A thread for simple veggie side dishes

jessyfJanuary 18, 2011

Couldn't hurt to have a thread with very simple veggie dishes, right? Once in a while the good old steamed broccoli needs to changed around.

Post away.

Roasted green beans with Hoisin sauce

(this is really good and what prompted me to start the thread)

1 pound green beans, washed, stemed and spread on a roasting pan (I line mine with Reynolds Non-stick Alum foil)

1/3 cup Hoisin sauce

1/3 cup orange juice

2 Tbsp roasted sesame seed oil

Mix Hoisin, OJ and sesame oil, mix into green beans well.

Roast at your preferred temp, I do mine on the grill on a sheet cake pan.

Roasted cauliflower

From LSR2002

Cut up one cauliflower into floret size of your choosing. Microwave a few minutes to start cooking them. Spread on a baking sheet.

Mix together equal parts or to taste cumin, smoked paprika, thyme. Drizzle cauliflower with olive oil, then seasonings, and roast.

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My favorites are usually the simplest. Tonight we had roasted yellow squash, red potato chunks, purple onions, garlic cloves, whole mushrooms and acorn squash. I cut everything but the acorn in chunks, drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with kosher salt and roasted at 350 for about an hour. Before I put the acorn squash in the oven, I cut it in quarters, scraped out the seeds and microwaved it for a few minutes before I roasted it.

I roast almost all our vegetables - carrots, green beans, cherry tomatoes, green and red peppers, squashes. They're

all good.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 9:16PM
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I never should've opened up this thread. I can't do any roasting of vegetables at the moment and I could live on them. The baking element on the floor of my oven is not working. I am taking my time replacing the range. I am only temping 40 hours a week at my former employer. If I am hired on as a full time employee with benefits I might do an entire kitchen makeover. I had planned to remodel and I have the money saved but put it off when I was laid off in early 2009. In the mean time I am learning to love my crock pot. I have almost no experience with a crock pot but I am really liking it. And lots of stuff on the range top. Thank God my stove went out in the winter - I can live on soup.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 9:34PM
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Jessy, do you mean something like brussel sprouts cut in half, and sauteed in garlic oil? Carrots steamed and then drizzeled with honey? Chard or spinach sauteed? Baked onions? Leeks simmered in chicken broth and buttered?

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 9:40PM
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Green beans and garlic slices, drizzled with olive oil, roasted and tossed.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 10:15PM
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Peppi, sure, why not, nothing wrong with those options and I'll throw them on my list. I'm just hunting for a bit more out of the ordinary.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 10:43PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

This is something we eat occasionally although it's certainly not gourmet. But we like it when I have an abundance of tomatoes.

Thaw and squeeze semi-dry a bag of frozen spinach.
Spread in a pie plate and sprinkle with herbs- basil, oregano, etc. and a drizzle of olive oil. Top with sliced tomatoes and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and some other melting cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes -350- and run under the broiler a bit.

Another favorite:
Asparagus, dried cranberries, toasted walnuts and olive oil.
This is delicious. Cut the asparagus into 1" pieces, steam cook and mix with lots of toasted walnuts and dried cranberries.
For 1 pound of asparagus, maybe 1/2 cup cranberries and 1/2 cup walnuts. Several tablespoons of olive oil.
This equally good chilled.
The simplicity belies the amazing taste.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 11:00PM
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I'm not a veggie cook but -

My general approach is for most vegetables is:

(1) Add browning, fat, and salt/spice.
- Roasting with oil and salt works. May cover w/ foil at first, to hold in moisture as the vegetable cooks, then uncover for the final browning.
- Broiling and grilling. Even saute'ing. Basically anything that gets the vegetable browned (browning tastes good) and adds fat (oil, butter, animal fat) and salt (or your alternative spice of choice).
- Cheese is fat. Fat tastes good. Cheese tastes good. With vegetables or anything else.

(2) Some vegetables that have a lot of natural sugar, which you can take in the ''sweet'' direction. Carrots, onions, corn, sweet potato, etc.
- Milk has sweetness, so boil your corn in milk
- Carmelizing, with out without added sugar. Example, I like to braise carrots in beer and butter, then carmelize in sugar.
- Beets are so sweet that all you need to do is bake them.

(3) Infuse with another taste. For example, braising in some flavorful liquid, can be beer, stock, wine, the juices of the pot roast, whatever.

(4) Sauces work too. Teriyaki, hoisin, BBQ, aioli, hollandaise, dips, dressings, vinegarette, lemon juice, etc. The vegetable is mostly just the carrier here, in my opinion. Tangy, savory, sweet, whatever, sauces are good stuff.

