General Question

ranchpark's avatar

How can I make make veggies easy and tasty?

Asked by ranchpark (9points) November 7th, 2007

I am trying to eat more veggies to be healthy, but am getting a little tired of raw veggies and salad dressing.

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16 Answers

Poser's avatar

Buy yourself a steamer. Steaming veggies is preferable to boiling because all the nutrients stay in the veggies (as opposed to being released into the water). Plus, it just tastes so good.

You can buy an all-purpose steamer that opens to fit any size pot, or you can find a pot that has a steamer built in. Different veggies require different amounts of steam-time, so play around with it. Asparagus, for instance, only takes about one minute (any longer and it’ll get mushy), while carrots take considerably longer.

christybird's avatar

Here’s my take on cooked vegetables: don’t be afraid of eating them with butter. Also, put some salt on there! Veggies + butter + salt = delicious. I am just not interested in steamed plain vegetables. And drizzling them with olive oil is just not the same.

I know there are lots of people out there who would disagree with me but I would defend myself thusly:

1) I don’t think butter and salt are really so bad for you, unless you have some kind of health issue like high blood pressure. Especially as I would always recommend high-quality sea salt, and organic cultured butter.

2) A lot of the vitamins in veggies (A & E for example) are fat-soluble, and you are able to absorb them better if you eat them with fat.

3) I eat a heck of a lot more kale now (with butter and salt) than I ever did before. Is it better to eat buttery salty kale or no kale? I would say the former.

In terms of prep suggestions, roasting is great too! Root vegetables like parsnips, rutabagas, sweet potatoes, yams, beets, onions and potatoes are great cut up and roasted in a 300–325 degree oven with some butter OR olive oil and a bit of water to keep them from getting too dry. Roast them in a covered dish and stir periodically; they’re done when all the veggies are tender. You can add rosemary or thyme, garlic, salt, pepper, etc. Great for fall & winter.

occ's avatar

Stir fry whatever veggies you want and add some pre-made sauce. This takes about 5 minutes and tastes great! I’d recommend the “Soy Vey” brand sauces—either the chinese marinade or the teriyaki sauce. Both those sauces are also very good over some lightly-sauteed Kale…sprinkle on some sesame seeds and you have a great side dish. Also, thanks to some great Fluther suggestions I also just made stuffed zuchini for the first time and it was delicious and super easy. Slice raw zuchinni length-wise, take a spoon and scrape a little bit of the inside out so that you have little zuchini-boats. In a separate bowl mix breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and one egg. There are no exact measurements but it should have the consistency of oatmeal. add a little olive oil, salt, pepper. Use your hands to pack that mixture into the scraped-out zuchini. Bake till it looks and smells yummy (maybe 15 minutes?). This takes almost no time to prepare and is absolutely delicious.

gailcalled's avatar

@christybird; how do you prep the kale? Do you remove the center stem?

@occ; great ideas. Bragg is a natural soy-tasting liquid enzyme and sesame oil is nice, in small doses.

christybird's avatar

@gailcalled: I usually remove the stem, if it’s “classic” kale, and tear it into big chunks. I typically steam it unless it’s the super tough midwinter kale, and then I’ll blanch it (cook in boiling water until bright green and tender, then shock with cold water). For Dino/lacinato kale and Red/white Russian kale I don’t remove the stems and always steam. The “Russian” kales (which I think are early summer kales?) are amazingly delicious, I am always sad when it is winter and I have to eat tough regular old kale. I need extra butter as an incentive then…

ranchpark's avatar

Thank you! You folks are great, and I’m pleased to have found this site!

teira's avatar

In addition to any olive oil suggestions, you could try various infused olive oils for more interesting flavors. I just picked up a really nice blood orange one today that I can’t stop putting on pretty much everything.

Also: balsamic vinegars?

breedmitch's avatar

I second Christybird. Roasting veggies concentrates flavour and is really the easiest preparation. She’s also right about butter. Remember, moderation is the key.

gailcalled's avatar

So, for roasting root veggies, which ones do you need to peel. Obviously not organic thin-skinned potatoes and carrots. How about the rest?

christybird's avatar

@Gailcalled – Other than the two you mentioned, I peel pretty much everything (rutas, turnips, yams, sweet potatoes, beets). For parsnips it’s probably not necessary…

breedmitch's avatar

I’m just the opposite. I usually just quarter the root vegetables and then roast them. After cooked, the peels of the thicker skinned tubers basically slide right off.

christybird's avatar

You certainly save time if you don’t peel. And if you end up eating a little peel, it is just extra fiber…except maybe with rutabegas, I think sometimes they wax those?

gailcalled's avatar

Since I am the laziest cook alive (except for my ex) I like breedmitch’s suggestion for my maiden voyage. Tnx

occ's avatar

theres a new cookbook by mollie katzen called “vegetable dishes I can’t live without” . Its all veggie side dishes and pretty good.

davidonut's avatar

Go with curry, lentil dahl and Indian
breads make a great accompaniment.

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