Category Archives: Sides

Hasselback Potatoes

Hasselback Potatoes
My new favorite potato!

Hasselback Potatoes
Compliments of JennaDish

Use about 2 medium to 4 small potatoes per serving, and about 1 garlic clove per 2 or 3 potatoes

Yellow Potatoes (or Yukon Gold Potatoes)
salt & pepper
garlic cloves, sliced thin or minced
your favorite spice blend for potatoes (I used Penzey's Arizona Dreamin' Spice Blend)
Curry ketchup, optional (squeeze ketchup in a small dish and stir in a pinch of curry powder) 

Wash potatoes.  Make slices into each potato every 1/8" inch, only cutting down to 3/4 of the potato.  To make this easier, put the potato in a wooden spoon and slice the potato, allowing the spoon to stop the knife just short of cutting all the way through.  Place potatoes in large saucepan of cold water and bring to a boil.  Then lower the heat to keep the water at a low boil.  Boil about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  When the potatoes have boiled so they are about halfway cooked, drain them, and put them on a baking sheet in the oven to allow the heat to dry them – about 4-5 minutes. Remove them from the oven and allow to cool enough to handle. Then place pieces or slices of garlic clove into the potato slices – about 2-3 slices of garlic per potato.  Melt some butter or use oil to cover the potatoes.  Sprinkle salt, pepper and/or a spice blend on the potatoes.

Roast until cooked through, about 30 minutes, turning halfway through.  

Panzanella with Sunflower Seed Bread & Yellow Pear Tomatoes

Panzanella Salad

This salad, like most, is highly adaptable.  My first tip would be to use a dense, strong bread, in order to stand up to the saute and the liquids. 

Other than that, substitute a fresh veggie (think Italian) that seems to make sense, for a veggie you don't have.

I had some little pear tomatoes, so I used those instead of more peppers.  I also didn't have cucumber so I used a few of my fresh, homemade pickles.  If you're a pickle-lover go for it.  If not, nix that idea and sub something else.  It's too strong of a taste if you aren't thrilled with tangy pickles.


Panzanella with Sunflower Seed Bread & Yellow Pear Tomatoes
Compliments of JennaDish

adapted from Ina Garten on Food

MAKES ABOUT 3 to 4 SERVINGS as a side

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups of 1" cubes of sunflower seed bread (or any dense, whole grain or sourdough bread)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large, ripe tomato, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 to 1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, sliced 1/2-inch thick (I used 1/3 cup fresh pickles)
1 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
10 yellow pear tomatoes
1/2 red onion, chopped
10 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1 to 2 Tablespoons capers, drained


1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 Tablespoons Champagne vinegar (I used white wine vinegar)
1/4 cup good olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add the bread and salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned. Add more oil as needed.

For the vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients together.

In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber (or pickles), red or yellow pepper, red onion, basil, and capers. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Serve, or allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for the flavors to blend.  The salad tastes even better the next day.

Vegan Scallion Potato Pancakes

Our 6-Week Vegan Challenge

Vegan Scallion Potato Pancakes

These baked potato pancakes that Alyssa put together are so tasty. They are from Appetite for Reduction: 125 Fast & Filling Low-Fat Vegan Recipes by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.  And here's what you get per serving of 2 pancakes:

180 calories, 2.5g fat (no saturated or trans fats), 35g carbs, 4g fiber, 2g sugars, 5g protein, no cholesterol, 430mg sodium, 60% daily Vitamin C, 8% daily Iron

Nice.  I had them with corn on the cob and a veggie burger with barbecue sauce on it, and kale chips.

Next time I make these, I will pan-fry them with as little olive oil as I can get away with.  I like mine more dark and crunchy.

And I am definitely taking my allotted two potato pancakes and making a sandwich out of them – with the p. pancakes playing the role of the buns.  Something with mustard or apples or sweet potatoes or squash.  There's a recipe in my vegan cookbook for Ginger Mashed Sweet Potatoes & Apples.  Bingo!

I'll have to try that in the future and update this post.

Scallion Potato Pancakes
Compliments of JennaDish


from Appetite for Reduction: 125 Fast & Filling Low-Fat Vegan Recipes by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled ad cut into 3/4" pieces
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced scallions (from one bunch – greens parts only)
1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs

1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 425o F.  

Boil the potatoes, lowering the heat to a simmer until tender, about 15 minutes.  Drain, running cold water over the potatoes and tossing to cool quickly. Let sit a few minutes if necessary.

Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.  In a medium bowl, add potatoes, scallions, sesame oil, salt and black pepper and mash well until there are no large potato chunks left.  Add the panko and mix well.

