Brown Rice Mushroom Risotto

This brown rice mushroom risotto is made with brown rice instead of the traditional arborio rice, which ups the nutritional value. Using the oven makes it super easy!ll

Brown Rice Mushroom Risotto

Brown Rice Mushroom Risotto

Course Side Dish
Servings 6
Calories 240 kcal


  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 8 oz carrots, julienned (2 cups)
  • 8 oz mushrooms, sliced (2 cups)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese


  • Preheat oven to 375℉.
  • Place broth in a saucepan and place it on the stove to heat.
  • Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a separate oven-proof pan.  Add onions, garlic and salt.  Saute until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes.
  • Add wine and rice to the onions and heat, stirring constantly, until it reaches a simmer. 
  • Add heated broth to the rice mixture.  Cover the pan with a tightly fitting lid and place in the preheated oven for one hour or until all the liquid is absorbed.
  • While the rice is cooking, place the remaining olive oil in a saute pan and add carrots.  Cover the pan and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add mushrooms to the carrots and saute for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Remove rice from the oven and stir in butter and parmesan cheese until it takes on a creamy texture.  Stir in carrot mushroom mixture and serve.
  • Hack: Dehydrated vegetables can be used in this recipe!
  • Hack: One cup of chopped frozen onions can be substituted for fresh onion in this recipe.
  • Hack:  Check the produce department of your local grocery store for single and/or pre-cut carrots and mushrooms to avoid having to buy more than needed. 
Keyword brown rice, healthy, low calorie, mushroom, rice, rice side, risotto, vegetarian

Did you know?   Brown rice is a super nutritious whole grain packed with various nutrients.

Suggestion:  Pairing brown rice with beans provides a powerhouse of nutritional benefits so serve this with one of my bean recipes such as red bean casserole!

Easy Syracuse Salt Potatoes

Syracuse salt potatoes’ creamy interior is a delicious addition to any meal. The salt doesn’t penetrate the skin but leaves a nicely seasoned crust on the skin.

Syracuse Salt Potatoes

Syracuse Salt Potatoes

Course Side Dish
Servings 4
Calories 277 kcal


  • 2 lbs new potatoes
  • 4 cups water (or enough to cover potatoes)
  • 1 cup ` salt
  • Fresh parsley, optional


  • Wash the potatoes and set them aside.
  • Pour the water into a pan on the stop top.  Add salt and heat over high heat stirring constantly until the dissolves and the water becomes clear again.
  • Carefully add potatoes and cover the pan.  
  • Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  • Drain the water from the pan, leaving the potatoes in the pan.  Recover the pan and let potatoes sit, undisturbed until the water has evaporated from the skins, leaving a fine layer of salt.
  • Melt the butter and drizzle over the potatoes before serving.  Sprinkle with parsley, if desired.
  • Hack:  Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Keyword easy, healthy, potatoes, salt, side dish, vegetarian

Potatoes are considered “empty calories” by many but nothing could be further from the truth!

Suggestion:  Use leftover potatoes to make crispy smashed potatoes!

Healthy Vegan Spicy Brown Rice

This spicy brown rice is sure to give your meal a kick-start!  It pairs nicely with beans, beef or any other hearty meal!

Spicy Brown Rice

Spicy Brown Rice

Course Side Dish
Servings 4
Calories 162 kcal


  • cups brown rice
  • cups vegetable stock
  • ¾ tsp  turmeric
  • ¾ tsp paprika
  • tsp cumin
  • ¾ tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder


  • Combine all ingredients in a rice cooker and cook on the “brown rice” setting.  
  • If you prefer to cook this on the stovetop, combine all ingredients in a saucepan.  Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for about 45 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed.  
  • Hack: Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze in a tightly sealed container for up to 12 months.
Keyword brown rice, healthy, high fiber, rice cooker, rice dish, side dish, spicy, vegan, vegetarian

Did you know?  While brown and white rice contains about the same number of carbs, brown rice offsets that number with a good dose of fiber and many other nutritional benefits!

Suggestion:  Serve this rice with Red Bean Casserole!

Oven Roasted Orange Glazed Carrots

Orange glazed carrots are a wonderful recipe that the whole family will enjoy. It’s fast and easy to prepare, low calorie, healthy and delicious!

