Veggie Side Dishes Archive

Mexican Style Cowboy Caviar

Posted August 3, 2013 By Sandy

Being a Mexican food lover, I created a new recipe that I am calling Mexican Style Cowboy Caviar!  I took an old recipe I found online for Cowboy Caviar and “Mexicanized” it!!

If you have never had Cowboy Caviar, it is a mix of corn, beans, tomatoes and other veggies that make a great chip dip or can just be eaten as a dish by itself.

Mexican Style Cowboy Caviar

Mexican Style Cowboy Caviar


  • 1 medium to large ear of corn, decobbed
  • 1 (15oz) can black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1/3 cup bell pepper, chopped
  • 2/3 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • scant 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 ½ tsp. salsa seasoning (or taco seasoning)
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • ½ to 2/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup picanta sauce (optional)
  • 2 ripe avocados, diced (optional)


  1. Combine all ingredients, adding avocados last, and toss gently.
  2. Serve with chips or with green salad.

Like most Mexican style recipes, this is very versatile.  For instance, I did not have avocados, so I left them out (and it still tasted good).

The original recipe calls for black-eyed peas rather than black beans, but I would think any of your favorite beans would work.

Black olives would also taste good in this dish.

What would you add to the recipe??

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Veggie Stir Fry

Posted March 16, 2013 By Sandy

Becoming Vegan was pretty easy for me.  I have always loved vegetables — I was one of those strange kids would would rather eat a salad than most anything else.  As an adult, I have extended my menu beyond the salad into Veggie Stir Fry amongst other veggie dishes.

Veggie Stir Fry is easy to make and does not need any special ingredients!  Usually, I just use what veggies I have on hand.  However, I will list my basic recipe:

Veggie Stir Fry

Veggie Stir Fry


  • 1-2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 large onion, cut into strips
  • 1-2 potatoes, cut into rounds, and cut in half again
  • 1/2 sweet potato or yam (a whole one if they are small)
  • 1-2 carrots, sliced
  • 1-2 stalks of celery, cut up with leaves included
  • 1/2 zucchini, sliced


  1. Heat coconut oil in wok or large fry pan.
  2. Add ingredients in order list, putting zucchini aside.
  3. Stir on medium high heat for a couple minutes while you add all the veggies
  4. Turn heat down to medium low and cover for about 7 minutes
  5. Stir well and add zucchini, cover and cook another five minutes
  6. Uncover and cook until veggies are done to your liking and serve!

This recipe is very versatile because you can add any vegetables you have in your refrigerator and pantry.  Some of the other veggies I have used:

  • Sliced Mushooms
  • Summer squash
  • Bell Peppers
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • ??????

Sometimes, I have even added pre-cooked beans and/or lentils to add more protein.

Now, how is that for an easy nutritious dish?


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Apple Cinnamon Kale Chips

Posted November 28, 2012 By Sandy

If you are like me, you are looking for ways to include more nutritious greens, like Kale, in your diet.  Kale is an excellent source of beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, and rich in calcium.  I use it in smoothies, but I have been told that it makes really good tasting ‘chips’.

So imagine my delight to find this recipe for Apple Cinnamon Kale Chips.  Originally posted by Chef Amber Shea from her cookbook, Practically Raw, where she devoted an entire chapter to Kale Chips!!

Apple Cinnamon Kale Chips

Recipe Type: Veggie Snack
Author: Chef Amber Shea
  • 1 cup dried apples (preferably unsulfured), soaked for 2 hours and drained
  • 1 cup cashews, soaked for 2 hours and drained
  • 1 cup water or nondairy milk
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 large bunch curly kale, stems removed, torn or chopped (about 8 cups chopped)
  1. Combine all ingredients except kale in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth, adding a splash of water if needed to blend.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the kale and the apple-cinnamon sauce. Use your hands to massage the sauce all over the kale, making sure it’s coated completely.
  3. Raw: Arrange the kale in a single layer on a Teflex-lined dehydrator tray. Dehydrate for 8 to 10 hours or overnight, until crisp.
  4. Baked: Preheat the oven to 300°F and grease a baking sheet with coconut oil. Arrange the kale in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and use a fork or spatula to carefully flip the kale chips over (it’s ok if you miss a few). Bake for about 10 more minutes, watching carefully to make sure the kale doesn’t burn, then remove from the oven and let cool completely.

