Category Archives: Hearty Side Dishes

Spicy Roasted Red Potatoes

I love those cute little red potatoes! Despite the longer cooking times, this is a pretty easy meal to make, and you can always get a little work done around the house while it bakes as long as you remember to swing past the oven a few times to turn them. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

12 small red potatoes cut into quarters
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
2 cloves minced garlic
dash cayenne pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix all ingredients (except for the potatoes) in a large mixing bowl and set aside while you wash and prepare the potatoes.

Add potatoes to the olive oil mixture and toss to coat. Spread evenly on a baking sheet or pan in single layer with no overlap.

Bake uncovered for 50-60 minutes stirring every 15 minutes.

Buy the What Dawn Eats: Vegan food that isn’t weird cookbook for more recipes like this one.


  • Add a handful of garlic cloves 15 minutes before the end.
  • Add a few slices of onion.
  • Experiment with other spices. Basil and oregano or sage would be good choices.
  • Naturally low-sodium and gluten-free.

More information for **TITLE** recipe:

  • Prep time: 10 min
  • Cook time: 50 min
  • Total time: 60 min

Beans and Greens

Fresh greens are so healthy and full of vitamins, so this is one of the dishes I make when I have been busy and not eating as well as I should. It makes a great dinner on it’s own or as a side dish. Makes 2 to 4 servings.

4 cups chopped kale, chard or collard greens
1 15-ounce can white beans (great northern or others)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1 small diced shallot
1 teaspoon tamari
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon chili paste
3 strips tempeh bacon
freshly ground pepper to taste

Drain and rinse the can of white beans and set aside.

Heat olive oil over medium heat and add shallots. Sauté for 3 minutes until the shallots have softened. Add tempeh and sauté for another 3 to 5 minutes until the tempeh begins to brown. Add garlic, greens and beans. Add remaining ingredients and cook for 2 to 4 minutes or until the greens are wilted, but still firm.

Pictured with mixed salad beans, instead of white beans.

Buy the What Dawn Eats: Vegan food that isn’t weird cookbook for more recipes like this one.


  • Main Meal: Serve as-is or over a bed of your favorite grain.
  • Experiment with a variety of mixtures of different types of greens and different spices. This is great with rosemary or basil, for example.
  • You can make a very simple version of this with just a little balsamic vinegar and some spices.
  • Instead of the vinegar, serve with lemon wedges or add lemon juice for added flavor.
  • For a low-sodium version, eliminate the tamari and tempeh bacon and use a low-sodium can of beans.
  • This can easily be made gluten-free.

More information for Beans and Greens recipe:

  • Prep time: 10 min
  • Cook time: 10 min
  • Total time: 20 min

Roasted Root Vegetables

This is a great fall and winter meal when you can find a wide variety of fresh and interesting root vegetables at the local market. This recipe is really flexible and forgiving on both ingredients and cooking times, which makes it a great side dish since you don’t have to worry about having it done at exactly the same time as everything else. Makes 4 servings.

2 lbs root vegetables, peeled and cut into 1-2 inch pieces (potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, celeriac, beets*, etc.)
1 medium onion, peeled and cut into 1/3 inch wedges
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon rosemary
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (more or less to taste)
salt & pepper to taste
1 head garlic, separated into cloves and peeled

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine the olive oil, balsamic, rosemary, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl.

Toss the vegetables and onion (but not the garlic) with the oil and spices in the large mixing bowl. Remove from the bowl and place the root vegetables and onion in a roasting pan or cookie sheet, but do not crowd or stack the vegetables. Try to get everything in a single layer if possible, which might require an extra sheet or pan.

Roast the mixture for a total of 45-50 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. After the first 15 minutes, scatter the garlic cloves in with the vegetables. Continue stirring every 15 minutes until the vegetables are tender and evenly browned.

Pictured with carrots, red potato, garnet yam, parsnip, rutabaga, golden beet and turnip.

Buy the What Dawn Eats: Vegan food that isn’t weird cookbook for more recipes like this one.


  • Dinner: To make this into a main meal, serve over a bed of grains or with a side of cooked tofu or tempeh.
  • Try different combinations of vegetables and spices.
  • Add some crushed red pepper to make it a little spicy.
  • Can be easily made gluten-free and low-sodium.

* Note: if you are using red beets, you might want to put them on a separate tray for cooking unless you like having all of the vegetables turn pink.

More information for Roasted Root Vegetables recipe:

  • Prep time: 15 min
  • Cook time: 45 min
  • Total time: 60 min

Cilantro Lime Black Beans

How can you go wrong with cilantro and lime? These beans are great served alone, in tacos, with some tortilla chips for dipping, or along with some fajitas. Makes 4 as a servings as a small side dish.

2 cans black beans
1-2 tablespoons oil to taste
juice of 1 lime
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons tomato juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Drain and rinse the black beans. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook for at least 5 minutes stirring occasionally or until heated through.

At this point, you can serve the beans, but I like to cook them over low heat for closer to 30 minutes or until the beans start to fall apart and become the consistency of refried beans.

Buy the What Dawn Eats: Vegan food that isn’t weird cookbook for more recipes like this one.

More information for Cilantro Lime Black Beans recipe:

  • Prep time: 5 min
  • Cook time: 5 min
  • Total time: 10 min


  • Add some tomato or onion.
  • Can be easily made low-sodium and gluten-free.

Baked Veggies with Tahini Sauce

This is one of my favorite ways to use a few handfuls of veggies languishing and almost forgotten in the produce drawer of the refrigerator. This can even be a quick meal if you buy one of those pre-cut bags of broccoli and cauliflower and use baby carrots. Makes 2 to 4 servings.

4 cups chopped broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots (combined)
2 teaspoons olive oil
salt, pepper, and freshly ground coriander seed to taste.
1 recipe Tahini Sauce

Place oven rack in top position. Preheat oven to 450.

Toss veggies with 2 teaspoons olive oil and place on large cookie sheet. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and ground coriander. Bake on top rack for 15 minutes for crisp vegetables.

Serve topped with tahini sauce.


  • Main Meal: Serve over your favorite whole grain for a main meal version.
  • Great with any other vegetables or add a little onion and garlic for variety.
  • The tahini sauce is particularly good with cauliflower, especially if you turn it after 15 minutes and cook for an extra 10 minutes until it starts to brown.
  • Omit the salt and use a reduced sodium tahini sauce for a low-sodium version.
  • Can be easily made gluten-free.

More information for Baked Veggies with Tahini Sauce recipe:

  • Prep time: 15 min
  • Cook time: 15 min
  • Total time: 30 min