Orange Glazed Carrots

Orange Glazed Carrots

Course Side Dish
Servings 4
Calories 166 kcal


  • 1 lb carrots
  • 1 tbls olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp ground ginger


  • Preheat the oven to 400℉.  Line a 10”x13” baking pan with parchment paper.
  • Scrub carrots and peel, if desired.  Cut into ¼“ rounds.  Lay over the top of the parchment paper, and drizzle with olive oi., Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.  Toss to coat and spread evenly.
  • Using a microwave-safe bowl, combine butter, orange juice, honey and ginger. Heat in the microwave until all ingredients are well combined.
  • Pour glaze mixture over carrots and cover the pan with aluminum foil.  Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Remove foil and continue to bake for 10-15 minutes or until carrots are browned and cooked to the desired softness.  Recover the pan if the carrots begin to get too brown.  
  • Hack: Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Hack: Frozen carrots can be used in this recipe.
Keyword carrots, easy, fast and easy, healthy, low calorie, low carb, orange juice, oven roasted, quick and easy, side dish, vegetable, vegetarian

Did you know? Carrots are rich in nutrients that promote your health!

Suggestion:  Serve these with teriyaki marinated pork chops for a super fast and easy meal!

Sweet Potato Apple Butter Casserole

Sweet potato apple butter casserole combines the delightful tastes of fall in a hearty dish that’s easy to assemble and cook. It’s delicious any time of year!

Sweet Potato Apple Butter Casserole

Sweet Potato Apple Butter Casserole

Course Side Dish
Servings 8
Calories 325 kcal


Sweet Potatoes:

  • 2 lbs sweet potatoes
  • ¾ cup old fashioned apple butter
  • ¼ cup butter, melted (½ stick)
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp salt


  • ¾ cup pecans
  • ½ cup dates
  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • 2 tsp butter, melted


  • Preheat oven to 425℉  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay whole sweet potatoes in a single layer.  Pierce each potato several times with a fork.
  • Bake potatoes for 40-60 minutes (depending on size) until they are puffed and fork-tender.  Remove from oven.  Allow to cool slightly and then remove potatoes from their skins.
  • Turn oven back to 350℉.  Coat 1½ quart casserole (or 8” square pan) with cooking spray.
  • Place apple butter, ¼ cup of melted butter, eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a mixing bowl.  Combine with an electric mixer or whisk.  Add potatoes and continue to beat until the mixture is smooth.  Spread into the casserole.
  • Roughly chop pecans and dates.  Mix in 2 tbsp melted butter and almond flour.  Sprinkle over potatoes.
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes until bubbly and hot with an internal temperature of 160℉.  
  • Hack:  Leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or packaged in serving-sized portions and frozen for up to 12 months.
  • Hack:  The sweet potato portion of this dish can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.  Sprinkle topping on before baking and allow a few extra minutes of baking time for the cold dish to come up to temp.
Keyword apple butter, date topping, gluten-free, pecan topping, potato casserole, side dish, sweet potato, sweet potato casserole, vegetarian, vegetarian side dish

Did you know?  Sweet potatoes have a surprising number of health benefits including maintaining blood pressure and insulin levels!

Suggestion:  Use leftover apple butter to make apple butter muffins or pork chops with apple butter and onions.

Easy Vegan Herbed Jasmine Rice

Herbed jasmine rice is a savory vegan side that will hold up to any main course. Use your rice cooker to make it an easy and hands-off treat!

Herbed Jasmine Rice

Herbed Jasmine Rice

Course Side Dish
Servings 3
Calories 195 kcal


  • cup vegetable broth
  • ¾ cup uncooked jasmine rice
  • ½ yellow onion, minced
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp)
  • ¼ tsp dried rosemary
  • ¼ tsp dried sage
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf


  • Add vegetable broth into the inner pan of a rice cooker.
  • Rinse rice to remove the starch coating.  Add to broth along with onion, salt, pepper, garlic, rosemary, sage, thyme and the bay leaf.
  • Place the inner pan into the rice cooker and close the lid.  Program cooker on the white rice setting and allow it to cook.
  • Let rice sit for 10 minutes after the cycle is done.  Remove bay leaf, fluff with a fork and serve.
  • Hack:  Rice can be cooked on the stove in a saucepan.  Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Lower temperature to low and cook, covered, for 20 minutes or until all water is absorbed.  
  • Hack:  Place leftover rice while still warm (to retain moisture) in serving-size containers and freeze for future use. 
Keyword herbed rice, Jasmine rice, rice dish, rice side, seasoned rice, side dish, vegan, vegan side dish, vegetarian, vegetarian side dish


Have you ever wondered about how rices differ and the best ways to use them?  Check it out here!

