Healthy MyPlate-Inspired Side Dish Recipes
Not a fan of kale? These crispy baked kale chips will convert you! For the best result, don't overcrowd the pans.
Sweet & Sour Green Beans
This slightly sweet, slightly sour green bean recipe takes just a few minutes to make and is great served at room temperature. Make it ahead and let the green beans bathe in the dressing, soaking up flavor.
Feta & Spinach Couscous Patties
Feta, spinach and dill flavor these tofu patties. Slice some lemon wedges and pick up some whole-wheat pita bread to serve with this Greek-inspired meal.
Massaged Mustard Greens Salad
A few minutes of judicious massaging will transform bitter mustard greens into a mellow, well-balanced salad spiked with hints of lemon, garlic and Parmesan.
String Beans & Summer Squash
In this summery recipe for summer squash and green beans, cooking the string beans and summer squash in a little seasoned broth adds flavor with minimal effort. Try any fresh herb you have on hand and swap yellow summer squash for zucchini if you prefer.
Dandelion Greens with Toasted Garlic & Almonds
This salad recipe works for just about any green, but we especially love it with the light bite of assertive greens like dandelion or escarole. If you want to make it with mellower greens like chard or spinach, skip the blanching (Step 1), which is included to tame the bitter flavor.
Twice-Baked Potatoes with Horseradish & Caviar
Twice-baked potatoes get an elegant treatment when spiked with horseradish and topped with a bit of caviar. If oven space is limited, these can be made in the microwave.
Stir-Fried Carrots, Corn & Peppers
This eclectic stir-fry is a colorful combination of carrot, red bell pepper, corn and romaine lettuce. This recipe exemplifies how to stir-fry vegetables with different textures. The carrots, which are a “hard vegetable,” should be stir-fried for a minute before adding “medium-hard” vegetables like peppers or corn, which require slightly less cooking. Finally, add “soft or leafy vegetables” in the last 30 seconds to ensure all the vegetables achieve the same level of doneness. Make sure the lettuce is dry--if it's wet when added to the pan, it will turn the stir-fry into a braise.
Apple & Fennel Salad with Blue Cheese
Apples and blue cheese are a heavenly match in this fennel and apple salad recipe dressed with a tangy cider-vinegar dressing.
Grilled Corn on the Cob
Want to know how to grill corn on the cob? This grilled corn on the cob recipe starts with 4 ears of fresh summer corn.
Pink Grapefruit & Avocado Salad
This is a special-occasion salad that pairs grapefruit segments with creamy avocado, pungent red onion, crunchy pomegranate seeds and aromatic, herby basil. Look for grapefruit with firm, shiny skin that are heavy for their size, which means they will have lots of juice. Store grapefruit for 1 week at room temperature or 1 month in the refrigerator.
Massaged Kale Salad
Here a pungent garlicky dressing is infused into kale by massaging the greens and the dressing together with your hands. Any type of kale will work in this kale salad recipe, just remember to remove the tough stems before you start.
Roasted Pears with Brie & Pistachios
Roasted pears with Brie and pistachios is delicious as a first course or a side with roast pork or lamb. Leave the stems on for the prettiest presentation.
Wild Rice Pilaf with Sweet Potatoes & Brussels Sprouts
Wild rice is intensely aromatic so it's a great match for the bold flavors of saffron and Madeira in this wild rice pilaf recipe. Roasted sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts studded on top give it a festive look and help make it filling enough for a vegetarian main dish.
It's easy to make crispy latkes for Hanukkah without oodles of oil. Adding shredded pears to the traditional potato mixture gives the latkes a hint of sweetness; a touch of fresh sage provides an herbal note that goes well with most holiday meals. Serve the latkes topped with a dollop of low-fat sour cream or enjoy them plain.
Cherry, Wild Rice & Quinoa Salad
This whole-grain wild rice and quinoa salad recipe is perfect for toting to summer potlucks. It features sweet cherries, crunchy celery, nutty aged goat cheese and toasted pecans. If you can find red quinoa, it's particularly pretty.
Two-Toned Mashed Potatoes
In this recipe, Yukon Gold potatoes and sweet potatoes are roughly mashed together with leeks for a beautiful mottled white-and-orange take on mashed potatoes. The creme fraiche topping offers a tangy counterpoint.
Brown Rice Pilaf
Turn everyday brown rice into delicious brown rice pilaf with the addition of currants and sliced almonds.
Dill-Havarti Mashed Cauliflower
This recipe for mashed cauliflower, spiked with dill and havarti cheese, makes a simple side dish for a weeknight dinner. The low-calorie cauliflower complements the rich creaminess of havarti cheese.
Smothered Green Beans with New Potatoes
This green bean recipe from chef Alex Patout of Landry's restaurant in New Iberia, Louisiana, gets plenty of flavor from bacon and onions.
Rice Noodle & Edamame Salad
Seaweed asserts its umami magic in this beautiful noodle-edamame salad recipe, which is perfect for a summer evening. Several types of dried seaweed are available in natural-foods markets--arame and dulse (sometimes called “sea vegetables”) are two of the most common. Snipped pieces of nori (the seaweed used for sushi rolls) would work too.
This quickly pickled, spicy Italian salad of mixed sliced vegetables is great for an antipasto platter, served with grilled meat or chopped up and put on a sandwich.
Stir-Fried Celery with Peanuts
Prep all the ingredients before you begin the celery stir-fry--once the skillet is hot, the dish cooks in minutes. Cut zest from the orange with a vegetable peeler before you juice it.
Grape & Fennel Salad
Crunchy fennel and celery are combined with grapes in this delicious salad recipe.
Grilled Green Beans with Horseradish Ketchup
Grilled green beans? Absolutely! Make this grilled green beans with horseradish ketchup recipe in a grill basket if you have one, otherwise improvise with a piece of heavy-duty foil. Cook a steak or pork chops on the grill at the same time and dinner is done.
Roasted Lemon-Parmesan Cauliflower with Capers
Roasted cauliflower and lemon segments tossed with Parmesan and capers makes an easy side dish. Pair it with roast chicken.
Slivered Celery Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing
Blue cheese, celery and a dash of hot sauce--it's a tried-and-true combo as an adornment for Buffalo wings. So it's no surprise that it also works to make a killer salad! Serve with turkey burgers or roast chicken.
Braising kale in salsa and topping it with cheese makes a delightful side dish for your favorite Mexican meal. Different brands of salsa have varying amounts of sodium. Sometimes prepared fresh salsa is the lowest.