Saturday, August 29, 2009

Vegging out

Last week, I saw a nutritionist. She didn't tell me anything earth-shattering that I hadn't already heard before. Eat better. Eat less. Exercise more. I've been attempting this week to do all of the above. Some days went better than others, but I know I can't just expect to be perfect at this off the bat, and she can't expect that of me either.

Anyway, here's the deal. I don't eat veggies. I hardly know anything about them. I could probably only even name a handful of them. And now I'm supposed to eat double the veggies to whatever else is on the plate. I tried this week to have more salad, but that got real old real fast. So I'm turning to you. Tell me your favorite (easy) veggie recipe(s). And don't assume I know anything, like how to "steam until soft." Cause I don't, k?

Ready? Set. Recipe.


Jonathan et Kari said...

I got tons of 'em. Tell which veggies you want to start with and which ones you really hate. I'll compile a list of our favorites for you.

Do you eat fish? If so, I have a good one for you to try.

Good luck! Change is never easy - especially when it comes to food for me!

Stephanie said...

I do like fish, and shrimp too. At this point I'm open to trying things, but the ones I don't particularly like are broccoli (although I'm willing to try again), tomatoes (although I do like sun-dried) and peppers. I'm also not a huge fan of cooked carrots, but willing to try again. Mushrooms creep me out, but I haven't really had them. So far I've been starting with what seem like easy veggies to me: asparagus, zucchini, cauliflower. I knew you'd be the one to ask :)

Jonathan et Kari said...

Well, shoot. If you like asparagus, that's pretty impressive! I really like it, but it's certainly not one I'd consider to be universally likable.

I'd suggest picking hard-hitting veggies like spinach and carrots and focus on incorporating them in your meals rather than 'nutrition-wimpy' vegetables like corn, cucumbers, etc... Go for color :)

What about spinach in stuff? Spinach lasagne is good (add a good ground sausage to it if you want to cover the taste of spinach) or spinach and bacon quiche. Both are on the Bon Appétit blog.

I don't know if you can buy it there, but we can get frozen puréed carrots - nothing else added. You can add it to spaghetti, lasagne, even pizza sauce without tasting a change. (It actually improves it!)

Pan grilled red pepper and zucchini is one of our favorites. We eat it a lot.

What about sweet potatoes? Yum.

Kristin Ross said...

I second sweet potatoes. Apparently they are the best type of starch you can eat (if you need to eat any), so always opt for sweet potato if its offered at restaurants.

To cook at home: Sweet potato: Pre-heat oven to 425. Wash skin of potato (I don't have a brush, so I rub/scrub with my hands underneath running water). Then take a fork and poke holes all over the potato. Wrap in a paper towel and stick potato in microwave for 5 minutes. Then wrap warm potato in foil.

Once oven is preheated stick foil-covered potato in for 45 minutes. Comes out delicious and soft! Add small amounts of either butter or light brown sugar. Salt and pepper work nicely too.

Sausage and Pepper and Onions:

Preheat pan on med-high. Put about two Tbsp of oil. Slice peppers and onion into strips, about 1-2" long. Put them in pan and stir occassionally, this is sorta sauteeing. :)

After about 5 minutes, add sausage, after cutting it up to about 1" pieces. Add about 1 cup of beer, or Sprite, or something similar. Cover pan with lid. Let cook for about 15-20 minutes.

Macaroni and cheese and any veggies... make mac 'n cheese as directed on box, boil veggie of your choice for about 10 minutes, drain, and add to mac 'n cheese!

I'll think of some more!

Chris and Kate Borders said...

I third sweet potatoes... and you can make sweet potato fries. Slice them up and toss them in a little bit of olive oil and bake on baking stone or cookie sheet at 400 for 20 ish minutes, turn them over (shuffle them around with a spatula) and cook another 20 or so. Delicious!

I know salad gets boring, but I would keep trying. If you like spinach, doing salad with baby spinach leaves (or a mix of spinach and something like romaine or red or green-leaf lettuce).

Recently I've really enjoyed adding celery, red onion and cucumber to a salad, tossing in red-wine vinegar and olive oil, and sprinkling some dried oregano on the top. I like using the vinegar as a dressing because it's good for you. Salad dressing is dangerous because most of the store bought stuff is pretty bad. But the red-wine (or balsamic or apple cider) vinegar is tasty and good for you.

Other salad options: raisins, nuts, fruit (grapes, apples or pear work well), cheese, etc.

I find that the extras on a salad make it really yummy and it's a great way to get the leafy greens!

I know cooked carrots aren't the best, but if you do them with honey and don't over cook them they are much better.

I'll think of some more....sorry for the long comment :)

Meaghan said...

We really like broccoli, zucchini, squash, sweet potatoes and we actually eat sugar snap peas. The snap peas are good just steamed with a little salt sprinkled on it. (Put in a pan with wholes in the bottom; place on top of pan with boiling water in it, and put a lid on it. Boil for no more than 10 minutes.) Oh, and if you use sea salt, you don't get all the sodium.

Our healthy and simple go-to meal is spinach salad. To me, cooked spinach doesn't taste as good as raw. But we put tons of stuff on top of the spinach - salmon, cheese (extra sharp white cheddar or feta), almonds or sunflower seeds, craisens (dried cranberries), cucumbers, peppers, carrots (maybe), tomato or strawberries. If you don't like regular tomatoes, try some of the yellow or dark purple ones if you can find them. Some people would leave the cheese off because of the fat, but I actually read an article saying when you eat something with lots of vitamins and minerals (spinach, sweet potatoes, etc.) you should eat it with something a little fatty to help your body in absorbing the nutrients.

Soups are also a great way to include some veggies. And I don't know if you like beans, but a veggie and bean soup is great! Beans have tons of fiber and are considered super foods!