Healthy Side Dishes to Complement Your Summer Grilling


It’s a challenge to eat right during the summer months, and it is especially tough to figure out how to create healthy side dishes so you can stay on track with your wellness journey.

In my pre-healthy days, almost all of my grilling side dishes consisted of starchy sides like spaghetti, potato salad and baked beans overly done with sugar. We were consuming a large amount of white carbs and side dishes with heavy oil in the form of mayonnaise. You live and you learn, right? When you know better, you do better! Now that I’m traveling down a different nutritional path, I incorporated some healthy side dishes to accompany my summer grilling. I hope that you like these dishes as well, and perhaps, add them to your summer menu.

Roasted Corn & Blueberry Salad

This recipe is simply wonderful. Not only is it delicious and simple to make, it is packed with antioxidants that’s guaranteed to promote healthy cellular growth; but when you’re eating it, you’re not thinking about any of this. Your only thoughts are “man this is so good, is there more?”

Ingredients

½ bag of organic frozen sweet corn, roasted in the oven at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes. Simply open bag, pour it onto your baking dish and place in the oven. It’s that simple!

If you use fresh corn, remove from the cob and roast.

¼ red onion, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

½ cucumber, diced

1 ½ cup fresh blueberries

1 ½ avocado, chopped into small bite size pieces

¼ small bunch of cilantro, chopped

For the dressing

1 lime, juiced, little more if desired, but not too much more or else it will overpower the dish

2 Tablespoons olive oil

Start with 1/2 teaspoon of cumin, and add more if desired up to 1 teaspoon.

Salt and pepper to taste, optional

Small drizzle of honey, optional

Directions

  1. Remove corn from the oven when it’s done and let it cool off.

  2. Toss all vegetables and cilantro together in a large bowl.

  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together lime juice, olive oil, cumin, and optional ingredients if desired.

  4. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss to mix. Chill before serving.

Note: The fresh, raw vegetables and the lime juice makes for a very refreshing dish. Excellent side dish for the perfect summer barbecue!

Cherry Tomatoes 3 different ways

Cherry Tomatoes, raw or sautéed are a winner-not only as a side dish-but as a healthy go-to snack to curb those hungry pains. Tomatoes are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K. copper, potassium, manganese, dietary fiber, vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), vitamin B6, folate, niacin, vitamin E, and phosphorus. Not to mention lycopene a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to have health benefits like providing protection against heart disease and some cancers. You are probably thinking, “All I really want to know is, does this recipe taste good!” And to answer your question, yes it does! It is absolutely wonderful and so simply to make; but it’s good to know in terms of eating healthy, why you should make food your medicine.

Ingredients and Directions:

Raw Tomato Medley

The beauty of this dish is that it is so simple and easy to make.

  1. You simply rinse your tomatoes and bell peppers (variety of colors if you like) chop your bell peppers into bite size chunks (you can include other vegetables as well), and half the cherry tomatoes. Toss into a large mixing bowl.

  2. Season to taste with sea salt, black peppers, oregano and basil. Drizzle with olive oil. Toss to incorporate the ingredients. You can also add a few dashes of balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar. Don’t use too much as you don’t want to overpower the natural flavor of the tomatoes and other vegetables.

Stove stop method:

  1. Heat your cooking pan on medium heat; drizzle some olive oil into your cooking pan, add your vegetables and season as directed above and cook until nice and tender.

  2. If you use bell peppers or other vegetables like carrots or celery that takes longer to cook, Sautee them first for about 3 minutes, then add the tomatoes.

  3. If you like, you can also drizzle a small amount of white wine over your tomatoes before you bake them. This gives the dish a nice fancy flare.

Oven method:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

  2. Toss your vegetables into your baking dish; season to taste as described above and drizzle with some olive oil, about 1tablespoon. Toss to incorporate the seasons. Roast for about 30-40 minutes until the tomatoes are somewhat withered and the other vegetables are nice and tender or have a little bite/crunch in them if you prefer. When done, remove from the oven and let cool.

  3. If you like, you can also drizzle a small amount of white wine over your tomatoes before you bake them. This gives the dish a nice fancy flare.

Baked Beans from Scratch

This recipe is a winner with my family. When your children like your food….they’re your toughest critics and they don’t hold anything back. I took culinary arts courses at a local college a few years ago, and I kept the textbook as a resource. It has wonderful recipes and cooking tips and this recipe for baked beans is one of the recipes. I tweaked a few ingredients to make it my own. Try to avoid the kind of baked beans that you pour out of the can, heat through and bam! Instant baked beans-can baked beans are typically loaded with salt and sugar. This recipe has a lot of flavor as well. Enjoy!

Ingredients

1 lbs. great northern beans

½ cup onions, small dice

Red pepper flakes to taste, about ½ to 1 teaspoon

3 oz. molasses

3 oz. of brown sugar

8 oz. organic ketchup

2 tablespoon prepared organic yellow mustard

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Boil the beans in water until almost tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Drain well

  2. To make the sauce, combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl, blending well.

  3. Add the sauce to the beans, tossing to coat thoroughly. Adjust the seasonings.

  4. Place the beans in your baking dish. Cover and bake in a 350 degree oven until the beans are completely tender, about 30-40 minutes.

Coming Soon! A Name Change and a New Healthy Food Initiative

Why the name change? I realize that Annie is more than about nutrition. Annie is about healthy living: Spirit, soul and body and I want the name of my company to reflect that.

Also, coming soon to my online store is Healthy Living With Annie Food Institute: Learning basic skills for healthy eating. I am so excited about this health initiative! A big component of it will be Meal Planning 101! It will be a composite of food demonstrations right from my very own kitchen! It has been my heart’s desire for years now, and as a matter of fact, it has been part of my daily confession to create an institute where God’s people can learn how to cook healthy. The word of God says to delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalms 37:4) In the past year, I really felt led of the Lord to start taping my meals but I kept putting it off, dismissing the unction. Finally I started paying attention to the inner unction and began videotaping. I can’t wait to make it available online. It is my heart’s desire that people who truly want to eat healthy and don’t know exactly what healthy food looks like or how to prepare it can now do so!

Annie

Changing mindsets, changing appetites, transforming eating habits

If this article blesses you, write me and tell me about it. I would love to hear from you. Sharing is caring-share this blog with family and friends.

Book Annie as a speaker for your next wellness event, or if you want to start a wellness program at your church, contact me at anniemgipson@gmail.com


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