Healthy and Easy side Dishes

Ok, so you are making chicken or fish for dinner… but what are you going to pair with these foods? A lot of times people end up eating chicken and vegetables because it is easy and they do not know what else to pair with their “main” dish.

Let’s be honest, are you planning? Are you preparing? Are you really ready to be healthy and embrace nutrient dense foods? Most people will eat a light and healthy dinner and then end up over eating “snacks” or “treats” after dinner because they did not balance their meal well.

Check out some of these side dishes that are easy and delicious and can even be made into the main course.

Green bean and Potato Salad with mustard thyme dressing

  • 2/3 lb. redskin potatoes (about 4), clean and dice
  • 1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. minced red onion
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions: Fill a pot with 1 inch water and fit with steamer basket. Add potatoes to steamer basket and bring water to boil. Cover and steam for about 10 minutes. Add beans and then steam for 5 minutes. In a small bowl, combine vinegar, mustard, onion, thyme, salt and pepper. Transfer, beans and potatoes into a large bowl, toss with mustard mixture. Add fresh parsley.

*Makes 2 servings

Smoky Black Bean Salad

  • 3 1/2 cups black beans (no salt added canned) or fresh cooked beans
  • 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • 2 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. grape seed or olive oil

Directions: Preheat broiler and bring the oven rack to the highest position. Place peppers in a pan lined with foil. Place peppers on rack, broil, turn often, until skin is blistered and blackened, about 10-15 minutes.

Transfer peppers to a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside, until cool enough to handle. Hold pepper under running water and carefully peel off the pepper skin. Dicd pepper into 1 inch pieces.

In a large bowl, combine, peppers, beans, carrots and cilantro. In a separate bowl, mix together lime juice, dijon, and salt, slowly whisk in the oil. Pour on top of pepper and bean mixture. Stir to combine and garnish with cilantro.

* serving size 1 cup

Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Mash

  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 1 pound of cauliflower florets
  • 3 Tbsp. milk of choice
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Fresh chopped parsley

Directions:

Peel and cut sweet potato into 1 inch cubes. In a large steam basket, steam sweet potato and cauliflower. Vegetables and potatoes will take about 10-12 minutes to steam.

Place cauliflower and potatoes in a large bowl and smash with milk. Stir in the Greek yogurt, garlic powder, salt and pepper. If too thick, add in 1 Tbsp. milk at a time until desired thickness. Garnish with fresh parsley.

Garlic Mushroom Quinoa

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 pound mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions:

Add 2 cups of water to a large sauce pan. Add quinoa and cook according to package directions. Set aside.

Heat oil in a skillet pan, add mushrooms, garlic and thyme. Stir occasionally, season with salt and pepper. Stir in Quinoa and serve immediately. Garnish with parmesan cheese.

quinoa spoon

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