Lose Weight with These Delicious Low-Calorie Sides
Whittle your middle with these flavor-packed sides that pair perfectly with your main dishes. By Carolyn Williams, Ph.D., RD
January 27, 2016
1 of 16Photo: Ryan Liebe
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.
2 of 16Photo: Randy Mayor
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.
3 of 16Photo: Johnny Autry
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.
4 of 16Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner
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).
5 of 16Photo: Johnny Autry
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.
6 of 16Photo: Jen Causey
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)
7 of 16Photo: Randy Mayor
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.
Sauté garlic in sesame oil; add rice noodles. Stir in soy sauce and sprinkle with green onions and peanuts.
16 of 16Photo: Randy Mayor
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.