Make sure to check out Chef Amber Shea’s original post to check out all the different tips and substitutions she offers on this recipe!

If you like this post or this blog, please share with your friends by clicking one of the links below.

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Gluten Free Vegan Grilled Asparagus Sandwich

Posted November 26, 2012 By Sandy

Grilled Asparagus Sandwich?  My interest was peaked, so I took a look and near laughed through the whole 6 minute vide0 — not because the recipe is funny in some way, but because Jason Wrobel is just a funny guy!

Take a look at the video and tell me what you think!

I found the recipe fascinating.  Who would have thought to make a Grilled Asparagus sandwich — and then to add vegan Hollandaise sauce!

After looking through Jason’s website, named after himself, I found all kinds of great sounding Gluten Free Vegan recipes.  And if I understand correctly, he is planning his own TV show soon!

Check out his site and let me know what you think!!

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Garlicky Sweet Potatoes

Posted November 9, 2012 By Sandy

Candied Yams were a Thanksgiving tradition at my house when I was growing up.  I loves them, so of course, I followed the tradition with my own kids.  But now that my kids are all grown and moved away, I have been looking for some variety in my menu.  (I still get an occasional call:  Mom, how do you make sweet potatoes again?)

So, if you are like me who is looking for a twist on a traditional dish, try these Garlicky Sweet Potatoes by Allyson Kramer and posted on VegNews:

Photo courtesy of WikiMedia

Garlicky Sweet Potatoes

Recipe Type: Thanksgiving Veggie Dish
Author: Allyson Kramer, posted in VegNews
Serves: 6-8
  • 4 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed
  • 3 tablespoons vegan margarine
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced finely
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh sage
  • 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
  • Salt to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a fork, pierce sweet potatoes all over and place onto a cookie sheet. Roast about 45 to 50 minutes, until soft completely through. Let cool about 10 minutes.
  2. In small saucepan over medium heat, combine margarine with garlic, thyme, rosemary, and sage and cook until garlic is tender. Combine with non-dairy milk and remove from heat.
  3. Remove skins from sweet potatoes and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add herbed butter and milk mixture and, using a hand mixer, mix on high speed until potatoes are fluffy. Season with salt to taste.


Over the years, I have changed my candied yam recipe.  I don’t use nearly as much sugar — actually, last time I made them I used maple sugar (which is much better for you than most sugars) and Earth Balance butter.  As much as I love Coconut oil, I did not like it on candied yams.

Do you have a Gluten Free Vegan Thanksgiving recipe you would like to share with us?  Email me at and I will be happy to share it!

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Spicy Potato Fritters

Posted October 4, 2012 By Sandy

I don’t promote many recipes that call for deep frying.  Not sure why as I recommend coconut oil and I don’t think you can get too much coconut oil!  This recipe for Spicy Potato Fritters looked too good to pass up!

The original post is by Sangeetha Manikandan, from southern part of India, and posted on her Spicy Treats blog.  So not only do we have a great recipe, but we also have an international one!!

Photo courtesy of Spicy Treats

Spicy Potato Fritters

Recipe Type: Snack, veggie dish
Author: Sangeetha Manikandan from Spicy Treats
  • 1 1/2 cup (4 or 5 medium potatoes boiled and mashed)
  • 1 medium Onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 small Carrot (shredded)
  • 5-6 sprigs Cilantro (finely chopped)
  • 2 tsp. Ginger (finely chopped)
  • 1 cup Besan Flour/Gram Flour/Kadalai Maavu
  • 2 TBSP Rice Flour
  • 1/2 tsp or to taste Chili Powder
  • Pinch of Hing
  • 1/2 tsp. Fennel seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 TBSP Water
  1. Boil potatoes, then peel the skin and mash it well using potato masher or spoon n keep aside.
  2. In a bowl, add mashed potato, finely chopped onions, cilantro, ginger, n shredded carrots and mix everything well.
  3. And in another bowl add all dry ingredients, gram flour, rice flour,salt,chili powder and hing mix well then add the dry ingredients to the potato mixture and combine well.
  4. Sprinkle water and mix well to a tight dough(will be bit sticky, thats ok but not too much of moisture).
  5. Now heat oil in a wok/kadai, when its get really hot, pinch a small amount of dough slightly flatten it using finger tips and drop it hot oil.
  6. Fry in medium high heat, after 1 or 2 minutes turn other side and fry till it turns light golden brown and crisp.
  7. Once done remove from the oil using slotted ladle and drain the excess oil in paper towel.
  8. Do repeat the same for all remaining dough.


