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Side Dishes & Snacks

Caramelized Cabbage with Bacon (Keto, Paleo, Whole30)

Caramelized Cabbage with bacon is a flavorful, addicting healthy side dish perfect for serving with just about anything. Caramelizing Cabbage will turn even the biggest Cabbage naysayer into a believer!

This easy cabbage recipe is paleo, keto, whole30, easy to prepare, and a crowd pleaser!

We’ve all had caramelized onions, but have you ever tried caramelized cabbage?

Truth be told, I couldn’t tell you whether or not caramelized cabbage is a thing. I dreamt it up one day while I was thinking about making a cabbage stir fry and caramelized onions were simultaneously on my mind.

I thought it brilliant to slowly cook sliced cabbage until it was softened yet slightly crispy and deeply golden-brown for a crazy flavorful approach to the otherwise bland vegetable.

And it’s so easy to prepare! If you can caramelize an onion (which we will be doing in this recipe, too), then you can caramelize a cabbage!

The way I see it, caramelized cabbage can be used in all sorts of ways – as a straight up vegetable side dish, a condiment, topping for sandwiches, burgers, steak, or chicken. I would even use it in burritos, grilled cheese sandwiches of breakfast sandwiches. Go wild!

Cabbage is neutral in flavor, making it ideal for dishes using big bold flavors like onion, garlic, and bacon. It doesn’t take much to spruce it up and make it extra palatable.

Caramelized Cabbage Recipe with Bacon, onions, and garlic - a healthy, easy side dish

Let’s dig deeper!

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Healthy Green Bean Casserole (Dairy-Free, Keto, Gluten-Free)

Healthy Green Bean Casserole made dairy-free and gluten-free is a marvelously flavorful side dish perfect for any gathering! This healthier green bean casserole recipe is fun to assemble and is the ultimate crowd-pleaser. Keto, low-carb, creamy and delicious!

Welcome to my newest obsession.

Truthfully, I was never a huge fan of green bean casserole… That is…until I made this recipe.

No lie. As it turns out, a good, fresh, health-conscious green bean casserole is actually ultra palate-pleasing! Now I feel as though I need to make up for lost time and put this beauty on repeat!

While this healthy green bean casserole is more involved than most of the recipes I post, the way I see it is we typically make a dish like this for a special occasion and special occasions call for special food.

Let me tell you, this casserole is AMAZING! It is well-worth the time and effort, is much healthier than classic green bean casserole, and will most definitely wow your guests!

Keto Green Bean Casserole made dairy-free and wheat-free for a healthier version. Amazing holiday side dish that is low-carb and delicious!

There are four main parts to preparing this recipe: caramelizing the onions for the topping, cooking the green beans, preparing the sauce, and finally, making the casserole itself.

Each step is super easy! If you look at the recipe as a series of steps, it won’t seem as daunting. Pro Tip: Read the whole recipe before you begin it so that you can figure out the best way of fitting it into your day.

Great news!: This casserole saves very well, so you can prepare it up to 4 days before the holiday feast or your big event.

Low-Carb Green Bean Casserole - keto-friendly made dairy-free and gluten-free

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Kimchi Fried Rice

Kimchi Fried Rice with gochujang and fried eggs is a Korean spin on classic fried rice that is sweet, sour, a little spicy and powerfully flavorful! Whip it up as a meal or as a side dish to a meal for a show-stopping culinary adventure!

Fried rice has such a stronghold over my soul fibers that I have to put time and space between posting my fried rice recipes, as I have a fear of saturating you with them and run the risk of you becoming allergic to me.

Pivotal question: How much fried rice is too much fried rice? I ask myself regularly.

This time around, we’re taking a Korean spin on fried rice and let me just tell you, if you like food bold in flavor, you’re going to go BONKERS over this vibrant dish!

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Creamy Cauliflower Casserole (Keto)

Creamy Cauliflower Casserole made with just a handful of basic ingredients is a delicious low-carb side dish for all your feasts and gatherings! This keto-friendly recipe is quite the crowd-pleaser!

When it comes to all things creamy and cheesy, I’m the easiest person on the planet to impress. Douse it in sauce and/or cheese, and I’m sure to be ecstatic! 

This Creamy Cauliflower Casserole is no exception. It’s devilishly creamy (yet cream-free…we’ll get to that in a second), cheesy, and tickles your taste buds for a healthier, low-carb side dish.

Keto Cauliflower Casserole - easy creamy low-carb cauliflower casserole is a perfect side dish for any gathering

Cauliflower is roasted, then swaddled in that cream-less creamy sauce, then sprinkled with cheese and baked together into gooey deliciousness. If you need more convincing, just add bacon…in fact, bacon is highly encouraged!

For those of you entertaining guests during the holidays, I find this to be a marvelous addition to any feast. It is compliant with many types of lifestyles (or diets), and is just all around great.

Let’s discuss the details so you know what you’re getting into!

Cheesy Keto Cauliflower Casserole - healthy low-carb casserole recipe - delicious side dish for any occasion

A Note About Dairy:

I’ve found many folks who are sensitive to dairy like me can tolerate certain types of cheeses (or all cheese) while staying away from fresh dairy, like milk, cream, butter, etc. For this reason, I use full-fat canned coconut milk for the sauce in this creamy casserole. 

If you tolerate dairy well, you can easily replace the coconut milk with half & half or heavy cream! If, on the flipside, you are entirely dairy-free, you can replace the grated cheese with your favorite vegan grated cheese.

The ingredients for this casserole are simple and straightforward. Let’s chat!

