Sketching Out Blog: Sketches of art, watercolor, photos, recipes, books, interviews, Jewish topics, and Highland Park, New Jersey

Healthy Sides

tomato and carrotA while back, Lion of Zion posted this about how one might lessen stress on a Friday afternoon. My response to his suggestion of eliminating some of the side dishes was “But those are the healthy dishes!”

Here’s a post of quick, healthy side dishes and not-quite-as-quick-but-worth-the-effort side dishes. And some kid-friendly ideas, too. If there’s no link to a recipe, maybe some day I’ll write up a recipe.

Quick Side Dishes

  • Sweet potato: Put in a baking dish and bake along with other foods. Takes about 1.5 hours to bake, but if you are baking other things at the same time, it’s only 5 minutes of your time.
  • Avocado: Buy an avocado or two on Tuesday or Wednesday. By Shabbat, it should be ripe. Mash and mix in salt, garlic (optional, and we have cubes in the freezer so as not use garlic press on Shabbat), lemon juice (again, we have lemon juice in bottle so as not to squeeze lemon on Shabbat), possibly some hot sauce.
  • Beets: If you are in the kitchen anyway, boil some fresh beets. They take 1.5 hours to cook (quicker with a pressure cooker), but most of your work time is spent cutting the ends of the beets off before cooking and peeling after cooking (10 minutes). You can mix them with cucumbers, olive oil and dill right before serving.
  • Steamed cauliflower or brussel sprouts: both taste good cold or room-temperature the next day.
  • Garlic Spread
  • Spinach : use frozen spinach–don’t cook it but take it out and put in a baking dish. Then put it on warming tray before Shabbat for Friday night dinner.

Quick Sides for Kids

My kids don’t like salads. So here are some ideas of what you can put on the table in front of the kids while you are enjoying your salads:

  • Carrot sticks
  • Strawberries
  • Cut up melon pieces

Healthy Sides (not-quite-as-quick-but-worth-the-effort)

Years ago, I took a course on Environmental Economics, in which I learned that the poorer a country, the less it can afford to spend on the environment. It seems that is also true with health; if one is busy making money to pay for tuition and groceries and whatever else is in the budget, it is harder to take the time to cook lengthier dishes. At the same time, some people just don’t like cooking. And then there are those who would rather be cooking than working. Personally, I’d rather write a blog post about cooking than work or cook. Because I get an excuse to draw those little veggies at top right with my kids’ markers.

phyllis says

these all sound yummy! Shabbat Shalom!

Leora says

you, too, phyllis: Shabbat Shalom.

hihorosie says

Great ideas! I love avocados - doesn't even have to be a side-dish for me. I sometimes eat it as a meal! Anyway, very smart ideas.

Batya says

I blogged about it.
Just cut up various veggie's, put on a baking/serving dish, dribble some oil and spices. That's it! Great for everything including sweet potatoes, carrots, squash and more.

Ilana-Davita says

Thank you for the link.
How do you make "garlic cubes"?

Leora says

Rosie, I also eat avocados straight now. Because I work at home, I eat quick little meals during the week, and avocado is nice with a bit of lettuce and cheese.

Batya, your post must have been a while back. Link?

Ilana-Davita, you buy them at the supermarket? In the U.S.? They come in cubes. This week we used some of my garlic spread.

I added two more recipes (carrot salad and marinated mushrooms).

Ilana-Davita says

I've googled "garlic cubes" and looked at the pics. I'd never seen them before. The closest we get here is frozen garlic powder, except the size is more like small pearls which means they are a bit too big for salads.

Leora says

Ilana-Davita, the brand is Sabra Dorot. Seems to be imported from Israel. It's the square box that says "Crushed Garlic".

frumhouse says

Great ideas! It's nice to have ideas for light side dishes, especially in the summer.

Ilana-Davita says

I tried beets with cucumbers on Sunday evening and enjoyed the combination. Thanks for the tip.

Leora says

frumhouse, good to hear from you! come back and visit more often.

Ilana-Davita, glad you liked the cucumber-beet combo.

I made up a new one this week--mustard and garlic with lightly steamed greens (I used collards) served at room temperature.


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