Stepping out of your Veggie Comfort Zone! by Cari Culp, RD

I love veggies! In fact my favorite food from the age of 3 has always been spinach, but I know not everyone shares this love. In fact, most Americans are not coming close to eating the recommend 2-3 cups daily. When counseling clients, I frequently find that people fall into 1 of 2 categories. They either don’t like veggies and are not eating many of them or they are stuck in a veggie rut and have a select few go-to’s like broccoli and green beans. Either way, most people are not getting the variety of veggies they need. For those who don’t like veggies, I find that most of the time, they haven’t had them prepared in a way that makes them taste amazing! As much as I love veggies, I wouldn’t get a lot of joy out of eating plain steamed broccoli or mushy canned veggies either! Many of my clients ask for ideas to incorporate more veggies into their diet so I thought I would post a few of my favorite quick and easy veggie recipes in hopes of giving you more healthy eating tools. So here’s to more color on your plate!
Kale with Caramelized Onions
-1 small red onion sliced thin into half moons
-1 box baby kale or 1 bunch of Lacinto kale chopped with ends removed
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-Sea salt to taste (about 1/4 teaspoon)
Heat skillet over medium-low heat. Add oil. Then add onions and a few dashes of salt to pull out the water from the onion and caramalize it. Saute 7-10 minutes until browned. Add kale and remaining salt and saute until wilted, about 2-4 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
*Recipe adapted from
Steamed Veggies with Lemon Garlic Dressing
-2 carrots cut into rounds
-1 zucchini cut into half moons
-1 squash cut into half moons
-1 red bell pepper cut into strips
-Juice of 1/2 lemon
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-1 garlic clove minced
-1/4 teaspoon salt
Steam veggies to al dente. While veggies are steaming add lemon juice, garlic, olive oil and salt to small bowl and whisk with a fork. Pour over steamed veggies
Curry Roasted Cauliflower
1 Head of Cauliflower
1/2-1 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
1/2 tablespoon yellow curry powder (or more to taste)
About 4 tablespoons of olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse and chop cauliflower. Add cauliflower to large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil then sprinkle with salt and curry powder. Toss together well to be sure all cauliflower is coated with olive oil and seasoning. Spread onto baking sheet and roast for about 25 minutes or until tender and a little crispy.
Sautéed Golden Beets
1 bunch of golden beets
2 Tablespoons avocado oil
Garlic salt to taste (about 1/4 teaspoon)
Peel and slice beets into half moons about 1/4 inch thick. Heat skillet over medium low heat. Add oil then add beets and sprinkle with garlic salt. Sauté uncovered for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally. After about 10 minutes, cover pan with a lit and continue to sauté until tender (5-10 more minutes). Hint, you can rinse and chop the beet greens and sauté them with the beets during the last 2 minutes of cooking. They are delicious!
Creamed Kale
2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1/2 cup raw cashews
2 cups water
1/2 small jalapeño pepper (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1-2 teaspoons sea salt
1 16 oz bag of frozen kale
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil, onions and garlic. Sauté for about 5 minutes. After sautéing add the garlic and onions to a blender along with all other ingredients except the kale. Blend until smooth. Then add the mixture back to the skillet and stir in the bag of kale. Bring to a soft boil stirring frequently. Then turn heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes until kale is soft and sauce has thickened. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator to add to meals throughout the week.

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