Foolproof Sides for the Uncook

Dinner,Holidays,Quick & Easy,Recipes
May 2, 2011

Think you don't have the culinary skills to rustle up something tasty? Let us prove you wrong.

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Maybe it's because I'm an editor for a food magazine, or maybe it's because I truly enjoy the pleasure of being in the kitchen, but I have to confess—I want to wag my finger and lecture people who say they "can't" cook.

Not so. If you have opposable thumbs, you can cook. Because that means you can can operate a vegetable peeler or a can opener. It means you can chop with a knife, whirl with a whisk, or squish potatoes with a masher. It means you can punch the buttons on a microwave. And if you can do those things, you can cook.

So for all you "uncooks" out there (you know who you are), the ones who head for the nearest plastic tub of potato salad every time an annual holiday dinner rolls around: I want you to stop right there. You can cook. You just need the right recipe, and here are five of them to get you started nice and easy. If all else fails, find the nearest raw vegetable and steam, bake or grill it until it's done (bite into it if you're unsure). Drizzle with Italian dressing and serve.

—By Stacey Norwood, Multimedia Editor

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Simple Asparagus Saute

Finger food for parties, or side dish for dinner.

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Mixed Greens with Garlic

Any kind of hearty greens—from kale to beet greens—will work in this garlicky dish.

Microwave Southwestern Mashed Potatoes

Pepper jack cheese and cumin transform boring mashed potatoes into something new and delish.

Whipped Sweet Potatoes

A jolt of orange juice brightens this colorful, tasty side dish.