Dietitian, Jessica Pieterse, shares fresh inspiration to motivate you to eat more vegetables and get out of that cooking rut of preparing the same meals every week.
Including plenty of vegetables in your diet will promote good weight management, support your immune system, aid a healthy gut and more. Most vegetables are low in calories so there is a lot of freedom to include them in your diet even when you want to lose weight.
It’s best to eat veggies that are different colours. The colour provides a unique set of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. For example, a purple eggplant has very different health qualities to a red tomato.
Beetroot: Roasted with a sprinkle of tahini; or a salad with rocket and goats’ cheese.
Eggplant: Baked Melanzane with layers of eggplant, tomato gravy topped with a light sprinkle of Parmesan cheese; or grilled rounds with marinade of balsamic vinegar, garlic, olive oil and chilli.
Cabbage: Raw purple shredded cabbage slaw with radishes and beetroot. Dress with plain yoghurt, dash of soya sauce and honey.
Red onion: Finely diced salsa salad with onion, tomatoes, lime juice, fresh coriander and garlic.
Broccoli: Roasted with lemon and chilli; or finely chopped raw salad with shredded baby spinach, spring onions and chopped almonds dressed in olive oil, oreganum, pepper and a drop of Dijon mustard.
Asparagus: Chargrilled with a dash of lemon juice added just before serving.
Green beans: Sautéed in soy sauce, fresh ginger and garlic with a sprinkle of chopped cashew nuts.
Brussel sprouts: Cut in half and roast with a light sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, salad with celery, yoghurt dressing.
Baby marrow: Raw spiral salad with avocado and feta cheese dressed in lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and black pepper; or cooked with mushrooms in a tomato gravy with eggplant and sweet peppers known as a ratatouille.
Peas: Steamed with mint; or boiled and cooled in a salad with snap peas, cucumber and rocket.
Cucumber: Sliced round salad dressed in plain yoghurt, fresh dill and a dash of lemon juice.
Carrots: Roasted with dill, light sprinkle of curry powder and olive oil; or roasted with paprika, fresh parsley and olive oil.
Butternut: Roasted cubes with thyme, pepper and olive oil.
Pumpkin: Roasted cubes with cinnamon; or steamed and mashed with salt and pepper.
Cauliflower: Roasted florets with a light sprinkle of curry powder and olive oil; or raw finely chopped salad with pine nuts, dried cranberries dressed in plain yoghurt, light mayonnaise, garlic, wholegrain mustard; or blended cauliflower ‘rice’ as a lower starch rice substitute.
Mushrooms: Sautéed with thyme and garlic; or raw added to a green salad; or baked whole brown mushrooms topped with garlic, chilli and spring onion.
Fennel: Roasted thin slices sprinkled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
Tomatoes: Roasted whole cherry tomatoes with balsamic vinegar; or fresh salad with layers of thin mozzarella and fresh basil dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Capsicum peppers: Roasted stuffed whole peppers with baby marrow, onion, tomato, rosemary, beaten egg and garlic.
MEET THE EXPERT
Jessica Pieterse is a registered dietitian and owner of Dish Up Dietitians. She practices in Edenvale, Johannesburg and has a special interest in women’s health and gut health.