Clockwise from left: Grape, Celery and Couscous Salad, Roasted Mushrooms and Spinach, Braised Fennel and Potatoes, and Frisee with Crisp Shallots and Honey Vinaigrette. (Johnny Miller)
Whether the main dish is fish, poultry or beef, here are four simple — and delicious — side dishes that you can pull together in less than 30 minutes.
Grape, Celery and Couscous Salad
Cook 1 cup Israeli couscous according to package instructions. Whisk together grated orange zest, juice, extra-virgin olive oil and white-wine vinegar. 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. Serves 4.
Per serving: 250 calories; 7 g fat (1 g saturated fat; 25 percent calories from fat); 42 g carbohydrates; 5 g protein; 1 g fiber.
Roasted Mushrooms and Spinach
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss together quartered cremini mushrooms, garlic and olive oil. Roast until golden, about 20 minutes. Remove garlic and roughly chop. Toss together spinach, grated lemon zest and olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Add to sheet, toss with mushrooms and roast until wilted, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Toss with garlic and chopped fresh parsley to serve. Serves 4.
Per serving: 96 calories; 7 g fat (1 g saturated fat; 66 percent calories from fat); 6 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein; 2 g fiber.
Braised Fennel and Potatoes
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high. Add fennel and cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown on both sides, about 8 minutes. Add potatoes and cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Stir in chicken broth, season with salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until vegetables are tender, about 12 minutes. Sprinkle with fennel fronds and serve with lemon wedges. Serves 4.
Per serving: 153 calories; 7 g fat (1 g saturated fat; 41 percent calories from fat); 19 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein; 4 g fiber.
Frisee with Crisp Shallots and Honey Vinaigrette
In a medium nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Working in batches if necessary, cook shallots until crisp, about 7 minutes per batch, adjusting heat as needed. With a slotted spoon, transfer shallots to paper towels to drain. Pour remaining oil into a large bowl. Whisk in cider vinegar and honey; season with salt and pepper. Toss with frisee and thinly sliced fresh chives, then sprinkle with crisp shallots. Serves 4.
Per serving: 149 calories; 14 g fat (2 g saturated fat; 85 percent calories from fat); 6 g carbohydrates; 2 g protein; 1 g fiber.