This is great fall vegetarian dish.  I haven't eaten a whole lot of kale but I'm not sure why.  It's a delicious green that is very good cooked.  I couldn't find any wheat berries so I used barley instead.
Source: Food and Wine Mag
  • 1 pound peeled butternut squash, cut into 1/2-inch dice (3 cups)
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups whole einka or other wheat berries
  • 10 ounces Tuscan kale, stemmed, leaves sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick (4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 cup minced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped sage
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the squash with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the squash for 20 to 25 minutes, until tender. Transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, cover the wheat berries with 5 cups of water and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until tender, 25 minutes.
  3. Add the kale to the wheat berries, cover and remove from the heat; let stand until the kale is wilted, 5 minutes. Drain well and add the wheat and kale to the squash. Add the vinegar and 2 tablespoons of the oil to the salad, season with salt and pepper and toss.
  4. In a medium skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the shallots and a pinch of salt and cook over moderately high heat until just starting to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the sage and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the wine and simmer, stirring, until evaporated. Scrape the shallot and garlic into the salad and toss. Season with salt and pepper, garnish with parsley and serve.
MAKE AHEAD The salad can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before serving. NOTES Einka berries are available
Here's a great summer vegetarian dinner or side dish.  It features quinoa, a perfect protein and a whole grain with a low glycemic index.  I didn't feel like grilling the corn; so I used the oven method featured at the end of the recipe. I also only used four ears of corns.
Source: Food Republic

  • 5 ears corn, husks on but silks removed
  • 4 green onions, roots and tops trimmed
  • 2 cups quinoa, well rinsed
  • 3 1/4 cups water
  • salt
  • 4 plum tomatoes, cored, seeded, and diced
  • 1 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves and tender stems, chopped
  • juice of 3 limes (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • black pepper

Soak the corn 
  1. Place the corn in a large stockpot, or other container large enough to hold all the ears, and fill it with water. If you do not have a sufficiently large container, use your kitchen sink.
  2. Allow the corn to soak for 20 minutes. Remove from the water, shake, and tightly squeeze the husks against the kernels of corn to get rid of any excess water.
Grill the corn
  1. Heat your grill to high (550F) and close the lid. Wait at least 15 minutes before lowering the heat to medium-high (450F) and continuing. (Or see Cooking Notes for instructions on roasting the corn in an oven.)
  2. Place the corn on the grill rack, close the lid, and grill for 5 minutes. Turn the corn over and grill for another 5 minutes with the lid closed. Remove from the grill and let rest for 5 more minutes.
Pull back the husks and char the corn
  1. Take the grilled ears of corn and pull back the husks, exposing the kernels. Do not remove the husks. If possible, tie the husks back (see Cooking Notes).
  2. Increase the grill temperature to high (550F). Place a sheet of aluminum foil on one side of the hot grill. Place the pulled-back husks over the foil, allowing the exposed kernels to sit on the grill grates. (This is done so the husks don’t burn before the corn can char.) Close the grill lid and allow the kernels to char for about 5 minutes per side, or until they become dark and golden brown on all sides. 
  3. At this point, add the green onions to the grill and char on all sides, about 8 minutes total. Remove the corn and green onions from the grill and set aside.
Prepare the quinoa
Put the quinoa, water, and 1 teaspoon salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, and lower to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes. Uncover and check if the quinoa is ready by tilting the pan to the side to make sure all the water has been absorbed. If not, continue cooking for a few minutes more. Transfer the cooked quinoa to a large bowl and allow to cool at room temperature.

Toss and dress the salad and serve
Cut the corn kernels off the cobs, slice the grilled green onions, and add both to the quinoa. Toss in the tomatoes and cilantro and mix well. Drizzle the lime juice and olive oil over the salad and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss well before serving.

Cooking quinoa
  1. Quinoa should always be rinsed well under cold running water before it’s cooked; otherwise it will have a rather bitter taste.
  2. Package instructions for preparing quinoa state that you should use 2 cups of liquid to 1 cup of quinoa. I find this ratio results in a soggy texture that does not work well in a grain salad. Therefore, this recipe uses a proportion of approximately 11/2 cups of liquid to 1 cup of grain in order to end up with a grain that will stay intact when tossed with the vinaigrette and vegetables.
Roasting the corn
This recipe can easily be made in the oven using corn kernels that have been removed from the cob, or 3 cups of frozen corn that has been thawed. Preheat your oven to 400F. Roast the corn in a single layer on a baking sheet for 20 minutes, then allow to rest outside the oven for another 5 minutes. If you like, the green onions can just be left raw or can be roasted with the corn.

Tying back the corn husks
After the corn has been grilled in the husks, the husks will have dried out.  When you pull the husks back to char the kernels, remove two pieces of dried husk and wrap them around the corn husks, tying them into a knot (you may need to be a bit delicate so as not to break the husks). This step is optional but will result in beautiful presentation.

