The Art of the Side Dish – What Goes With…

Art of the Side Dish

Side dishes are my dinner downfall. Only because I have a habit of forgetting about them when I’m prepping dinner.

I’ve written about easy side dish ideas a couple of times.

But how do you know what sides pair well with different main dishes? Some things are easy – Spaghetti and salad. Meat, vegetable, roll.

There are other recipes that present more of a challenge. Sides to go with stir-fry. Moving beyond chips and salsa with a Mexican meal. What to serve with potpie and other all-inclusive casseroles.

We’ll be tackling some of these in future posts, but today I want to share a few things I keep in mind when planning the meals for Weekly Meal Plans.

A good side/main dish pairing will do a few things for your meal:   [Read more…]

Print Friendly

Caribbean Citrus Grilled Fish and Caribbean Citrus Slaw

Caribbean Citrus Grilled Fish and Caribbean Citrus Slaw

 

When I made these recipes, the entire state of Kentucky was knee deep in snow.   But the bright flavors in the McCormick Caribbean Citrus Seafood Marinade Mix made us think of a warmer place.

I know many of you eat fish on Fridays during Lent.  This is an easy dinner that’s quick to fix, but has a big pay off in taste.

I used the marinade packet for both the fish and the slaw.  I wasn’t sure how it would work in the slaw dressing.  After all, the packet does say Seafood Marinade.  But it works great!  I added a little sugar and more oil.  The instructions are below in the recipe.

Using the same seasoning for both fish and slaw keeps things simple and ensures that the main dish and side dish complement each other.  If you want to add another side, I recommend sweet potato fries or a simple baked sweet potato.

Here’s what you’ll need for the fish.  I cooked mine on a George Foreman grill.  But I’ve included baking instructions if you’d rather use the oven.

Caribbean Citrus Grilled Fish ingr

 

[Read more…]

Print Friendly

Lemon Pepper Parmesan Peas (plus a Pyrex giveaway and ideas for dressing up canned vegetables)

Lemon Pepper Parmesan Peas

 

I’ve shared before that I often forget about side dishes until it’s nearly too late.  I’m a big fan of keeping the sides simple.

Canned veggies are one of my go-to sides, especially if I’m running short on time, which happens often!

Peas are one of our favorites.  I usually serve them with butter, salt and pepper.  But this time I decided to dress them up a bit.

Libbys Lemon Pepper Parmesan Peas ingr

Lemon Pepper Parmesan Peas (plus a Pyrex giveaway and ideas for dressing up canned vegetables)
Ingredients
  • 15 oz can Libby’s Sweet Peas
  • 1 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1 Tbs. shaved Parmesan
Instructions
  1. Heat peas in small bowl in microwave for 1 - 2 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle with lemon pepper seasoning and stir gently to blend.
  3. Top with shaved Parmesan.

 

 

Libbys canned vegetables

 

Libby’s vegetables make wonderful, quick side dishes.  Here are a few ideas for dressing up the veggies, while keeping things quick and simple:

  • Add herb seasoning to any variety of Libby’s vegetables
  • Sweeten Libby’s Sliced Carrots with a bit of honey.  Add a bit of butter too!
  • Top Libby’s Sliced White Potatoes with bacon bits and shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Add a little salsa to Libby’s Sweet Corn and serve with Mexican food.

There are all kinds of possibilities to make your quick side dishes stand out.

Giveaway!

Libby’s is giving away a variety of their vegetables, along with a glass 14 piece Pyrex Storage set to one reader of Eat at Home!

To enter, leave a comment answering this question:

What’s your favorite Libby’s vegetable and how would you season it?

Giveaway will be open until noon EST on February 17.  Winner will be notified by email.

You can find Libby’s on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook.

 

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 4.13.33 PM

 

Libbys_f&v80x80

 

Disclosure:  I have been compensated by Libby’s for my time, however all opinions are my own.

Print Friendly

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

 

File this one under “The wonders never cease”.  I did not think my family would ever like brussels sprouts.  I didn’t even think I would ever like them.

But when we tried them as part of a sheet pan dinner, we loved them.  I decided to give them a try as a simple side dish.

Success!

These are so easy and good and a nice change from the broccoli we eat so much.

I think the reason that we like brussels sprouts now, but hated them other times we tried them, is that I’ve been buying them fresh vs frozen.

Fresh brussels sprouts have only recently been available in stores around here.  And by recent, it could have been in the past few years.  But I don’t think they were available in regular grocery stores fresh even 10 years ago.  At least not on a regular basis.  I think they’re one of those veggies like kale that’s developed a market share where previously no one bought or ate them.

Of course, I could be wrong.  Maybe I’ve just been ignoring them.

Either way, we’ve discovered them and I think we’re hooked.

