Weekends are the perfect time to bring together friends and family. And what better reason to have people gather than for food? But it can be difficult to decide on main and side dishes that will please all palates. Many crowd-pleasing side dishes – looking at you, mashed potatoes – are typically loaded with salt and butter. And how do you know how much to make? A great solution is to create multiple side dishes and do a tapas-style meal for dinner. Here are a list of tasty side dishes that need to grace your table!
Radish and Yellow Beet Salad
You can start the meal with this gorgeous salad. Yellow beets crunch like carrots but they offer a milder taste. You can roast the beets with fresh thyme – add them when they’re still warm to keep this salad interesting. Scour local farmer’s markets for produce, which will offer more flavor and texture. Rachael Ray recommended cooking the beets for 90 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also toss the radishes into the oven for 20 minutes or slice them over the salad raw for a nice, crunchy addition. Walnuts and pecans add a savory note to this salad.
Roasted radishes make for a beautiful salad addition.
Quinoa Chicken Risotto
If you’re hosting dinner, you need to cook – and clean! You can set and forget this dish in your slow cooker while you wipe down the counters and sweep the stairs before your guests arrive. Your slow cooker gives the quinoa a risotto-like creaminess and makes the chicken melt in your mouth with tenderness. To make this dish, add boneless chicken, quinoa, carrots and chicken broth to your crock pot and let simmer for four hours. You can add peas and asparagus and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Not a fan of asparagus? Sneak in Brussels sprouts or cherry tomatoes instead – or alter this recipe with other veggies that you prefer. You may just need to save some before your friends and family sit to eat – you likely won’t have any leftovers.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
This dish is guaranteed to please veggie and meat eaters alike! Toss Brussels sprouts in balsamic vinegar or a homemade balsamic glaze and coat them evenly. Lay down foil over a cookie sheet and cook the veggies until they’re tender (The foil will keep you from scrubbing the balsamic off the pan – which is notoriously difficult to remove). Then fry bacon until fully cooked and dice it to sprinkle over the Brussels sprouts. If you want to add a bit more richness for mouthfeel, you can toss the Brussels sprouts in the remaining bacon fat. Don’t worry – we won’t tell!
These easy dishes will leave everyone satisfied. Don’t forget to leave room for dessert. You can store the leftovers – if there are any – in your Fit & Fresh containers. You can decide if your guests can take them home or if they get to stay with you.