We can all agree that we need to eat more veggies, but that’s easier said than done for most of us. There are plenty of obstacles standing in the way. If we’re being honest, veggies aren’t delicious on their own as whole, they can be difficult to shop for, and can lead to food waste when unused. These obstacles are what I aim to overcome with the three vegetable side dishes below.
Each recipe uses what I would consider a convenience veggie like frozen broccoli or canned green beans and transform them into something tasty and enjoyable. Like, so tasty you may decide to make a meal out of a side dish once you try ’em!
Top Secret Key to Amazing Vegetable Side Dishes: Bacon
That’s right, all three of the vegetable side dishes below incorporate bacon. It’s one of the easiest ways to take a veggie from 0 to 100 real quick.
I use a precooked chicken bacon from Al Fresco which I buy at Walmart. On a per slice basis, it’s possibly the lowest calorie bacon that actually gets crispy I’ve come across.
But you can use any bacon you like. There are plenty of precooked bacons to choose from, and you can even use raw bacon and cook it up yourself. If you go that route check out my guide on cooking bacon in the microwave.
What about Fresh vs Frozen vs Canned Vegetables?
In case you’re wondering if fresh vegetables are healthier than frozen or canned vegetables, I’ll touch on a few points.
Frozen vegetables are picked at peak ripeness, packed in sterile environments, transported frozen and away from bacteria, and don’t spoil. Research has looked at nutrient levels of both fresh vs frozen and there’s no clear difference. It’s safe to say, frozen vegetables are just as good for you (if not better) as fresh vegetables. Don’t feel guilty about buying frozen.
Canned is a slightly different story, as some can be canned in tons of salt or other ingredients. And there’s always the chance of water soluble vitamins being lost if you drain the cans. That being said, they are still vegetables. If sprucing up a can of veggies is the difference between eating more veggies and not, I’ll take the canned. Something else that’s overlooked here is the non-nutritive benefits of vegetables, and by that I mean that vegetables are typically high volume foods that keep you full for not many calories.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re eating fresh, frozen, canned, or any other way you can find veggies—just eat as many as you can!
Bacon Sriracha Broccoli
First up in our vegetable side dishes lineup is a high protein way to spruce up frozen broccoli. I love this dish because it makes a ton and is great both warm and cold (I actually like it cold better).
And a vegetable side dish with 8 grams of protein? C’mon, it doesn’t get much better than that!
- 4 C (340g) Frozen Broccoli Florets
- 4 slices Cooked Bacon, I used Al Fresco chicken bacon
- 1/2 C (113g) Fat Free Greek Yogurt, plain
- 1 Tbsp (15g) Light Mayo
- 2 Tbsp (30g) Sriracha
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
- Microwave the broccoli per instructions (around 5-6 minutes).
- While the broccoli cooks, mix the remaining ingredients (except the bacon) in a large bowl.
- When the broccoli is finished, microwave the cooked bacon (if prepackaged).
- Add the bacon to the other ingredients and gently fold everything together.
- Crumble the bacon over the mixture and stir well. Serve warm or refrigerate to let the flavors fully meld.
Serving Size1 Serving
Amount Per Serving Calories 80Total Fat 2gUnsaturated Fat 0gCarbohydrates 8gProtein 8g
If you try any of these vegetable side dishes, be sure to tag us on Instagram! And subscribe to the email list below if you’d like to be notified about new recipes and other happenings on the blog.