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Side Dishes Anyone??

  • I'm ok with coming up with meals, but it seems like I can never find a quick easy side dish. I always end up serving a plain vegetable, and maybe some rice or pasta. . .

    Sometimes I get wild and combine the two. One thing my girls tend to like is whole wheat couscous with peas and carrots mixed in.

    Anyone have any better ideas that won't take longer to fix than the main dish???
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Kristie McNealy on 20th October 2007
  • ahh side dishes have always been my favorite! but you are right, they are usually a veggie or startch - but then what else is left? lol!

    dont forget potatoes, and fresh green beans, or (oh had this this weekend) butternut squashed cut up and roasted in asian black bean sauce OMG this is yummy! especially over rice!

    potatoes can be made a zillion different ways (roasted is my favorite!) adn of course there are also sweet potatoes that are yummy even without the sugar and marshmallows!

    any kind of greenbean or asparagus is always good slightly roasted in the oven on a cookiesheet with a little olive oil and parmisan chese! Even hubby will eat green beans done this way! (gotta watch them though, they are done FAST and i mean in like 3 minutes under the broiler)

    ok now i am hungry
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Kate on 21st October 2007
  • Thanks! The beans and asparagus sound great. You're right. I guess what i really need are new ways to prepare the veggies or rice or whatever. Nuked corn just isn't cutting it!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Kristie McNealy on 21st October 2007
  • I've made this a lot - it's easy and turns out great and also pretty:

    Take 2 red peppers and slice each into 2 halves; remove the insides, wash out.

    Take a few grape tomatoes, cut each in half, put about 4-5 into each pepper

    Mix some feta cheese (I just buy the crumbled kind) with parsley (just a bit for flavor) and put inside each pepper half, mixing it up with the tomatoes.

    Sprinkle on top with a bit of olive oil.

    Into the oven on 450 until the peppers get a bit dark on top and the tomatoes are sizzling.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Nataly on 21st October 2007
  • Wow Nataly, my mouth is watering.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by mamajama on 22nd October 2007
  • One of my favorite super-quick and easy side dishes involves carrots. All of my kids gobble these right up -- I usually have to make 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of carrots at a time! The trick is in the preparation...

    about 6 large carrots

    2 tablespoons butter

    1 tablespoon olive oil

    1 tsp. ground ginger

    salt, to taste

    2 tablespoons honey

    pepper, to taste

    Peel the carrots.

    Now, keep peeling, until you can't peel anymore, to make a big pile of long carrot ribbons.

    Heat the oil and butter together in a deep pan over medium heat. When they've melted together, add the carrot ribbons, turning them over and over with tongs until they're coated with the butter/oil mixture.

    Sprinkle with ginger (freshly-grated tastes amazing, but powdered is fine, too), sprinkle with a little salt, and drizzle with honey. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for about 3 minutes.

    Uncover, stir everything around to coat, and continue to cook until the ribbons are slightly softened. Taste and add pepper and a little more salt, if needed.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Lylah M. Alphonse on 23rd October 2007
  • Lylah, that sounds so good - I am going to make this even if my daughter doesn't like it
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Nataly on 24th October 2007
  • This isn't as creative as the other ideas, but whenever I steam vegetables as a side dish I put them in lemon and butter sauce...we're always quite pleased with the results.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by mamajama on 24th October 2007
  • Mamajama, lemon and butter is one of my favorite things on greenbeans and broccoli...

    Just thought of three more things...

    1.) My big kids will eat any vegetable if they have some Ken's Sweet Vidalia onion salad dressing on them... it sounds odd, but the dressing is a tangy, sweet-and-sour thing that actually works really well as a sauce.

    2.) Zucchini tastes great grilled. Cut them in thick slabs (Make sure they're young zucchini, since they soak up less oil), brush them with olive oil, sprinkle with italian seasoning (or combine those two steps and brush them with non-creamy italian salad dressing) and grill, either outside or on a stove-top grill pan, until tender, about 4 minutes per side. You can also do this under a broiler, but I tend to forget they're in there

    3.) We also love roasted sweetpotatoes, and the flavors in some Indian spice blends work really well with them. I peel a couple of big sweet potatoes and cut them into bite-size pieces -- the smaller the pieces, the quicker the cooking time. Then, I toss them in a bowl with some olive oil, salt, and a generous sprinkle of Rogan Josh curry powder (penzey's has a great one: ganjosh.html) (If you don't have it already blended up, you can just sprinkle the sweet potatoes with a combination of cinnamon, paprika, garlic, ginger, cumin, cardamom, ground corriander, and cloves -- yeah, it's a lot easier to just have the spice blend on hand!)

    Anyway, spice 'em up, spread them in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet or in a roasting pan, and roast them at 400 degrees until they're tender -- bite size pieces usually take me about 15-20 minutes.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Lylah M. Alphonse on 25th October 2007
  • I found some great recipes in a Christmas cookbook for green beans and brussel sprouts, but they can be made anytime.

    Green Beans with Sage Walnut Butter: Melt butter in a saute pan just until bubbling. Add crushed walnut pieces and some chopped sage (dried will do), and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes. Drizzle over fresh steamed green beans.

    Brussels with Bacon and Mustard: Cook bacon in fry pan until crispy; drain on paper towel. Reserve 2 tbsp of bacon fat in pan and discard the rest. Add chopped green onion to pan and cook for about 3 minutes. Add mustard, orange juice and butter, and cook until butter is melted. Drizzle over fresh steamed brussel sprouts and toss to coat.

    My guests have raved over the above recipes (even people who don't like brussel sprouts like mine! The key is using fresh veggies... not canned or frozen.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Tara M on 3rd November 2007

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