Healthy Side Dishes

Healthy Side Dishes

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  1. Have you ever wondered what would be a suitable health conscious side dish to accompany grilled fish or baked chicken breast? Following are some healthy recipes for low calorie side dishes and vegetable side dishes. You will see you do not have to sacrifice flavor for health. One way to make a recipe healthier is to cut the fat and sodium. Just remember to look for fat and sodium free products (or at least low fat/sodium) when making your favorite dish with a healthier flare.

    Red Beans with Meatless Chorizo


    1          1-pound package of dark red beans (pre-soaked overnight)

    1          package soy chorizo

    1          small onion (chopped)

    1          can of tomatoes with green chilies

    Enough water to cover the beans at least an inch

    In a large stock pot, combine all ingredients and cover. Bring Beans up to a rolling boil and break up the soy chorizo with a spoon. Once the beans have reached a full boil, turn them down to medium until beans become tinder (depending on your stove top: 1-2 hours), stirring occasionally. This low calorie side dish goes great with low fat spinach enchiladas or they can even be the main course themselves.

    Spinach with Mushrooms and Onion


    1          large package of organic baby spinach

    1          small package of pre-sliced fresh mushrooms

    1          small onion (sliced into rounds and separated)

    10        pumps of your favorite healthy butter sprays

    In a large sauce pot, combine all the ingredients. Cover and turn on medium-low until the spinach has wilted and the mushrooms have softened. If you like your onions softer, sauté them in the pot about two minutes before adding the other ingredients. You can also spice this up by adding some black pepper or red pepper flakes. This side matches well with just about any entrée.

    Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Greek Yogurt Dip


    1          large peeled sweet potato (cut into rounds or wedges – it’s your choice)

    Sea salt and pepper to taste

                Dip Ingredients

                1          small tub of Greek organic yogurt

                2          tablespoons of a ranch style dip mix

    Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat a large cookie sheet with a non-stick spray or use a piece or parchment paper. Arrange cut sweet potatoes so they are touching as little as possible the salt and pepper them. Cook them in them for approximately 20 minutes or until tender then tested with a fork. While the potatoes are cooking, make your dip. Combine the yogurt and dip mix until smooth. Allow the finished sweet potatoes to cool about 1-2 minutes to prevent burning your mouth. These are the perfect companion for soy hot dogs (and yes they are better than the real thing).

    Herb Grilled Vegetables


    1          yellow squash (cut into rounds)

    1          zucchini

    1          package slices fresh mushrooms

    1          onion (sliced into rounds, separated)

    2          tablespoon organic extra virgin olive oil

    3          garlic cloves (crushed)

    1          each: green, red, yellow, red bell peppers (cut into rounds)

    1          teaspoon Italian seasoning

    Sea salt and pepper to taste

    Make sure you buy all (or as many as possible) organic vegetables. In a large bowl toss all the cut vegetables and garlic with the olive oil and seasonings. Prepare your grill, whether it is outdoor gas/charcoal or indoor range top/electric. These taste great on any grill. If using a small type of indoor grill, you will have to do several batches. If you are using an outdoor grill, place the vegetables on grill safe pan and cook until they soften but still have a little crunch. Stir them occasionally so the smoke reaches every piece. This vegetable side dish tastes wonderful on top of garlic and olive oil pasta or with grilles salmon steaks.

    Marinated Organic Sliced Tomatoes and Cucumbers


    1-2       organic beefsteak tomatoes (sliced into rounds)

    1-2       organic large cucumbers

    1/4       cup red wine vinegar (organic if you can find it)

    1/4       cup organic extra virgin olive oil

    Sea salt and pepper to taste

    Place the tomatoes and cucumbers in a large plastic zip bag and pour in the vinegar and oil. Shake the bag to mix everything together evenly. Make sure the bag is closed tightly and put it in the refrigerator for up to three hour. You do not want to leave them in the solution overnight or you will have more of a pickled tomato and cucumber result. To serve alternate a slice of tomato with a slice of cucumber on a serving dish.

    Black Bean and Corn Salsa Salad


    1          can of black beans (drained and washed)

    1          can of sweet no salt added corn (drained)

    1/2       small onion (chopped fine)

    1          jalapeño (chopped fine – remove seeds for a milder flavor)

    1/2       can chopped tomatoes with green chilies

    1/8       cup extra virgin olive oil

    Sea salt and pepper to taste

    Pour all ingredients in a serving bowl. Toss together to evenly distribute all the ingredients, then refrigerate the salsa salad for at least thirty minutes. You can serve this on top of Romaine lettuce or on the side with margarita grilled chicken breast.

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