Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
May 5, 2007 06:52 PM
Discussion and easy sides

I usually try and include a vegetable side dish with every meal, but usually focus most of my energy on the main course. For the side dish, I want something quick and easy, with only a few ingredients. Salt and Pepper....a dash of olive oil, etc. I easily get into a rut and buy the same veggies over and over again. Any ideas out there to bring some new side dishes to my table???

Here are some of my repeats...

- Zuchinni squash (cooking spray, salt and pepper and a few minutes in the skillet.)
- Asparagus in a skillet (kosher salt, sesame seeds, and hot sesame oil)
- Corn on the cob (tossed directly on the grill while cooking my meat entree)
- Grilled Beefsteak tomato. (Cut in half, salt and pepper, and face down on the grill)
- Potato wedges (sprayed w/ oil and cooked directly on the grill. Scallions and blue cheese crumbles)

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. 1. I slice some brussel sprouts in half, steam them (lightly), then sautee in olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper just for a sec to coat.
    2. Cherry tomatoes and cucumber
    3. I must be boring, but I love broccoli and cauliflower.
    4. Buy a bag of shredded cabbage, toss with a small amount of asian sesame dressing for a light oriental salad.
    5. I prefer suger snap to snow peas, but both could be a nice change.
    6. Fresh green beans arehard to beat.
    7. And might as well say it...beets :)

    2 Replies
    1. re: enbell

      That reminds me.....I did try roasting a cauliflower this week and loved it. I got one of those funky purple ones, cut it into 8 wedges, olive oil, salt and pepper. 30 minutes on a baking sheet at 425ish.....Best cauliflower I ever had.

      Also...I wilted some spinach leaves in a garlic/oil mixture tonight and enjoyed that.

      1. re: enbell

        i was waiting for
        7. beets (are hard to beat)
        i know i know, lame.

      2. 1)My rec is to try out greens. They are super healthy and delicious Kale, Broccoli Raab, Collards, Mustard Greens Turnip Greens is my order of preference.
        I fry up garlic, currants and red pepper flakes in a little bit of olive oil. Add prepped greens mix throw on lid, let cook for 4-5 minutes. voila! Garlic, red pepper flakes and anchovy paste garlic is also very nice. Or just Kale with a touch of cider vinegar and sugar.

        2)I also love peas and onion. Takes a little time but not much work. Just caramelize onions and add peas at the last moment for a light cooking.

        3)Green beans, with a splash of amaretto, a little butter and some toasted almonds is quite good.

        4) Try steaming broc and cauli together then tossing them in some mustard seed fried in butter.

        1 Reply
        1. re: kolgrim

          Kolgrim's 1st suggestion is mine, too. If you need to work up to greens' textures or flavors, start with spinach with the garlic, currants, and pepper flakes, or with raisins and pine nuts for a sweeter approach. Very mild and approachable if kale or mustard intimidates you. Mixing greens is nice, too. Be sure to use some oil, as it makes some of the vitamins and minerals in the greens more easily absorbed by the body.

        2. Steam some broccoli with a little oyster sauce on it

          1. Zuke on the BBQ brushed with Oyster Sauce
            Roast Cauli (as mentioned above)
            Steamed Baby Bok Choy then tossed with Oyster sauce or Hoisin or combo of both
            Carrots steamed in ginger Ale - Sounds odd but it's soo good
            Tomato and Cuke Salad with a balsamic Vin
            Those are some of my faves

            1. Puncture a spaghetti squash a few times; nuke in microwave safe dish with a little water. Scoop and mix with butter or olive oil and parmesan, sometimes garlic, and herbs if desired.

              Butternut squash pureed with some Smart Balance (or butter if you prefer), salt, and cinnamon.

              Mashed cauliflower.

              Chopped tomatoes and red onions tossed with balsamic vinegarette... so refreshing.

              I LOVE browned broccoli... I put in a micro dish with a little water, then nuke til most of the pieces brown a little, not charred. The browning imparts so much flavor (yes it depletes vitamins, but I don't care; I'll get them elsewhere) that all I need is a little salt to serve.

              Maui onions, in season, sliced and grilled. No need for anything, unless you like a little butter on them, or like me... ketchup (which I eat on everything).

              Eggplant, mushrooms, onions, zucchini, tomatoes, and radicchio, sliced and tossed with garlic salt, grilled and served with a little balsamic vinegar or vinegarette... or ketchup *hangs head in shame*