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Spark Your Veggies

Prepping and cooking vegetables is among the most daunting tasks in the kitchen for a new cook, but it doesn't have to be. We're sharing 10 easy and delicious ways to serve up healthy, flavorful vegetables.
To get started:
  • Select your veggie(s).  
  • Wash and peel them, if necessary.
  • Chop into bite-size pieces.
  • For four servings, you'll need four cups total. Feel free to adapt the suggestions below to suit your needs.
Note: You can use frozen or canned vegetables, too. (Drain and rinse canned vegetables to remove excess salt.) Prepare according to package directions.
Lightly spray a large skillet with cooking spray (or add up to two teaspoons of oil). Place the skillet over medium heat. Add the vegetables once the pan is hot, and sauté until tender yet still crisp. Stir the vegetables often as they cook. Now that you know the basic process, let's talk sauces.
1. Add Zest: Zest an orange, lemon or lime. (You'll need 1 tablespoon.) Add the zest while the vegetables cook. Slice the fruit in half and squeeze the juice over the vegetables just before serving. Try with: broccoli, asparagus or cauliflower

2. Buttered Up: Just before serving veggies, add 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, a pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper. Let the butter melt and stir to coat the veggies. Try with: Brussels sprouts, spinach or green beans.

3. Yummy Hummus: Add a dollop (about two tablespoons) of your favorite flavored hummus to the cooked veggies. Stir to coat to create a creamy sauce. Try with: sugar snap peas, broccoli or cauliflower.

4. Cheese, Please: Stir about two tablespoons of goat cheese, light cream cheese or your favorite soft herbed cheese into the cooked vegetables. Try with: broccoli, spinach or mushrooms.

5. Tahini Time: In a small bowl, mix together one tablespoon of tahini (ground sesame seed paste) with 1 tablespoon warm water and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Add to the cooked veggies and stir to coat. Try with: carrots, eggplant or peppers.

6. Asian Accents: Drizzle 1 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce over the cooked vegetables, then stir in 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger or garlic. Try with: green beans, broccoli or spinach.

7. Creamy Curry: In a small bowl, mix one teaspoon curry paste into 1 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt. Add to the vegetables, stir to coat and serve. Try with: sweet potatoes, peas or cabbage.

8. Herbed and Ready: Just before serving the veggies, sprinkle on one tablespoon finely chopped fresh herbs. Basil, oregano, parsley or thyme are good choices. Try with: beets, cauliflower or carrots.

9. Better with Bacon. Cook one slice of bacon in the microwave, then crumble and sprinkle over cooked vegetables. Try with: mushrooms, cabbage or green beans.

10. Herbed Breadcrumbs. Spray a small skillet with cooking spray. Add 1/4 cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs. Add one teaspoon dried basil, oregano or parsley and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir and cook until breadcrumbs are fragrant and golden brown. Sprinkle over vegetables just before serving. Try with: spinach, asparagus or broccoli.
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Member Comments

I like it, SparkFriends, Thanx Report
Great Ideas Report
I stopped adding extras to my veggies and now enjoy the taste of the vegetables on their own. Report
Some good ideas to make veggies even better. I buy cans of unsalted when can find them. Report
I am disappointed that so many suggestions were to add oil, butter or a fat (bacon). There are so many ways to enhance the flavor of vegetables without negating their nutritional benefit. Instead of two tables of oil (about 280 additional calories) I simmer my vegetables in low sodium vegetable juice and zest. It not only adds flavor, it saves over 200 calories. Hiding vegetables under cheese, bacon, salt and oil is not the answer to 'how to add' more vegetables to your meals. Report
Thank you for this list of quick and simple ways to add flavour to vegetables. Report
Never thought of hummus on cooked vegetables! Report
I've never tried tahini with veggies. I think that I'll buy some and give it a go! Report
Great suggestions in order to get all vegetables needed for each day. Report
I like to sauté mushrooms, onions, zucchini, yellow squash with garlic and Worcestershire sauce. My Nephrologist told me to use the Worcestershire instead of Soy sauce. Report
We really like to saute kale or Brussels sprouts with garlic in a little bit of olive oil. Report
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