Low-carb vegetables are packed with nutrition, but light in calories. The Brook Healthy Plate recommends dedicating half your plate to low-carb vegetables, and the USDA says to aim for at least 3-5 servings of veggies each day (or about 2.5 – 3 cups!).
If you don’t like the taste of vegetables, it’s pretty hard to eat enough of them. We want to help you make vegetables that taste delicious so you can actually look forward to eating them! Here’s 5 tips for making veggies that don’t suck:
Season them up
Who says vegetables have to be boring? Not us! When cooking vegetables, seasoning can make all the difference in the world. Want to know where to start? Three things is all you need: garlic, onions, & healthy fat. If you’re sautéing up some greens, start by browning minced garlic and onions in olive or avocado oil. Not only will this fill your kitchen with heavenly aroma, it will fill your vegetables with flavor, too. Go the extra mile and add some dry or fresh herbs, spices, or crushed pepper flakes for even more dynamic flavor infusions. Finish with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar or lemon juice to cut the bitterness of those greens.
New veggie, old recipe
One of the easiest ways to incorporate more low-carb veggies is to add them to a recipe you already make and love, like lasagna, stir fry, enchiladas, or stews. Try adding eggplant, zucchini, onion, and mushrooms to spaghetti sauce, or even frozen mixed veggies to a prepackaged item, like a can of soup or frozen dinner you would normally have “as is.” Using a favorite recipe or food to try out a new vegetable is a great strategy to build your veggie repertoire.
Mix up your technique
Bake. Grill. Broil. Sauté. Using different cooking methods can completely change your veggie experience. Grilling, broiling, and roasting veggies creates crisp caramelized edges and soft buttery insides. Sautéing veggies with a little oil and spice lends to softer veggies that soak up all the flavor you add to them. Braising and stewing vegetables in a flavorful broth results in tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture that can really change your perspective on otherwise fibrous or “bitter” veggies like collard greens or cabbage.
Stuffing vegetables is a great way to add tons of flavor while also bringing a little fun to the kitchen table. Use vegetables that naturally form a bowl like peppers, cabbage, spaghetti squash, and mushrooms.
Be sneaky with it
Maybe eating veggies just isn’t your style. That’s okay! There are plenty of ways to sneak veggies into your daily diet. Try blending them into a soup or sauce (like the spaghetti sauce we mentioned earlier!). Make cauliflower “rice,” or a zucchini pizza crust. Try this Broccamole (no, it’s not a typo!) recipe for an extra veggie boost in dip form.
Reviewed by Emily Matson, MS, RDN
on January 6, 2020. Emily is a Registered Dietitian with her Master's degree in Nutrition from Bastyr University in Kenmore, WA, and is one of our Brook Experts.