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6 Favorite Side Dishes

I've mentioned here before that I typically do a big grocery shop on Sunday or Monday of each week so I can avoid the daily "what's for dinner question" that always pops into my head around 4:00pm.  Lately, because of the snow and school holidays I've been meal shopping a lot more frequently and because the kids have been home so much I've been selecting dinners based on how little prep time is needed.  At least four times a week now, I run into Whole Foods and make a bee line to the seafood section.  Typically they have fish marinating,  and if not they will do it for you in the spot.  You meat eaters have it even better, and I am constantly blown away by all the different options they always have in the case... chicken marinating or breaded, meatballs galore, even meatloaf!

Gone are the days of making big pots of soup around here so after I square away our protein, I will then hit the prepared soup section and grab a quart or two for the week.  Sometimes I pair it with a salad, but more and more it's the sides that I've really been focusing on.  By mixing those up daily,  I don't even seem to mind that I'm having salmon 4x a week, because depending on the side it takes on a whole different feeling.  I've found myself repeating the same six, which are all easy and delicious, and I figured there are more than a few out there in the same boat.  Most of these are great in the warmer months, and lately we've had so many leftovers I been happily eating them for lunch the next day or two.

A good side is hard to find.  Here are six that I just can't get enough of.

Roasted Broccoli with Almonds, Lemon and Pecorino Cheese

Panzanella

Curried Cauliflower Soup
Parmesan Lemon Zucchini 

Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpeas With Lemon Dijon Dressing

French Lentil and Vegetable Salad
For when you are really in a pinch or need some variety there are two easy sides that I LIVE by.  The first is so simple, you just take a bag of frozen corn and spread it out on a baking sheet in a single later, coat with olive oil and bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes.  Sprinkle a generous helping of salt and pepper and let me tell you this is the BEST way to have corn.  It's so easy and so inexpensive. Sometimes I add a little feta cheese or cilantro, but even on its own you will be amazed at how good it is!

The second simple side is made by taking a pack of baby kale (found by the fresh bagged spinach) and simply putting it in a skillet over medium heat.  First you sauté a little chopped garlic and red pepper flakes, and as soon as the garlic is fragrant add in the kale.  After a few minutes the kale will be wilted and you are good to go after a sprinkle of salt.  You can also throw in some mushrooms while the kale is sautéing or add a squeeze of lemon at the end.  From start to finish this takes about 3 minutes and you are left with a healthy and elegant side.

Bon appétit!

P.S. If you want more, here are some other great recipe posts from this series.
6 favorite fish recipes
8 favorite kale recipes
6 favorite vegetarian pasta recipes
7 asian inspired dinners


The Kitchen Before and After