As a dietician, I have had many people say to me that they don't really eat vegetables as they find them boring. After a little prodding, it comes to light that many of these people are simply boiling or steaming their veg and having them as a side to their meal. I'm always quick to explain that there are so many ways of making veg the star of the meal and once you put these into practice, you will find yourself enjoying veg a whole lot more!
Make veg a part of the meal, not a side to the meal
This is a great way of getting fussy kids to eat their veg. Depending on how fussy or young your children are, you could use a blender or NutriBullet to blend veg into a tomato-type sauce and use this to cook mince or stir through a pasta. Otherwise, you can simply cut the veg up and cook these with the meat you are using for a meal. The main point is, your meals don't have to be made up of separate components of meat, starch, and veg; I am a huge fan of the all-in-one pot type of meal!
Use different cooking methods
There are more ways of cooking veg than just boiling them! Try roasting them - my favourite way of roasting veg is to chop up four or five different types (one starchy veg like sweet potato or pumpkin, and then a few other types like mushrooms, peppers, aubergine, or baby marrow), sprinkling over some Ina Paarmen Rosemary and Herb spice and drizzling over some pouring cream. Mix it all up so the veg is all nicely coated and then roast at 180 Celsius for 50-60 minutes or until the hardest of the veg is cooked through. This pairs well with a piece of meat for an easy supper.
Another idea is stir-frying your veg - be inspired by a Thai flavour and use minced garlic and ginger, soy and fish sauce, a squeeze of lime, and some coconut milk. Try using shredded cabbage, carrot strips, sliced baby corn, and chopped green beans for this. Cook with some chicken strips and bean sprouts, serve on some brown rice, and voila, a divine and healthy dinner.
Change up the texture
Perhaps you are not too fussed by the flavour of veg but it’s the texture that puts you off. Try changing the texture up - if you have a food processor, try making cauli rice by using the processor to chop the cauliflower up into small rice-like pieces. Melt some butter in a large pan and saute the cauli rice with some salt, pepper, and mixed herbs. You won’t believe how tasty this is - use it as you would regular rice.
Heard of zoodles? These are spiralised marrows and once softened in some butter and garlic or cooked into a beef mince you won’t believe how good they taste.
You have got to admit, everything tastes better with some cheese right? Stir a cheese sauce through any type of par-cooked veg you desire - the classic being broccoli or cauliflower - and pop in the oven until golden and bubbling. But perhaps the thought of making a cheese sauce scares you. I promise that it's simpler than you think, especially using the TasteBox recipe.
Simple Cheese Sauce Recipe by TasteBox
Smooth, delicious cheese sauce in minutes, made by you.
You will need:
- 60 grams butter
- 50 ml flour
- 2 cups full cream milk
- 100 grams of cheddar grated
- A pinch of nutmeg
- 1 tsp salt
- Melt the butter and stir in the flour with a wooden spoon until a smooth paste forms. Stir while this cooks for a minute.
- Heat the milk and add the hot milk to the pot. Use a whisk and whisk well
- Whisk constantly while the sauce comes to a simmer. Simmer for a few minutes while it thickens. Make sure to stir constantly to avoid lumps.
- Add salt and nutmeg. When the sauce is the right consistency, take off the heat and stir in the cheese. Hey presto!
Give those a try and see how veggies quickly become a welcome addition to every meal rather than an obligation. We’ve also got some great ideas for sweet potato topping ideas that make the perfect veggie-based snack or light meal!