A Selection of Simple Sides

Sometimes there isn’t enough time in the day and on some evenings the last thing you want to be doing is cooking. Many people would reach for the phone and their favourite take-out menu. But it doesn’t have to be this way it is simple, and easy to prepare flavoursome food fast.  The best way I have found to make a simple meal more interesting is to make simple but flavourful side dishes to compliment the main star of your dish, whether it is meat of fish.  So here for you, I have a few simple sides for you to try!

Butter and Thyme Glazed Carrots

I have been making these carrots for a while now, they were a ‘wow’ side dish. When I was a student, trying to impress my friends with culinary creations..  With the festive season nearly upon us these carrots are the perfect accompaniment to your Christmas meal.

  • Carrots, peeled and cut into batons
  • Chicken stock, enough to cover the carrots
  • 1-2 tbsp butter
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed

Once you have peeled and cut up your carrots, put them in a large heavy bottomed saucepan.  Add the butter and garlic and heat the pan until the butter has melted and the carrots are well covered.  Now add the chicken stock and boil the liquid away until there is very little left, make sure you don’t let it boil dry as the carrots will burn!

Sweet Potato and Swede Mash

  • 2 Swedes
  • 1 Large Sweet Potato
  • Pinch Nutmeg
  • 2 tsp butter

All you need to do for this one is peel and cube your potato and swede.  Put it into a large saucepan and boil until it breaks up when pressed against the side of the pan with a fork.  Once you’ve done that add your butter and bit of seasoning and mash until smooth. Sprinkle with the nutmeg give it a stir and serve!

Shredded Sprouts with Onion and Pancetta

  • Fresh Brussels Sprouts
  • Generous amount of chopped pancetta
  • 1 small red onion sliced
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic crushed

Thinly slice your sprouts then, in a hot frying pan/wok stir fry the pancetta, red onion, garlic and sprouts. Once cooked season liberally with black pepper.

Leftover Cheese and Onion Potato Cakes

These are very nice just on their own for lunch or an afternoon snack.  They are also great because they use that little bit of mash that’s always left in a bowl in the fridge after the Sunday roast, and everyone has that odd end of cheddar rattling around the cheese drawer.  They are super fast to make as well!

  • Leftover mashed potato
  • ½ onion chopped
  • Grated cheese , any will do, use whatever is in the fridge

in a mixing bowl mix together the potato, onion and the cheese. Once you’ve done that make into  little patties and fry until they are browned on both sides, simple!

Assorted Vegetable Chips

Once again this is a great one for using up all of those random vegetables that get left until the end of the week, or even get forgotten about at the back of the fridge.

  • Assorted vegetables e.g. potato, beetroot etc
  • Oil for frying

Now for this one I normally use a mandolin but if you haven’t got one a normal box grater will do.  Using the slicer setting, cut discs of the veg out. If you have the crinkle cut setting by all means use that as it looks rather fancy when they are finished.  Once you have enough vegetable chips, fry them off in the oil, once cooked drain on some kitchen towel and season.


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