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Blissful and Domestic is now on Youtube!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Blissful Exchange: Side Dishes

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So that cute hubby of mine has done it again. I have no clue how he taps into the woman brain, but he does. I swear. He came up with the idea of a discussion forum for Blissful and Domestic. He thought it would be a great way for Women and Moms to talk, encourage, and inspire one another. He gets it and I love that! Because of his idea, The Blissful Exchange was formed. Here is what you will see in this new segment on B and D. The Blissful Exchange is just that, an exchange of ideas, and thoughts. It is not a debate, but a way to share. Each week I will ask you all a question. Then it is your turn. In the comment section we can start a forum. A way to discuss different ideas, recipes, tips, and tricks. You can truly get to know all the readers of Blissful and Domestic this way. I know that many of us are in similar seasons of life. Our days are busy. They are full of children, laundry, chores, hugs, kisses, boogers, jobs, cooking, cleaning, and everything else that goes along with mommyhood and just being a woman. Let's inspire one another, since that is what Blissful and Domestic is all about.

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This week I am asking a question, which one of my sweet blogging friends asked me recently. Michelle sent me an e-mail wanting to know what type of side dishes I used and how many I offered at a meal. Well I knew what I did, but I was pretty curious what others may do with dinner.

So lets get started.....


When it comes to side dishes I always have a fruit or veggie and then some sort of starch. The starch can be rice, pasta, potatoes, or rolls. I try to keep it simple, but well rounded and colorful.

So now I ask you. What do you do when it comes to meals. What side dishes, how many, what do you pair up? If you have some favorite recipes share them, link them, whatever you wish. I am excited to see how you do side dishes. Everyone can comment and respond to one another in the comment section below. I will be joining in as well. insert my squeal of delight. Can't wait!

Thanks so much lovelies and lets get this Blissful Exchange off and running.

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47 comments:

  1. Great idea! I love getting ideas from others, and sharing what works for me too:). I feel like I always need to have a veggie with dinner, and ideally 2 veggies- but that doesn't always happen... I try to eat a salad at least once a day, typically this is what I will eat for lunch. To make it convenient to eat salad, I will wash all my lettuce when I come home from the grocery store (or the next day, when I get around to it...) and dry it with the Super cheap salad spinner from my favorite grocery store, Aldi. Then I chop it all up and it will last for a good week:)

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    1. This is such a good idea. I think when things are more convenient for you, when it comes to veggies and fruit, the more likely you are to eat them. It is at least in my case.

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    2. I love the idea of keeping a salad in the fridge. My kids won't eat it, so I used to never have them. I really enjoy them however, so I just keep one to add to my meals, and maybe some day my kids will learn from the example. One of my daughters dips a few pieces of lettuce in dressing, so that's a start, right? :)

      Bobi
      http://westernwarmth.blogspot.com

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    3. I do the same! my kids never used to eat salad, so i would wash it then put it in ziploc sandwich bags and it was the perfect amount for me. One day I brought home fresh spinach and gave it to my picky boys with some ranch and told them it was leaves off the tree! they loved it, now i do the same with the romaine, give them the whole leaf and let them go to town on it. (some white lies are ok if it gets them to eat veggies!)

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  2. Great idea! I love getting ideas from others, and sharing what works for me too:). I feel like I always need to have a veggie with dinner, and ideally 2 veggies- but that doesn't always happen... I try to eat a salad at least once a day, typically this is what I will eat for lunch. To make it convenient to eat salad, I will wash all my lettuce when I come home from the grocery store (or the next day, when I get around to it...) and dry it with the Super cheap salad spinner from my favorite grocery store, Aldi. Then I chop it all up and it will last for a good week:)

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  3. i will usually have my meat, 1 or 2 veggie/fruit, and 1 starch as well. We like to pair up chicken (without a sauce or gravy) with a noodle side that has a sauce. If the chicken has a sauce or gravy then its egg noodles or rice. that wayy the sauce coats the noodles/rice. Whenever I serve pork, we do applesauce as a side. Beef dishes tend to get the potatoes.

