I think 2018 is going to be full of new wellness trends that will shift our minds more than ever to prioritizing our health. I personally have been trying to be more mindful of how many vegetables I’m eating in a day and constantly thinking of new ways to add them to my diet (without making me totally hate them). I don’t know why, but I feel like eating more greens justifies my dessert-on-the-daily habit (it totally doesn’t) and honestly makes me feel better overall.
One of the easiest actions we can take to give our bodies a boost is to arm ourselves and our fridges with fresh and nutritious produce. With a little forethought and a grocery list, we can make sure we have options when our stomachs start growling. I always buy at least three different types of vegetables each week to pair with my meals and whether I’m making a salad or side dish, I’ll prep the produce in order to make it taste as delicious as possible. Here are five super easy but very effective ways to make your vegetables taste so good you might just start looking forward to eating them.
1. Roast them - No real recipe needed here! Preheat your oven to 350 or 375 degrees fahrenheit (I honestly just do whatever I feel like it in the moment, but go with the higher one if you’re roasting really hard items like sweet potatoes). Cut or dice up what you’ve got and keep in mind that the smaller it is, the faster it’ll roast. Toss the vegetables in some sort of oil - coconut, olive, avocado, whatever - and place them on a baking sheet in an even layer. 10 minutes is a good place to start, but just keep an eye on your veggies so that they get golden and a little crispy, but not burnt.
2. Use seasonings - This is the one that’ll give you endless possibilities. I’m personally not a huge fan of spicy foods, so I’ll stick with seasonings like garlic and onion powder, cumin, sea salt, lemon pepper, and dried herbs. You can also use fresh herbs, like parsley or basil, but the dried versions work pretty well and also last much longer. Grocery stores also always have pre-mixed seasonings which are fantastic options, but you can always make your own, too. For a kick of heat, try paprika or cayenne.
3. Add onion and garlic - As mentioned in the last tip, onion and garlic powder are great to use as seasonings, but fresh onion and garlic is even better. Sometimes I’ll roast potatoes with roughly chopped garlic and onion, or even a whole clove. Thinly sliced red onion is also insanely delicious paired with tomato and cucumber. A go-to for me is sautéeing chopped garlic in a pan with olive oil before adding green beans or shishito peppers. Sprinkle some sea salt on top and you’re good to go!
4. Squeeze a lemon - Another easy and low-calorie way to add flavor to vegetables is to squeeze half a lemon over the top. I particularly love this on kale - you massage the lemon juice into the leaves by rubbing the juice on them for a few minutes and it’ll make the kale so much less bitter. Citrus is always refreshing and bright, so lemon juice is definitely the move for cold or raw veggies.
5. Don’t be afraid of butter or olive oil - A little goes a long way here, but butter or olive oil when you’re sautéeing vegetables is going to make them taste infinitely more delicious. If you’re vegan, try vegan butter, it’s worth it. I love a bit of butter on green beans or snap peas, and olive oil is a must for roasting. Not only does it prevent anything from sticking to the pan, but it’ll give a nice flavor and crisp to the outside. Again, don’t go overboard or your veggies may end up soggy.
Jordan Drankoski is the one woman star of the foodie blog Dancing for Donuts. She's a regular guest writer on ToBox serving up inspiration and recipes for the mind and soul. She loves spending time in the kitchen creating new recipes, hiking, trying new restaurants and visiting new places.