Dehydrated onions and garlic can be used in this recipe!

Suggestion:  This rice pairs beautifully with cranberry mustard pork tenderloin!


Chinese Potato Noodles

In this video, Yuhong’s Country Kitchen will show us how to make authentic Chinese potato noodles. It’s a quick and easy side dish for any meal!

Chinese Potato Noodles


1 large potato

2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 dried chili peppers (optional)

2 tbsp black (Chinese) vinegar

Pinch of salt

2 green onions


Wash and peel the potato.  Using a mandoline, spiralizer or knife, cut the potato into thin shreds, 2”-3” inches long.  Cover in cold water and soak for 3 minutes.  Rinse thoroughly to remove starch.

Heat oil and chili peppers (if desired) over high heat.  When the oil is hot, remove chilis and add potatoes, vinegar and salt.  Saute for 5 minutes and add green onions.

Serve hot or cold.  Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


3 servings, 180 calories per serving

Hack:  Chop leftover green onions and freeze in a sealable freezer bag or container for future use. While they won’t retain the crispness that would make them suitable for salads or garnish, they will be fine for cooking.

Hack:  For more instructional videos for making traditional Chinese cuisine, visit Yuhong’s Country Kitchen on YouTube!


Mandarin Glazed Beets

Mandarin Glazed Beets brings together two of my favorite foods: Fresh beets and canned mandarin oranges! What’s your favorite food combo?

Mandarin oranges and red beets come together in this colorful and delicious side dish!
Mandarin Glazed Beets

Mandarin Glazed Beets


4 medium beets (2 lbs)

Olive oil

11 oz can of Mandarin oranges, drained, liquid reserved

2 tsp cornstarch

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp butter


Cut greens off beets, leaving 1” of the stem. Wash thoroughly, brush with olive oil and wrap in aluminum foil. Roast until tender, 50-60 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Peel beets and cut into cubes.*

Mix mandarin orange liquid, cornstarch and lemon juice in a medium saucepan.  Add butter and turn heat to medium.

Allow the liquid to come to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes or until thickened.

Add beets and cook until warm.  Gently stir in oranges and allow to warm.

* Beets can be cooked in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


4 servings, 190 calories per serving

Hack:  If you like this combination of oranges and beets, try this Orange Beet Salad!



Asian Cold Noodle Salad

Asian Cold Noodle Salad
(Courtesy: Yuhong Sun)


1 lb spaghetti or dry noodle

2 tbsp olive oil

1 cucumber

1 green onion, thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced (3 tsp)

1” knob fresh ginger, minced (1 tbsp)

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp sugar

3 tbsp dark (Chinese) vinegar

2 tbsp chili sauce

Pinch of salt


Cook noodles according to package directions and drain. Stir in olive oil. Allow to cool or chill in the refrigerator.

Peel the cucumber and cut it into 2” matchsticks.

In a small bowl, combine green onion, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, vinegar, chili sauce and salt.

Assemble salads by placing 1 cup of cold noodle in a bowl. Top with cucumbers and 1-2 tbsp sauce. Serve immediately.


8 servings, 275 calories per serving

Hack: Chop leftover green onions and freeze in a sealable freezer bag or container for future use. While they won’t retain the crispness that would make them suitable for salads or garnish, they will be fine for cooking.

Hack: Do you know that you can freeze fresh ginger root? Grating it in its frozen state is easier than grating it fresh and, if you choose organic ginger, you don’t have to peel it! Simply place it in a sealed freezer bag or container and pop it in the freezer.

Hack:  For more instructional videos for making traditional Chinese cuisine, visit Yuhong’s Country Kitchen on YouTube!



Creamy Cheesy Polenta

Creamy Cheesy Polenta

Creamy Cheesy Polenta


4 cups water

1 tsp salt

1 cup yellow cornmeal

2 tbsp butter

½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated


Heat water to boiling over medium-high heat. Add salt and cornmeal, whisking gently. Continue to whisk constantly until the mixture is thickened. Reduce heat to low and continue to whisk constantly for about 2 minutes or until thick.

Cover the pan and continue to cook for 30-35, whisking vigorously every 5-10 minutes, taking the time to scrape the sides of the pan. Remove from heat. Stir in butter and cheese until melted.

Allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with additional butter or cheese if desired.


4 servings, 255 calories per serving

Hack: Polenta can be eaten alone or as a side dish to replace rice or potatoes.

Hack:  Use this polenta to make Eggs With Polenta!




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