Saturday, February 23, 2013

Not Your Average Vegetable

Veggie sides - think outside of the box! Vegetables are so yummy - be creative with what to cook and how to cook them.  They don't have to be just side dishes, they can be the main dish as well.  I cannot think of a single vegetable I won't eat - love them all, and yes, some times they taste better prepared on way than another.  Ever have buffalo fried brussel sprouts with blue cheese dressing?  Amazing, but deep frying them and dipping them in mayonnaise and cheese (essentially) is not the healthiest preparation.  Every time I want my family (or myself) to try a new veggie, I do a recipe search.  I look at several recipes and find one that suits the tastes of our family.  I encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone and try something new and different today.

First, let's talk about reasons to eat your veggies, as if you need a reason!  Here are a few great veggies and the health benefits of eating them.

Here's a more extensive list of vegetables along with their nutritional facts and health benefits:

And here's another great resource citing benefits, tips on including more in your diet, and even some great recipes to try:

Time Magazine recently released a special issue entitled "What to eat now: your guide to good, healthy food".  I've just started to read through it, and came across an article from Dr. Mehmet Oz about how we do our grocery shopping (totally worth the read) and what is worth spending our money on.  In respect to the topic of this post, he spoke about fresh versus frozen vegetables.  Essentially he stated that there is absolutely nothing wrong with frozen and in most cases, are nutritionally equal.  He mentioned to buy frozen vegetables that were steamed, not blanched, because some vitamins can be lost in the blanching process.  So save yourself some money, and time in some cases, and purchase frozen when it makes sense. 

In conclusion, there is no reason to serve the same old veggies every night.   Spice it up once in a while with experimenting in the kitchen.  Here are a few of these recipes and serving ideas to get you started!

Happy Cooking,

Roasted Autumn Vegetable Salad with lentils and arugula!  So yummy!  Perfect as a main dish or as a side with a roasted salmon.  My picture looks different then the link because I cubed my vegetables to make it easier to eat.  I also layered the arugula salad on the bottom, lentils on top of that, and finally the roasted veggie mixture.  Can't talk this recipe up enough!!!  Made with butternut squash, carrots, and brussel sprouts, seasonal in the fall and winter times.  Highly recommend!!!

The Next Photo is my own recipe, so you can't find it on the internet.  I made it over the summer, when tomatoes, eggplant, and zucchini were in their peak season.  I can't even give you a recipe, because I don't remember the exact amounts of each ingredient.  A lot of times I just make it up as I go along, adding a little of this, and a little of that, until it tastes really good.  This was a very successful attempt at a gluten-free vegetable lasagna with homemade tomato basil sauce.  I layered grilled eggplant, zucchini, and portabella mushrooms with fresh mozzarella, garlicky herb ricotta mixture, and homemade tomato basil sauce.  So good!!!  Very filling, and perfect meal with a green salad on the side.  I promise to make this again and post the recipe when I do.  :)

Here's a link to over 10,000 vegetable recipes, including a photo gallery of some winter vegetable recipes from the Food Network.  If you've never used this site, you can search multiple ingredients to narrow your search.  You can even search according to chef or meal part (side dish, main dish, etc.).

And finally, a collection of winter vegetable recipes from Cooking Light:

No comments:

Post a Comment