BBQ Sides

When summer rolls around and the hot weather takes over, we want nothing but fresh, healthy, and hot weather appropriate food. These sides won’t weigh you down, and are the perfect accompaniment to grilled foods and outdoor parties.

First our Haricots Verts with Shallots and Pine Nuts dish!

This simple side of French green beans, shallots, and pine nuts comes together in a snap.


1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 tablespoons chopped shallots
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces trimmed haricots verts (French green beans)
1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted


1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add next 4 ingredients (through haricots verts) to pan; cook 6 minutes or until beans are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle evenly with nuts.


Next we have our Baked Black Beans paired with Chorizo.


1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup diced Spanish chorizo
Cooking spray
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 jalapeño pepper, sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
5 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
2 (15-ounce) cans no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup chopped seeded tomato
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add chorizo; sauté for 2 minutes. Remove chorizo from pan. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion and jalapeño; sauté 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt, cumin, red pepper, and garlic; sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in broth and beans; bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes. Mash to desired consistency. Spoon bean mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray.

3. Top with chorizo, tomato, and cheese. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Top with green onions.


Finally we have our Sweet Pea and Avocado Dip paired with Baked Pita Chips!

Incorporating green peas into this tasty summer snack not only reduces the amount of fat but also adds sweetness and further brightens the green color.


1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
3 (6-inch) whole-grain pitas
Cooking spray
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 large ripe peeled avocado
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine cumin, chile powder, salt, and red pepper in a bowl. Split each pita in half to make 6 rounds. Cut each pita round into 6 wedges. Spread wedges in single layers on 2 large baking sheets. Lightly coat pita with cooking spray; sprinkle evenly with half of cumin mixture. Bake at 350° for 6 minutes or until crisp. Cool completely on pans.3. Combine peas, 3 tablespoons water, lime juice, and remaining cumin mixture in the bowl of a food processor; process until smooth. Add avocado; pulse until combined. Top with cilantro.


Learn more