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Happy Friday!

Sorry to be posting so late, but I took my son and daughter-in-law off to the airport to start their honeymoon!  Off to Kuaui they go.

And since I mentioned that beautiful state where our own Chocolatier lives-I’m starting our talk on sides with a couple that Cynthia talked about:

Grilled pineapple-Yum.  I also use this easy side that doubles as a dessert.  Cynthia spread hers with some nutella and sprinkled on some toasted macademias.  Vanilla ice cream is a great addition when you do decide to indulge in a “last” course.

I like to use teriyaki sauce when I use it as a side with some grilled ham or pork chops.  Baste it with some pure maple syrup and top with toasted nuts and coconut and some coconut sorbet for dessert.

Other easy sides that require almost no prep or work?

Buy a bag of shredded carrots, add some dried fruit of your liking (I love dried cranberries, but the standard raisins or apples work well too), mix with some fat-free miracle whip dressing and you’ve got a great and colorful carrot slaw.

Try the same with a bag of cabbage-or make it more savory by abandoning the fruit and add some green onion and some fat-free Italian dressing.  I also love to use a low/no fat Asian sesame dressing and add some toasted sesame seeds to it.

Want something different and just a bit more work?  Buy some jicama, peel and shred in a food processor, add some halved grapes, red pepper flakes and just a tad of lime juice and a light flavored oil.  Turns out a bit sweet, a bit spicy and totally crunchy and delicious.

Serve a REAL tropical fruit salad-not just honeydew and cantaloupe, but use some mango, papaya, berries and serve just plain.  Add a couple of sliced bananas just before serving if you’d like to add something soft to the tart flavors.

Potato salad?  Instead of the usual mayo based one, try roasting your spuds with salt, pepper and garlic, even some rosemary if you’d like, add some roasted peppers and onions and dress with a low fat Italian dressing.  Use spray evoo to keep those fat calories down.  

Or, try adding lots of colorful veggies and use some low fat mayo or miracle whip.  My husband isn’t one for spud salad but he enjoys it when I add mushrooms, roasted corn, cherry tomatoes and dress it up with some salsa!

Pasta salad?  Swap out the mayo for a low fat oil/vinegar dressing.  Instead of raw veggies, try roasted.  Make a true antipasto salad-but toss it together with the pasta.

Rice salad?  Now I love this one made with brown rice, some wild rice pilaf if I happen to have it in the house and lots of shredded carrots, cabbage, jicama and I love to dress it in a soy-based dressing.  Nothing I have an actual recipe for-but I use rice wine vinegar, soy sauce (I like the tamari), canola oil, garlic, pepper and some sesame oil just for the taste.

Next week?  Not sure-but if anyone has a topic they’d enjoy bringing up, please send me a message.

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