We are so used to having to have a starchy or carb ridden sides in our meals and I rarely do any more and I don’t miss it. I know I feel better when I am not eating lots of starches or carbs, a lot less bloating! I like to get creative with veggie sides and often use quinoa instead of pasta or rice. Quinoa has a ton of protein, it still has carbs, however it doesn’t not change your glycemic index (spike your blood sugars) like rice. Many times, I eat these delicious “sides” as an entire meal.
There really are so many various you can do with this simple side salad. I usually use whatever I have on hand, you really can add anything to it that you would like.
I start with tomatoes and red onion, then add other things that I might have such as;
· Fresh basil
· Fresh cheese
Add some oil and red wine vinegar (or try some balsamic vinegar) with salt and pepper (or whatever seasonings you like).
I love this healthier (sugar free and dairy free) alternative to the traditional coleslaw. I could eat this as a main meal every day, it’s very delicious!
· 1 bag of chopped slaw mix (or you can shred a head of cabbage)
· Sunflower seeds
· Sesame seeds
· Green Onions - chopped small
· 1-2 cucumbers
· ⅛ cup chopped cilantro
· ¾ cup Asian Sweet and Spicy dressing
Asian Sweet and Spicy Dressing:
· ½ cup olive oil
· Juice of one orange
· 2 Tablespoon of honey
· ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
· 1 teaspoon of chili paste
· 1-2 teaspoons of sesame oil depending on your taste
Mix dressing set aside. Combine all other fresh ingredients in a large bowl. Mix in dressing and sprinkle in the sunflower seeds and sesame seeds to taste. If you are looking to create this more as a main dish you could add some chopped cooked chicken or shrimp (or vegan chicken strips) as well.
This is a beautifully bright and delicious salad that can be altered to add your favorite ingredients. For added protein I will often add some cooked Quinoa.
· 3-4 cucumbers- diced to small bite size pieces
· 2-3 tomatoes – diced to same size as cucumber
· 1 avocado- chopped in same size pieces
· ¼ cup chopped cilantro
· Dash of salt and pepper to taste
· Optional- add some cooked, chilled quinoa for some added protein
Mix all ingredients except avocado in a large bowl and toss with Italian dressing. Chill in the fridge before serving. When ready to serve toss in the avocado. The avocado does not fare well in the fridge therefore I will make this salad and only add the avocado to the portion I am eating at that time. This way I can store any leftovers and enjoy it the next day too!
This is regular Pico De Gallo with some peaches added. You can substitute mangos or pineapples as well; they are all delicious. This salsa goes great over chicken, fish, or pork, it’s great to season your meat with a little garlic and cumin. I once made a vegan option which was so delicious. I made a Spanish rice (using quinoa) and sautéed some vegan chicken strips in cumin, mix it all together and added some peach salsa.
· 2 pounds chopped tomatoes
· 1 – 2 peaches
· 1-2 chopped jalapenos (depends on your taste)
· ¼ cup chopped cilantro
· 1-2 cloves garlic
· ½ onion chopped finely
· Salt and pepper to taste
Chop all the ingredients, I like to chop everything small and combine them in a bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
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I want to hear what you are creating! Leave me a comment below and let me know your favorite recipe.