Saturday, April 2, 2016

Sides Taking Over

It's usually the side dishes that get all the applause. Guests may like stuffed mushrooms or the kids may like the the squash  instead of the roast. Is it possible to just make a meal of them then and forgo the main dish? Yes, if it's done right. A home chef can make a fun and nutritious meal by just using the second string.

Everyone loves stuffed mushrooms, They usually accompany a beef roast but can be made on their own. Use the portabella ones for a truly hearty meal. They can be stuffed with a variety of different ingredients. Try Italian sausage and mozzarella or crab meat and parsley, Vegetarians will love a spinach and eggplant one. You can also throw in some  white or brown rice too to round it out. The smaller white cap ones can be used  to make bite size versions. Another idea that involves mushrooms is mixing them with rice. Use the arborio  kind and you wind up with mushroom risotto. Rice itself is always the perfect side because it complements any meat poultry and fish.yet on its' own it can be a tasty and filling. Think about combining it with leftover chicken or ham along with some carrots broccoli and onions for a variation of fried rice.Rice patties are another idea. They're bound together with Parmesan  cheese and broccoli, then baked for fifteen minutes. The rounds can be made with brown rice too.Couscous is usually a side dish too but it can be stepped up to be a major player. Add some currents and chopped shallots and it turns into an exotic Moroccan dish.

Veggies have always been relegated to second string however they can shine on their own Squash can be stuffed with everything from beef to rice. It can also be filled with ground chestnuts or couscous too. Spaghetti squash is a great dinner .It's baked for forty-five minutes , scraped out and then served like any pasts. Try it with a rich marinara or a delicate burro or butter sauce. For true vegans  serve with a tomato sauce and chickpea meatballs.Zucchini is another side that can be stuffed and made into the star of the dinner table. Kids will love having zucchini boats for their meal instead of the usual garlic sauteed coins.They're an easy recipe starting with boiling or steaming the gourds and then slicing them in half. The pulp is scooped out then mixed with cheese, egg, beef, chicken or spinach  along with seasonings .It's then put into the squash shells and baked for twenty minutes at 350 degrees Farenheit. String beans, long the second banana to almost every dinner Yet serve it with pasta in an aglia e olio,, garlic and oil sauce and it's a fantastic dinner.Stir fry green beans with tofu and ginger for a yummy Asian influenced supper.

Sides can go from being a supporting player to the star of the dinner table. Any vegetable or grain can be revamped into a tasty and satisfying main dish.Don;t let them linger in the shadows any more.

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