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In vegetable rut, need new ideas for what to do with them

The family loves vegetables, that's the good news. The bad news is I don't know what to do with them that is new and adventurous, that will make them stand out or be just plain fabulous. Can you help.

The only things I won't introduce to them:
rutebega [sp?]
any of those crazy greens like kale or collard or mustard greens or dandelion

Hope you know a super recipe that you don't mind sharing so I can get on the road to really enjoying something new. It's the butter and salt and pepper thing I'm tired of.

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  1. well, what do you do with them now? Just steam/boil then S&P&butter?
    If so, try roasting them - wonderful flavors. You can do oil, S&P, or you can add things like thyme or rosemary, garlic, onions, etc. Try carrots, celery chunks, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.
    I have a quick green bean sort-of recipe that is a hit, very flavorful : brown garlic in olive oil, saute the beans in it quickly, hit with fresh lemon juice at the end. A little more punch than plain steamed, but just as easy.
    If you want to jazz up the veggies you already eat, add spice - rosemary, thyme, basil, dill, etc. Also, raw is good too, with some flavorful dips.

    3 Replies
      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        Thank you for that roundup, goodhealthgourmet,

    1. the prior responses seem more thorough than mine will be . I was going to suggest roasting as well. high heat, like 450 degrees, and roast until there are brown bits. Add bacon! especially good with brussels sprouts. Or glaze on the stove. add a bit of cheese and bread crumbs and broil to gratinee. Buy a good vegetable cook book.

      1. yep, roast! I roast almost everything, always different combos too. sometimes just s&p, other times I love an herb mix, sometimes just cumin, sometimes a splash of balsamic vin or soy sauce or lemon juice then when serving a lil parm. toss in some blue cheese when serving.

        all vegies are soooo awesome roasted - cabbage is amazing, butternut squash, mushrooms, eggplant, brocolli, cauliflour, zuchinin, carrots, red onoions are awesome! asparagus, red peppers - all peppers=fantastic.

        2 Replies
        1. re: lexpatti

          Onions roasted?? LexPatti - You've just opened up a whole 'nother option. I really don't like onions, but I make them to appease SO and family's desire for them. Off to google . . roasted onions you say??

          1. re: JerryMe

            I will sometimes do an entire roasting pan of quartered red onions! I grew up where my grandma wrapped them in foil (greased lil) and baked them. I've seen someone on food network do them nicely with balsamic and honey:

        2. oh my gosh. sound so good.
          we do roast them, in the oven with olive oil and s&p and also we have done casseroles out of the popular ones like brussels sprouts in au gratin, very good.
          carrots steamed then add butter/honey/ginger/salt/pepper and thicken to coat all.
          things like that, all seem easy but how many times can you do over and over again without it getting "oh yea this again"

          8 Replies
          1. re: iL Divo

            if you already like to roast veggies, try tahini-roasted cauliflower or broccoli. it's fantastic!

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              .............and I even have tahini, bouth it at the market when someone said hummus contained it................. {?}

              1. re: iL Divo

                yes, hummus does contain tahini...as does baba ghannouj. if you search the board you'll find tons of threads about CHers' favorite recipes/methods for both.

                but as far as the roasted veggies, i like to mix the tahini with a bit of lemon juice and/or zest, minced garlic, toasted ground cumin, kosher salt, a pinch of cayenne or chile flakes (an maybe some smoked paprika). thin it out with a bit of vegetable stock or yogurt, and coat the vegetables with it before roasting. works with most non-leafies (cauliflower, broccoli, eggplant, peppers, carrots, zucchini...) but i think cauliflower & broccoli are my faves for this.

                garnish with chopped fresh parsley.

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  when you say yogurt are you talking about the kind you get that is thick like Greek? or no, just regular plain no flavor yogurt?

