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3 Easy and Delicious Vegetable Side Dishes

Vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet, but sometimes it can be difficult to come up with delicious and creative ways to prepare them. Fortunately, there are plenty of easy and delicious vegetable side dishes that you can make in no time. From roasted sweet potatoes to cheesy cauliflower gratin, these recipes will help you get your daily dose of veggies without sacrificing flavor. Read on for some tasty ideas that will have everyone asking for seconds!

In the dark times that is the holiday hangover season, it’s hard to not want to continue eating warm and cheesy, potatoey, hearty comfort foods. There isn’t anything wrong with eating those foods… however, it isn’t hard to create comfort with healthier options such as seasonal veggies, and support any resolutions for the new year that you may have.

I know, I know. Seasonal veggies when it’s a frozen tundra outside? But I’m here to tell you—there are SO many, and with the right preparation can be anything but boring! Add these delicious, healthy side dishes to any meal this winter for a tasty boost of nutrition and flavor!

Winter Veggies

It’s true, there isn’t as great a variety of produce seasonally in the winter here in the northwest, but there are some versatile and delicious crops still available! Cabbages, cauliflower, kale, carrots, winter squashes of many varieties, beets, and turnips…all beautiful and absolutely delicious winter veggies! Eating seasonally is one way to get the most nutritional value out of your produce. It’s also a great way to support local growers and farmers, whether via CSA membership or direct purchase throughout the winter season when markets aren’t happening as regularly.

Delicious Vegetarian Side Dishes for the Cold Winter Months

Roasted Delicata Squash with Hot Honey, Goat Cheese, and Toasted Pistachio

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 Delicata Squash (Butternut/Acorn/Kabocha are also DELICIOUS), sliced in half lengthwise and de-seeded
  • ⅓ cup Goat Cheese
  • ½ cup pistachios, lightly toasted and roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup-ish hot honey of choice (I love Mike’s Hot Honey!)
  • Avocado Oil, for roasting
  • Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Step 1:

Once you have these simple ingredients assembled, preheat the oven to 400°. Cut the de-seeded squash into 1” slices and place onto a parchment-lined sheet pan.

Step 2:

Drizzle prepared squash with roasting oil of choice, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat evenly and place into a preheated oven to roast. Cook for 20 minutes or until cooked through. I like to check with a skewer or steak knife if I have any doubt it is done.

Step 3:

Once the squash is finished roasting, plate it up and drizzle with the hot honey. Top with crumbled goat cheese and chopped toasted pistachios. 

Delicata + Hot Honey + Goat Cheese, photo credit: Kim Lehr

Step 4:

Dive In. This quick side dish is done and ready to eat!

Garlicky Creamed Kale

Garlicky and Rich Creamed Kale, photo credit: Kim Lehr

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups Kale, cleaned, de-stemmed, and roughly chopped
  • As much Garlic as it takes to make your heart happy—I go with 4-5 cloves—peeled and thinly sliced
  • ⅓ c. Parmesan
  • ¾ cup half and half
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cooking oil of choice

Step 1:

In a large sauté pan, begin to sauté the garlic over medium heat. Be careful to not let it burn, lest it turns bitter.

Step 2:

Once the garlic has begun to turn transparent, add cleaned and chopped kale and season with salt and both types of pepper. Continue to sauté, stirring often, for about 15-20 minutes.

Step 3:

When the kale has begun to soften, add half and half and stir to combine. Simmer for another 10-15 minutes over medium to low heat.

Step 4:

Add Parmesan and stir well to ensure the cheese melts into creamed kale. I just really like the funkiness it brings to the equation, but the same effect can be had with nutritional yeast as well. Editor’s note: Using nutritional yeast will make this recipe vegan, too!

Step 5:

Plate up and enjoy as a side, or as a base for protein. This is one of my FAVORITE kale preparations/veggie sides hands down.

Tandoori Spiced Roasted Carrots

With Dill Salsa Verde

Anything But Boring Roast Carrots, photo credit: Kim Lehr

For the Salsa Verde:

*Salsa Verde doesn’t need to be intimidating…nothing about restaurant quality cooking has to be. It’s all about knowledge and I’m here to share!*

1 cup fresh baby dill

1 cup fresh parsley

3 cloves fresh garlic, peeled

½ shallot

Zest of ½ orange

⅓ cup red wine vinegar

½ cup Extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp. Crushed red pepper

Salt and pepper to taste

Step 1:

Add all Salsa Verde ingredients to the blender or food processor.

Step 2:

Blend all ingredients together until blended to a uniform consistency. Place in an airtight container and store in the fridge until ready to use.

For the Spiced Carrots:

Ingredients:

1 lb carrots, cleaned, peeled, and sliced in half lengthwise

2-3 Tablespoons Spiceology Tandoori Glory

1 tsp each:

Garlic Powder

Onion Powder

Avocado oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Step 1:

Preheat the oven or AirFryer to 400°. Toss prepared carrots in oil and spices until well coated. Spread onto a sheet pan or into an air fryer, cut side down, and roast/air fry for 15-20 minutes.

Step 2:

Once carrots are cooked, season to taste with salt and pepper. Plate onto a serving dish or straight on the sheet pan and drizzle with a liberal amount of fresh dill and dill salsa.

For the Salsa Verde:

*Salsa Verde doesn’t need to be intimidating…nothing about restaurant quality cooking has to be. It’s all about knowledge and I’m here to share!*

1 cup fresh baby dill

1 cup fresh parsley

3 cloves fresh garlic, peeled

½ shallot

Zest of ½ orange

⅓ cup red wine vinegar

½ cup Extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp. Crushed red pepper

Salt and pepper to taste

Step 1:

Add all Salsa Verde ingredients to the blender or food processor.

Step 2:

Blend all ingredients together until blended to a uniform consistency. Place in an airtight container and store in the fridge until ready to use. Add this recipe to your repertoire of vegan side dishes!

These easy and delicious vegetable side dishes are a great way to add flavor and nutrition to any meal. Whether you’re looking for something to pair with a steak or tofu, or just want to jazz up your grain bowl, these recipes are sure to please. With minimal effort and maximum flavor, you can enjoy a nutritious and tasty meal in no time. Veggies are so easy to eat when they taste this good!

Kim Lehr

Kim Lehr is a bar/restaurant industry veteran who owns The Accompaniment Co. and is obsessed with all things pickled. Most importantly? She’s a wife and mom who wants to feed her family more healthful, wholesome, flavorful, and creative meals. Join her to share some of those meals and her small batch, local products with your family’s table.

read all of kim’s articles here.

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