When you think about it, most of the suggestions on this thread are variants on one (or a combination) of the above general approaches.

Personally, my main requirement for a veggie side is that it be fast, unfussy, and can be done on the small burner or in the toaster oven.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 11:06PM
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Salads are often our veggie.
Tossed green w/ lots of chopped veggies
Coleslaw and variants
Four bean

Pickled foods can serve as a veggie for a casual meal.
I've got pickled beans, asparagus, cukes, beets, carrots on hand all the time.

Nuke a big onion with some butter and brown sugar for something different (assuming you don't do this all the time...LOL). Great with a steak!

Stuffed mushrooms.

Now, if someone would just come make all this stuff I can stop "just opening a jar" of green beans and nuking them.


    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 11:49PM
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I'm not proud of it, but I can eat an entire head of cabbage that has been sauteed with some pork and margarine. It's that good. It took me some time to even try that, but the cabbage comes out nutty and creamy, and not cabbage-y, at all. Some more favs:
Roasted asparagus. Good olive oil, chunky sea salt. Done.
Chilled sweat peas dressed with mint.
Cherry tomatoes, sliced in half and salted, tossed with bocconcini and basil leaves.
Southern style green beans, cooked way too long, with fat back, onions, and vinegar.
Cauliflower with tahini
Tomatoes, Fennel and Watercress salad.
All of the above are on rotation at my house. If I add a pasta/rice/potato to them, they turn into main courses!!

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 12:30AM
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I have my own special blend of vegetables that I love. I had this at a very high end restaurant a few years back and have been making it myself ever since.

You can use fresh corn and green beans when available but frozen is good in the off season.

Dressed up Veggies

Green beans
Red Onion, thinly sliced
Tomatoes, chopped (Roma is good)
Sweet Basil (fresh or dried)
S+P to taste

Cook the corn and green beans in a little water on the stove or in a microwave.
Meanwhile saute onion in a little EVOO, add garlic and tomatoes saute a little longer, stir in basil
Drain the corn and green beans and stir into onion mixture to blend over low heat.
Season with S+P to taste.


    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 5:36AM
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Broccoli and Carrot Salad

1-1/2 c. broccoli flowerets
1/4 c. sliced carrot
1 green onion, sliced
3 T. fat-free Italian dressing
2 lettuce leaves

Heat 1-inch water to boiling in a 1-1/2 quart saucepan. Add broccoli, carrot and onion. Cover and heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cook 10-12 minutes or until broccoli is crisp-tender; drain. Toss vegetables with dressing. Cover and refrigerate about 1-hour or until chilled. Serve on lettuce leaves.

Green Beans & Red Peppers

1/2 pound fresh green beans (cut into 2-inch pieces - about 2-cups)
1/2 medium red bell pepper, cut into strips (2x1/4-inch)
1 T. honey mustard

Place beans in 1-inch of water in a 1-1/2 quart saucepan. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Boil, uncovered, 5 minutes. Cover and boil 5-10 minutes longer or until beans are crisp-tender; drain. Stir in bell pepper and honey mustard.

A new favorite....because not only did I grow sweet potatoes, but I purchased a "boat-load" at Wal-Mart after Thanksgiving when they were 10-cents a pound and I've been trying new sweet potato recipes ;-)

Parmesan Sweet Potato Rounds

1/4 c. chicken broth
2 medium sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices (2-cups)
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese blend
1-1/2 t. fresh or 1/2 t. dried thyme leaves

Heat oven to 375-degrees F. Spray a 9-inch pie plate with non-stick cooking spray. Pour broth into pie plate. Place
potato slices in an overlapping double layer over broth in pie plate. Sprinkle cheese and thyme evenly over potatoes. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake 30-minutes; remove foil. Bake 12-15 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender and broth is absorbed.


    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 8:21AM
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Does anyone have any ideas on dressing up a can of green beans? Not gourmet I know, but sometimes it is all I have available.

MIL would put a scoop of bacon fat in them but that grosses me out.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 8:30AM
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The following are all T&T.

Roasted Beets with Pine Nuts, Dill, and Red Onion

2 pounds golden beets (red beets work well, too)
1/2 cup water
1 cup thinly vertically sliced red onion (about 1 small)
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons extravirgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 450�.
Leave root and 1 inch of stem on beets; scrub with a brush. Place beets in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish; add 1/2 cup water to dish. Cover and bake at 450� for 40 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain; cool. Trim off beet roots; rub off skins. Slice each beet into 8 wedges.