                  1. re: iL Divo

                    so sorry i just saw this question! it really depends on the consistency you prefer and how thick your tahini is to begin with. i tend to like it a bit thicker at first when i coat the vegetables, almost like a paste that i can paint on, so Greek yogurt works best for this...then i thin out the remainder with some stock to use as a drizzling/serving sauce. but if you like it thinner like a sauce, just use regular yogurt if your tahini is thick - you may still have to add soem stock or water to thin it out.

                    does that make sense?

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      it not only makes sense, sorry, I just saw this answer too (I'm late :+( ) it seems like it's a good idea too.

                      1. re: iL Divo

                        you're quite timely - i just bought a fresh jar of tahini and have a head of cauliflower sitting in the fridge ready to be roasted tonight :) let me know how it goes for you if you try it!

                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          oh goodhealthgourmet, it won't be "if" it'll be when...........
                          just gotta get the cauliflower.........then............. weeeeeeeeeeee :+)

          2. Why no parsnips or turnips or "crazy" greens? Because you don't like them, or you think your family won't like them? Parsnips are wonderful when cooked and added to mashed potatoes; it gives the potatoes a touch of sweetness. They also make great "fries" (ditto sweet potatoes). Peas are wonderful with mint. Fresh green beans are wonderful with sauteed shallots. Winter veggies like pumpkin, sweet potato, winter squashes make fabulous soups (which are also great during cold weather). Tomatoes, mushrooms, zucchinis and bell peppers can be stuffed with all kinds of great things (veggies, rice, or meat). Make more one-pot dishes, casseroles, roasted meat with veggies (veggies are soo sooo good when roasted beneath chicken pieces).

            2 Replies
            1. re: KosherHound

              my grandparents used to make parsnips, to me they had a perfumy flavor, I didn't care for them as a child. turnips, I love RAW with Lawrys seasoned salt on them and bit into. Cooked not sure what they'd taste like. Spinach is good, cabbage is great, kale/coll/must/and others, scare me {?} not sure why. I did make southern greens ONCE with the bacon and onions wilted down, didn't care for them nor did the family, but I tried ;)

              1. re: iL Divo

                in case you decide to "brave it" with the greens, i simmer lots of chopped greens (mustard, kale, bok choy, collards) along with wild mushrooms in a miso broth with garlic, then add in some tofu or egg whites for protein... simply, healthy, and yummy!

            2. Why are you counting out such delicious vegetables? Rutabaga (Swedes, in England): peel, dice, boil, drain, mash with butter, yum. And "those crazy greens like kale or collards or mustard greens" are tastier than spinach (which is already pretty good). Try the frozen greens and cook them with a piece of ham. Parsnips: cook with a beef pot roast instead of carrots---they're like carrots only sweeter.

              6 Replies
              1. re: Querencia

                My Norwegian mother forced rutabagas on us as kids. OML were they awful/offal or what? I will not make them ever, I mean EVER, sorry to be so stern but some things are not negotiable. uff da, no can do

                1. re: Querencia

                  Rutabagas and turnips become a whole different thing if you soak the peeled, coarsely chopped pieces in ice water for a half hour to an hour before proceeding to cook.

                  Parsnips are very, very pleasant if properly peeled. I second the addition of the parsnips to mashed potatoes.

                  On the subject of mashed potatoes, lately I've been putting horseradish, chopped scallion and a bit of garlic into ours and pouring on the heavy cream. That's one of my most popular veggie dishes yet -- tho it's really a starch.

                  Braised celery with shallots can be a thing of beauty if you braise it in chicken stock. You can even poach it in chicken stock with a bay leaf added to the liquid. If you don't want to do just celery, do the celery with carrots.

                  1. re: shaogo

                    Celery is very prominent in dishes. I don't care for it that much and you can't remove the flavor once it's there either. It's great in stuffing, stuffed with pineapple cream cheese or scmeared w/peanut butter. Celery root I live mashed.

                    1. re: shaogo

                      Hmmmmm. What does the soaking do? Does it affect taste or texture or both?

                      I just saw at our coop a bunch of beautiful local small turnips that looked so good. I'm inspired to try something with them.

