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Peri's Healthy Holiday Sides - You're Welcome!

wild rice with mixed mushrooms and kale
roasted cauliflower with pomegranate and pistachios
brussels sprout salad

With the holidays fast approaching, I have a few fresh, new and interesting recipes to jazz up the holiday family meals. These new recipes are great ideas to complement family-loved traditional dishes. These are also vegetarian dishes that can be served as a main dish for vegetarian family members or accompany a main meat dish – for example a roast turkey, ham or beef.

Wild Rice with Mixed Mushrooms and Kale
Wild rice can be replaced by a mix of different types of rice - for example, black, red or brown as well as any other type of grain you prefer.
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 40 min
Serves 6 as a side dish

1.5 cups wild rice
2 cinnamon sticks
8 cardamom pods, skins discarded and seeds roughly crushed in a mortar
Salt and black pepper- to taste
1/3 cup parsley leaves, roughly chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups portobello mushrooms, cut into 5mm-thick slices
2 cups oyster mushrooms, roughly torn into large pieces
5 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
½ tsp chili flakes
2 cups kale, stems discarded, leaves roughly shredded
1 lemon, zest finely grated, to get 1 tsp, and juiced, to get 1½ tbsp
2 tbsp dill, roughly chopped
1/3 cup crisp shallots

1.    In a medium sized sauce pan - place the rice, cinnamon and cardamom and cover with a 4.5 cups of water. Bring to a boil on a medium-high heat and cook for 30 minutes, until the rice is cooked through –al dente; add a third of a teaspoon of salt 10 minutes before the end of the cooking. Drain, discard the cinnamon and set aside.
2.    In a blender- make the parsley dressing:  blitz the parsley, three tablespoons of oil, pinch of salt and pepper until smooth. Set aside.
3.    In a pan on medium-high heat- melt half the butter and a tablespoon of oil . Add half the mushrooms, a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until golden – about seven minutes. Add half the garlic and a quarter-teaspoon of chili flakes, cook for a minute longer, then transfer to a large bowl.
4.    Cook the remaining mushrooms for seven minutes, then add the kale, a pinch of salt and the remaining garlic and chilli. Cook for a few minutes longer, until the greens have softened and browned slightly. Remove from the heat and combine these with the rest of the cooked mushrooms.
5.    Add the rice, lemon zest and juice, dill, half the crisp onions and the parsley dressing, and toss to combine. Transfer to a large platter and top with the remaining crisp shallots. Enjoy!

Roasted Cauliflower With Pomegranate And Pistachios
Deliciously fresh roasted cauliflower tossed with pomegranate, pistachios, and mint.
Prep time: 30 minutes

1/2 cup olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 large cauliflower
2 tbsp parsley leaves, finely chopped
1 tbsp mint leaves, roughly chopped
Seeds from ½ medium pomegranate
1/3 cup pistachios, toasted and lightly crushed
¾ tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp lemon juice

Heat the oven to 375F.

1.  Put 1/4 cup oil in a small sauté pan over a medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 8-10 minutes, until golden-brown and starting to crisp. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
2. Coarsely grate a third of the cauliflower and set aside in a large bowl. Break the remaining cauliflower into medium-sized florets. Toss the florets in 1/8 cup of olive oil and a 1/4 tsp salt, then spread out on a baking tray. Roast for 20 minutes, until cooked through and a dark golden-brown. Remove and set aside to cool.
3. Add the onions and their oil to the grated cauliflower, then stir in the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and a 1/4 tsp of salt. Add the parsley, mint, pistachios, cumin, lemon juice apart from the roast florets, mix well. Lastly, gently fold in the florets and serve immediately. Enjoy!
Brussels Sprout Salad with Pomegranates and Tahini Dressing
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Servings 4

1 dozen brussels sprouts sliced finely
1/4 pomegranate seeds removed
1 teaspoon tahini
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt & pepper to taste

1.    Chop the brussels sprouts (remove any damaged outside leaves) and remove the pomegranate seeds.
2.    Combine the dressing ingredients.
3.    Toss the brussels sprouts with the dressing and pomegranate seeds.