Spectacular Side Dishes: Roasted Tomatoes, Sauteed Kale, Sweet Cornbread and Stir-fry Zucchini

Add a new twist to your reliable roast with these tasty side dishes

Credit: Catherine Roscoe Barr

Enhance your meal with these four healthy side dishes

Make your tried and true roasts shiny and new with these easy, delicious and nutritious sides: roasted tomatoes, sauteed kale, sweet cornbread and stri fry zucchini

I often make my old standbys of roast chicken, beef or pork so I like to keep things relatively interesting by switching up my sides.

These are a few of my current favourites and all of them also happen to be amazing in a frittata the next morning, so be sure to make a little extra!

Roasted Tomatoes, Tia-style

My dear friend Tia made this amazing side for us a few weeks ago and it is by far the best roasted tomato recipe I’ve ever tried


  • 8 Roma tomatoes, halfed
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper 
  • 1/8 cup Romano cheese, grated 
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Coat a shallow baking dish with cooking spray or olive oil.
  3. Put tomatoes in bowl, sprinkle with sugar, salt and pepper, and drizzle with 2/3 of olive oil, stir until well coated.
  4. Place tomatoes in baking dish and roast for 15 minutes, cut side up.
  5. In small bowl, mix cheese, breadcrumbs, garlic, parsley and oregano.
  6. Remove tomatoes from oven, sprinkle with cheese mixture, and drizzle with remaining olive oil.
  7. Bake for 15 more minutes, or until cheese is lightly toasted.  

Sauteed Kale

Kale is amazing for so many reasons. Not only does it taste great, it’s got roughage galore for digestive health, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and Vitamins A, C and K.


  • 1 bunch kale, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp boiling water
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt


  1. In large frying pan, heat oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add garlic and cook for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add kale and cook for another 3 minutes, adding water at 2 minute mark (this lightly steams and tenderizes the kale).
  4. Sprinkle with salt.

Sweet Cornbread

This recipe comes from one of my favourite new cookbooks, Friday Night Dinners by Bonnie Stern


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/12 cups cornmeal
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups buttermilk or sour milk*
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and sugar.
  3. In separate bowl, combine eggs, oil and milk.
  4. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and combine.
  5. Add corn and jalepeno and stir until all ingredients are moistened.
  6. Transfer batter to oiled baking dish (recipe calls for 13- x 9-inch dish but I used 2 round pie dishes).
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes (less if using 2 smaller dishes), or until bread springs back when pressed in centre or a cake tester comes out clean.
  8. Cool for 20 minutes before cutting into wedges or squares.

* To make sour milk, place 2 tbsp plus 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice or white vinegar in a measuring cup and add milk to make 2 1/2 cups. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before using (don’t worry if milk looks curdled).  

Stir-fry Zucchini

This is an incredibly fast and affordable side, and the mix of onions, garlic and zucchini packs a serious nutritional punch. I always make enough for dinner, a breakfast frittata and lunch, so you may want to half this recipe if you’re only making it for dinner.


  • 2 zucchinis, chopped into half moons
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  1. In large frying pan, heat oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onion and garlic, stirring frequently, and cook for about 3 minutes.
  3. Add zucchini, making sure each half moon is laying flat and directly on bottom of pan.
  4. Gently shake pan so that onion and garlic don’t burn, and cook for about 2 minutes.
  5. Flip each piece of zucchini over, they should be lightly browned.
  6. Cook for another 2 minutes, shaking pan frequently.