Although we do love returning to old favorites, I find it more exciting to find a new dish and bring something fresh to the dinner table.  For some reason, many of our recent side dishes have consisted of some form of potatoes, and it was time for a change.  I was juggling (yet another) busy afternoon, and needed something that could be ready quickly and/or prepare itself (ie- crockpot).  Perusing Make it Fast, Cook it Slow, I came across a recipe I’d never tried before- Corn Risotto.  I had all of the ingredients and it would cook in two hours- just long enough to run around town and come back to find it ready.  I decided to pair it with chicken apple sausage (love me some Trader Joe’s- no pork casing!) and a green veggie to accompany it.  I loved the look of this Easy Sautéed Spinach recipe, especially since the blogger used step-by-step photos that looked so appealing.  I washed the spinach and left it out to dry, so that I could throw everything together quickly when we got home.

Corn Risotto & Sauteed Spinach

After its two hours of cooking, the Corn Risotto needs a few final minutes once you stir in the last two ingredients (cream and Parmesan cheese- although I used light half-and-half instead of cream).  This was just long enough to cook the spinach.  I then quickly pan-fried the chicken sausage, and dinner was truly ready in no time.  I skipped the cayenne pepper in the risotto since we don’t like things spicy, and everyone was really pleased with the meal.  Risotto was a fun side dish, and made in the crockpot, really couldn’t have been easier.  The spinach was delicious, and had enough flavor to overcome any bitterness sometimes present in cooked spinach.

Discovering an interesting side dish can add flare to an otherwise boring meal. Share your favorite side dishes with our readers so we can all try something new! To find out what’s new in our kitchen, stop by, or become a fan on Facebook.