Roasted Beets

Let’s take a walk on the healthier side, shall we?

I’ve been having a real love affair with beets of late.  They’re kinda sweet, and taste a little like dirt.  In the very best way, of course.

Much like pretty much all vegetables, they’re great when roasted.

Roasted Beets | A Nerd Cooks

You may want to consider wearing latex gloves while peeling and chopping the beets.  They can stain your skin, even if you wash up right after handling them.

You’ll need:

  • 6-8 medium sized beets, peeled and cut into roughly bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs honey
  • salt
  • pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.  Set aside.

Put the cut beets, olive oil, honey, salt, and pepper into a zip top bag.  Toss everything around until the beets are well-coated.

Spread the beets on the prepared baking sheet in an even layer.  Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until the beets are fork tender.

Eat ’em up.

Roasted Beets | A Nerd Cooks

Advertisements

Skinny Green Bean Casserole – Updated!

Like so many other posts that I’ve shown you recently, this recipe was definitely deserving of a facelift.  It is a lightened up version of the traditional green bean casserole that gets served at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Despite it being “skinny”, this recipe tastes so much better than the original.  It’s so worth it to spend a little extra time and make everything from scratch rather than use canned condensed soup.  Additionally, this dish can be made vegetarian if you opt for vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

Skinny Green Bean Casserole - Updated! | A Nerd Cooks

I blogged about this for the first time in 2012 (my original post can be found here), and the recipe originally comes from the blog Skinnytaste.

You’ll need:

Bread Crumb Topping

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 cup shallots, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 tbs parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme

Green Beans & Sauce

  • 2 lbs fresh green beans, washed, trimmed, and halved
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1/3 cup shallots, finely diced
  • 16 oz. cremini mushrooms, washed and sliced
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

To make the topping, heat a medium-sized skillet over medium heat.  Add the shallots and sauté for 3-5 minutes, or until they are softened.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the bread crumbs, cheese, and thyme.  Sauté for 5-6 additional minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning.  Remove from the heat and set aside.

Boil a large pot of water.  Add the green beans and blanche for 2-4 minutes.  Drain them into a colander and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add the remaining 1/3 cup of shallots and sauté for a couple of minutes.  Add the mushrooms, stirring to coat them with the oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Sauté for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms, stirring to coat.  Continue stirring for about a minute.  Slowly add the broth and milk.  Bring it to a low boil, and cook for about 3 more minutes, or until it starts to thicken up, stirring occasionally.  Stir in the rest of the grated cheese.

Add the blanched green beans and mix well.  Taste, and season with salt and pepper, if needed.  Pour everything into the prepared baking dish.

Top the beans and sauce with the toasted bread crumbs and bake for 30 minutes.

Dig in!  Trust me, this recipe blows the traditional green bean casserole out of the water.

Skinny Green Bean Casserole - Updated! | A Nerd Cooks

Spicy Roasted Pineapple Sweet Potatoes

I hope you enjoyed all of the festive recipes leading up to Cinco de Mayo!  Now it’s back to our regularly scheduled programming…

This recipe came from the blog Mix it Up.  To be honest, I was initially a little skeptical about this.  But it ended up being pretty good!  I usually eat pineapple cold, so having it hot and on the spicy side was different.  But different in a good way!  Give it a shot; I think you’ll like it.Spicy Roasted Pineapple Sweet Potatoes | A Nerd Cooks

You’ll need:

  • 3 large/5 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 20 oz. can pineapple chunks, drained (but reserve the juice)
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1-2 tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (I didn’t have any on hand so I subbed 3/4 tsp chili powder and 1/2 tsp cumin)
  • Pinch of kosher salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine all ingredients in a zip top bag and slosh it around until everything is coated.  On a baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray, bake the sweet potatoes and pineapple for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender.  Remove from the oven to toss everything on the baking sheet around every 10 minutes.

Deconstructed Mexican Street Corn

It’s day #5 of Fiesta Week at A Nerd Cooks.  This recipe coms from Little Leopard Book.  I made it as a side dish to the Chipotle Lime Chicken Fajita Skewers that we ate a couple of nights ago.  Before we were even done eating, Sean requested that I make it again sometime.  It’s a definite keeper.  The cayenne pepper makes it pretty hot, so if you aren’t a fan of spice, maybe use a little less.

Deconstructed Mexican Street Corn | A Nerd Cooks

You’ll need:

  • 5 ears of corn (or 3 3/4-4 cups frozen corn*, defrosted)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)
  • 3 limes, juiced
  • 1/2 tbs cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 1 tbs fresh cilantro, chopped
  • salt, to taste

If you’re using corn on the cob, start by pulling the husks off the kernels, yet keeping them attached to the cob for easy handling.  Grill the ears of corn over medium heat for 15 minutes, rotating ever 2-3 minutes.  Remove them from the grill and allow to cool a bit.  Remove the kernels from the cob with a sharp knife.

