Enjoy our favorite MyPlate-inspired vegetable sides–the perfect accompaniment to a light and healthy main dish.
Cooking Light is working with the Partnership for a Healthier America and USDA’s MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access
to thousands of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate,
visit www.choosemyplate.gov. Find recipes at http://pinterest.com/MyPlateRecipes/.
Vegetables provide nutrients vital for health and maintenance of your body and should be consumed on a daily basis. MyPlate recommends buying fresh vegetables that are in season and choosing vegetables that are easy to prepare. To keep meals interesting, vary your veggie choices, and try crunchy vegetables, raw or lightly steamed.
First up are our Aromatic Slow-Roasted Tomatoes. Slow roasting is one of the best uses for winter tomatoes because it intensifies their sweetness.
View Recipe: Aromatic Slow-Roasted Tomatoes
Warm spices like cumin and cinnamon play deliciously off the sweetness of the carrots.
View Recipe: Moroccan-Spiced Baby Carrots
Tangy dijon mustard, fresh thyme, pine nuts and lemon transform boring broccoli in this recipe that will satisfy even picky
View Recipe: Dijon, Thyme, and Pine Nut Broccoli
It's a good idea to take a sharp knife to the gnarly celery root (also called celeriac), and cut it as finely as possible.
If you have a mandoline, use it to make quick, even matchstick pieces. Although all celery root will be misshapen and scruffy
looking, don't buy roots that are shriveled or that give to the touch.
View Recipe: Celery Root-Arugula Salad
This is an updated take on a traditional three-bean salad. Soybeans are rich in potassium, and matched with other good vegetable
sources, this is a side dish that can add 430 milligrams of the mineral to your next meal.
View Recipe: Multibean Salad
Haricots verts are slender green beans; look for them trimmed and ready to cook in microwave-safe bags. If you can't find
them, use regular green beans and cook a few minutes longer.
View Recipe: Smoky Haricots Verts and Mushrooms
Grain salads make great side dishes. This quinoa salad with artichoke hearts, fresh thyme and parsley, and lemon zest is elegant
enough for company, yet quick enough for weeknight dinners.
View Recipe: Quinoa Salad with Artichokes and Parsley
Cutting half of the peas in half gives the dish a lovely look, but you can skip that step and leave them all whole, if you
View Recipe: Snap Pea and Radish Sauté
Roasting kale is amazing—the leaves turn from a dusty dark green to dark emerald with brown-tinged curly edges that crunch.
This vegetable side is delicious served hot from the oven; the leaves lose their crisp texture as the dish stands.
View Recipe: Garlic-Roasted Kale
Healthy antioxidant-rich vegetables get a flavorful punch when marinated in balsamic vinaigrette and grilled.
View Recipe: Grilled Vegetables with Balsamic Vinaigrette
A lemon vinaigrette lightly coats arugula and mushrooms for an unbeatable combination. Make this side salad to complement
your favorite pizza.
View Recipe: Arugula and Mushroom Salad
It's easier than you think to pickle your own okra, and pickling is a great way to make use of an abundant garden harvest.
Serve these spicy and crunchy pods as a side dish or part of a relish tray.
View Recipe: Spicy Pickled Okra
For more tender zucchini, leave slices in the pan an extra 1 minute on each side. When the flesh starts to look translucent,
the zucchini is done.
View Recipe: Grilled Zucchini with Sea Salt
Get a jump on the season with reliable freezer staples—artichokes and english peas—and turn out a supersimple, delicious,
View Recipe: Artichoke and Pea Sauté
Sweet golden raisins and nutty roasted garlic pair beautifully with broccoli rabe.
View Recipe: Broccoli Rabe with Garlic and Golden Raisins
These summer squashes offer meatier flavor and texture than traditional cucumber pickles.
View Recipe: Spicy Squash Pickles
This citrusy take on coleslaw is fresh and pleasantly spicy, making it an ideal side dish or burger or brat topping. Leave
the seeds in more peppers for added fire, or seed all of them for a milder dish.
View Recipe: Jalapeño-Lime Slaw
A fresh alternative to pickled cukes, these crisp, crunchy treats make a zesty summer snack or condiment in a sandwich or
salad. These picked green beans are easy to prepare and will keep up to a week in the refrigerator.
View Recipe: Quick Pickled Dilly Green Beans
With fresh herbs, butter, and a little salt and pepper, these steamed sugar snap peas turn into a sensational side dish in
under 12 minutes.
View Recipe: Steamed Sugar Snap Peas
Miso is a thick soybean paste with a salty, slightly sweet flavor. Look for it in the refrigerated part of the produce section
or with the dairy products, or substitute soy sauce.
View Recipe: Sesame-Miso Cucumber Salad
The vivid garlic-and-herb vinaigrette contrasts with the sweet carrots.
View Recipe: Israeli Carrots
This asparagus recipe is a quick and easy side dish for a weekday night.
View Recipe: Asparagus with Balsamic Tomatoes
To streamline prep, look for bags of prewashed, prechopped kale.
View Recipe: Braised Kale
A traditional gremolata (garnish) features lemon rind, garlic, and parsley. We include briny capers in the mix to add excitement
to this side.
