| No Food Left Behind |

Plant-Based BBQ Sides

Photography by Beth Warren

As a registered dietitian and mom of six, I love barbecue season. It’s one of the most fun and simplest ways to host a crowd in a way that pleases everyone. However, many people feel overwhelmed by the amount of meat served at a barbecue when they’re trying to reach their health and weight goal. Let’s not discount the sides to balance your macros out!

Potatoes get a bad rap in the health world, but that’s a huge misconception. They’re loaded with fiber and vitamin C, in addition to being budget friendly. Just remember portion control and categorize it towards your serving of a plant-based carb when monitoring your weight and blood sugar. Try this potato salad from my Syrian roots for your next barbecue. And beans are a great option too.

Syrian Potato Salad


  • 6 medium Idaho potatoes (see note)
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced (optional)
  • 2 scallions, chopped (optional)

Boil the potatoes in a large pot until tender, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly, then cut into small squares or slices and place in a medium mixing bowl. Add olive oil and lemon juice, then the seasonings. Gently mix everything together.

Arrange sliced eggs on top of the potatoes. Garnish with scallions, if using.

Note: I leave the peels on for added fiber and nutrients. This also lowers the potatoes’ glycemic index.

Bean Salad


  • 1 15-oz (425-g) can kidney beans
  • 1 15-oz (425-g) can chickpeas
  • 1 15-oz (425-g) can black beans
  • 1 cup canned green beans
  • sliced black olives, optional
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt, pepper, and garlic powder, to taste

Rinse and drain all canned legumes. Pour into a large bowl and combine with olives, if using.

In a small bowl, combine vinegar, oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder and stir. Pour over beans. Adjust to taste.

Note: Rinsing the canned foods will result in 30 percent less sodium. Keep your eyes open for cans with no salt added.


To schedule a nutrition appointment with Beth in the NEW Crown Heights and Toms River locations, virtually, or in the Flatbush, Bklyn or Deal, NJ, locations, email beth@bethwarrennutrition.com or call/text/whatsapp 347-292-1725. Most insurances accepted. Beth’s book, Secrets of a Kosher Girl (Post Hill 2018), is available on Amazon.


(Originally featured in Family Table, Issue 858)

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