Sanity Saving Sides

There was a time in my life when I would spend hours reading cookbooks seeking creative side dishes. How could I come up with something different, something unique to accompany dinner?

That time has passed.

I have moved into a time in my cooking life where I can (or have to be able to?) look at the veggies in my fridge or on my counter or in my cupboard, and wing it.

And, this is a gift on weeknights when getting dinner onto the table between/before/or after evening activities is a challenge.

So, when I have a head of cauliflower and half a red onion in the fridge, I know that if I turn the oven on to 425 degrees or so, I can simply chop up the veggies, drizzle with olive oil, and whatever spices I’m in the mood for, I’ll have one side dish ready in about 20-25 minutes or so.

And those green beans from the market? After completing the meditative task of removing the ends, and cutting them into bite-sized pieces, I can sautee them in sesame oil and finish them with sesame seeds, and everyone will eat  them … even the Picky Eater.

While the cauliflower is roasting, and the green beans are sauteeing, I can drain the red-leaf lettuce, tear it into bite-sized pieces, add some cilantro and dill and walnuts and dried cranberries, and voila I have a salad.

Preparing one side dish used to seem very complex, and required lots of complicated decision-making — at home and at the store. But now, chopping, roasting or sauteeing, and seasoning to taste, works pretty well.

What are your favorite go-to side dishes that you make during the week?

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3 Comments to “Sanity Saving Sides”

  1. Roasted veggies, just like your cauliflower. Diced potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, butternut squash, whatever. Hadn’t thought of including an onion with them – will have to try that.

  2. Lately, roasted veggie “fries”– fingerling potatoes and carrots, mainly. And kale chips, because PickyPicky will eat those. 🙂

  3. I really must try kale chips … maybe my Picky Eater will eat those?!

    Isn’t roasting veggies the best thing ever? I really do love it.

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