Side dishes round out any meal — how could you possibly have a summer BBQ dinner without grilled veggies, corn on the cob or a flavour-packed salad? Side dishes may complete a meal, but they also need to be simple, and relatively quick and easy. No one wants to be slaving away over the hearty main and then have to spend another few hours cooking up a veggie side. These 5-ingredient side dishes will blow your mind — and your taste buds!

 brussel sprouts raw in bowl  

 Maple Brussels Sprouts Explosion

2 cups Brussels sprouts, halved
4 Tbsp maple syrup
4 Tbsp whole mustard
1/4 tsp sea salt
4 Tbsp grapeseed oil

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Wash and slice the Brussels sprouts in half.
3. Mix the maple syrup, mustard and grapeseed oil in a large bowl.
4. Add the Brussels sprouts to the bowl and make sure they’re all nicely coated with the marinade. Add the sea salt and keep mixing. If you like this dish a little sweeter, add a bit more maple syrup.
5. Place the Brussels sprouts on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes until Brussels sprouts are crisp and sweet.


 Oh-So-Pine-Nutty Kale Salad

1 bunch kale
1 container cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (for tomatoes) + 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (for salad)
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (for tomatoes ) + 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (for salad)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Wash and cut the cherry tomatoes in half and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Pour 2 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and 2 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar over the tomatoes and roast for 25 minutes. Alternatively, you can use 1 cup of chopped sundried tomatoes.
3. While the tomatoes are roasting, lightly toast the pine nuts by placing them on a baking sheet. Place them in the oven for 5-7 minutes and watch them so they don’t burn!
4. Wash and chop the kale into pieces and add to a big salad bowl.
5. Once the tomatoes are roasted, add them on top of the kale and then toss pine nuts on top.
6. Dress the salad with 4 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and 3 Tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, mix and enjoy!


 Mediterranean Madness 

1 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted
1 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup feta, crumbled
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, squeezed

1. Slice the kalamata olives in half and make sure they are pitted. Place them in a bowl
2. Slice the sundried tomatoes and add them to the olive bowl.
3. Crumble feta and place in the bowl. Pour extra virgin olive oil and squeeze lemon over, mix around until everything is coated in oil.


 Caramelized Balsamic Sweet Potatoes

5 sweet potatoes, cubed
5 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
4 Tbsp grapeseed oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Chop the sweet potatoes in cubed and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
3. Drizzle grapeseed oil, balsamic vinegar and sea salt over the potatoes. Mix around so they are all covered in balsamic vinegar.
4. Roast in the oven for 35 minutes until caramelized, soft yet slightly crisp.
5. Place in a bowl and mix with fresh basil.


 Zippy Fennel Slaw

1 fennel bulb, sliced thinly
1 green apple, sliced into matchsticks
1/2 lemon, squeezed
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
Pinch sea salt

1. With a mandolin or a sharp knife, slice the fennel bulb into thin pieces and place in a bowl.
2. Slice the apple into matchsticks and add it to the bowl.
3. Immediately squeeze the lemon over the fennel and apple. Add 1 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar and sea salt. Mix around so everything is coated.

tamara-green-living-kitchen Tamara Green is co-founder of The Living Kitchen, and a Holistic Nutritionist and Natural Cook. She combines her knowledge of nutrition and passion for cooking good food to work with clients to create lasting changes in their lives.