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3 Side Dishes that Will Make Your Meal Healthier

They go great with all the greasy food you were planning on eating today.

3 Side Dishes that Will Make Your Meal Healthier

On any given hungover Sunday—but especially Super Bowl Sunday—a greasy meal is usually in order: a burger, pizza, a raft of Chinese food from that place you know you shouldn’t love but you do. We say, go for it. Because we all need some grease in our lives and you’ll have your sad girl salad on Monday sitting at your desk. The best part about this, though, is that we’ve discovered a way in which to have your Sunday cake and eat it too—and by that we mean, have the grease and the healthy, wholesome food all in the same damn meal. With the guidance of Matt Weingarten, the culinary director of actually delicious healthy food source Dig Inn, may we present you with side dishes that are good for you, but don’t taste like grass. In other words, they’ll go really well with those Super Bowl wings and dip.


Melting Broth


“For our new Melting Broth recipe, we looked to to the compost bin for inspiration: using leftover stems, leaf fiber, and sea vegetables. Combining a melange of random, healthful ingredients into a harmonious whole, it’s essentially our antidote to the past year. Seaweed in particular is such an underused power vegetable. It’s rich in vitamin C, iodine, calcium, iron, and magnesium. I love the versatility and health benefits of broth—you can drink up essential vitamins and minerals on the go in a coffee cup, or add vegetables, grains, and proteins to make a truly wholesome meal during winter months.”



Makes 1/2 gallon of broth

1 pound Spanish onion, chopped
1/2 pound carrot, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
Stems from one bunch kale
Cores (and skin) from 2 apples
1/4 pound stems and brown gills from mushrooms
1 pound mixed root vegetable peels and scraps, washed
Tops and tails from 1 celery head
2 cloves skin-on garlic, smashed
1 star anise
1 6-inch piece of kombu seaweed
1 ounce shiitake mushrooms, dried
6 black peppercorns
2 quarts water
Sea salt to taste



1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

2. Toss the chopped carrots and onions in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and place on a single-layer sheet tray. Place in the hot oven to roast until charred and caramelized. This should take about 15 minutes.

3. Place in a pot with remaining ingredients.

4. Cover with water and bring to a gentle boil.

5. Reduce heat to simmer and slowly cook for about an hour.

6. After an hour, add salt to taste and strain thoroughly.

7. Serve on top of your favorite grain or vegetable—or straight up as a warming broth.


Roasted Carrots with Kale Pesto


“This dish is simple, but packs a flavor punch. The pesto combines all the healthy fats and protein you find in nuts and seeds, with antioxidant rich kale. It’s a much healthier, unique alternative to most basil and cream pesto sauces. Roasting the carrots whole also allows the natural sugars to concentrate, making it naturally sweet. Serve this dish as antipasti, as a side to a larger meal, or tossed into a simple salad.”



1 bunch skinny carrots with tops
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoon salt

For pesto:

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoon grated parmesan
2 large kale leaves, chopped
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil



1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

2. Cut the tops off the carrots and peel. Coat with oil and salt and place in the oven. Roast for 15 minutes until well charred and a knife can easily pierce the carrots.

3. While the carrots are roasting, make the pesto by placing all ingredients except olive oil into a small mini chopper or blender. Grind on medium speed until the mixture is coarse, then slowly pour in olive oil to emulsify into grainy pesto. Adjust seasoning to taste.

4. When the carrots are cooked, remove from the oven and cut in half lengthwise and crosswise. Dress with pesto and serve.


Roasted Brussels Sprouts


“This is a lighter spin on our classic brussels sprouts recipe includes a versatile, tangy orange confit. With coconut oil, brussels sprouts, and discarded orange peels as main ingredients, this healthy side incorporates the best of your winter pantry.”



Spiced Coconut Oil
1 cup light olive oil or other neutral-flavored oil
1/3 cup coconut oil
3 sprigs thyme
3 sprigs rosemary
1 Tablespoon star anise pods
1 Tablespoon coriander seeds
1 Tablespoon black peppercorn
1 Tablespoon juniper berries
1 head garlic, cut in half
1/2 orange, squeezed


Orange Confit:

3 oranges, cut in half
3 quarts water
1 cup agave
2 cups red wine vinegar
4 star anise pods

1 lb Brussels sprouts, quartered
1/4 cup of water
1/2 teaspoon sea salt



For Spiced Coconut Oil:

1. Place all ingredients in a 2 qt pot over high heat.

2. Fry the ingredients for about 10 minutes or until the garlic cloves are golden brown and the edges of the orange peel are charred. Your home will be filled with the most intoxicating aroma.

3. Remove from heat. Allow to cool slightly and strain the spiced coconut oil through a fine mesh strainer. Reserve until ready to use.


For Orange Confit:

1. Squeeze 2 oranges and reserve the juice.

2. Place the orange peels in a medium saucepan and cover with the water. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 30 minutes or until the orange is tender and looks translucent. When you cut the orange, you shouldn’t see any white pith.

3. Drain the liquid and discard.

4. Place the boiled orange peels back in the pot along with the reserved orange juice, agave, vinegar, and the star anise. Bring to a simmer and cook on low for another 20 minutes or so, or until almost all of the liquid has evaporated and the peels have become candied and glossy.

5. Remove from heat and reserve until ready to use.



1. Place the Brussels sprouts, 1/4 cup spiced coconut oil, the water and the salt in a large sauté pan. Cover with a lid and cook on high for five minutes or until the Brussels sprouts are bright green, and a little caramelized on the bottom.

2. Remove the lid and stir the pan vigorously, then continue to cook for another minute or two on high or until you have a nice mixture of well-caramelized edges and bright green Brussels. The sprouts should still be firm, but not too crunchy.

3. Add in 1 Tablespoon orange peel confit and sprinkle with a pinch of flaked Maldon salt before serving


Photos: Courtesy of Dig Inn

Part of the series:

Off The Menu

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