These 3 side dishes can boost your immune system

Here's comfort food at its best: healthy, easy to prepare and bursting with flavour. Any of these three recipes can help keep your family healthy, and taste buds happy.

These 3 side dishes can boost your immune system

Garlic mashed potatoes and peas

Buttermilk adds a slight tang to these mashed potatoes, while tarragon underscores the sweetness of the peas. Lots of garlic and sautéed scallions round out the flavours.

Preparation time: 10 minutes. Cooking time: 25 minutes. Serves 4.

Ingredients:

  • 750 g (1 1/2 lb) baking potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) salt, divided
  • 350 g (1 1/2 c) frozen peas
  • 125 ml (1/2 c) buttermilk
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) dried tarragon
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) olive oil
  • 8 scallions, thinly sliced
  1. In a large pot, combine the potatoes, garlic, one millilitre (1/4 teaspoon) of the salt, and water to cover by 2.5 centimetres (one inch). Bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Add the peas and cook for one minute. Drain.
  3. Return the potatoes, peas and garlic to the pot. Add the remaining three millilitres (3/4 teaspoon) salt, the buttermilk and tarragon. With a potato masher, mash the potatoes until creamy.
  4. In a small skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the scallions, and cook for three minutes, or until very soft. Stir the scallions into the mashed potato mixture and cook over low heat until the potatoes are heated through.

Nutritional information: 205 Calories, 4 g Fat, 0.7 g Saturated Fat, 8 g Protein, 36 g Carbohydrate, 4.9 g Fibre, 1 mg Cholesterol, 689 mg Sodium

Roasted Jerusalem artichokes and garlic

Jerusalem artichokes have a creamy consistency and nutty flavour when roasted. They're a rich source of inulin, which can maintain the balance between good and bad bacteria in the intestines.

Preparation time: 5 minutes. Cooking time: 45 minutes. Serves 4.

Ingredients:

  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) olive oil
  • 12 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) dried rosemary, crumbled
  • 900 g (2 lb) Jerusalem artichokes, well scrubbed, sliced 1 cm (1/2 in) thick
  • 2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). In a roasting pan large enough to hold the Jerusalem artichokes in a single layer, combine the oil, garlic and rosemary. Heat the pan in the oven for three to five minutes, or until the oil begins to sizzle.
  2. Add the Jerusalem artichokes and toss well to coat with the oil. Roast the artichokes, shaking the pan occasionally, for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the artichokes are tender.
  3. Sprinkle the salt over the artichokes and serve.

Nutritional information: 248 calories, 6.9 g Fat, 1 g Saturated Fat, 5 g Protein, 43 g Carbohydrate, 4.2 g Fibre, 0 mg Cholesterol, 301 mg Sodium

Roasted tomatoes with garlic and herbs

Even in the winter months, these roasted tomatoes taste like a burst of summer. Once baked, they'll keep for several days in the refrigerator.

Preparation time: 5 minutes. Cooking time: 3 hours. Serves 4.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 kg (3 lb) plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 125 g (1/2 c) finely chopped fresh basil
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) minced fresh rosemary
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) sugar
  • 3 ml (3/4 tsp) salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 120°C (250°F). Line a jelly-roll pan with foil.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes with the oil, garlic, basil, rosemary, sugar and salt. Place the tomatoes cut-side up in the prepared pan, and bake for three hours, or until the tomatoes have collapsed and their skins have wrinkled.
  3. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
  4. Nutritional information: 148 Calories, 8 g Fat, 1 g Saturated Fat, 4 g Protein, 19 g Carbohydrate, 5.4 g Fibre, 0 mg Cholesterol, 468 mg Sodium

Even simple side dishes can add some much-needed nutrition to any plate. With these three sides, you can get those nutrients and enjoy something just a little different.

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