Side Dishes


Grilled Okra

  • Fresh Okra (about 15-20 pieces)
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp celery salt
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika

In a large bowl, combine cleaned, fresh okra with olive oil and dried spices.  Mix well with your clean hands.  Place okra on skewers piercing them through their sides with 2 skewers.  Grill until they are completely tender.  I grilled mine at 400 degrees for about 8-10 min on each side.

Origin: Derived from: "Barbecued Okra" Food Network


Crawfish Cornbread

  • 1/2 medium onion chopped
  • 1 whole green bell pepper chopped
  • 1-2 jalapenos chopped (depending on how spicy you like)
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 can cream style corn
  • 1 small jar pimentos
  • 1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups Martha White buttermilk cornmeal mix
  • 2-3 tablespoons of Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 lbs crawfish tails (mine were left over from crawfish boil & were seasoned nicely)

Saute onions and peppers in 1 tablespoon of margarine or olive oil for about 5 min on medium heat.  Mix milk, oil, & egg together in large bowl.  Add cornmeal mix, peppers/onions, and crawfish and stir.  Pour all ingredients in 9x13 pan and bake at 400 for about 45 min or until golden on top.

I have also used frozen non-seasoned crawfish tails that I placed in a ziploc bag with seasoned water.  I seasoned the water with Zatarain's crawfish/crab boil dry seasoning, cayenne pepper, hot sauce, and Tony's Chachere's.  I let them soak for 6 hours in seasoned water in the fridge.

Origin: My dad shared this recipe with me from a person who gave it to him.

Spaghetti Squash with Leek and Wine Sauce

  • 1 medium sized spaghetti squash
  • 1 cup chopped leeks
  • 1 tablespoon margarine
  • 1 table spoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup 2% milk
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • Feta cheese crumbles

Poke squash with a fork about 6-10 times all around.  Place on baking dish and roast in the oven on 375 degrees for about 1 hour.  Let squash cool down a little, and then cut the squash in half length wise and open.  The squash will look like small noodles on the inside.  Scoop out seeds (throw seeds away).  Use a fork to scrape out the insides of the squash.  Use only half of the squash for the rest of the ingredients of this recipe (or double the rest and use the entire squash).  (I usually put the insides of the other half of the squash in a bag and freeze to use later).  In the meantime, heat margarine and olive oil in a pot on medium heat and add leeks.  Cook the leeks for at least 10 min until they start to look more golden than green.  Add milk, Parmesan cheese, wine, & garlic powder & salt to leeks.  Stir ingredients together and continue to cook on low-medium heat for another 5 min or until cheese is melted.  Then, add squash to the leek mixture and continue to cook for another 2-3 min on low heat.  Once you plate the squash, add feta cheese as a topping.  Delicious!!!

Origin: My own recipe.


Chicken & Cheese Stuffed Tomatoes

  • 2 oz goat cheese
  • 2 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese
  • 2 oz feta cheese
  • 1/2 chicken breast cooked (I seasoned my chicken with Tony's Chachere's, Chili powder, and chipotle powder and broiled in oven 5 min each side.  After it was cooled, I shredded the chicken into small pieces.)
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • Tomatoes (I used 4 regular tomatoes and 4 roma tomatoes.  For the big tomatoes, cut top off like a pumpkin and dig out the insides.  For the roma tomatoes, slice in half and dig out insides.  Some people prefer the bigger tomatoes because it has more stuffing per serving, but some people prefer the roma ones because it is less stuffing per serving.  Either way, this stuffing should be enough for a total of 8-10 romas or 6-7 big/regular tomatoes.)

Mix all ingredients (cheese, chicken, and herbs) in a bowl.  Stuff into tomatoes with a butter knife.  Bake tomatoes at 400 degrees 20-30 min.

You could even prepare this ahead of time, refrigerate, and bake later the same day or next day.  This dish could be used as an entree, appetizer, or side dish.

Origin: My own recipe.

Roasted Tomatoes

  • Roma tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper

Cut tomatoes in half.  Coat tomatoes in olive oil (thinly coated).  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake at 375-400 degrees about 10-15 minutes.

No origin for this one.  Just plain and simple.


Baked Green Beans and Tomatoes

  • 1/2 lbs fresh green beans
  • 4 Roma tomatoes cut into 1/8th slices (halved then quartered)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 5 pieces of cooked bacon
  • Olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Line pan with tomatoes.  Cut ends of beans off and cut in half.  Boil beans 5-6 min and drain.  Chop and mince garlic.  Saute garlic in pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil 1-2 min and then add beans and bacon; cooking 4-5 more minutes.  Pour bean/garlic/bacon mix on top of tomatoes.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.  Bake at 400 degrees 10-15 min.

