Side Dish Recipes

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South Indian Spiced Lemon Rice Recipe Recipe

I've had South Indian lemon rice several times and always wondered how it was made. Naively, I thought the rich yellow hue of the rice came from the abundance of lemon in the dish. In fact it's because of turmeric. I finally learned the recipe from my husband Lulu's aunt, Sara. We get along great; we're the same age and Sara is so much fun to be around.  

The preparation requires 3 steps. First, making lemon rice is a great way to use leftover cooked basmati rice. Separate and massage the grains of rice and season them with turmeric, lemon and red chili powder. Then comes the baghar (which translates to "tempering," which involves frying chana dal (dried chickpeas), red dried chiles, mustard seeds, curry leaves, onions and cashew nuts. Lastly, the yellow rice is added, then flavored with a generous amount of ghee (clarified butter). A last drizzling of lemon juice provides a touch of tanginess to fragrant, spicy rice. Our family loves it!

For extra richness, you could sprinkle a bit of coconut powder at the end or serve the rice with coconut chutney and raita (Indian yogurt sauce)


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Mushroom Potato Galette Recipe Recipe

Mushroom Potato Galette Recipe

05.12.14 by Jackie

Sometimes the simplest things make the most delicious dish. For this vegetarian recipe, I only used 3 ingredients plus seasonings and tried to showcase them in one easy dish. Red potatoes from my garden, button mushrooms and ghee (clarified butter). Very thinly sliced potatoes were arranged into a galette and stuffed with mushrooms. That's all. I also flavored the ghee with oregano and seasoned the potatoes with salt and white pepper.

If you check out my Instagram account, you'll see multiple photos of my gardening experiences, the dishes I prepare for the family and of course, baby Aria. I upload them to Instagram on a daily basis. If you like it, don't hesitate to follow me PhamFataleCom.

It's amazing how easy it is to grow potatoes: bury the potatoes into the soil 3 weeks before the last "frost" date. For the Bay Area, I usually wait until late March. Remember to water regularly. You'll be able to harvest the first potatoes when the flowers open up. Check back often; the main part of the plants should be pulled once the foliage has died. 

Gardening tips

Photos of the girls gardening a few years back... 


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Creamy Cheese Grits with Sun-Dried Tomatoes Recipe

When I was growing up, grits weren't popular in France. I tasted grits for the first time in Tennessee while staying with an American host family during my teenage years. I had it plain with butter. For this version that I prepared for baby Aria (who's not quite a a baby anymore; she's starting pre-school this August!), I flavored the grits with sun-dried tomatoes and Gouda cheese.

Needless to say, she loved it. It's got a very pleasing texture for kids, and being the foodie-in-training that she is, she enjoyed the tomatoes and cheese. I'll be making more versions of this for her to try in the near future!


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Gigante Bean and Kale Salad Recipe Recipe

Unlike many items on fast food menus, this kale salad should cause no alarm if super-sized. Kale leaves are massaged and marinated in a delectable white bean vinaigrette. The beans used were very creamy inside, so I mashed a small portion to thicken the texture of the dressing.

These Greek white beans are unusually large (compared to the standard beans) and are aptly called "gigante" beans. They have a toothsome bite, which helped balance the texture of the salad. I also added sun-dried tomatoes for a pop of color. Serve this complete, nutritious salad with garlic toast and you'll have a light, healthy, yet tasty meal. 


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Beet Quinoa Recipe Recipe

Beet Quinoa Recipe

03.20.14 by Jackie

Quinoa is a fabulous side dish that contains no gluten. This gives you other options besides pasta and rice. Last night, I prepared it with beets. It added a beautiful color and subtle sweetness. I usually like to add beets to plain, bland food; they revive the most boring dishes and aren't complicated to cook. Simple shredded beets cook extremely fast. 

Baby Aria is so talkative now and her thirst for knowledge is growing everyday. She always asks what she's eating. She loves how "funny" the word quinoa sounds and she adores beets. I bet she's going to request more of this dish in the near future!


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