Hearty-But-Healthy Holiday Side Dishes
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Published on November 07, 2018

Brussel Sprouts with Balsamic and Grapes

Hearty-But-Healthy Holiday Side Dishes

Impress your guests and lighten up your holiday spread with these unique and healthy side dishes.

We may hesitate to mess with holiday classics like turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes. It’s likely a wise choice. But you can load your plate with these new vegetable sides – and take smaller portions of the classics – to allow for a still-delicious seasonal meal with a much-more-approachable calorie count.

Roasted Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Salad

Serves 8


  • 1½ pounds small sweet potatoes, cut length-wise into ½-inch wedges
  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 8 cups torn mixed lettuces
  • ⅔-cup pomegranate seeds
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Toss together sweet potatoes, cauliflower, 3 tablespoons olive oil and salt and pepper on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until golden, 25 to 30 minutes, tossing once. Let cool.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together remaining olive oil, sherry vinegar, salt and pepper.
  4. Add lettuces, pomegranate seeds and roasted vegetables; toss to coat.
  5. Serve immediately.

Braised Brussel Sprouts with Balsamic and Grapes

Makes 4 half-cup servings


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 pound medium Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 1 cup seedless red grapes
  • 1 tablespoons minced garlic
  • ¼-cup plus 1 tablespoon chicken stock, divided
  • 1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Melt butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat and add Brussels sprouts to pan, cut side down.
  2. Cook 3 minutes, without stirring. Stir in grapes and minced garlic and cook 1 minute.
  3. Sprinkle with pepper. Add ¼-cup chicken stock and cover partially, then cook 3 minutes.
  4. Stir in vinegar and 1 tablespoon chicken stock; simmer 1 minute. Serve.

Baby Carrots with Herb Dressing and Olives

Serves 4


  • 1 pound young carrots, trimmed (tops reserved)
  • 1 tablespoon carrot top greens, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime rind
  • 1½ tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 6 chopped pitted Kalamata olives


  1. Place carrots in a steamer basket set over a saucepan of simmering water.
  2. Cover and steam 6 minutes or until carrots are crisp-tender. Arrange carrots on a platter.
  3. Combine 1 tablespoon carrot tops and next 9 ingredients (through garlic) in the bowl of a food processor. Process this mixture until smooth.
  4. Drizzle herb mixture evenly over carrots; sprinkle with olives.

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