The ULTIMATE Guide To Farm To Table and Side Dishes, Appetizers, And Desserts

Coming up with new and exciting dishes can be tough when you’re used to making the same meals on a regular basis. There’s no harm in admitting that sometimes you need some inspiration to get your creative juices in the kitchen flowing!

But first a big welcome to all listeners and readers. We’ve always been a big fan of Chris Blanchard and hope you like our content. Stay tuned for great farm-to-table ideas and tips.

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Whether you’re new to experimenting in the kitchen or consider yourself a seasoned professional when trying out and making new foods, you can never have enough recipes.

Immersing yourself in different foods, flavors, and cultures and getting creative is all part of the fun of it! Welcome to our site. You’ll find we’re experts in Crockpot RecipesDessert Recipes, and Vegetarian Recipes

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Farm to Table Growing and Eating

In its purest form, the term farm to table means that the food a diner eats is grown at the location where they are eating. Specifically, the term was created to indicate that the dining establishment produces its own food.

However, farm to table has evolved to include situations where a restaurant has a relationship with a specific farm. In most cases, this means that the restaurant works with local farmers to find high-quality produce that doesn’t go through a distributor, market, or grocery store. It’s a great way to find delicious buttermilk substitutes.

It’s important to note that the phrase “farm to table” is not regulated, so it can be used randomly by anyone who has tweaked the definition of the term.

History of the Movement Behind Farm to Table

Since the 1950s, innovations in food storage and processing have created a rise in packaged goods. In the 1960s and 1970s, consumers started moving towards an insistence on food that is fresher and more ethical.

In 1979, a non-profit organization called Organically Grown opened in Oregon. Later, in 1986, the Slow Food Organization was founded in Italy. These are just a couple of examples of how the farm to table principles have moved from counter-culture to mainstream culture.

Farm to Table Principles

The principles of farm to table are based on ethical food production.

  • Proximity. Farms and restaurants should be near to each other. Sourcing food from a local farm is what the farm-to-table movement is all about. Local ingredients from nearby farms are key in farm to table.
  • Food security. Farm to table is all about the community and the farmer, not just the individual or family.
  • Sustainability. The core idea of farm to table is to not cause harm to the ability of generations in the future to meet their food needs. In most cases, this means that locally sourced ingredients and organic ingredients are equally important.
  • Self-reliance. Farm to table has a goal of generating communities that can meet their individual food needs with local food and eliminate the need for long-distance food transportation and outside resources. Having access to fresh ingredients and seasonal ingredients is not just improved self-reliance, but also a better-quality diet.

Eating Where Food Is Grown or Produced

Some other phrases that are used to indicate that food is farm-to-table are farm fresh, locally sourced, and farm-to-fork. Restaurants use these phrases interchangeably.

Regardless of the terminology used, keep in mind that, because the terms are not regulated, it’s up to the consumer to do their own research. If eating locally sourced produce or meat is important to you, ask questions about specifically how the establishment sources their food.

Outstanding in the Field

In Outstanding in the Field events, a chef or cook prepares and serves a breakfast (try our Mexican breakfast ideas), lunch (try our healthy lunch ideas), or dinner menu directly on the farm or orchard where the food was grown and produced. You can also try our homemade lunch ideas. The even have a keto breakfast as well. (Our coffee recipe is amazing) Try our low calorie breakfast too. Guests can dine right where their food was produced. Many times it’s an easy dinner recipe for family. Of course our protein snacks can be very healthy. For your children try our lunch ideas for kids.

When a chef hosts these events, they bring the kitchen directly to the source of the food. Often, they set up tables right in the orchards, fields, and even on the seashores where the ingredients are harvested. Check out our dinner party menu.

Farm-to-Table Dining

For a chef who is committed to the farm-to-table movement, farm-to-table dining means forging strong relationships with local farmers. When these relationships are developed, chefs get higher-quality ingredients. They’re great for breakfast foods for dinner recipes.

These principles aren’t just for restaurants. Home chefs can also commit themselves to farm-to-table dining. It can be extremely rewarding to get closer to the food you eat.

Urban Farm to Table

A new movement has seen some restaurants growing their own produce via urban farms. In some cases, these restaurants and cafes have a rooftop or terraced herb garden, while others care for prolific vegetable gardens, hydroponic gardens, and aeroponic farms.

Farm-to-Table Eating at the Farm

Some farms have diversified their income by offering prepared food on their farm’s property. These farms often have delis or bakeries where you can get a meal, as well as produce markets and meat markets. Take a look at our Daniel fast recipes.

Farms that are moving in this direction are usually devoted to the humane treatment of their animals, as well as organic growing techniques.

Direct Relationships Between Restaurants and Farms

In most cases, the term “farm to table” indicates that a dining establishment has a direct relationship with a local farmer. This relationship benefits both parties. The restaurant gets better meats, cheese, and produce, and the farmer gains a higher profit margin than if their products were sold to a distributor. It’s a great way to find fresh butter substitutes too.

When a restaurant has a relationship with a farmer, the product can be delivered within hours after it is harvested. Also, restaurants often have access to specialty produce that is difficult to find at a market.

In many cases, the restaurant and farmer collaborate directly to grow specifically requested produce like an heirloom tomato and mesclun salad greens. Try our best salad recipes for more ideas.

