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In the Kitchen

Festive, Nutritious Side Dishes

By Kate Otto, RD, LDN
Bariatric Dietitian at BIDMC

There is always plenty to eat around the holidays, but avoiding temptations can certainly be tough. Put together any of these nutritious and tasty side dishes to take with you to your next holiday party or gathering, or just to enjoy (without the guilt) during your own feast! 

Green Beans with Proscuitto and Pine Nuts

Serves 8


green beans with pine nuts2 lbs. green beans, trimmed
2 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 oz. prosciutto, thinly sliced and cut into small strips
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh sage, minced
1/4 tsp salt, divided
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 1/2 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
1 tsp lemon juice 


Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add beans, return to a boil, and simmer until crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain.

Heat 1/2 teaspoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add prosciutto; cook, stirring, until crispy, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain on a paper towel.

Wipe out the pan; heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add beans, garlic, sage, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and ground pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are browned in places, 3 to 4 minutes.

Stir in pine nuts, lemon zest and prosciutto. Season with lemon juice, remaining 1/8 teaspoon of salt, and additional ground pepper.

*Make ahead: Boil, simmer and drain the green beans, then refrigerate for up to two days before completing the dish.

*To toast pine nuts: Cook in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

Nutrition: 99 calories per serving; 5g fat (1g saturated), 6mg cholesterol, 264mg sodium, 10g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 5g protein

Adapted from

Sweet Potato and Turnip Mash with Sage Butter

Serves 6 (1/2 cup servings)


mashed sweet potatoes1 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
8 oz. turnips (about 2 medium), peeled and diced
3 large garlic cloves
30 fresh sage leaves, divided (leave 12 whole, cut the rest into strips)
2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp kosher or sea salt
1/2 tsp coarsely cracked pepper


Place potatoes, turnips, garlic and 12 sage leaves in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are fork-tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain. Return the vegetables to the pan and keep covered.

Heat butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat. As it melts and turns lightly brown, add the strips of sage and allow them to crackle and flavor the butter, about 1 minute.

Pour the sage and butter over the vegetables and smash with a potato masher. Stir in salt and pepper and serve.

Nutrition: 88 calories per serving; 4g fat (3g saturated), 10mg cholesterol, 224mg sodium, 12g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 1g protein



Kate Otto is a bariatric nutritionist in the Weight Loss Surgery Center at BIDMC.

Above content provided by the Weight Loss Surgery Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.

December 2014

Contact Information

Weight Loss Surgery Center
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Shapiro Clinical Center, 3rd Floor
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215

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