Let’s face it the humble old vegetable is often seen as being the least interesting part of a meal. Included by many as a ‘healthy necessity’ rather than the exciting ’hub of the meal’ vegetables often assume the role of ‘add on’ especially when accompanied by an exciting meat or fish. This lack of attention can therefore lead to them being rather bland especially if you don’t love the taste of the natural thing.
Vegetables contain many of the essential nutrients vital for the health and maintenance of your body. Not to mention all the fibre which revs up your metabolism and keeps you feeling fuller for longer. Therefore it is hugely important to make sure you do get enough vegtables in your diet and I believe in order to do this it is also hugely important to actually enjoy your vegetables… life’s too short to be forcing yourself to eat something you hate everyday!
So, in my quest for getting people to eat more vegetables here are a few delicious and easy ideas on how to make your vegetable accompaniment more interesting!
- Instead of mashed potato use cooked celeriac, squash, Swede or cauliflower and mash with a little olive oil and seasoning with salt/pepper and herbs (cumin is yummy!)
- Julienne or use a potato peeler to create strips of zucchini/cucumber or carrot which can be used to create a similar effect to noodles. My favourite is to blanch some zucchini and leek strips for about 60 seconds in boiling water and use as a noodle pasta for bolognaise
- Marinate slices of courgette in lemon juice and a little olive oil for 10 – 30 mins and then griddle in a searing hot pan
- Use cauliflower and process in a food processor until it resembles rice/breadcrumbs. Lightly cook until almost tender and use as rice
- Use broccoli florets or courgettes chopped to the same size as pasta and add your favourite pasta sauce
- Use shredded cabbage and carrot as a base to bolognaise instead of spaghetti… I do this all the time and it tastes great!
- Roast butternut squash in a little bit of olive oil, cumin, coriander, curry powder
- Roast Mediterranean vegetables (such as peppers, onions, tomatoes, courgettes, beans) in a little olive oil (or 1 cal spray) with rosemary and thyme
- Make a salad of cooked green beans, cherry tomatoes, red onions soaked in lemon juice/or spring onions, olive oil, white wine vinegar and more lemon juice to taste