This is a great recipe the utilize's summer's freshest tomatoes and basil.  We ate this for dinner with some whole grain brown rice but it would also make an awesome flavor filled side.
Source: Rachael Ray Mag

1 lb of cherry tomatoes, halved
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 T of extra virgin olive oil
2 T of basil, chopped (this is a minimum - you can never add too much!) 
T T of butter
1/3 c of panko bread crumbs

Preheat broiler.

In an 8 inch baking dish, toss tomatoes, garlic, oil, and salt & pepper. 

Broil for about 10 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft.  

Mix butter and breadcrumbs; spread them over the tomatoes and continue to broil for 30 seconds.  

Sprinkle on basil and serve. 
These would be great little appetizers for a summer party!  I definitely tweaked this recipe a bit more to my liking and I think it turned out well.  Loved the roasted pepper taste. 
Source: Just Tasting

2 packages of refrigerator rolls or biscuits

3 cloves of garlic, minced 

1 small squash, cut into very small pieces

1 small zucchini, cut into very small pieces 

1 red pepper, cut into very small pieces

1 small sweet onion, coarsely chopped

2 oz parmesan cheese

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or 2 whole tomatoes, thinly sliced

3 tbsp fresh thyme (or 2 tsp of dried thyme) 

Salt & Pepper

2 tbsp olive oil

Heat oil over medium heat and add garlic and thyme.  Cook for 1-2 minutes.  Add vegetables and cook until they are tender, about 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper. 

While the veggies cook, spray each of the muffin pans with non-stick cooking spray. Unroll the refrigerator rolls and separate. Place the thin pastry roll into the bottom of each of the muffin compartments. Press down.

Fill each of the muffin tins with a slice of tomato and some vegetable pieces. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and a pinch of thyme.

Bake in the oven at 425 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly and remove from the pan. Can be served hot or at room temperature. Arrange on a beautiful oval platter or individual tasting plates and serve. Enjoy!

Makes 20 little tarts 
Risotto really isn't hard to make; it just requires a bit of patience and attention.  Make sure to use a non-stick pan for the best results (I used a cast iron skillet). Saffron is one of the most expensive spices on the planet but it very elegant and sophisticated and has lots of health benefits.  Just a little will make your entire dish a rich yellow color. 
Source: Ina Garten

  • 1 butternut squash (2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 1/2 cup minced shallots (2 large)
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (10 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven at 400 degrees.  Peel the butternut squash, remove the seeds, and cut it into 3/4-inch cubes. You should have about 6 cups. Place the squash on a sheet pan and toss it with the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, tossing once, until very tender. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the chicken stock in a small covered saucepan. Leave it on low heat to simmer.

In a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the pancetta and shallots on medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until the shallots are translucent but not browned. Add the rice and stir to coat the grains with butter. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes. Add 2 full ladles of stock to the rice plus the saffron, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir, and simmer until the stock is absorbed, 5 to 10 minutes. Continue to add the stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring every few minutes. Each time, cook until the mixture seems a little dry, then add more stock. Continue until the rice is cooked through, but still al dente, about 30 minutes total. Off the heat, add the roasted squash cubes and Parmesan cheese. Mix well and serve.

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This is one of my go-to slim down dishes; it's vegetarian but is a complete and satisfying meal.  It makes quite a bit and can be eaten for dinner over several days. 
Source: Rachael Ray Mag
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 1/4 cups israeli couscous

  • 1 14 ounce can  vegetable broth

  • 2/3 cup golden raisins

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 bunch swiss chard, stems and leaves chopped separately

  • 1 15 ounce can  chickpeas, rinsed

  • 2 ounces crumbled feta cheese

  1. In a saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add half of the garlic and the couscous and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the vegetable broth; bring to a boil. Cover, lower the heat and simmer until the broth has been absorbed, about 10 minutes. Stir in the raisins; season with salt.
  2. Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the remaining garlic and the swiss chard stems and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the swiss chard leaves, chickpeas and 1/2 cup water, cover and cook, turning, until the chard is wilted, 2 to 3 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Serve on the couscous and top with the feta.
Okay fine.  I admit I have added a few too many butternut squash recipes lately.  BUT!  This is one of my very favorite recipes and I think it makes a fabulous Thanksgiving side. It has sixteen cups of spinach in addition to a whole winter squash!  
Source: Better Homes and Gardens
  • 3/4 - 2pounds butternut squash
  • tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 16 cups fresh spinach
  • cup half-and-half or light cream
  • tablespoon cornstarch
  • cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche*

1. Preheat oven to 425 degree F. Lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish; set aside. Peel the squash. Slice to 1/4-inch thickness. Remove seeds from slices and halve large slices. Arrange slices in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Brush both sides lightly with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bake, uncovered, 20 minutes. Remove. Increase oven temperature to 475 degree F.