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How to Roast Green Beans

An easy tutorial on How to Roast Green Beans. All you need is a few ingredients to make this delicious, healthy side dish happen! Roasted green beans are a marvelous side to any meal, and the process is quick and easy!

This post includes everything you need to know about baking green beans in the oven as well as nutrition information and health benefits of green beans.

True story: green beans were the only vegetable I ate from ages 0 to 14 (once I hit my teenage years, I incorporated romaine lettuce 😉 ) and they continue to please me greatly.

Roasted green beans are an incredibly easy side dish to whip up any night of the week and serve with literally anything. Roasting green beans in the oven is my favorite way of cooking them because it results in that golden-brown flavor.

There are few flavors in this world that are better than golden-brown, am I right??

Well, I’m here to give you the easiest green beans recipe known to mankind. My guess is you and your family will LOVE it!

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Apple Fruit Leather

Apple Fruit Leather is a healthy, fun treat for both children and adults alike! This refined sugar-free fruit leather recipe requires only 4 ingredients and is so fun and easy to make! 

A fun way of using your fall apple harvest plus a really cool treat for kids and adults of all ages? Apple fruit leather, my friends!

Fruit leather or fruit roll-ups were a staple in my school lunches, and a regular afterschool, pre-soccer snack growing up. I learned how to make it myself a few years ago and thought I would share the process. It’s easy! 

Homemade fruit leather is time-consuming, but it doesn’t require much attention so you can easily multi-task and/or perform the whole operation in steps over the course of a day (or multiple days).

One of the best parts about apple fruit leather is it requires almost zero added sugar because apples are naturally sweet on their own. I keep it refined sugar-free using coconut sugar, but you can swap it for cane sugar if that’s what you keep on hand.

Let’s hop to it!

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Creamy Tuscan Spaghetti Squash (Paleo, Vegan)

Creamy Tuscan Spaghetti Squash with sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts and spinach makes for a flavorful healthy side dish or light dinner. Paleo, keto, low-carb, and vegan! Make it as a meal prep recipe or for serving guests!

Feeling like a creamy, dreamy yet healthful dish that will tickle your taste buds and is crazy easy to make??

This simple 6-Ingredient Creamy Tuscan Spaghetti Squash is here for you, AND it’s bringing with it sun-dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts.

::Swoon!::

You’ll never believe how easy this recipe is to make. The only time consuming part about it is roasting the spaghetti squash. The good news is you can multitask while it is roasting, as the squash requires zero attention once it’s in the oven!

After the squash is roasted, the remainder of the recipe comes together in a split second – ideal for those evenings you want something comforting and seemingly fancy but don’t feel like exerting yourself in the kitchen.

Let’s make it!

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Greek Potato Salad (Paleo, Whole30)

Greek potato salad made with jewel yams, kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, dill and fresh parsley. This fresh, zesty potato salad with cider vinaigrette is a great go-to for all summer gatherings!

Potato salad. What team are we on? 

Team Traditional where lots of mayo and eggs are involved for creamy bliss, or Team Zesty with lighter dressing and more of a briny, vinaigrette flavor?

True to my Gemini-ic nature, I play for both teams.

I do try to keep my potato salads on the lighter end of the spectrum, but if a fully leaded potato salad happened to crash land in front of my face, I wouldn’t dare say no.

This recipe happens to be a nice amalgamation of the two. The dressing is creamy but not overly so, and contains plenty of tangy, briny elements for big bold flavor.

For this rendition of potato salad, I use jewel yams. Have you made potato salad using yams or sweet potatoes before? I’m on board. 

They definitely taste sweet, so if you’re looking for a more classic flavor and texture, stick with red potatoes or Yukon gold.

The dressing is a combination of avocado oil mayonnaise, avocado oil (or olive oil), cider vinegar, garlic, stone ground mustard, dried dill, and fresh parsley. We toss in some chopped kalamata olives and sun-dried tomatoes for that lovely je ne sais quois to yield even bigger flavor, fun texture and ease of transportation to somewhere Mediterranean.

Greek Potato Salad - a healthier potato salad recipe with cider vinaigrette, sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, dill and parsley - an amazing side dish recipe for picnics and BBQs

Two of my favorite things about potato salad is it can easily be made in parts (think: cook the potatoes ahead of time and/or make the dressing in advance), and it saves super well! In fact, it typically tastes even better the following two days after it is made.

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Black Bean Corn Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

Black Bean Corn Salad with lemon poppy seed dressing is a fresh and vibrant side dish perfect for summer gatherings. It can also be used as a condiment for tacos, burrito bowls, or green salads!

I know. Corn.

I know.

Some folks love it, some folks abhor it, some folks love-abhor it because it is fantastically delicious but tends to be heavily genetically modified and – well – void of anything nutritionally meaningful.

Truthfully, I don’t consume corn often because I keep my diet low-inflammatory and choose my sources of inflammation with much scrutiny. BUT I do get a great amount of enjoyment out of the kernel, so I’ll cook with it on occasion. And when I do, I’m sure to get the most bang for my inflammatory buck. 

Meaning, I use it in a way that will bring me great joy. 

For instance: corn salad. Fresh and spunky, magical on, around, or in just about anything.

Corn salad is particularly amazing when combined with black beans, bell pepper, tomato, onion and a homemade lemon poppy seed dressing. Everything comes together in an incredibly fresh, crunchy, creamy, tangy amalgamation to make your taste buds swoon.

one large bowl and two small bowls of black bean corn salad with two forks on the side on a white backdrop

You can make it with fresh corn or canned corn!

How about we whip this out right quick?

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