Plant-based living: 5 new ways to cook your veggies

I could really title this blog post “10 excuses for not eating vegetables.” You’re busy. No time to shop. Picky eaters. Lack of cooking skills…

But the truth is, making veggies quickly and deliciously is much easier than you think. If you’re like me, you’ve cooked your veggies the same way forever to the point that you’ve tired of them and as a result, don’t eat them as often as you should. But roasted vegetables are so simple and will truly inspire you to eat more.

Here are 5 new ways to get your veggies:

Beets – most people don’t like beets but that’s simply because they haven’t prepared them to be delicious. I am a beet convert! Here’s how I make them: Just wash and trim the raw beets; you do not need to remove the skins. I try to buy smaller beets but if you can only find large ones, cut them in half so they cook quicker. Wrap them tightly in foil and roast them in a 400º oven for about an hour until you can stick a fork through them. When they cool, you can just rub the skins off of them (wear gloves or you’ll end up with purple hands).  I slice them and toss them with goat cheese and balsamic vinegar. Trust me. Try this one!

Brussels Sprouts – probably the most hated veggie on the planet but I absolutely love them! Just trim them up, slice them in half, put them on a roasting pan with olive oil, sale and pepper. If you really want to amp up the flavor, lay pieces of bacon across the top of them. Roast them in a 400º oven for 20 minutes. Drizzle maple syrup over them the last few minutes and it caramelizes and makes them so yummy and sweet.

Okra – another one of those mysterious veggies but in the past year, this has become one of my go tos. And it’s so easy to make. I use the okra whole. Just wash it well. Put it on a roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil and Cajun seasoning (I use Tony Cachere’s). Roast them at 400º for about 20 minutes.

Cauliflower – another very misunderstood veggie. I often make fried rice with cauliflower (not that I have anything against actual rice, but whenever there’s an opportunity to eat more veggies without sacrificing taste, I do it) or cauliflower mashed fauxtatoes but one of my favorite mid-day snacks is buffalo cauliflower. It’s so easy!. Chop the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces.  Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 375º for 15 minutes. Remove it from the oven and toss it with wing sauce. Put it back in the over for another 5 minutes. I keep these in a tupperware container and snack on them throughout the week. To reheat them, roast them in a really hot oven for 5 minutes to crisp them up.

Tomatoes – you’re probably saying “What?” You know I hate tomatoes but for some weird reason, I was craving tomato soup and found that the tomatoes themselves make a great side dish…for my husband. I can not eat tomatoes in tact but I can eat these as a soup. But tomato lovers will enjoy them both ways. Use fresh roma tomatoes. Slice them in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and icky pulp. Place them face up on a roasting tray and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Buy fresh thyme and lay a single stem across each tomato. Roast them at 425º for 30 minutes. You can them serve them as a side dish or blend them into a soup with broth or heavy cream.


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