2. Meanwhile in a 4- to 6-quart Dutch oven cook the spinach in lightly salted boiling water, half at a time, for 1 minute or until wilted. Drain and cool slightly; squeeze out excess liquid. Coarsely chop the spinach; set aside. In a medium saucepan combine half-and-half and cornstarch; cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Stir in spinach; spread mixture in bottom of prepared dish. Arrange squash over spinach mixture.

3. In a small bowl stir together Parmesan cheese and creme fraiche. Spread mixture over squash in dish. Bake, uncovered, 10 to 15 minutes or until squash is tender and topping is lightly browned. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if desired. Makes 8 servings.

from the test kitchen
  • To make your own creme fraiche, in small bowl stir together 1/4 cup whipping cream (not ultrapasteurized) and 1/4 cup dairy sour cream. Cover with plastic wrap. Let stand at room temperature for 2 to 5 hours or until mixture thickens. When thickened, cover and chill in the refrigerator until serving time or up to 48 hours. Stir before serving.
Here are two more sides I tried from Rachael Ray's Thanksgiving magazine.  They are delicious, easy, and a little different; sure to impress!
Root Vegetable Bread Salad
  • 1 loaf  (8 oz) crusty french or italian bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes

  • 2/3 cup EVOO

  • salt and pepper

  • 1 pound carrots - peeled, halved lengthwise and cut on an angle 1/2-inch thick

  • 1 pound parsnips - peeled, halved lengthwise and cut on an angle 1/2-inch thick

  • 1 red onion, coarsely chopped

  • 1 lemon, juiced

  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

  1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees . In a large bowl, toss the bread cubes with 1/3 cup EVOO and 3/4 tsp. salt; spread in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Toast in the oven until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, using the same large bowl, combine the carrots, parsnips and onion; toss with the remaining 1/3 cup EVOO and 3/4 tsp. salt. Spread the vegetables in an even layer on 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Roast the vegetables, flipping them and switching the pans halfway through, until tender and slightly browned at the edges, about 25 minutes.
  3. Transfer the vegetables and any pan juices to the large bowl; toss with the toasted bread cubes. Add the lemon juice and parsley, toss again, then season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Spiced Butternut Squash
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO, plus more if needed

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • coarse salt

  • 3 pounds butternut squash - peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 8 cups)

  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh chives

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees . in a small bowl, mix 2 tbsp. EVoo, the brown sugar, cinnamon, paprika and 1 tsp. salt. Divide the squash between 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle the spice mixture evenly over the squash; toss to coat. (The squash should be lightly coated. if the spices are clumping up, add a little more EVoo and toss again.) Spread the squash out in an even layer; bake until the edges are browned, rotating the pans halfway through cooking, about 20 minutes.
  2. Transfer the squash to a serving dish. Top with chives.
A nice side dish for fall/Thanksgiving.
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp sherry vinegar

  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons EVOO

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 2 heads broccoli, cut into 1-inch florets, stems cut on an angle 1/4-inch thick

  • salt and pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees . In a small bowl, combine the cranberries, 14 cup hot water and 1 tbsp. sherry vinegar. Let stand until the water is cooled and the cranberries are slightly plumped. [Make ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before using.]
  2. Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet. Roast, stirring once, until fragrant and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl, drizzle with 112 tsp. EVOO and sprinkle with the sugar; toss well. Let cool. [Make ahead: Seal in an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 1 day.]
  3. Fill a 6-qt. pot with 3 inches of water and bring to a boil. Add the broccoli; cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water until cool. Drain well and pat dry, then coarsely chop. [Make ahead: Transfer to a serving bowl, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before proceeding.]
  4. Pour the cranberries and their juices over the broccoli. Add the remaining 2 tbsp. EVOO and 1 tsp. vinegar; toss well. Season with salt and pepper, then sprinkle the walnuts on top. Serve at room temperature.
I made a big batch of this on Sunday and ate it for a whole grain lunch full of veggies at work.  It's a delicious way to enjoy the best of autumn! Cut up the squash during step one since it takes about 15 minutes to peel and cut into pieces.
Source: Rachel Ray Mag

  • 2 tablespoons EVOO

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

  • 1 cup pearled barley

  • 1 32 ounce container  vegetable broth

  • salt and pepper

  • 1 small butternut squash (1 1/2 lbs), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces

  • 1 cup frozen peas

  • 1 1/4 cups grated parmesan cheese

  1. In a large dutch oven, heat the EVOO over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and thyme and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the barley and the vegetable broth; season with1 tsp. salt and 12 tsp. pepper. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. Stir in the squash, cover the pot and cook until tender, 18 to 20 minutes. Stir in the peas and 1 cup cheese and cook, uncovered, until the cheese is melted, about 2 minutes. Garnish with the remaining 14 cup cheese.