Yellow split peas, chicken broth and savory spices turn long grain rice into a piquant pilaf. "This recipe was given to me by a friend from India," notes Marilyn Rodriguez of Fairbanks, Alaska. "It's a great side dish to go with curry recipes."
A savory mix of seasonings adds zip to Daphne Blandford's satisfying dish that's loaded with beans, rice, vegetables and cheese. "We enjoy it as a light entree with garlic bread and fresh spinach salad," she notes from Gander, Newfoundland. "It also makes a super side dish at potluck gatherings."
When a bowlful of this special stuffing starts circulating, the table will be ringed with smiles in no time, guarantees Sheryl McDonnell Rak of Chicago, Illinois. "I like to surprise guests with this interesting mix of textures and tastes," she says. "They have fun trying to identify the ingredients—everything from allspice an caraway seeds to molasses and soy sauce.
A sweet-and-sour sauce makes fresh green beans a little special. The tangy treatment for this everyday vegetable dresses them up nicely, so they complement most any meal. —Suzanne McKinley of Lyons, Georgia
This marvelous meatless entree comes from my 89-year-old grandmother, who cooks a lot with grains, particularly bulgur. The zucchini's a fun change of pace in these cabbage rolls. —Michelle Dougherty of Lewiston, Idaho
Once you taste Holly Ogilvie's scrumptious side dish, you'll want to double your garden space for squash! "Acorn is my favorite kind of winter squash," she says from Lino Lakes, Minnesota. "It's so versatile—I use it in all kinds of recipes. And the hollowed-out shells make such pretty serving bowls."
"These mini cabbages are surprisingly big on flavor," notes Tina Repack of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Although the brussels sprouts are very simply seasoned, roasting them caramelizes their natural sugars, giving them a subtle sweetness.
"When I'm looking for a different way to put cranberries on the menu, this unique side comes immediately to mind," reports Donna Smith of Victor, New York. "Paired with beets, the berries are tasty and tangy...and their ruby-red color really brightens up my holiday dinner table."
With its red pepper slices and green broccoli florets, this merry medley will brighten any holiday table. Sara Lindler of Irmo, South Carolina uses mild seasonings to let the variety of veggie flavors shine through.