Steak and potatoes is a hearty and traditional meal but lacks in some essential nutrients. Practice portion control and eat plenty of vegetables to ensure your meal is well-rounded. Regardless of the type of steak you eat, the American Cancer Society notes that a healthy portion size is 3 oz., which looks no bigger than a deck of cards. With so many methods of preparation, vegetables, fruits and whole grains available, it's easy to find interesting and tasty side dishes.
The US Department of Agriculture recommends that you eat more vegetables than meat at meals. You have many options for vegetables, but it's easier to choose if you take a cue from how your main dishes are prepared. If you grill steaks, throw on some zucchini and bell peppers brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt. Choose fresh, high-quality produce to accompany filet mignon steaks. Try roasted asparagus and Brussels sprouts. For tougher cuts, such as London broil, steam carrots and snow peas. Glaze the meat, vegetables and potatoes with a miso sauce.
Dark, leafy greens are packed with nutrients and are strong enough to stand up to a hearty meal. Braise kale with steak and potatoes for a one-pot meal and to mellow the flavor. Serve thin slices of steak on a bed of sauteed Swiss chard and mashed potatoes. Steam beet greens and toss with roasted potatoes and fresh herbs. Traditionally boiled collard greens add a salty, smoky flavor that goes well with grilled steak and baked potatoes.
Fruit may not be traditional but it makes a sweet counterpoint to strong and savory meats. Grill peaches to accompany grilled steaks and roasted potatoes or saute them in white wine and serve with a high-end steak cut. Serve a tangy mango salsa with pan-fried potatoes and flank steak. Savory fruit compotes make an unusual and tasty topping for steak. Leave out the sugar used in dessert compotes and stew with herbs. Try oranges and dried apricots stewed with balsamic vinegar.
Whole grains are important for a healthy diet, offering essential nutrients and fiber. They also provide extra texture to a steak and potatoes meal and cook up well mixed with vegetables. Brown and wild rice gain interest when stir-fried with mixed vegetables and diced potatoes. Couscous cooks up very quickly and adds sweetness to a meal when mixed with raisins or dried apricots. Serve quinoa drizzled with the sauce from braised meat and vegetables.
- Eating Well: Quick and Healthy Side Dish Recipes
- ChooseMyPlate.gov: Why Is It Important to Eat Vegetables?
- American Cancer Society: Controlling Portion Sizes
- Fruit & Veggies More Matters: Top 10 Ways to Enjoy Kale
- Food Network; Grilled Steak Salad With Texas Peaches, Pecans and Limes; Tyler Florence
- Mayo Clinic; Whole Grains: Hearty Options for a Healthy Diet; July 2009