Got any easy vegetable recipes?

I recently had to lose aorund 8 pounds for a race and I did it pretty painlessly by eating over a pound of vegetables a day. Which is really healthy but I don’t really cook so it involved a lot of expensive prepared food. I’d like to continue eating a lot of vegetables but I need quick easy recipes. Got any?

The only thing I know how to cook is steamed kale (which I love but am tired of). Here’s my recipe:

Take a bunch of kale and chop loosely. Steam for a two minutes. Toss with a mixture of 1 tablespoon olive oil, two tablespoons tamari, and a couple of cloves of minced garlic.

Salad, with low-fat dressing?

(You should get some protein in that diet, too. Egg whites, skinless chicken breast and tuna - that kind of thing. Won’t hurt your weight loss and infinitely healthier. Your meals will also be a lot more palatable with the addition of some meat.)

Steam broccoli/carrots or green beans until crisp-tender and put some lemon pepper or mixed herbs on the veggies while they cook. Or you could add a bit of lemon juice to the water in the bottom of the pan. Sometimes I put a bit of old bay on the veggies instead of the lemon pepper or mixed herbs.

Quick-saute asparagus (be sure to cut off the bottom of the stalks and get the thinnest asparagus you can find) in a bit of olive oil, with some chopped garlic or shallots. Add red pepper flakes and a dash or two of mirin, rice vinegar, or plain old white wine vinegar if you don’t have the other things. You can do this same recipe with green beans.

Broccolini/broccoli raab/rapini: all can be cooked like this. Chop them up in coarse pieces, leaves and all. Blanch the pieces in boiling water for about 30 seconds or until it gets bright green, but before it goes too limp. Add to a wok or frying pan along with a bit of olive oil (just enough to keep from sticking), chopped garlic, and chinese five spice or other spice blend. I also usually dash in a bit of rice vinegar, but I like the way that tastes with just about anything. You could use white or red wine or balsamic vinegar, too.

Cook a fish fillet with some lemon, a light brushing of oil or butter, and spices of your choice in an aluminum foil packet with onions and whatever veggies sound good. Bake in the oven until fish is cooked through and veggies are tender. The flavors of the veggies and the fish mingle nicely. This works better for white varieties of fish (snapper, cod, catfish) or trout. Salmon takes a bit longer to cook this way.

My favorite veggie dish and one I consider comfort food is zuchini chopped into thinnish rounds, chopped onions, shallots, mushrooms (cremini if possible, but button is good too), and red bell peppers. Cook the onions and shallots in a bit of olive oil and white wine and add the zuchini. Let it just cook a while, flipping the veggies occasionally, until the onions caramelize a bit and the zuch starts to brown just a little. Add the bell peppers and mushrooms and toss until the mushrooms get cooked, adding a little more white wine (or red wine, but that makes the zuch kind of pink) as you go. YUM.

Ah, that wasn’t the whole of my diet, the vegetables just helped fill me up.

Diet:

Breakfast: 4 oz cottage cheese, 4 oz yougurt

Lunch: 1/2 pound veggies (usually brocolli, asparagus, or rappini from Whole Foods), tuna, little light mayo, whole wheat crackers

Snack: 1/2 oz walnuts, piece of fruit

Dinner: 6 oz raw spinach with 1/2 oz feta cheese and balsamic vinegar, 1/2 pound veggies (usually the aforementioned Kale), scrambled tofu and beans, sometimes a little bit of sharp cheddar

Dessert: 1/2 oz dark chocolate and frozen blueberries or another piece of fruit

It works out to around 1500-1800 calories a day. I gotta change in something for the tuna since I really shouldn’t be eating it everyday due to the mercury warnings.

Hey mlerose, thanks. I love Whole Foods’ broccolli raab/rapini (they use whole cloves of garlic) but I wasn’t sure how to cook it. I’ll have to try that one this weekend.

Carrots

Take a bag of those baby carrots. Toss in a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. Put in a roasting pan. Put in oven at 475 for about 10-15 min. Shake 'em around to turn 'em over, roast for another 5 min or so until done. Yum yum yum.

Asparagus

Buy a bunch of asparagus. Wash, and clip off the woody ends (about 2 inches on the bottom). Put in pan and add about 1/5 inch of water. Steam until done. Add salt, pepper, lemon juice to taste.

Grilled Veggies

Prepare veggies in the following way:

Asparagus: trim ends
Zuchinni: Slice lenthways into quarters
Eggplant: Slice horizontally into rounds. Sprinkle rounds with salt. Allow to stand for 30 min or so.
Onion (I like red onions especially): Slice into rounds. Secure with toothpicks so they don’t fall apart
Bell peppers: Slice in half or quarters; remove seeds

Once veggies are prepared, brush with Italian Dressing (I use Newman’s lowfat Italian). Put on hot grill. Cook until soft - 5-10 usually. Turn once to get both sides. Delicious!

Oh my God I need veggies and I have no time

Keep a few bags of frozen veggies in the fridge. They’re decently nutritious and way better tasting than canned veggies. Use as needed.

Vegetables are evil!

I was going to post my grandmother’s broccoli-cauliflour casserole, but if the goal is to lose weight, I don’t think you’ll be interested in anything swimming in melted cheese… Ah, well.

Chop up your favorite veggies - when I did this, I used broccoli, cauliflower, zuchini/squash, bell pepper (red), and onion. You could also add mushrooms, maybe cabbage, carrots, what have you. Break the broccoli and cauliflower into florets, slice the zuchini and squash into wheels, the bell pepper into longish strings, and the onion into slices you then cut in half.

Heat up a skillet or wok, toss in the veggies, and add some chicken broth (not too much! Just a little), butter, and seasonings (salt and pepper, lemon pepper, anything you like). Cover and let simmer until the veggies are crisp tender.

It’s wonderful, and not too many extra calories are added by the broth and butter. You might be able to cut out the butter entirely (I can’t remember now if I used it or not). Good stuff.
Snicks

Cut into chunks:
Several bell peppers (red, green, yellow, orange)
A few cucumbers or one English cucumber
A few ripe tomatoes

Put chunked vegetables in a bowl.
Throw some pepper and dill or rosemary on it.
You can throw some sunflower seeds on it, or smoked salmon, or chicken.
You can throw other raw vegetables in it.

Dress with any of the following:
Yogurt
Olive oil & balsamic vinegar
Low-carb salad dressing
This keeps without dressing for a couple of days so you can eat as needed.
Steam some sugar pod peas until bright green (Costco has them in large bags) with shredded mint leaves.

Dress with lemon juice and spray with olive oil (from a Misto or other kitchen sprayer).