Just a few side dishes for when you're feeling in a rut and need some new ideas.
1. Cubed and fried potatoes with a little added crushed chile flakes. Mix in some refried beans and it's awesome.
2. Chop a veggie into bite sized pieces. Stir fry on med-high heat with a teaspoon or two of water for a few minutes until soft, but not mushy, then add Gluten Free soy sauce, and garlic if you like, and cook for just a minute or two more. Serve over mashed white rice, quinoa, mashed potatoes, or grated and steamed cauliflower. If you can't have soy but can tolerate coconut, then coconut aminos are a good substitute (bottled, dark brown sauce, usually found in health food stores or Whole Foods). If you can't have garlic, then ginger or nothing at all can be substituted for this. If the veggie is very hard, like carrots, you may need to cook for a bit longer, and with a bit more water, before adding the sauce.
3. Additions that add a little more flavor to mashed potatoes: boiled and mashed celery root, roasted garlic or fresh chopped green onions (if you're not sulfite sensitive, obviously), chile flakes, roasted green or red chiles, roasted and chopped bell pepper, veggie or chicken broth instead of dairy (this can be really pretty if you use a bell pepper or tomato based broth), spicy tomato sauce, fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme.
4. Make a mini-shepherds pie in a small glass dish, like those used for small pastries. Just put in a bit of cooked meat, some slightly boiled veggies, some seasonings and a bit of broth, then cover with mashed potatoes until none of the meat mixture shows through. Bake until it's all hot and the flavors have mixed. It's a nice side dish or even a snack on cold winter days.
5. Spinach and sliced strawberries or spinach and chopped orange slices. If you can have it, you can make a nice dressing for the strawberry salad for this out of chopped peanuts, lime juice, and a liquid sweetener, like honey. A little water to thin it out and you're set!