Mix together the breading ingredients on a large plate or shallow bowl. Scoop about 1/4 cup of batter and roll into a ball and then flattening it into a pancake about 4" in diameter.  Press it firmly into the breading mixture, then transfer to the baking sheets.  Spray pancakes lightly with cooking spray and place in oven to bake for 12 minutes with racks place in the center of the oven. Remove from oven, flip each pancake, and spray the pancakes on the other side.  Rotate the baking sheets and bake for another 8 minutes.  


Buffalo Tempeh

Our 6-Week Vegan Challenge

Spicy Tempeh wand Zucchini Fritters

This is my first experience with Tempeh.  And it went well!

Tempeh is a soy product with lots of protein.  It can look like a piece of art…

Tempeh Block
… or a cobblestone sidewalk for a doll house.

How to Steam Tempeh
For Buffalo Tempeh, you steam the tempeh, then throw it in some marinade for a quick bit.

This is my cheap steamer basket from WalMart.  It folds up and fits in a small area for easy storage.

I got this recipe from our new cookbook, Appetite for Reduction: 125 Fast and Filling Low-Fat Vegan Recipes by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.  I had to adapt it slightly.  I was fresh out of vegetable broth.

So I SUBSTITUTED!!! My favorite thing to do. And I lucked out.  It was delish.

Here's what it looks like in the marinade….

Tempeh in Buffalo Marinade

Hmmm.  Almost looks like blue cheese.

Since you've steamed the tempeh, it will be softened.  And once it's been in the marinade even a few minutes, it will be even more softened.  At that point, you can keep it in chunks or break it up.  Massage the  tempeh from the outside of the bag in order to break up the chunks into a uniform crumble.

Spicy Tempeh
 Cook a few minutes until heated through and pile on top of zucchini fritters, a

baked sweet potato, or your favorite veggies.


Buffalo Tempeh
Compliments of JennaDish

adapted from Appetite for Reduction: 125 Fast and Filling Low-Fat Vegan Recipes by Isa Chandra Moskowitz 


8 ounces tempeh, cut into wedges 

1/2 cup carrot juice or vegetable broth 
1/4 cup cayenne hot sauce (I used Frank's)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano or Mexican oregano

To create wedges, slice the tempeh in half across the waist.  Slice the resulting square to make a total of 4 rectangles.  Slice each of those rectangles corner to corner. (as in photo above)

Prepare a steamer.  Steam the tempeh for about 5 minutes – it will soften the tempeh and allow it to soak up the marinade.  

Mix the marinade ingredients in a medium bowl or zip-loc bag.  Place the cooked tempeh in the marinade for 10 minutes to an hour.  If using a zip-loc bag, leave the bag so it can breathe and cool.

Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Spray the pan with non-stick cooking spray or use a small amount of canola or olive oil.  Add the tempeh slices while reserving the marinade.  Cook for 10 minutes, flipping often, until it has browned a bit.  Add the remaining liquid and turn up the heat.  Let the liquid boil and cook down for about 5 minutes. 

Serving Ideas: Serve with vegan mac and cheese, over potato pancakes, zucchini fritters, or a baked sweet potato. 


Vegan: How to Make Sauteed Vegetables with Italian Herbs

Our 6-Week Vegan Challenge

Considering that I'm trying to be at least 90% vegan (well, no dairy/no meat) to support my daughter, Alyssa, for the next 6 weeks or so, I need to eat veggies, plus it doesn't hurt to use things up in the fridge…

Over the last few weeks, I've made sauteed vegetables and potatoes three times.  Here are three versions of a dish that seems like they are all the same, but depending on the amount of veggies and potatoes, the spices, and the cooking method, can taste quite different.

Sauteed Potatoes Veggies
Sauteed Potatoes and Veggies
The above (2 photos, same dish) was made with the following ingredients and method, enough for 3 people:

Olive oil, as needed
1 large zucchini, diced small
1 stalk celery, chopped small
1/2 – 1 red pepper, chopped small
1/2 onion, chopped small
oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, thyme sprig (optional)
9 new potatoes, boiled until tender, mostly peeled, cut in large chunks
Non-Dairy Basil pesto (1 cup basil leaves, 1-2 Tbsp pine nuts, olive oil, ground)
(feta cheese for your dairy eating loved ones)

In oiled cast iron skillet over medium heat, throw in the first 4 veggies & the 6 spices/herb. 
Cover and let the veggies cook without stirring, about 10 minutes, then turn and toss until tender.
Dump the veggies in a bowl and set aside.
Using more oil, throw in the pre-cooked potatoes, turn up the heat to medium high, and do the same – let cook while still, then flip and toss until mostly browned.  When about done, throw in pesto and toss to coat evenly. Quickly remove pan from heat.