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  4. Love this idea!
    With us, we don't always do side dishes if I have a casserole or main dish with lots of veggies in them. The kids are picky so if I make too much food, they won't eat it. However, when we do make the sides, it's a veggie, fruit or salad, and usually a starch of some sort.

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    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one with picky eaters that does this!! It's more of a simple is better! Only my oldest will try my "creations" any more!

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  5. My kids pretty much drive me crazy with not eating veggies. So I always do carrots and broccoli with ranch which is the only favorite. Then I cook something that I love and ask that everyone try it.

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    1. I like to put a veggie tray out while I am making dinner. It keeps my kids busy and they eat a bunch of veggies. Then they get two servings of veggies at dinner. (the second serving is with actual dinner)

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    2. I do that a lot too - the kids and I eat them that way and then I figure my husband (when he gets home and we eat all together) can either have that as his 'second' item or just more of the main dish or side. But you know, lots of times I just don't do a side since I think the more you serve the more you eat. But my husband does give me a hard time about refusing to serve two starches at one meal. He would LOVE to have corn on the cob and mashed potatoes at the same meal.

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    3. My hubby would love corn and potatoes too. He is a meat and potatoes kinda guy.

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    4. I am a new reader to your blog. I had to share this about vegetables. My oldest & I were picky eaters. As my youngest (7 yrs younger than the oldest) was growing, she was not picky about anything she tried & I didn't try to stop her. She inspired to try new vegetables & fruits. I made a deal with my oldest, we had to try one new vegetable a week, eating at least two fork size bites each day. I'd cook the new vegetable at least 3 times that week & tried different ways of cooking it. We found out that we loved A LOT of vegetables & now are more likely to try new foods.

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  6. My hubby and I are pretty simple eaters. I almost always have a salad in the fridge for a quick veggie side. We have rice or potatoes alot (good starch and cheap too!) Sometimes I'll do steamed broccoli and carrots. Sautéed asparagus is another favorite! We love our fruits and veggies!

    comeplayhouse.blogspot.com

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    1. I LOVE asparagus but rarely have it because in my grocery stores it is always super expensive and looks kind of old. Do you get it fresh/frozen and do you have a great place you like to get it?

      Bobi
      http://westernwarmth.blogspot.com

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    2. Asparagus is crazy expensive at my grocery store too. I just check when I go and if it is on sale I buy it. Ends up only being every once in a while, but we still enjoy it.

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    3. look for asparagus that is frozen or caned. the frozen is way better than canned but the canned u can usually get cheaper. i look for sales and buy it in bulk when i can get it frozen.

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    4. i buy it frozen when there is a sale and usually try to stock up on it bc it dose not go on sale very often

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  7. I have anxiety issues I am being treated for and I was surprised that my doctor suggested upping my protein (and lowering starch/carbs) as well as my normal (pills!) treatment. It's funny cause it has actually lowered my stress level at dinner time. My hubby will grill some meat or I'll have something in the crockpot and then I'll put a veggie with it and dinner is done! Letting go of the carbs (for my mental health) has actually been nice for me to let go of one more thing to keep track of in preparing meals. My kids love rice, so I've taught them how to prepare it in the rice cooker. My oldest can make homemade mashed potatoes. So they make sure they get their starches when they want them, but its been nice to let go of that for myself. If I know I have a protein and a veggie, we're good.

    Bobi
    http://westernwarmth.blogspot.com

    oh, and btw, that hubby of yours has some great ideas! this is fast becoming my very favorite blog to visit.

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    1. Oh that is so sweet . I am glad you are enjoying Reading! I love writing for you all. It is amazing how letting go can really change your day. I am glad that things are going well and your medical stuff is under control.

