Making tasty dishes that are healthy, no-fuss, and flavorful can feel like a daunting task as you stroll the aisles of the grocery store. The best bet is to plan it all out ahead of time and head to the store with a game plan. The same goes when planning holiday meals. While traditional Easter dishes and flavors may be fan favorites, add in a couple of these healthy side dishes to mix things up.
Five bean salad
Beans are an excellent source of fiber. The thought of eating a bean salad may conjure up images of bowls of flavor-less slop- and if that’s been your experience, you’ll be happy to hear that beans can be a part of many delicious recipes that benefit your health. This is one great example. The recipe includes a garlicky mustard dressing which adds an incredible flavor while being made from olive oil (a healthy fat), and lemon juice. Making your own dressings helps you avoid unnecessary sugar, fat, sodium, and other ingredients often found in store-bought dressings. This salad can also be made as a lunch option; add some grilled chicken for protein.
Broccoli bacon salad
Broccoli, dried cranberries, and sunflower seeds are just a few ingredients in this healthy salad. The sunflower seeds provide Zinc and Vitamin E (among other vitamins and minerals). Dried cranberries are loaded with antioxidants and also contain polyphenols, which may help prevent heart disease.
Cabbage cucumber salad
Green cabbage is loaded with vitamin K (it has twice as much as red cabbage!), which helps support blood clotting and bone metabolism. Also a rich source of Vitamin C, this salad benefits your immune system, helps manage blood pressure, and prevents heart disease.
Skinny cheesy potatoes
While it sounds like cheesy potatoes couldn’t possibly be healthy, this recipe does it well! Low in butter, and using low-fat Greek yogurt for slight tang and creaminess, you wouldn’t even know this recipe is considered “healthy”.
Hasselback sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a great source of vitamins and minerals and also support gut health with antioxidants and fiber (read here, about how else to support gut health). They can be used in a wide variety of ways, but this recipe will be one you continue to reach for, guaranteed.
Kale and quinoa salad
Quinoa is an often overlooked grain that provides a unique texture while also contributing loads of protein and fiber. It has a low glycemic index, which helps maintain a steady blood sugar level. The walnuts are also high in protein, have been found to help prevent some types of cancers, and supports a healthy weight (read more about how nuts can help weight loss, here). This salad is a heavy-hitter when it comes to health benefits!
Hot cross buns
These delicious sweet breads contain several spices that help support overall wellness. Cloves help regulate blood sugar and may improve liver health, among other benefits. Cinnamon has anti inflammatory properties and many antioxidants. Nutmeg has been found to help relieve indigestion, improve circulation, and even helps reduce pain. Read more about spices that help reduce inflammation, here. They do contain some sugar, so make sure to enjoy in moderation.
Citrus fruits are often only thought of as a source of Vitamin C, but they provide so many other positive benefits. They have been found to help reduce the risk of heart disease and contain fiber. Citrus fruits are also rich in potassium, which helps regulate fluids and the mineral balance in your body. This recipe is easy to put together and is a nice counterpart to many traditional recipes.
Spinach strawberry salad with poppy seed dressing
Spinach is a superfood, containing many properties that benefit the body. It is a natural anti inflammatory, which helps support brain health and can help reduce pain levels. Spinach is rich in lutein, an antioxidant that supports eye health. Adding strawberries provides a surprisingly interesting and delicious pairing to the salad when topped off with the poppy seed dressing. You can’t go wrong with this one!
Next week, we’ll share some delicious and healthy main dish ideas for the Easter celebration. Have any favorite recipes you’d like to share? Tell us about it in the comments!