You know what I’ve noticed? Almost no one brings vegetables to a barbecue – but, when someone does, they always seem to get gobbled up.
I think a large part of their scarcity is that vegetables don’t have a great reputation for being an easy dish to take along. Let this one change your mind.
We are a green bean loving family, and this is our new favorite way to make them.
I made these green beans as a possible option for the upcoming holidays, and my family gobbled them up. I can’t remember the last time we didn’t have leftovers of our veggie dish!
Side dishes are on my list of “things I regularly forget about”. I’m not the only one that can plan main dishes for every night and conveniently forget that I should serve something along with it, right?
Except Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is all about the sides for me. And this would be a great one.
Simple ingredients and quick prep make this a winner any night, but it’d be especially great for your holiday table, given how great butternut squash are this time of year.
Brown Sugar Butternut Squash
(from Chew Out Loud)
1 large butternut squash, peeled/seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside.
In a bowl, toss the squash with the oil until evenly coated. Add remaining ingredients and toss to coat. Spread out on the baking sheet evenly.
Roast for 40 minutes until the squash is fork-tender and the edges are browned.
In the food blogger world, we’re often working ahead. Like, I’m currently working on Christmas cookies, as absurd as that sounds on this 80 degree summer day. Sometimes I feel like I’m living three steps ahead, not in the moment, so I was super excited that more than 80% of you were still up for summer recipes when I asked on Facebook this week.
I feel like I’ve missed most of it, honestly. The move chewed up so much of my time that I feel like I’m frantically playing catch up now before school starts. Grilling is something I’m catching up on – we finally got our grill ready to go this week. This was the first thing I made.
This “recipe” is really flexible – it’s more of a method. You can use any vegetables you have on hand. Want it to cook faster? Cut the pieces smaller. Want the veggies to caramelize a little more? Don’t stir as often. Sub the balsamic for fresh Parmesan. Add a nice, crusty loaf of bread and serve it as a meal. So many options!
It can also be served warm, cold, or at room temp which makes it so flexible for potlucks or entertaining.
Balsamic Grilled Vegetables
(adapted from Stop & Shop)
Serves 6-8 as a side
1 red pepper
1/2 red onion
1 pint cherry tomatoes
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. fresh basil, julienned
2 Tbsp. balsamic glaze
Preheat the grill to medium-high.
Chop the vegetables into bite-sized pieces. Toss with olive oil and season with slat and pepper.
Add to a grill basket. Grill for 20-25 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
When done, transfer to a serving bowl. Top with fresh basil and drizzle with balsamic glaze.
This vegetable stew is what we made for Family Dinner Book Club last month, and it’s such a great option for Lenten Fridays. It’s a dump and go slow cooker meal – perfect for the end of the week.
I honestly wasn’t sure how this would be received by the kids since it really is just a big bowl of vegetables – but I was pleasantly surprised that they were happy with it. You could easily switch up the veggies to fit your family’s tastes – or add chicken or pasta.
Slow Cooker Vegetable Stew
(adapted from Chef Sarah Elizabeth)
3 red potatoes, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
3 celery stalks, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 cup cut green beans
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. paprika
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
8 cups low sodium vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 lemon, for the juice
Add everything, except lemon, to the slow cooker and cook on low for 4-6 hours, until potatoes are easily cut with a fork. Stir in juice of the lemon and serve.
Are you sick of green beans yet? I’m not. Green beans are my favorite and I’m regretting not getting my act together and doing a fall planting. I’m savoring the last of our summer crop.
I cooked these up as a side dish to go with some pork potstickers. It was a great combo and two of my favorite Chinese food dishes. It mmade me feel like we had gotten takeout – such a nice fake out!
Chinese Restaurant Green Beans
(from Sweet Makes Three)
Serves 2 – 3
1Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
1Tbsp. unsalted butter
2Tbsp. olive oil
12 oz. fresh green beans, trimmed
½ tsp. salt, to taste
1Tbsp. minced garlic
In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, honey and water. Set aside.
In a pan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. When the butter is melted, add the green beans and salt and toss to coat. Cook 7-8 minutes, until beans are slightly browned and shrunken. Stir in garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds.
Add in the soy sauce mixture and toss to coat. Cook for about 30 seconds, until the sauce becomes glaze-like. Transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately.
This was sort of a thrown-together dish – something to go with the Thai-spiced chicken skewers and something that would use up some more green beans. It ended up being one of my favorite things of the week.
I’m always a fan of quick sides and this fits the bill. It was the perfect accompaniment to our dinner and a dish I know I’ll be making again soon!
Green Beans in Peanut Sauce
(adapted from The Taste Place)
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 lb. green beans
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. ginger
Over medium heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the beans and cook for about 3 minutes, until crisp-tender.
In a small bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients. Pour over green beans, toss and cook until heated through.
Green beans are the new tomatoes. And by that I mean we have about a metric ton in the garden. Our go-to is to saute them with garlic, salt and pepper but with so many I’ve been trying to prepare them other ways so we don’t have green bean burnout.
When I told Mark I was making these, he was like, I don’t know about those. They were, thankfully, well received. I like that they were baked, not actually fried, and that it was a great way to sneak in some veggies where we would have normally done potato fries.
Baked Green Bean Fries
(slightly adapted from Smarty had a Party!)
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 tsp. backyard brick oven seasoning
1/2 lb. green beans
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
Sriracha mayo, for dipping
Preheat the oven to 375F degrees. Wash and trim the green beans.
In one bowl, whisk together the panko and seasoning. In another bowl, whisk together the flour and eggs.
Dip the green beans into the egg mixture, roll in the panko and place on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve with sriracha mayo for dipping.
We have zucchini in the garden this year. I feel like shouting it from the rooftops because our zucchini never seems to work out. Having an abundance now is a huge novelty and I’m happily working through some of the recipes I’d saved from previous years.
This side is pretty simple, but it’s a great one to have in your repertoire – easy, fast and delicious.
Cheesy Zucchini Bake
(slightly adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen)
Serves 2-3 as a side
1 large zucchini, cut into half moon slices
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp. Herbes de Provence
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/3 cup shredded mixture of provolone and mozzarella, divided
2 Tbsp. grated parmesan
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Spray a small baking dish with non-stick spray.
Toss the cut zucchini with the basil, green onion, herbs, parmesan and half of the shredded cheese until evenly distributed. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to baking dish. Bake for 2-25 minutes.
Sprinkle remaining shredded cheese over the top and bake for 10-15 minutes more, until the cheese is nicely melted.
We’ve been making good use of the grill this summer – remaking lots of our favorite recipes from years past and trying lots of new things too. This falls into the “new” category.
Side dishes, in general, tend to get easily forgotten around here. After prepping a main dish, I usually just go for sides that are quick and easy – salads, fresh-cut veggies, dinner rolls, etc. This broccoli was just as easy, but definitely not forgettable. I’m sure this will be a staple for grilled dinners going forward!
Grilled Sriracha Broccoli
(from A Taste of Home Cooking)
1 large head of broccoli, cut into three sections
4 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp. Sriracha sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. sesame oil
Place the broccoli in a bowl or baking dish. In a small bowl, whisk together all other ingredients to make the glaze. Pour the glaze over the broccoli and spread around with a pastry brush.
On a hot grill, place the glazed broccoli flat-side down and grill for 4 minutes. Flip and grill for an additional 2-3 minutes, until slightly tender. Serve immediately.