Variety makes life, and any meal, more worthwhile. If you’re looking for dishes that can complement your main dish, healthy veggie dishes are always a good choice. They’re nutritious and many vegetable dishes contrast well, rather than overshadow, a main dish. While salads are the obvious choice, there are many tasty and healthy recipes out there.
Whether your main dish is fish, meat, or other types, there is a complementary vegetable side for it. Here are some vegetable dishes that you can try:
Arugula Salad | Serves 4
Salads are popular sides to most meals and arugula is one of the most popular vegetables. Arugula has a nutty-peppery taste that makes it excellent for refreshing the palate. You can even make a perfectly good salad with just arugula, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
This salad is a good dish to complement other dishes. The flavors of the cherry tomatoes and arugula complement each other without making the salad overpower the taste of your main dish. For additional flavor, you can top this salad with slices of avocado, peach, or other fruits that complement your meal.
- 4 cups arugula (washed and dried)
- 1 cup cherry tomato (halved)
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Step 1: For ease of preparation, use a large plastic bowl with a lid. Combine the arugula, cherry tomatoes, pine nuts, olive oil, rice vinegar, and cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover the bowl and shake it until the salad is well mixed.
Step 2: Serve.
Brussels Sprouts in Garlic Butter | Serves 2
Brussels sprouts are just amazing. They are related to kale, cauliflower, and broccoli and are packed with nutrition. While steaming is a viable method for cooking Brussels sprouts, it is a missed opportunity to enhance the flavor. This recipe is a good variation on the steaming process that instills a delicious flavor to these tasty sprouts.
- 15 fresh Brussels sprouts, halved lengthwise (don’t use frozen)
- 1 ½ tablespoons butter
- 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, smashed
- Salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Grated parmesan cheese (optional)
Step 1: You’ll need a skillet with a cover. Over medium-high heat, combine the butter and olive oil in your skillet. Melt the butter until the mixture is foamy. Lower the heat to medium.
Step 2: Add the smashed garlic to the butter mixture. We’re trying to imbue the butter with the delicious garlic flavor. Once the garlic is lightly brown, remove them from the butter mixture and discard.
Step 3: Turn the heat down to medium-low. Arrange the sprouts with the cut side down. Cover the skillet and let it cook for 10-15 minutes. Don’t stir or turn the sprouts. You’ll know that they’re done when they’re tender when poked with a knife.
Step 4: Season with salt and pepper and serve with a topping of grated parmesan cheese.
Red Potato Salad with Scallions and Radish | Serves 6
The potato is a flexible ingredient that’s been a popular choice in many sides. Whether it’s fried, boiled, baked, or mashed, the potato can easily round out any meal. One popular way of serving potatoes is a salad with mayonnaise. However, mayonnaise-based potato salads can get boring after a while. This recipe uses ponzu instead of mayonnaise for a refreshing change.
Ponzu is a citrus-based sauce that originated from Japan. It is a thin, watery sauce with a tart flavor. If you don’t have ponzu or prefer a different flavor, you can try using champagne vinegar instead.
- 4 pounds small red potatoes, quartered
- ½ pound radishes, thinly sliced
- 2 bunches scallions, green part only, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup smoked olive oil
- 3 tablespoons ponzu (more to taste)
- Kosher salt to taste
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
Step 1 a: Add salt to water and boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, add in the potatoes. Cook the potatoes until they are tender when pierced with a fork. Don’t overcook as the potatoes will get all mushy. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
Step 1 b: An option to boiling is to roast the potatoes. If choosing this option, you’ll need another ¼ cup of olive oil. In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss the ingredient until the potatoes are evenly coated. Transfer to a baking tray and roast until golden brown and tender. Transfer to a large bowl when done.
Step 2: Add the radishes, scallions, olive oil, and ponzu to the bowl with the potatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Gently toss and avoid pulping the potatoes. Once the ingredients are well mixed, serve. This salad is best served warm or at room temperature.
If you’re preparing the salad ahead of time, leave out the radish. The radishes are best served crunchy. You can store them in ice water until serving time. Once ready to serve, drain and dry the radish before adding to the salad.
Asparagus and Tomatoes with Balsamic Vinegar | Serves 2
Asparagus is a great vegetable for a healthy side dish. Not only does it taste great, it’s packed in nutrients, is low on calorie, and high in fiber. It’s rich in antioxidants and can help prevent blood clots. It’s also a natural diuretic, helping your body flush excess fluids and salts.
While we can go on with the praises for asparagus, there is one advantage to this recipe that will be important if you’re busy preparing an elaborate main dish (or several). This dish is easy to prepare. It requires little effort which means you can devote more time and effort on your main dish or getting ready for guests.
- ½ pounds asparagus, trimmed
- 2 cups sliced grape tomatoes
- 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Step 2: While waiting for the oven, combine balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, and salt in a bowl. Whisk the mixture until it’s well combined and a dressing is formed.
Step 3: Line a baking tray with a baking sheet. Place the asparagus and tomatoes on the tray and evenly pour the dressing over it.
Step 4: Bake for 10 minutes or until t