MyPlate-Inspired Vegetable Sides
Nutritious Vegetable Side Dish Recipes
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 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.
Moroccan-Spiced Baby Carrots
Warm spices like cumin and cinnamon play deliciously off the sweetness of the carrots.
Dijon, Thyme, and Pine Nut Broccoli
Tangy dijon mustard, fresh thyme, pine nuts and lemon transform boring broccoli in this recipe that will satisfy even picky eaters.
Celery Root-Arugula Salad
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.
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.
Smoky Haricots Verts and Mushrooms
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.
Quinoa Salad with Artichokes and Parsley
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.
Snap Pea and Radish Sauté
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 like.
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.
Grilled Vegetables with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Healthy antioxidant-rich vegetables get a flavorful punch when marinated in balsamic vinaigrette and grilled.
Arugula and Mushroom Salad
A lemon vinaigrette lightly coats arugula and mushrooms for an unbeatable combination. Make this side salad to complement your favorite pizza.
Spicy Pickled Okra
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.
Grilled Zucchini with Sea Salt
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.
Artichoke and Pea Sauté
Get a jump on the season with reliable freezer staples—artichokes and english peas—and turn out a supersimple, delicious, spring-inspired dish.
Broccoli Rabe with Garlic and Golden Raisins
Sweet golden raisins and nutty roasted garlic pair beautifully with broccoli rabe.
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.
Quick Pickled Dilly Green Beans
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.
Steamed Sugar Snap Peas
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.
Sesame-Miso Cucumber Salad
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.
The vivid garlic-and-herb vinaigrette contrasts with the sweet carrots.
Asparagus with Balsamic Tomatoes
This asparagus recipe is a quick and easy side dish for a weekday night.
To streamline prep, look for bags of prewashed, prechopped kale.
Roasted Summer Squashes with Caper Gremolata
A traditional gremolata (garnish) features lemon rind, garlic, and parsley. We include briny capers in the mix to add excitement to this side.
Mixed Bean-Cherry Tomato Salad with Basil Vinaigrette
A bright assemblage of flavors, textures, and colors, this salad can be made early in the day and refrigerated until ready to serve.
Garlic and Red Pepper Asparagus
This flavorful vegetable dish is easy to make and tastes great with roasted or grilled meat entrées.
Less is more. This simple salad comes together quickly and highlights the fresh flavors of seasonal produce.
Grilled Eggplant with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
If you're working on a charcoal grill set up for indirect heat, mound the coals to one side of the grill.
Roasted Beets with Jalapeño Cream
A creamy jalapeño dressing livens up earthy roasted beets. Seed the pepper for less heat.
Ready in just 10 minutes, this simple side salad is the perfect addition to a variety of meat-based main dishes.
With just 52 calories per serving, this fresh and delicious side dish is perfect alongside burgers, chicken, or any summertime meal.
Mardi Gras Slaw
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 shred it.
Almond Green Beans
If you're looking for a fresh, fast side dish that requires only a few ingredients, look no further!
Marinated English Cucumber and Onions
If marinating overnight, slice the cucumber a bit thicker so it retains some crunch.
Steamed Green Beans with Lemon-Mint Dressing
Instead of mint, tarragon or basil would be equally delicious. If desired, top with fresh lemon rind for a little extra zing.
Apricot, Cucumber, Pluot, and Lime Basil Salad
If you don't have lime basil, substitute any fresh basil plus 1/2 teaspoon grated lime rind. Plums will also work in place of pluots.
Greek Salad Cucumbers
In under five minutes, you can have this speedy cucumber salad ready and on the table. 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.
Sautéed Snap Peas with Ricotta Salata and Mint
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.
Roasted Broccoli and Red Bell Pepper
This veggie-licious dish is a cinch to make and pairs perfectly with many favorite dishes.
Wilted Kale with Bacon and Vinegar
Lacinato kale is also called Tuscan, dinosaur, or black kale. You can also use regular curly kale.
Wilted Kale with Coconut, Ginger, and Lime
This sweet and nutty dish is ready to go in just 10 minutes.
Wilted Kale with Golden Shallots
Make sure to stir the shallots frequently for even cooking.
Roasted Red Onions and Delicata Squash
Thin-skinned delicata squash has an edible peel, helping this side come together quickly.
Sautéed Lemony Broccolini
Regular broccoli works just as well as broccolini for this simple side dish.
Slow-Roasted Grape Tomatoes
When we revisited David Bonom's 2010 recipe Chicken and Mushrooms with Marsala Wine Sauce, we loved it but wanted more of the earthy, wine-licked sauce. Our update keeps the soul of the original dish, but with more luscious, 'shroomy goodness. You simply must serve it over mashed potatoes, polenta, or spaghetti to catch all the sauce.