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  8. I have a large household. My sweet hubby and I have 7 kids and my mom lives with us so I can take care of her and her dietary needs. She is legally blind and just recently started chemo for breast cancer. I have alot on my plate and I love cooking. I have always followed this golden rule for cooking, I have my protein, veggie, and starch. I never make 2 veggies because I'm lucky if I can get them to eat the one....lol...plus as much as I love cooking I myself don't love veggies and really don't want to cook them more then I need to. Tonight for dinner I am making teriakyi chicken (pinned this recipe from pinterest and I make it once a month) with steamed white rice(I hate brown rice, it taste like sawdust)no butter, and I steam broccoli, carrots, and sugar snap peas. My whole family LOVES this recipe and I got them to try a new veg, sugar snap peas. I will usually make a fun snack or use fruit as a snack later that night.

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    1. Sounds yummy! I hear you about brown rice. I have tried and tried but can't get use to the taste. I also can't get my family into whole wheat pasta. I guess I just have to piick my battles. Luckily my kids are really good about eating veggies. They love them.

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    2. I used to make brown rice quite a lot - I called it 'oatmeal rice' to convince my kids it was good! But my hubby of 4 years doesn't like rice unless it's fried rice, which I haven't perfected, so when he's home, no rice for us... And whole wheat pasta only works if I can disguise it really, really well...

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    3. I bought some brown rice and didnt care for it either so I decided to mix half brown and white to use it up. I can handle it this way especially when made into a frid or steamed rice/vegies. They cooked well together even though white takes 5 mins and brown takes 10.
      Danielle Im new here and absolutely love it. Keep up the good work.

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    4. I like the idea of mixing the rice. Awesome I do that with flour too! Whole wheat is not my family's fav, so I do half white, half wheat.

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    5. I started my family eating honey wheat bread, then after (about a year) that wasn't a problem, I slowly changed to brown rice. Last week I bought 2 loaves of whole wheat bread cause it was on sale, no complaints & it's gone. Changes definetly take awhile but are worth it health wise.

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  9. Hi Everyone:
    Danielle, I think the veggie tray is a great idea. This time of year, I have a lot of veggies, thanks to my veggie garden. My kids think that veggies straight out of the garden taste better, for some reason. I'll put out a bowl of sugar snap peas (earlier in the season), or cherry tomatoes, or bell pepper strips, and once I announce they are out of the garden, my kids devour them. The rest of the time, I'll mix frozen or canned veggies in with the foods they love. Like Mac & Cheese with peas (or mixed veggies), or egg noodles and peas mixed up in the gravy from the meat or roast - - veggies coated with other sauce taste better too, I guess. The other thing I do is finely chop things like carrots, celery or peppers in my food processor and mix it into spaghetti sauce. They hardly notice it, and they get added veggies!

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    1. I love the sneakiness of adding veggies to meals. I purée carrots and add them to pasta sauce. I also just added them to my salsa chicken recipe. No one even noticed. I felt like a super spy. ;) haha I try to get in those veggies anyway I can. I so need to do a garden. Maybe next year....

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  10. Rice makes its way onto our plates pretty often. My son is the most picky eater ever but if there is rice, he will eat. We usually have a meat(bbq'd chicken,ribs,salmon) then at least 1 veg. I try to have something green on the plate every day(Broc,Asparagus,Beans). Here's a few examples of dinner plates I would make:
    -Oven baked or bbq'd sausages, pork&beans, broccoli,and sour crout.
    -Chicken stir fry with rice and then I'll load it with different veggies but chop them up very small so you can't really tell what they are.
    -Bbq'd or oven baked Salmon, steamed broccoli & carrots, and brown rice.(I usually have to make my son a lipton soup pack then with my hand blender whip the fish and veggies up and toss that in the soup. He loves it when its in soup. Wont touch it otherwise.
    If we're having spaghetti, I steam broccoli and carrots and use my hand blender on them and put that in the sauce.

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  11. Great ideas from others! Steamed spinach is a go-to for us. Squeeze from lemon juice over the top when finished and you have a delicious, healthy, quick side. Yummy!

    Happy seeing beautiful!

