Thursday, July 16, 2009

Simple, Low-fat Ways To Spice Up Your Veggies



We all know that vegetables are a key ingredient for a healthy diet. But when life gets hectic, what's the first thing to disappear from our plates? It's usually vegetables.

"There's no time to cook."

"I'm tired of baby carrots and lettuce."

"Vegetables are so boring."

This is what I hear from my clients who aren't eating enough vegetables. My answer? Vegetables don't have to take a lot of time. When I say salad, I don't just mean lettuce and carrots. And vegetables are meant to be added to. Don't just steam them and eat them begrudgingly. Have fun with your vegetables! Here are some of my favorite ways to spice up my vegetables:
  • Keep low calorie flavor enhancers in stock. I always have low-sodium chicken broth, low-sodium tamari or soy sauce (San-J has wheat free), red pepper flakes, sriracha sauce, garlic, and mustard on hand. A quick veggie saute can be made with any combination of these. Play around with them and see what you like. In the photo above, I sauteed broccoli and carrots with tamari, mustard, garlic, and red pepper flakes. And you can't use time as an excuse for this one. I knew it was going to be a long week, so I bought broccoli and carrots already cut up, and even the garlic was pre-mashed. It literally took less than 10 minutes.
  • Grill your vegetables. If you have a George Foreman grill, it's really easy to marinate them in some soy sauce and throw them on the grill.
  • Roast them. Add a bit of olive oil, some salt and pepper, and roast in the oven until all the veggies are soft. Mushrooms and cherry tomatoes taste amazing this way!
  • Want something to dip your vegetables in without all the calories of ranch dressing? Try hummus, salsa, or tsatsiki made with fat free or low fat yogurt.
  • When you need something completely different, try pickled vegetables. I have to admit I've never actually made them myself, but this is on my list of fun recipes to try.
  • Don't make boring salads. Lettuce and carrots? Sad. Spinach, red onions, walnuts, goat cheese, and strawberries? Much more exciting! When it comes to salads, anything goes. And spinach goes great with fruit. Try a spinach and fruit salad for breakfast. Or if you still haven't tried smoothies with spinach, it's time you got out your blender.


What fun ways do you have to spice up your vegetables?

9 comments:

Alisa@Foodista said...

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THE ACTORS DIET said...

great tips - i agree, there's no veggie that doesn't benefit from a little roasting

Danica's Daily said...

Great ideas - LOVE that salad - the pictures make me want to eat it right now :)

Jocelyn said...

Love this! Thanks for the great ideas :)

Elizabeth A. said...

Wish I had you to cook it for me! It all looks so beautiful.

Fitnut said...

I can't believe you watched the movie too! I really did enjoy it.

Those are great tips on how to eat veggies - I always struggle with that. I'm definitely a big fan of grilling and using hummus as a dip.

LucindaSarina said...

Come to NYC and I'll cook for you! We can have a healthy gluten-free weekend.

THE ACTORS DIET said...

i'm so glad you got something outa my "frozen brown rice" post -and now i've gotten something outa yours - i have never thought of tsatziki in a salad!

Ben said...

Thanks for the tips. I usally don't eat my vegetables in salads. I try to add them to my pasta dishes, salsas, rice and main dishes as much as possible. Otherwise I wouldn't eat them at all :-\

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