Tag Archives: side dishes

Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Pineapple with Almond & Honey Streusel

Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Pineapple - Title & Text - Inside NanaBread's Head

Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite things about fall and one of the first comfort foods I reach for when the temperature drops and leaves start to turn. This year, I’m jumping into fall with a simple but flavorful sweet potato side dish for Eileen of The Joy of Caking and her collaborative Fall Harvest Dinner.

Fall Harvest Dinner Logo

Don’t let the term “simple” fool you – this dish is packed with flavor. It starts with one pound of peeled & cubed sweet potatoes, two cups of fresh pineapple chunks, a simple sauce of pineapple juice, orange juice and vanilla and is topped off with a lovely streusel of almond meal, flour, butter, honey & cinnamon sugar. The result? Sweet potato perfection.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Pineapple with broiled struesel topping - Inside NanaBread's Head

Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Pineapple with Almond & Honey Streusel:
1 pound fresh sweet potatoes, peeled & cut into 1″ cubes
2 cups fresh pineapple chunks (or 1 can, if needed; juice reserved)
3 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons butter, unsalted
3/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup reserved pineapple juice
1/4 cup agave nectar or honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

Pre-heat your oven to 350F. Peel and chop the sweet potatoes and drain the pineapple chunks, reserving the pineapple juice for the sauce.

In a large non-stick skillet over high heat, combine the canola oil and butter, and heat until melted. Toss in the sweet potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are nicely browned. Add the pineapple and stir to combine, then turn off the heat. In a small bowl, whisk the orange juice, pineapple juice, agave nectar or honey, vanilla extract and cornstarch until smooth. Pour the sauce over the sweet potatoes and pineapple and place the skillet into the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft and fork tender.

While your sweet potatoes and pineapple are roasting, mix up your streusel topping and set out a ceramic serving dish (or individual dishes).

For the streusel:
1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill almond meal
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted & cooled slightly

In a bowl, combine the almond meal, flour, cinnamon and sugar; blend with a fork until well blended. Add the melted butter and stir until combined. Using your fork, break it up into 1/2″ clumps or crumbles and set it aside.

When the sweet potatoes are fork tender, remove from the oven. Spoon into your ceramic serving dish(es) and evenly spoon the crumbles of streusel mixture across the top. TIP: Place the dishes on a rimmed baking sheet to make them easier to get in and out of the oven. Turn your oven to the “Low Broil” setting, and pop the tray under the broiler just until the streusel turns a light golden brown. (Keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t burn.) Serve warm with a drizzle of honey or agave nectar over the top. If there are leftovers, try spooning this over the top of a bowl of oatmeal the next morning. Yum!

Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Pineapple - Ready to Eat - Inside NanaBread's Head

Please don’t forget to visit our Fall Harvest Dinner bloggers, who’ve contributed everything from a fall tablescape to cocktails, salads to main dishes, and of course – dessert. You don’t want to miss this!

• Eileen (our hostess) from The Joy of Caking – Invitation & Roasted Chicken
• Sandra from Sweet Sensations – Fall Harvest Tablescape
• Terra from Café Terra – Homemade Apple Pie cocktail
• Monet from Anecdotes and Apple Cores – Harvest Goat Cheese appetizer
• Dionne from Try Anything Once – Eggplant Caviar appetizer
• Amy from Ms. Toody Goo Shoes – Roasted Pear Salad with White Balsamic
• Jeanne from Inside NanaBread’s Head (that’s me!) – side dish
• Denise and Sharon from BeBetsy – Onion Rolls
• Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake – Pumpkin Challah Bread
• Anne of From My Sweet Heart – Cinnamon Applesauce Tart

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Because sometimes you just need a giant pile of homemade potato chips

Potato chips - Finished Image with Text - Inside NanaBread's Head

Tired of reaching for stale potato chips from a greasy bag? Me, too. And it’s unnerving to read the list of preservatives on some of those bags. Am I right? Well, those days are over thanks to The Complete Package’s new toy – the OXO V-Blade Mandoline. This little guy is incredibly quick and efficient when it comes to slicing veggies. And it’s incredibly sharp.

