Sometimes it’s tough to strike a work/life balance. Getting kids ready for school, fighting traffic during a long commute and plowing through a busy day can be just the beginning for many working parents. After the commute home there’s still school sports and activities, homework (um, mom – I have a major project due TOMORROW!) and errands (did anyone pick up the dry cleaning?!) and oh yea, what’s for dinner?
Having an arsenal of family favorite recipes handy can help solve the dinner dilemma, but the focus of our time and meal planning efforts are usually made on the main entree (usually the protein). Side dishes often become an afterthought, but they shouldn’t be.
According to the U.S. Department of Health, a balanced meal differs for people according to age, sex and level of physically activity — but generally half of your plate should consist of vegetables and fruit (slightly more greens than fruit) and the other half should include equal parts grains and protein, plus dairy (like a glass of milk).
So veggies, fruit and grains are as equally (if not more) important than the protein entree. Skip the canned veggies and try one of these homemade side dish recipes.
Butternut Squash with Caramelized Onions – The nutty taste of butternut squash is complimented by warm and sweet caramelized onions and chopped pecans….a fall favorite!
Carrot Fritters – Quick and easy, this recipe with carrots and light brown sugar first appeared in Imperial Sugar’s Bag Full of Recipes Cookbook, originally published in 1930. Sweet and simple, there’s a reason some recipes stand the test of time.
Grilled Asparagus with Shaved Parmesan – Full of heart-healthy ingredients, this simple recipe dresses up grilled asparagus with shavings of sharp, complex parmesan cheese and lightly sweet toasted pecans.
Broccoli Slaw – Sunflower seeds, almonds, broccoli and heart-healthy canola oil all blend together in this crunchy side dish.
Spicy Orzo Carrot Salad – When dietitians tell you to eat the rainbow, this dish meets that requirement. Carrots, red peppers, fresh basil, onions and lots of spices
Be sure to visit our website for more side dish recipes.
What is your favorite side dish to make?