Spices can be a delicious way to make your food taste amazing, without having to resort to butter, cream, cheese, and lots of salt. They also have surprising health benefits!

Here are five super easy side dishes featuring just one ingredient and a spice.

Coriander Lentils: rinse 2 cups black lentils. Add to a pot with 5 cups of water and simmer for 25 minutes; you can use veggie broth instead for extra flavor. When they’re tender, strain them and pour into a serving bowl. Toss with the juice of one lemon, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, and salt to taste.
Lowers LDL cholesterol and blood sugar in some studies.

Caraway Cabbage: in a large skillet or wok, heat a minimal amount of desired cooking oil or spray. Add 1 teaspoon caraway seeds, and stir over medium-high heat for a couple minutes until they are sizzling. Add 4 cups shredded red cabbage and 2 tsp apple cider vinegar. Continue stirring for just 2-3 more minutes until cabbage is wilted.
Decreases bloating and indigestion.

Cardamom Carrot Peach Smoothie: in a high-powdered blender, combine 2 part fresh or frozen carrots, 2 parts fresh or frozen peaches, and 1 part raw cashews. Add any type of milk and cardamom to taste. Blend until smooth! Other great additions are flax seed and vanilla. If you don’t have a high-powered blender, use pre-cooked carrots and cashew butter.
Increases natural killer cells to strengthen immune system.

Mustard Seed Carrot Salad: Place 4 cups shredded carrots in a serving bowl. In a small skillet, heat a minimal amount of desired cooking oil or spray. Add 1 teaspoon brown or black mustard seeds, and stir over medium-high heat for just 30-60 seconds after they start making a popping sound. You don’t need a lid, but it may make them come to temperature faster. Add in 1/4 cup veggie broth and 1 tbsp maple syrup, and let it come to boil. Pour contents of skillet carefully over the shredded carrots. Squeeze half a lemon on top and stir to combine. If you like it spicy, add a few pinches of cayenne pepper. Salt to taste.
Part of the broccoli family, this seed inhibits cancer growth in the intestinal tract and has omega-3 fatty acids.

Golden Turmeric Cauliflower Rice: In a large non-stick skillet or wok, spray a minimal amount of oil. Add fresh or frozen cauliflower rice. Grate 1-2″ of fresh turmeric root into the pan, and add a generous amount of black pepper. Stir-fry for about 5 minutes or until desired texture.
Has anti-inflammatory properties to decrease pain and support healing.

Fenugreek Peas: Microwave or boil 3 cups frozen green peas, according to package directions. In a serving bowl, add 1/2 cup coconut milk, 1/4 tsp fenugreek, and 1/2 tsp onion powder. Stir to combine and salt to taste.
In one study, improves muscle function. Traditionally used daily to stimulate breast milk.