Potato Chips - OXO Mandoline - Inside NanaBread's Head

Here’s how we sliced up a whole mess of fresh potato chips. It really could not have been any easier. To start, grab a few russet potatoes, scrub them, and peel most of the outer skin off. I like to leave a little of the potato skins for color, so I peel off every other 1/2″ or so. Give them a quick rinse and pat them dry.

Next, set up your mandoline and turn the dial to the thinnest setting. In this case, it’s 1/16th of an inch (1.5mm) for super thin & crispy chips.

OXO Mandoline - Settings - Inside NanaBread's Head

Starting at the top of the mandoline, apply a little pressure to the potato and move it back & forth across the blade. It glides so easily, it almost seems as though it’s not working, but it is. When you get down to the last inch or two of spud, grab the tool included.

OXO Mandoline Tool - Inside NanaBread's Head

I’m not sure what it’s called, but I know what it does – it keeps you from slicing your fingertips off. Just spear the end of your potato, grab the tool by the ergonomic handle, and continue slicing your potato down to the very last slice. It’s so easy, and it completely eliminates any fear you may have of working with the super sharp blades. I love that. OXO really does think of everything.

OXO Mandoline - Tool to Hold Food - Inside NanaBread's Head

When you’re done, you are left with a pile of perfectly sliced potatoes. In a million years, I could never accomplish this with a chef’s knife.

Potatoes Sliced on an OXO Mandoline - Inside NanaBread's Head

Sure, I can slice potatoes with a knife, but I can’t come anywhere close to this razor thin. I mean, c’mon. You can actually see through them. It’s amazing.

OXO Mandoline - Thin Enough To Read Through It - Inside NanaBread's Head

Once your potatoes are all sliced up, toss them into a colander and give them a thorough rinse under cold water to remove the excess starch. Spread them out onto a bed of paper towels and pat them dry.

Next, pour about 2″ of canola oil into a deep, heavy pan. Heat the oil to 350F. If you don’t have a clip-on thermometer for projects like this, I highly recommend it. I have one that can be used for frying, candy-making, you name it. And it is important to make sure the oil is hot enough. It’s what makes them crispy and keeps them from being greasy.

Once your oil hits 350F, use a slotted spoon to transfer the potatoes into the oil. This is my favorite frying tool. I found it in an antique shop years ago. If you ever run across one some day, grab it!

Perfect Frying Tool - Inside NanaBread's Head

Fry, stirring occasionally, until they are a lovely golden brown.

Frying Potato Chips - Inside NanaBread's Head

When done, lift them from the oil and allow as much oil as possible to drain off, then move them onto a paper towel lined plate to drain thoroughly. While they are still warm, sprinkle them with your favorite salt. And that’s it – you’re done!

Now grab your favorite sandwich or a hot dog, or just grab a cold drink and eat them right off the plate. Either way, they’re much tastier than chips from a bag. Let’s dig in! You grab the napkins.

Potato chips - Finished Image with Text - Inside NanaBread's Head

This is not a sponsored post. I’ve featured the OXO Mandoline because I love it and use it frequently. If you’re in the market for one, I highly recommend it. OXO’s products are well made, reliable and affordable – all things I appreciate. All opinions are my own. Pinky swear.

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NanaBread’s Crispy Potato Pancakes

Potato Pancakes - Plated

This is absolutely my favorite way to use leftover mashed potatoes. In fact, I love these so much, I sometimes intentionally make more mashed potatoes than we need for dinner just so I can make these the next day. They’re just SO GOOD! Crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside, these gorgeous golden beauties are packed with flavor and smothered in comfort.

NanaBread’s Crispy Potato Pancakes:
(makes eight 3″ potato pancakes)

2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon sour cream or Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash salt-free seasoning
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons chives (optional; I use freeze-dried)
oil for frying

Combine all of the ingredients (except the oil) in a mixing bowl.

