Eating your veggies doesn’t have to be bland, complicated or time-consuming. With a handful of ingredients and some great recipes, you can make vegetables you’ll love in no time. Here are seven delicious, produce-plentiful sides with five ingredients or fewer.
Spinach is a dark leafy-green superfood full of nutrition benefits. In addition to being an excellent source of vitamins A and C, spinach is a plant-based source of essential minerals, including iron, magnesium and calcium. Spinach has a mild yet rich flavor, so it doesn’t take a lot of work to transform it into a tasty side dish. Try this simple Asian-inspired Sesame-Seasoned Spinach recipe to take your leafy-vegetable game to the next level.
- Five ingredients: spinach, reduced-sodium soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds and garlic.
- Healthy Highlights: 3 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber, 183 percent of your daily vitamin A.
Broccoli might just be the new kale. This fiber-rich, nutrient-dense cruciferous veggie looks like a cross between broccoli and your typical salad green — and it’s delicious when sautéed. Try a four-ingredient, Mediterranean-inspired Broccoli Rabe with Sun-Dried Tomatoes for a flavor-rich, hassle-free side dish.
- Four ingredients: broccoli rabe, extra virgin olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes and balsamic vinegar.
- Healthy Highlights: 4 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber, 62 percent of your vitamin C, 63 percent of your vitamin A.
Brussels sprouts are a nutrient-dense, cruciferous veggie rich in glucosinolates, sulfur-containing compounds with cancer-preventing properties. This recipe for Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Sage is a masterpiece. When roasted, Brussels sprouts caramelize and develop a delicious crispy outer layer, and topping them it with savory pancetta adds a gourmet touch.
- Five ingredients: Brussels sprouts, leeks, pancetta, sage and extra virgin olive oil.
- Healthy Highlights: 4 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, 130 percent of your daily vitamin C and 23 percent of your daily vitamin A.
If you can’t get your hands on fresh veggies, frozen veggies are a versatile option for a healthy and tasty dish. Frozen veggies are just as high in fiber and retain many vitamins and minerals. This Quick Vegetable Sauté turns frozen veggies into a delicious side dish with minimal prep — the veggies go straight into the skillet without defrosting, and they’re ready to eat in four-to-six minutes.
- Four ingredients: mixed frozen vegetables, shallot, dill and extra virgin olive oil.
- Healthy Highlights: 3 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, 16 percent of your daily vitamin C, 128 percent of your daily vitamin A.
Sweet potatoes are a sweet, nutty, nutritious root vegetable packed to the brim with the antioxidant beta carotene. Try this festive Maple-Roasted Sweet Potato recipe if you’re looking for a little healthy comfort food. Even though this recipe calls for peeled sweet potatoes, you can leave the skins on for an added boost of fiber and potassium.
- Four ingredients: Sweet potatoes, maple syrup, butter and lemon juice.
- Healthy Highlights: 2 grams of protein, 15 percent of your daily vitamin C, 230 percent of your daily vitamin A.
Have you always wondered what to do with fresh beets? This tasty Lemon-Herb Roasted Beet recipe is an easy, simple way to enjoy golden or red varieties. Simply cut your beets into wedges, toss them with herbs and oil and roast. Beets are a good source of dietary fiber and vitamin C, and they also contain the essential minerals iron and magnesium. And beets are a natural source of dietary nitrates, which are being studied for their impacts on heart health and performance.
- Five ingredients: Golden or red beets, dried herbs, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and lemon zest.
- Healthy Highlights: 3 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, 17 percent of your daily vitamin C.
- See the recipe.
In addition to roasting and sautéing, braising is a delicious way to infuse fibrous veggies with flavor and soften their texture. Try this Thyme-Braised Brussels Sprouts recipe for a 20-minute, savory side that is as nutritious as it is tasty — it contains over 100 percent of your daily requirement for vitamin C and it’s rich in both protein and fiber.
- Five ingredients: Brussels sprouts, shallots, extra virgin olive oil, chicken broth and thyme.
- Healthy Highlights: 4 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, 130 percent of your daily vitamin C and 22 percent of your daily vitamin A.