Monday, April 4, 2011

Simple Sanity Saving Sides

Photo Credit

How many of us can come up with a good recipe but then we have to think about a side dish and then maybe a fruit or a dessert.  I was fine with picking out my main meals but picking a side was getting tiring which is why, about two years ago, I made a list of all of my go-to side dishes that I keep handy.

On my old blog, I did a Menu Planning Series.  Part of that series was about making a list of your side dishes.

I wanted to re-post that list for you and encourage you to make your own go-to side dish list (say that 3 times fast).

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I really try to keep sides so simple.  I usually have brown rice cooked and frozen.  I steam all of my frozen veggies in my Pampered Chef microwave steamers (because it is easy and takes 5 minutes).  I usually just add a little butter and garlic powder to the veggies.  For the beans I just heat them up on the stove until heated through and I sometimes will add bacon grease (I know) or olive oil and garlic powder or salt.
Here are the sides we enjoy (in no particular order):

Brown Rice (recipe below)
Butter almond green beans (I use my frozen green beans for this instead of my canned)
Canned Green Beans
Steamed broccoli, peas or corn
Spinach Salad with sliced almonds and cheese
Baked Potatoes
Cheesy Ranch Potatoes
Baked Beans (homemade from the freezer or canned)
Black-eyed peas
Butter beans
Homemade freezer fries
These are my daily go-tos but I also make mashed potatoes, scalloped potatoes and sweet potatoes on occasion.  I try to make the side items easy and use mostly veggies.

**Here is how I cook my brown rice:
5 1/4 cups of water
3 cups of brown rice

Mix the above together in a 9x13 inch pan.  Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes at 450 degrees.  Fluff it with a fork.  I freezer it in 2 cup portions.

What are some of your favorite side dishes?

Raising Homemakers


  1. We do mostly potatoes. My kids love oven roasted with seasoning, oven fries or just plain fried potatoes.

    I do try to have some kind of veggie with every supper, too even if it is just carrot sticks.

    Nobody really like rice...I wish we did. I have never heard of cooking it in the oven, I may have to try that.

  2. Ma,

    The kids don't love rice but we have it with stir fry and other things rather than just by itself. We love oven roasted potatoes too!

  3. This is something I need to do. My "sides" section of my recipe box is way too bulky. I've got some that are special occasion sides and some that are every day sides, so it would be nice to have it a little more organized. One of my fave sides is oven roasted veggies. Very easy and so yummy!
    And let's see...Katie's fave side would be the baked mac & cheese that I got from a 1956 cookbook and Hannah's would, hands down, be my baked beans. As for Brian...he likes it ALL! :)

  4. You can cook brown rice in the oven?! I so did not know that! Definitely going to give it a try!

    We do more potatoes than rice as well....mostly because I'M a potato freak. But we also have our fair share of rice. Usually white. I actually hate brown rice but I bought some a few weeks ago that I am promising to eat.

  5. Klutzy mama,
    I want your roasted veggies recipe!

    We don't like plain brown rice either, but we like it with our stir fry (with soy sauce) and in other dishes. Let me know how you like it from the oven.

  6. Thank-you for the tip about the brown rice...I just made a batch of it & it tastes entirely different than when I cook it on the stovetop.

    I'll be using some of it to go into black bean & rice make ahead freezer burritos...yum!

  7. Thank-you so much for your recipe for baking the brown rice...I just made a batch and it tastes entirely different than when I make it on the stovetop.

    I'll be using it in my black bean & rice make ahead freezer burritos...yum!!

    Another side dish that we enjoy is using frozen green beans, adding a few dashes of soy sauce or tamari, a couple tblsp. of brown sugar & about 1/2 tsp. of minced garlic, let simmer on low till hot through.

  8. Cheles2kids,

    So did you like it cooked in the oven or on the stove better? Just wondering.

  9. Yummy side dishes! I like your scalloped potatoes recipe! We like to do a lot of grilled chicken and steak with a side of Aglio e Olio Pasta.

  10. I like to cook 222,

    Oh, that Aglio e Olio Pasta sounds delicious. I am going to have to search it out on your blog. Thanks for sharing!

  11. I just counted how many side dish recipes i have in my recipe box. 27! That's not even counting the online ones I have bookmarked. Too many, but I can't bear to let any of them go!


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