I'm ethnically Chinese and have always found that I despise most American vegetable recipes -- they're just not as good as the meat or carbs!
-- but love vegetable dishes when my parents cook them, so I thought I'd offer a few possibilities to try. These aren't restaurant dishes and they're pretty healthy but not calorie-free, as a caveat -- don't use them to replace salad, but they're certainly much much better than anything based on casseroles. This one is about as healthy as grilling: a little oil but not much.
"Hot" cucumber salad:
One of my ABSOLUTE favorite foods, and takes less than ten minutes.
1. Slice two whole large (or three small) English cucumbers (the thin, long ones) into tiny slices -- as thin as possible, about a millimeter or so. (Peeling first is optional and up to you.) Also slice a small handful of parsley and/or green onions.
2. Put a tablespoon or so of a light vegetable oil -- we use canola because it's cheap and mostly flavorless, but sesame also works -- into a wok and heat it up over high flame for 15-20 seconds.
3. Throw in the cucumber and stir it around quickly (with a wooden spatula or spoon) for about 20 seconds until is softens *just a bit*.
4. Toss in a few pinches of salt -- we shake it on, but I think it's about 1/3 teaspoon altogether. Keep stirring/tossing with your wooden spatula!
5. Now add water (about 1/3 of a cup or so, to cover the bottom of the pan) and turn the dish down to low heat (simmer). Add a sprinkle (1/3 of a small cube or so) of chicken boullion, as well as the parsley or green onions (which gives it an excellent edge and color). Taste "broth" to make sure the salt/boullion/oil balance is what you like.
6. Simmer for about 30 seconds to a minute tops: the cucumber should NOT be completely softened yet -- remove just as it's getting clear (or softened to taste). Drain the water (and the oil!) before serving.
Voila: lightly stir-fried cucumber (of all things, lol) with plenty of taste and very few calories.
This recipe should make 5 or so servings.