Healthy side ideas

trishk82 Posts: 27 Member
Hey everyone,

I need some ideas for healthy sides to put with dinner, other than vegtables. I make wild rice and quinoa, but I really don't know of any other good options. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!


  • NewMeSM75
    NewMeSM75 Posts: 971 Member
    edited September 2015
    Cauliflower mash is great. I boil cauliflower in chicken broth. When done, blend or puree. I then add one or two wedges of laughing cow light cheese cheese. Super yummy!

    Beans are an option. They provide good fiber and protein. For pinto beans, I toss in couple cloves of garlic and small onion, crushed red pepper. Sometime cumin. Great for side dish or with shredded chicken tacos. I like lentils but my husband doesn't. I cook lentils in beef broth with small bay leaf.

    I'm not a fan but sweet potatoes would be a great side.

    I like roasted veggies. I know you said besides vegetables. It's amazing how roasting them in oven with small amount of olive oil will sweeten them.

    You could always lighten up your favorites. If you like mac n cheese, use whole wheat pasta with 2% milk and 2% cheese. Also, it's not a substitute since I love pasta but spaghetti squash has so many possibilities. I'm topped with marinara and also with a cream sauce. Someone mentioned using spaghetti squash and making a hash brown. I'm excited to try that.

    Deviled eggs. I use light mayo with small amount of dijon mustard and relish.

    Corn on cob. If you don't drench in butter, it's not bad at all on calories.

    Creamed spinach. Sautee onion and garlic in small amount of olive oil. Toss is squeezed frozen spinach. Add light laughing cow cheese. (As you can tell I'm a fan of this cheese - Ha)

    Just a few suggestions.
  • TinyTexn59
    TinyTexn59 Posts: 96 Member
    Pizza potatoes. Thinly sliced potatoes, layer with a pasta sauce, some mushrooms, some browned onions, whatever your family likes on pizza (topping wise). Bake at 425 for about 25 minutes until golden browned around the edges. If you have the extra calories you can put a bit of cheese on it but I like it with finely ground cashews mixed with nutritional yeast. Potatoes are not fattening especially if you don't add fattening items to them.
  • ms_smartypants
    ms_smartypants Posts: 8,278 Member
    Options has some yummy side dishes
  • pinggolfer96
    pinggolfer96 Posts: 2,248 Member
    One of my favorites is macro friendly garlic toast. I take the low calorie bread and run minced garlic, garlic powder, little salt/oregano, and pepper on top then spray it with seat butter and bake til crispy. Sometimes I add a serving of Parmesan cheese to make it like a garlic cheese toast. It's really good!
  • Rtrtiff
    Rtrtiff Posts: 25 Member
    Rice noodles dressed with laughing cow cheese (almost a Mac n cheese) and a pinch of garlic salt
  • lorraine_2015
    lorraine_2015 Posts: 42 Member
    boiled small potatoes then sauteed them in butter, salt, basil and pepper.
  • stealthq
    stealthq Posts: 4,298 Member
    edited September 2015
    Depends on what 'healthy' means to you, but grits/polenta makes a nice side. Get them rough cut if you want more fiber intact and more chew, less smooth. Plain, they're 110 cals per 1/4 c. (uncooked). Add seasonings, a little butter, some cheese, maybe shrimp or sausage to liven them up.

    There are tons of whole grains you can cook pretty much like rice (farro, amaranth, etc). I particularly like barley, for instance. Any of those can be made plain, or into a pilaf.

    Also consider braised apples or other fruit.
  • trishk82
    trishk82 Posts: 27 Member
    Thanks for the great ideas everyone!
  • chloeelizabethm
    chloeelizabethm Posts: 184 Member
    Cous cous, and you can add in raisins, cheese or vegetables to liven it up a bit.
    Haricot beans cooked with sauteed red onion and balsamic always appears on my menu.
    Polenta is another good one (I just buy the ready made stuff)
  • anewstart22
    anewstart22 Posts: 885 Member
    Sauteed green beans and tomatoes


    2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
    1 pound green beans, trimmed
    1/2 cup water
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes (I don't halve them, I just let them heat enough to split)
    1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste


    Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add green beans and cook, stirring often, until seared in spots, 2 to 3 minutes.

    Add water, cover, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes for tender-crisp or 6 minutes for tender.

    Push the beans to the side and add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. I kind of tip the skillet so the water moves down and leaves me a small open spot to pour the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil into it. After the garlic gets fragrant I incorporate everything together.

    Add tomatoes, stir everything together and cook until the tomatoes begin to break down, 2 to 3 minutes.

    Remove from heat; stir in vinegar, salt and pepper.