Thursday, September 29, 2011

25 Easy Vegetable Sides

These are some of my favorite fast vegetable sides on the planet. The inspiration from here might have come from magazines or cooking shows but I have tested it all and it's great!

  1. Heat up a skillet with a little oil. When warm, add some chopped bacon. Stir fry until crisping up, drain off a little fat if desired. Add chopped cleaned broccoli and stir fry until broccoli becomes bright green. Serve with rice. This can be done with green beans, Brussels sprouts, chopped nappa cabbage, peas or spinach as well.
  2. Chop 3 onions into thin slices and a box of mushrooms into quarters. Add to a warm skillet with a little oil and sauté down until reduced in size by half, about 15 to 20 min. Add as a side to steak and rice, or potatoes.
  3. Take four onions. Peel off the skin, cut off the hairy ends. Set all four onions (whole) in a purex baking dish. Brush with BBQ sauce then roast in an oven at 375 degrees for 45 min to one hour, or until soft. Serve with steak or grilled chicken.
  4. Clean off three large potatoes (peel if desired). Cut into wedges (or thinner for fries). Toss in a bowl with a little oil and a variety of spices, from chili powder to thyme and basil. Add salt and pepper. Lay in one layer on a cookie sheet and bake at 425 degrees for 20 min, shaking and stirring at least once, until golden brown.
  5. Sliver some cabbage and add to a warm skillet with a little oil. Stir fry and add some hot sauce. This only takes five mins at the most, when the cabbage is limp, it’s done.
  6. Sauté some slivered nappa cabbage in a hot skillet with a little rice wine vinegar, hoisin sauce or soy sauce until done (about 15-20 minutes).
  7. Heat up the oven to 375 degrees. Cut an acorn squash in half, clean out seeds. Season with salt and pepper and add spoonfuls of applesauce. Add a little cheez whiz or grated cheese on top if desired. Roast covered with aluminum foil for 45 min to an hour, or until soft with pierced with a fork.
  8. Peel and chop a cucumber into rounds and add to a bowl. In a separate bowl, add some miracle whip, a little vinegar and a little sugar, enough to create a watery sauce. Season with salt and pepper, let set for at least 6 hours before serving.
  9. Cut a butternut squash in half. Peel with a vegetable peeler (it’s easier) and scoop out seeds. Add flesh to a roasting dish. Toss with a little oil, salt, pepper and roast in the oven at 350 until fork tender, about 30-45 min. When done, toss with a chopped fresh herb before serving, like basil or coriander. This is great with potatoes, sweet potatoes or yams as well.
  10. Chop up some fresh, cleaned spinach and add to a saute pan on medium. Add a little chicken stock if necessary and saute until the spinach has wilted. Toss with chopped sun-dried tomatoes and serve.
  11. Chop up some peeled carrot and peeled turnip. Add to a pot and simmer with enough chicken stock to cover with a little extra. Add a clove of peeled garlic too. Once fork tender, purée in a blender and season if necessary.
  12. Clean four hot house tomatoes. Finely chop up some onions, bacon, mushrooms and green pepper and add to a skillet to reduce it down. In another bowl, mix some of your fav shredded cheese with some bread crumbs of finely chopped nuts. While the onion mixture is reducing, cut the tops off of the tomatoes and gut them so that you can stuff them. Once the onion mixture is ready, stuff the tomatoes and top with the cheese and bread crumbs. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30-45 min or until the bread crumbs and cheese are golden brown.
  13. Open two cans of sliced beets and drain. Cube on a chopping board. On a separate board, chop up pieces of bacon or pancetta. Heat up a skillet, add the bacon or pancetta first and let it cook down. Once browned, add the chopped beets and sauté. Sprinkle with a little lemon juice and a dash of chopped rosemary. Serve once all is tender and the bacon is crisp.
  14. Chop and clean some fresh spinach and slice a box of mushrooms and an onion. Add onion to a saute pan on medium and saute for two minutes then add the mushrooms. Saute for 5 minutes or until the mushrooms shrink then add the spinach. Saute until the spinach wilts. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve. This is also great with spicy cooked shrimp served on top.