Potato Pancakes - Ingredients

Whisk until well combined. It’s okay if there are small lumps of potatoes.

Potato Pancakes - Mixed

Add just enough oil to a non-stick skillet to about 1/8″ deep. You’ll want just enough oil to allow it to bubble around the edges as these fry. If you’re really adventurous and you’re making these for breakfast, fry a few strips of bacon first, then fry your potato pancakes in the bacon grease. The extra punch of flavor it adds will blow your mind, and if it’s hot enough, they will turn out nice and crispy without being greasy. I promise.

Potato Pancakes - Frying

Cook over medium-high heat until both sides are golden brown and crispy around the edges. Drain on paper towels and keep warm until they’re all finished. These make a great side to almost anything, but we love them for breakfast. Piled onto a plate with a little bacon and a soft fried egg? Fuhgeddaboudit.

Potato Pancakes - Breakfast

Make these, and I swear you’ll never look at leftover mashed potatoes the same way again. Now go make your own; these are mine.

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Salad Week: Creole Potato Salad


This is Creole Potato Salad. She may look all smooth and creamy and unassuming, but don’t let her beguiling looks fool you. This salad is a spicy little wench. It’s that Creole mustard she’s sporting. It brings the heat, and that leaves her fanning herself so she doesn’t get ‘dewy’ because we all know Southern women don’t sweat – they mist. And she’s going to need a handkerchief.

Now that we’ve got the bodice-ripping intro out of the way, let’s make some potato salad! I first threw this together for a family barbecue after I fell in love with Zatarain’s Creole mustard. It has a spicy blast of heat from those coarsely ground mustard seeds and a bracing twang of vinegar for balance. It’s a party in a mustard bottle, that’s what it is. And that is what makes this recipe special. It brings tremendous flavor to a few simple ingredients.

To start, grab 6-8 medium size white potatoes (the kind with thin skin) or 10-12 red new potatoes (about golf-ball size). I usually cover them with water in a saucepan and let them simmer until fork tender, but this week I had leftover roasted potatoes from Easter so I chopped those up. Either way works, so use whichever works best for you. Once your potatoes are fully cooked, let them cool then chop them into bite-size pieces and toss them into a mixing bowl.


Next, you’ll need two ribs (stalks) of celery. Cut off the tops and bottoms, wash them thoroughly, then cut them into thin sticks and chop into small pieces. We all know celery brings no real nutritional value, but what it does bring is crunch.

Grab 4-6 green onions (also called scallions) and lop off the tops & roots, then thinly slice them and toss them into the potatoes with the celery.

That’s it for chunks – just potatoes, celery and scallions. And now, we add the first secret ingredient – the Creole mustard. Really, people. You have to find a bottle of this stuff. When you’re not making this potato salad, it totally rocks on sausages grilled over an open flame. Really and truly.


Measure out 1/4 cup of mustard and dump it into the bowl with your veg. Then measure 1/4 cup of mayonnaise and throw it in with the mustard. {And now a word from NanaBread: do not substitute Miracle Whip in this recipe. I know some of you are mayonnaise adverse, but Miracle Whip is not acceptable here. It’s far too sweet. Just trust me and grab a small jar of mayo. Please. Pretty please. I’m begging you. I’ll buy you a pony. I’m just kidding about the pony.}

Next up, secret ingredient #2 – Morton’s Nature’s Seasons Salt. I’ve mentioned this stuff on the blog before. It’s my go-to season salt of choice. My right arm. My left foot. My everything. I can’t cook without it. I wish I was kidding.

Measure 1/2 teaspoon of this magical stuff and throw it on top of your salad stuff, then throw in 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper just for giggles.

Toss it all together until well blended then pop it into the fridge for at least one hour to give the potatoes time to soak up all the flavor of the mustard and seasonings. Before serving, taste it and tweak the seasonings, adding more season salt or pepper as needed. And now you’ve got a big beautiful bowl of creamy, crunchy, zesty Creole Potato Salad. She’s lovely, isn’t she?