These types of relationships are facilitated more easily when a city has small farms nearby. As an example, the state of Oregon has for a generation had zoning laws that keep the area around their cities zoned specifically for farming.

How to Buy Farm-to-Table Ingredients

If you want to buy your own farm-to-table foods, you can do so at a farmer’s market, directly from farms, and through community-supported agriculture (CSA).

Buying farm-to-table food gives you fresher options for your family’s table and also helps to support the local economy in your area.

Misuse of the Terminology of Farm to Table

Since the terminology around the farm-to-table movement is unregulated, it naturally gets misused and overused. The fact is, all produce is grown on a farm somewhere, so anyone can use this terminology. However, farmed produce and livestock meat that is bought through a distributor is not done in the spirit of the farm-to-table movement.

To test a restaurant’s use of farm-to-table terminology, ask them where their food comes from and if the restaurant offers a seasonal menu. If they’re being honest, they should be able to name a specific farm.

Farm to table is all about healthy eating. A good place to start is with healthy smoothie recipes. You have so many options and they are delicious. I like vegetable smoothies in the morning. It’s worth a try to add some healthy tofu recipes to your diet as well. If you don’t like tofu, look to add things like yellow squash or zucchini.

Of course there are all sorts of mushroom options available including healthy Portobello mushroom recipes. If you’re looking for how to cook shiitake mushrooms, see our guide. Bella mushrooms are also tasty. It’s very important to understand the differences in mushrooms. Tasty Lion’s mane mushrooms are different from earthy oyster mushroomsKing oyster mushrooms are very different from delicious enoki mushrooms.

A large contributing factor to making a meal is side dishes, as they help turn a primary ingredient into a main meal. Our camping food has some ideas. Take a look at our sausage dinner recipes as well.

You want to make sure that side dishes accompany the main component of a meal regardless of the type of cuisine and whether it is a meat, pescatarian, or vegetarian option. Try our vegetarian meals. They can be made into vegetarian sandwich ideas for lunch too.

Changing up your side dishes is essential to keeping your favorite meals exciting. I’m starting to like skillet meals for easy dinners. They make a delicious cheap meal. Of course you can always try our Bisquick dumplings.

This way, you never get fed up with eating the same dishes over and over again and you have the opportunity to experiment with a variety of different ingredients and new flavors.

In addition to side dishes, learning and experimenting with different appetizers is great for those special occasions when you’re planning an entire evening around food, such as for a dinner party. Try ground sausage in your dinner party recipes. Nice. What are canapes you may ask? It’s just a fancy form of appetizers. We have many easy appetizer recipes so take a look. You’ll be glad you did. Try our horderves as well. Our French Food recipes can help.

The importance of a good appetizer is second to none, as it gets your guests excited for what’s to come and sets the tone for the entire meal. Start your evening off right with some delicious appetizers! Our crockpot appetizers are a good place to look as well.

No matter how full you think you are after dinner, you always have a second stomach when it comes to dessert. personally I’m a sucker for those delicious Mexican desserts. Add a Mexican cocktail for added flavor. Of course you can’t go wrong with a tequila drink. Check out our top alcoholic drinks too.

For the Fall and winter I prefer RumChata recipes. It can be used in your kahlua recipes. In the Spring I prefer a classic daiquiri or a tasty orange juice cocktail

Then again, a sweet alcoholic drink may hit the spot. For something less sweet try vodka drinkswhiskey drinksrum drinks, or non alcoholic cocktails. Our ground beef tacos are awesome with these drinks by the way. Of course I’m a fan of bourbon drinks. For something unusual try our curacao drinks. Our Cointreau drinks are awesome. They work as summer drinks. Any type of pineapple juice cocktail is typically considered a summer drink. Try our alcohol list for further info.

If you like tasty cocktails, make sure you try our ginger beer drinks. I have always found ginger beer satisfying and these cocktails are always good. Many of these cocktails are keto cocktails as well. Of course I do enjoy amaretto liqueur in my drinks. A good amaretto cocktail is delicious. Though I have to tell you, I really don’t like Jagermeister. It smells like cough syrup to me. Give Hennessey drink a try if you don’t like Jagermeister. Our brandy drinks are also very good.

If you like a good martini, our guide to the best martini is extensive. I find martinis a bit too dry. I prefer grand mariner drinks and in a pinch crown royal drinks will do. For after dinner, I really enjoy Baileys Irish Cream recipes. Enjoy! If you prefer a more chocolatey taste, try a creme de cacao drink. Our fancy cocktail recipes are very good. So are our tasty mojito recipes.

Although having dessert is a treat that you shouldn’t necessarily have on a daily basis, it’s still nice to try out different flavors to make the experience even more special on those occasions where you do indulge! It’s great for Sunday dinner. You may want to take a look at our sheet pan dinners for inspiration. Tasty Nutella desserts are delicious.

To provide you with some inspiration and to help you in the kitchen, we’ve put together the ultimate guide to side dishes, appetizers, and desserts. Make sure you check out phyllo dough for a great dessert treat. See German sweets for additional ideas.

