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I wanted to get people together on Thursday, but I didn’t feel like making a huge meal and supplying all the parts.  So, I decided that we’d have people bring their own things to grill (whatever they wanted) and I’d create the sides out of things I already had.  It turned out great!  I made several sides: oven “fries,” a cold cooked pasta salad, and a cold rice salad.  We also had fresh fruit, some store bought potato salad and coleslaw.  My friend Ben brought awesome spring rolls, also!

Whole meal!

Ben's Spring Rolls


Side #1 – Oven “fries” (serves 6-12 depending on how much they eat)


5 lbs potatoes (I used small red potatoes this time, but you can use russet also)
Olive oil spray
Olive oil
Garlic powder


Wash all potatoes.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut into wedges and soak in a bowl of cool water for several minutes.  (This helps them to become crunchier).  Drain potatoes.  Add olive oil (about 1/4 cup) and olive oil spray (you can also use just spray and keep them low fat!).  Coat baking sheets in olive oil spray.  Season potatoes with salt/pepper/garlic powder.  Dump all onto two baking sheets, spread out evenly.  Bake for approx. 45 minutes, flipping half way through.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  They are done when they are brown on the outside but soft on the inside, use a toothpick or fork to test.

Side #2 – Cold Rice Salad (Serves 6-12)

(This is based on the Confetti Rice Salad from Vegetarian Times)


1 cup long grain white rice
Garlic clove
Bell pepper
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 large tomato, chopped
1 cup fresh/frozen corn kernels
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup lime juice
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large avocado
Cayenne pepper


Cook rice according to package directions, but add about 1 tsp of cumin to it before you cook.  Also, put one garlic clove (poke holes in it or make little slices in it) in the rice cooking water, so that the garlic taste is in the rice. Chop the rest of the ingredients and throw in a big bowl together with the lime juice, olive oil, and a dash or two of cayenne pepper.  When the rice is done, mix it all together.  Serve at room temperature.  Can be made the night before.

Side #3 – Cold Cooked Pasta Salad (Serves 6-12)

(Based on the Spring Orzo Salad from Vegetarian Times)


8 oz of any pasta you like to use (I had elbow noodles, so that’s what I used)
1/4 cup red onion, diced
8 oz baby bella mushrooms, quartered
1 cup frozen edamame
1 cup frozen or fresh broccoli pieces/stems

3 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp dijon mustard
1.5 tsp brown sugar


Cook pasta according to package directions.  Chop all vegetables.  Whisk together dressing ingredients.  Spray olive oil spray in pan.  Saute’ onions, then add edamame/mushrooms/broccoli and cook until mushrooms and broccoli are soft.  Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.  Can be served hot or cold.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Ashley Vaughn permalink
    06/13/2010 10:31 pm

    Hey – It was Ashley bring grilling stuff day 🙂 But the COLD RICE SALAD ROCKS YUM YUM YUM


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