Place potatoes in bowls, throw earlier veggies back in the pan to quickly stir and reheat.
Spoon the soft veggies over the potatoes.
Sprinkle feta on the dish of anyone who prefers their cheese, please.

Potato Onion Pepper Saute

The saute above is made up of new potatoes, red onions, tomatoes from my porch plant, green beans, poblano peppers, herbs de provence, and some fresh ground pepper.


Potato Zucchini Tomato Onion Saute
This one had quite a different taste.  Better I would say.  Even Alyssa nearly raved about it and she's not a big veggie eater.  The ingredients for this one in order of the cooking process:  olive oil, red pepper flakes, minced garlic, zucchini coins, chopped poblano pepper, onion sliced thin to cook faster, a previously baked potato cubed, tomatoes cut about 1" pieces.


Compliments of JennaDish

Look in your fridge and see what veggies you have, and decide how much you want to make and how big of a pan you have to accommodate the stinkers.

Let's say you are cooking for yourself but you may as well make enough for leftovers tomorrow.  For two people I cooked the following:

olive oil
big pinch red pepper flakes
1 big clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 zucchini, cut into 1/8" to 1/4" coins
1 red onion, cut in half then sliced thin
1 whole baked potato, cubed to 1" pieces
1/2 to 1 poblano (or green or red) pepper, cut into small 1/2" pieces 
8 cherry tomatoes cut in half, or a whole tomato or two cut to 1" pieces
fresh basil, optional

That would defintely feed two, expecially if you are having something else like bread.  But you could throw in a little more just to make sure.  Use a 10" or 12" pan for this much so you have tossing room.

Have everything chopped and ready to go.  The French call this Mise en Place (pronounced miz on plas) which basically means put in place.

Layer flavors.

Start with a non-stick skillet or cast iron skillet on medium heat.  

Add olive oil, 1-2 tablespoons to start.  Let it get warmed up about 2-3 minutes.

Throw in a pinch of red pepper flakes.  If it sizzles and seems it will burn, turn the heat down a bit and lift the skillet to quickly reduce the heat and stop the food from burning.  You don't need to cook red pepper flakes, you just want to heat it enough to bring out the flavor of the spice and to meld it with the oil.  So 20 seconds or so.  

Make sure your heat is under control now.  Not so low that it does nothing, and not too hot.  Then, immediately put in the minced garlic.  Same general idea – pieces are very small and delicate so it will burn quickly.  Stir around until it seems it's starting to become golden but before it burns, for Pete's sake.  Add a little more olive oil if you need it.  That will also help it to cool down briefly.

Now toss in the zucchini and stir around for 4 minutes or so until they are really softening up and starting to brown.  Now add small-cut peppers, stir a minute or two, then throw in the onion and keep tossing every minute or so.  Let things start to caramelize.  Once you get all the veggies about 2 minutes away from being the way you like them, throw in the potatoes which just need to heat through another 2-4 minutes.  Then add your tomatoes and heat through a couple minutes.

The whole idea here is to start with aromatics, meld and layer flavors, then start adding vegetables starting with those that will take the longest.  You also decide what to put in next based on how much you want something cooked.  For example, I only want the tomatoes heated up, so I put those in last.

Remove from heat and divvy up some veggies on your plate.  You can add fresh, torn basil if you like.

Yer done.





Creamy Crunchy Southwest Style Hash Brown Casserole

Creamy Crunchy Southwestern Hash Brown Casserole
It's Nurse's Week.

And since their gift to the Admins during Administrative Professional's Week was Godiva Chocolates…

We're getting them back with a full breakfast, including a cheesy hash brown casserole.  



Creamy Crunchy Southwestern Hash Brown Casserole
Compliments of JennaDish

MAKES about 16-20 SERVINGS (4 – 4.5 quart baking dish)

This dish can be put together in the baking dish and refrigerated overnight for a quick bake the next morning.  While oven is heating, set the pan out of refrigerator to take the chill off.

1 package Simply Potatoes Shredded Hash Browns
1 package Simply Potatoes Southwest Style Hash Browns
2 cans cream of [celery, mushroom, or chicken] soup (10 3/4 oz), or any combination of 2
2 cups (8 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup chopped onion (about 1 small onion or 1/2 large)
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

3 cups corn flakes, lightly crushed
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350o.  Spray 4 to 4.5 quart baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine both packages of potatoes and lightly toss to combine evenly.  Combine remaining ingredients with hash browns.  Make sure cream cheese is soft enough to blend.  Spread into prepared baking dish.