To avoid confusion, here is the American equivalent of some of the ingredients:

  • Besan Flour/Gram Flour/Kadalai Maavu is commonly known as ChickPea or Garbanzo Bean flour.
  • Hingis also referred to as devil’s dung, stinking gum, asant, food of the gods, giant fennel, Jowani badian, hing and ting (I think I would use fennel).

Sangeetha also has some wonderful tips, dips and pictures on her original post, so make sure to check it out as well.

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Sweet Potato Pasta

Posted September 24, 2012 By Sandy

There are numerous different food combinations that I have never tried.  After becoming Gluten Free and Vegan, my food choices became limited in some areas, but expanded greatly in other directions.  Had it not been for my allergies, I probably would never had the pleasure of eating quinoa!  Or coconut milk (or oil) … or the numerous seeds and beans I have eaten.  Maybe my allergies were a curse in the beginning, I see it as a blessing today!

Anyway, our featured recipe, Sweet Potato Pasta, is one of the unique food combinations that I would never have thought of until reading this recipe!  The original post is by Minn, author of Savor the Rainbow.  Check it out and tell me what you think:

Picture courtesy of Savor the Rainbow

Sweet Potato Pasta

Recipe Type: Pasta Dish
Author: Minn, Savor the Rainbow
Serves: 4
  • 1-2 med. sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 Tbs. almond oil
  • 1 Tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 Tbs. Earth Balance spread
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened, unflavored almond milk
  • 1 Tbs. almond flour
  • 6 Tbs. nutritional yeast, or more to taste
  • 2 Tsp. dijon mustard
  • 1 Tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1/2-3/4 tsp salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of pasta water
  • 8 oz. pasta of choice (Minn used quinoa rotini pasta)
  • Mix-in of choice (Minn added spinach and pumpkin seeds)
  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line baking sheet with foil.
  2. Mix chopped sweet potatoes with almond oil and cinnamon and roast for about 30 minutes, flip after 15 minutes.
  3. While the potatoes are baking, prepare the cheese sauce. Melt Earth Balance spread in a medium pot over low-med heat. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk and almond flour until smooth. Add to the pot of spread and whisk. Stir in nutritional yeast, dijon mustard, and seasonings. Stir mixture until thickened (about 5-7 min).
  4. Cook pasta following package directions.
  5. Add the sauce to the blender and mix with 1 cup of roasted sweet potatoes and chickpeas. Add enough pasta water to thin out the sauce to your liking. Pour sauce back into the pot.
  6. Add the cooked and drained pasta to the pot. Add the mix-ins and stir to combine.


After reading through Minn’s notes, the original recipe (where she got it!), used butternut squash rather than sweet potatoes — which sounds good as well!

Make sure you check out her post for pictures and more recipe suggestions!

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Zucchini Fries

Posted September 18, 2012 By Sandy

I don’t know anyone who does not like french fries — but as we all know, french fries are not the most healthy food to eat.

Recently, I found this recipe for Oven baked Zucchini Fries!  Sounds like the perfect

Picture courtesy of

combination of crunch, taste and nutrition!  And of course, if you have ever grown zucchini, you know that most of time there is an overabundance of fruit!  (My husband has a joke about leaving your car unlocked this time of the year because if you do, you will find a box of zucchini on the seat when you return!!).

So, for those with an abundance of zucchini, try this out and let us know how good it is!!

Check out additional tips on the original post!

Oven Baked Zucchini Fries

Recipe Type: vegetable, zucchini fries
Author: by Alisa Fleming, posted in
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
  • 1-1/2 lbs zucchini (about 4 zucchini)
  • 2-1/2 cups crunchy, whole grain cereal
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons water
  1. Preheat your oven to 425ºF and place a couple of racks on a baking sheet (I use cooling racks) or grease a large baking sheet.
  2. Cut off the ends and slice each zucchini into 1/4 inch by 3 inch long sticks. Set aside.
  3. Pulse the cereal, salt, garlic, and onion powders several times in a blender or food proceer, until fairly well-ground, but still like coarse crumbs. Place the crumb mixture in a shallow dish.
  4. Whisk together the mustard, oil, and water in a large bowl. Add the zucchini sticks, tossing to coat.
  5. One by one, remove the zucchini sticks from the dijon mixture, letting any excess drip off, and roll them in the crumb mixture to coat.
  6. Place the zucchini sticks on the racks or baking sheet, and pop them in the oven for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until they are crisped up to your liking and tender on the inside. The zucchini will soften a bit more on the inside as they cool.


