Lose Weight with These Delicious Low-Calorie Sides
Low Calorie, High Flavor Sides
Dieting doesn’t have to mean plain chicken paired with steamed broccoli. Check out these Cooking Light Diet side dishes that are all super quick, low in calories, but full of flavor. Pair with entrees to round out meals and stay within your calorie goal.
Balsamic Pan-Roasted Broccoli
2 (12-ounce) packages broccoli florets + 2 tablespoons olive oil + 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar + ½ teaspoon each salt & pepper
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet. Add broccoli; cook 8 minutes or until lightly browned, turning occasionally. Stir in vinegar, salt, and pepper. Makes 4 servings.
Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary
1½ pounds small red potatoes + 1½ tablespoons olive oil + 2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary + ½ teaspoon each salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 425°. Cut potatoes into wedges; toss with olive oil, rosemary, and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Arrange on a baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 25 minutes or until tender, stirring once. Makes 4 servings.
Haricot Verts with Grape Tomatoes and Feta
12 ounces trimmed haricot verts (thin green beans) + 1 tablespoon olive oil + 2 cups halved grape tomatoes + ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper + ¼ teaspoon kosher salt + ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat; add oil to pan. Add haricot verts; sauté 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add tomatoes, pepper, and salt; cook 1 minute or until tomatoes begin to soften. Top with cheese. Makes 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup haricot verts and 1 tablespoon cheese).
Cilantro-Lime Black Beans
2 cups unsalted canned black beans + 1 cup minced onion + 1 tablespoon canola oil + 2 tablespoons lime juice + 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and garlic powder + 4 teaspoons chopped cilantro
Rinse and drain beans. Sauté onion in oil over medium heat; add black beans, lime juice, salt, and garlic powder. Top with cilantro.
Sweet Potato Fries
1 bag frozen sweet potato fries (such as Alexia Sweet Potato Fries with Sea Salt)
Bake according to package directions. Makes up to 6 servings (serving size: 3 ounces or 12 pieces)
Wilted Kale with Toasted Shallots
1 pound stemmed, chopped lacinato kale + 2 thinly sliced shallots + 1 tablespoon olive oil + ¼ teaspoon each kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots; sauté 2 minutes or until golden brown. Add kale; cook 3 minutes or until wilted. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Edamame with Lime-Sesame Salt
2 cups cooked shelled edamame + 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds + 2 tablespoons grated lime rind + 3/8 teaspoon kosher salt
Combine sesame seeds, rind, and kosher salt on a cutting board; rock knife over mixture to crush some of the sesame seeds. Toss with edamame. Makes 4 servings (serving size: ½ cup).
Asparagus with Dill Vinaigrette
1 pound trimmed asparagus + 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill + 2 tablespoons olive oil + 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar + 1 minced shallot + ¼ teaspoon each salt & pepper
Steam asparagus 2 to 3 minutes. Combine dill, olive oil, vinegar, shallot, salt and pepper; toss with cooked asparagus. Makes 4 servings.
Smashed Potatoes with Chives
1½ pounds Yukon gold potatoes + ½ cup plain 2% Greek yogurt + 1 tablespoon butter + 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives + ¼ cup fat-free milk + ½ teaspoon salt
Cut potatoes into 3/4-inch pieces; steam 15 minutes or until tender. Combine potatoes, yogurt, butter, chives, milk, and salt. Mash to desired consistency.
Red or White Wine
5 ounces dry white or red wine
2 tablespoons orange juice + 2 tablespoons olive oil + 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper + 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce + ½ cup thinly sliced radishes + 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves + 1 sliced peeled avocado
Combine juice, olive oil, and red pepper. Toss with lettuce, radishes, 2 tablespoons cilantro, and avocado. Makes 4 servings.
Spinach-Arugula Salad with Pumpkinseeds
4 cups spinach-arugula salad mix + 1 sliced apple + 2 tablespoons roasted pumpkinseeds + 2 tablespoons olive oil + 2 teaspoons cider vinegar + 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard + 1/2 teaspoon honey
Combine olive oil, vinegar, mustard, and 1 honey in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add salad mix, apple, and pumpkinseeds; toss.
6 cups cauliflower florets + 2 tablespoons olive oil + ¼ teaspoon salt + ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
Toss cauliflower with olive oil; sprinkle evenly with salt and garlic powder. Bake at 475 degrees for 14 minutes.
2 cups cooked, drained rice noodles + 2 teaspoons minced garlic + 1 tablespoon sesame oil + 1½ tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce + 1 teaspoon chopped green onions + 1 teaspoon chopped peanuts
Sauté garlic in sesame oil; add rice noodles. Stir in soy sauce and sprinkle with green onions and peanuts.
Coconut Jasmine Rice
¾ cup uncooked jasmine rice + ¾ cup light coconut milk + ½ cup water + ¼ teaspoon salt + 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Combine jasmine rice, coconut milk, water, and salt in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer; cook 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Remove from heat; fluff rice with a fork. Stir in cilantro. Makes 4 servings.