Side items are the bane of my existence. I think the reason I love casseroles and all-in-one pot dishes is so that I don’t have to come up with companion foods. When I’m on my game (it’s a rare occurance) I have sides pre-made and stored in the fridge. We might eat on one for a few meals. Here are my easy go-to sides:
- Salad - I chop up a head of iceberg and a package of leaf lettuce, shred a carrot or two with my big box shredder, and maybe cut up a cucumber or some green onions and store it in a large, lidded bowl. I also try to keep salad toppings and/or homemade croutons on hand. One head of lettuce will usually get us through 2-3 meals. If we want tomatoes or cheese, I store it separate and we just put it on at the table so the salad doesn’t get soggy. A pasta salad would work well, too.
- Seasoned butter for toast - I stir garlic salt, oregano, basil, and other herbs and spices into a stick of butter and store for a quick swipe onto toast
- Canned fruit salad
- Warm up canned goods - Baked beans, green beans, corn, and other canned goods don’t take long to season and heat up.
- Boxed pasta or rice sides
In the summer, when we’re overwhelmed with garden produce, this is a “salad” I try to keep on hand.
Cucumber and Tomato salad
- dressing (I use sweet vinegar and oil. My mother-in-law uses seasoned rice vinegar. I’ve had a delicious concoction of vinegar, olive oil, sugar, and spices. They're all good--play around with it)
1) Thinly slice all vegetables and toss with dressing
2) Store in a lidded container in the refrigerator
For 7 more tips, follow the links at How to Cook When it's Already Time to Eat.