“Eat your vegetables.”
This was possibly the most hated phrase I heard in my childhood…because no one made vegetables well in the 90’s. (Sorry Mom)
Veggies at our house growing up consisted of the following:
Canned Green Beans
Steamed Broccoli (AKA, warm and soggy trees that required a LOT of cheese to make them palatable)
There were a lot of cans going on when it came to vegetables. That Jolly Green Giant had one heck of a marketing plan because everyone believed those were better.
Fast forward to being a young adult that was now responsible for cooking meals. I had no idea and no desire to even attempt to make vegetables because THEY ALL SUCKED in my opinion. So I just lived that happy carb life with minimal green on my plate.
Fast forward to having three kids and my metabolism straight up leaving the building.
I could not kick the last of the baby weight and knew something needed to change with our eating, so my husband and I did the Whole 30. (If you are new here, here’s that post: Losing The Last 10 Pounds: A Whole 30 Story)
In the process of completely changing the way we ate, I discovered vegetables. Fully aware they existed before, but I had no idea they could taste good. Now I’m a total veggie nerd. If we are having a potluck dinner with friends, that’s what I bring (because we know how to party). We frequently will have dinner and I’ll realize that all I have is a protein and three different vegetables because I couldn’t decide on just one or two.
So here are my go-to veggies. Please note, ALL OF THEM are roasted because that is the easiest way to make them delicious. So if you have an oven and a sheet pan, you are in business.
- Parmesan Roasted Brussel Sprouts
For these I chop the end off of the Brussel sprouts then slice them in half. Once I have enough for the amount of people (I’d say 10 or so sprouts per full-sized human) I put the following on.
Olive Oil (1 tablespoonish)
A pinch of salt
A dash of pepper (I do 3-4 grinds on my pepper grinder)
1 Tablespoon of Parmesan Cheese (I just use grated parmesan)
Stir all of that in a bowl. Grease your baking sheet and cook at 375 for 20-25 minutes. I cook them until they are slightly golden and the small leaves that fall off on the pan are dark brown.
*If you want to make these even fancier you can add 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, a handful of bacon crumbles, and top them with feta. This officially puts them at the “healthyish” level.
***If you were scarred by Brussel Sprouts as a child, you need to ask yourself a couple of questions. 1. Were they steamed? 2. Were they boiled? If the answer to any of those questions is yes then I offer my sincerest condolences, but you need to give them another chance in your life. Soggy, small heads of lettuce aren’t going to light anyone’s fire…but roast them and you have a different ball game.
2. Roasted Sweet Potatoes
If you’ve only been eating sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving dinner, buckle up friend, because your carb life is about to get revolutionized. I used to think the only way to stomach sweet potatoes was with a stick of butter, a cup of sugar, and marshmallows on top. I WAS WRONG.
There’s a lot of variations to these, but what I do is chop them in half inch cubes or half circles, depending how lazy I feel about chopping that day. Here are my two favorite ways to roast them.
Mix in a bowl with your sweet potatoes, grease your baking sheet, put the potatoes on the baking sheet, then bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until they are tender with a fork.
3. Roasted Broccoli
I used to put a lot of questionably yellow liquid cheese on my broccoli as a kid, not anymore.
Divide Broccoli crowns then add the following:
Grated Parmesan Cheese
Mix, grease your trusty baking sheet, then bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes or until they start turning brown.
4. Roasted Cauliflower
I was hesitant to jump into the Cauliflower game…mainly because it smells like B.O. when its raw. But if you can get past that, Cauliflower can bring a lot to the table. This is a tasty little treat for Football season.
Divide Cauliflower head into small pieces
1 tablespoon or more of Buffalo Sauce
Stir to combine, grease your baking sheet, bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes. This definitely has some kick to it, but you won’t even notice that you’re eating vegetables with this one.
5. Roasted Parmesan Tomatoes
I used to NEVER eat tomatoes by themselves. In pizza sauce? Sure! On a burger? No problem! Then I discovered these.
Slice tomato into roughly 1/2 inch rounds.
Top with shredded Parmesan Cheese
Sprinkle a dash of Italian Seasoning on each one.
Grease your baking sheet, bake at 375 for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. They are like a little pizza that never makes your pants tighter! Total win. I also like to make extra of these so I can put a fried egg on top of one in the morning for breakfast.
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading and happy veggie eating!