Maple Roasted Vegetables   
From Cuisine at Home Holiday Menus 

1/4 c olive oil   
1/4 c maple syrup   
1 lb rutabaga, peeled and cut into 2" pieces   
1 lb baby carrots   
1 lb turnips, quartered   
1 lb parsnips, quartered lengthwise   
1 red onion, cut into wedges   
Salt & pepper to taste   
Chopped fresh thyme 

Preheat oven to 375F. Coat 2 large baking sheets with cooking spray. 

Whisk oil and syrup together in a small bowl. Combine prepared vegetables in a large bowl and drizzle with oil/syrup mixture. Sprinkle with salt & pepper, toss to coat. Divide vegetables between baking sheets and roast in oven until tender and browned, about 45 minutes. 

Sprinkle with thyme before serving.   

Grilled Vidalia Onions 

From: Cooking Secrets of the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) 

6 vidalia onions   
3 tsp salt   
1\-1/2 tsp pepper   
1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped   
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped   
6 T butter   
6 T balsamic vinegar 

Preheat charcoal or gas grill. Cut twelve 12 inch squares of aluminum foil. Peel onions and trim the root end. Be careful to leave the core in place to hold each onion together as it cooks. Make 3 or 4 cuts across the top of each onion, cutting about 2/3 of the way down to create wedges. 

Set each onion in the center of a double\-layered foil square, root end down. Sprinkle onions with salt, pepper and herbs, and top each with a tablespoon of butter. Pull foil up over each onion creating a pouch, leaving the top of the onion exposed. 

Pour 1 tablespoon ov vinegar into each onion.   
Place onions on top shelf of gas grill or around edge of charcoal grill over medium heat. Cook until onions are tender, about an hour. 

Place each onion in individual bowl. The onions will spread open like a flower, pour accumulated juices over each onion and serve.   

Roasted Corn, Black Bean and Mango Salad
Source: Cooking Light

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups fresh corn kernels (about 6 ears)
2 cups diced peeled ripe mango (about 2 pounds)
1 cup chopped red onion
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 drained canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, chopped
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
8 cups gourmet salad greens

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds. Stir in corn; cook 8 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Place corn mixture in a large bowl. Add mango and remaining ingredients except greens; stir well. Arrange 1 cup greens on each of 8 plates. Spoon 1 cup corn mixture over greens.

Red Radish Salad   
Rachael Ray 

2 teaspoons sugar   
1 lemon, juiced   
1/2 cup sour cream   
8 red radishes, thinly sliced   
2 Delicious apples, quartered cored and thinly sliced   
1/2 European seedless cucumber, thinly sliced   
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill   
Salt and black pepper 

Combine sugar, lemon juice, and sour cream in a medium bowl with a fork. Add radishes, apple, and cucumber.   
Turn vegetables and fruit in dressing to coat. Season with dill, salt, and pepper, toss again; serve. 

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 8:33AM
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stir fryi, I love green beans - fresh or canned. I almost think of them as two different vegetables. Sometimes for canned I will sautee some onion and garlic in olive oil (or bacon grease!) and then throw in the drained beans until they are warm. They are also good tossed with a warmed vinaigrette. Fresh or jarred roasted red peppers are a nice addition sometimes. Garlic and lemon are nice too.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 10:34AM
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My easy and delicious go to veggie side dishes:
Beans and tomatoes, sauteed in oil with garlic and steak spices;
Eggplants, pepper, onion, tomatoes sauteed in oil and steak spices until all is tender (I also add some cooked green plantains to this dish to make it more filling);
Sauteed mushrooms in butter;
Any combination of roasted veggies that are first coated with oil and steak spices;
garlic mashed plantains:)

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 10:43AM
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We use canned green beans a lot, as they are DH's favorite, aside from fresh green beans, of course. What I usually do with the green beans is drain the liquid and saute them in olive oil. Sometimes I'll saute a little onion or shallot in the olive oil first. Then I'll add the green beans, a sprinkle of dried sage or some other herb such as parsley or savory, and just saute until hot. Then I'll add a touch of lemon juice.

Another thing I'll do with canned green beans is cook them in the water, and add some red new potatoes. I'll also add some onion to that, too. Greenbeans and new potatoes is one of DH's favorite dishes. Actually, as the green beans don't take as long to cook, I'll cook the potatoes till almost tender, then add the green beans. I'll do green beans and potatoes with fresh green beans, too, which is a lot better, but I don't always have fresh at hand.