View Recipe: Roasted Summer Squashes with Caper Gremolata
A bright assemblage of flavors, textures, and colors, this salad can be made early in the day and refrigerated until ready
View Recipe: Mixed Bean-Cherry Tomato Salad with Basil Vinaigrette
This flavorful vegetable dish is easy to make and tastes great with roasted or grilled meat entrées.
View Recipe: Garlic and Red Pepper Asparagus
Less is more. This simple salad comes together quickly and highlights the fresh flavors of seasonal produce.
View Recipe: Arugula-Tomato Salad
If you're working on a charcoal grill set up for indirect heat, mound the coals to one side of the grill.
View Recipe: Grilled Eggplant with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
A creamy jalapeño dressing livens up earthy roasted beets. Seed the pepper for less heat.
View Recipe: Roasted Beets with Jalapeño Cream
Ready in just 10 minutes, this simple side salad is the perfect addition to a variety of meat-based main dishes.
View Recipe: Cucumber Salad
With just 52 calories per serving, this fresh and delicious side dish is perfect alongside burgers, chicken, or any summertime
View Recipe: Cucumber-Peanut Salad
The traditional colors of Fat Tuesday celebrations are purple, green, and yellow, and this vibrant slaw mimics that combo.
Use a mandoline or very sharp knife to cut the cabbage, and you'll avoid the rather strong smell that often comes when you
View Recipe: Mardi Gras Slaw
Basil adds a fresh kick to this summery fruit and veggie salad. Watermelon and cucumber are both fluid-rich and will aid in
View Recipe: Watermelon-Cucumber Salad
If you're looking for a fresh, fast side dish that requires only a few ingredients, look no further!
View Recipe: Almond Green Beans
If marinating overnight, slice the cucumber a bit thicker so it retains some crunch.
View Recipe: Marinated English Cucumber and Onions
Instead of mint, tarragon or basil would be equally delicious. If desired, top with fresh lemon rind for a little extra zing.
Try one of our variations: Red Pepper and Pesto Green Beans, Ginger-Sesame Green Beans, or Green Beans with Stewed Tomatoes and Spices.
View Recipe: Steamed Green Beans with Lemon-Mint Dressing
If you don't have lime basil, substitute any fresh basil plus 1/2 teaspoon grated lime rind. Plums will also work in place
View Recipe: Apricot, Cucumber, Pluot, and Lime Basil Salad
The vinegar is quite pumped-up because there's not much time for the cukes to pick up much flavor otherwise. Serve with grilled
steak or chicken or beef kebabs.
View Recipe: Greek Salad Cucumbers
Floral lemon zest (but no tart juice) allows the sweet pea flavor to shine. Chop mint, grate lemon rind, and crumble cheese
while the peas cook. Serve with panini or other sandwiches, grilled chicken, or pork chops.
View Recipe: Sautéed Snap Peas with Ricotta Salata and Mint
This veggie-licious dish is a cinch to make and pairs perfectly with many favorite dishes.
View Recipe: Roasted Broccoli and Red Bell Pepper
Lacinato kale is also called Tuscan, dinosaur, or black kale. You can also use regular curly kale.
View Recipe: Wilted Kale with Bacon and Vinegar
This sweet and nutty dish is ready to go in just 10 minutes.
View Recipe: Wilted Kale with Coconut, Ginger, and Lime
Make sure to stir the shallots frequently for even cooking.
View Recipe: Wilted Kale with Golden Shallots
Thin-skinned delicata squash has an edible peel, helping this side come together quickly.
View Recipe: Roasted Red Onions and Delicata Squash
Regular broccoli works just as well as broccolini for this simple side dish.
View Recipe: Sautéed Lemony Broccolini
Though we adore the recipe these are based on (David Bonom's Aromatic Slow-Roasted Tomatoes from December 2009), we wanted a faster update. So in place of plum tomatoes went little grape tomatoes, which roast to concentrated sweetness
in less than half the time. Serve as they are for a side dish, on crostini with ricotta for an appetizer, or tossed with pasta
and oil for a main dish.
View Recipe: Slow-Roasted Grape Tomatoes
Fresh garlic amps up the flavor of a classic vegetable side dish.
View Photo: Garlic-Roasted Broccoli
Once your pan is hot, this simple side takes less than 5 minutes to cook.
View Photo: Snap Pea Sauté
Broccoli retains all of its flavor and even gains deliciously crisp bits when roasted.
View Photo: Roasted Broccoli with Garlic and Anchovy
You can easily sub in green beans or haricots verts for the snap peas.
View Recipe: Snap Pea and Bell Pepper Sauté
Pair this citrus salad featuring oranges, red onions, and a Dijon mustard vinaigrette with any main coarse to brighten and
balance your meal.
View Recipe: Fresh Orange Salad
A combination of lemon juice, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, and a dash of fresh ground pepper give this spinach salad a
View Recipe: Spinach and Parmesan Salad
To get the desired flavor, cook center-cut bacon slices on a large skillet over medium high-heat then crumble and cover your
finished green beans with the cooked bacon to complete your side.
