There is just something delicious about supper from the grill. Our grill has been fired up multiple times a week lately and we are nearing 4th of July weekend where I think the majority of the country will be throwing some meat on the grill or packing a picnic.
The meat is the easy part – add some marinade or rub and you are good to go. Figuring out side dishes for grilling is where the problem comes in. Especially if you want healthy sides!
Don’t worry, I’ve rounded up a great list of 26 healthy side dishes for grilling! These would make the perfect addition to your next grilled supper – in fact, there are enough real food options to keep you going all summer.
I suppose these would actually be called unrefried beans and not be considered authentic as there is nothing fried about them but they have become a staple in our home the last several years.
I make up a pound or two of dried pinto beans at a time and turn them into refried beans. I portion what we won’t use that week into plastic containers and store them in the freezer for us to use the next several weeks. Just set a frozen container of refried beans in the refrigerator overnight to defrost and they will be ready to reheat for a quick meal. Things such as bean tostadas or bean and cheese tortillas make an easy lunch or supper in little time. (Perfect for a day crazier than planned or for one of those meals you forgot to buy an important ingredient for.)
If you don’t have dried beans, you can still use the same seasonings on canned beans. It really doesn’t add on any more hands on time to use the dried beans and you’ll be saving yourself money. I highly recommend you give it a try.
Using fresh onion and garlic (and deseeded jalapeno too if you like a kick) in the cooking of the beans is completely optional. If I’m out, I’ll still make up the beans with no seasonings in the cooking liquid and add extra onion and garlic powder when I’m smashing them up.
These beans can also be made on the stove instead of the crock pot. You’ll just want to watch the water level and add more if needed. There are concerns of toxins not being removed from the beans when cooked in the crock pot, but I’ve found that on high my pot gets the beans up to a full boil. If yours doesn’t, you can boil them on the stove for 10 minutes and then return to the crock pot to finish cooking.
Drain and rinse beans and place in the crock pot and cover with water.
Add a peeled and quartered onion and peeled and smashed garlic cloves if you are using (and a deseeded jalapeno if you like a little kick).
Cook on low for 5 hours.
Turn to high for the last hour to allow beans to come to a boil for at least 10 minutes and finish cooking.
When beans are tender and falling apart, use a slotted spoon and scoop beans into a bowl. Reserve the cooking liquid.
Add cumin powder and seasoning salt. Add garlic and onion powder if you didn't use fresh in the cooking process.
Use a potato masher and stir and mash the bean mixture until it is as smooth as you like. Add some of the reserved cooking liquid to make it as soupy as you like. It will thicken up as it sits at room temperature.
Cool and separate into storage containers and freeze what you won't use the first week.
You can also cook the beans on the stove top for several hours until tender and falling apart.
Today I’m excited to have another contributor post up on The Best Blog Recipes. I’m sharing one of my favorites things to have for lunch or as a side dish.
“I have to fight my 3 year old daughter for eating rights of this salad. I try not to mind too much. After all, I should be happy she’s wanting, begging even, to load up on her veggies. She even spooned every last drop of the juice into her mouth.
Cucumbers, vine ripened tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and feta cheese. What’s not to love? This dish is so simple to make it is ridiculous. You can have it done in under 10 minutes. That would probably include the time it would take to wash the dishes, too. When I make it, I don’t measure. Put a splash of this and a dash of that in and taste as you go. It will turn out amazing as it’s hard to mess up. I also use what I have in the house. Fresh basil, dried basil, fresh minced garlic, garlic powder, red, white, or yellow onion, olives, celery. You get the picture. Don’t be afraid to switch things up and add an extra ingredient or two.”
This Garbanzo Bean and Roasted Corn Salad came together on a whim a couple weeks ago. I needed a dish to bring someplace and wanted to use ingredients that sounded good and were in my house.
Garbanzo beans are one of my favorite things so I decided to determine the rest of the salad around that ingredient. Onion and jalapeno make pretty much everything better so those made an appearance as well. Sautéing them before adding them to the salad gives them more of a subtle flavor. I like my salads lightly dressed, mostly because I’m cheap and I hate to see all of the dressing left at the bottom of the dish. Because it’s not sitting in gobs of dressing, this will keep well for several days depending on what add ins you use. The perfect amount of citrus and oil flavors came through, but if you’d like to add more, go for it.
This salad is super easy to adapt based on what you have on hand. Look and see what vegetables you need to use up and add them in.
I enjoyed eating the leftovers for my lunch and will definitely be making it again. My 3 year old also loved it and had to keep taking bites from my bowl instead of her lunch. Little stinker. I suppose I should be happy she enjoys eating her vegetables.
3 cups garbanzo beans (or two cans drained and rinsed)
2 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped
½ a small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
Add Ins (use what you like):
½-1 cup diced tomatoes
1-2 avocados, chopped
½-1 cup red bell pepper
¼ cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons lime (or lemon) juice
2 teaspoons cumin powder
salt and pepper to taste
Turn your oven on to high broil. Spread the corn onto a large baking sheet and place in the oven around 10 minutes. You don't want to over cook and dry out the corn so watch it and stir one or two times.
In a skillet sauté the jalapeno, onion, and garlic.
In a large bowl combine the corn, garbanzo beans, onion mixture and dressing ingredients.
Adjust seasons to taste. Can also add a little garlic powder if needed.
This is another recipe from my sister. She makes some awesome Indian food. The flavors are subtle but tasty and different. Something different about this recipe is that there is no heat from peppers which makes if perfect for those with sensitive palates.
I made Indian Pea Pilaf or Peas Pilau for my first time a year ago and fell in love. What a simple dish to prepare and it has a unique twist. This is my favorite recipe to use when I want to serve a side dish of rice with any recipe. Last week I make it to go with roasted chicken. My husband is not a fan of peas but this was tasty enough that he said he didn’t mind them.
Quinoa is a little seed that packs a powerful punch. The World’s Healthiest Foods talks about the many benefits of this product.
Although you can find quinoa at your local Wal-Mart you will pay more for it. Sam’s Club has it for a great price or you can order it through (affiliate link) Amazon, Vitacost (this is my referral link – if you sign up through it you will receive $10 off a $30 purchase), or your food co-op. If you have never had quinoa before, you might want to buy a cup or two from the bulk bins in a health food store so you aren’t stuck with something else in your pantry you’ll never use.
So, now that you’ve gone out and bought this little seed you might wonder how to cook quinoa. It is very simple and you can have it ready to eat in under 25 minutes. Doesn’t get much better than that. Even though the quinoa you buy has already had most of the saponins removed, there is enough residue left that rinsing the quinoa is very important! Don’t skip or you will end up with a bitter tasting dish. If you don’t have a mesh strainer fine enough, line what you have with cheese cloth. If you are making this as a side dish feel free to add sautéed onions, garlic, and herbs in with the quinoa and liquid.
Come back next week for a list of recipes to use your quinoa in!