Side Dishes


Sorry I’ve been away a few weeks. To make up for it, I’ve posted a whole slew of new recipes on the Hillman’s Helpings blog that are perfect for this chilly weather we’re having.

I have to admit, I have a bit of an obsession with miso, which is essentially fermented soybean paste. I was especially surprised to see miso-glazed cod at a wedding I attended last weekend! Recently, I’ve been trying out new recipes that incorporate yellow miso, a mild miso paste, which can be found in a grocery store like Whole Foods in the refrigerated aisle.

Below are a few of my favorite miso recipes.


Miso-Glazed Salmon
Serves 4

Note: This paste can be used atop any firm fish. Just adjust the cooking time depending on the thickness. For use on Chilean Sea Bass, figure 18-20 minutes.

1/3 cup yellow miso
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
4-6 oz. salmon fillets, skinned

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine all ingredients, stirring well with a whisk. Brunch onto Salmon.

Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Bon Appetit!

Miso-Garlic Eggplant

1/4 cup mirin (sweet rice wine)
3 tablespoons yellow miso
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 eggplants, sliced thin
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

Preheat broiler.

Combine first 6 ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Arrange eggplant slices on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Spread mirin mixture evenly over the eggplant slices, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Broil 8 minutes or until topping is golden. Place eggplant slices on a platter, and sprinkle with onions.


Lauren Kase
Hillman’s Helpings


I’ve been experimenting with some butternut squash soups because I want to make a really good one for Thanksgiving. The one below I made a few weeks ago and it was very well-recieved. Bonus: It even freezes well!


1 whole garlic head
4 teaspoons olive oil
6 cups thinly sliced leek (about 4 large)
4 cups (3/4-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 medium)
2 cups water
2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 350°.

Remove white papery skin from garlic head (do not peel or separate the cloves). Wrap head in foil. Bake at 350° for 1 hour; cool 10 minutes. Separate cloves; squeeze to extract garlic pulp. Discard skins.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add leek; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in garlic, squash, 2 cups water, broth, salt, and black pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until squash is tender. Place half of squash mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over the opening in the blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Pour pureed soup into a bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining squash mixture.


It was a big surprise for me to see butternut squashes at the farmers market this weekend. I had to buy one as it had been since February since I’d enjoyed the sweet vegetable. I concocted (with the help of “The New Basics” cookbook) a great recipe that might just become my new staple for guests. It looks fancy because it is presented in little ramekins, but its super easy and fast too!


Serves 4

Note: A timbale is a large thimble or cone-shaped mold used for various sorts of food. In our case, we’re using 5-ounce ramekins. If you don’t have ramekins, you can use coffee mugs filled half-way.


½ butternut squash
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup chopped scallions
¼ cup dried breadcrumbs
1 tsp. lemon zest
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
Ground black pepper to taste

Spray the ramekins with Pam or cooking spray so that the butternut mixture doesn’t stick.

Peel, seed and shred the squash. I used my food processor but you can easily use a box grater – it just might take longer.

Combine the squash with all the remaining ingredients and mix until smooth. Divide the mixture among the four ramekins.

Cook at full power in the microwave (yes, microwave) about 6 minutes. If the tops don’t feel firm to the touch, add an additional 30 seconds. Let the timbales sit for 1 minute. Run a knife around the edge and unmold.

Bon appetit!


Lauren Kase
Hillman’s Helpings


I’ve you’ve been reading my blog (and my Facebook status), you’ll know that I’ve been devouring heirloom tomatoes the last few weeks. I’ve been picking them up at our local farmers markets, and I must say, despite spending almost $5.00 (yes, $5.00) on just one of them, they are probably the best tomatoes I’ve ever tasted!

I think they are best eaten in a salad, completely raw, so you can taste how sweet and fresh they are. Mostly, I’ve been simply dressing them with salt, pepper, EVOO and fresh basil from my garden, but there are TONS of heirloom tomato recipes out there to choose from. Below is one of my favorites.



2 pounds ripe heirloom tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced
1/4 cup minced red onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves
1 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups trimmed arugula
Wedge Parmesan, for shaving

Drain the tomatoes in a sieve to remove excess liquid while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, basil, tarragon, salt, and pepper. Add the croutons and toss well.

Divide tomato mixture among 4 plates. Top each serving with an equal amount of the arugula. With a vegetable peeler, shave the Parmesan over the salad. Serve immediately.

Bon appetit!


Lauren Kase
Hillman’s Helpings


Happy end-of-Summer! While it is still hot out, my thoughts turn to pumpkins and apples. (Pumpkins are my favorite!)

While it is still nice out, though, please enjoy this refreshing lemonade-style drink, and this fabulous yet simple watermelon/goat cheese recipe.


Makes a Gallon

6 lemons
3 limes
6 oranges
3 quarts water
1 1/2 cups sugar, or more, to taste

Squeeze the juice from 5 of the lemons, 3 of the limes and 5 of the oranges; pour into a gallon container. Thinly slice the remaining orange and lemon and set aside. Add water and sugar to juices; mix well. Chill thoroughly and keep in refrigerator. Serve on ice with orange and lemon slices.

Serves 4

Remove the rind of a 2-pound seedless watermelon and cut into bite-sized pieces.

Arrange pieces on a platter and top with thin slices of goat cheese (from a 4-ounce log) and black pepper

Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

Serve on a hot afternoon!


Lauren Kase
Hillman’s Helpings

This recipe is from this month’s issue of CookingLight. Mr. Hillman’s Helpings LOVED it – he couldnt get enough! I served it with a chilled cucumber soup.


Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Jan Gautro

Crab, Corn, and Tomato Salad with Lemon-Basil Dressing

1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)
1/4 cup thinly sliced basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
1 pound lump crabmeat, shell pieces removed
8 (1/4-inch-thick) slices ripe beefsteak tomato
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

1. Combine rind, 3 tablespoons juice, and next 5 ingredients (through black pepper) in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Reserve 1 1/2 tablespoons juice mixture. Add remaining 2 tablespoons juice, corn, and next 4 ingredients (through crab) to remaining juice mixture; toss gently to coat.

2. Arrange 2 tomato slices and 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes on each of 4 plates. Drizzle about 1 teaspoon reserved juice mixture over each serving. Top each serving with 1 cup corn and crab mixture.

This tasted so hearty and fresh, but its really just 161 calories for a 3/4 cup serving!


Fresh Pea Soup with MintTry Cooking Light! Get 2 RISK-FREE ISSUES!Rate and Review
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Serve warm or at room temperature for a first course or with a salad for a light meal.

2 teaspoons butter
1 cup coarsely chopped green onions
4 cups shelled green peas (about 4 pounds unshelled)
3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
2 tablespoons thinly sliced mint
Cracked black pepper (optional)

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions to pan; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add peas, broth, and 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until peas are very tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; let stand 15 minutes. Stir in juice, salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Place half of pea mixture in blender; process until smooth, or use an immersion blender and puree the soup right in the pot. Ladle about 3/4 cup soup mixture into each of 6 bowls; drizzle each with 1/2 teaspoon oil. Sprinkle each serving with 1 teaspoon mint. Garnish with cracked pepper, if desired.

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