From filling and fresh side dishes, to mouthwatering appetizers and decadent desserts, this guide is packed full of dishes that are perfect for any occasion. Check out our healthy dessert recipes

If you tend to stick to the same old recipes, you might even get to try something you’ve never tried before and find some new favorites to incorporate into your weekly schedule.

If you ask any foodie, discovering new favorites has got to be one of the most exciting parts about experimenting with new foods in the kitchen!

Before we get started, there are a few things to go over in terms of equipment. If you’re already a big lover of cooking, then it’s likely that you’ll already have a number of cooking utensils at your disposal.

That being said, there are a few basics that everyone should invest in to make for a breezy cooking and baking experience. After all, a person is only as good as their tools! Check out our easy baking recipes. Yum!

You’ll generally have a much easier time of it if you have the correct cooking utensils. Not only will you be able to cook more efficiently and quickly with the right utensils, but you will also enjoy the process much, much more. 

Namely, you can’t underestimate the importance of a sharp, good quality chef’s knife when preparing any dish. Trust us on this one, have you ever tried chopping an onion with a blunt knife? It’s no fun.

Chef’s knives are the best around, and tend to stay sharper for longer because of this. Having one good knife that you can prepare all your meals with is a Godsend.

In addition to a good knife, you will also benefit from a large chopping board. Aim to get a solid wooden chopping board, as plastic chopping boards have a greater tendency to warp over time. 

You will also want to make sure that you have a decent selection of cooking pans at your disposal, which should include a saucepan, a frying pan, a wok, and an oven safe skillet. This should cover the majority of bases. Remember, great air fryer recipes are your friend. Also check out our amazing Ninja air fryer recipes. But don’t forget it’s the Ninja Foodi that started it all. Take a look at our best Ninja Foodi recipes. You’ll be glad you did.

Don’t forget to invest in plenty of Tupperware for your leftovers, as this will make batch cooking and reducing your food waste a lot easier. It works great for turkey leftovers. Make sure you try our healthy ground turkey recipes too.

A good quality hand mixer is always a convenient tool to have in your kitchen, and saves your arm a lot of trouble! In addition to this, a blender is great for recipes such as soups, sauces, and healthy smoothie recipes and works in place of a food processor for a variety of different dishes.

Give Italian soup recipes a try. The best crockpot soup recipes are Italian. Though I would rate pho soup as a close second. My family absolutely loves Paula Deen’s Potato Soup. It’s delicious. It’s one of our favorite instant pot soup recipes. Try our dump and go slow cooker recipes. We’ve curated all of our best easy soup recipes. You can also try our healthy soups.

Make sure you check out our casserole ideas too. If you’re looking for things to make in a food processor, give it a try. Crockpot recipes beef has a list of curated awesomeness. If you’re looking for more inspiration check out slow cooker chicken recipes. You can always make our tatertot casserole recipe. Our Campbell recipes are also delicious. Try the boneless chicken breast recipes. Our easy baked chicken recipes are also worth a look.

Remember, the crockpot is similar to a Dutch oven. Try our best Dutch oven recipes. It’s great for making a side dish for stuffed peppers.

Other equipment that you’ll find useful are things such as measuring cups and spoons, which are incredibly helpful when it comes to baking anything as measuring cups allow you to be precise.

After all, baking is a science! As well as measuring cups, you will also want to ensure that you have a good quality cake pan on hand. We have plenty of cake ideas. You can always keep things simple. Try our bundt cake flavors. The make nice applesauce desserts.

Now we’ve gone through a few of the basics, it’s time to get creative in the kitchen. Keep reading for a variety of delicious recipes for side dishes, appetizers, and desserts that are bound to impress! Check out our cute desserts. Our amazing homemade candy is also delicious.

Foods that begin with various letters of the alphabet

Inspiration can take many forms, recipes, television, social media, etc. Sometimes looking a simple list of food can enlighten and inspire. With that in mind, here’s a handy list of foods by letter of the alphabet:

I hope you find those lists interesting and delicious. Let us know if we should add other options to those lists.

Side Dishes

Side dishes are an absolute staple for many meals, and can alleviate any recipe when cooked right. You’ll love our side dishes for tacos.

Below are side dishes that work well with a variety of different meals and cuisines. From various meats, to seafood (try crab cakes), to gluten-free, and vegetarian, we’re sure you’ll find the perfect side dish for your recipe! Check out our curated list of best gluten free snacks.

Side Dishes For Chicken

Chicken is one of the most commonly used meats in a variety of cuisines. The great thing about chicken is how versatile it is as an ingredient, and how well it pairs with a variety of different side dishes! These also work as side dishes for fried chicken.

Take creamy mashed potatoes, for instance. It doesn’t get much more classic than mashed potatoes as a side dish for chicken as they have a contrasting creamy texture that simply melts in the mouth. You may also need a tasty alternative for chicken broth.

Make sure you check out Cajun food recipes. The side dishes are amazing.

Mashed potatoes are hearty and satisfying without taking anything away from the main event!

I love boneless chicken thigh recipes. They are an underused part of the chicken. Our chicken dishes are awesome. The can also help answer what to make with shredded chicken. Give our easy and tasty chicken dinners at try too. Of course you can always try our easy weeknight meals.

Don’t forget to take a look at our Jamaican food recipes for further inspiration.

