Category: SIDE DISHES

Tasty Labor Day Recipes

Tasty Labor Day Recipes

These Tasty Labor Day Recipes that I have picked for you guys are easy, delicious, affordable and approachable. You can make them any time you want not just over Labor Day and 4th of July, or any other holiday. If you are like my family…

Potato and Beef Everything Bagel Croquettes

Potato and Beef Everything Bagel Croquettes

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the Family Fare. All opinions are entirely my own. I do not know about you, but I could live on these Potato and Beef Everything Bagel Croquettes. My family is completely and utterly obsessed with the exquisite taste of this delightful side dish. Can you imagine…

Yellow Rice with Peppers and Tomato Sauce

Yellow Rice with Peppers and Tomato Sauce

Yellow Rice with Peppers and Tomato Sauce

Yellow Rice with Peppers and Tomato Sauce is a family favorite summer side dish. It goes well with grilled food, but you can just eat it as it is. I grew up enjoying rice with peppers and tomato sauce.

That being said, I loved mopping the sauce from peppers, onion, and tomatoes. That was my personal summer favorite dish. I got to mention, just like both of my boys, I was not a big fan of cooked, chunky veggies when I was a kid. Even now I won’t eat it, but dipping a piece of bread in this dish was most certainly always loved.

Yellow Rice with Peppers and Tomato Sauce

Also, this dish is loved at The Balkan Peninsula, located in southeastern Europe. Peppers, onion, and tomatoes in tomato sauce would be called Satars (Sa-ta-rash), mix the rice in and most likely you will find it under the name đuveč (juw-vech).

Some people even add ground meat in the mixture, but I like it just the way it is. Although adding sauteed ground beef is absolutely amazing as well. It would taste like a deconstructed stuffed pepper.

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Now, I used yellow rice just because I love the flavor, however, you can use any rice that you have on hand. There is no right or wrong here. Use what you like, or have in your fridge or pantry.

Yellow Rice with Peppers and Tomato Sauce

If you do not like yellow pepper use orange or use just one kind. Ideally, you want to use at least two kinds of peppers; for the festive color but also for the taste, but you do not have to.

This is summer comfort food to me, but you can use frozen onion and peppers as well as, and cook this easy and tasty side dish all year round.

Just to lay this out there that frozen produce is just as good as fresh. Perhaps even better unless you are buying organic and locally grown.

recipe

I had some backlash for using frozen peas in my recipes so I just want to clarify some things. Frozen fruits and veggies are picked at their peak, but if you buy, for example, Georgia peach in California, that peach won’t be fresh for sure.

Lastly, you can freeze your own produce and use it later. I do that most of the time, especially if I pick blueberries or but peppers from our local farmer. Nonetheless, sometimes it is just convenient to get it from the store when we need it.

If you try Yellow Rice with Peppers and Tomato Sauce recipe or any other recipe from my blog, please tag me. @sandraseasycooking #sandraseasycooking

Yellow Rice with Peppers and Tomato Sauce
Yield: Serves 6

Yellow Rice with Peppers and Tomato Sauce

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Yellow Rice with Peppers and Tomato Sauce is a family favorite summer side dish. It goes well with grilled food, but you can just eat it as it is. Easy, simple and delicious recipe!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 1 Yellow onion, medium size, sliced (6 oz/178g)
  • 3 Bell peppers, red, green, yellow (10oz-12oz/250g-300g, each)
  • 1 ripe Tomato, diced (10 oz/280g)
  • 15 oz can Tomato Sauce (425g), preferably unsalted
  • Salt and Ground black paper to taste
  • Herbs such as dried parsley, oregano, etc.
  • 1 pack Yellow rice (5oz/ 142g)
  • Fresh parsley or garnish, or dried

Instructions

  1. Prep rice first by following the direction on the back; add water and oil to gently start rolling or boiling, then add rice and stir well. Turn the heat to simmer or low and let it cook until tender. I do not wait full 20 minutes, I take it off after 15 minutes, mix well, cover with a fitted lid and allow my rice to steam.
  2. Sauté onion in oil for a minute or two at the medium-HIGH heat. Meanwhile, dice peppers and tomato.
  3. Add diced or sliced peppers first, mix and allow it to cook for 5 minutes then add diced tomato; stir well and season with a pinch of salt and ground black pepper as well as a good pinch of dried herbs, let t cook for about 10 to 12 minutes or until everything starts getting softer and cooked through.
  4. Pour in tomato sauce, stir, cover with the lid and turn the heat down to medium-LOW. Allow the flavors to marry for 5 minutes. Just stir when needed so it does not burn.
  5. After 5 minutes add in prepared rice, stir well to coat it. Cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes just to complete this dish.
  6. Taste to see if you need to add more salt or pepper. Some people like crushed red peppers. Garnish with some dried herbs or freshly chopped parsley.