The author suggests Erehwon Supergrain Cereal ( A gluten-free buckwheat & hemp cereal that is SUPER crunchy). I was unable to find that particular cereal on Amazon, but found the following ones that sounded really good:

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Pizza Flavored Kale Chips

Posted August 16, 2012 By Sandy

I have always wondered how to make Kale Chips — and then I stumbled across this Pizza Flavored Kale Chips recipe.  Sounded really interesting and the author, Chef Amber Shea, includes LOTS of photos in her post!

Look at all those nutritious ingredients!  I’ll have to try this recipe for sure!!

Pizza Kale Chips

dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, nut-free, sugar-free, raw

1/4 cup sunflower seeds, soaked for 2 to 4 hours and drained
1/4 cup hempseeds
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, soaked for 30 minutes and drained
1/2 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons filtered water
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
1 bunch kale, tough stems removed, roughly chopped (6 to 8 cups)

Combine all ingredients except kale in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth, adding a splash of water if needed to blend.

In a large bowl, combine the kale and the pizza sauce. Use your hands to massage the sauce all over the kale, making sure it’s coated completely.

Make it Raw: Arrange the kale in a single layer on a Teflex-lined dehydrator tray. Dehydrate for 8 hours or overnight, until crisp.

Make it Baked: Preheat the oven to 300°F and grease a baking sheet with coconut oil. Arrange the kale in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and use a fork or spatula to carefully flip the kale chips over (it’s ok if you miss a few). Bake for 5 to 10 more minutes, watching carefully to make sure the kale doesn’t burn, then remove from the oven and let cool completely.

READ FULL POST — plus check out her pictures

If you like this recipe, you might want to purchase Chef Amber Shea’s cookbooks below:

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Mango Salsa Recipes

Posted July 25, 2012 By Sandy

Today is Mango Salsa Recipe day and I have a couple recipes for you.

First is a Gluten-Free Corn, Mango and Black Bean Salsa from Living Without magazine and the other two are recipes I have developed and used.

Gluten-Free Corn, Mango and Black Bean Salsa

2-3 ears corn, cut corn off the cob
1 medium-size mango, cut into small dice
1½ cups black beans, cooked or canned, rinsed and drained
½ small red onion, minced
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and minced
1-3 small jalapeño peppers, minced
2 tablespoons lime juice
¼-½ bunch fresh cilantro, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Mix all the ingredients together until well blended. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste.

2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.


After seeing the Living Without recipe above, I pulled out my recipe and did some comparing.  I am a bit of a wimp when it comes to hot food (or even mildly peppered), so I make a milder Mango Salsa.  If you like hotter salsa, go ahead and add in a jalapeno pepper or whichever hotter chili peppers you like.

Sandy’s Mango Salsa #1

½ cup Mangos,
1 – Red Bell Pepper, seeds removed
4 – Green Onions, tops and all
1 overflowing cup of Tomatoes
4 – Medium Tomatillo,
½ – Jalapeno pepper (I used pickled peppers because they were milder)

Salsa seasoning and cumin to taste

I chopped all the veggies in our food processor.  Leaving the mix in the fridge for  a few hours, blended the flavors nicely.  Later that evening we had black bean tacos and salad, topped with mango salsa for dinner.

A  few weeks later, I came up with another Mango Salsa Recipe that my husband really loved.

Sandy’s Mango Salsa #2

I can diced tomatoes
1 bell pepper, chopped (red yellow or orange)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 jalepano, seeds removed and chopped
½ can or ¾ cup of chopped mangos
1/3 cup chopped cilantro (approximately)
Salsa seasoning and cumin to taste

I think my husband liked this recipe better because it was hotter.  In fact, so hot, I could barely eat it — leaving the balance of the bowl full to him.

Add fruit to salsa can make some interesting salsa — but you do not have to stick with mangoes.  I have also used pineapple and papaya and they tastes great as well!

Here is a picture of our Gluten Free Vegan Mexican Meal with Mango Salsa.  What do you think?







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