Side Dishes are Faboosh

I want my plate to be balanced.  I don’t really care about my protein, vegetables and carbs being in balance, even though I know I should.   But, I do care about color and making sure everything on the plate stands out.  This is why side dishes become so important.  Here’s a good example.  I started stir frying pea pods and grape tomatoes a couple of years ago.  Why?  Why not.  I had extra tomatoes that were right on the edge of wrinkled.  I cut the tomatoes in half to help release the juices, and if the pods were too big, I chopped them as well.  A little olive oil and some S & P  in a pan and there you go.  This has turned out to be one of my favorite sides and probably my easiest.  And look at that color.

And then there’s my favorite green, arugula.  I love laying a bed of greens down on a plate before I put the main protein component down.  I’ll put a couple of handfuls of arugula in a bowl and toss it with olive oil and S & P.  If I’m serving pasta, I’ll put some on one side of a pasta bowl and then add the pasta.  It makes the pasta pop.  Or, it will be the bed for something ultra special like my crab cakes.  I’ve included this picture before, but it’s such a good example.  Would the crab cakes stand out without the green curly arugula leaves?  I don’t think so.  Sliced rotisserie chicken looks much more special if you have arugula and balsamic reduction on the plate first.

Greg has always disliked coleslaw.  He thinks it’s the cabbage.  I think he’s wrong; he just never had the right dressing.  When we started making pulled pork a few years back, I wanted coleslaw to go with it.  I found the perfect ingredient to make the dressing sing…sweet chili sauce.  I know what you’re thinking, “Isn’t that for Asian food?”  My answer to that is why limit yourself.  Depending on how much slaw I’m making decides how much mayonnaise I need.  I use the sweet chili sauce to thin the mayo.  Adjust the amount to your taste buds.  I like it spicy, you might not.  Give it a try, it’s really a refreshing dressing for coleslaw.

Bottom line, I love color on my plate and I bet you will too.

and remember:  Trying to understand the behavior of some people is like trying to smell the color 9 or the number blue.  Big kiss, Lynn

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