View Recipe: Bacon Green Beans
We lightened up this favored side dish starting with an ingredient swap using low-sodium pickles and egg whites. We then baked
the chips instead of frying, cutting 300mg sodium and 120 calories.
View Recipe: Baked Pickle Chips
Ready in just five minutes, these snap peas and carrots are a perfect punch of fiber to add to any meal.
View Recipe: Browned Butter Peas and Carrots
Use the slicing blade of your food processor to shorten cabbage prep time.
View Recipe: Cabbage with Mango Slaw Vinaigrette
Substitute Sriracha sauce or another chili paste if you can't find sambal oelek.
View Recipe: Chile-Garlic Cabbage
Packed with potassium, iron, and calcium, fiber as well as vitamins A, C, and K, broccoli rabe is one of the most nutritious
leafy greens to add to your diet.
View Recipe: Sautéed Broccoli Rabe
Our stewed greens contain no bacon fat (or even oil)— just tender greens in a small amount of unsalted chicken stock for a
View Recipe: Stewed Collards
Sesame oil, minced ginger, and garlic make these stir-fried vegetables burst with flavor and an excellent side dish to fish
View Recipe: Stir-Fried Vegetables
We love the combination of Asian flavors in this quick and simple side salad.
View Recipe: Sesame-Carrot Salad
Just a dash of red pepper, drop of white wine, and sprinkle of salt give a quick boost of flavor to these skillet-blistered
View Recipe: Skillet-Blistered Green Beans
Serve this Mexican-themed salad on any taco night for a healthy side, and save the leftovers for a quick and easy lunch the
View Recipe: Warm Sweet Potato and Black Bean Salad
The sweet taste and tender texture of broccolini makes this green a fast side that needs little to create big flavor.
View Recipe: Garlic Broccolini
Sautéed asparagus and red peppers, sprinkled with paprika and shaved manchego cheese, create a delicious side in just a few
View Recipe: Asparagus with Red Pepper and Manchego
Start with a pound of trimmed asparagus; top with sautéed chanterelle mushrooms, toasted hazelnuts, and freshly chopped thyme.
If you can’t find chanterelle mushrooms, substitute white mushrooms instead.
View Recipe: Asparagus with Chanterelles and Hazelnuts
Spinach cooked in unsalted chicken stock rather than oil creates a deeper flavor with fewer calories.
View Recipe: Wilted Spinach
These delicious pickles make great stirrers for Bloody Marys, add bright flavor to a crudité platter, or become a tangy garnish
for fish or grilled meats.
View Recipe: Refrigerator Scallion Pickles
If you like guacamole, you’ll love our avocado dressing. The fresh flavors of cilantro, avocado, hot sauce, and lime juice
are blended together to deliver a creamy, Mexican-inspired dressing.
View Recipe: Radish Salad with Avocado Dressing
A play on ranch, this buttermilk-herb dressing yields fresh, classic flavor for a light salad dressing. Radishes, sugar snap
peas, and toasted sliced almonds bring a delightful crunch to a simple bed of greens.
View Recipe: Radish Salad with Buttermilk-Herb Dressing
You’ll love this spring salad with an Asian flair. Featuring radishes and cashews, this side salad delivers balanced flavors
with a delicious crunch.
View Recipe: Radish Salad with Sesame-Honey Vinaigrette
Fresh radishes add peppery heat and crunch, while a splash of orange juice lends a refreshing, citrus zing in this spring
View Recipe: Radish Salad with Orange Vinaigrette
Vinegar, sesame oil, and sugar make a bright and balanced vinaigrette for this refreshing side salad.
View Recipe: Shaved Cucumber and Red Onion Salad
Toasted walnuts give a delightful, nutty crunch to this pan-charred green. For a flavor swap, try parsley instead of tarragon.
View Recipe: Pan-Charred Asparagus
This will become your new favorite way to do green beans. We love the light anise flavor of tarragon, but you could use parsley,
chives, or thyme as well.
View Recipe: Pan-Charred Green Beans with Tarragon
This side of Broccolini gets a double hit of sesame flavor from the seeds and oil. Only a couple minutes, and this delicious
side is ready, making it a quick and easy green to whip up while your main course is cooking.
View Recipe: Sesame Broccolini
The milder tasting green onion pairs perfectly with the sweet anise taste of fennel.
View Recipe: Arugula Salad with Parmesan Vinaigrette
Give your average corn on the cob a flavorful kick with fresh cilantro, grated Parmesan cheese, and a touch of chili powder.
View Recipe: Corn with Chile-Cheese Mayo
These Toasty Tomatoes are broiled with a panko-parmesan mixture sprinkled on top for a warm, flavorful, staff-favorite side
that’s ready in less than five minutes.
View Recipe: Toasty Tomatoes
Eating healthy doesn't have to take long. This nutritious side is simple, easy, and ready in just a few short minutes.
View Recipe: Wilted Kale with Toasted Shallots
Just a squeeze of lemon, dash of salt and pepper, and sprinkle of shaved Romano cheese is all you need to dress up this light
and refreshing side of zucchini ribbons.
View Recipe: Zucchini Ribbons with Lemon and Pecorino