My secret weapon for successful weight loss and maintenance for both myself and my clients is to eat food we actually like (duh, right?! LOL). Because when healthy food tastes good, it’s effortless to stay on track, and in my book vegetables need to be the cornerstone of a healthy diet.
My mission for today is to walk you through my current 3 favorite ways to prepare the tastiest veggies ever!
Note: that while I love Big A$s Salads and you will see plenty of BAS’s on my Instagram and Facebook feeds, I’m actually partial to cooked veggies. What can I say, I prefer my veggies soft 😉 I’m not a huge fan of raw, crisp, crunchy things, and neither is my son too much, so the tips I’ve included here definitely cater to our family’s preferences.
NUMBER 1: The “wet” roasting method
The wet roasting method is a weird name I made up to describe what is basically a quick “steam” (in the oven) followed by a roast, all in the same pan #teamlessdishes
Here’s what you do:
- Preheat your oven to medium ~350-400 F (it can be flexible, depending on what else you might be cooking/baking in the oven at the same time).
- Cut your veggies into similar sizes.
- Starting with the veggies that take the longest to cook (carrots in this example), place them in the pan and cover with ~1/2 cup of water.
- Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and bake for ~10 minutes while you prepare the other veggies if you are making a mix (green beans in this instance).
- After ~10 minutes add the remaining veggies. Carefully remove the foil- watch out for steam! Check the water and add a bit more if needed so that there is at least 1/4 cup water in the pan.
- Bake for another 10-20 minutes, checking after 10 minutes and adding more water if needed.
- Once the veggies are cooked to your desired softness, remove the foil, pour off any remaining water and add a couple of pats of butter (we like Kerry Gold) or a tablespoon or 2 of ghee, avocado oil or Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO).
- Sprinkle with sea salt, stir and place back in the oven for ~5 minutes to get the veggies just a bit browned for more delicious flavor. Enjoy!
You can also use this method with broccoli or cauliflower for example.
Or you can do something similar on the stovetop:
For example I will often do green beans, carrots or asparagus this way. I will start with the veggies in a skillet with some water and tightly cover with a lid to “steam”/boil until tender, then remove the lid and cook off the rest of the water. Once the veggies are tender and the water has evaporated, I will add butter, ghee, avocado oil or EVOO and sauté until browned/almost burned (this is key for great flavor) then sprinkle with sea salt. Yummm!
NUMBER 2: The “dry”roasting method
I looooove the dry roasting method for really bringing out the sweeter flavors of veggies. Plus it’s super easy: rub your favorite veggies with your favorite fat (for some you don’t even need to do that), pop in the oven, go do something else while they cook, and voila!
My favorite veggies to roast are:
- winter squashes (pumpkin, butternut, kabutia, delicata, etc.)
- root vegetables (turnips, parsnips, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, etc.)
- red bell peppers
- parsnips are our favorites right now. They taste like candy, mmmm….
- Be generous with the healthy fats! Except for eggplant and red peppers which don’t need any added fat while cooking.
- Bake at medium heat, ~350 F. Roasting times will vary based on the size of the vegetable; smaller ones will take ~20 minutes and larger ones like sweet potatoes and winter squashes can take up to an hour.
- My favorite fats to use for roasting:
- Ghee, Coconut Oil, Avocado oil, EVOO for onions
- For roasted red bell peppers do NOT poke holes in them! (Poke a few holes in eggplants and sweet potatoes though) Just place them whole on a pan and flip about halfway through until outer skin is charred and blistered. Once cool, peel off outer skin and store with a drizzle of EVOO.
- Add sea salt at the end so you don’t draw out too much moisture while they roast
NUMBER 3: The magical green smoothie
Here’s one way I like to get in some raw veggies and fruits besides BAS’s 😉
Of course, green smoothies don’t have to necessarily look green but they contain lots of great green goodness. My son loves to help me make these and one of his favorite parts is putting in the handfuls of leafy greens, which is awesome because it totally gets him on board with drinking the weird colored smoothie at the end 🙂 I usually have to cut him off, but we typically add ~2 cups of baby spinach or kale leaves.
Here’s a favorite green smoothie we tried recently.
- Place ingredients into your blender in the order listed and then blend away for ~1 minute, scrapping down the sides if needed to get any loose greens trying to get away.
- 1 cup milk
- We use unsweetened vanilla almond milk but you can use cashew milk, coconut milk or cow’s milk.
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- We used Fage 0% Greek yogurt.
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- We use Craving Shake from Metabolic Effect.
- Optional: 2 T collagen hydrolysate
- We use Great Lakes brand.
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 T chia seeds
- 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
- 1 cup milk
This is tangy and just a bit sweet. If you prefer a sweeter shake or are drinking it as a meal post workout, add 1/2-1 (frozen) banana. If you prefer a thicker shake, cut the liquid to 1/2 cup and add a cup of ice. If you prefer a thicker more filling shake, add 1/2 avocado.
A new discovery we’ve made is adding frozen cauliflower to our smoothies. It’s genius!! One more way to get in the veg and I swear you won’t taste it if you stick to <1/3 cup and use other tasty flavors (frozen blueberries, frozen cherries, cocoa powder, etc.).
I’d love to hear if you have any other favorite ways to make your veggies taste damn delicious. Can you take a minute right now to type a comment below and tell me your favorite way to get in the good stuff?
If you want first access to tools just like these and more, be sure to sign up for my FREE newsletter that I send out to my inner circle each week. I’d love to have YOU be part of the supportive and strong group of women who make up the Body By Banner community! Add yourself here. xo