Notes

You may keep it in the fridge for 3 days for the best taste just make sure to heat it before eating.
You may use any peppers; red, green, yellow, orange. Preferably it is the best to use a couple of different peppers for the best color and taste, but you can use two or even one-color of the pepper.

Easy Lyonnaise Potatoes

Easy Lyonnaise Potatoes

Easy Lyonnaise Potatoes are such a comfort food to me. Ever since I was little, I loved the combination of potatoes and onions sauteed in butter. I do not think there is a better side dish to compliment pretty much any meat, fish. It goes…

Air Fryer Rainbow Potatoes with Rosemary

Air Fryer Rainbow Potatoes with Rosemary

These new potatoes in the assorted rainbow mixture made in the air fryer have its own distinctive flavor and texture as well as color. Some will cook quicker than others, of course. Needless to say, these air fryer rainbow potatoes with rosemary will turn crunchy…

Caramelized Onion Tart

Caramelized Onion Tart

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the Minerva Dairy. All opinions are entirely my own.

Caramelized Onion Tart Recipe

If you want to churn your recipe up to the next level, I encourage you to use Minerva tasty butter to make my Caramelized Onion Tart.

My family sincerely loved this caramelized onion tart with delicious creme fraiche.

As one would expect, we made many delicious and easy dishes using Minerva Dairy Butter;

Such as silky, soft and creamy scrambled eggs, sauteed Lyonnaise Potatoes, which I will share a recipe soon with you all, rich and lush spinach, and so forth.

Caramelized Onion Tart

However, so far this tart has been such a genuine masterpiece. I absolutely love serving it with lemon chicken or my famous pork schnitzels.

Therefore, I would not only recommend this butter for sauteing but for baking and just spreading on your morning toast as well. This butter is a real jam. Lusciously delicious! Best butter that you will ever put in your mouth.

Caramelized Onion Tart

Minerva Dairy, America’s oldest family-owned creamery, just re-vamped their brand and packaging this year in honor of their 125th anniversary. I partnered with them to celebrate this special anniversary.

125th Birthday? Wow! Can you even imagine? Alright folks, let’s churn this thing up.

I brainstormed quite a few recipes using this amazing butter as they sent me three kinds; unsalted, sea salt and with garlic and herbs.

Caramelized Onion Tart

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Don’t you just love butter with 85% butterfat and high-quality? You cannot possibly ask for more.

Also, its made by 6 generations of Butter Makers and made from pasture-raised cow milk. Again, yes, indeed they are America’s oldest family-owned creamery. That is why this butter is creamy heaven.

It also reminds me of my childhood, and I will tell you a tiny fact about me. One of my absolute favorite treats growing up was butter and a drizzle of pure homemade honey from my neighbors.

Caramelized Onion Tart Recipe

I would enjoy this every single day either after school or on weekends when I played all day outside. Till this day, not even one decadent dessert would replace a freshly baked bread with butter and a drizzle of honey.

Those memories I treasure and cherish and on occasion celebrate by eating my favorite treats.

Caramelized Onion Tart
Yield: Serves 6

Caramelized Onion Tart

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

If you want to churn your recipe up to the next level, I encourage you to use Minerva tasty butter to make my Caramelized Onion Tart recipe. It’s easy, tasty and a perfect appetizer for entertaining.

Ingredients

  • 2 Sheets Puff Pastry
  • 2 pounds Onions, sliced into thicker rings, preferably Vidalia Onions
  • 3 tablespoons Minerva Dairy Unsalted Butter
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Springs of Fresh Thyme, plus for garnish
  • 4 tablespoons Creme Fraiche

Instructions

Caramelized Onions:

  1. Melt the butter, then add oil in a large skillet. Add thick onion slices and turn the heat to medium. stir to coat for a bit and do not touch it until you see the onion changing color from the bottom. You can check by flipping one or two after 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. This is the beginning of caramelization. I do not add sugar, but I use sweet yellow onions which will give you an excellent caramelization of onions.
  3. Now, add the thyme, salt, and ground black pepper to the skillet and stir. Turn the heat to medium-low heat until the onions are completely translucent and caramelized. It will take around 30 to 40 minutes depending on your stove, skillet, etc. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Assembly:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (190C)
  2. Thaw your frozen puff pastry, preferably in the fridge, overnight.
  3. Unfold your pastry only when fully thawed.
  4. Flour your work surface and your rolling pin. Use restraint with your rolling pin and just slightly roll. Use a fork and make small punching holes all around the bottom of the puff pastry.
  5. Add Creme Fraiche on the top of the pastry then slightly fold ends of the pastry, as shown on the pic. If you do not have Creme Fraiche, check notes below.
  6. As you see on step by step instructions make sure the pastry has four edges in order to hold the onions. You may make it as traditionally rectangular or bake in the circular baking tart pan.
  7. Bake between 15 and 17 minutes, depending on your oven. The pastry needs to be golden.
  8. Take it out and allow it to cool down for a minute or two before slicing.