  15. Cook some frozen peas in water until they are done, usually 5 min after the boiling point. Drain and toss with some sour cream and freshly chopped mint or coriander. This also works great with green beans, Brussels sprouts and broccoli.
  16. Clean off four large portobella mushrooms with a paper towel and remove the stem. Meanwhile, chop up two Italian tomatoes, some black olives, some fresh spinach and some feta cheese. Add all of these ingredients to a bowl and toss with fresh bread crumbs or finely chopped walnuts. Stuff mixture into mushroom cavity, bake in preheated 375 oven until the top is brown and the mushrooms have shrunken a little in size, about 20 minutes.
  17. Chop off the frizzy top of a fennel and the stump off the bottom. Slice in half, then cut into ½” slices. Season with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat up a skillet and spray with Pam or add butter to melt down. When hot, place in the slices of fennel in one layer and let sear down. This takes about 6 min per side and it’s done once the core of the fennel is softened.
  18. Chop off the hairy end and dark green parts of the leek. Clean, half and chop into small pieces. Clean and chop up some mushrooms and an onion. Sauté in a warm pan with a little oil, first the onion, the leek then the mushrooms until all is softened. Meanwhile, place dethawed pastry tartlets in a muffin tin. Place leek mixture into tartlets by the spoonful, not too full. Add a little cream to each tart and cover with a little grated cheese; bake in a preheated 375 oven until the cheese is gold and bubbly.
  19. Peel or clean a cucumber. Slice into rounds, not too thick or thin. On the cutting board, season each side with salt and pepper. Arrange cucumber rounds onto a plate and eat as a veggie side.
  20. Clean a head of collard greens and cut the stems off. Add to a pot of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce and boil for another 5 minutes or until the leaves have wilted. Drain and toss with salt and pepper. Serve.
  21. Preheat the oven to 375. Clean and chop the ends off of two small zucchinis. Slice in half and slice a little bit off of the skin on the bottom so that it sits upright with the cut end facing you. Salt and pepper the top. Crumb some feta or goat cheese and add on top of the zucchini halves, add a dash of hot red pepper flakes if you like. Place in a square baking dish and bake until soft and the cheese is a little golden, about 10-15 min. Serve on the side.
  22. Take a ripened avocado and slice in half, twist apart. With a quick thrust with the bottom edge butchers knife, hit the pit, turn to the side and pull it out. Use a spoon and go around the entire edge of the avocado to scoop it from the skin. On a cutting board, chop it up into cubes and put into a small dish. Quickly douse it with the fresh juice from one lime. Add salt and pepper and some freshly chopped coriander, toss together for a side salad.
  23. Peel and chop up 2 or 3 large potatoes, 2 or 3 large carrots, 2 parsnips and half of a turnip. Add to a pot with enough chicken stock or vegetable stock to cover (Or, mix the stock with water so that you don’t use so much of it). Boil and cook until fork tender, like normal with potatoes, but make sure that it’s the turnip that’s cooked. Once done, drain off some of the stock, using some for natural liquid when mashing. Add pepper or more salt if desired, perhaps a little sour cream if you want. Serve on the side.
  24. Clean 2 heads of fresh broccoli and pull the leaves off. Chop up the stems then the heads into slivers and add to a bowl. Julienne a peeled carrot and 1/2 peeled, seeded cucumber and add to the bowl. In a small bowl, combine 3 tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 1/2 tbsp liquid honey and 2 tbsp wine vinegar and stir together with a fork. Add 1/4 cup sour cream and 2 pinches of paprika, combine again then pour over the broccoli slaw. Mix together then serve.
  25. Open 2 cans of beets and drain, add to a medium-sized bowl. Core and chop up two large Granny Smith apples and add to the beets. In a small bowl, combine 3 tbsp white wine vinegar, 2 tbsp Dijon mustard and 1 tbsp liquid honey with a fork. Add to beet mixture and toss together. Let sit for a few hours or overnight.

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