You wouldn’t eat a condiment on its own would you?
By Janis McMath, Editor-in-Chief
Certain vegetables get a lot of hate for just being themselves. Many people recount disgusting experiences of vegetables being bland or having a strange texture, and that permanently turns them off of certain veggies forever. When I was a veggie-virgin, I ate an avocado straight—no flavouring, no spices, no lemon—and I wanted to puke. It was like eating butter straight, but worse. (Don’t tell Paula Deen.) That’s just because I didn’t know jack though. It seems some have a strong distaste for everything vegetable, but you’re simply wrong if you feel that way. Veggies are jam-packed with nutrients, are often low in calories, and are an extremely efficient source of fuel. Tough people eat their veggies. So, if you don’t want to be a weenie, here are a few ways to get into vegetables:
1) Add oil or butter
This is the king of all ways to enjoy vegetables. Douse them in oil or butter, cook them, add a pinch of salt—and they speak a universal language of deliciousness. You can also heat your oil or butter on its own first and add flavour with garlic or other spices to permeate the oil or butter.
2) Make them tender, crispy, or rice-like!
If you don’t enjoy eating broccoli raw for example, there are a million other ways you can enjoy it. Steam them until they’re bright green for a soft yet crunchy experience or bake them in the oven for some crispy bites. Cauliflower has a crumbly texture that can easily be made into a rice-like dish that has a ton of nutrients and few carbs (unlike actual rice, and especially white rice).
3) Add something sweet or sour
The association for sweet and sour shouldn’t end at pork; veggies are seriously tasty when doused in a good marinade. You could go for something more acidic like lemon juice and vinegar (and olive oil), or you could go for something sweet like maple syrup, honey, or rice vinegar. Often a little bit of both is best.
4) Toss in some spices
Seasoning salt should get a spotlight in all things cooking—especially veggies. It’s great in a simple salad or all over your cauliflower bites, along with paprika and sunflower oil. Don’t forget about garlic and onion salt, cayenne pepper, and all the dried herbs like oregano and thyme.
5) Wrap them with other foods like bacon
Fat and sauces from other treats like bacon for example can get soaked up by veggies like asparagus while cooking… and that just means you get to eat more of the grease and bacon fat. Vegetables also go great with a bite of meat as the two contrasting textures complement each other.
6) Dip them in something
Tzatziki is ridiculously easy to make and easily makes everything else taste ridiculously amazing. You could also make guac, which would mean you would be eating veggies dipped in vegetables. Hummus also always comes to party.
7) Blend them
Want to get your recommended serving of vegetables with no fuss or muss? Make a smoothie with some delicious fruits added in. Avocado and banana yogurt smoothies will energize your keister right off.