                      1. re: karykat

                        wait are turnips white with a little purple in them and round? If so, I like them raw with Lawrys

                        1. re: iL Divo

                          turnips yup. i want to like them but just can't find a way... they taste very strongly and "turnipy" to me.

                    1. re: Shrinkrap

                      That epicurious collards recipe is totally delicious...have made it a few times & always cut back on the amount of bacon but it's fabulous. Never had it until a few years ago when sons came back from FSU in Tallahassee and they both requested collards! Kids-teaching-mom kind of thing! Love that!

                      1. re: Val

                        ^^^^^^^^^^^love that too^^^^^^^^^^^^^
                        my new daughter in law called last night.
                        she "supposedly" just want to chat.
                        but, the conversation ended up with "so I've got this tilapia that's frozen..........."
                        I gently guided her :)

                    2. Cream of --fill in the blank-- veggie soups are delcious.
                      Roasted red pepper
                      Broccoli cheese.
                      Butternut squash or pumpkin

                      I also love minestrone soups (I do a version thats very similar to what Carrabbas restaurant serves - base of chicken broth with a parmesan rind, with sauteed pancetta and garlic, cabbage, celery, onions, carrots, potatoes, garbanzo beans, zucchini, yellow squash, a some fresh seeded and diced tomatoes.) You can obviously do a more tomato based broth if you prefer. And even things like beef soup are great guises for loading up a ton of veggies that get flavored like the meaty broth.

                      Make your own stir fries with an assortment of cabbage, bok choy, celery, onion, carrot, pepper, mushrooms, baby corn, bean sprouts, etc! Start with a base of garlic and ginger. Add a little white wine and soy sauce. If you like it saucy, you can add some chicken broth with a bit of corn starch mixed in. Can add some low sugar apricot jam if they like sweetness. Or try adding in a bit of peanut butter. A generous pinch of red pepper flakes if they like it spicy!

                      1. I love roasted vegetables so when I saw this Bittman recipe, I was intrigued. I think it is delicious:


                        1. you people are so helpful, I will go to the market and experiment with purchases. thank you all

                          1. Tempura makes every vegetable irresistable. Vegetable fritters and vegetable strudel are of course more work, but you asked! Stir fry. Vegetable purees, mix and match, are also work but fun. Colcannon (mashed potato with cooked cabbage). Make some peanut sauce and all-vegetable skewers. Vegetable terrines (way more trouble than I've ever gone to!) Little or big all-vegetable tarts topped with cheese/mashed potato. Ratatouille, stuffed cabbage, stuffed peppers.

                            Mrs. Poole's Fresh Cauliflower Salad
                            1 cup fine dry bread crumbs
                            3 tablspoons butter

                            9 to 10 cups Romaine lettuce, torn bite-size

                            1 cup mayonnaise
                            2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
                            1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
                            1 small clove garlic, mashed
                            salt & pepper to taste

                            1 half head of raw cauliflower, grated

                            Brown the bread crumbs in butter and cool. Mix mayo,Parmesan,lemon juice, garlic. Add s&p. Toss lettuce with this dressing, then distribute crumbs and cauliflower over top, don't toss, serve.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: blue room

                              That reminds me of the broccoli and raisin salad that my DIL asked me to make. Everyone loves it even my husband who doesn't care for regular broccoli (cooked plain).
                              My most recent vegetable adventure was Thai curried zucchini fritters , actually more like little pancakes with peanut sauce. http://closetcooking.blogspot.com/200... I also plan to try some Korean pancakes.
                              Last summer's zucchini and potato gratin with fresh herbs induced me to buy a mandoline to slice potatoes very fine.
                              Look up recipes for Korean little dishes (ban chan) served before meals. I like broccoli with sesame sauce. Try some different kinds of slaws.
                              Also look thru recipes for couscous. There are some great ones that combine vegetables, seasonings and couscous.

