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Awesome Side Dishes


Sobeknofret

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Do a few of you have good ideas for great side dishes with veggies, but with no or small amounts of starches like potatoes and corn? We're trying to get away from eating as many starchy veggies as we do, but I'm trying to expand my repertoire beyond steamed broccoli, green beans and peas. The only veggies that are not served are cooked carrots, because absolutely no one likes them- raw yes, cooked no.

Aaaaaand- GO! :D

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Roasted beets. Peel and quarter the beets. Toss in olive oil, salt and pepper, oregano if you like it. Roast on tray at 350 degrees until done.

Can drizzle a little balsamic or lemon juice before serving.

This technique also works with Brussels sprouts.

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Roasted beets. Peel and quarter the beets. Toss in olive oil, salt and pepper, oregano if you like it. Roast on tray at 350 degrees until done.

Can drizzle a little balsamic or lemon juice before serving.

This technique also works with Brussels sprouts.

That technique also makes delicious roasted onions, butternut squash, kale, cauliflower, fennel, etc. (and yes, carrots, too). Pretty much any winter/root vegetable is delicious roasted. I like my oven a little hotter though, over 400.

I do a roasted medley in the fall that is beets, onions, delicata squash (similar to butternut, but you can eat the skin), and apples.

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roasted cauliflower with butter and garlic or olive oil and spices is so good. or roast or steam it brown some butter and cook some garlic in it blend it together with salt and pepper cream or milk and make so great fake potatoes. cheese is great in it too. I stick it all in my food processor.

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For fresh green beans with a "Chinese" twist, first blanch the beans in boiling water for 3 minutes. Immediately cool down with cold water. Pat dry then sauté in peanut oil about 2 tablespoons, until you see the skin blister. Add a few dashes of soy sauce and a pinch of brown sugar. Sprinkle a few sesame seeds on top and serve.

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I will spare you the sweet potato rhapsodies, since you are looking for non-starchy vegetables. But a few other favorites:

Everyday sprouts (from Seductions of Rice; I really could make and eat this every day)

peanut oil

2 generous handfuls of mung bean sprouts, rinsed (and chopped if you want, but I don't generally bother)

2 green onions, chopped

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. soy sauce

1/2 tsp. rice wine vinegar

This won't work with a non-stick pan, because you need fairly high heat.

Heat a wide pan over medium-high heat. When it smells hot, add a drizzle of oil (1 Tbsp. will probably be enough). Toss in the sprouts and onions and stir to coat with oil. After about 30 seconds, add the salt. When the sprouts are hot but not floppy-- about 45 seconds more-- add the soy sauce and vinegar. Remove from heat. Stir to mix evenly. Extra good with chopped almonds on top.

Mustard greens

Stem and chop greens. Saute some garlic in olive oil. When it is softened, add the greens and stir to coat. When they are tender-- test one after a minute-- add some vinegar and/or Tabasco. Collards are also good this way, but they will take longer to cook tender and might benefit from some extra liquid (broth is better than water) and a lid over top of them so they can steam.

Roasted asparagus

1 lb. asparagus, bottoms trimmed of woody bits

a couple Tbsp. olive oil

a sprinkle of salt

a couple lemon wedges

Heat the oven to 500 F. Put the asparagus in an oven-safe pan (I use a loaf pan) and coat with oil. Roast 10-12 minutes, rotating the pan once during cooking if your oven heats as unevenly as mine does. Season with salt and lemon. If you are fortunate enough to have leftovers, chop them into inch-long pieces, toss them in some mustardy vinaigrette, and have them the next morning with a poached egg on top.

Roasted red onions (from Fields of Greens)-- time-consuming but tasty

3 medium-sized red onions

olive oil

salt and pepper

1/3 c. balsamic vinegar

Peel the onions but leave them whole. Roll them in oil and sprinkle salt and pepper on them. Roast in a 375 F oven for 90 minutes, until they are tender. Take the onions out of the roasting pan and deglaze it, with a little water, into a small pot. Mix balsamic vinegar with the onion pan juices and reduce until syrupy. Cut the onions in half and brush the cut surfaces with the sauce.

On steaming

If you like the taste of fennel, try chopping it into bite-sized pieces and steaming it. (I start checking texture after 5 minutes.) The result is somewhat softer than roasted fennel and, IMO, counterintuitively more flavorful.

Also, I wish I had discovered steamed artichokes long ago. You can put a clove of garlic, some lemon peel, and a sprig of rosemary or bay leaf in the water, and the artichokes will pick up that flavor from the steam. If you have are using big artichokes, you will probably need to add water to the steamer at some point during cooking, lest you scorch the pan.

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I love quick blanched asparagus. Put asparagus into boiling salted water, wait 90 seconds. Pull it out and plunge into an ice bath. In a saute pan, melt some butter, cook up some garlic (don't burn it, it's gross when it burns!), put the cooked asparagus into the saute pan, toss to coat with butter, let it warm up. Remove from heat, squirt on lemon juice, salt, pepper and serve.

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  • 7 months later...

I pretty much roast all veggies and season depending on what flavors go with my main. Garlic olive oil and crushed red pepper is my main seasoning. I have added cumin, or curry powder too. Leftover go well in salads, puréed into soups with broth and a touch of cream.

Steaming fennel sounds delightful. I will have to give that a go.

I have not enjoyed meat for a while and after the last lecture of my ethics class I can't stomach it at all. Have to look into more veg italian options and see if I can convince my hugely carnivore husband. Ok hell will freez over.

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my favourite way of cooking green beans is quite easy...sautee some onions with minced garlic, add in green beans, and cook. it is so yummy i've eaten it as just the main dish, cuz that's all i wanted :P

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