How to Cook Most Any Vegetable Healthy and Tastefully
This cooking method works for most all vegetables: asparagus, carrots, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower. First, you steam your vegetable over some kind of broth (chicken, beef, your preference) until done. Vegetables are done when you can stick a fork easily in them but still retain a bright color. (Do not overcook as most vegetables get soggy and fall apart. Broccoli is a good example of not to overcook as it gets mushy.) Spray a pan with Olive Oil spray and then add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Heat until hot but not smoking. Add cooked vegetables. They should sizzle. Lower the heat to medium. Shake pan to coat vegetables with the hot oil or you can just stir with spatula. Season with garlic salt (or not). Cook the veggies until brown or until they are done enough for you. I prefer my veggies browned.
Experiment, add different spices. Add a tablespoon of Light Margarine (50 calorie type). An additional tablespoon of light margarine is especially good on cauliflower. Cook veggies with onions and/or garlic. Adding different spices or mixing up your veggies makes them less boring.
Your veggies will most likely absorb most if not all the oil in the pan. In order, to keep this recipe low calorie (remember: olive oil has 120 calories per tablespoon) you can add chicken broth instead of oil, as the veggies continue to cook. Add more broth if necessary until your veggies are done. Use the chicken broth you used for steaming in the beginning. You probably won’t use all the chicken broth. So, you can put the broth, after it cools, into a squeeze bottle. A squeeze bottle of mayonnaise (clean) works well. Then you can store it in the refrigerator for a few days.
Another good cooking method for veggies is to roast them in the oven or on a hot grill. You can do this with any vegetable or mix up your own mixture of veggies. I usually use sweet banana peppers, onions and mushrooms to grill or roast in the oven. Get a bottle of Italian dressing, Balsamic vinaigrette or mix up your own using olive oil and vinegar. Cut up your vegetables. Put in a plastic gallon bag like zip lock. Pour 1/4 cup of dressing. Seal bag. Shake the bag. Turn it upside down a few times. Then put it in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes. Heat oven to 400 degrees or wait till your coals in your grill are white hot. If using a grill, you will need to use a grilling basket or skewers. (Grilling basket is easier, as the skewer you have to thread each veggie onto it). Put veggies on the grill or in the oven. If using the oven, use a broiler pan, so excess dressing with drain off. Cook veggies still brown or blackened. You might have to put the broiler on. It takes about 20 minutes however, you need to keep an eye on it and remove when desired doneness is reach.
Choose fresh beets (not canned). Wash dirt from beets. If you want, peel them. Cut tops and tip off. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange washed whole beets in a oil sprayed pan. Spray beets with olive oil spray. Put in oven and bake for 60 minutes. Remove from oven. Slice. Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and sesame seeds. Or you can slice cooked beets, and re-cook like other veggies in a pan on top of the stove as in the first paragraph of this paper.
A quick easy salad
Cut up one large cucumber. Put cut up cucumber in a container. Add one container of grape tomatoes. Pour ¼ cup of balsamic vinaigrette over raw veggies. Refrigerate. Eat whenever you like.
Tips to make fruit taste better
Raw or stewed apples taste better with 1 tablespoon of finely chopped walnuts.
Roll a banana in finely chopped walnuts or another nut. Be careful eating nuts as they are high in calories. ¼ cup of nuts is usually 180 or more calories.
Recent studies show that it is healthier to eat mostly vegetables and fruit. My dietician recommended 7-9 vegetables a day. These veggies do not include starchy vegetables (corn, potatoes, peas, etc.) He, also, recommended eating fresh produce. If fresh is not available then frozen. Canned products being your last resort. In addition, he said to limit meat, dairy products and processed foods (both canned and packaged), better yet, too eliminate them all together.
Suggested Tools for the Kitchen
Misto – a spray bottle with pump for olive oil. Use less oil but it tastes like more. Found at Bed, Bath and Beyond and maybe elsewhere.
Metal Steamer (folding and adjusts to pan) – found at any grocery store or Wal-Mart in their kitchen utensils area