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Oct 22, 2008 08:00 AM

Hi, health-conscious Chowhounds -- best seasonal vegetable recipes, please!

Ah, to be a Chowhound on a diet. Far from being miserable about the food I'm actually eating, just dismayed at the small quantities I have to consume to keep myself in weight loss mode.

Vegetable-based dishes are a great respite from the tiny portions of everything else, and I would love some low calorie suggestions to add to my Fall/Winter repertoire.

I'm not vegetarian, just vegetable-loving.

An example of the sort of thing I'm looking for -- last night, I made Celery Victor (recipe on epicurious). Also been experimenting with cabbage slaws, and I made a killer shredded brussels sprout saute the other day with garlic, olive oil, and pepper flakes.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. I'm not sure if this is what you're looking for, it's awfully basic, but I've been on a low-fat kick lately as well and find myself really missing the butter and cream that makes mashed potatoes so so good. I've started mashing in a few carrots and the sweetness from those makes the mashed VERY tasty. It's something I'm going to start playing around with...other root vegetables and such.
    The SuperSlaw on epicurious has recieved good review here, but I wouldn't call it health conscious.

    12 Replies
    1. re: CeeBee

      Yeah, I'd say the 6 T. vegetable oil and 5 T. peanut butter put that recipe in higher calorie territory than I'm looking for.

      1. re: CeeBee

        As far as making mashed tasty, boiling in veggie broth, chicken broth, or skim milk also ups the tasty quotient...

        1. re: galleygirl

          "skim milk also ups the tasty quotient..."
          as does low-fat buttermilk or evaporated fat free milk. my favorite substitute for traditional mashed is roasted, mashed cauliflower with roasted garlic, salt & pepper. oh, and speaking of cauliflower, i adore it with curry spices.

          spaghetti squash with tomato sauce & a little fresh parm-reg or pecorino. it's a great low-cal substitute for pasta.

          if you want to do something new with your greens, try Catalonian spinach [works great with chard as well]. there are tons of variations on the web - i like to use currants or dried cranberries instead of raisins because i'm not a huge raisin fan..and i find that a splash of sherry vinegar really brightens the dish.

          broccoli rabe with red chile flakes is another favorite.

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            I'd like to second this recommendation of Catalan-style greens--I've made it with both spinach and chard, using currants and adding some toasted pine nuts (enough for good flavor, but not so much as to become a calorie bomb).

            I also like steamed cauliflower with a balsamic vinaigrette, tossed together while the cauliflower is still warm.

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              I looked up Catalan Spinach on epicurious, and that sounds great! I'd never have thought to combine raisins, garlic, and pinenuts, and we have all of those on hand. As soon as some spinach or chard crosses my path I'll try it out, perhaps halving the amount of pine nuts, and subbing most the olive oil with chicken broth.

              1. re: operagirl

                let us know how it turns out...and i highly recommend a splash of sherry vinegar if you have it on hand. something about the flavor of that particular acid works so well in these dishes.

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  I made two versions of Catalan-style greens this week (once on Sunday with my parents, and again last night for my boyfriend and I), and both were great! In one I used mustard greens and purple cabbage, the other erbette chard. I just mellowed the chopped garlic in chicken broth and a small amount of olive oil, then added the rest of the ingredients and let it all steam down. Yum.

              2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                In that vein, we love this Spanish spinach-chick pea dish from Food and Wine. The saffron and paprika add good, subtle Mediterranean taste.

                Dried cranberries in place of the raisins would add great flavor.


                1. re: bear

                  i love that recipe! i sub smoked paprika for 1/2 the sweet, chopped dried apricots for the raisins...and of course i spike it with some sherry vinegar at the end.

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    Just saw this post, ghg. Thanks for the suggestions. I just bought some Penzey's smoked paprika, and usually have some dried Trader Joe's California apricots around. That would add another nutritional boost. I also add a splash of acid at the end, maybe red wine vinegar or lemon, but sherry vinegar would be perfect with the Spanish flavors. I'll have to pick some up.

            2. re: CeeBee

              Parsnips! parsnips add such nice sweetness to a mash.

              1. re: versificatrix

                A mix of half sweet potatoes, half regular potatoes also is really tasty!

            3. In fall/winter we do roasted veggies almost every night. I've found that you only need a bit of olive oil (1-2 tsp) to get the roasting going. I do squashes, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, onions, even green beans. Just toss the veggies in olive oil, sprinkle with salt and a dash of sugar, and put on a heavy, pre-heated baking sheet. Roast at 425 until veggies are tender and carmelized.

              I also love to combine the fall vegetables with apples and pears. I made homemade, sugar-free applesauce and use it to fill pie pumpkins or squash, then bake them. Another favorite around my house is a savory stuffed squash. I saute chopped onions, apples, celery, and red cabbage (or anything else that sounds good to you) with a little sage and deglaze the pan with a bit of apple cider. Let reduce a bit, and fill the hollows of butternut or acorn squash and bake. Delicious.

              2 Replies
              1. re: RosemaryHoney

                Ditto on the roasted vegies - my latest was sugar snap peas - yum!!! Also take the leftovers (I love to make toooo much) and make a nice quesadilla with lite cheese and low cal wrap/flat bread. It's pretty filling.

                1. re: RosemaryHoney

                  I am also a big fan of roasted veggies, particularly carrots, squash, and cauliflower. I love tossing carrots with fresh sage leaves too. The sage gets crispy in the oven, kind of like fried sage (plugging my blog here: :


                  I also like to put shredded, sauteed greens (such as kale) in everything, from pasta to fried rice.

                  Soups and stews/chili are also great, because you can load them up with veggies and round them out with some beans and/or meat.

                2. Roasted vegetables always make me feel fall - even though eggplant isn't necessarily in season, I love Imam Bialydi

                  The veggie pot pie is a classic - I bet you could substitute out the heavy cream in this one:

                  and soups are always a great low-cal option

                  1. 16 bean soup is very filling and I add mega vegies to allow us to eat more. We're doing WW so I'm always playing with recipes to provide my creative outlet but the challenge of keeping it low. Another great & filling recently was eggplant parm towers (found a very low cal spaghetti sauce from Harry and Davids) and I shredd a couple Lite Baby Bells. Polenta rounds are good too to accompany roasted vegies.

                    I'm also a salad freak, coleslaws too. I've posted several and many others have chimed in with great cabbage recipes:

                    A nice jambalaya with mostly vegies would work too.

                    I love to saute up vegies (broccoli, carrots, cabbage, cauliflour, etc) in Braggs Liq Amino and put over a nice brown rice, with little cheese on top.

                    There are also some great threads on WW recipes. Just do a search.

                    A great vegitarian chili is next on my list to make.

                    1. spaghetti squash with sausage new favorite. I use chicken sausage: