In the 1950’s dinner was predictable most often consisting of meat, potatoes, a vegetable, and bread & butter. Those days of mashed potatoes and canned peas are over! Today with our country becoming a melting pot of cultures & cuisines, beef tenderloin can end up being paired with bok choy and ahi tuna with fried kale chips. Side dishes have long taken a back seat to the entrees when in reality the side’s are what can take a dish from ordinary to exquisite. Most importantly, it doesn’t have to be an elaborate process to whip up a healthy delicious side item. Some of these wonderful side’s can be prepared in as little as six minutes. So next time when your planning a family dinner and are thinking about what side to serve, forget the fifties and spice it up with something new, healthy, & delicious and something your family can appreciate & savor.
Green Beans Amandine
- 1 lb fresh or frozen green beans, cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1/2 c water
- 1/4 c slivered almonds
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp seasoned salt (optional)
- sea salt & cracked black pepper, to taste
- Place beans in a large sauce pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes or until crisp-tender, drain and set aside
- In a large skillet, cook almonds in butter over low heat until slightly golden brown, add minced garlic, stir in lemon juice and seasoned salt. Add beans and heat through.
- Season to taste with sea salt and cracked black pepper.
Wild Rice & Squash Pilaf
This pilaf is a great side with poultry or fish.
- 1 1/2 c sliced fresh mushrooms
- 1 1/2 c finely chopped peeled winter squash (butternut)
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 1 small green pepper, chopped (Time Saver: You can find these items in the grocery store already diced and measured)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves
- 3 c cooked wild rice (Time Saver: Let rice cook while your working on other ingredients.)
- 1/2 c chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 1 TBSP soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp dried savory (thyme or sage will make for a fine substitute)
- 1/4 c slivered almonds, toasted, (optional)
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- In a large saucepan, saute the mushrooms, squash, onions, and green pepper in oil until crisp-tender. Add garlic, saute 1 minute longer
- Stir in the rice, broth, soy sauce, and savory. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 13-15 minutes or until squash is tender, stir in almonds if desired. Season with salt & pepper.
Simple Roasted Asparagus
- 2 lb fresh asparagus
- 1/4 c olive oil
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Preheat oven to a broil. Snap off and discard the ends of asparagus (there will be a natural break). Arrange in 2 (15×10 inch) jelly-roll pans. Drizzle with olive oil.
- Broil in 2 batches, 5 inches from heat for 4 minutes until tender. Sprinkle with sugar, salt & pepper. (I like to squeeze a little lemon juice over the top as well, or drizzle with a nice balsamic just before serving)