I made up a roasted sweet potato and onion dish the other night. All the veggie eaters in the house gobbled it up. I've never tried writing out a recipe from something I've just winged, but I did try it with this one. I hope I remembered everything.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes, onions and garlic with orange-spice rub

1 lb Sweet potatoes, cut up into 1/2 to 1 inch wedges or chunks
1 red onion, cut into 1 inch chunks
4 (or more) cloves garlic
2 tablespoons butter, softened or melted
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin seed per 1 lb. sweet potatoes (approx.) or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cumin
sprinkling of cinnamon
zest of 1 orange
1 large pinch brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
juice of 1/2 orange

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees

Grind cumin seeds and orange zest together with mortar and pestle, or mix ground cumin with orange zest. Place the cut vegetables on a baking sheet, and rub them with softened butter. Sprinkle with the cinnamon, cumin and orange zest mixture, salt and pepper. Place in pre-heated oven.

After 20 minutes, take out of oven, add olive oil and brown sugar, stir well, making sure all the vegetables are coated and turned. Place back into oven for about 20 more minutes.

Remove from oven and check for doneness and seasoning. The potatoes should be fork tender. Squeeze the juice of half an orange (You could probably use the whole orange, but I just used a half) over the potatoes, and everything, and stir. Place back into oven for 5 more minutes, just long enough to allow the orange juice to absorb and warm up, then remove from oven and serve up.


    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 11:32AM
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There are lots of easy ways to elevate vegetable side dishes.

1) Add a topping of crumbs or toasted nuts, a sprinkle of sesame seeds, parmesan or romano cheese, chopped olives or hard boiled egg yolk..
2) Serve with a pat of a flavored butter.
3) Mix in some herbs or spices. Sprinkle fresh chopped parsley or celery leaves on cooked vegetables.
4) Serve a grain and vegetable blended together - ex: rice mixed with peas or chopped spinach and sauteed onions
5) Marinate cooked vegetables in your favorite salad dressing and serve cold for a change.
6) Try adding some maple syrup, mustard or basalmic vinegar for a little extra flavor.
7) Vary veggie presentation. If you always serve zucchini cut into rounds, cut it in lengthwise strips. If you make au gratin potatoes sliced potatoes, cut them into small cubes for a change. Serve chopped spinach in a hollowed out halved tomatoes or steamed vegetables with individual bowls of a dipping sauce.
8) Puree leftover vegetables, thin out with a little milk or broth and mix with cooked small pasta shapes for a side dish for another meal.
9) Check out the Cookathon threads. There are so many great recipes for side dishes on the vegetable threads. Here's one that sally2 posted on the Carrot Cookalong thread that opened my eyes to the idea of combining vegetables and fruits together in a side dish.

Notes from the cookbook about the recipe:
"Apple and Carrot Confetti is a light and refreshing side dish or snack that takes almost no time to prepare. The amount of sugar needed, if any, will depend on the tartness of the apples and your preference for sweet or tart. Although I never add any sugar when I make this dish (I haven't a sweet tooth in my head), believe me, the traditional Czechoslovakian cook would not dream of omitting it."
Serves 4 to 6

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
4 apples (enough for 2 cups grated)
2 cups grated carrots
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons currants
1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
2 - 3 tablespoons sugar (optional)
mint leaves

Combine the lemon juice and orange juice. Grate the apples directly into the juices or they will turn brown quickly. Toss the apples with the rest of the ingredients and serve immediately, garnished with fresh mint leaves.

My note - I prefer dried cranberries to raisons or currents, so I substitute them for the currents, but whatever sounds good to you. I also have added slivered toasted almonds or walnuts to this dish at times.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 12:21PM
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stir_fryi -

Did you check the web site of your favorite kind of canned green bean for recipes?

Hubby likes this green bean recipe and I make it with fresh or frozen green beans. If you heat and drain canned green beans, the sauce would also work on them.

Spicy Asian Green Beans

1-bag (14-oz.) Green Giant Select frozen whole green beans

1/4 c. orange juice
1 t. cornstarch
3 T. reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/8-1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes
1 small clove garlic, minced

1) Cook green beans as directed on bag. Drain; place in serving bowl.
2) Meanwhile, in 1-quart saucepan, mix all sauce ingredients until well blended. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; simmer 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened and clear.
3) Stir sauce into cooked green beans to coat.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 2:29PM
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This thread couldn't have come at a better time for me. I'm making a concerted effort to get in all my fruits and vegetables each day and achieving that via salads just doesn't work for me.

