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If You Don't Eat Your Vegetables

Aren’t we all used to this old, childhood threat? I used to think that vegetables were hard to incorporate into a meal. (Well, and that they were gross.) I was sooooo wrong. Vegetables can be just about the easiest dish on the dinner table, and they can be delicious too! So to wrap up the Part-Time Foodie series, here’s a post about cooking vegetables!

Let me start with the easiest way to eat cooked veggies. Buy a bag of frozen vegetables. Microwave them in a microwave-safe bowl for 4-6 minutes (depending on package directions.) Drop a dab of butter on, season with salt, pepper, garlic, Mrs. Dash, anything. As an additional option, sprinkle a little shredded cheese on top of the hot veggies before you serve them. It’s that simple.

This method is what I use the most often. I can get bags of vegetables for $1 each at almost any grocery store. Anything from corn, carrots, green beans, cauliflower, broccoli, even brussels sprouts can be found this way! Here’s the best thing about frozen vegetables: they’re flash-frozen immediately after harvesting. No lag time in which to lose nutrients. If you can’t or don’t want to buy fresh, frozen is a very close second when it comes to healthy options!

The next best way I’ve found of making vegetables is roasting. Toss your fresh or frozen veggies in a few tablespoons of olive oil. Spread them out on a pan, season them according to whatever else you’re eating, or however you like them, and bake or broil them. For more specifics - temperature, oven settings, seasoning suggestions, find a few recipes you love. Most of them are pretty straightforward! When I’m roasting vegetables, I especially love to eat brussels sprouts or asparagus. Pro-tip: sprinkle your roasted, steamy veggies with a dash of Parmesan cheese!

To be sure, there are many ways to veggies cooked with other foods. Making vegetables with a source of protein, for example, can be a great way to flavor the vegetables. Aside from the classic idea of cooking bacon in a pan with asparagus, it’s hard to simplify the concept of cooking veggies and meat together; there are too many recipes and variations. However, I’ll link a few of my favorites down below. However, keep in mind that putting all your dinner prep into one pan or crock pot or stew is a wonderful way to get an entire meal prepared without having to cook each dish separately.

Last but not least, it may be that cooking just is not your thing. Sure, roasting veggies sounds easy and microwaved is simple, but you just don’t like cooking, or soft, cooked vegetables.

Introducing the baby carrot. A bag of baby carrots is about $1. A green pepper or a cucumber is even less. All three of those make an excellent snack! Slice up a cucumber or pepper, start munching on baby carrots. Before you know it, you’ll be eating your vegetables between meals. For a sweet addition, use just a dab of ranch dressing for dip, or make your own ranch dip with a mix and some sour cream or yogurt.

Truthfully, despite their bad rap, vegetables can be some of the most easily attainable nutrients.

Thanks for following this series! I wish you all the best in your cooking endeavors.

Veggie/Chicken Bake

Baked Parmesan Tomatoes

Tomato Avocado Melt

Oven Roasted Green Beans

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