Three vegetable sides perfect for the holiday season

All recipes in this post developed by Kate Sherwood, The Healthy Cook.

Click here for a printer friendly version of these recipes.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a stable of delicious, healthy holiday side dishes? (Not that we’ve got anything against eating green bean casserole once a year.) Here are three that are guaranteed to become “instant classics.”

Cauliflower with Lemon-Pine Nut Dressing

Time: 15 minutes

1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbs. pine nuts, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice, more to taste
3 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 lb. cauliflower florets, about 4 cups
¼ tsp. kosher salt

1. In a small sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Sauté the pine nuts until just starting to brown, 1-2 minutes.

2. Stir in the garlic and cook 1 minute more.

3. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large heat-proof bowl. Allow to cool.

4. Mix in the lemon zest, lemon juice, and parsley.

5. Steam the cauliflower until it’s tender but still has some bite, 3-5 minutes.

6. Allow the cauliflower to cool slightly, then toss with the dressing. Season with up to ¼ tsp. of salt.

Serves 4.

Per serving (1 cup):

  • Calories: 100
  • Total fat: 8 g
  • Sat fat: 1 g
  • Carbs: 7 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Sodium:  150 mg

Broccoli with Balsamic Dressing

You want to cook the dressing until it’s thick and sticky, close to the consistency of honey.

Time: 15 minutes

1 Tbs. canola oil
3 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. brown sugar
1 lb. broccoli florets, about 4 cups

1. In a small sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Sauté the garlic until light golden, 1-2 minutes.

2. Add the vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar and reduce the heat to low. Simmer, whisking often, until thickened into a syrup, 2-3 minutes.

3. Steam the broccoli until it’s tender but still bright green, 2-3 minutes.

4. Drizzle the dressing over the broccoli.

Serves 4.

Per serving (1 cup):

  • Calories: 80
  • Total fat: 4 g
  • Sat fat: 0 g
  • Carbs: 9 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Sodium: 120 mg

Brussels Sprouts with Orange Dressing

Brussels sprouts are best if cooked quickly, so cutting them in quarters or slicing (or even shredding) them is worth the effort.

Time: 15 minutes

½ cup orange juice
1 tsp. orange zest
2 Tbs. canola oil
1 cup thinly sliced shallots or red onions
1 lb. brussels sprouts, trimmed and sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp. kosher salt

1. In a small pot, simmer the orange juice until reduced to 2 Tbs. Remove from the heat and mix in the orange zest.

2. In a medium sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Sauté the shallots until golden brown, 2-3 minutes.

3. Steam the brussels sprouts until they are tender but still bright green, 3-5 minutes.

4. Allow the brussels sprouts to cool slightly, then toss with the orange reduction and shallots. Season with pepper and up to ¼ tsp. of salt.

Serves 4.

Per serving (1 cup):

  • Calories: 150
  • Total fat: 7 g
  • Sat fat: 0.5 g
  • Carbs: 20 g
  • Fiber: 6 g
  • Protein: 5 g
  • Sodium: 150 mg

Photos: Stephen Schmidt/CSPI.

The information in this post first appeared in the December 2013 issue of Nutrition Action Healthletter.


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