Nancy - I agree that your vegetable mix is perfect. I scarfed down four servings (two cups) of the veggies for lunch and think I could be happy with that meal several times a week!

Jessy - Thanks for starting this thread and for your opening recipe. I threw the beans in the oven half-way through roasting a chicken, and my wife and I really enjoyed. It will be repeated.

I hope to read many more ideas on here!

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 8:52PM
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Sissyz, all your combos sound great. If you have the chance, could you be more specific about cooking directions? What temp, how long, what kind of dish, in the oven, on the stove, etc.? (Some of us need to be explained everything!)

Bumblebeez, your aparagus sounds wonderful. You say you steam it. In a basket steamer over a pot? How long? Then just mix in the walnuts and cranb's? Your other dish sounds really good to me too, but dh never eats cheese, so I have to cross that one off my list!

A lot of the recipes on this thread look amazing!

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 9:19PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Thanks Stinky! I did post my most simple of vegetables dishes and feel a little overwhelmed by all the wonderful recipes here which I also plan on trying.
Anyway, I cut the asparagus up and steam in the microwave (on a pie plate, a little water, cover with a plate) for about 5 minutes. Sometimes I use a vegetable steamer but not always. It is also good roasted.
And that's it: mix with the other ingredients.
Add salt and pepper if you wish.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 9:40PM
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Jessy, sorry. I must have misread the request. I thought you were looking for something simple. Silly me.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 9:55PM
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stinky, I'm with your DH, I seldom eat cheese and usually don't care for cheese sauces/etc. on vegetables. I do like a little grating of fresh parmesan on some, though.

sissyz, like you, I could eat nearly a head of cabbage, just sauteed, maybe with a little onion in there. Yum, I love it.

Stir-fryi, I'm guilty of just opening a jar of home canned green beans, heating and eating with a grinding of pepper. My girls liked it if I'd chop up a couple of slices of bacon, stir until crispy. Add a jar of drained green beans and a handful of slivered almonds.

I do love roasted vegetables, who posted the popcorn cauliflower, that's delicious.

I like these beets, but you have to like horseradish!

Beets Rolled in Horseradish Butter:

12 baby beets or 6 full size beets
2 Tbs Butter
1 Tbs Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tbs Freshly Grated Horseradish
Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper (to taste)

-Begin by scrubbing and cleaning the beets
-Cook beets 30 minutes in lightly salted boiling water, or bake until tender.
-Rinse under cool water and slip off the skins.
-Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
-Add 1 tablespoon freshly grated horseradish root.
-Add 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar.
-Add the cooked beets, stirring gentle to coat.
-Season with salt and pepper to taste.
-Serve hot.
Start a second season crop of beets

Alton Brown got it right with these:

Chipotle Smashed Sweet Potatoes
Recipe courtesy Alton Brown
Yield: 4 servings
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 whole canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
1 teaspoon adobo sauce from can of peppers
1/2 teaspoon salt

Put cubed potatoes into steamer basket and place steamer into a large pot of simmering water that is no closer than 2 inches from the bottom of basket. Allow to steam for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. Add butter to potatoes and mash with potato masher. Add peppers, sauce, and salt and continue mashing to combine. Serve immediately.

Maque Choux
(From Chef2Chef)

Makes 8 or more servings

1/2 cup unsalted butter or 4 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 small hot pepper, finely chopped (optional)
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
4 cups corn kernels (preferably fresh corn, cut from the cob -- about 4 ears or 1 1/2 pounds)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, chopped
1 cup chicken stock (or canned, low-sodium broth)

Melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, peppers, garlic and sauté for 5 minutes, until onions are translucent.

Stir in corn, tomatoes, pepper and cook 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

Pour in stock. Reduce heat to medium low. Cover partially and cook until all the liquid is absorbed (about 45 minutes.) Stir occasionally.


1. You can make this dish with frozen corn and canned tomatoes, and it will be good ��" BUT it’s really meant for midsummer, when fresh corn and tomatoes are at their peak. At that time, it’s INCREDIBLE!

2. If you want to make this a vegetarian dish, I suggest substituting vegetable broth for the chicken stock.

And I really, really like this, but it's more dessert than a veggie side dish. Don't let the parsnips fool you...


