I usually plan ahead each week so that I have recipes and ingredients for several Main Dishes for our evening meals.
That works well for me and I'm rarely at a loss for what to make each evening.
But I don't always plan for the Side Dish to go along with it.
Many of my main dishes have vegetables built in like this dish, this one, and this one, but I usually want to add another vegetable to our meal, and sometimes a starch.
So below are options I try to always keep on hand that are quick to prepare and make delicious, rather healthy Side Dishes in a pinch.
1. Garden Salad
If I don't serve it every single day, then everyone in the house likes a good garden salad.
2. Frozen or Canned Vegetables
David and the boys like canned vegetables, but I prefer fresh or frozen.
I always have Steamfresh vegetables in the freezer, and lots of canned in the pantry.
3. Fresh Vegetables to Steam
I almost always have a head of broccoli and/or cauliflower in the fridge for a fast steamed side dish.
4. Fresh Vegetables to Flavor and Bake
Or a flavored variety of steamed vegetables if I have a few extra minutes.
5. Fresh Vegetables to Season and Roast
Or a fresh vegetable to roast while the main dish is baking.
6. Fast Rice
We like rice and it goes with everything.
While not huge brown rice eaters, everyone likes this Long Grain and Wild 90 second rice with almost as much fiber per serving as brown rice.
Everyone in my family loves couscous.
I make the plain one with chicken broth instead of water, and we like the flavored varieties as well.
The boys' school cafeteria serves quinoa (pronounced "keen-wa") and they love it.
It's a very healthy, protein-packed grain.
I recently found this packaged variety that we all like.
So far we've only tried the Black Bean version and it was really spicy.
On the lookout for other versions as well.
I'm sure there are other side dishes that are just as fast that I'm not thinking of, but these are the main ones that I keep on hand to make meal preparation simpler for myself.