3 Low Carb Side Dish Swaps for Memorial Day Menus

This Memorial Day (it will be my fourth as an American resident and first as an American citizen) I’ve taken 3 high carb, low nutrient density dishes that you would usually find next to any grill, and given them a low carb, high nutrient makeover. I think they taste even better than the originals, and Husband Hanway (chief taste tester here at jenniferhanway.com) agrees!

SWAP: Potato Salad for Roasted Lemon and Garlic Sunchoke Salad

Sunchokes (also known as Jerusalem Artichokes) are a great alternative to potatoes in any recipe. May is really the last month that they are in season, so grab them whilst you can. They have a delicate nutty flavor which pairs so well with the sweetness of roasted garlic and lemon in this dish and are a great source of prebiotic fiber, which is essential for gut health.

Roasted Lemon and Garlic Sunchoke Salad

(serves 4)

  • 12-15 sunchokes, dependant on size

  • 2 Lemons

  • 6 cloves garlic

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

  • 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • 1 cup cilantro

  • Pinch Himalayan Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 350F

Scrub the sunchokes, and cut into 1″ cubes. Cut the lemon into quarters. Place these along with the garlic cloves in an ovenproof dish. Melt the coconut oil, then pour into the dish, making sure the contents are evenly covered. Roast for 20-25 minutes, or until the sunchokes are soft.

Remove from the oven, and separate the sunchokes, and place in a large bowl. Place the roasted lemon flesh and garlic cloves into a food processor with the EVOO, cilantro and salt and pepper. Pulse until smooth. Pour over the sunchokes and enjoy!

SWAP: Rice Salad for Red, White and Blueberry Cauliflower and Macadamia Nut Salad

A cold Rice Salad is probably my least favourite summer side dish, so I’ve transformed it into this cauliflower and nut combo that I just can’t get enough of!

Cauliflower is chock full of compounds called indoles and sulforaphane, both potent detoxifiers of estrogen, is high in antioxidants, potassium and fiber. Macadamia nuts are high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, calcium, potassium and skin loving selenium. The anti-oxidant rich blueberries give it a pop of color and sweetness, and dressing with EVOO and Lemon juice helps make the fibre rich cauliflower more digestible and ensures all the vitamins can be absorbed by the body.

Red, White and Blueberry Cauliflower and Macadamia Nut Salad

(serves 4)

  • 1 head cauliflower

  • 2 cups macadamia nuts

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes

  • 1 cup blueberries

  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley

  • 1/4 cup EVOO

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • Pinch of Himalayan salt and black pepper

Break down the cauliflower florets, and pulse in the food processor until a rice-like consistency (you may have to do this in stages). Do the same with the macadamia nuts, but not too much or it will turn into nut butter (delicious, but not what we are going for)!

Place both in a large bowl, then add the tomatoes, blueberries, parsley, EVOO, lemon juice and seasoning and mix well. Cover, and leave the dressing to soften the veggies for at least half and hour.

SWAP: Noodle Salad for Zoodle Salad with Walnut and Spinach Pesto

Hmm, greens on your greens? I’m in! This super easy to prepare zoodle salad is a lighter, brighter version than bland and boring cold noodle salad, and packs such a nutrient-dense punch. One of the ways we can offset the negative effects of eating grilled meat (please, do not char your meat until it is black – it tastes great but is a known carcinogen) is to serve with a ton of green veggies, and this way you are getting 2 servings per portion without even realizing.

I usually make a big batch of this pesto and throw it on everything: veggies, chicken, and, is especially delicious on top of  grilled salmon.

Zoodle Salad with Walnut and Spinach Pesto

(serves 4)

  • 2 large zucchini

  • 2 cups fresh spinach

  • 1 cup walnuts

  • 1/2 cup mint

  • 1/3 cup EVOO

  • Juice of half a lemon

  • Pinch of Himalayan salt

Spiralize the zucchini into thin strips (you can also use a vegatble peeler), and place in a large bowl. Place the rest of the ingredients in a food processor, and blitz for 60 seconds. Dress the zoodles with the pesto mixture, ensuring all are evenly coated.