If you prefer your potatoes roasted, for a quick, mid-week side dish, oven-baked potato wedges are nothing short of heavenly. Not only are they a crowd pleaser, but they also take no time at all to prepare! Make sure you check out side dishes for barbecue chicken

Many will also be a good choice as sides for wings too. What goes with chicken parmesan will apply as well. Tasty options one and all.

You could also opt for French fries, which is the perfect option when you’re looking to make a satisfying take-out fake-out recipe that is somewhat healthier for you! 

Who said broccoli had to be boring? If you want to bring some green to the plate, lemon and garlic broccoli is a super fresh side dish. Alternatively, you could opt for a raw broccoli salad for an extra crunch. Try our best broccoli recipes. make sure you take a look at our healthy vegetable recipes. Of course you can’t go wrong with our green lentil recipes.

If you’re a big fan of roasted vegetables, you could always opt to pair your chicken with a delicious sweet potato salad. Roasted sweet potato in a salad makes for an unusual yet tasty side dish that is perfect on the side of grilled chicken. Try out our Blackstone recipes for more ideas.

Sweet potato is hearty and brightens up any dish with its gorgeous orange color! Alternatively, you could try using honey & rosemary roasted carrots for a super sweet side dish that has a similar effect! It works great with cooked chicken recipes.

Mac & cheese is the ultimate week-night meal, and when paired with chicken, sparks fly.

For a super indulgent side that is sure to please several tummies, a generous helping of mac & cheese is an inexpensive yet truly delicious side dish. Not only is it a classic, but it also pairs perfectly with the chicken due to the rich, creamy sauce!

I like gin drinks with my side dishes. Check out our easy mixed drinks.

Side Dishes For Salmon

Eating fish instead of meat can make a nice change during the week, and there are several side dishes that work with salmon that will get your taste buds excited. Try our top rated salmon recipes too. Canned salmon is equally delicious. Check out our side dishes for fried fish.

Roasted potatoes are a classic side dish for salmon. With a crispy exterior and a soft, fluffy interior, when sprinkled with flavorful herbs these golden nuggets of goodness make a great side for salmon. Some people use tarragon as the herb, but I prefer a tarragon alternative due to taste. Our sides dishes for crab cakes work equally as well. Check out our tasty crab meat recipes for further inspiration.

It’s safe to say that most side dishes for salmon are equally good as side dishes for scallops.

For an Asian-inspired meal that is packed full of bright colors, Asian coleslaw is a delicious side dish to pair with salmon. If you link Chinese food recipes, you’ll like that recipe.

This side dish features crunchy cabbage, and brings sweet and salty flavors that are a delight to eat! Alternatively, you could opt for baby bok choy that has the delicious combination of flavors from soy sauce, ginger, and garlic.

Salmon is quite a fatty fish, so pairing it with something acidic such as lime juice or lemon juice helps to cut through the fat while providing it with a delicious zingy and fresh flavor. 

Cilantro lime rice is a great recipe to pair with roasted salmon. If you want something more simple, you could also opt for plain basmati rice or long grain jasmine rice! Give our easy Asian recipes a try. Try our rice cooker rice recipes. We also have some amazing rice side dishes too.

Alternatively, you could opt for a delicious lemon pasta side dish that is packed full of flavor and is super satisfying to eat with your salmon. Check out our easy pasta recipes and vermicelli noodles for more inspiration. Our rice noodle recipes are equally delicious. In fact our Vietnamese food recipes are amazing. Don’t forget what to eat with meatballs.

It doesn’t get much simpler than adding greens to a plate of salmon, and garlic butter green beans are no exception. Alternatively, you could opt for tender stem broccoli or a fresh garden salad to lift the salmon without overpowering its delicate flavors. 

Roasted asparagus with lemon-garlic butter is another fresh vegetarian side that couldn’t be easier to prepare, and is perfect for spring!

Side Dishes For Ham

Ham is a beautiful meat that works well with a variety of different fresh and hearty ingredients. What to do with leftover ham? Try some of our recipes. BTW, Ham is a staple in Hawaiian food.

Another great side dish for ham is actually pineapple rings! Ham is a salty and fatty meat, so pineapple offers the perfect combination of sweet and zingy flavors to cut through it. Ham is frequent ingredient in Spanish cuisine. (Of course I absolutely love Spanish dessert recipes. Check them out).

Pair it with some thick cut fries, and you have a dish that is similar to the typically British dish, gammon, pineapple, and chips. You could even add an egg on top to make it feel more authentic to this British classic. It’s an easy egg recipe.

You might be wondering how many times potatoes will be suggested, but you can’t beat the classic combination of ham with mustard mashed potatoes.

When creamy mashed potatoes with a kick from hot mustard are paired with a roasted ham joint, magic happens.

You can’t beat roasted vegetables with a joint of roasted ham. Whether you’re roasting honey glazed carrots, parsnips, or And you have a deliciously warming and filling meal for the colder months. For a more ethnic alternative try Ethiopian recipes. For more inspiration try our African cuisine.

Ham is great to eat hot straight from the oven, or cold when you inevitably have leftovers. For a fresh side dish to eat with your ham when it’s cold, potato salad is absolutely delicious.

With fresh and zingy flavors from the onions and celery, and a creamy sauce, potato salad can be prepared ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator until ready to serve cold.

