These simple, budget-friendly sides all cost less than $1 per serving.
Shredded carrot salad
Good with sweet-and-spicy chicken or lamb chops.
In a small nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil over medium. Add 1 large shallot, diced small, and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Add 1/4 teaspoon each fennel seed and ground cumin and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
In a medium bowl, toss together 4 cups grated carrots (about 5 large), 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice and shallot mixture; season with coarse salt and ground pepper.
Nutritional information per serving: 143 calories, 7 grams fat (1 gram saturated fat), 3 grams protein, 9 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 44 percent of calories from fat.
Potatoes with paprika sauce
Good with seared steak or fried eggs.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss together 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (4 medium), cut into 1-inch pieces, and 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil; season with coarse salt and ground pepper. Arrange in a single layer and roast until potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, about 35 to 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1 minced garlic clove and 3/4 teaspoon smoked or sweet paprika; season to taste with coarse salt and ground pepper. Serve potatoes with sauce.
Nutritional information per serving: 289 calories, 15 grams fat (2 grams saturated fat), 6 grams protein, 41 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams fiber, 47 percent of calories from fat.
Spicy sauteed celery
Good with steamed fish or pork roast.
In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon unsalted butter over medium heat. Add 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced, and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add 1 large bunch celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, about 6 minutes. Add 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes and season with coarse salt.
Nutritional information per serving: 52 calories, 3 grams fat (2 grams saturated fat), 1 gram protein, 5 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 52 percent of calories from fat.
Good with stuffed chicken or chickpea curry.
In a medium saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter over medium heat. Add 1 yellow onion, diced medium, and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Season with coarse salt and ground pepper. Add 1 cup long-grain white rice and cook, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Add 2 cups water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, partially cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup golden raisins, cover and let stand 3 minutes before serving.
Nutritional information per serving: 309 calories, 6 grams fat (4 grams saturated fat), 5 grams protein, 59 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 17 percent of calories from fat.