Help Me Brainstorm Some Fun, Creative Vegetable "Sides" - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 12 Old 02-10-2013, 07:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I can whip some fabulous veg*n main dishes, but my cooking is really lackluster in the veggie department. It seems like every night, I'm just steaming fresh or frozen veggies that my family just picks at.

I might try a more Asian model of giving a bunch of dishes equal status (vs a "main course" with "side dishes"), but either way, I'm in a serious veggie rut and need ideas!

Do use use sauces? Certain spices? Do you saute, roast, grill, broil? Please share your favorite recipes or just some general ideas to bring life to my vegetable/side dishes. TIA!

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#2 of 12 Old 02-10-2013, 08:42 PM
 
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Tonight we had asparagus and mushrooms tossed with olive oil and sprinkled with fresh rosemary and sea salt. I roasted them in the oven and served them over whole wheat pasta with an alfredo sauce I made with coconut milk, nooch, raw cashews, tahini and tamari. It was yummy. I also had some radishes on hand that I wanted to use up so I roasted them too and served them on the side.

Usually the vegetables are pretty much the main part of the meal for me. We have stir fry once a week, some kind of burritos or enchiladas usually that are stuffed with vegetables, an Indian curry most weeks. So I don't usually do a separate side. Last night we had eggplant rollatini which is also the vegetable as the main dish.

I belong to a buying coop for veggies so I get a basket of them each week. I don't know beforehand which ones I'll get. Then I figure out how to use them up. It's good for us because I get lots of variety and it keeps us trying new things.

Roasting in the oven is my default for when I can't think of anything else to do. My kids love roasted vegetables especially brocolli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts.

We also like salads and cut up carrots, peppers, brocolli celery etc. dipped in hummus as a side.
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#3 of 12 Old 02-11-2013, 12:30 PM
 
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My suggestion is to make the main dish a vegetable one!  Put most of your effort into preparing the vegetable for the meal and it will be the most atractive dish on the table.  (Besides, if you serve nothing but a starch plus veg, people will have to eat the veg.)  Choose a vegetable you want to cook, then google vegan recipes for that vegetable. Indian cuisine does this quite a lot, using cauliflower, peas, pumpkin, spinach etc as the main course often with coconut milk.  another alternative would be a veg and bean soup plus a nice bread.  You can find creamed recipes where the beans and veg are blended together or chunky stews. Nuts or seeds also make the soup more creamy.  Having a salad as the main course would be a more Western approach.  There are also veggie burgers that incorporate vegetables for flavour and texture.  Finally, one thing I do a lot with my kids is just assume they are not going to eat the veg at meal time.  So, I put raw veg on the table while I am cooking the meal.  If they are hungry, it disappears fast! 

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#4 of 12 Old 02-12-2013, 07:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, ladies! eat.gif Incorporating them into the main dish AND roasting them as a side may be a good way to go, especially once we get going with our CSA!

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#5 of 12 Old 02-12-2013, 08:26 PM
 
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Millet mashed potatoes and onion gravy.

Cook the millet and add chopped cauliflower the last twenty minutes. Drain most of the excess water, leaving enough liquid to mash. Mash.

Saute chopped onion until brown. Add veg broth and deglaze pan. Thicken to gravy consistency.


I love steamed vegetables, like broccoli. Stir fries with water chestnuts and broccoli or cauliflower.
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#6 of 12 Old 02-24-2013, 09:27 AM
 
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My kids LOVE roasted cauliflower. And I always roast more then enough then throw it into a curry later that week for a quick meal. I'm also one of the moms that makes a lot of stirfry/pasta/soup/curry meals where the veggies are already in the meal. I did want to find some new "side" recipes and I came across this link I found quite a few that I'm excited to try

 

http://www.marthastewart.com/274928/quick-vegetable-side-dish-recipes/@center/276948/dinner-tonight
 


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#7 of 12 Old 02-25-2013, 04:30 AM
 
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how is your salad situation? why not up that? coz really lettuce is not really a summer crop. we do it the opposite as a rule. summer is NOT typical salad time. most lettuce, spinach, carrots are not summer crops. so we got somewhat mixed up there (i am saying this because you'll get a taste of seasonal cooking with your CSA box). you can add grated beets and squash in your salad (perhaps soak them first in a little vinegar and then add them to the salad). 

 

winter is a huge greens and orange time. why not steam a bunch of greens and toss with oil and pepper flakes. 

 

come to think of it i dont think we do 'main' dishes. it somehow works out that our protein dish - mainly beans - turn into our main dish. 

 

i also dont really serve my grains plain. i usually add a bunch of greens in there. 


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#8 of 12 Old 02-25-2013, 07:07 AM
 
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Yeah the salad idea is wicked. We have some kind of salad at every dinner. It really helps up get the veggies into the kids. We normally make them have their salad while main course cools down. That way they are more willing to dive into it since they're starving eat.gif
 


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#9 of 12 Old 02-25-2013, 02:15 PM
 
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My current favorite is either green beans or broccoli with sauce made from equal parts Bragg's Aminos and brown sugar, then reduced.  I add cashews....instant deliciousness!!!


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#10 of 12 Old 02-25-2013, 06:03 PM
 
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oooh my current favourite is roasted rutabega and beets. sometimes i could eat the whole thing. just beets and rutabega.

 

we've also been making tonnes and tonnes of borscht. 


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#11 of 12 Old 02-25-2013, 09:52 PM
 
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My family loves roasted sweet potatoes.  I peel and cube the sweet potatoes and pour some spices over them (tonight I did basil and crushed garlic) and a couple T of coconut oil.  So good and everyone loves it!

 

Kale chips are also a big hit.

 

Sauteed bok choi with capers.

 

My DD also LOVES celery, jicama, and carrots with almond butter so sometimes I just put those our for her, if I'm feeling uninspired.

 

Coleslaw, I've been adding mango and jicama, for an interesting twist.

 

Pico de Gallo, to dip veggies in.

 

Sauteed root veggies.

 

Those are some ideas off the top of my head.
 


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#12 of 12 Old 02-25-2013, 10:03 PM
 
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You could toss roasted broccoli with lemon juice, Parmesan and pine nuts.

We also love bubble & squeak. Mashed potato and pumpkin or pink sweet potato mixed with cabbage sauted in butter and garlic (add bacon or corned beef if you want a main meal). You can the serve as is, form into patties and shallow fry or put in a casserole dish, top with crushed weetbix and grated cheese and name for 20 mins.

Stir fry veggies with a little bit of veggie stock powder and soy sauce are nice too and go well with most meats.

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