On my personal Facebook feed I asked why people felt they had a hard time eating well. Most of the replies cited time and stress. Time seems to be in very short supply these days for everyone, myself included. This blog post is devoted to quick veggie recipes.
To make an easy, quick meal I'll make burgers (beef or turkey) or sausage; steak or london broil on the grill; and some veg; chicken baked in salsa is good and easy, too. If I remember I'll put meat in the slow cooker.
Easy Veggie Recipes
These are all easily obtained veggies, no wild stuff or odd veggies.
Always eat fat with your veggies to help with mineral and vitamin absorption.
Feel free to experiment! Using fresh herbs or adding garlic or lemon juice can lead to interesting flavor combinations.
You can use pre-cut veggies or frozen veggies for some of the recipes. Fresh is best; frozen is next in line; canned is at the bottom of the nutritional ladder. As for organic versus conventional...I go for local when I can get them, even over organic if the organic is from across the country. Local organic or biodynamic would be the awesomest but do what you can.
Cook extra and refridgerate or freeze. I do this for things that are a pain to deal with, like spaghetti squash (sometimes it seems like you need an axe to cut it open!).
You know what is awesome? Frozen garlic cubes! Toss them right in with the veggies. I get mine at Trader Joe's.
Be grateful and say a prayer to thank the Earth and the veggies when you eat them.
Roasting brings out a whole different veggie. The flavor concentrates and can be really delicious. I loved roasted broccoli with a bit of garlic (cubes!) and chopped red pepper. It takes under 5 minutes to prepare (yes, I've timed it. I'm a nerd.).
Heat oven to 375 or 400 degrees
Peel vegetable if needed; chop or cut veggie into pieces. Florets for things like broccoli or cauliflower; about ¾” dice for things like root vegetables. You can always use pre-cut veggies.Pre-cut veggies are your friend!
Toss in a bowl with olive oil (about 2 TBS or so), salt and pepper to taste. Fresh herbs, curry powder or garlic can be added to be fancy and if you like it.
Pour into baking pan: pie pan, glass baking dish, metal roasting pan.
Cover things like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes until the last 10 – 15 minutes of cooking.
Put in oven and roast for 25 – 45 minutes. Start poking veggie with fork at 25 minutes. Remove foil for last 10 – 15 minutes of cooking.
Super easy: whole russet potatoes or whole sweet potatoes in the slow cooker on low for 4 – 6 hours = baked sweet or white potatoes. Slow cooker is an awesome way to cook spaghetti squash, too.
Easy dress up for fancy parties: fresh rosemary or thyme. Just pull it off the stem.
Excellent Veggies to Roast: broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, sweet potatoes, potatoes (with skin), Brussels sprouts, peppers, turnips, parsnips, beets, frozen pearl onions, mushrooms, zucchini, cherry tomatoes (you don’t even need to cu these. Right into the roasting pan with olive oil, salt, pepper and maybe some garlic), leeks, carrots. Roasted beets make an awesome warm or cold salad with roasted walnuts or pumpkin seeds, goat or feta cheese and balsamic vinaigrette. Brussels sprouts, leeks and carrots are delish roasted together, especially with a little ham or bacon.
Medium to medium-high heat for pan
Chop veggies or used already chopped.
Put fat (about 1 TBS bacon grease, olive oil, butter, coconut oil) in pan, about ¼ - ½ cup broth or water, for kale or collard greens add about 1 TBS apple cider or other vinegar. Put in pan with chopped veggies.
Put lid on pan and lower heat to medium-low. Do keep an eye on it. You may need to add more liquid.
Braise for 10 – 20 minutes (sometimes longer, like for cabbage). Taste test to get a feel for texture.
Veggies that do well with this method: kale, cauliflower, cabbage, spinach, mustard greens (they cook quickly), Brussels sprouts, chard, spinach, leeks, green or yellow beans.
Peel if necessary, chop, bring to boil and simmer until tender.
Mash if you like or puree with a stick blender; add salt, pepper and butter.
Veggies: potatoes with skin, sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, winter squash, broccoli, collards (excellent with bacon), turnips, green beans, cauliflower. Fun combinations: potatoes with butternut squash; pureed or mashed sweet potatoes; pureed winter squash.
Broccoli mash: Broccoli mashed with cooked shredded carrots (shred carrots and put with the raw broccoli and cook together. Drain, mash. Serve with butter. Add a whole clove or two of garlic with the raw veg and cook; use 1 clove of fresh, raw pressed garlic for a much sharper flavor). Cauliflower can also be mashed with garlic and eaten instead of potatoes.
Peel, if needed, and slice veggies thinly. Use a mandolin if you have one to get a thinner, uniform cut.
Heat pan to medium-high heat. Add 2 TBS of fat (for this I really like ghee or butter. You can heat ghee pretty to a pretty high temperature with no degradation of oil. Use what you like.).
Toss in veggies, stir and cook until they’re as cooked as you like them.
Combo them up for a stir fry. Add garlic and/or herbs.
Veggies: mushrooms, onions, peppers, bean sprouts, mustard greens, chard, summer squash and zucchini, tomatoes (with garlic and olive oil), green or yellow beans, eggplant.
I hope that give you some ideas about cooking veggies. I used to cool a lot and make a lot of fancy dishes but have really come to enjoy veggies without all the elaborate trappings of sauces and cheese. Do my kids eat them? Sometimes and some of the vegetables. Did I eat these when I was a kid? Ha ha! Heck, no! Eat a Brussels sprout?! There's no way I would have done that - nor would my mom have served them. I grew up on potatoes, corn, green beans, broccoli, iceberg lettuce and tomatoes. Sometimes they were fresh from the garden and sometimes canned or frozen. My understanding of veggies was pretty narrow. Things can change, though.