6 Simple, Nutrient-Rich Vegetables and Side Dishes

Are you one of those people like me who always seems to think about needing a vegetable for a meal just about the time everything else is ready? Do yourself a favor and start with the vegetable, putting it in the slow cooker first so you have it perfectly done by the time the rest of the meal is.

1. Corn Casserole

A creamy corn casserole is spiced up by the addition of a can of chopped green chili peppers.

  • 20 ounces (560 g) frozen corn
  • 8 ounces (225 g) fat-free cream cheese
  • 4 ounces (115 g) chopped green chilies
  • ¼ cup (55 g) unsalted butter

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker and cook until cheese and butter are melted and mixture is smooth, about 2 hours.

Yield: 6 servings

Per serving: 115 g water; 240 calories (55% from fat, 11% from protein, 34% from carb); 7 g protein; 15 g total fat; 9 g saturated fat; 4 g monounsaturated fat; 1 g polyunsaturated fat; 22 g carb; 3 g fiber; 4 g sugar; 145 mg phosphorus; 48 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 148 mg sodium; 356 mg potassium; 826 IU vitamin A; 132 mg ATE vitamin E; 19 mg vitamin C; 42 mg cholesterol

2. Mexi-Corn

This Mexican flavored corn is great as a side dish, especially with Mexican meals, but also just with any plain piece of meat.

  • 20 ounces (580 g) frozen corn, partially thawed
  • 4 ounces (115 g) pimientos, chopped
  • ¼ cup (38 g) finely chopped green bell pepper
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) water
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cover and cook on high 45 minutes, then on low 2 to 4 hours. Stir occasionally.

Yield: 8 servings

Per serving: 79 g water; 62 calories (5% from fat, 12% from protein, 83% from carb); 2 g protein; 0 g total fat; 0 g saturated fat; 0 g monounsaturated fat; 0 g polyunsaturated fat; 15 g carb; 2 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 45 mg phosphorus; 5 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 8 mg sodium; 141 mg potassium; 521 IU vitamin A; 0 mg ATE vitamin E; 18 mg vitamin C; 0 mg cholesterol

3. Corn Pudding

This is a favorite side dish for family get-togethers, which is fine with me since it’s so easy to make ahead of time.

  • 2 pounds (900 g) frozen corn, thawed
  • ½ cup (120 ml) egg substitute
  • 1 cup (235 ml) skim milk
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons (26 g) sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (24 g) flour

Spray slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Combine all ingredients well. Pour into prepared slow cooker. Cover and cook on high 3 hours.

Yield: 8 servings

Per serving: 128 g water; 140 calories (7% from fat, 17% from protein, 77% from carb); 7 g protein; 1 g total fat; 0 g saturated fat; 0 g monounsaturated fat; 0 g polyunsaturated fat; 29 g carb; 3 g fiber; 7 g sugar; 121 mg phosphorus; 58 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 52 mg sodium; 278 mg potassium; 122 IU vitamin A; 19 mg ATE vitamin E; 4 mg vitamin C; 1 mg cholesterol

4. Asian Broccoli

This is a great Asian-flavored side dish.

  • 2 pounds (900 g) broccoli, trimmed and chopped into bite-size piece
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ cup (75 g) thinly sliced red bell pepper
  • ¾ cup (120 g) sliced onion
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) lowsodium soy sauce Dash black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon (8 g) sesame seeds

Combine all ingredients except sesame seeds in slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 hours. Top with sesame seeds. Yield: 8 servings Per serving: 129 g water; 58 calories (14% from fat, 24% from protein, 62% from carb); 4 g protein; 1 g total fat; 0 g saturated fat; 0 g monounsaturated fat; 0 g polyunsaturated fat; 10 g carb; 4 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 98 mg phosphorus; 70 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 64 mg sodium; 420 mg potassium; 998 IU vitamin A; 0 mg ATE vitamin E; 114 mg vitamin C; 0 mg cholesterol

TIP :Serve over brown rice.

5. Broccoli Casserole

Broccoli cooks in a cheesy sauce while a crispy topping forms in this popular side dish recipe.

  • 20 ounces (560 g) frozen broccoli spears
  • 1 can (10 ounces, or 280 g) lowsodium cream of celery soup
  • 1¼ cups (150 g) grated Cheddar cheese, divided
  • ¼ cup (25 g) minced scallions
  • 12 saltines, crushed

Spray slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. In large bowl, combine broccoli, soup, 1 cup (115 g) of grated cheese, and scallions. Pour into prepared slow cooker. Sprinkle with crushed crackers and the remaining cheese. Cover and slip a wooden toothpick between lid and pot to vent. Cook on low 5 to 6 hours or on high 2 to 3 hours.

Yield: 6 servings

Per serving: 190 g water; 220 calories (47% from fat, 20% from protein, 33% from carb); 11 g protein; 12 g total fat; 6 g saturated fat; 3 g monounsaturated fat; 1 g polyunsaturated fat; 19 g carb; 3 g fiber; 2 g sugar; 231 mg phosphorus; 264 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 607 mg sodium; 398 mg potassium; 1030 IU vitamin A; 91 mg ATE vitamin E; 85 mg vitamin C; 35 mg cholesterol

6. Creamed Spinach

Creamed spinach is a favorite of mine, and it goes great with a steak. This recipe, which is really more like a soufflé, makes the preparation really easy.

  • 30 ounces (840 g) frozen spinach
  • 2 cups (450 g) fat-free cottage cheese 1
  • cup (115 g) shredded Cheddar
  • ¾ cup (175 ml) egg substitute
  • ¼ cup (30 g) flour
  • ½ cup (112 g) unsalted butter, melted

Mix together all ingredients and pour into slow cooker. Cook on high for 1 hour, then on low for 4 hours more.

Yield: 8 servings

Per serving: 170 g water; 277 calories (59% from fat, 26% from protein, 14% from carb); 19 g protein; 19 g total fat; 11 g saturated fat; 5 g monounsaturated fat; 1 g polyunsaturated fat; 10 g carb; 4 g fiber; 2 g sugar; 249 mg phosphorus; 333 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 339 mg sodium; 471 mg potassium; 13450 IU vitamin A; 144 mg ATE vitamin E; 2 mg vitamin C; 50 mg cholesterol

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