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Old 08-31-2012, 08:28 AM   #1
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Simple sides

My kiddies aren't too picky... But they do love their pasta and rice, which I don't always like to give everyday...would love some ideas for dinner side dishes that go well with chicken cutlets, pork chops, sausage and peppers that's basically what we eat here... I love to cook, but we have a budget, so I don't always cook the most extravagant meals...


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Old 08-31-2012, 08:42 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Lovex4 View Post
My kiddies aren't too picky... But they do love their pasta and rice, which I don't always like to give everyday...would love some ideas for dinner side dishes that go well with chicken cutlets, pork chops, sausage and peppers that's basically what we eat here... I love to cook, but we have a budget, so I don't always cook the most extravagant meals...
Will they eat any type of vegis?

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Old 08-31-2012, 09:51 AM   #3
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I like to saute or roast a variety of colorful vegetables together for a side, so usually there's something everyone will eat. For example, saute some sliced onion, green beans and red bell pepper, or red onion, zucchini and yellow bell pepper. Roast some carrots, green beans and onion wedges. Sprinkle any of these with a seasoning blend your family likes.

When it's hot out, a relish tray is nice - raw sliced tomatoes, carrots, celery, cucumbers, etc., served with a dipping sauce - could be salad dressing or something else. You don't say how old they are, but this starts preparing them for green salads if they're not quite ready for that now :-)

In winter, I make Italian green beans - saute some onion and garlic in oil, add a can of diced tomatoes and a couple handfuls of green beans and cook for 20 minutes or so.

Potato salad or roasted or baked potatoes is a starchy side that has good nutritional value.

Applesauce or sauteed apples with a sprinkle of cinnamon go great with pork chops. I was amazed by how easy it is to make homemade applesauce. Peel, core and roughly chop four Gala or other cooking apples, put in a pot with a tbsp. or so of sugar, 1/4 cup water, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon and a pinch of salt and simmer for 10 minutes. Break up with a potato masher and it will be a bit chunky or you can put it in the food processor to make it smooth.

Hope this helps.
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:03 AM   #4
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Two rice dishes that go over well at my house are cheesy rice and beefy rice.

Cheesy rice
2 cups cooked rice (better if there is still a bit of liquid left)
8 oz cream cheese
2-4 tbs butter or margarine
Ranch salad drsg mix to taste

After cooking the rice, add the cream cheese and butter and stir until melted (may need to add milk if seems dry), Sprinkle salad drsg mix and stir.

You can add other stuff like frozen peas, chopped broccoli, cubed chicken to make it more hearty

Beefy Rice

1 cup uncooked rice
1 can Campbell's French Onion Soup
1 can (12 oz) beef broth
1 stick butter

Preheat oven to 450°F Grease a 9x9 pan and add uncooked rice.
Stir in soup and broth - dot with butter - cover with foil
Bake 30 mins then remove foil and bake another 30 mins.
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:22 AM   #5
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As your children are still young, it's a great time to start introducing them to colorful and delicious food, that also have great nutritional value. For instance, many people serve canned carrots as a side. They are bland, and over salted. I can eat them, but don't really like them. My sisters wouldn't touch them as children, and won't eat them now. Instead, it's a simple task to peel and slice a couple of carrots, and steam them until they are crispy-tender. It only takes about ten minutes of time. When serving them, dress them with a touch of honey, and butter. That bland, canned veggie has just been transformed into gourmet fare that tastes wonderful to kids and adults alike.

Acorn squash can be cut in half and seeded, then rubbed on the inside with butter, brown sugar, and a bit of cinnamon and ginger. Foil wrap and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and scoop out the flesh. You will be surprised how great the squash tastes.

Most veggies are tastier when steamed, or baked. you want to leave some of that crispness in the veggies so that they aren't wilted and washed out. Wilted veggies are mushy veggies. When cooked correctly, they are brightly colored, and have great, natural flavor. A little seasoning can turn veggies into a real treat.

Steamed green beans, or spinach taste wonderful. Beets are sweet, and high in so many great nutrients. Put some peanut butter on celery slices and watch you kids gobble them right up.

Whole grain breads, served with a bit of good jam is always a welcome treat at the dinner table as well. Or serve whole grain dinner rolls, with gravy or sauce.

Another great way to get your children interested in eating healthy foods is to include your children in the food preparation.

Though mashed potatoes, or cheese macaroni are often the types of foods we grew up with as side dishes, they are foods that should be used sparingly. Yes, I'll admit it. I enjoy the flavor of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. But I rarely serve it as it is very high in starches (carbohydrates with very little food value), fat (from the milk and cheese), and salt. None of those ingredients are healthy for the body. Instead, serve up things like sweet potatoes, colorful veggies, including sweet and hot peppers (my eldest child has loved hot peppers since before she could walk, and she was an early walker/talker), wholesome grains, and milk or water. Fruit juices, though they contain some vitamins and minerals, have been stripped of most of their nutrients by removing the good parts, leaving only the juice. They are as high in sugars as soda-pop. They taste great, but aren't such a great choice as they contribute to obesity, tooth decay, and in adult stage diabetes.

You aren't doing your children any favors by giving them junk food, or comfort food. A great piece of pie is a little bit of heaven. But it can't be something eaten every day. the same true of ice cream, or doughnuts, or sweet rolls, or cake, or, or, or...

Serve fresh fruit for desert instead, maybe with a small slice of a great cheese. if you give your kids the chance to try a wide variety of food while they are young, you will be contributing to their good health, now, and in the future.

Seeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:28 AM   #6
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Mashed potatoes and gravy with chicken, sweet potatoes or baked beans with pork chops, and polenta with sausage and peppers.
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:29 AM   #7
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Great post Chief.
May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live.
Robert A. Heinlein
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:29 AM   #8
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I usually go to the farm market Saturday mornings and buy a variety of vegetables. Once I get home, I wash and cut everything and store it in baggies in the fridge. I like to make combinations of whatever I have on hand. Some nights I stir fry a variety of veggies and toss in a little goat or feta cheese. Other times I'll roast them in the oven or on the grill tossed with olive oil and fresh herbs. Another option is to mix them with pre-cooked brown rice, quinoa, barley, or other grains.
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:30 AM   #9
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Carrot coins, boiled until tender and dressed with a little butter and a drizzle of maple syrup or honey.

Cabbage salad, even if you go with the bagged cabbage it is still not expensive and you can scoop up a quick side for two or three nights.

American style fried rice made with leftover rice, onion, garlic, frozen mixed vegetables and soy sauce.

I am not sure how old your children are but, the more they participate in the selection and preparation the more likely they are to try things. They need to have a little skin in the game!

Good luck!
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:56 AM   #10
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I like to take fresh green beans (frozen in the winter), quickly parboil, drain, then toss with olive oil, S&P, and slivered almonds. In the produce dept of our local store (a Piggly Wiggly) I can buy flavored almonds meant to go on a salad and they're a perfect short cut for this. Use margarine or butter if it is preferred by your kids.

A lot of kids prefer cruciferous veggies raw with a dip. Make your own ranch with yogurt or buttermilk, herbs, thickened with some mayo. Or thin some peanut butter for a dip. I hated cooked cabbage, brocolli, cauliflower as a kid until someone invented veggies and dip. kids like to dip.

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