Sunday, January 8, 2012


Here are some of my favorite vegetable “recipes,” & ideas to get more vegetables into your meals.

**I rarely measure anything, so I apologize for the imprecise descriptions**

  • Add a handful of fresh spinach to smoothies
  • Eat leftovers on top of salad (usually you won’t need salad dressing beacuse the leftovers have plenty of flavor)
  • Puree fresh spinach & add it to spaghetti sauce if you are eating spaghetti (it will discolor your sauce…).  
  • Throw spinach, kale, or Swiss chard into soups.
  • Grate zucchini or squash & add it to burritos, eggs, spaghetti sauce, turkey burgers, almost anything.  When it’s grated you won’t really taste it, but will still have the benefit of eating it.  I usually grate 1 large zucchini for a 1.25 lb package of ground turkey.
  • Make a large batch of roasted veggies.  You can eat them in salads & with meals for a few days (potatoes, cauliflower, squash, carrots, parsnips, beets).  Usually I roast them with a little salt, cayenne pepper, olive oil, fresh garlic, fresh rosemary, & fresh thyme.  The same mix is also good if you toss it with feta cheese & balsamic vinegar after it’s cooked.
  • Make a large salad base (or buy bagged) of lettuce/greens, radicchio, blanched green beans, & carrots.  Add cucumbers, onions, other veggies when you are ready to eat.  If it is already prepared, you will probably be more likely to eat it.
  • Roasted butternut squash with olive oil, salt, & cayenne pepper is good & lower in calories than potato.  Those seasonings are also awesome with sweet potatoes.  Both can be used as a soup base when pureed.
  • Roasted beets are amazing!

Mashed “Potatoes”
1 head cauliflower, steamed
1-2 cloves garlic, steamed or roasted
One of my favorite vegetable recipes came from the South Beach diet:  puree steamed cauliflower (1 head) with fresh OR roasted garlic (1-2 cloves), salt, a little butter, & milk.   It tastes like mashed potatoes, but is a fraction of the calories.  You could also mix this into mashed potatoes if you aren't reasy for a full substitution.

Easy Grilled Squash
2 zucchini cut in ~ ½” segments
1-2 yellow squash cut in ~ 1” segments (these cook faster than zucchini)
2 gloves garlic, minced
3-4 green onions, diced (or whatever onions you have)
Fresh basil or other herbs.  Dry are okay too
Salt, pepper
Toss all the ingredients together, make an aluminum foil packet for them OR place in a grill-safe container cover with foil.  Grill ~ 15 min, checking on them.  Sometimes I add bell peppers.  This combination is also good if made in a skillet, & leftovers taste good in salad.

Roasted Beet Salad
My new favorite salad is from Casa Del Mar Hotel in Santa Monica
Roasted beets (golden &/or purple) (~ 1 cup, in chunks)
Pink Grapefruit (3-4 segments)
Roasted almonds or nut of choice (~10-12)
Arugula (a handful)
Mozzarella (an ounce or two?)
A little salt, olive oil, & vinegar of your choice, if you want dressing

Easy Green Beans
Heat olive oil in a skillet, toss in green beans & coat with oil.  Turn to med-high, add a little water (1-2 Tbsp), & cover the skillet.  After a few minutes the beans will be steamed & bright green.  Uncover & add a handful of chopped almonds & 1-2 cloves garlic, minced.  Cook about a minute & serve.  Season as you wish.  I like a pinch of kosher salt.
Vegetables & Eggs for any meal
2 whole eggs (my cholesterol is awesome & I don’t like wasting food, so I use whole eggs), whisked with pepper, basil, & oregano
2 handfuls of spinach
1 clove garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
1 celery stalk, diced
Bell peppers, diced or in slices (~1/2 pepper)
A little cheese of your choice.  

Sauté the garlic, shallot, & celery in olive oil.  Add the bell peppers & spinach.  After the spinach wilts, add the eggs.  When they are thoroughly cooked, plate & add the cheese. 

My Favorite Breakfast Smoothie (made in a 16oz Magic Bullet cup)
½ c old fashioned oatmeal, uncooked
~1/4 cup plain yogurt
½ scoop vanilla protein powder (or use a little more yogurt & omit this ingredient)
6-9 roasted unsalted almonds
A handful of spinach
~1/4 cup frozen blueberries
~5-6 frozen strawberries
Fill the cup with water
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