Notes

Easy Creme Fraiche Substitute:

  • Mix 1 cup heavy cream and 1/4 cup whole milk sour cream together.
  • I like mixing it n the jar or a container with a fitted lid, but you can pour the mixture into a jar as well, cover and let stand in a warm place for about 8 hours.
  • Then stir and refrigerate for 24 hours before serving.

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Cinco de Mayo Recipes

Cinco de Mayo Recipes

Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner so I put together a round-up of recipes. They all amazing, easy and delicious. I do not about you, but in my house, we love Mexican cuisine. I make it at least once a week. Spicy or…

Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole

Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole

Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole, in my opinion, is one of the best side dishes for the holiday season, as well as all year round weeknight dinner dish. I do not make this often. Simply because my family cannot stop eating it until the baking dish…

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Sarma

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Sarma

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Sarma

One more old recipe repost because it is winter season, this is comfort food that we love during winter, and you guys kept asking for this recipe. So here is my stuffed cabbage rolls or as we like to call them, Sarma!

As much as this recipe seems complicated, I have to say it is not so much. Maybe because I grew up eating it, and also I believe the first time when I made it was like 20 years ago, so it is very simple for me.

Traditionally, Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Sarma has to be made with a pickled or fermented whole head of cabbage, which tastes like shredded sauerkraut.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Sarma

So, it is a pickling process that many people in parts of the Balkan or Southeastern Europe prepare a few months in advance to have it ready for the holiday season.

What I am showing you today is a much faster version of pickling, and slightly similar to the original and got to say extremely tasty.

If you have already fermented cabbage then you can skip the part where you boil and soak the cabbage in vinegary water with salt.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Sarma

I did not pickle cabbage last fall. So in cases like this when I really crave these rolls I just boil the whole cabbage head in salty- vinegar water, and under the lid. Let it kind of marinade in that boiled hot water for an hour or so.

It becomes a bit tender and slightly sour, but to cut the story short read the recipe with the easy to follow pictures.

When I feel nostalgic this is the version that I am making most of the time because don’t have fermented cabbage all the time or all year round.

This is so delicious and one of my ultimate favorite comfort foods. I know many share the same feeling regarding it because it is loved all over the world.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Sarma

STEP BY STEP WITH PICTURES:

Wash the cabbage and take the middle root by carving it out. Boil the whole cabbage head by putting it in a large pot. Pour over hot boiled water mixed with vinegar and salt. Let it boil again for the next 20 minutes or until the cabbage is softer to the touch

Once the cabbage is softer to the touch, cover it with the lid. Turn off the heat and let it sit in a sour and salty hot water for next 20 minutes or until you are ready for the next step. WASH the cabbage after with a cold water to remove some of the brine.

Combine the meat mixture by adding ground beef, Vegeta/seasoning, shredded onion, minced garlic/or garlic powder, ground black pepper, and rice. I always taste to see if I need more seasoning, but meat is always fresh.

SONY DSC

eparate the cabbage leaves and cut the thick root in the back of each leaf because of the easier folding.

Put cabbage leaves in your palm and add about 2 Tbs. Meat mixture (smaller meatball). Look at the picture for the complete instruction. These instructions are important. If you don’t roll and wrap cabbage rolls correctly, they will open, and meat will get out. Once the wrapping is over, go to the next step.

Boil 2 cups of Beef stock + 3 cups of water with 1 Tbs. Vegeta; set aside.

You may like Sauteed Sauerkraut with Smoked Sausage

In a large pot, add a bit of minced onion, olive oil (or any on your hand), place each roll on the bottom of the pot. If you have meat leftovers crumble on the top, shredded sauerkraut, a few garlic cloves.

Then the rest of the cabbage leaves lay on top and over the cabbage rolls. Put a few slices of bacon or any smoked products, sweet paprika, a bit more chopped garlic and parsley, and about 1/2 tbs. Ground black pepper.

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Now that you layer everything correctly; put it on the stove and with previously boiled broth, water, and Vegeta slowly pour over. Also liquid needs to go over the cabbage rolls at least an inch-

Turn the heat on high until it boils again, once it’s boiled cover and turn the heat on a medium-low. 10. Let it cook for the next 40 minutes.

NOTE: If you do not want to make them as a sour, just skip adding vinegar and sauerkraut. I added cause it is reminding me of the way people from my country make it.

Sandra’s Easy Cooking is affiliated with Amazon.

