Okay, I am NOT averse to vegetables. In fact, I really like them. However, I'm finding that I'm getting a little tired of my usual staples and would like some new ideas for ways to prepare vegetables or just different ways to include them in my meals. I try to eat 5 fruits and veggies in each day, but it's harder for me to do this in the winter because I simply don't like winter fruits as much as I do summer fruits. Anyway, here are some vegetables that I eat regularly now:
1) Whole green beans - I like spraying these with olive oil, salting them, and broiling them, believe it or not.
2) carrots - I cut these up and have them on the side w/ a sandwich.
3) Yams - I like these baked or cut up and roasted.
4) Tomatoes - sometimes I just slice whole tomatoes in half, spray w/ a little olive oil, salt them, and broil them cut side up.
I can't think of anything else I eat regularly right now (& I suddenly realize how short my list really is!). So, can anyone give me some other suggestions? By the way, if you have a way to prepare it that involves adding fat, I don't really mind that.
Bell peppers, onions, zucchini and asparagus are also really good brushed or sprayed with a little olive oil and broiled (I sometimes toss them with Italian seasonings before broiling or cook them on my grill pan)
Varying the fat you use can add a lot of flavor, I like to use sesame oil sometimes for a more Asian flavor (especially on asparagus and green beans). A teeny bit of real butter also goes a long way towards adding flavor (as does garlic).
I eat a lot of spinach salads with a little cheese, fruit, or nuts added for flavor (measure the cheese and nuts carefully, because they can add a lot of calories). Some combinations that I like are:
Spinach, raspberries, red onions and feta cheese
Spinach, green apples, walnuts and blue cheese
Spinach, almonds, dried cranberries
Mandarin oranges and strawberries would also be really good in a salad. I usually use a teaspoon or two of a good vinaigrette per serving of salad to dress it.
Broccoli is good steamed and topped with a little lemon juice
I also like making pizza at home and putting all sorts of vegetables on top (onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, broccoli, frozen spinach, fresh tomato slices).
Finally, this may be just something weird that I eat, but I like steamed cauliflower dipped in marinara sauce. I've also started to really like eggplant slices brushed with olive oil then grilled or broiled and dipped in marinara sauce (or some other kind of tomato sauce).
Here is a favorite salad of mine. It's huge and it's filling and it's tasty and completely good for you.
Couple handful mixed salad leaves, 1/4 of a green and a red capsicum (I believe you call them bellpeppers?), 1 medium sized tomato diced, a few sliced olives, some sliced beetroot, a small shredded carrot, 1/4 diced lebonense cucumber, 1/2 small finely diced spanish onion, 3 stalks boiled aspargus diced. Mix it all together and use a fat-free dressing over if you like. I also like to add a small tin of Tuna and crumble a little fat- reduced fetta over it.
Some other suggestions:
*Tomato: 1 large tomato, sliced into 3 thick slices. Sprinkle with salt & pepper and some basil or mixed herbs and top with a very light sprinkling of low-fat cheese. Place under grill. Then while thats grilling, finely dice red & green capsicum (just a little), finely dice small amount of red onion and mix with some tinned corn kernals. Sprinkle a tiny amount of good extra virgin olive oil. Place this mix on a plate and layer the grilled tomato over the top.
*Potato - Sliced thin & flavored with herbs/salt/spices and baked for chips.
- Boiled and then mashed with garlic and herbs with a little skim milk (good side of course)
- Baked and topped with diced spanish onion/capiscum and corn
Mushroom: Take a large field mushroom, remove stalk and utter skin. Smear tomato paste on the base of the mushroom, sprinkle herbs (fresh chopped basil..Mmmm...) and add some chopped beetroot or corn, or tomato/cucumber...any combo you like. Add a little cheese over the top and grill. Mushroom pizza!
*Quick and Tasty Vegge stew
1 medium potato diced
1 medium carrot diced
1 small tin kidney beans
1 small tin corn kernels
1 small onion
1 Medium tomato
handful finely chopped fresh basil
dried Oregano & pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
2 cups chicken stock
dash of oil.
In a medium pot saute the onions and garlic in the little bit of oil. When the onion is soft and golden add the dried herbs and pepper. Then add the potato & carrot and cook for 1-2 mins. Add the chopped tomato and the tomato paste and stir, cooking another 2 mins or so. Now add the chicken stock and simmer for 15-20 mins until the potato and carrot are soft. (With the lid off so the liquid reduces and becomes a nice thick sauce almost). Now add the beans and corn and the fresh chopped basil. Simmer for a further 5 mins or so and there you go! Oh so very yummy and quite low on the calories. For a 2 person serving it's around 200 cal.
Anyway, I could probably keep going but i'll leave it at that. Just experiment with veggies and herbs and different methods of preparation and you'll be surprised at what you can knock up.
I love zucchini. Slice it in circles or cube it and stir fry it in a cast iron skillet with oil spray until brown. I do the same with asparagus and broccolini and add in mushrooms and lots of garlic. I'm pretty simple but this is so quick and easy and goes great on the side. There are also a lot of flavored low cal oil sprays. I found several at my local health food store, one is a spicy Aisan spray. Sometimes I use a little real olive oil.
When I make any type of pasta (preferably whole wheat), I sautee sliced carrots, mushrooms, onions, and zucchini and stir time into spaghetti sauce for a super chunky, hearty dish of pasta.
I love scrambled egg beaters with tons of fresh mushrooms added in.
I also love "fried cabbage". Take a couple of nice small green heads of savoy cabbage (also called chinese cabbage - it's very wrinkly) and slice them up into shreds. Then add oil/oil spray to a pan (or wok) and heat. When it's nice and hot, add the cabbage shreds and stir it briskly. Let it simmer for 15-20 minutes and stir often until the cabbage is tender but still crunchy and add garlic. Sometimes I add a pinch of bacon bits or ham for flavor. It's really yummy.
I also like to add sugar snap peas or snow peas to salads, or boil them for five or ten minutes and serve them as a crunchy side dish. They are great with fish.
one thing i like if your in a hurry is to spritz a pan with OO spray toss in the jarred chopped garlic toss in some fresh spinach in 20 seconds you have something really delish
also you can toss in some fresh basil for a little pesto action
its good on pasta too!
I eat some of my veggies in soups. I make homemade ones, but you can add extra broccoli, carrots, celery, gbeans, spinach, chard, etc to canned soups too. YOu might consider cutting the veggies up, microwaving, then adding to the canned soup so it wont take as long to cook.
My current favorite salads for lunch high in veggies is a salad nicoise. Cooked green beans, tomato wedges, cooked potato chunks, thin sweet onion slices, canned tuna, on a bed of lettuce, carefully tossed with a lowfat vinaigrette. Major yum, though you might not think it. Traditionally this salad also contains a cut up hardboiled egg and black olives which I currently omit and dont really miss.
Oh my gosh, you're all starving me and it's almost midnight! My favorite veggie at the moment is easy. Steamed carrots with spray butter and lemon juice (fresh). Oh gosh, that is GOOD. I buy 'petite' carrots, smaller than the minis, then I don't have to slice them - I steam for 20 minutes and toss with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter spray and squeeze a lemon slice on top.
I also like fresh baby spinach sauteed with garlic and olive oil, just until wilted. Yum!
I read a recipe the other day for making 'oven fries' with butternut squash. Peel, slice in two, scoop the seeds out and then slice in oven-fry-sizes and roast until tender. Sounds interesting!
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