If this isn’t your new favorite potato salad, I’ll be stunned. It is a crowd pleaser. A show stopper. An attention grabber. And it plays well in Austin. The kids made a batch of this for a cook-out with friends, and now it’s on their ‘must haves’ list. Whip it up for your next picnic and just wait for the ‘wows’ to roll in. As for me, I’m plating it up with pulled pork sandwiches and my favorite spicy Wickles pickles. Because that’s how I roll.

Get it? Roll. Sandwich on a roll. Okay, I’ll let you go now.

NanaBread’s Creole Potato Salad:
6-8 medium white potatoes OR 10-12 small red potatoes
6 scallions
2 ribs of celery
1/4 cup Zatarain’s Creole Mustard
1/4 cup mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip)
1/2 teaspoon Morton’s Nature’s Seasons Salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Scrub the potatoes and place them in a saucepan; cover with water and simmer until fork tender. Remove from the heat and allow them to cool completely, then drain and chop into bite-size pieces. Place the chopped potatoes in a mixing bowl. Cut the scallions and celery into small pieces and throw them in with the potatoes. Add the mustard & mayonnaise, salt & pepper. Toss to combine and refrigerate at least one hour before serving. Taste before serving and tweak the salt and pepper, if needed. Serves 6-8.

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Hey! Don’t forget to visit my Salad Week co-conspirators to see what salads they posted this week. Today is our big Salad Week Extravaganza – much like the grand finale of a fireworks display, we’re all posting a barrage of salads. There’s also a linky party over at Allison’s place so you can not only see all of our salads from the week, but you can add your own favorites, as well.

Special thanks to these Salad Week bloggers:
Allison – Decadent Philistines Save the World
Jeanne – Inside NanaBread’s Head (hey, that’s me!)
Lauren – Climbing Grier Mountain
Kat – Tenaciously Yours
Kirsten – Comfortably Domestic
Megan – Wanna Be A Country Cleaver
Madelyn – La Petite Pancake
Monica – The Grommom
Carrie – Bakeaholic Mama

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Salad Week: Quite Possibly the Strangest Salad You May Never Eat

I’ll be honest. The reaction I usually get when I talk about this salad is “ewww!” I get it. It’s weird. But oddly enough, it’s really delicious. Especially if you love cauliflower. Now, I’m not going to beat you over the head and tell you how you just HAVE to try this one. But if you’re adventurous, and if you love cauliflower, then at least promise me that you’ll consider giving it a try. I would hope that you would trust me by now. It’s not like I’m asking you to eat a bug, after all.

Raw Cauliflower Salad:
1 medium head of cauliflower
1 small can of chopped black olives
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup mayonnaise
a pinch each of salt & pepper

Remove the leaves and stems from the cauliflower, leaving just the florets. Chop the florets into 1/2″ pieces and toss them into a mixing bowl. Add the olives, scallions, mayonnaise, salt & pepper and stir to combine. Place into an air-tight container with a tight-fitting lid and place in the refrigerator for at least 1-2 hours before serving. Refrigerate leftovers. This dish is best if eaten within 48 hours since the raw cauliflower will start to discolor and soften over time.

Note: I first tried this recipe almost 30 years ago, when The Complete Package and I were first married. It’s another one of my mother-in-law’s retro classics. It’s an oldie, but a goodie. It’s a fresh, crunchy side for any picnic and pairs perfectly with grilled meats and a bottle of Beano. Yes, Beano; not vino. And I think you all know where I’m going with that. Although, now that I think about it, I’m sure it would also be lovely with a cold, crisp white like a Riesling. Cheers, adventurous salad lovers!

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Speaking of adventurous salad lovers, check out these lovely salads already posted for Salad Week and be sure to tell these ladies I said hello!

