Admit it. The greasier the main dish, the better. More cream? Yes, please! In one way or another, we are guilty of indulging ourselves with fatty, salty and sweet dishes that will surely make our blood pressure swell. To even it out, how about pairing it up with healthy selections? Go easy on that meat and fill your stomach with food items other than junk. Check out these healthy sides for dinner that will make you enjoy every weeknights without guilt.
Nothing’s more refreshing than beginning your meal with a healthy starter. To make a healthier soup, maximize the use of vegetables. Also, don’t feel deprived by the thought of just having flavors to come from boiled vegetables alone. Introduce other ingredients like skimmed milk and low-fat butter that will enrich the flavour but be sure to balance it with whatever your main dish is.
1. Vegetable puree-based soup
The best way to lure your kids into eating healthy sides for dinner is to puree vegetables into soup. Take advantage of this tip and surely, they’ll learn to love the taste gradually. Among the popular choices for pureeing vegetables are cauliflower, broccoli, butternut squash, spinach, tomato, and asparagus.
2. Vegetable soup
Among the popular ones are Minestrone. A classic vegetable soup will typically be comprised of carrots, celery, tomatoes, green beans, corn and carrots, potatoes, peas, and onion. But nonetheless, you can toss in every kind of vegetable you want in boiling water and still call it vegetable soup.
Probably the most common sort of sides loaded with all the healthy stuff is salad. Toss fresh greens or blanched vegetables and shower it with either vinaigrette dressing or anything of low calorie. We’ve rounded up some of the delicious treats under this.
1. Quinoa Salad
This type of grain has been gaining popularity ever since the awareness is spread about quinoa being densely loaded in protein, dietary fiber, B vitamins, and minerals. You can easily make this by combining quinoa, edamame seeds, onion, almonds, raisin, and chopped cilantro tossed in balsamic vinegar.
2. Tomato, Cucumber, and Avocado Salad
The name itself already suggests what it’s made of with the addition of other flavourings such as basil and onion. This is an amalgamation of refreshing, juicy, and bittersweet zests.
3. Nicoise Salad
There have been a lot of variations of this salad already but the classic version is comprised of lettuce, potatoes, green beans, radishes, tomatoes, olive, and tuna. A special type of vinaigrette made of vinegar, shallots, mustard, and thyme is drizzled all over.
4. Kale Salad
Kale is packed with lots of fiber, minerals such as calcium and iron, and vitamins such as C and K. Serving this with nuts and feta cheese bathed in lemon vinaigrette is certainly a delight.
Any bread with whole grains in it are relatively healthier than the usual white slices. Great examples are flaxseed bread, oat bread, and rye bread which are rich in fiber and vitamin E. Serve them as sides either as it is or toasted with low-fat butter ready on the side. Aside from these choices, be inspired also by these creatively-thought-of breads:
1. Honey Squash Dinner Rolls
An innovation to the usual rolls served during dinner means infusing ingredients that will take the game to a whole new level. In this case, honey and squash will give that saccharine flavour even without the added sugar.
2. Cheesy Cauliflower Bread Sticks
Be amazed by this type of bread that doesn’t make use of flour but rather, ground cauliflower as the base. It’s a hundred percent gluten-free.
Like bread, you can smartly substitute the usual all-purpose flour pasta with whole wheat variety for the fiber and vitamin E. Having a light yet delicious side dish is as easy as tossing vegetables and noodles together like how you do a salad. Check out the following suggestions:
1. Brocolli Pasta Side Dish
This is as easy as tossing salad. It is achieved by combining buttered broccoli with pasta drenched in olive oil. Parmesan gives a finishing touch by providing a salty kick.
2. Mediterranean Pasta
Just the name itself resonates a healthy ring to it. A much healthier version of this pasta makes use of whole wheat pasta and extra virgin olive oil. It has grape tomatoes, black olives, garlic, lemon juice, and parsley that completes a revitalizing experience.
For fried and roasted main dishes, you can be more inventive than just going for the usual flour and butter slurry. Below are healthy options for you to try:
1. Green Tahini Sauce
This is a smart twist to the typical white creamy sauce used as a dip of several foods and as ingredient of hummus. The nutty taste merged with the bitter and tangy taste of garlic and chopped parsley generates a flavour like no other.
2. Cilantro Chutney
This one makes use of cilantro, lime juice and sugar. If you want it hot and spicy, red chili does the trick.
3. Beet and Ricotta Hummus
Who wouldn’t be curious about this feisty sauce that comes bustling with flavors and colours? Beet is mashed together with chickpeas to make a smooth texture. The addition of ricotta cheese adds a mildly sweet tang to it.
Finally, any mix of vegetables are excellently healthy sides for dinner. Another reason why you need to try it is because preparing it is a no-brainer. You can simply either toss it in the skillet lightly buttered or sautéed or just even roast or bake it in the oven drizzled with olive oil. Check out these examples:
1. Baked Parsnip Chips
Instead of serving the usual crackling side for your fish and chips, serve it with a more nutritious alternative.
2. Oven-roasted Baby Carrots and Brussels Sprouts
The crunchy turnout of these roasted vegetables plus its sweet and charred taste is a terrific match to a lot of dishes.
3. Steamed Vegetables with Chile Lime Sauce
If you think you’ll suffer from a dreary steamed dish, jazz it up with this spicy and sour sauce.
Having a healthful dish on your table doesn’t mean it has to absolutely be defeated in the taste department. You don’t have to be an expert in nutrition. All you need is creativity and passion to know health trends and facts.