dinner table setting
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Your Meal’s Perfect Sidekick

A side dish can really make the rest of your meal sing. It also can add vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients you may not get from the main course. These WebMD recipes will give you some healthy, tasty ideas.

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quick spinach italiano
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Quick Spinach Italiano

Potassium, magnesium, vitamins A and K, and more -- your arms will be bulging like Popeye’s in no time. Well maybe not, but you get the idea. This super-quick recipe uses frozen spinach, which is easy to keep on hand.

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wild rice with sun dried tomatoes
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Wild Rice With Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Wild rice has much more fiber than other kinds of rice. It also has lots of nutrients, a pleasant nutty flavor, and a chewy texture. This recipe adds the zest of sun-dried tomatoes for a bold side dish that will stand up to a hearty entree.

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kale and white beans
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Kale and White Beans

Thanks to loads of nutrients and fiber, kale is hard to beat as the new side green of choice. But it can be bland and hard to chew if it’s not made right. This recipe takes care of that. 

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swiss chard italian wraps
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Swiss Chard Italian Wraps

It may not be as well-known as its famous cousin kale, but Swiss chard is packed with nutrients, too. It’s also softer and less fibrous, which makes it easier to work with. This recipe uses it as a wrap for other ingredients -- in this case, mozzarella cheese, garlic, and tomatoes.

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cheesy stuffed potato
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Cheesy Stuffed Potato

They sometimes get a bad rap, but potatoes give you a big boost of potassium and fiber, if you eat them skin and all. This recipe has cheesy goodness and puts a new twist on an old favorite -- and gets you more vegetables to boot.

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baked asparagus with balsamic sauce
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Baked Asparagus With Balsamic Sauce

Asparagus is loaded with vitamin K and folate, and it has plenty of fiber, too. This version layers on a rich sauce that makes it a great side dish for that steak you’ve been craving.

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basil quinoa with red pepper
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Basil Quinoa With Red Bell Pepper

A grain that’s somewhat new to the table, quinoa has lots of phosphorus, potassium, and iron. Try this recipe with some fresh fish or grilled chicken for a healthy, hearty meal that’s low in calories.

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brussels sprouts with pecans and shallots
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Brussels Sprouts Sauteed With Pecans and Shallots

Maybe it’s time to give Brussels sprouts another try. They have lots of fiber and potassium, and this recipe makes them crunchy and loaded with flavor. And it’s got bacon.

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cranberry glazed carrots
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Cranberry-Glazed Carrots

Known for packing a lot of vitamin A, carrots add color to your table and taste pretty good, too -- especially if you cover them in cranberry sauce, salad dressing, and toasted pecans, like this recipe does.

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roasted garlic mashed potatoes
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Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Here’s a gourmet take on a classic. In addition to their nutrients, potatoes also help you leave the table satisfied. This recipe cuts calories and saturated fat by using fat-free half-and-half instead of cream.

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creamy peanut coleslaw
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Creamy Peanut Coleslaw

Raw cabbage, the main ingredient in coleslaw, is rich in nutrients and may help protect you from certain kinds of cancer, including prostate, colon, and breast. Try this version, which has roasted peanuts on top, with some barbecue chicken from the grill.

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green bean casserole
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Green Bean Casserole

Rich in nutrients and low in calories, green beans are a healthy addition to any main course. And, of course, the casserole is a fan favorite. Here’s a recipe that keeps the richness of the original with fewer calories.  

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pan fried cabbage
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Pan Fried Cabbage

Not only is cabbage low in calories, it’s also loaded with naturally occurring phytonutrients that may help protect you against cancer and other diseases. This recipe is a new way to prepare it

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sweet potatoes and carrots lorange
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Sweet Potatoes & Carrots a l'Orange

This combo will deliver your shot of vitamin A for the day and then some -- both sweet potatoes and carrots have loads of it. Sweet potatoes also have more fiber, fewer calories, and fewer total carbs than white potatoes. This recipe offers a festive presentation.

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Sources | Medically Reviewed on 11/04/2018 Reviewed by Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD on November 04, 2018


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American Institute for Cancer Research: “Phytochemicals: The Cancer Fighters in the Foods We Eat.”

Body Nutrition: “9 reasons to throw some kale in your next salad.”

Live Science: “Broccoli: Health Benefits, Risks, & Nutrition Facts.”

National Institutes of Health: “Vitamin A,” “White Potatoes, Human Health, and Dietary Guidance.”

Organic Facts: “Health Benefits of Green Beans,” “Health Benefits of Wild Rice.”

United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service.

Oxford University Press: “Sweet potato leaves: properties and synergistic interactions that promote health and prevent disease.”

Cleveland Clinic: “White Potatoes vs. Sweet Potatoes: Which Are Healthier?”

Annals of Medicine: “The role of potatoes and potato components in cardiometabolic health: A review.”

Reviewed by Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD on November 04, 2018

This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.