If you’re looking for another side dish that is great to have cold, homemade coleslaw works perfectly with ham. The texture is crisp and crunchy, while adding a creamy sauce to pair perfectly with cold ham slices.

Another super fresh side for ham is lemon couscous. Pair it with a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, and some fresh parsley, and you have yourself a delicious meal!

Gluten-Free Side Dishes

It can be tricky to think of gluten-free meals if you’re new to the lifestyle change or are simply hosting a gluten-free guest, especially when it comes to gluten-free side dishes.

If you’re looking for a super fresh gluten-free side dish for the summer, why not opt for a Greek salad? This salad is super crunchy, because of the bell peppers, red onions, cucumber, olives, and tomatoes, it’s super colorful, too! Delicious. Try our green pepper recipes. The go great with our baked eggplant recipes. Try our best green tomato recipes.

Roasted vegetables are a classic gluten-free side dish, but when picking veggies to roast, make sure you pick ones that take the same time to cook. A variety of root vegetables are always going to work together, whereas other veggies can take less time! Some of the best picnic foods for vegans involves these veggies. You can also use them for our best vegan soups. Our easy vegan recipes are worth a try.

Cauliflower gratin, also known as cauliflower cheese is a super indulgent side dish that is also gluten-free! This super cheesy dish isn’t the healthiest, but it sure is delicious when you feel like you’d like to indulge. Make sure you try our healthy cucumber recipes too.

Hasselback potatoes are another delicious gluten-free side dish that provides any recipe with a nice crunch. When cutting these potatoes, simply use a guide such as a chopstick to ensure that you don’t go all the way through.

Side Dishes For Beef

Beef is another super popular meat, and can be paired with many different side dishes that complement its flavor. Make sure you check out our guide on reheating brisket.

In the UK, roast beef is popularly paired with Yorkshire pudding, a rich and savory pudding. It’s the perfect accompaniment to beef, along with gravy, roasted vegetables, and horseradish sauce. Don’t miss our beef chuck steak recipes. All of our beef sides go well with our tasty bottom round roast too.

If you fancy something super rich, you could opt for scalloped potatoes that have been layered with butter, onions, and milk for a crispy and creamy result! Try the Mexican side dishes.

Maple glazed carrots are a delicious accompaniment to beef. These carrots are sweet, buttery, and rich, whilst providing a balance to the tender roast beef. Don’t forget to try our best sirloin tip steak recipe.

It doesn’t get much more classic than roast beef with roast potatoes. The combination of crispy and fluffy potatoes is the perfect combination with roast beef and works to soak up all of the delicious juices and gravy. Also take a look at easy ground beef recipes.

Whether you love them or hate this polarizing food, you can’t deny that Brussel sprouts are a typical side dish to serve with beef. Make sure you check out what to serve with meatloaf too(Lipton Onion Soup mix makes great meatloaf). It goes well with brats in the oven

Side Dishes For Pork Chops

We’ve already spoken about ham, but what about side dishes for another popular cut of pork – the pork chop.

Pork chops are great to serve with hearty ingredients, such as warm dinner rolls. Fluffy dinner rolls are rich, buttery, and work to enhance the flavor of pork chops. Alternatively, you could opt for a Southern twist and bake some crumbly cornbread. Be careful if you’re looking for low carb recipes though. These won’t do.

Pork and apple are a love story as old as time. As a fairly fatty cut of meat, pork chops therefore work beautifully with the acidity of apples. Try our leftover pork tenderloin recipes.

Fried apples provide the delicious combination of sweet and sour flavors that cut right through the fat of pork chops. Fried apples are zingy, fresh, and will make you fall in love with pork chops all over again. Don’t forget our leftover pulled pork recipes too.

If you’d like to bring an Asian twist to your side dish, why not pair your pork chops with vegetable fried rice? Chuck in your favorite veggies, mix with an egg, and you’ll have a hearty side dish full of goodness. 

Also take a look at BBQ rib sides too. If you’re really into BBQ, make sure you see our electric smoker recipes. They’re delicious. Of course no barbecue is complete without BBQ side dishes. Of course you need to take a look at our mouth-watering BBQ ideas too. We have many ideas for a BBQ party. Our cookout food ideas can also help.

Vegetarian Side Dishes 

When you follow a vegetarian diet or are hosting a vegetarian guest, it’s important to have some delicious vegetarian side dishes in your back pocket that are a force to be reckoned with. These ones are sure to deliver! Our vegetarian snacks work equally well.

Parmesan asparagus is a match made in heaven, and is a full proof recipe that you’re sure to love. This dish feels super indulgent while still being fairly balanced and is super easy to make!

Keeping in line with the green theme, green peas with mind are a super refreshing side dish that can alleviate any meal. Pho broth may be an option too.

Beet salad is a super fresh and colorful addition to your plate! Beets are not only packed full of vitamins and minerals, but are super flavorful and make any veggie dish an exciting one.

Corn on the cob is an absolute classic of a side dish, and brings a sweet crunch to a variety of different meals. Corn on the cob can be boiled either in plain water or for a really creamy result, milk and butter. Try the corn casserole recipe.

