Real Food ~ Real Carbs

While my husband’s favorite part of the meal is the meat that I cook for supper, I personally much prefer the side dishes, particularly the carbohydrate sides. I try to keep a plan when I cook supper: a meat, a carb, 2 veggies (or a veggie and a fruit) and a salad. There are of course nights that don’t fit that plan exactly but that’s how it works most nights. I’ve really enjoyed moving away from the white carbs into the more interesting, healthier, “real” carbs. Here are some of my favorite sides lately.


  • Cowboy Potatoes- I love this name for roasted potatoes, shared with me by an old friend. I scrub and cut up any kind of potatoes or sweet potatoes into bite sized pieces, leaving the skins on. Add some chopped onions, olive oil and/or butter, salt and pepper and roast at 375 for 45 minutes, stirring a few times, until browned.
  • Mashed Sweet Potatoes- Make them like regular mashed potatoes, but make them extra sweet with a little bit of maple syrup and chopped nuts, or try the savory version with some chives and creamy Greek yogurt.
  • Baked Potatoes or Sweet Potatoes- Simple and fast in the microwave or great skin when baked in the oven. They also make a great quick lunch. Top with salsa, shredded cheese, goat cheese, Greek yogurt, roasted veggies and/or herbs. So yummy!
  • Brown Rice Pilaf- I’ve tried this recipe a few times, omitting the dried apricots and chickpeas because I know Ed won’t like them, but I’m planning to cook it up this week with them, just for me.
  • Brown Rice- I mix in fresh herbs and olive oil or butter. Scallions are particularly good. I toast the rice before I add the water to cook it.
  • *Note- I consider pasta to pass the “kitchen test” for determining if a food is processed if the only ingredients are flour and water. I prefer to make whole wheat pasta, but sometimes still use white pasta.
  • Orzo with Wild Mushrooms- I make a variation of this recipe, but skip the mushroom stock and use chicken stock instead.
  • Egg noodles- It’s been a while since I made my own pasta, but I need to start doing it again so I can make whole wheat egg noodles.
What’s your favorite recipe for real carbs?
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Filed under Living from Scratch, Real Food Resolution, What's for Supper?

2 Responses to Real Food ~ Real Carbs

  1. Liz

    great post Abbie, you’ve inspired me to stay out of the middle area of the grocery store, and just try to stick to the outside aisles. I’ve also been reading more labels than I ever had, thanks to you!
    *glad you like the cowboy potatoes!

  2. Hmm, I’m trying to think of what I love that’s also nice and simple because no one wants to make crazy things during the week!

    A little finicky, but easily done ahead of time are these Scalloped Hasselback Potatoes (or Hasselhoff as I usually call them) from Tasty Kitchen. SO tasty! And you don’t need to put the cheese on top afterwards, if you don’t want an extra step. It’s honestly not that hard to make, and it’s quite impressive (my fiance couldn’t eat it fast enough!).

    I also like making Mexican Rice, which involves toasting the rice and then cooking the rice in chicken stock and spices. I actually cheat and use adobo because I find that stock alone isn’t flavorful enough for me. :-P

    It’s always fun finding new recipes — I’ll have to try your brown rice suggestions.

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