Here’s how to roast them.   [Read more…]

Print Friendly

The Best Ever Roasted Butternut Squash or Sweet Potatoes

Roasted Butternut Squash or Sweet Potatoes

 

Every time I make this easy side dish I think I’m going to take photos to share here.

And almost every time, I forget.  Or I’m in a hurry.  Or it’s completely dark outside and I don’t want to set up my photography lights.

Finally, I managed to snap a photo.  It’s not great, but it does give me a reason to share this recipe with you.

Really it’s just method more than recipe though.  It’s an easier version of Butternut Squash Skillet, which I love.

But instead of starting it in the skillet, along with onion and garlic, I just toss the cubed squash with olive oil, several shakes of cinnamon, ginger,thyme, salt and pepper.

Then it gets poured onto a baking sheet and popped in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20-25 minutes, or until the squash is tender.

The flavor is fantastic!  And it works equally well with sweet potatoes too.

Print Friendly

10 Slow Cooker Side Dish Recipes

Wild Rice (or brown rice) Salad – redeeming leftover rice

Wild Rice Salad - redeeming leftover rice

 

Wild rice salad is a quick and easy way to use leftover wild rice or brown rice.

I completely bombed a meal the other day.  Multiple things went wrong, resulting in weird tasting chicken and a lot of leftover wild rice.

With no chicken to go with the rice, I decided to turn it into something else.  We had a soccer game the next night, so this worked out great for our sideline picnic.

I adapted this recipe from an old cookbook I have, Country Gourmet Cookbook.  This is one of those salads that is great for cleaning out the fridge though.  All kinds of raw veggies can be added to the rice.

The dressing is a simple vinaigrette.  This can be altered as well.  The recipe called for lemon juice, but I decided red wine vinegar would be better.  Use any type of vinegar or lemon juice you like or have on hand.

Here’s what I used.  Change it up so it suits you.

[Read more…]

Print Friendly

Easy Side Dishes – Beyond Steamed Veggies – Rounding out 15 Minute Meals

I have a tendency to focus on the main dish and forget the sides.  Until we’re nearly ready to sit down.  And then it’s time to quick thrown some veggies in a pan to steam or pull together a salad.

32 Simple Side Dish Ideas

 

This is a post I wrote last year with side dish ideas that go beyond steamed veggies.

These are all easy ideas though.  Some have a simple recipe. Others don’t require a recipe at all.

All of them will help round out your weeknight meals, but still keep it fast.

Click here to see 32 Easy Side Dish Ideas.

Think simple for sides.  Here are a few other ideas that work well:

  • Raw veggies – carrots, celery, sliced tomatoes, cucumbers etc.
  • Fruit (especially good with breakfast for dinner meals)
  • Cheese slices (with soup)
  • Crackers
  • Popcorn – healthier than chips, but great with sandwiches

What are your go-to quick side dishes?

Print Friendly

Slow Cooker Corn Casserole

slow cooker corn casserole

 

Corn casserole is one of those dishes that shows up at potluck suppers in the South and Mid-West.  You can find the recipe in many church cookbooks.

It’s a combination of corn and very moist cornbread that tastes slightly sweet.  Not dessert sweet, but “ooh, let me eat more of this” sweet.  It goes great with any kind of meat on the grill.  I think sliced tomatoes pair up with it nicely too.  They’re almost entirely opposite of corn casserole in flavor and color.

We had friends over for the 4th of July and I decided to try making this in the slow cooker.  It worked great and kept the kitchen cool too.

Here’s what you’ll need:   [Read more…]

Print Friendly

Slow Cooker Peach Chutney You Can Store in the Freezer

Slow Cooker Peach Chutney

 

 

Chutney is not a food that we eat often in my family.  In fact, this may be the first time most of the kids had tried it.  I was inspired by a sandwich we ate in Epcot Norway to try making my own chutney.

Since we’re in the middle of a Summer Slow Cooker Series, it seemed appropriate to use a slow cooker to make this.  I also wanted to be able to freeze it for future use.  For most recipes, you don’t need very much chutney and it’s nice to have it stashed away for when you need it.

Instead of the normal mango, I used canned peaches.  The fruit pairs up with red bell pepper, onion, jalepeno, golden raisins and spices for a sweet condiment with a hint of heat.

And in case you’re wondering what on earth you would actually do with chutney, I’ve got three recipes coming up for you!  I’ll be sharing those on the blog soon.

I know I took a photo of the ingredients, but somehow those photos have gone missing.  Thankfully, even though chutney itself may be a bit unusual, the ingredients are not.  Chances are you have most of these in your kitchen right now.  And the few you don’t have can be picked up on your next trip to the grocery.  Don’t forget plastic freezer bags to store the extra!   [Read more…]

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Print Friendly
Powered by WishList Member - Membership Software