Chicken Mole Salad – by Megan at Wanna Be A Country Cleaver
Simple Caesar Salad – by Kirsten at Comfortably Domestic
Party Salad – by Kat at Tenaciously Yours
Parmesan Salad Cups – by Lauren at Climbing Grier Mountain
Tabbouleh Salad That Made Me Cry – by Allison at Decadent Philistines

Check in Saturday when all of our Salad Week bloggers post additional salads in a big Salad Week Grand Finale. There will also be a linky party at Allison’s place starting Saturday morning. You’ll not only see all of our salads from the past week, but you’ll also be able to link up your own favorites.

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Salad Week: My knock-off version of Whole Foods Market’s Rice Salad

Let’s start this post with an apology. I’m sorry for using such a crummy photo of this dish. This was a pre-blog salad; one that I posted on the Tasty Kitchen portion of The Pioneer Woman website. Before I got my big girl camera. And while I apologize for the photo, I make no apologies for the recipe. It rocks.

We first tried this salad when My Baby was in the hospital, having just given birth to Lilly Bug. Finally able to consume real food and starving to death, she sent The Complete Package out to pick up lunch. He went to a nearby Whole Foods Market and stocked up on sandwiches and salads from their fabulous deli.

One of those salads was a wild rice, citrus, and dried fruit concoction that knocked our socks off. So much so, that I kept the label from the container with the ingredients, conveniently listed from most prevalent to least. And that’s where I started when I got home and decided to recreate it.

Now before you freak out… yes, there is a long list of ingredients, but there’s a good chance you already have most of them in your pantry. And yes, you’ll have to cook rice (unless you decide to buy the kind in a pouch that you can microwave). But don’t let that cause you grief. I promise once you try this, you’ll understand that it’s totally worth the effort. And, as a bonus, it keeps well in the fridge and is easily transportable for lunches on the go. And it’s so delicious, you’ll find yourself sneaking back to the fridge over and over again to sneak another bite. Pinky swear.

NanaBread’s Knock-Off Whole Foods Market Rice Salad:
1 cup wild/brown rice mix
1 cup white basmati rice
1 cup soft wheatberries
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1 cup dried cranberries (I use Craisins)
1/2 cup dates, pitted & chopped
1/2 cup raisins
2 small lemons, zested & juiced
1 orange, zested & juiced
4 ozs. unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
honey or agave nectar, as needed (optional)

Cook each type of rice according to package directions; cool to room temperature or slightly warm to the touch. Note: wheatberries can be added to the basmati rice so they cook together. While the rice cooks, toast the almonds in a skillet. Toss the dried cranberries, dates, raisins, toasted almonds and zest of the lemons and orange into a mixing bowl and stir to combine.

In a large mixing bowl, toss all of the cooled rice together; add the melted butter and toss again. Dump the small bowl of fruits and almonds into the rice and toss.

In another small bowl, combine the canola and olive oils, lemon and orange juice, rice wine vinegar, salt and peppers. Whisk until well blended; pour over the rice mixture. Toss until well blended and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes. Taste to see if it needs more salt, vinegar, etc. If it’s too tart, add a little honey or agave nectar to balance it out. Keep in mind that this tastes better after it sits for a while, so don’t tweak your seasonings too soon!

For maximum flavor, refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. Set it out for 20 minutes before serving; it’s best at room temperature. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator; it should keep for about 5 days. It also helps to give the container a good shake before serving to help redistribute the dressing.

NOTE: if you want to go dairy-free, omit the butter. If you want to go nut-free, omit the almonds. If you live for adventure, try adding chopped dried apricots or even toasted pistachios. Crazy, right?

Click here to see the original post on the Tasty Kitchen website.

Also posted today for Salad Week:
Party Salad by Kat at Tenaciously Yours. It’s a party. In a bowl. You heard me.

