Veggies steal the spotlight with these six easy and delish dishes!

This Pecan Crusted Lime Chicken and Juicy Herbed Chicken are the perfect mates for these scrumptious side dishes.

1. Roasted Vegetables with Pecans & Parmesan

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What’s the best way to get everyone to eat their veggies? With this easy and elegant recipe for roasted vegetables. Sweet potatoes, carrots and parsnips are roasted to sweet perfection and then topped with a pecan Parmesan gremolata, a zesty combination of pecans, Parmesan and parsley.


2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 lb carrots, peeled and cubed
1 lb parsnips, peeled and cubed
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Pecan Parmesan Gremolata

1 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tbsp olive oil


1) Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.

2) In a large bowl, toss sweet potatoes, carrots and parsnips with olive oil. Transfer to baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast vegetables, stirring often, for 1 hour or until tender. Transfer to a serving plate.

3) For the topping, in a small bowl, combine pecans, Parmesan, parsley, lemon juice, lemon zest and olive oil. Sprinkle over vegetables before serving.

Serves 6

2. Twice-Baked Mini Potatoes

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The ultimate finger food, these Twice-Baked Mini Potatoes are one-bite wonders that can be made in advance – you just pop them in the oven for a second baking before the guests arrive. An amazing appetizer, these tiny cheese and chive-stuffed taters get gobbled up as a superb side dish as well.


26 Yukon Gold mini potatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp chopped fresh thyme
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

¾ cup sour cream
¼ cup milk
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp thinly sliced fresh chives
1 tbsp butter, softened
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper


1) Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with non-stick cooking spray.

2) Wash and dry potatoes. Place them in a large bowl and toss with olive oil, thyme, ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and bake until a fork easily pierces potatoes, about 25 minutes. Remove and let cool until you are able to hold them. Take each potato, slice the top off, and use a small spoon to carefully hollow it out. Place potato pulp in a medium bowl and mash to a chunky consistency. Add sour cream, milk, Parmesan, chives, butter, salt and pepper, mashing ingredients together.

3) Increase oven temperature to 450°F. Generously spoon the filling into each potato shell. (Note: At this point, if you’re preparing the potatoes in advance, allow them to cool, cover and refrigerate them. When ready to serve bring to room temperature.) Just before serving time, bake until slightly brown on top, 10-15 minutes.

Yield: 26 mini potatoes

3. Baked Zucchini Fries with Caramelized Onion Dip

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Without fail, before we can get these Crunchy Baked Zucchini Fries with Caramelized Onion Dip to the platter, they’re half gone. Baked until golden and crisp, these “fries,” dunked in a richly flavorful caramelized onion dip, are addictive!


Zucchini Fries

3 medium zucchini, peeled and cut into 3-inch-long sticks
2 tsp kosher salt
¼ cup flour
2 large eggs, lightly whisked
1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp dried Italian herbs
2 tbsp olive oil

Caramelized Onion Dip

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large sweet onion, sliced
1 tsp brown sugar
¼ tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp yellow mustard
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper


1) Place cut zucchini in a strainer, sprinkle with salt and toss to coat. Let drain 45 minutes.

2) Meanwhile, prepare onion dip. In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add onions, brown sugar and salt, cooking 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once onions are softened and golden, remove from heat and stir in cider vinegar. Place onion mixture in a food processor or blender. Add honey and mustard, blending until smooth. Place in a bowl and stir in mayonnaise and black pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

3) Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and coat with non-stick cooking spray. Remove zucchini from strainer, rinsing very well under cold water to remove salt. Pat zucchini dry with a kitchen towel. Place flour in a medium bowl, eggs in another bowl and the panko, Parmesan and Italian herbs in a third bowl. Working one at a time, dip zucchini in flour, shaking off excess. Next dip in egg and coat with panko mixture, pressing well to adhere crumbs. Place on prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining zucchini. Drizzle entire sheet of zucchini with 2 tbsp olive oil. Bake 12 minutes, turn sticks and continue baking 6-8 minutes more, until golden brown and crispy. Serve immediately with caramelized onion dip.

Serves 4-6

4. Sweet Butternut Squash Casserole

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Some sugar and spice make this delectable wafer-topped Butternut Squash Casserole everything nice!


6 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp melted margarine
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Vanilla Wafer Topping

4 cups coarsely crushed vanilla wafers
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup melted margarine


1) Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat a 13×9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

2) In a large pot, cover butternut squash with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium and continue to boil until soft, about 15 minutes. Drain well.

3) Place squash in a large bowl and mash until smooth. Add milk, sugar, margarine, flour, vanilla, cinnamon, salt and eggs. Stir well to combine. Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish and bake 45 minutes.

4) For the topping, in a medium bowl, combine crushed wafers, brown sugar and margarine. Sprinkle over baked casserole and return to oven for 5 minutes until lightly browned.

Serves 8

5. Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Maple Dressing

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In 1812, Thomas Jefferson introduced Brussels sprouts to the United States. Over 200 years later, we’re still roasting these fiber-and-vitamin-rich sweet emerald gems until golden-crusted. Tossed in a sweet and tangy maple mustard vinaigrette, these tender sprouts are going to have an entire nation jumping on the Brussels bandwagon.


Brussels Sprouts

4 cups fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Maple Dressing

2 tbsp olive oil
1tbsp apple cider vinegar
1tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper


1) Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, gently toss Brussels sprouts with 2 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Roast 10 minutes, flip Brussels sprouts and continue to cook 10 minutes more, until tender and golden.

2) While Brussels sprouts are roasting, prepare maple dressing. In a small bowl, whisk olive oil, cider vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon, salt and pepper. Remove sprouts from oven and place in a large bowl. Gently toss with maple dressing until well coated.

Serves 4

6. Steakhouse Creamed Spinach

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Among the mahogany walls and dirty martinis, something great is happening in swanky steak-houses across the nation…carnivores are eating spinach. A simple side dish that seems healthy next to fried hash browns and marbled rib-eyes, the overly creamy restaurant version is still too flaccid and watery for our taste. Using whipped cream cheese, our easy, silky smooth spinach brings home all the taste of the upscale steakhouse without the $15 side-dish robbery and the velvet banquettes.


4 (10oz/283g) packages frozen chopped spinach
2 (6oz/170g) containers Kraft Philadelphia Whipped Cream Cheese
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese


1) Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 11×7-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

2) Defrost spinach according to package directions. Drain very well, squeezing spinach to ensure all excess liquid is removed.

3) In a food processor, place cream cheese, melted butter, salt, pepper and spinach together. Process for 10 seconds. Using a rubber spatula scrape down the sides of the bowl and do 3-4 quick pulses to combine.

4) Transfer to prepared baking dish, sprinkle top with Parmesan and bake uncovered for 20 minutes.

Serves 8

Authors of bestselling cookbooks Bite Me, Bite Me Too and Lick Your Plate, saucy sisters Julie Albert and Lisa Gnat love eating, feeding, entertaining and dishing up easy recipes at