These are just as they imply a side to your main dish. Most are easier to make then a main meal but do need a little of your time to turn them into a great side dish as opposed to something were just popping out of a can or box and warming up.
The problem with most side accompaniments is they are just about impossible to make for a serving of 2. That is not a terrible thing just something we need to watch the portion control on. I hate throwing away food, but I also know most side accompaniments will be horrible if you try and freeze them and attempt to serve later. You do want to try and match the best side dish with the original main meal. Where I could I also suggested the best side dish with the main meal.
Sometimes you want the side dish to completely contrast the main meal. We are really just messing around with our natural taste buds. For example a Fish recipe needs that contrasting vinegar of any salad. Chicken is also included in this. Now you know why many of those places serve coleslaw on the side with chicken and fish. Though most of these coleslaws they make belong in the trash and not on any plate.
Other times you want the side to compliment the main dish. Any main dish that has a corn base as the main ingredient: whether it is made with corn tortillas or corn meal will actually be best served with a side dish made with corn.
As we start cooking with the white meats: (chicken, pork, and turkey). We want to start playing a trick with the eyes. Any colorful side is great. Any green vegetable is highly recommended. Orange ones such as carrots, yams will also do great.
When we get to the red meats (mainly beef and lamb) again it is mostly a trick with the eyes and a bit of a contrasting taste... These really do better with a starch on the side and preferably something that is white. That is when our potatoes, a pasta, or rice come in as a great side dish.
Beans can be a great side dish also, especially to a red meat, do not forget them.