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New " Make Ahead" BBQ Side Dishes needed

I am planning our annual themed Summer BBQ and this year theme's is Smoketown USA.
I will be offering up Ribs, Brisket, Pulled Pork and Chicken. Besides my staple of grilled corn and cole slaw, I am hoping to try a few new recipes for my side dishes. It would be great if the sides were on the "lighter side" that I can cook ahead. Thanks !

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  1. I love to have baked beans with my barbeque. They can be made in advance and reheated slowly on the day of serving. Also, collard greens require a long boil, but reheat nicely. I think they are on the lighter side of the equation.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Heidi cooks and bakes

      Baked beans done in the smoker are wonderful

      1. re: scubadoo97

        Love this idea! Would you share the details?

        1. re: smarsh

          Here's a recipe. I don't use recipes per se. Basically you take canned baked beans, season them well and they are often done sweet, then toss them in the smoker for a couple of hours. They pick up a lot of great smoky flavors. Perfect for a BBQ

          http://www.amazingribs.com/recipes/be...

    2. I went to a BBQ recently where as an alternative to bread or buns, they offered a big basket of lettuce leaves so you could make your own lettuce wraps. They had pulled pork and chicken, some asian slaw and a variety of lightly marinated veggies.

      1. You must try this kale salad....i don't even like kale and this is the best tasting salad I've ever had. All my guests want recipe of this salad and my sisters and friends say they won't show up if I don't make this salad. lol

        It can be made the day before ....dressing can be made a week before...

        I double the dressing usually....

        http://www.marthastewart.com/315398/k...

        1. You could make a big big basket of corn sticks (cornbread batter, special pan) and a delicious earthy pot of greens to be served with hot vinegar; wonderful even at room temp and delicious anyway made without the salt pork (and you can used smoked turkey, available at your grocer's, if pork itself is the problem) and no additional lard, margarine or butter, and they'll be delicious; just use plenty of onions and one small shake of allspice. Baked beans needn't be unhealthy either; just avoid huge amounts of sweetened products, sugar, and fat added to the mix. You might compromise and make a five bean salad instead, with sliced onions and oil and vinegar dressing; this is nice with sliced beets added, and very pretty to look at too. And you could also consider a big pasta salad made with a not-mayo dressing; Just add scads of your favorite lightly-steamed veg. or thawed frozed to your fave non-stringy pasta, or raw veg...we've done a variation on Greek Pasta salad, using shell pasta, tomatoes, cukes, bell pepper, red onions, feta and olive with olive/lemon vinaigrette. You can do anything with this. And never forget mac and cheese. It's not light, but it's make-ahead, and if you can't make it light, you can make it light-ER.
          Cheers!

          1. This orzo salad is really, really fantastic:

            http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/gi...

            I up the amount of all the add ins: more lemon juice, more dried cherries (dried cranberries work just fine), more arugula, more basil, more pine nuts. :) I make this as a side for my grilled ribs all the time and have yet to have someone try it who doesn't love it.

            The spreading and oiling of the orzo insures that the orzo doesn't clump together later. I've made this in the morning to serve in the afternoon and it's been great. It's still excellent the next day, but if I were making it to serve the next day, I would probably leave out the cherries and nuts and toss those in at the last minute.