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    1. Yummy! I haven't tried lemon juice on spinach. I usually just cook it in butter..,, I know not the healthiest but boy it taste good. I am going to try the lemon though. Thanks for the idea;)

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  13. we pretty much have one meat, veggie, and a starch as well. Sometimes I like to add a roll to the meal even though we've already got a starch because us Croy women love our carbs! my favorite starch is homemade mashed potatoes. Peel and cut 3 large Idaho potatoes (family of four) and boil for 30 minutes. drain and mash with potato masher. add enough milk to form the texture you want, 4 TBS butter and salt to taste. Add Lawry's seasoning salt instead of real salt for pretty color.

    my family really only likes green vegetables, which I guess is a good thing but it gets old after a while. I'm constantly rotating green beans, broccoli, and white peas. No carrots, no squash, no rutabagas. Any suggestions? I have a picky husband, a 6 yr old girl and a 1 yr old girl.

    whitneycroy.blogspot.com

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    1. Try puree carrots in pasta sauces. I cook my carrots by the bag full in the crockpot. No seasoning and just in water. I then put them in the blender. I puree them, store them in Freezer bags in 1 cup servings. I put them in the freezer and just thaw them out when I need them. I put the bags in cold water and they thaw out really fast. Super sneaky and my kids never know. I also throw carrot puree in meat loaf too!

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  14. Hey everyone! This is a great idea! I just started following your blog yesterday or the day before. Def one of my faves! I'm a SAHM, we have 3 wonderful kids (7yo boy, 2yo girl, & 5 month old boy).
    I pretty much do the same as you Danielle. We always have some sort of meat as the main dish, then I add a starch and a veggie. Our most common side veggies are green beans or corn. And our most common starch is some kind of potatos (we like potatos any and every way) or rice. The only meals I don't bother making sides for are my red beans & rice with kielbasa, tacos, biscuits and sausage gravy, or my stir fry. Those are all pretty filling by themselves so I dont see the need to make a side, we never end up eating them with those meals anyway. (I take that back - with red beans and rice my hubby loves corn bread, well, with any beans actually) My hubby and my mom do alot of canning from our garden or the local farmers market, plus my husband is a hunter so we always have some kind of meat in the freezer :D
    I look forward to getting more ideas from y'all :)

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    1. I am thinking I need your recipe for red beans and kielbasa. Sounds like something my hubby might like.

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  15. I also have a veggie and fruit with dinner.Like with mexican food I will have cole slaw and put in pineapple in it. Spagetti a salad,bbq anything I will have beans or corn on the cob.I ALWAYS have lots of fruit.I get most of my fruit from our .99 only store.If my kids are hungry they can a fruit I limit the sweets .Some days my kids will have 3-5 fruits. I can get the fruit in them not so much the veggies.Now when it gets colder my kids LOVE roasted cauliflower.It's like candy to them.If I buy 3 heads ,it will be gone as soon as it is cooked. By the way love the site. :)

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    1. I like the idea of coleslaw with Mexican food. I always have a hard time doing side dishes for Mexican food. I usually do rice, corn, or beans. After a while that gets old. I am excited to try the coleslaw:>

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  16. I always try to make sure every food group is represented at dinner. So protein, dairy, starch and veggie.

    Thankfully my kids are really good about eating veggies, they have their favorites and of course the ones that they turn their noses up at but I try to make sure that when I offer veggies that I make it as tasty as possible.

    A few of our favorites side dishes are asparagus risotto, sauteed greenbeans with mushrooms(the kiddos don't like mushrooms so I just pick them off of their plates), sweet potatoes, glazed carrots, also during the summer when our garden is producing well I will just put out a veggie tray with dip and they go at it.

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    1. Love all your side dishes. I haven't made sweet potatoes in a while. Kinda forgot about that one:> will definitely be on my list next month.

