Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad

As I mentioned yesterday, I have been craving tangy dressing a lot lately. I’ve also noticed that I’ve been gravitating towards lighter, springy-er dishes. That could be pregnancy related or could be that I’m just really ready to move on from heavy winter dishes (even if I do live in San Diego). Either way, when a friend on a cooking message board I frequent mentioned a pasta salad including asparagus, I was immediately intrigued. Suddenly vegetable pasta salad combinations were just swirling around in my head and I knew exactly what we were having for dinner.

The plan was for me to make grilled chicken and serve it with a large side of this Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad. The look on Jesse’s face when I told him the plan was kind of comical. He was sure that there should be some other side, or something! Much to his surprise (and my delight!) he loved dinner and he even felt full. It just goes to show that dinner doesn’t have to be heavy to be good. The leftovers also made an awesome lunch!

 

Here are a few more lighter side dish ideas!

Tangy Mustard Coleslaw
Southwest Pasta Salad
Spicy Cold Noodles

Traditional Irish Colcannon

Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish that combines potatoes, cabbage or kale, onion, basic cream/milk and butter. It is also a dish that at one point in time I might have turned my nose up to. Cabbage or kale? Really? Why would you ruin perfectly good mashed potatoes with cabbage? Oh my how I was wrong and I am so glad that I’ve come around to the wonderful world of cabbage. Truth be told, I’ve been on a bit of cabbage kick lately. I’ve finally realized just how flavorful and delicious it can be. (It’s that same cabbage kick that led me to using it for this colcannon, but it’s also delicious (and packed with nutrients) when you use kale instead.)

The flavor and deliciousness of cabbage really shines through in this colcannon recipe. What I like about this particular recipe is that the cabbage is sautéed with butter and onions instead of boiled like in many other recipes. That really enhances the richness of the entire dish, making this the perfect St. Patrick’s day meal side dish. I served mine alongside Beer Braised Beef with Onions (recipe to come!). The old saying about a perfect Irish meal being a six-pack and a potato was given new meaning with that combo!

Which reminds me, are you excited about St. Patrick’s day yet? Just 4 more days away! Do you have any St. Patrick’s day traditions?

 

 

Baked Zucchini Fries

Jesse and I are potato people, so it’s no surprise that potatoes are my default side dish for a lot of meals. But the thing is, there is so much more out there than potatoes! Rice, quinoa, beans, vegetables… The possibilities are endless.  Sometimes you just have to remind yourself of the other options.

These baked zucchini fries are an awesome alternative to a potato side dish. The outside is crisp, the inside is tender, and they are the perfect vehicle for any sauce you like (and you know I like sauces!).  They are NOT french fries, but that’s OK. They are different and delicious.

 

 

 

Soft Garlic Knots

Brace yourself for incoming carbs!! Seriously, I was planning out my posts for the next few weeks and I realized I had 4 (maybe even 5!) bread recipes in the queue. Do I have a problem with carbs? Very good possibility!

This particular bread/roll recipe is one that’s been a regular in my kitchen for probably 3 or 4 years now. I even had it posted on my old blog. The only reason it didn’t make the “Top 30(1)” import cut was because I hated the photo and I make them often enough that I knew I would eventually get a photo I was happier with. The time has finally come and I think you’re going to love these rolls just as much as I do!