced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 3 limes (juiced)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
Instructions:
  • Combine all prepped ingredients except avocado into a bowl and mix. Allow to sit for 10 to 20 minutes. This is a pico de gallo. Feel free to taste it to see if the onion has mellowed enough for your liking.
  • When the onion has chilled TF out scoop the avocado out of it's peel and mash directly into the pico until the avocado is as smooth or as chunky as you prefer. Give it a good stir and enjoy on everything!

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Squash casserole is a well loved dish in the south. You would expect to see it at family gatherings, weddings, funerals, parties, potlucks etc…. you get the idea! Squash casserole is versatile in that substitutions almost always happen depending upon what you have on hand, and are always delicious! This versatility is what is what allows me to make this dish gluten free!

Enjoy this dish on its own as a filling vegetarian meal or crowd pleasing side dish! You can also brown up a pound of ground or shredded meat to up the protein for you and your family. Simply fry up a protein of your choice with a little salt and pepper and add it to the dish before topping and baking. 

Southern Squash Casserole

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
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Ingredients:
 
  • 10 cups yellow squash (sliced roughly ¼" thick)
  • 1 large white onion (chopped)
  • ¼ cup whisky, chicken broth, or water
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • ½ cup mayo
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 2 ½ cups GF panko bread crumbs
  • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 pound ground or shredded meat (*optional)
Instructions:
  • Preheat your oven to 400°F
  • Prep your onion and squash. In a large pot over med-high heat add 1 Tbsp butter and chopped onion. Saute until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. If using raw meat, go ahead and brown it with the onions. Just add a little salt and pepper to taste to season the meat.
  • Deglaze the pan with ¼ cup whisky, chicken broth, or water.
  • After the onion is browned, add the sliced squash and cook stirring frequently until all squash is soft. Cook time will depend upon how thick you sliced the squash. I tend to slice mine roughly a quarter inch thick. When squash is cooked turn off the heat and set aside.
  • In a large bowl combine the mayo, salt, pepper, eggs, garlic powder, 2 cups of cheese, and 1 ½ cups GF panko. Whisk together.
  • Using a large slotted spoon to drain the excess liquid transfer the cooked squash and onions (and meat if using) into the bowl with your mayo mixture. Stir well to combine and pour into a 9 x 13 baking dish.
  • Melt the remaining 2 Tbsp butter and mix with 1 cup shredded cheddar and 1 cup GF panko. Stir together and spread evenly over top of your squash.
  • Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes or until breadcrumbs are golden brown and cheese is melted. Enjoy!

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You’ve likely seen this type of corn all over the internet lately, and that’s for good reason. It’s incredible! Elote has caught quite some attention recently, but frequently I see it labeled as “Mexican street corn”.

With much love – stop that shit lol.

It’s called elote (ee-low-teh) and this type of corn is sold all around Texas, New Mexico, California (and obviously Mexico) by street vendors pushing silver carts filled with incredible Mexican treats! If you’re ever lucky enough to spot one you should 100% stop and buy all the things.

Elote is a roasted or steamed corn slathered in mayo, salty cheese, fresh lime, and spicy chile. Once you’ve tasted it it’s something you’ll crave for the rest of your life! A couple things I do differently- Queso Fresco; traditionally cojita cheese is used I personally just don’t like the taste of cojita. Any salty crumbly cheese is fair game grated Parmesan can and is frequently used! Next, I make my own chile blend. The only thing you actually need is something you like the taste of. Some prefer hot sauce, tajin, cayenne, or even one of my personal favorites *crushed hot cheetos*. No matter how you make yours you’ll be thankful you gave this snack a try!

Happy snackin’ FlavorSluts!

Elote

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Course: Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 4
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Ingredients:
 
  • 4 ears corn (In the husk)
  • ½ cup mayo
  • 10 oz queso fresco (crumbled)
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 limes (quartered)
Instructions:
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F
  • When the oven is preheated place your ears of corn, still in the husk, directly on the middle rack of your oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  • While corn is roasting crumble your cheese in a small bowl, and quarter your limes.
  • In a separate container or shaker mix together the chili powder, cayenne, and paprika. Set aside.
  • When the corn has finished, carefully peel back the husks, but don't remove them completely. The husks act as a handle to eat the corn with. The silt (the stringy stuff) should peel clean off with the husk. If it doesn't a quick rinse will remove it.
  • Slather all sides of each ear of corn with lots of mayo, and then sprinkle generously with the queso fresco. After your corn is well coated in mayo and cheese sprinkle the chile blend on top and finish with a squeeze of lime.
  • It's perfection. Enjoy your elote with lots of napkins! You'll need them lol!

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Rainbow cauliflower is the perfect way to add a little fun to a dinner time favorite. Cauliflower comes in three colors: white, purple, and orange. There is a green pointy vegetable that looks like cauliflower called Romanesco- it belongs to the broccoli family, but would be a welcomed addition here for the sake of color. When chopping your cauliflower remember to cut it into bite sized pieces because like most things in life- the smaller something is… the easier it is to roast.  

Gremolata is traditionally made by hand by finely mincing each ingredient and whisking in the liquids. I personally do not have the patience for that which is why I make it in a food processor, but if that’s your jam then live your best life!

Roasted Rainbow Cauliflower with Gremolata

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6
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Ingredients:
 
  • 1 head purple cauliflower (chopped, bite sized)
  • 1 head orange cauliflower (chopped, bite sized)
  • 1 head white cauliflower (chopped, bite size)
  • 1 bunch Italian flat leaf parsley (leaves and stems, chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large shallot (chopped)
  • 2 lemons (juice and zest)
  • cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Instructions:
  • Preheat your oven to 400° F.
  • Clean and chop your cauliflower into bite sized florets. Divide it between two large baking trays.
  • Toss each tray of cauliflower with 2 Tbsp of olive oil and ½ tsp salt and ½ pepper.
  • Roast your cauliflower for 40 minutes or until the bottoms and edges are nicely browned.
  • While your cauliflower is roasting combine all remaining ingredients together in a food processor or blender, and taste for salt and pepper. This is your gremolata!
  • When your cauliflower has finished pour the gremolata over the top and toss to coat the cauliflower well. Enjoy!

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