No need for side with casseroles etc if the kids want something else they can have a salad. If that's the only side you provide and they are hungry enough they will eat it, otherwise, they've probably had enough to eat.
Thanks for the input. It does make me feel better. I do try to pick recipes for main dishes that include what is needed in a meal. If I make a soup/stew sometimes I'll make biscuits. Other dinners will have some homemade flatbread. This is a favorite flatbread of mine from Chef Meg: http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-deta il.asp?recipe=2168900
what on earth would a side for lasagna be? it's already got pasta, veggies and protein if you made it right. so anything else would be redundant. the idea of serving sides comes from main dishes that are really one note. a steak isn't a meal by itself, which is why you need broccoli and potatoes or mushrooms on it with asparagus and risotto beside it. they add carbs in the form of fiber, which the steak lacks to balance the meal. so if your pizza has veggies in the sauce and veggies on top, it's all you really need in one meal. it doesn't need a side. if you're talking about a plain cheese pizza, then some type of vegetable, perhaps with a sauce for the kids, would go with it.
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I definitely prefer making one-pot meals. I just make sure to include veggies, protein and carbs in fair ratios all in that one dish. Soups, casseroles and stir frys are all easy to do this with!
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I don't intentionally do sides and it's probably good to get into a fresh mindset about what constitutes a "meal". I understand your feeling of guilt. It's hard to feel like you are limiting your family with your diet. But your kids are young enough to not know the difference and they get to learn what healthy meals and portions look like so congrats on that! Your partner can grab a side of bread if he needs it (but as other posters have said, he is probably, like you, better off without).
Sometimes I have bread with dinner-but it is not an everyday thing. I may not have any garlic bread (or a 1/2 or 1 slice) while my 12 year old son will probably have 2 or 3. He requires more calories than I do. Tonight I cut up apples for the kids to go with dinner-since neither one of them would touch the peppers or peas I was eating. My kids often has fruit as a "side".
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I usually have casserole type dishes and don't bother with sides at all. In recent memory, the only time I really made a side especially for a dish was when we had Ratatioulle with poached eggs as the protein. I served it on a bed of grits....so it is somewhat a side but it was part of the main entree as well.
They don't need a side of extra bread either. Maybe give them a little bigger of a portion so they feel like they are getting more food?
I usually only have a side like rice, potatoes, if I feel like I need it. I'm trying to stick to veggies and protein.
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Most of what we eat isn't really in the form of "protein plus two sides", so the question is kind of moot for us. We do a lot of vegetarian dishes that are in the form of a stew-like thing that is served either over rice or with some kind of bread, and we can't skip the grain (not often anyway) because we don't eat enough animal protein to get by without it. We may or may not have a separate vegetable dish -- depends what's in the refrigerator and what's in the main thing we eat.
I don't eat things like rice or bread as a side for their own sake (except rarely garlic bread with spaghetti or the like) and never have, even back when I ate lots more meat. I guess I don't see the point, especially now. Everythign else on my plate appeals more than that does, so it would just be shoving in a few more calories for no reason.
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I rarely will do rice or bread as a side, unless I'm doing a stir fry or some other kind of ethnic dish, then I'll have some rice as part of the meal. I pretty much never do bread. I keep a loaf of garlic bread in the freezer and if my SO wants some I take out just one portion and heat it up for him, but I don't eat it. I also might do oven roasted or mashed potatoes as a side if it makes sense with what I'm making, and I just watch my portion. If my main dish doesn't have a veggie, I will do a veggie side or a salad. I pick veggies that are easy to make in 1 or 2 servings... like broccoli or green beans, and I buy fresh so I'm not having to open a whole bag of frozen or 1 or 2 servings.
I would say as long as your husband and kids aren't complaining about not having rice or bread, then don't worry about it. If they do want it, it doesn't mean you have to eat it.
I'd agree... we almost always have a salad, but the rest of the time I will nuke a veggie or use a bowl of fruit. Some dishes need brown rice or something of that nature... a nuked small sweet potato. The bottom line for us is also "fullness".. and the sense that we have a meal that provides all the essential nutrients and satiation also.....
It really depends. If the main dish has everything a meal needs, I don't bother. For example, if I make a lasagna with a lentil-tomato sauce and add spinach and mushrooms, I figure it has veggies and some protein in there. I like a salad with it because it goes nicely, but it's not too important. Rice and beans with veggies are another I wouldn't bother adding anything to.
This week for lunches I've made two dishes - neither is main or side, it's just potatoes baked with leeks and spinach and some asiago, plus a salad of sauteed zucchini, carrots, kale and snap peas with white beans and a touch of lemon juice.
I don't think you need to think in terms of main and side. Just think in terms of required nutrients.
I'm just curious if anyone is like me and doesn't bother with a side dish for dinner. I will usually bake a main entree, like lasagna or my healthy homemade pizza and then just have a big salad with it. I typically don't bother with having a side like rice or bread. To me a side is just extra calories. The only problem is that nobody else in my family will eat salad. My DH is not on the healthy bandwagon and my 2 and 4 year old barely touch veggies (except the ones I hide in the main course.) I just feel a little guilt that all they have to eat is the main dish and nothing else.
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