Author: Ridge Personal Trainer Krista Pancich
Are you tired of the same old summer side dishes? Macaroni salad, potato salad, and cole slaw, are easy and delicious side options to bring to any barbeque, but are high in calories and fat.  Here are a couple great tips to choosing a waistline-friendly summer side dish that everyone will enjoy!
•    Watch the type and amount of dressing you put on your side
•    Choose vinegar and olive oil based dressings instead of mayonnaise based
•    Only use the recommended serving size of dressing
•    Use fresh fruits and vegetables as your side’s base instead of pasta or potatoes

Here are two easy side dish recipes that will be a healthy and delicious addition to any summer event!

Greek Quinoa Salad


  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh basil (chopped fine)
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 cucumber cut into small cubes
  • 1 red pepper (chopped fine)
  • 1 bunch of green onions
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  • 2 tbl white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Instructions Pre-cook the quinoa and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.  Add the feta cheese, chick peas, fresh basil, cucumber, red pepper, salt and pepper, and dressing to the chilled quinoa, mix it up and you are ready to go!

Jackie’s Watermelon Salad

  • 2.5 cups seedless watermelon cubed
  • ½ cup feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

Instructions Combine all ingredients except for the oil and vinegar, mix well and then drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to finish.