Food,  Recipes

Vegetable Roundup: 10 Recipes For a Veggie Boost in < 30 Minutes

Nutritional powerhouses but famously avoided and disparaged by both children and adults, vegetables tend to be viewed as the least exciting part of any meal. Some view vegetables as something that they “have to” but don’t particularly “want to” eat. Yes, I’ve had vegetables that were bland and off-color, but I would argue that comes not from an inherently untasty food, but poor preparation. 

In the suggestions that follow, my aim is to offer quick and super-tasty vegetable dishes that will have your taste buds singing and your body fortified with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. From cold salads to cooked and mashed to grilled – vegetables are diverse and wonderful on their own, as flavor absorbers, and sauce “mops” (I’m looking at you, Broccoli).

In preparing veggies, I have a few biases and preferences that may become apparent in this list, so I’ll go ahead and acknowledge them now:

  • No spiralizing. None of these recipes include spiralized vegetables, eg, zucchini noodles or “zoodles”. Why? 
    • I have many kitchen gadgets, and the spiralizer is one I haven’t purchased yet. 
    • Pre-spiralized, packaged vegetables are expensive – at least double the price/lb of the whole, fresh vegetable.
    • Spiralizing is work and creates extra cleanup. That, and if I wanted noodles, I would eat pasta.
  • I love my stick blender and use it often. 
    • Pre-stick blender, I would blend my soups in batches in my standard blender. This resulted in many splattered cabinets and some very painful steam burns. Enter the stick blender – no more dirty blender, no more steam burns. Just get one. Here’s the not-expensive model I use and love.
    • Stick blenders create a wonderful, creamy consistency for soups, thinner purees, and non-vegetable recipes no included here.
    • The operation and cleanup is fuss-free. 

Note that all of these recipes are gluten-free (not on purpose – they are simply vegetable and not grain dishes) and whole foods-only.

  1. Roasted Vegetables. No recipe link here, just follow a few guidelines – it’s that easy. 
    1. Preheat your oven – hot – at least 400’F (because we’re doing this in <30 minutes). 
    2. Get out a sheet pan, line it with foil, and spray it with your favorite non-stick spray (because we don’t want to clean the pan afterwards). 
    3. Cut up your favorite or whatever vegetables you have into bite-sized chunks. 
    4. Put vegetables on prepared pan, drizzle with a tablespoon or so olive oil, sprinkle generously with (at a minimum) salt, garlic powder, and pepper. My family also likes paprika, dill, thyme, oregano, cumin, rosemary – we just throw on whatever we find in the spice drawer. 
    5. Roast for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally to distribute the caramelization evenly. 
    6. Repeat every few days.
  2. Apple cider vinegar coleslaw
  3. Easy Salad. Again, no link – follow easy steps:
    1. Roughly (or finely – up to you) chop of the following and throw them in an appropriate-sized bowl:
      • 1 (just for you) to 4 big handfuls (enough to share with a few others) lettuce or greens.
      • At least one colorful vegetable – tomato, red onion, bell pepper, mushroom
      • Something crunchy and/or salty – nuts, olives, anchovies
      • Fruit – my favorites for salad are fresh oranges, watermelon, strawberries, apples – ok, any fruit but bananas (they turn brown)
    2. Find or make your favorite salad dressing and serve. Dressing ideas: easy vinaigrette, Magic Sauce (more complicated). 
  4. Warm Brussels Sprouts Slaw with Asian Citrus Dressing
  5. Creamy Broccoli Soup. My kids love this broccoli-heavy recipe and even ask for it. It calls for cod, but we rarely make the fish – because I don’t always have cod, and the soup is so tasty all by itself. One way to make this recipe even faster is to use frozen broccoli: Microwave the broccoli according to the package directions and skip the food processor step. You can then use a hand-held stick blender or your regular blender to puree the soup.
  6. Smoky Roasted Cauliflower
  7. Green pea hummus. Green peas are just sweet enough to make this dip sing with salty sweetness. I suggest dipping vegetables into this hummus, for double the vegetable hit.
  8. Stir-fried vegetables. This can get super easy if you use frozen stir-fry vegetable blends. 
    • Gather 1 – 3 pounds of your favorite vegetables, chopped (or frozen). If frozen, thaw in the microwave and drain any water. 
    • Heat a tablespoon or so of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, add the vegetables and stir frequently until cooked crisp-tender (fresh veggies) or hot (frozen). 
    • Flavor with salt/tamari/coconut aminos, minced garlic or garlic powder, and minced ginger or powdered ginger. If you have some, try adding a dash of umami-ful fish sauce. 
    • With a few extra minutes, you can whip up this quick stir-fry sauce and use it in place of the seasonings above.
  9. Use vegetables as a substitute for crackers. Sliced cucumbers and sticks of carrots, celery, and bell pepper make beautiful, delicious, and nutritious dippers. You’ll save yourself the refined flour, added sugar, processed fats and preservatives present in almost all crackers, and boost the nutritional profile of your snack with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. 
  10. Loaded Vegetable Soup. This recipe includes chicken as written, but it is very adaptable to whatever protein you want to add. My kids and husband love it, especially with a little cheese, avocado, or hot sauce on top.

That’s a wrap (oh, I forgot lettuce wraps… next time!) on the vegetable roundup. I hope you’re now inspired to make these or create your own delicious veggie creations. If you try any of these recipes, or have some favorite recipes of your own, please share them!

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