Healthy, Easy Side Dishes

Backyard bbqs call for amazing, healthy side dishes. Don’t be boring and bring the standard veggie tray (which I am famous for doing!) – bring something beautiful and delicious. We found a few side dishes a tad out of the ordinary, but still very simple to make. Your friends and neighbors will keep finding excuses to hang out once you bring one of these!

Side Dish #1:

Charred Broccoli with Toasted Almonds and Yogurt Cherry Sauce

  • 10 cups broccoli florets (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup skin-on sliced almonds
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2/3 cup whole milk plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  1. Place the oven rack in the lowest position and preheat the broiler to high. (If you prefer the grill, that will work, too!)
  2. Coat the broccoli with 1 tablespoon oil and salt in a large bowl. Spread evenly on a large rimmed baking shee and roast on the lowest rack until tender and charred in spots, 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the strength of your broiler.
  3. In a small skillet, toast almonds and garlic with the remaining 5 tablespoons oil. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until just starting to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Pour into a serving dish. Stir in yogurt and cherries.
  4. Add the broccoli and stir to coat with the dressing. Great room temperature or cold.

Side Dish #2:

 Grilled Green Beans with Watermelon-Radish Salsa


  • 1 cup diced watermelon (1/2-inch cubes)
  • 1/2 cup finely diced radishes
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced shallot or mild onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Green Beans

  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. For salsa: Combine watermelon, radishes, jalapeno, shallot, lime zest and juice in a medium bowl. Gently toss. Season with salt and pepper; toss again. Set aside.
  2. For green beans: Place a grill basket or aluminum foil on the grill; preheat to medium-high.
  3. Combine beans, oil, cumin and coriander in a large bowl; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper; toss again. Grill the beans in the basket (or grill pan or foil), stirring once halfway through, until just tender and evenly charred, 5 to 7 minutes.
  4. Place the beans to a serving platter and top with the salsa. Serve immediately.

Side Dish #3:

 Fresh Asparagus Soup

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
  • spring onions (scallions), finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4  teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 medium turnips, peeled and diced
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 1/4 cups canned coconut milk
  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  1. Melt the butter with the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the scallions and cook, stirring frequently until soft.
  2. Add the curry powder, ginger, turmeric, lemon zest, juice and turnip and cook, stirring frequently for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the stock, coconut milk and asparagus, and simmer, partially covered, for 15 minutes or until the turnip is tender, then add the salt.
  4. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly, then purée the mixture in batches in a food processor or blender until smooth. Reheat gently if necessary, then drizzle with olive oil, grind over black pepper and garnish with curled spring onion.

Try them all! We did and LOVED them. What do you think? What’s your “go to” side dish?

Need some awesome summer drinks to bring as well – we have some great recipes right here!

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Author: Jen Adair

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