Saturday, June 20, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 6/22

When it comes to cooking meals for my family I'm great at making the main dish. Side dishes are another story. Growing up, my mother always served us two side dishes and one of those was always a green veggie of some kind. But when I try to make side dishes, the veggies end up soggy, limp and lacking in that certain zing. Can you help me? I really want at least one side dish to go with each meal. Please leave a comment with tips and ideas. I'd really appreciate it!

Italian salad dressing chicken and pasta

Chicken quesadillas

Chicken - and - rice - and - beans

Provolone wrapped chicken
Beer baked scalloped potatoes

Bourbon chicken with rice


CristyLynn said...

We have found fresh green beans to be great! They are also really easy to prepare and so much better for you than canned or even frozen. We put less than a Tbls of olive oil in a skillet, dump the washed green beans in and add a little bit of salt and then fresh garlic. Makes a yummy, crunchy, stir fry-type side dish.
Unfortunately we can't always swing the price of fresh green beans (especially in St. P!), so we do use frozen when we have to. They aren't as crisp, but the flavor is similar and still quite tasty.
Another thing that we have enjoyed is getting fresh bell peppers of different colors. We cut them up and throw them in a bowl with some green onion and tomato. I have this great dressing that's super easy to make that I just keep on hand in the fridge. We pour some of that on individually. It's sooo yummy!
Ok, and one more suggestion (this is something we've been working on, so I have ideas!) I have a few recipes for main dish salads that also incorporate fruit and nuts. I'll just cut the recipe in half for a side dish. Especially in summer it's nice because they taste so refreshing. If you'd like the recipes I use, let me know. Or you can find a bunch on
Sorry for the long comment! I hope it can help you though!
Love you!

Caryn said...

Monday: Yellow squash. You can bake it in the oven with cheese and bread crumbs and it's heavenly. We throw it in a skillet with some onion and slow cook it to "mush" consistency and it's good that way, too.

Tuesday: Get some vegetarian refried beans. No fat, huge fiber. I warm them with a little milk to thin them out. Then sometimes I melt a slice or two of Kraft singles into the mix, too. Add just a small side of a salad made with just tomato and cucumber cubes.

Wednesday: I'd cook canned green beans. But to make them edible you have to cook them a lonnngg time with chopped onion and a tiny bit of olive oil if you're being healthy, or butter if you can swing the fat ;) If you want Southern green beans, buy Allen's and cook them forever with a bunch of good chopped up ham meat. Same for turnip greens.

Thursday: I'd do a salad again. Spinach maybe. With black olives, cucumbers and your favorite dressing.

Friday: I'd again go with the green beans or a salad.

We also eat a lot of boiled cabbage. Which I personally love. And slaws made from fresh cabbage, cracked pepper and mayo to taste.


MemeGRL said...

My two favorites are both toaster oven or broiler recipes. Easiest: take a bag of baby carrots. Toss with olive oil and a teeny bit of salt. Bake at 400, shaking every once in a while, until desired consistency is reached.
We roast asparagus the same way, and recently have started adding trimmed scallions with them--yum. My blog has a recipe for an amazing sauce for them too, lifted from The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper.
Oh, and last but not least--our easiest favorite--broccoli tossed with olive oil and pepper and microwaved, 3-5 min, depending on your microwave and smushiness preference. Can also top with cheese if you want.
Those are my veggie hacks. Good luck!

Algebra Teacher said...

I make a cucumber salad that even I like and I don't like cucumbers. You slice cucumbers very thin, salt them good and place in the frig (15-30 minutes - even longer is okay). Drain off excess water. Splash on some vinegar (red wine or apple cider) and a couple tablespoons of mayo. Stir it up and eat. The mayo and vinegar will make a soupy kind of dressing for the cucumbers. This can be made ahead (even overnight) and served later. It's actually better that way. It goes with everything.

cassandrasmom said...

Monday- Salad

Tuesday-Mexican Style Rice
1 Tbsp. oil
1 ½ C. long grain white rice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 very small onion, diced
1 ½ tsp cumin
2 Tbsp. chicken bouillon
4 oz. tomato sauce
3 ½ C. water
2/3 C. frozen mixed vegetables

In a large skillet heat oil and add rice to brown slightly. Once browned add garlic, onion, cumin, bouillon and tomato sauce. Stir to mix. Add water then frozen vegetables. Bring to a boil then turn heat to low and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed about 20 to 25 minutes.

Wens- Green Salad

Thursday-7 Layer Pea Salad
Make this the night before using it.

3 C shredded lettuce
½ C red onion, diced finely
1 C celery, chopped
1 (10 oz.), box frozen peas DO NOT DEFROST
1 C (or enough to cover to of salad) salad dressing such as Miracle Whip brand
2 hard boiled eggs
1 C sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
½ C bacon bits
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar

In a large bowl put the shredded lettuce, red onion, celery and frozen peas in their own separate layers. In a medium bowl mix Miracle Whip and sugar. Spread evenly over the top of salad. Then add the eggs, sharp cheddar cheese, and bacon bits in their own layers.

Friday-Almond Green Beans

1 (16 oz.) pkg. frozen green beans
1/2 C. water
1/4 C. honey
1/2 C. slivered almonds – toasted
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. salt and pepper

To toast almonds, place on cookie sheet and roast at 350 degrees for several minutes until lightly browned. Do not over bake. Mix all ingredients in a 2 quart saucepan and bring to a boil. Continue at a simmer for 5 to 10 minutes or until beans are tender.

Hope this helps or gives you some ideas for the future

ToyLady said...

We do a lot of salads (usually about 3x a week) - especially right now, with the fresh lettuces and spinach from the garden!

It's so easy to whip up a quick dressing to go with whatever the main dish is - a sprinkle of shredded cheese, couple of croutons, and some sliced onion and we're set.

Cooking bigger veggies on the grill is also a nice option - just brush or toss with a little oil and salt & pepper and quickly sear them while the meat is resting. . . asparagus is great like that - potatoes take a little longer, but we love them grilled.

The biggest thing, I think, is don't overcook the veggies. That's how they get soggy and limp.

newmami_rgv said...

We have the same problems! but i've been getting better. i buy lots of frozen veggies (or canned) and that's one side then for the other i don't do a side, but dessert, which is usually fresh fruit. so i try not to let it bother me about making two side items, which my mother always did as well. but i think that if the kids get full off of two sides then there won't be room for fruit, which i am trying to get them to eat more of. here are some of my ideas for you:
Italian salad dressing chicken and pasta: salad always goes best, or you can add fzn veggies to the pasta

Chicken quesadillas: try a bean and corn salad (hot or cold)

Chicken - and - rice - and - beans: corn tortillas

Provolone wrapped chicken
Beer baked scalloped potatoes: canned greenbeans, add bacon n butter and sprinkle with an italian herb

Bourbon chicken with rice: peaches