Origin: My own recipe.

Roasted Potatoes

  • 5-6 Red potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon each of Salt & Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Oregano

Cut potatoes in half and then cut into quarters or 1/8ths depending on how big the potato is.  You want the pieces to be bite sized.  Put potatoes in a big bowl.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle garlic powder, salt, pepper, and oregano.  Use hands or spoon to mix well.  Pour potatoes on a cookie sheet lined with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 30 min.  The potatoes should look golden brown when done.


Homemade Sweet Potato Fries

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Tony's Chachere's

About 1 1/2 medium sweet potatoes is enough for a side dish for 2 people.  Cut the sweet potato into long fry-like pieces.  I usually cut the potato in half then in thirds and then usually get about 3-4 pieces out of that...that sounds really confusing, but you'll understand once you start cutting.  Place the cut potato pieces in a bowl.  Pour about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil per 1.5 potatoes over the potato pieces.  Toss the potatoes and coat them with the olive oil.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Lay the fries flat on the baking sheet and sprinkle with Tony's Chachere's.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 15-20 min until the end of some of the thinner pieces are starting to brown.

Origin: My own recipe

Black beans

  • 2 cans of black beans (drained)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of cumin
  • 1 table spoon of chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • 1/4 of a medium onion chopped
  • 1 finely chopped jalapeno pepper (without the seeds)
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro
  • Salt to taste
  • Chicken stock as needed

Pour beans in a pot and then add: cumin, chili & garlic powder, onion, and jalapeno.  Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes stirring frequently.  Lower heat to low-medium, add cilantro and salt as needed.  If the beans are too thick and you like them with more liquid, add tablespoons of chicken stock as needed.  Cook for about another 5 min on low heat after adding all ingredients needed.  The longer you are able to let it simmer/cook, the more flavorful it is.  I will sometimes let this simmer for about 20-30 min if I can (adding chicken stock if it starts to get too thick).


Zucchini crisps

  • 2 medium zucchinis
  • 1/2 cup margarine melted
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • Salt & Pepper

Cover baking sheet with foil and spray with olive oil and smear it to cover entire foil with paper towel.  Slice zucchinis about 1/4 inch thick (as pictured above).  Mix olive oil and margarine in a small bowl.  Mix bread crumbs and cheese in another small bowl.  Dip each side of zucchini slice in oil mixture first and then in cheese mixture on both sides.  Place each slice on baking sheet and sprinkle with a very small amount of salt and pepper.  Bake at 400 degrees 15-17 min.  Broil for 2 min after baking.



Cilantro Lime Rice

  • Boil in a bag Jasmine rice
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 lime

Boil rice as directed.  (1 bag is enough for 2 people).  Put cooked rice in a bowl.  Add cilantro and juice of 1/2 of a lime and stir well.

Origin: (Chipotle restaurants)

Veggie Kabobs

  • 1 onion
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1 zucchini
  • Wooden skewers
  • Spray oil oil
  • Cavender's Greek Seasoning

Cut/slice veggies into pieces big enough to place on a skewer (as shown above).  After placing veggies on the skewers, spray each skewer with olive oil and then sprinkle with Cavender's seasoning (turning to coat each side with oil and seasoning).  Grill for 3 min and then turn to grill another 3 min (on 2 sides).

Origin: My own recipe

Pasta Salad

  • 20 oz Rotini pasta (measured by measuring cup not by what the box should be ok buying just 1 box)
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 8 oz smoked gouda cheese
  • 1 small container of cherry tomatoes (I use about 3/4 of the container)
  • 4 tablespoons of fresh chopped basil leaves

Cook pasta as directed.  Drain and rinse pasta.  In a large bowl mix together: yogurt, sour cream, salt, pepper, chili powder, chipotle powder, pepper flakes, vinegar, and lemon juice.  Cut the gouda cheese into small bite-sized cubes.  Slice tomatoes in half.  Add pasta to creamy mixture and mix well.  Add cheese, tomatoes, and chopped basil to pasta mixture and mix well.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.



Mashed Potatoes

  • 2 medium-large russet potatoes
  • 1-2 tablespoons margarine
  • 2-3 tablespoons 1/3 less fat cream cheese
  • 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Garlic salt & Pepper to taste

Peel & cut potatoes into cubes.  Boil potatoes about 10-14 min. Drain.  Add all ingredients to a pot and mash together with potato masher.