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I am in a side dish rut!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

One of the ways I meal plan is to bookmark recipes I find online, then add them into our meal plans. It seems like lately I've saved a ton of main dish recipes, but need sides/veggies to go with them. I would love some ideas and inspiration. What are some of your favorite side dish and/or veggie recipes? (we are dairy & nut free, but I can adapt most things to fit that)

post #2 of 8

I just learned this one from my sister:

Brown rice - cooked

scallions - to taste

1 egg - beaten

glob of dairy free butter - or olive oil


coat frying pan in glob of 'butter' or oil, fry brown rice stirring often - add the scallions, fry for about 4-5 minutes.   Make well in the center of rice and add the beaten egg - incorporate into the rice.  Adobo is a great seasoning for this - if not, sea salt, pepper and onion powder will do!


post #3 of 8

We do lots of rice, because it's my children's favorite.  Regular stove top rice, baked rice, rice with added flavorings (cook in broth or add tomatoes or add scallions, herbs, and lemon juice...stuff like that).


Lots of roasted vegetables.  Cut into pieces, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, roast at 400ish until spots are blackened.  Pretty much anything can be roated, from asparagus to sweet potatoes to cauliflower (one of my faves) to rutabegas.


Salads.  We never tire of salads, even the "honeymoon salad" (lettuce alone...one of my mom's childhood jokes..har har har).  We usually do a vinagrette or ranch (but I'm dairy free, so it's basically mayo thinned with vinegar and water, spiced to taste like ranch).


Sauteed greens.  Anything works here, though my kids aren't fond of much beyond spinach.  Dh and I will eat anything, though.  Just saute in olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes.  Turnips, collards, mustard, chard, spinach, escarole, broccoli rabe.  Anything.

post #4 of 8

We do alot of raw veggies, roasted veggies, french fries (make my own, super easy), pasta with olive oil, garlic, some spices, stir fried veggies topped with ginger and honey, rices.

post #5 of 8

We do a lot of steamed veggie mixes - corn, peas, green beans, broccoli and add olive oil and garlic powder to taste.  Also, rice and packaged noodles are a huge hit with my 5yo.  We also do sweet potatoe fries on occassion.  I found some really yummy ones at WF in the frozen foods section. 

post #6 of 8

oh me too, I'm totally in a side dish rut also. We do a lot of rice, because we like it and it naturally goes with many of the dishes I make. But I'm getting sick of roasted vegetables, carrots and potatoes and squash. Part of the problem is that it's winter and we got burned out on salads since we ate a ton this summer. So I'm completely at a loss. Especially because many of my usual winter meals tend to one dish types but I'd like a side anyway just for variety.

post #7 of 8
Roasted veggies are a favorite here. Roasted potatoes. Stuffing. Fried rice. Salad.
post #8 of 8

These are in our regular rotation



  • couscous.  great plain but can be flavored a myriad of way.  You can make with chicken stock, veggie stock, beef stock, water. My son's favorite is with dried currents and pine nuts
  • quinoa: same as couscous- it can be flavored so many ways
  • beans/lentils/etc-baked, sauteed
  • baked sweet and regular potatoes
  • roasted garlic mashed potatoes
  • horseradish or wasabi mashed potatoes
  • sweet potatoes "fries"
  • brown rice- I often have a big batch already cooked in the fridge to just reheat.
  • pasta on side is nice with hearty meals
  • cornbread
  • focaccia



  • In the winter we do a ton of roasted squash (butternut, acorn, pumpkin) but my son is partial to roasted cauliflower and broccoli
  • baked acorn squash topped with a sprinkle of brown sugar, cinnamon and clove
  • green beans stir fried with garlic, ginger and soy
  • zucchini "fries"
  • carrots sauteed with butter and ginger
  • minted baby peas
  • roasted beets
  • roasted brussel sprouts tossed with chestnuts
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