Two Quick, Easy and Healthy Veggie Recipes

By on December 24, 2015

A while back, I had come to the discovery that for healthy weight management to be successful, one had to remove the concept of guilt from the practice of eating.

I had reached that conclusion after having exercised one morning.

As I was standing there, wondering what I should eat to replenish the energy I had used to fuel my workout, I was suddenly overcome with a sense of dread. The reason was because in my mind, I had associated the practice of eating with weight gain.

Food, throughout most of my life, was something I felt I needed to be careful of because I didn’t know how to enjoy healthy foods naturally. I also didn’t know what to keep around the house in an effort to make sure I had enough nutritionally sound foods available for convenience.

I also didn’t know how to prepare quick and easy dishes to replace the processed convenience foods that I had come to depend on – which often led to unconscious food choices and didn’t exactly support my efforts when it came to weight management and overall well-being.

Once I realized that the key to healthy habits was to not only enjoy and prefer nutrient dense foods, but to ensure they would be available at all times (or at least as often as possible), the guilt I had previously associated with food became a thing of the past.

I knew what I had to do and developed a plan of action. My willingness to try new things resulted in a new way of experiencing food and reaping the benefits of sound nutrition.

So now that I’m aware of what it means to eat consciously, and I practice it often, I’d like to share a couple of my favorite “go to” recipes that not only contain clean and high quality ingredients, but are easy to prepare and enjoyable.

Two Quick, Easy and Healthy Veggie Recipes

Crunchy Sauteed Cabbage and Veggies

This dish is the featured image of the post, and I can tell you that not only do I love it, but my husband does as well.

This, along with the other ones I’ll share can act as either a side dish, a snack or even a quick meal if you’re in a hurry.

The ingredients are simple:

  • half a head of cabbage (red or green – preferably organic)
  • half of a yellow/sweet onion
  • two cloves garlic (crushed or chopped)
  • 1/2 – 1 sweet bell pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • any other vegetable you wish to add

In a non-stick pan (I use a ceramic coated eco-friendly one), add ingredients together and saute on medium heat for 5-10 minutes.

If you are working with a smaller sized pan, you can always cut the recipe in half and prepare in two batches.

You want to make sure the veggies are cooked (not caramelized), but still crunchy.

This amount will serve about four people, but you can always double the ingredients and keep leftovers around, which I recommend for convenience.

This dish has become a favorite of mine because it’s simple to make, takes little time, keeps well in the fridge (can be eaten cold if desired) and it’s healthy.

Try it out as is or get creative with it.

Creamy Garlic Smashed Potatoes

Here is a healthy and guilt free way to enjoy potatoes.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 large red potatoes (preferably organic), scrubbed clean if the skin is left on
  • 1/2 chopped sweet onion
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • chopped green onion
  • 1/2 tbsp grass fed real butter or 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup organic plain greek yogurt
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cut the potatoes into small pieces and boil on medium heat for approximately 20-25 minutes (check after 20 minutes with a fork to test the texture and see if they’re soft and flaky).

While the potatoes are cooking – in a separate pan, combine onions, garlic, butter (or olive oil) and any other veggies you want to add. Saute until it’s the texture of the cabbage dish above.

Drain the potatoes and place into a bowl and using a potato masher, smash the potatoes.

Add in the contents from the pan, along with the yogurt, salt and pepper.

Mix all together and top with green onion for color and flavor.

It’s a great way to enjoy potatoes as a side dish or a snack using clean and nutrient dense ingredients.

You can always steam up some broccoli, cauliflower or any other vegetable(s) and add to the dish if desired.

Enjoy.

Baked Spaghetti Squash with Peppers 

If you haven’t tried spaghetti squash, you’re missing out.

I’m not going to lie here and tell you that it tastes anything like spaghetti, because it doesn’t. It does, however, take on the shape of spaghetti once you scrape the squash out of its “shell”.

For a single vegetable, it yields quite a bit of food – making this an inexpensive way to either feed several people, or have plenty leftover.

Ingredients:

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • jar of sliced banana and/or jalapeno peppers (fresh is fine too)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • minced garlic
  • any other vegetable you want to add
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place face down on a baking pan and bake at 375 for 35-50 mins (or until soft enough to puncture with a fork).

Allow to cool and scoop out “spaghetti” into a bowl.

Mix with olive oil, jalapeno and/or banana peppers, minced garlic and salt and pepper to taste.

Now while I happen to enjoy spaghetti squash, I will tell you that by itself, it can be pretty bland.

This is why I enjoy adding the peppers. If you like spicy dishes, the jalapenos are an ideal ingredient to add. If you prefer a mild flavor, the banana peppers add a tangy zing to the dish – which I happen to LOVE.

When it Comes to Health Food, the Sky’s the Limit

I can assure you that with the potatoes being the exception, there was a time when I would have (and did) reject the idea of eating cabbage, any type of squash, onions, peppers and many other vegetables.

I had to get to a place where I understood the value of keeping an open mind to trying new things, especially foods that offer high quality nutrition.

It was the best way to ensure that guilt would no longer play a role in my eating habits – which was one of the biggest inhibitors to maintaining a healthy weight without an ongoing struggle.

It’s also important for you to know that I am NOT a chef, nor do I have any real experience in the kitchen.

I simply had a strong enough desire to stop being a victim of my habits – which led to my willingness to try new things. Once that happened, a world of available options opened up for me and I’ve had a lot of fun using food as a creative outlet for healthy living ever since.

This will work for you as well if you allow it. I hope that the ideas presented here give you some inspiration.

If you happen to have any of your own to share, I encourage you to do so in the comments section.

Do you think you’ll try any of these recipes out?

About Dana Gore

Author of the book A Simple Guide to Exercise Safety (What You Don't Know CAN Hurt You), Dana Gore completed the curriculum at Fitness Institute International, Inc. as an outstanding graduate in 2009.

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