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Recipes: Easy does it for four simple side dishes

02/19/2013 1:37 PM

03/14/2013 3:56 PM

Four simple -- and delicious -- side dishes that you can pull together in less than 30 minutes.

1. Roasted mushrooms and spinach

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss together 1/2 pound quartered cremini mushrooms, 4 cloves garlic and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Roast until golden, about 20 minutes.

3. Remove garlic and roughly chop. Toss together 1 bunch spinach, trimmed and torn, 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest and 1 tablespoon olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Add to sheet, toss with mushrooms and roast until wilted, about 2 minutes.

4. Season with salt and pepper. Toss with garlic and 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley to serve.

Nutritional information per serving: 96 calories, 7 grams fat (1 gram saturated fat), 6 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams protein, 2 grams fiber; 66 percent of calories from fat.

2. Braised fennel and potatoes

1. Cut 1 pound small potatoes into 1/4-inch slices and 1 medium bulb fennel into 1/4-inch wedges; reserve fronds.

2. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high.

3. Add fennel and cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown on both sides, about 8 minutes.

4. Add potatoes and cook until golden, about 3 minutes.

5. Stir in 3/4 cup chicken broth, season with salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer.

6. Cover and cook until vegetables are tender, about 12 minutes. Sprinkle with fennel fronds and serve with lemon wedges.

Nutritional information per serving: 153 calories, 7 grams fat (1 gram saturated fat), 19 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams protein, 4 grams fiber; 41 percent of calories from fat.

4. Frisee with crisp shallots and honey vinaigrette

1. In a medium nonstick skillet, heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium.

2. Working in batches if necessary, cook 2 thinly sliced shallots until crisp, about 7 minutes per batch, adjusting heat as needed.

3. With a slotted spoon, transfer shallots to paper towels to drain.

4. Pour remaining oil into a large bowl. Whisk in 2 tablespoons cider vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon honey; season with salt and pepper.

5. Toss with 2 torn heads frisee and 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh chives, then sprinkle with crisp shallots.

Nutritional information per serving: 149 calories, 14 grams fat (2 grams saturated fat), 6 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams protein, 1 gram fiber; 85 percent of calories from fat.

3. Grape, celery and couscous salad

1. Cook 1 cup Israeli couscous according to package instructions.

2. Whisk together 1 teaspoon grated orange zest plus 2 tablespoons juice, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and 1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar.

3. Season with salt and pepper. Toss with couscous, 1/2 pound halved red seedless grapes and 3 thinly sliced stalks celery, plus 1/2 cup celery leaves; season with salt and pepper.

Nutritional information per serving: 250 calories, 7 grams fat (1 gram saturated fat), 42 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams protein, 1 gram fiber; 25 percent of calories from fat.

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