2 lbs. Parsnips (6-8)
1 lb. Pears (3)
1/4 cup butter
2 four inch sprigs fresh rosemary
1 thirteen oz jar orange marmalade
Sea salt
Black pepper, freshly ground
1/2 lemon

Peel and quarter parsnips lengthwise. If quite large, cut top quarters in half again. Cook parsnips in boiling salted water 5-8 minutes or until barely tender. Drain. Core pears and cut into thin wedges.

In large skillet cook pears and parsnips in butter for 15 minutes over medium heat or until golden, stirring occasionally. Remove rosemary leaves from sprigs and stir leaves into parsnip mixture along with marmalade. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and cook for 15 minutes, uncovered, until parsnips are tender and glazed stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Squeeze lemon over parsnips just before serving.

I love vegetables and a couple of those recipes of Linda's (doucanoe) are favorites of mine too, like the Maple Glazed vegetables.


    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 10:11PM
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Great responses and they are most helpful. I culled through for the veggies that everyone in my family will eat, LOL. Nancy your dish looks like it will fit the bill, and looks like FOAS has seconded that. Hey FOAS glad you tried the hoisin/OJ/sesame oil mix, it worked?

Tahini is a good suggestion, I will work with that.

Peppi, LOL no harm no foul. How is your arthritis doing. I hurt just thinking about it. Hugs, gently.

Sounds like we are all on a veggie kick, the more the merrier!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 12:22AM
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Ginger Carrots
Saute shredded or matchstick carrots with ground ginger or minced fresh ginger (I keep it in the freezer) a bit of butter and a pinch of brown sugar until they have reached whatever degree of doneness you prefer.

Saute a chopped onion in a bit of olive oil. Add some minged garlic, a peeled cubed eggplant, some red and/or green peppers cut into big chunks, and some peeled fresh or a can of tomatoes. Add some dry thyme or a couple of branches of fresh thyme, a bay leaf, and a piece of orange zest, if you have it. Simmer until the eggplant is tender. Add some cut up summer squash and simmer for a few minutes more until tender. Serve hot, warm, or cold, or use as omelet filling.

Roasted cauliflower
As suggested above in the thread, but make sure you add lots of sliced garlic.

Sesame carrots
Saute matchstick carrots in a bit of oil until starting to brown. Finish with some sesame oil, a little rice vinegar, and a splash of soy sauce. Sprinkle with some toasted sesame seed (pre-toasted sesame seeds are sold in the Asian food section).

Corn Black Bean Salad
Combine diced onion, diced red and green pepper, a bag of frozen corn (don't bother to thaw), and a drained can of black beans. Dress with a olive oil and lime juice (2-3T oil per T of lime juice) and some chopped cilantro.

Roasted Kohlrabi (Really! My vegetable hating husband loves it!)
Peel a couple of kohlrabi, cut into wedges, toss in oil, salt and pepper and roast on a cookie sheet in a hot oven until golden, turning once or twice. Even the pickiest vegetable eater will like it.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 1:06AM
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Pkramer, over on the Home Dec forum there was a recent discussion of how the use of the word "budget" is relative! Guess over here, the word "simple" is relative!

When it comes to food, my observation has been that "simple" has its challenges too. Every little ingredient has to be fresh, and high quality, or the dish will be a flop. Have noticed the same principle at work in decorating. The less stuff you have in the room, the more exquisite & interesting each thing needs to be!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 8:05AM
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I love roasted vegetables, but this was a wonderful dish my sister tried when she was here last year. It was a delicious way to serve green beans!

Green Beans with Crispy Pancetta, Mushrooms, and Shallots
Serves 8

Kosher salt
1-1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed
2-1/2 ounces thinly sliced pancetta (five or six 1/4- to 1/2-inch-thick slices)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
6 medium cremini mushrooms, trimmed, halved if large, and very thinly sliced
2 medium-large shallots, halved lengthwise and very thinly sliced
1/4 cup very thinly sliced fresh sage leaves
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Fill a large mixing bowl with ice cubes and water and set aside. Fill a 6- or 7-quart pot two-thirds full of well-salted water. Bring the water to a boil, and boil the beans, uncovered, until tender to the bite, 4 to 6 minutes. Drain, transfer the beans to the bowl of ice water, and let sit until cooled, about 2 minutes. (This completely stops the cooking process and retains the color of the beans.) Drain and pat dry.

Put the pancetta in a 12-inch nonstick skillet and cook over medium-low heat until crisp and browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and coarsely crumble. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool slightly.

Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and return it to medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, shallots, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring frequently, until both are nicely browned and shrunken, about 5 minutes. Add the sage and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Take the pan off the heat and add the vinegar, mustard, and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Stir to combine.

