Dig into healthy side dishes and appetizers

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Green Beans with Red Peppers and Garlic
1 pound green beans, stems trimmed
2 tsp. olive oil
1 red bell pepper (capsicum), seeded and julienne
1/2 tsp. chili paste or red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Cut the beans into 2-inch pieces. Bring a large saucepan 3/4 full of water to a boil. Add the beans and cook until they turn bright green and are tender-crisp, 1 to 3 minutes.
Drain the beans, then plunge them into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain again and set aside.
In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the bell pepper and toss and stir for about 1 minute. Add the beans and saute for 1 minute longer. Add the chili paste and garlic and stir for 1 minute. The beans will be tender and bright green.
Drizzle with the sesame oil and season with the salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Serves 6.
From www.mayoclinic. com.
Stuffing with Cranberries
1 C. low-sodium chicken broth
1 C. chopped celery
1/2 C. chopped onion
10 slices whole-wheat bread, toasted and cut into cubes
1/4 C. chopped parsley
1 tsp. dried tarragon
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 C. chopped fresh cranberries
1 C. whole water chestnuts
1 C. chopped apple
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly coat a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray.
In a large skillet, heat the chicken broth over medium heat. Add the celery and onion and saute until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl, combine the bread cubes, parsley, tarragon, paprika, nutmeg, cranberries, water chestnuts and chopped apples. Add the onion and celery mixture. Stir to mix evenly.
Spoon stuffing into the prepared baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 more minutes. Serve immediately.
Serves 6.
From www.mayoclinic.com.
Apple Salad with Figs and Almonds
2 large red apples, cored and diced
6 dried figs, chopped
2 ribs of celery, diced
1/2 C. fat-free lemon yogurt
2 Tbsp. slivered almonds
2 carrots, peeled and grated
In a small bowl, combine the apples, figs and celery. Add yogurt and mix thoroughly. Serve on separate plates topped with almonds and garnished with grated carrots. Serves 6.
From www.mayoclinic.com.
Pumpkin Soup
3/4 C. water
1 small onion, chopped
1 can (8 ounces) pumpkin puree
1 C. unsalted vegetable broth
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 C. fat-free milk
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 green onion, green top only, chopped
In a large saucepan, heat 1/4 cup of the water over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Don’t let the onion dry out.
Add the remaining water, pumpkin, broth, cinnamon and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the milk and cook until hot. Don’t boil.
Ladle into warmed individual bowls and garnish with black pepper and green onion tops. Serve immediately.
Serves 4.
From www.mayoclinic. com.
Apple-Cranberry Relish
2 apples
2 C. cranberries
1 orange
3/4 C. sugar
Grind the apples and cranberries through a food chopper. Quarter the orange; remove seeds and put through chopper. Add sugar. Mix well and chill. Makes 3 cups of relish.
From www.cooks.com.