Weeknight dinner is easiest when boiled down to a combination of protein, vegetables, and a starch. Yes, the same plate of chicken with broccoli and brown rice might take the guesswork out of cooking, but it starts to get old pretty fast. Impressive entrées require a lot more time and effort than most of us can muster during the week, though. Instead of trying to get fancy with the chicken, pork, or beef on your plate, look to the side dishes. These accompanying foods are a lot easier to gussy up than the main dish, so you can whip up something impressive in no time. Try these six side dish recipes to add a little bit of excitement to your everyday dinner routine.
1. Root Vegetable Slaw with Orange-Cumin Dressing
Forget about cabbage and mayo, root veggies and citrus make a wildly delicious slaw suitable for any time of the year. This version from The Kitchn is loaded with beets, carrots, and celery root for a taste that’s earthy and also a little bit sweet. The cumin seeds add a nice bit of smoky flavor to this side, making it a great accompaniment for any meat.
When shredding the beets, you may want to use a pair of disposable gloves so you don’t end up with red fingers for the next few days. You can find them at most kitchen supply stores as well as online.
- Zest and juice of 1 orange
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 3 medium carrots
- 2 medium beets
- 1 small celery root
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
Directions: In a large bowl, whisk the orange zest, orange juice, cumin seeds, vinegar, olive oil, and sugar to combine.
Peel and shred the carrots, the beets, then the celery root into the dressing bowl. Toss to combine, and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for 30 minutes if time allows.