Sweet potato fries make a nice change to standard fries, and are great to pair with several spices for different flavor combinations that can range from spicy to sweet to smoky. Delicious! Also try our tasty Popeye’s fries. Of course for full effect you need Popeye’s biscuits too.


Appetizers are a hugely important component of a meal, especially when you’re planning an evening that centers around food such as a dinner party. They’re great finger food ideas too.

Appetizers On A Stick

If you’re looking for fun, easy appetizers, then appetizers on a stick are an all-round winner. They also work for Friday night dinner ideas.

Grilled shrimp skewers are a delicious appetizer, and can be left to marinate until you’re ready to stick them on the grill. In terms of flavor combinations, you can’t go wrong with a lemon and garlic marinade! It’s a great pre cooked shrimp recipe too. Though I find it more of a zesty side for shrimp. Shrimp are always welcome in our house and are a tasty weekend dinner idea. They a great healthy shrimp recipe.

For a fresh, sweet and savory appetizer, why not go for fruit and cheese kabobs with croissant croutons?

You’ll have the buttery richness from the croissants, while the fruit provides a sweetness and tartness that can cut through the fat of the cheese and croissant! A perfect combination.

Antipasto skewers are a popular appetizer in Italy, and it’s easy to see why! Place cooked tortellini, olives, Havarti and mozzarella cheeses, salami, and grape tomatoes on the skewery and dig in.

For a simple, yet delicious appetizer, pesto tortellini skewers are always a crowd favorite.

With fresh pesto-marinated tortellini, mozzarella balls, pepperoni, and grape tomatoes, they have everything you need for a full Italian meal in one bite!

Gluten-Free Appetizers & Snacks 

Cooking for people with dietary intolerances can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve never had to cook gluten-free before.

However, catering for a gluten-free diet just means finding creative ways to experiment with wholefoods without the gluten.

Deviled eggs are a super rich, satisfying and creamy appetizer. Simply scoop out the yolks of hard boiled eggs, mix with mayonnaise, and place them back into the egg whites.

If you’re trying to impress your dinner guests, sprinkle them with plenty of smoked paprika before serving.

If you’re looking for an appetizer that is both sweet and salty, then sweet potato bites are a great option. Creamy avocado and salty bacon sits on small rounds of baked sweet potato for a healthy yet filling appetizer. Try our bacon dinner recipes too.

Caprese skewers are a delicious, fun take on a caprese salad and are entirely gluten-free. They’re made with mozzarella balls, fresh basil, cherry tomatoes, and a drizzle of tangy balsamic glaze. A bite of salad on a stick!

Vegetarian Appetizers 

With more and more people opting for a vegetarian diet, it’s good to have some vegetarian appetizers up your sleeve that are just as delicious without meat or fish.

Hummus is tangy and creamy and is a great addition to any appetizer platter. It also couldn’t be easier to make! Simply blend together chickpeas, tahini, garlic, olive oil, and spices.

Dip in and enjoy our party dips!

Italian tomato salad is an excellent appetizer for celebrating simple wholefoods. It’s a great side for lasagna. Marinate your sweet cherry tomatoes in a mixture of olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, onions, basil, parsley, sea salt, and garlic and experience the magic! I’ve even seen folks use an apple cider vinegar alternative as the marinade. A white wine vinegar substitute also works in a pinch. This is also an easy side dish for lamb chops.

For a super fragrant and buttery appetizer, you can’t go wrong with classic garlic bread. The key to this recipe is picking a good quality butter, your guests will thank you! Don’t forget our ciabatta bread.

Dairy Free Desserts & Appetizers

When you have dairy-free or vegan guests, it can be tricky to know what to cook.

If you’re looking for a seafood appetizer, bang bang shrimp are a crowd favorite that are entirely dairy-free! Crispy and golden brown with a sweet chili dipping sauce, you really can’t go wrong. Dairy free desserts are delicious. Try our ice cream flavors.

If you want something super fresh, mango salsa is a sweet and spicy appetizer that is sure to impress your guests. It’s made with chopped mango, jalapeno, red onion, and fresh cilantro for a fruity and zesty dip! Asian dessert recipes can be gluten free too. Our instant pot desserts are amazing.

For a casual, spicy appetizer, you could always opt for jalapeno poppers. Vegan cream cheese is mixed with garlic and onion then spooned into crunchy jalapeno halves. This appetizer is spicy, sweet, and crunchy for a super satisfying start to any meal. Don’t forget to give our Greek pastries a try. They’re filled with puff pastry dessert recipes.

Italian Appetizers 

Home to pizza, pasta, and lasagna, you can’t ever go wrong with Italian appetizers!

Bruschetta is a classic Italian appetizer, and is made out of tomatoes mixed with fresh basil and topped onto crusty bread. Delicious! Don’t forget the pizza sides.

If you want a super simple Italian appetizer, then focaccia is a no-brainer. With a crispy exterior, and a soft center, there isn’t anything better.

Creating an antipasto platter is the perfect Italian appetizer. Ingredients such as salami, olives, and cheese are used for a super simple start to your meal! Make sure you try our Italian dessert recipes too.

Asian Appetizers 

Asia is full of a variety of delicious foods that have become hugely popular all over the world.

Sweet and spicy soy glazed edamame is delicious for any Asian-inspired meal. When coated with a sweet and spicy glaze with all of the umami flavors, they’re impossible to resist! 