                            2. I get those baby bell peppers at Costco (orange, yellow, red) and I roast them with onions, baby criminis, tomt's, asparagus, green onions, brussel sprouts and douse them with EVO, and lots of fresh crushed garlic, sea salt and tons of freshly ground pepper..roast those bad boys up and you'll be out of that veggie rut your in..
                              Have some pita bread for next day sandwiches...Yum!

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Beach Chick

                                Beach Chick - Wow! Does that sound good and I'm making a Costco run tomorrow.

                                1. i do broccoli and spinach souffles

                                  frittatas make great vehicles

                                  roast some veggies of choice -- onions, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, etc. reserve half, puree half (using broth or olive oil to lubricate if necessary), then fill crepes with whole veggies and drizzle with puree

                                  vegetable chips -- slice sweet potatoes, squashes, zucchini, beets, etc. and bake at 375 or 400 til golden and crisp; sprinkle with sea salt

                                  stuffed eggplant or mushrooms or tomatoes or zucchini

                                  baba ghanoush

                                  zucchini pancakes

                                  latkes - sweet potato, butternut squash, carrot, etc.

                                  gnocchi - butternut squash, spinach, etc.

                                  ravioli with various stuffings...

                                  ...to name a few :-)

                                  1. Gad, I don't want to take up all the room on this page with my comments to everyone.
                                    You are all so intuned to my dilemma and I so appreciate your helping me out.

                                    Last night, this was what I did. I am totally boring.
                                    Haricot Verts enough for two of us, washed, barely cut the tips off, butter and olive oil melted, green beans put in skillet, lid on for 90 seconds, I counted, a squeeze of lemon juice then on a platter, shards of parmesan cheese over top, done............

                                    ..........and I thought 'that' was being clever :)

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: iL Divo

                                      With Haricot Verts, that's all you need!

                                    2. I also like chard, steamed briefly, then chilled. When ready to serve, dress with a little lemon juice, olive oil,and salt. Ready when Y0U are!

                                      1. I got brave [or dumb] yesterday for our vegetables.
                                        Green cabbage, slice really thin, sliced thin apples and pears, peeled of course, all in butter with a little bit of fresh sliced onion and the smallest clove of garlic I had in the house, salt and pepper, all in a skillet mind you, lid on, finished it with a 1/4 c apple cider mixed with a t of corn starch and a dot of butter and done. Who knew something so stupid sounding could be so good...................I'm proud I'm venturing out

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: iL Divo

                                          Some variations I like

                                          1/2 head cabbage, finely sliced
                                          1 onion, finely sliced
                                          4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
                                          1 inch ginger, finely chopped
                                          juice of 1 lemon
                                          1 t cumin seeds
                                          1 t mustard seed
                                          1 t ground cumin
                                          olive oil
                                          S&P to taste

                                          Heat a bit of olive oil in a wok. Add the onions and saute for a minute or two. Add the garlic and ginger and whole spices, and saute another minute or two. Add the cabbage and a splash of water. Stir until it starts to wilt, then cover for a few minutes. You want to cook it until it's wilted, but still has a bit of crunch. Add the lemon juice, cumin, salt and pepper. Serve hot, warm or room temperature.


                                          Broiled asparagus

                                          Wash asparagus spears and trim off the tough bottoms. YOu want thick ones for this. Put in a pan, toss in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. place under the broiler until just tender. Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan and return to the broiler for a minute. Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice.


                                          Saute sliced zucchini or other summer squash in a pan with a bit of olive oil and butter and season with salt, pepper and basil.


                                          A quick veggie pasta dish....

                                          Toss pasta with steamed snow peas, broccoli and red pepper (or whatever other veggie combo you can think of) and fresh pesto.

                                          If you don't have pesto, you can a drizzle of olive oil, a bit of garlic, lots of chopped fresh herbs and grated fresh parmesan.


                                          1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                                            Hi Tastesgoodwhatisit....
                                            I always have pesto because when my plants are plentiful, I bring 'em inside and make batches to freeze in SealAMeal bags. I grow garlic and onions/scallions and my mom has Myer Lemons so I'm pretty much ready to go.