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  17. I'm lucky to have little boys who love their veggies (my oldest isn't fond of green peppers but will otherwise eat anything). Granted this took a lot of hard work and some unpleasant evenings but they know they have to eat anything and everything served and there are no more complaints.
    I make a lot of one dish meals; soups, veggie filled lasagnas and other bakes, stir fry etc.
    When I make sides it usually consists of rice or potatoes, I like brown basmati rice and rosemary olive oil potatoes either on the grill or baked in tin foil. Favorite veggie sides here are broccoli, sugar snap peas, and green beans. For all of those I steam them just enough to turn them vibrant green (softened a little on the outside but still nearly crunchy in the middle) then salt and pepper them. Simple and delicious.
    With fall approaching I will switch potatoes to primarily sweet potatoes and add steamed kale to the veggie rotation.
    Brussels sprouts are also fantastic for fall and winter, I sautee them in garlic and olive oil until they start to brown then pepper and parmesan cheese on top, the kids love it!

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  18. HOW IN THE WORLD DID I MISS THIS?!?!?! my brain must have been left outside its shell too long!!! lol. anyways thanks i luv all the ideas - and i never thot about a roll being a side. it was just sorta like a staple, we always had bread growing up so i guess i just never thot about it. i feel better knowing that a fruit is alright to serve as a side along with a veggie. hubster is a diabetic so we have to be careful with the starches. someone said simple is better - that is straight from my sons mouth! he told me one day when i tried to cook some different meals "Momma, we are just plain people, we like plain food. you know, hamburgers, hot dogs, tacos." LOL! for asparagus heb (i think they are only in texas but you could look and see if your store has something similiar) has frozen grilled asparagus. it's delish and so economical, it ends up being abt $1.06/lb! again thanks so much! i'll try and not keep my brain out so long next time. ;D

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  19. The number of side dishes depends on the meal I'm serving. If I make a pasta like spaghetti then I'll have a green vegetable like broccoli or green beans, possibly corn, and then buttered bread. But if it's something like soup I'll serve it by itself or with buttered bread/corn bread. Pizza is almost always by itself though. :)

    Helen
    Blue Eyed Beauty Blog

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    1. When I make spaghetti I always saute some vegetables and put them in the sauce. Onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, corn, even carrots make an appearance once in a while. Then I can serve it by itself and my kids are still getting lots of veggies. My one son doesn't like tomatoes, so he doesn't want the sauce. No problem, I pull out some of the veggies for him and he eats plain noodles and veggies. We're all happy.

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  20. My goal is to have half of the plate be veggies at least. My hubby always has a salad (that's usually what I have at lunch and it gets old if I eat salad at dinner too). I've cut down on the starches- mostly watching what I eat, just discovered I get to eat more food if I load up on veggies. I always drink milk at dinner too. I was very picky as a child and young adult, but decided at 22 that I was being ridiculous, so I started cutting all the veggies I didn't like up smaller and now I'll even eat mushrooms and onions (this was big for me). Frozen and fresh veggies are my favorite- they are very easy to sauté.

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  21. My goal is to have half of the plate be veggies at least. My hubby always has a salad (that's usually what I have at lunch and it gets old if I eat salad at dinner too). I've cut down on the starches- mostly watching what I eat, just discovered I get to eat more food if I load up on veggies. I always drink milk at dinner too. I was very picky as a child and young adult, but decided at 22 that I was being ridiculous, so I started cutting all the veggies I didn't like up smaller and now I'll even eat mushrooms and onions (this was big for me). Frozen and fresh veggies are my favorite- they are very easy to sauté.

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  22. I add chopped fresh spinach to a lot of sauce and stir frys I also make mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes if it can stand alone no sauce or gravy. I love spaghetti squash and serve it as a side instead of rice or past in the fall I also like to serve roasted butter nut squash instead of roasted potatoes I have 3 small kids (5,3,and 1 year old boys) they all basically go for ne roasted veggies. I also like to serve a fruit veggie and lean protein and sometimes a starch as we have diabetics and have to watch our starches prefer our sugar to be natural. I found ur blog on pinterest and now I"m hooked

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