Healthy, Homemade Side Dishes for the New Year

Does the new year have you craving new, healthier side dishes? Chef Laura has it covered with these tips and recipes!

If you want to make your own spiralized veggies or riced cauliflower at home, it’s important to have the right tools. We recommend a basic spiralizer like this one and a simple box grater or a food processor with a grater blade. Do you want to save time and buy ready-made veggies? You’re in luck! Many supermarkets have spiralized zucchini, sweet potato, butternut squash, and carrots readily available in fresh or frozen options for added convenience. Whether you are prepping your veggies or buying them from the store, it is very easy to create delicious and nutrient-packed sides at home.

Once you feel comfortable with sourcing your veggies, either prepped and ready to go at the store or with tools at home, you’ll want to consider the flavor profile of the dish that you are creating. These veggies are essentially a blank canvas that you can flavor to complement and freshen up the entrée. For example, if I make the Chicken Parmesan from our January menu, I would opt for zoodles lightly sautéed with a little garlic and olive oil. You want to keep your veggie side simple and fresh.

Next, let’s talk about the preparation of these low carb sides. It can be easy to overcook these vegetables when most only need a minute or two in a hot pan with just a splash of oil. While the zoodle or veggie rice is cooking, that is the best time to add any seasoning or extra ingredients as the heat helps the vegetable absorb all the flavors. Want more tips on different types of zoodles and how to cook them? Check out this great blog post from Love & Lemons!

Last but not least, don’t forget that spiralized veggies can be eaten raw. Although a quick sauté is all that’s needed for zoodles or cauliflower rice to be added to a meal, I have become fond of using my spiralized vegetables as a cold salad.  Simply toss the fresh spiralized vegetables in a little oil and vinegar and season to taste. This cold salad can add a great crunch and bite of freshness to any meal!

Do you love making zoodles, cauliflower rice, and other healthy side dishes at home? We’d love to hear your favorite recipes! Share your thoughts with us on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.