                                            For the zukes, one of my favorite things to do with them, but the kids say p p to it this way :(, is to saute them in butter in rings with garlic and onions salt and pepper and toss in about 4 or 5 chopped up tomatoes and let them cook down. Then shredded cheddar cheese goes on top of all and it gets baked. So good and very heartwarming

                                        2. I just tried mashed parsnips with potatoes tonight (steamed for 5 minutes in the pressure cooker, then mashed with butter, heavy cream, salt, pepper). Delicious! I can't believe I've never had parsnips before - at least not that I was aware of.

                                          1. IL Divo - One of my son's favorite meals is broccoli chopped fine, garlic chopped fine and sauteed while short pasta boils. Save some pasta water, drain water and mix it all up w/ some olive oil. Leftovers are great if you're not heating up in an office situation (some people are offended by the broccoli smell). You can add Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes to increase the goodness.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: JerryMe

                                              ok, now this I might try, the mashed par/tates thingie

                                              1. re: JerryMe

                                                how much garlic just a little bit?, that sounds like it's very doable.

                                              2. I have two recipes for dishes that use the greens on my blog:

                                                Whole wheat pasta with spicy italian sausage, mustard greens and tomato cream sauce - which would actually just be as tasty without the sausage if you're a veggie but I would also incorporate some crushed red pepper to add a bit of zip. . .


                                                Or homemade ravioli with sweet potato, rainbow chard and mascarpone:


                                                I would recommend a nice root mash - take all of the ingredients and boil them as you would potatoes for mashed potatoes, and then add a bit of butter, milk or cream, and salt and pepper. You could even add the kale to the mix to add a bit of color and interest - I would just steam it seperately for 3-4 minutes until wilted and stir it in.

                                                A simple veggie roast with potatoes, sweet potatoes, rutebega, turnips, parsnips etc. for 1 hour with thyme, olive oil, salt and pepper at 400 degrees always goes down well - I always add onion and unpeeled garlic to the mix. Then you can squeeze the garlic out of the clove shell with your teeth.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: nstrada

                                                  really I can't do the ruta, no matter how much anyone tries to get me to eat it, I have the worst memories of it as a child, my mom was totally out of the loop with her kids, ie. me :+(

                                                2. Despite the fact that this recipe cannot in any way be considered healthful, it was truly delicious. 2 smallish yellow summer squashes, 2 eggs beaten to blend; 1/2 C a.p. flour
                                                  3/4 C. FRESH breadcrumbs; 1/4 c. grated cheddar cheese . Mix cheese and crumbs. Put flour, eggs and crumb mixture into separate pie pans. Cut squash into 1/4 inch rounds; dip in egg, flour, egg again, then into cheese/crumb mix and fry in hot oil until browned and crisp. None leftover in my house. I also did some asparagus spears the same way and they were delicious also. Don't count the carlorie or you'll have a seizure.
                                                  This came from a site called, I think, "eating on the cheap" or "frugal foods" or something like that. There were several other veg. dishes like fritters, etc. that sounded wonderful if not the most lo-fat or lo-cal ever.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: amazinc

                                                    OML, that is sinful.....................................................ly good sounding

                                                  2. I had some ground turkey that I had to use. I stuffed some red bell peppers and some green anaheim chili's with a sort of meat loaf mixture that I made with the ground turkey. The meat mixture is my sweet and hot recipe, made with onions, garlic, apricot jam, one chipotle pepper, salt and pepper, bread crumbs and eggs. Put vegetables into a dish and pour over some tomato sauce or I just diluted some tomato paste with water and added some garlic cloves. Bake for an hour. The sauce and the veggies were delicious. Other items to stuff are cabbage leaves, zucchini, eggplants, squash, tomatoes and even potatoes.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: TIRGL

                                                      sounds good... i'd consider adding a bit of cumin and/or paprika as well...