Sunday, March 9, 2014

H2C: Don't Forget the Sides

Still putting out ideas for my series: How to Cook Supper When it's Already Time to Eat.

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:

- Be lazy paleo/clean eating/(insert trendy diet name here) and call fresh fruits and raw veggies a side item. I serve fruit washed in a small colander - fruit doesn’t last long in this household, so I just store the colander in the fridge. I also have a colander of fruit on the table for decoration and handy eating. We take our veggies washed and cut up, served with Ranch dressing for dipping (We just started using sour cream and ranch powder since we just figured out that it has way less fat and calories than ranch dressing - and it's WAAAAY better)

- 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

- cucumber
- tomatoes
- onion
- 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.

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