Spring rolls are a crispy, deep-fried appetizer that are super fragrant and packed full of goodness! Serve with a sweet chili dipping sauce for a super yummy flavor combination.

It doesn’t get much more tasty than chicken satay with creamy peanut sauce. Juicy, tender meat is spiced to perfection for the perfect appetizer! Also check out our tasty Indian side dishes.

If you’re looking for an Indian appetizer packed with spices, vegetable pakoras are a super yummy option. They’re light, crispy, deep-fried Indian snacks that are made with a variety of different vegetables. Tasty! The Korean Banchan are awesome too. Don’t forget our tasty hibachi recipes as well.


There’s nothing quite like finishing off a delicious meal with a decadent dessert, and having multiple dessert options that you can easily whip up is essential! After all, they’re the best part of a meal for a lot of people! Make sure you check out chocolate dessert recipes. Of course you can always have cookies for dessert too. Try our French cookies.

No-Bake Desserts 

Let’s face it, we all live incredibly busy lives and don’t always have the time to spend baking to our hearts content in the kitchen. Try our fun things to bake too.

For the times when we’re in more of a rush, no-bake desserts are the happy medium for some super indulgent results! There are many delicious no bake cookie recipes.

What’s better than chocolate pie? Easy no-bake Hershey’s chocolate pie. This pie uses an oreo crumb crust, with a melted chocolate and Cool Whip filling. Delicious! It’s an easy pie recipe.

Did someone ask for a super refreshing dessert that can be made in minutes? Pink lemonade popsicles are zingy, sweet, and the perfect dessert to cool you down on a hot day.

If you’re a nut lover, no-bake peanut butter pie is a total no-brainer. All the ingredients get blended together in a food processor and poured onto the graham cracker crust for a decadent dessert.

Rainbow Desserts 

If you’re looking for desserts that are sure to brighten anyone’s day, then rainbow desserts are the way to go! Plus, the kids will absolutely love them. Try our kids meals.

Cosmic brownies are a nostalgia trip. These fudgy, gooey brownies are super easy to whip up at home, and are covered in beautiful rainbow chips that are sure to remind you of being a kid!

For a healthier dessert, rainbow fruit kebabs are a delicious dessert without a tonne of processed sugar. To make a rainbow, you’ll need strawberries, mango, pineapple, apples, kiwis, blueberries, and blackberries.

As a quick, last-minute sweet treat, rainbow donuts are the way forward. Not only do they look fantastic with their rainbow-colored glaze, but their sweet flavor is bound to stick a smile on your face!

If you’re in a rush, rainbow bit cake mix cookies are another winner. Simply combine the ingredients, chuck in some more rainbow sprinkles, and you’ll have cookies fit for a unicorn! Try easy no bake cookies.

White Chocolate Desserts

When it comes to desserts, it doesn’t get much better than the rich, sweet, and creamy flavors of white chocolate. 

If you’re looking for a white chocolate dessert that is always going to impress, then white chocolate blondies are truly irresistible. With a sweet, mouth-watering taste and fudgy consistency, you won’t be able to stop at just one!

White chocolate raspberry swirled cheesecake is a decadent, baked cheesecake. The fact that it is baked makes it super dense and creamy, you won’t be able to get enough. Make sure you try our no bake cheesecake.

If you’d prefer something lighter, white chocolate mousse is to die for. This fluffy, light dessert is creamy and each spoonful simply melts in the mouth.

Summer Desserts 

When you think of summer desserts, you think of fresh fruit, bright colors, and delicious flavors, and these cakes sure do deliver on that assumption!

It doesn’t get much more summery than fresh strawberries, so you’re bound to love a sweet fresh strawberry cake! Top with whipped cream for a super indulgent dessert. Try our lemon dessert recipes.

Nothing screams summer quite like citrus fruits do, and this lemon raspberry cake is another super fragrant and delicious dessert. Tuck in with a hot cup of tea and you’re sure to make this one again. Try our tea party ideas.

Fresh berry cream cake is the cake of all cakes when it comes to the summer season. Light sponge sandwiches a layer of fresh blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries along with fresh cream. Need I say more about the types of sandwiches? I love a panini sandwich. Try a delicious bagel sandwich too.

If you’re a fan of lemon, lemon blueberry buttermilk cake is the cake you’ve been waiting for. It’s a great recipe using buttermilk. It’s soft, moist, and has a cream cheese frosting that is heavenly. Don’t forget our easy blueberry desserts. We have some easy cream cheese desserts that are also great. Of course sweetened condensed milk recipes are also awesome but typically not healthy for you.

Winter Desserts

Winter is a time of indulgence, especially when the night’s begin to draw in and you want nothing more than to curl up inside with a book and a hearty dessert.

It isn’t the winter season without a classic gingerbread cake. It is moist, rich, and wonderfully spiced with ginger, cloves, and cinnamon.

If you’re on the hunt for a quick dessert that is super easy to whip up, this no-bake oreo cheesecake is the dessert for you. Cream cheese peppered with oreos sits upon a buttery, oreo base.

Simply bash the oreos with a rolling pin or use a food processor for a super fine crumb. Heavenly!