In a small bowl, toss together topping ingredients.  Spread evenly over potatoes now.  It's also ok to wait and put corn flake topping over the potatoes halfway through.  

Bake 45 minutes or until hash browns are tender and starting to bubble. 


Make Your Own Baked Shoestring French Fries

  Baked French Fries

You may ask why I've tipped my bowl of french fries over on my outdoor iron table.  Here's the deal.  To take good pictures, at least without special equipment, you need natural light. 

At the time of the fry making, it was dusk.  There was a wee bit of daylight left, but only if I went outside.  And only if I could hold my camera perfectly still (because of the waning light).  Which can only happen if it's sitting on something.  Like a table. 

Plus, remember that this is my meal.  Fries are supposed to be hot, so I need to take a picture fairly quickly.  I'm not going to set up a tripod while my fries are getting cold. 

I have my priorities.

So the plan of action is.  Run outside juggling bowl of hot fries in one hand, camera around the neck,  using the other hand to open the door.  Look out for dog bolting through the door in excitement.  Step over annoying dog, put the camera on the table, tip the fries, take 2 or 3 pics for good measure.  Gripe at dog to move so you can get back inside, slide door closed while trying not to let the camera swing around your neck too wildly.  Eat.  Done and done.

 How to Cut Potatoes for French Fries

Cut fries like this:  Wash potato and dry, cut in half lengthwise (on a secured cutting board), place one half cut side down, slice down the middle lengthwise and keep cutting 1/4" thick slices while keeping the potato together, lay half of these stacked slices on it's side (as in the above photo) and slice in 1/4" segments to make matchstick-sized slices.

Raw Cut French Fries

Soak to rid some excess starch – 30 minutes or more

Shoestring Fries

Dry well, using a spinner or colander, then paper towels.

Classic Baked Fries
Compliments of JennaDish

from Veggie Burgers Every Which Way by Lukas Volger


3 large russet potatoes
3 tablespoons canola, vefetable, or grapeseeoil

Cut the potatoes into 1/4 inch matchsticks.  Cover with cold water in a large bowl and let stand for 30 minutes, or up to 12 hours in the refrigerator.  When ready to cook, dry the fries as thoroughly as possible by running them through a salad spinner and then blotting with a towel.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Lightly grease a large baking sheet.

Toss the potatoes with the oil and 1 teaspoon salt.  Spread the potatoes on the prepared baking sheet.  Bake, flipping every 10 minutes, for 30 to 40 minutes, until golden and crisp.  Remove with a metal spatula and toss with additional salt to taste.


Happy Anniversary JennaDish!

I started this website to nourish my creative soul while getting my Master’s Degree in Education.  It kept me excited to learn many new dishes and to create a journal that my kids and grandkids may be interested in some day.

It was so much fun but now I’m on to new things.  Here are my two short anniversary videos of the fun food I created in my first 2 years. (spoiler alert: cute dog at the end of 1st Year video.) I hope you are fortunate enough to find time to do the things that make you happiest.  Because…

Everybody Has Something They Love to Do.


My Animoto Video

Grilled Zucchini Strips

Grilled Zucchini Strips IMG_9775
Love grilled veggies. So simple and easy.

Slice some zucchinis lengthwise, toss in olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, cook on medium grill until browned.  Flop them on your plate and enjoy. Yum.

Why is this a recipe worth putting on a blog?  Well, in my many years on this earth, I had never seen or thought of cut zucchinis lengthwise for the grill.  I thought it was a great idea and wanted to share.


Best Roasted Sweet Potato Fries Ever

Best Sweet Potato Fries in the World
sweet potato fries 

super amazing

not soggy or greasy like those served at a restaurant

lightly crunchy outside and soft inside (the secret is the cornstarch)

spices are great and adjustable of course

don't have that orangey, pumpkin-like sweet potato taste…much more subtle

Cumin-Spiked Roasted Sweet Potato Fries
Compliments of JennaDish

from Veggie Burgers Every Which Way by Lukas Volger (super book if you like veggie burgers)

3 large sweet potatoes
2 teaspoons potato starch or cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 450o F.  Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
2. Scrub the potatoes clean and let dry.  Cut into 1/4" matchsticks. 
3. Combine the potato starch, garam masala, and cumin, and toss with the potatoes.  Add the olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt and toss.
4. Spread the potatoes on the prepared baking sheet.  Bake, flipping twice for 25 to 30 minutes, until crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.  Remove with a metal spatula and toss with additional salt to taste.