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My Favorite Mexican Food Side Dish: Creamy Poblano Rice

I feel like I should apologize for loading my blog with so many recipes lately. I usually try to spread them out, but we’ve eaten so many good things this past week, I feel like I need to share them before I forget them. Don’t laugh at me. It happens. I blame the menopause. Today, I want to share my new favorite side dish. I’m calling it Poblano Rice because I’m creative like that.

Poblano Rice - Before Baking - Inside NanaBread's Head

 

 

The Complete Package loves rice. I’ve mentioned this before. He’s addicted. I whipped this up one night to go with Mexican food, and now it’s our favorite side. It starts with poblano peppers, either canned or fresh. I’m in Texas, so I usually go for fresh.

Roasted Poblanos - Poblano Rice - Inside NanaBread's Head Blog

 

Oh, baby. Poblanos are my favorite. I could eat them every day. I roast them over an open flame on my gas stove, steam them, peel and de-seed them, then chop. Then snitch a few. Then slap my own hand, usually. For this dish, I throw them into cooked or leftover plain basmati rice and add sour cream, monterrey jack cheese, garlic salt, salt & pepper. So simple, and yet so very satisfying.

Ingredients - Poblano Rice - Inside NanaBread's Head Blog

 

NanaBread’s Creamy Poblano Rice
1 cup Texmati basmati rice, uncooked
1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt (or 1 tsp. regular table salt)
2 cups of water
1 tablespoon of vegetable or canola oil
1/2 teaspoon of garlic salt + 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt + 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 fresh poblano peppers – roasted, skinned, seeded & chopped OR 1 can of sliced poblano peppers (7.5 oz.), drained
1 cup sour cream (low-fat is fine; I even use fat-free Greek yogurt)
1 1/2 cups of grated pepper jack cheese
cayenne pepper, to sprinkle on top (optional)

In a medium size heavy-bottom pan, add the vegetable oil. Turn the heat to medium-high and heat the oil just until it starts to shimmer. Add the rice and cook, stirring often, until the rice turns chalky white and some of the grains start to brown very lightly. Carefully add the water, throw in the salt, and stir to keep the grains from sticking. When your rice begins to bubble vigorously, give it one last stir. Place a lid on the pan, reduce the heat to low (I set mine between 1 and 2 on my stove dial), and set your kitchen timer for 25 minutes. Once done, remove the lid and allow the rice to cool. TIP: this is a great way to use leftover steamed rice. Just start at the ‘stir in everything else’ portion of the recipe.

 

In a mixing bowl, combine the cooked rice, sour cream, poblano peppers, garlic salt and one cup of grated pepper jack cheese. Mix it up and give it a taste.

 

If it needs more garlic salt, regular salt or you want to throw in some cracked black pepper, now is the time to add it. Once it’s perfect, spoon it into a baking dish that has been lightly sprayed or oiled. Spread it out evenly and top with the last 1/2 cup of grated pepper jack cheese. Man, I love cheese. All the cheese. Not Limburger, but all the others.

Grated Jack Cheese - Poblano Rice - Inside NanaBread's Head Blog

If you like spice, sprinkle on a little cayenne pepper. It really kicks it up a notch. I highly recommend it. Highly.

 

Pop your baking pan, uncovered, into a hot oven (375F) for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese on top is melted and bubbly. Remove from the oven and serve it with your favorite main course. This week, it was my recipe for carnitas.

Poblano Rice - Ready to Serve - Inside NanaBread's Head

 

Two weeks ago, it was fajitas. Next week, it could be fish tacos. The possibilities are endless and the world is my oyster. Hmm… poblano rice with grilled oysters, shrimp and veggies? Or poblano rice with carne asada. Or poblano rice with the Pioneer Woman’s tequila-lime chicken. Dang. Now I’m hungry. Again.

Update: On June 2, 2016, I updated the photos for this blog post. The originals were poorly lit and frankly not very appetizing. If you followed a Pinterest link to get here and the photos don’t match, don’t worry. It’s the same recipe, just with hopefully more appetizing representations of one of my favorite family recipes.  -jeanne

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