Vegetables!

Not a big fan of vegetables? Let’s change that.  Vegetables are a seriously misunderstood food.  Although they come in an array of vibrant colors and offer a variety of nutrients, most would rather skip it.  Maybe it’s because vegetables are either served raw or steamed to death making the whole thing unappealing.

Here are some ideas to rethink the veggie thing and enjoy them in different and delicious ways…

Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower are the least popular of vegetables but offer so many nutrients.  Broil or steam then add dimension by pairing them with sautéed peppers and onion or cooked yams or sweet potatoes.  This will enhance the flavor and double your veggie intake for the best nutrient density.

Lightly steamed vegetables are quick to make and just plain delicious.  Try lightly steamed fresh green beans tossed with some ground pepper and slivered almonds or baby carrots with honey and ginger.  Steam in a colander for just a few minutes so there is still a little crunch to them.  Save the water to cook your starch (potatoes, rice, quinoa, pasta) in to enjoy some of the water soluble vitamin C from the vegetable that drips out into the water.

Sauces made with tomatoes (or tomato puree), chopped onion, and bell peppers are a great way to enjoy nature’s best foods.  Make a sauce and add to anything you like. Include some spices like basil, oregano, and turmeric. Pour over other veggies; mix with scrambled eggs; top a chicken breast and roast it for added flavor; serve with pasta, the options are endless.

Vegetable purees are a fun and easy way to make side dishes filled with flavor and nutrients.  Choose a vegetable or two; puree in a blender or food processor with some spices.  Add butter, milk, or a dairy alternative like rice, almond, soy, or coconut milk to make it creamier if you want.

Vegetable-based pastas are probably one of the best ways to eat veggies without feeling like you are.  Take a spiralizer and choose your vegetable – butternut squash, zucchini, sweet potato, beets – there’s no wrong answer; boil, steam, roast, or sauté; you will not be disappointed.

Not in the mood to cook, go raw with flavor. Take a celery stalk or two and fill it with some cream cheese or Tofutti and chopped Kalamata olives; or, some seeded crackers topped with a healthy cheese of choice and cucumbers.  These make a great snack or added veggie for lunch or dinner.

Salads layered with yummies like mixed greens with avocado, cucumbers, strawberries, dried cranberries, walnuts, and balsamic change boring to beautiful.

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