Whose Side Are You On?
After a long day, whether or not you work from home, or if you’re helping with homeschooling and looking after your family and the house, the last thing you probably want to do is stay in the kitchen and cook for hours. Maybe there are some days that you don’t mind trying out new recipes for yourself or your family, but more likely you want to prepare something easy, and more importantly something quick. Especially when it comes to side dishes.
Vegetables, beans, grains, and salads can be featured in separate side dishes or can all be incorporated into one dish. It simply depends on how hungry you or your family are!
SUUP polled our staff and friends to see what vegan side dishes they enjoy preparing or eating; here are a few ideas to help you with your meals.
Greens were a popular item when it came to side dishes. That can mean anything from roasted kale chips, to rice with chopped spinach, to sweet-and-sour cabbage, to braised leeks with garlic, to sautéed bok choy with mushrooms. Green beans with slivered almonds, roasted asparagus, sesame broccoli stir fry, or a salad made with mixed baby greens such as kale, spinach, arugula, and frisée are also popular choices. Zoodles are always fun; all you need to do is spiralize some zucchini, then mix it with pesto sauce to create a bright green, tasty side dish.
You can even try creating a list of side dishes based on colours. Do you or your people like orange? If so, start with that. Go online and seek out vegan recipes featuring orange ingredients that can be used in a side dish. Peel and cut up sweet potatoes and butternut squash, then roast them with a maple syrup drizzle. Sweet potato fries are a nice change from regular French fries, and so easy to make. Carrot soufflé, turmeric rice, or pumpkin bread pudding will dress up your plate nicely. And if you want to add some orange to your mixed greens salad, slices of orange peppers and mandarins are the perfect topping!
Check your pantry and refrigerator/freezer to find healthy and interesting ingredients to use. Because you’re preparing a side dish, it’s more about the quality and taste, rather than the quantity. A side dish is meant to complement the main dish and help round out a meal, hopefully adding a measure of “healthy” at the same time.
Hearty side dishes can be made with beans and pulses such as lentils, black beans, kidney beans or chickpeas. They are a good source of protein and offer fibre and other essential nutrients to any diet. Mix them with pasta or grains, use a variety in making marinated bean salads, or mash them to create dips. SUUP’s Lemon Lovers’ Hummus, made from chickpeas, is a perfect side dish or a topping for another side dish such as potatoes or rice or even a main such as fried tofu. The hummus will enhance your food and tickle your taste buds with its fresh, lemony flavour.
Any of SUUP’s plant cuts or seitan can be incorporated into side dishes. Turn a bowl of plain, cooked quinoa into something yummy by frying up small pieces of Bacon Seitan or Italian Seitan then tossing them together with the quinoa and any seasoning or marinade of your choice. Top with sliced green onions and slivered almonds, and your quinoa is now tastefully dressed and no longer boring.
When it comes to side dishes, almost anything goes; it’s simply a matter of taste.