Wednesday, March 18, 2009

4 Side Dishes = 1 Meal

On my quest to eat healthier (eat less meat, more veggies) I found that there are a lot more side dishes than main dishes to choose from. So, I made these four side dishes into a complete meal. It was delicious. (I found these recipes in Betty Crocker's November 1999 Holiday magazine...and I don't think St. Patrick's Day was the holiday they were thinking of...but I made it anyway.) Perhaps to make it looks like like 4 side dishes I would add more squash and put it over the rice.

Included in my meal:
Butternut Squash Saute
Hazelnut Parmesan Asparagus
Brown Rice
Beets (I didn't put recipe on...since I just got it from a can)

Butternut Squash Saute
Prep: 20 mins. Cook: 20 mins.

4 Slices of bacon (for vegetarian, take out bacon and add a little butter instead)
1 Medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
6 Cups 1/2 inch pieces peeled butternut squash (2 small)
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh or 1/8 dried thyme leaves
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3 Cups firmly packed baby spinach leaves

Cook bacon in 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp (or just melt butter for vegetarian style). Stire in onion. Cook about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is crisp-tender. Stir in squash, thyme and pepper. Cover and cook 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until squash is tender. Stir in spinach just until wilted.

Hazelnut Parmesan Asparagus
Prep: 15 mins. Cook: 10 mins.

2 Cups water
2 lbs asparagus spears (or 3 pkgs, 10 oz, frozen)
2 Tablespoons margarine or butter
1 Package (8 oz) sliced mushrooms (3 cups)
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1/4 Cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 Cup chopped hazelnuts (filberts)

Heat water to boiling in 12-inch skillet. Add asparagus. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook 4-6 minutes or until crisp tender. Drain; set aside. (If using frozen, cook according to package directions.)

Melt margarine in skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in mushrooms. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are light brown. Stir asparagus, basil, salt and pepper into mushrooms until vegetables are coated with seasonings and asparagus is heated through. Sprinkle with cheese and hazelnuts.

*We had the cheese and nuts on the side as optional...I actually forgot about them and ate without them...which was still really tasty but kind of defeated the purpose of it being called "Hazelnut Parmesan Asparagus".

Brown Rice

1 cup brown rice
2 cups water
(Just make sure you have the 1 to 2 ratio of rice to water.)

Put rice and water in a pan on the stove. Heat uncovered until water boils, reduce heat to low/simmer. Cover and let simmer for 40 minutes.

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