If you’re using thawed, frozen corn, like me, use a grilling basket to allow the corn to char a bit.  Place the kernels in the grilling basket, and place the basket on the grill.  Toss the kernels around every 2-3 minutes, allowing for a total grilling time of about 15 minutes.

Add the corn kernels to a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the sour cream/Greek yogurt, lime juice, and cayenne pepper and mix well.

Heat for 5-7 minutes, then put in a serving bowl.  Top with cheese and chopped cilantro.

*I used this site as a reference.

Rosemary Roasted Carrots + Spring Things

The Baltimore Farmers’ Market & Bazaar opened for the season on Sunday!  I know I’ve written about it before, but I love when this time of year rolls around.  The produce is beautiful and the prepared food is delicious.

IMG_0707IMG_0695

IMG_0699

As we often do, Sean, friends, and I got a crepe from Ruben’s Crepes (if they have a website, I couldn’t find it).  They were delicious, as always.  I also picked up some hummus from The Wild Pea.  If you’re into hummus, check them out.  They have all kinds of flavors, some common, others kind of crazy.  I’ve had a few, and they have all been really good.

We also went to D.C. on Saturday to check out the cherry blossoms.  Even though they weren’t in full bloom yet, it was still pretty.

IMG_0611 IMG_0622

IMG_0631

IMG_0646

We can always try to time it a little better next year!  Now for the food…

I made this simple, yet delicious side dish for the Easter dinner that Sean and I shared with his sister and her husband.  Though you could use any old kind of carrot, I’d recommend trying to find the ones with the green tops still attached.  It just adds something to the presentation.Rosemary Roasted Carrots | A Nerd Cooks

You’ll need:

  • Several bunches of carrots, peeled and green tops trimmed
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1-2 tsp rosemary, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet or two with foil.  Set aside.

In a large zip top bag, combine the carrots, oil, rosemary, salt and pepper.  Toss to coat the carrots evenly.

Place carrots on foil-lined baking sheets.  Roast for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the carrots are tender.

Skinny Green Bean Casserole

I made this casserole for Christmas Eve dinner at Sean’s grandparents’ house, and then we ate the leftovers on Christmas day at my parents’ place.  

This recipe comes from the blog Skinnytaste.

You’ll need:

For the topping
1 tbs olive oil
1 cup shallots, finely diced
1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1 tbs grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp dried thyme

For the green beans
2 lbs fresh green beans, trimmed, halved, and washed
1 tbs olive oil
1/3 cup shallots, finely diced
16 oz. sliced mushrooms (I used cremini)
1/4 cup flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup milk
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese


Boil a large pot of water.  Add the green beans and blanche for 2-4 minutes (you can do this for 6-8 minutes if you like softer beans).  Drain them into a colander and run cold water over the to stop the cooking.

To make the topping, heat a medium-sized skillet over medium heat.  Add the shallots and saute for 3-5 minuts, or until they are golden.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the bread crumbs, cheese, and thyme.  Saute for 5-6 additional minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Lightly grease a 9×13 inch pan.
 
Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat.  Add the remaining 1/3 cup of shallots and saute for a couple of minutes.  Add the mushrooms, stirring to coat with the oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Saute for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
 
Sprinkle flour over the mushrooms, stir to coat.  Continue stirring for about a minute.  Slowly add the chicken stock and milk.  Bring it to a low boil, and cook for about 3 more minutes, or until it starts to thicken up.  Stir occasionally.  Stir in the rest of the grated cheese.
Add the blanched green beans and mix well.  Taste, and season with salt and pepper.  Pour everything into the prepared baking dish.
 
Top with the toasted bread crumbs and bake for 30 minute.
Now eat it!
I’ll definitely be making this again.  Though the traditional green bean casserole with condensed soup is good, this recipe blows it away.

Roasted Sugar Snap Peas

I’ve recently discovered how delicious roasted vegetables can be, either as a component of the main dish or as a side.  Moreover, they’re very convenient, as you just put them in the oven and maybe toss them around from time to time, leaving you free to work on other aspects of the meal.


This recipe comes from the blog Clean Green Simple.


You’ll need:

1/2 pound sugar snap peas
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Set aside.


Toss the peas, oil, thyme, salt, pepper, and garlic powder around in a zip top bag until everything is well-coated.  Spread the peas on the baking sheet and pop them in the oven for 8-12 minutes.  Mine were pretty much perfect at the 10 minute mark.