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Side Dish Ideas

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  • Side Dish Ideas

    My husband is now on the primal diet, and I am having trouble finding a variety of side dish recipes that he can eat with our suppers. Have lots for veg. and salads, but we also normally have a side such as potatoes or pasta or grain. What are some other side dish ideas? We have three young children who are very fussy eaters.

    Also have been reading over this site and have found conflicting reviews of black beans and quinoa. Are they ok or not ok?

    Any help/advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

  • #2

    A few people here (particularly some who do a lot of cardio workouts) eat quinoa, which is a psuedo-grain. By and large, though, all beans, grains, and grain-like substances are excluded from the primal blueprint. They're high carb and contain anti-nutrients, contribute to systemic inflammation, etc. So, it's better to avoid them, at least most of the time.

    The side-dish thing just takes some getting used to. At first, it's weird not to see a pile of starch on 1/3 of your plate, but before long you'll grow quite accustomed to filling up on extra veggies or other primal foods instead.

    For example:

    Roast some veggies for one side dish, and serve a salad for the other.

    Steam some veggies and top them with butter, and serve deviled eggs or an egg salad for your other side.

    Put a selection of olives, pickles, and roasted bell peppers on the table alongside a generous pile of veggies.

    Occasionally, something like cotttage cheese and berries is nice.

    Jicama "chips" are fun to dip in guacamole.

    Avocado slices are tasty and filling.

    One-dish meals (soups, stews, frittatas, casseroles, chilis, curries, stir frys, etc) don't necessarily require a side.

    Heck, NO meal really requires a side. Be creative! Be flexible! Want to serve two different meats? Meat and eggs? Go ahead -- don't let cultural traditions rein you in.

    Nightlife ~ Chronicles of Less Urban Living, Fresh from In the Night Farm ~ Idaho's Primal Farm!

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    • #3

      Whipped/mashed cauliflower is yummy. It makes a nice mashed potato substitute. Even my non-Primal family likes it.

      You can also "rice" cauliflower by grating it. Season it with spices and you've got "dirty rice."

      Roasted veggies of any kind simply rock. You can roast radishes (it takes away the bite), carrots, broccoli, peppers... you name it, you can roast it.

      Sauces help. Find a few sauces you like and alternate them. Mix it up from time to time.

      Do "food adventure" with new veggies that you've never tried. Make it interesting and exciting. Just calling it "food adventure" makes trying something weird, like kohlrabi, more fun.


      • #4

        I simply replaced the pasta/grain idea of a side with another vegetable or fruit. Or I just don't make more than two things. My side dishes are usually along the lines of a hot veggie and a cold veggie or fruit: broccoli and a handful of blueberries, sauteed swiss chard and carrot sticks or a salad, roasted asparagus and celery sticks with almond butter or cream cheese, garlic mashed cauliflower and apple slices or sweet potato chips, etc. I found that as I increased the size of the meat that I cooked, side dishes became less about providing more food and more about variety. My 5 y.o. likes most of this stuff because it's really simple.


        • #5

          Thanks for all of the info. I'll keep trying different veg. sides. It's tricky with 3 young kids who miss their gnocchi and their pasta!


          • #6


            It&#39;s tricky with 3 young kids who miss their gnocchi and their pasta! </blockquote>

            One of my FAVORITE tools is a spiral slicer. (I have this one: I have used it to make pasta out of zucchini, potatoes (not primal) and my new favorite, butternut squash. Boil the noodles until they are semi-soft, strain and cover w/ meat sauce--delish!!! Not sure if your kids would be so open to it, but your husband might. I do lots of substitution dishes in our house--my husband will have the &#39;regular&#39; version, and ds and I will have the substitute.

            Can&#39;t second the mashed cauli enough! Add garlic powder for a yummy twist, or some mashed brocolli or carrots as well for a different flavor delight. I always use coconut milk in my mashed cauli in place of the butter and milk (my son is dairy intolerant). It&#39;s soooo yummy!


            • #7

              Add more meat and veggies... and maybe a glass of whole milk.