Veggies + Sides

Recipes for an assortment of veggies and sides.  Freezer-friendly recipes are noted with an "FF" after the title. 

Asparagus with Blue Cheese Sauce
1 lb. asparagus (we especially like the tender, skinny stalks)
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
1-1/2 tsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. fresh chives, minced
4 tbsp. blue cheese, crumbled
white pepper to taste

To make the sauce, stir together vinegar and oil in a small bowl.  Add blue cheese and chives and mix well. Set aside.  Snap ends off asparagus spears. Mist with olive oil, and grill until tender.  (Can also roast in the oven.)  Arrange asparagus on a serving plate.  Spoon blue cheese sauce over the grilled asparagus, and serve.

Easy Freezer Pickles (FF)
8 lbs. cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 cup thinly sliced onion
3 T salt
4 cups sugar
2 cups vinegar
1 t. celery seed
1 t. ground turmeric
1 t. mustard seed
½ t. alum

In a large container, combine cucumbers, onion, salt; mix well. Let stand for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Drain and rinse. In a bowl, combine remaining ingredients; let stand for 2-3 hours, stirring often. Pour over the cucumber mixture and stir well. Pack into 1 pt. freezer containers, leaving 1 inch headspace. Cover and freeze. Thaw before serving.

Hashbrown Casserole (FF)
This one is kind of a classic -  I skip the butter and crunchy topping, and a few other things from the original recipe.

1 pkg. frozen hashbrown potatoes (shredded or cubed)
1/2 - 3/4 c. sour cream (fat-free or light work fine)
1 can cream of mushroom soup (healthy request)*
1/2 medium onion, minced
3/4 - 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt (less if you use regular soup)

To prepare:
Coat a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine ingredients, and mix to combine. Spread mixture in pan, and bake for about 30-45 minutes, or until hasbrowns are cooked and cheese is melted.

To freeze: Pr
epare ingredients as above, spread in prepared foil pan, cover tightly with foil, and freeze.  Thaw in fridge to cook.

*the original recipe has a can of cream of chicken soup, but I can't get past the thought that creamed chicken sounds icky.  I'm not a giant fan of cream of anything in a can, but hey - it works here.  AND, if you need crunch on top, you can add crushed cornflakes, potato chips, Ritz crackers, etc.

Marinated Veggie Salad
I never leave with leftovers when I bring this.  Not freezer-friendly, but it's easy to whip up quickly.

1 c. grape tomatoes, halved
1 each green, red and yellow bell pepper, diced
1 zucchini, quarted and sliced
1/4 c. red onion, thinly sliced and diced
1/4-1/2 c. Greek dressing (Italian, red wine vinaigrette, etc. work too)
2 tbsp.  chopped fresh basil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 - 1 c. crumbled feta cheese (reduced fat works fine, too)

Combine tomatoes, veggies and garlic in a bowl. Toss to combine.  Add basic and dressing, toss to coat.  Refrigerate at least 30 minutes, then add cheese, toss to combine, and serve.

Swiss Broccoli Casserole (FF)
2/3 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (10.75-ounce) can condensed 30% reduced-sodium 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup cooked rice
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
Cooking spray
1 (1-ounce) slice white bread (or just use some Panko bread crumbs)

Combine first 4 ingredients in a large saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a simmer. Add cheese; stir until melted. Remove from heat; stir in cooked rice and broccoli. Transfer broccoli mixture to an 11 x 7–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Place bread in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure 1/2 cup (or just keep it simple and use breadcrumbs). Sprinkle broccoli mixture with breadcrumbs. Cover and freeze. Thaw in the refrigerator. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes.
Yield: 8 servings (serving size: about 3/4 cup)