Return the pan to medium heat, add the green beans and toss to combine and heat through, 2 to 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Transfer to a warm serving platter and garnish with the pancetta.

Make ahead: The beans can be boiled and refrigerated up to 6 hours ahead. The remaining ingredients can also be prepped up to 6 hours ahead and held in the refrigerator. An hour before finishing, remove the beans from the refrigerator to come to room temperature.

Source: Fine Cooking, Oct/Nov 2009


    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 8:21AM
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This is a very good topic for a thread. Vegetables, while great for good health, can be boring sometimes if prepared in a "simple" and "budget" way.

I enjoy vegetables, and I enjoy exploring different simple ways of making them.

I will be posting on a separate thread a few dishes I made, so that I don't distract the discussions in this thread.


    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 8:23AM
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Bumblebeez, thanks for more details!

Dcarch, lol! I look forward to reading your recipes, wherever you post them.

This is an amazing thread. I'm learning so much here!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 8:43AM
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Jessy - thanks for starting this thread, I am always looking for easy but different ways to prepare veg. I seem to get stuck in the same old rut of either steaming or roasting.

I'm saving many of the healthy recipes on this thread. thanks everyone for sharing your recipes and ideas.


    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 9:20AM
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There are some great ideas here! I was getting in a veggie rut too and needed a little shake up. Thanks Jessy - this is a fantastic idea!


    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 9:27AM
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I've copied and pasted this whole thread. I'm eager to start trying them out.


    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 10:20AM
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Jessy, thank you for asking. I am lucky it is doing "well". I did see on another post where you mentioned that pain makes you cranky. I am sorry to read that. I guess I am lucky, I don't have that reaction.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 1:28PM
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Oooh I just thought of another 'sauce' that I think my picky family (read: DS#2....) would like over roasted stuff. These are my go-to cold soba noodle salad recipes, no reason they can't be used elsewhere.

Spicy Cold Soba Noodles

1/3 cup soy sauce
1 tbls molasses
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup chili oil
3 tbls balsamic or red wine vinegar
1/2 bunch thinly sliced scallions, white and green
1/2 lb soba noodes

Place soy sauce in a pan over high heat and reduce by half. Turn heat to low, stir in molasses, and warm briefly. Transfer to a serving bowl. Add brown sugar through scallions and whisk to combine.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add noodles; bring back to a boil, and cook, stirring occasionally, until they just begin to soften, about three minutes.
Have ready a large bowl of iced water. Drain noodles, plunge in iced water, and drain again (I just rinse with cold water in the colander). Transfer noodles to the serving bowl that has the sauce, toss well and chill.
From City Cuisine by Feniger and Milliken.

Sesame Noodles (Chien Noir) by Susan Branch
serves 6

1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup soy sauce (or Tamari)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons chili oil
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/2 cup green onions
16-ounces thin udon noodles

Look for any unfamiliar ingredients at your health food store. Whisk together tahini and water; whisk in soy sauce, vegetable oil, sugar, vinegar, garlic, chili oil and sesame oil. Finely chop green onions. Cook the noodles according to package; lightly coat them with sauce, tossing gently. Sprinkle green onions and serve. Best hot or at room temperature. Try Chinese egg noodles if you can�t find udon!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 4:56PM
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stinky-gardener, so sorry! This is how I make my veggie sides:
Roasted asparagus: break spears into bite sized pieces, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast @ 450 for 25 minutes.
Chilled sweat peas dressed with mint: chilled fresh sweet peas, strings pulled tossed with mint dressing: shake together the following: 8TBPS olive oil, handful of mint roughly chopped, juice of 2 lemons and salt and pepper.
Cherry tomatoes, sliced in half and salted, tossed with bocconcini and basil leaves.
Southern style green beans, In dutch oven simmer 1 lb fresh green beans, 6 cups water, chunks of ham hock or fat back, ground black pepper, 1/4 cup white vinegar 1/3 cup margarine. Simmer for 2 hours.
Cauliflower with tahini Roast oiled cauliflower florets @ 450 till browned, blend 1tbsp tahini with juice of 1 lemon, handful of parsley, 1/4 cup water, salt and 1 clove garlic. Pour tahini dressing over hot cauliflower. YUm!!
Tomatoes, Fennel and Watercress salad. Salad: 3 cups watercress, 2 fennel bulbs, 6 tomatoes. Dressing: 2 TBSP white wine vinegar, 4 teaspoons chopped tarragon leaves, 2 teaspoons dijon mustard, 5 TBSP olive oil, 1 TBSP fennel seed. Toss salad with dressing!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 7:20PM
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I'm saving this thread. Thanks, J!