I started to add items to my Amazon store and connecting it here as well. If you see Amazon link, banner or a product here on my blog then it is placed by me.

CLICK HERE TO CHECK IT OUT

If you make my Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Sarma, please tag me on Instagram. @sandraseasycooking. Thank you so much in advance!

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Sarma
Yield: Serves 8

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Sarma

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Traditionally made Cabbage Meat Rolls. These rolls are made with fermented cabbage which gives you more of a sour taste, but very delicious. Since we don’t have fermented cabbage all the time, I made my own just by quick pickling cabbage.

Ingredients

  • 1 head of fresh Cabbage You may use Savoy Cabbage as well
  • 1 cup Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Salt
  • NOTE: I use vinegar to boil my cabbage because I didn't have any homemade sour cabbage. This is only if you do not have a whole head of pickled cabbage (Sauerkraut).

Meat filling:

  • 1 lb. Ground Beef
  • 2 Tbsp. Vegeta -European spice OR 2 tbsp. Bouillon Seasoning/Beef seasoning etc. To taste**
  • 1/2 Onion minced or shredded (keep some for later use)
  • 2 Garlic Cloves minced or crushed
  • 1/2 Tbs. Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 cup Rice soak it in the cold water for 5 min or so before adding it to the mixture

Additional Toppings

  • 1 Tbs. Oil
  • 2 1/2 Tbs. Vegeta or to taste bouillon seasoning or salt
  • 2 cups Shredded Sauerkraut If you have homemade, that's the best
  • 3 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
  • 4-6 sliced Hickory-smoked Bacon or any meat/ sausage that is smoked/or ribs
  • 1/2 Tbs. Sweet Red Paprika
  • 1/3 of cup minced parsley
  • 1/2 Tbs. Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Cups of stock/broth + water to fill to about 2 inches above it.

Roux

  • 4 Tbsp. Tomato Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. All-purpose flour

Instructions

  1. Wash the cabbage and take the middle root by carving it out. Boil the whole cabbage head by putting it in a large pot, pour over hot boiled water mixed with vinegar and salt. Let it boil again for the next 20 minutes or until the cabbage is softer to the touch
  2. Once the cabbage is softer to the touch, cover it with the lid, turn off the heat and let it sit in a sour and salty hot water for the next 20 minutes or until you are ready for the next step. WASH the cabbage after with cold water to remove some of the brine.
  3. Combine the meat mixture by adding ground beef, Vegeta/seasoning, shredded onion, minced garlic/or garlic powder, ground black pepper, and rice. I always taste to see if I need more seasoning, but meat is always fresh.
  4. Now separate the cabbage leaves and cut the thick root in the back of each leaf because of the easier folding.
  5. Put cabbage leaves in your palm and add one medium-sized meatball. Don’t pack meatball, make it more lose. Look at the picture for the complete instruction. These instructions are important because if you don’t roll and wrap cabbage rolls correctly, they will open, and meat will get out. Once the wrapping is over, go to the next step.
  6. Boil 2 cups of Beef stock + 3 cups of water with 1 Tbs. Vegeta; set aside. 
  7. You may. Bouillon Seasoning instead of Vegeta*
  8. In a large pot, add a bit of minced onion, olive oil (or any on your hand), place each roll on the bottom of the pot, if you have meat leftovers crumble on the top, shredded sauerkraut, a few garlic cloves, then rest of the cabbage leaves lay on top and over the cabbage rolls, put few slices of bacon or any smoked products, sweet paprika, a bit more chopped garlic and parsley, and about 1/2 tbs. Ground black pepper.
  9. Now that you layer everything correctly, put it on the stove and with previously boiled broth, water, and Vegeta slowly pour over- also liquid needs to go over the cabbage rolls at least an inch-
  10. Turn the heat on high until it boils again, once it’s boiled cover and turn the heat on a medium-low. 10. Let it cook for the next 40-45 minutes.
  11. After 40-45 minutes (if you need more water it is a good time to add more and boil before you add Roux) Mix 2 Tbs. Of all-purpose flour with 2 Tbs. Of Tomato sauce in a bowl. Combine it well and add about 3 Tbs. Of water. Stir until lumps are gone and you are left with a smooth and thin texture. Pour the Roux little bit at the time, but do not stir, kind of do the moving the pot in a shaky motion just to combine the thin Roux with the liquid to make like a thick sauce. If you can see the lumps in the pot use the wooden spoon to mash it. Add 2 more Tbs. Of tomato sauce for the color and taste.
Pan-Roasted Peppers with Garlic Infused Sauce

Pan-Roasted Peppers with Garlic Infused Sauce

For some people letting go of summer is hard, and some people live with summer all year round. We make this recipe all summer long and I am officially letting go of summer with these amazing Sweet Pan-Roasted Peppers with Garlic Infused Sauce. I am…