Sticky toffee cake features dark brown sugar, dates, and black treacle for a truly indulgent result. You may only need a small slice of this cake, but it sure is a winner!

Pecans are a classic sweet treat around the holidays, so why not try making butter pecan cake? It’s rich, buttery, and is all topped off with a cream cheese frosting!

Low-Carb Keto Desserts

When you make the switch to a keto diet, it can feel limiting until you realize you can make desserts that are low-carb and keto-friendly! Make sure to take look at our keto lunch ideas.

Keto cheesecake is a super yummy dessert, and is primarily made out of cream cheese, keto-friendly yogurt, and your favorite sugar substitute such as stevia. Some of these even qualify as a keto slow cooker recipe.

As we enter the New Year, many people resolve to loose weight. Vegetables are a great place to start. Veggies make a keto snack. They can also be part of a low calorie meal. You can add a delicious keto soup or try some juicing cleanse recipes to help get trim in the New Year.

Keto chocolate mousse is a quick and easy dessert that can be whipped up with a hand-mixer in under 10 minutes!

Featuring creamy whipping cream, cocoa powder, and a sweetener of your choice, this is indulgence at its finest on a ketogenic diet.

To cool down on a hot day, keto ice cream is rich and creamy and only requires four ingredients – coconut milk, salt, your chosen sweetener, and vanilla extract. Low-carb and delicious! You can also use it for homemade Starbucks drinks. Also take a look at our Starbucks Frappuccino recipe.

If you’re a fan of peanut butter, then keto peanut butter balls will be right up your street.

They’re almost like a healthy truffle! They only require three ingredients, and are a no-bake recipe. Simply mix, roll, refrigerate and enjoy!

Easy Vegan Desserts 

Just because you’re vegan, doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on all of the fun desserts, and these recipes are proof of just that!

Vegan brownies are incredibly simple to whip up and will result in a traditional brownie crust and fudgy center. Simply use a butter substitute, leave out the eggs, and it’s fit for a vegan!

Vegan fudgesicles are on another level of indulgence. Featuring rich coconut milk (try our recipes using coconut milk), cocoa powder, maple syrup, and vanilla extract, you need only whip them in a bowl before pouring them into popsicle molds to freeze. You’ll want to use a strainer so there are no lumps.

If you’re looking for a low-fat vegan dessert, then this vanilla pudding is the perfect recipe for you. This pudding is made of dairy-free milk and cornstarch for a silky smooth texture.

You can also try adding a little vegan butter for a more decadent finish. Vegan desserts can be awesome. Give our Indian sweets a try too.

Thai Desserts

Thailand is home to some of the world’s most delicious tropical Thai desserts.

If you’re looking for a refreshing dessert on a summer’s evening, why not try your hand at Thai coconut ice cream? It’s sweet tropical flavor is super fresh, and creamy.

Thai mango coconut pudding is another delicious dessert, made from mango puree, coconut milk, and gelatin. Silky smooth in texture, you’ll absolutely love Thai mango coconut pudding. 

Mango sticky rice is arguably the most famous dessert of Thailand, so it wouldn’t be right not to give it a mention! Tasty white rice is drizzled in a rich, creamy coconut sauce with fresh mango pieces. Yum!

Irish Desserts 

While the Irish are famous for many things, Irish desserts are up there!

Chocolate Guinness cake is a rich, dark chocolate sponge made with Guinness and is a winner for stout and chocolate lovers alike. Traditionally, the icing is made with sour cream, confectioner’s sugar, and a dash of Guinness. Don’t knock it until you try it, this cake is world-class!

For a hearty dessert, you can’t go wrong with Irish bread and butter pudding. It’s filling, warming, and goes brilliantly with a generous helping of vanilla custard.

If you enjoy apples, there’s nothing like an Irish apple cake to finish off a meal with. Combining sweet sponge cake with the acidity of apples, it’s a match made in heaven.

Vietnamese Desserts 

You haven’t lived if you’re yet to try Vietnamese desserts!

Pandan waffles are a popular street food snack in Vietnam that are chewy and fluffy in texture and full of pandan and coconut flavors. Top them a drizzle of condensed milk and your guests will wonder why they’ve never tried them before!

Fruit cocktail is a super simple dessert to whip up, and Vietnamese fruit cocktail packs a punch! Traditionally, it is made of tropical fruits, coconut milk, chewy jellies, red rubies, and coconut meat for a truly tropical eating experience. Check out our Fall drinks too.

If you’re looking for a dessert that is fun and fresh, banana tapioca is a delicious one to serve in the summer. It has a creamy banana and coconut flavor, and it’s also naturally dairy-free! It’s a tasty banana dessert. Check out best banana bread recipe too.

Final Thoughts 

There you have it, the ultimate guide to side dishes, appetizers, and desserts! Next time you’re struggling to come up with ideas, you have plenty of inspiration to draw upon.

Whether you eat meat, are pescatarian, vegetarian, vegan, or follow a ketogenic diet, this article has provided a wealth of information on a variety of different recipes for you to try. There’s something for everyone!

While some of these recipes are healthier than others, life is to be enjoyed and is all about balance. From celebrations to weekly routines, you have a tonne of recipes to choose from and incorporate into your lifestyle should you choose to.

Good luck and happy cooking!