I had to LOL at the comment: "I guess I am lucky, I don't have that reaction." Except maybe online?! LOL ;-)

Eh, who cares. Snark away all you want!

Lori :-D

    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 8:12PM
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Guess "budget" "simple" and "cranky" are ALL relative terms!

Sissyz, Thanks so much! It was so nice of you to go to all that trouble. I really appreciate the extra details. Everything you make sounds marvelous...I want to try all your dishes! Your family is so lucky; you're quite an inventive and creative cook.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 8:21PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I love Sesame Noodles too and here is the recipe I use all the time. It is modified from Pioneer Woman's recipe.
I like it with lots of stir fried sliced red peppers, green onions, shrimp and broccoli. And angel hair pasta.

Dh gobbles it up but I don't tell him it has sugar in it.

1/4 cup Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Sugar
4 cloves Garlic, Minced
2 Tablespoons Seasoned Rice Vinegar
3 Tablespoons Toasted Sesame Oil
1 Tablespoon canola oil

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 9:02AM
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This is a simple one by Ina Garten. The thiness of the cabbage plus the browning makes it different and oh so good.

Sauteed Cabbage

1 small head white cabbage, including outer green leaves (2 1/2 pounds)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cut the cabbage in half and, with the cut-side down, slice it as thinly as possible around the core, as though you were making coleslaw. Discard the core.

Melt the butter in a large saute pan or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the cabbage, salt, and pepper and saute for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is tender and begins to brown. Season, to taste, and serve warm.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 9:55AM
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I'm a huge fan of braised cabbage. I've done it with onions, apples, (fake) bacon, carrots, caraway, dill and any combination of them, with a little cider vinegar or tomato sauce and sugar, or lemon juice and honey, etc. Just a touch. Very, very good, IMHO.

Here's one that hasn't been mentioned AGRODOLCE, which is "sweet and sour" in italian. I do this mostly to use up all this never ending mint that I have dried from the garden. I am making cauliflower agrodolce tonight for dinner.

Squash Agrodolce from "La Cucina Ebraica" by Joyce Goldstein
2 lb. of squash, sliced about 1/2 inch slices, in the case of butternut or hubbard squash, peeled.
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint (Note: I am NOT a mint fan so I'd probably use half of this. Since I use dried mint, I use about 1 TBLSP. Can always add more later if you want)
2-3 cloves fresh garlic, sliced paper thin
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of ground cinnamon (optional)
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

Put half of oil in large saucepan. Sautee the squash until tender. Combine with mint and garlic. (Note: you could add some onions to this too, if you wanted). Season with salt and pepper.

To the remaining oil, add the vinegar, sugar and cinn, if using, and cook until the sugar dissolves and the sauce thickens, about 5 min. Season with salt and pepper if desired (I use as little salt as possible, so would probably skip that step)

Pour the sauce over the squash. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Cauliflower Agrodolce from "Moosewood Restuarant Lowfat Favorites"

2 cups onions, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tsp. olive oil (I'd probably double)
1 large cauliflower
1 28 oz. can undrained whole tomatoes
2/3 cups raisins
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
Sugar, salt and ground black pepper to taste

Saute the onions and garlic in the EVOO in a large saucepan/braiser/dutchoven. Meanwhile, cut and core the cauliflower into smalish florets. Chop tomatoes or squeeze by hand. Add the tomatoes and wine vinegar, and raisins to the pan. Simmer for a few min. to blend flavors. Then add the cauliflower, and cook for 10-12 min., until florets are tender. Adjust seasoning to taste with sugar, salt and pepper. Serve hot, room temp. or chilled.

Note: you can combine the two recipes, and add mint and cinnamon to the tomato sauce. You can add other veggies to this too, such as cabbage and carrots.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 1:21PM
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A similar recipe to some of these, but one that I did last night and tasted GREAT. I live in very cold right now upper Illinois (yesterday it was -9 actual temp when I left my house!) so we don't have anything "fresh" at all.

One package of those broccoli and cauliflower individual cut pieces - the ones you can steam in the bag and you find in the deli section. Steam for 1-2 minutes only, until just soft.

Then toss with a tiny bit of olive oil (or butter) and some seasoning. I use a salt free garlic and herb seasoning, and some crushed red pepper flakes. Spread on baking sheet, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Roast until cheese melted, veggies done.

My picky picky wife had three servings!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2011 at 1:44PM
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