Slice of Life: Second-to-None Sides

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07 Jan 2015


More often than not the side dish can become the star of the meal.

Whether you’re an empty nester or you’ve got your entire family scheduled to arrive in a couple of hours – these simple and scrumptious recipes are sure to be a hit.


6 slices of pastrami
2 lbs. Brussels sprouts, trimmed, cut in half
3/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Cook the in a pastrami skillet until crispy (2 or 3 minutes). Let drain on paper towels, pour out all but 2 tablespoons of the grease. When the pastrami is cool, crumble it and set it aside. Heat the grease and add the Brussels sprouts; cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the broth and bring the mixture to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for about, 5 minutes. Uncover and cook until the remaining liquid is almost evaporated. Add the crumbled pastrami and mix to combine. Cook 1 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve. Serves 8.


6 large russet potatoes
6 large sweet potatoes
2/3 cup pareve sour cream, divided
1/3 cup pareve milk substitute (I like rice milk)
3/4 cup pareve cream cheese
4 tablespoons green onions, divided
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400°. Poke the potatoes 3 or 4 times with a fork. Place the russet potatoes  on a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes then add the sweet potatoes  to the cookie sheet and cook the  for 50 minutes until the potatoes are tender but not too soft. Remove them from the oven and let cool. Reduce the lengthwise cut off the top third of the russet potato. Scoop out the middle, leaving about 1/4 inch shell. Place the scooped out potato in a bowl and add 1/3 cup pareve sour cream, pareve milk, pareve cream cheese, 2 tablespoons and green onions. Mash to combine and set aside.

Repeat the cutting process with the sweet potato; scoop out pulp, leaving 1/4 inch shell. In a bowl combine the scooped out sweet potato with the remaining pareve sour cream, chives and salt. Season both mixture with salt and pepper to taste Fill each potato shell with 1/2 sweet potato mixture and 1/2 russet potato mixture. Place the stuffed shells on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes or until heated and sizzling. Serves 12 servings. These can be made up to 24 hours in advance and refrigerated. When made ahead of time let sit at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before baking.

Modified from recipes, source unknown


1 butternut squash (2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
3 large tart apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons margarine, melted

Preheat oven to 350°. In a greased 10X15 baking dish arrange the squash slices in a row, overlapping slightly. Place the apple slices on top. In a bowl combine the brown sugar, pecans, flour and cinnamon then sprinkle the mixture over the top of the apples. Drizzle the melted margarine over the top. Cover with foil and bake for 40-50 minutes or until squash and apples are tender. Serves 6 to 8

Modified from


3 cups cut fresh green beans, washed and ends trimmed
1 large onion, chopped
4 slices pastrami or corned beef, cut into 1-inch
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon bourbon, optional

In a large microwave bowl place the beans and about 1/3 cup of hot water. Cook, covered, on high, just until the beans are crisp tender, 7 to 8 minutes (it may take a minute or two more.

While the beans are cooking, in a skillet, cook the onion and pastrami/corned beef together until the meat is crisp and the onion is soft. Drain off the grease and add the cranberries, maple syrup, salt, pepper and bourbon. Mix to combine.  Add the warm green beans, mix to combine and heat until hot throughout. Spoon into a serving bowl and serve. Serves 4.

© Eileen Goltz thanks 14a

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.