What is your fav side when having a succulent grilled steak for dinner? Many would say potatoes. Even I do not have a different answer. But it's a pity not to take into consideration other options. There are so many vegetables around which could make delicious sides for a grilled steak.
Steak has a big place in our everyday menus and – I dare to say – in our lives too. Although grilling is typically an outdoor and warm weather-related activity, many people enjoy grilling all year round.
I believe we end up choosing a steak instead of anything else because it's a comforting meal and easy to make. For those who keep an eye on their diet, it's a healthy option too. Whatever the meat you cook, be it chicken, beef, or pork, grilling can be a healthier alternative to pan frying, deep frying, and roasting.
We agree we don't need an excuse for grilling meat, but what about the sides which go alongside it? I like to pair my steak with fries, but who doesn't? Although, a comforting combo, meat and fries don't score points when the word diet is brought up. The good part is that you don't need to opt only for potatoes with your steak. You can always go for healthy sides which can add lots of taste to your meal!
5 Healthy sides for a grilled steak
1. Something with summer squash
Summer squash has a delicate flavor and a creamy white flesh, which makes it a perfect side to any summer meal. One medium summer squash counts about 32 calories, so you can easily put it on the list of sides for a grilled steak.
For example, make summer squash gratin, which is healthy and absolutely delicious! Plus, it can look very nice if you find various-colored summer squash (yellow and green). Heat a few drops of vegetable oil in a cast-iron skillet and cook some shallot and garlic, then arrange in circles slices of summer squash, add spices and herbs to your taste, and sprinkle a mixture made of panko and parmesan all over. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake everything until the top is golden-brown.
If you want, you can give up on shallot and garlic, and add other veggies, like tomatoes, eggplant, or leek instead. You can replace parmesan, but swap it for another cheese, because any gratin requires it!
2. Healthy fries
How many times have you had grilled steak with French fries? It’s one of our guilty pleasures, that’s for sure! But you don’t have to feel guilty every time you eat fries! Just learn how to make healthier versions of fries. For this, you have to choose thin vegetables, like green beans, or to cut your veggies into uniform shapes. Why this? Because you want them to cook quickly and to become as crispy as possible.
To make baked eggplant fries, cut the eggplant into one-inch rounds first and then slice those rounds into batons. Leaving the skin on the eggplant helps it hold its shape while coating and cooking.
Coat your veggie sticks first with beaten egg white, then with breadcrumbs and grated parmesan. To spice them up, use salt, pepper, dried herbs or garlic powder. Use a cooking spray to grease a baking tray and bake your veggie fries until they’re crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.
You can also cook parsnips, turnips, carrots, and beets using the same technique and transform them into healthy sides for a grilled steak.
3. All veggies – grilled or baked
Even if you use small quantities, cheese and breadcrumbs add plenty of calories to your dish. So, if you’re very strict about your healthy eating plan, you may consider cooking sides that only contain vegetables with little add-ons.
And, since you've already heated your grill, why not use it for veggies too? Set sweet potatoes, onion chunks, mushrooms, and bell pepper chunks on a skewer and grill the skewers, turning them often until they are cooked through.
Want something even simpler? Just grill slices of carrot, bell pepper or zucchini. When ready, transfer your grilled vegetables to a bowl and season them with salt, dill, lemon juice and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature, with your steak.
Salad recipes are endless. You can make them light using low-calorie vegetables or more fulfilling with ingredients like chickpeas or lentils. Choose depending on your appetite. For example, you can mix canned chickpeas (drained and rinsed), cherry tomatoes, chopped fresh parsley, and ground cumin in the same bowl. Or you can make a nice salad with arugula, pears, and blue cheese. Oh, and add vinaigrette to any salad you make!
Both of these salads are nourishing, but the last one has a stronger taste because of the bitterness of arugula and blue cheese, which still balances thanks to the sweet pear.
Of course, you can make a light summer salad using fresh vegetables: tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, baby spinach, lettuce, spring onion or radishes.
5. When you can’t give up on potatoes
French fries absorb a lot of vegetable oil, and mashed potatoes are usually made with butter, milk, and even cheese. And all this means calories. But you don’t necessarily need to give up on potatoes because you can make healthy sides for a grilled steak having them as the star of your recipe!
When it’s spring, you should buy new potatoes! Simply boiled and tossed with coarse salt, fresh herbs, and butter, new potatoes are a savory and soul-satisfying way to celebrate spring. You can change their flavor as you desire, using spices and sauces: garlic, fresh lemon juice, parsley, olive oil or paprika.
Your steak makes a great combo with a warm potato salad as well! Mix boiled or roasted potatoes with arugula and dill, and flavor them with a dressing made with yogurt, salt, and pepper.