healthy side dishes

5 Healthy Side Dish Recipes Perfect for Almost Any Meal

The right side dish lets the main dish shine, but also brings something special to the table.

By Amy Ahlberg


5 Healthy Side Dish Recipes Perfect for Almost Any Meal

Sometimes simple is best for a side dish.

RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—Ever have trouble coming up with easy side dishes for a new entrée recipe you’re trying out? We’ve all get stumped once in a while. But it doesn’t have to happen, especially if you try these easy recipes for healthy side dishes. As rule of thumb, you want a side dish that offers a different flavor and texture than the main dish, but not a taste that's so different it seems to belong to a different meal. While there are no hard-and-fast rules, these healthy side dishes from the Rodale Recipe Finder will help you make a great match.

For chicken or seafood: Try Spinach in Brown Butter. The mild flavor of this side dish makes it a good match for a gently flavored main dish like chicken, scallops, sole, or halibut. Plus, spinach is packed with vitamins, including A, C, K, and folate; minerals, including calcium and magnesium; fiber; and the antioxidant carotenoid beta-carotene. It helps protect against cancer, heart disease, stroke, and osteoporosis. Other accompaniments that won’t overwhelm a mild seafood entrée include sautéed bok choy or napa cabbage.

Check these stories for other easy side dish ideas:
5 Delicious Ways to Enjoy Polenta
5 Healthy Recipes for Walnut Lovers
5 Easy Recipes Rich in Amazing Magnesium

Another option for chicken or seafood: Herbed Rice Pilaf. A simple pilaf will complete such a meal without competing against the main dish's gentle flavor. This recipe uses nutritious and convenient instant brown rice, which is higher in fiber than white rice and contains more rice oil, which is thought to have cholesterol-lowering effects.

Published on: November 3, 2009
Updated on: May 11, 2011

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