One of the biggest drawbacks to starting to eat better is that the perception is food must taste bland. Well if you don’t know how to cook them yep most anything healthy(ish) that you try to cook will taste pretty bland, BUT that is where I’m going to help you with some delicious veggie recipes.

If you’re just starting out your transformation or fitness journey, I’m going to give you 5 simple veggie recipes that won’t make you feel like you’re dieting.

Once you learn to cook a few easy veggie dishes, it makes the whole eating better gig MUCH better AND… wait for it…. Enjoyable. Yes. Enjoyable.

Side Note: You will see the word EVOO numerous times, for a heads up this stands for Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I just didn’t feel like writing that a dozen times. 😛



Oven Baked Crispy Green Beans

Veggie recipe - Oven Baked Crispy Green Beans

Photo courtesy of Simply 123 Allergy Free

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 Cups raw green beans, trimmed
  • Cooking spray of choice (I prefer EVOO or Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
  • Fine sea salt, to taste
  • Chinese Five Spice powder, to taste (optional)
  • Carb/fat-free popcorn seasoning (optional)

Total recipe size: 6 portions

INSTRUCTIONS

  • 400 oven
  • Place a cooling rack inside one of your rimmed baking sheets. Spray rack lightly with cooking spray.
  • Wash and dry (very well) the green beans.
  • Once dry, spread beans out on the sprayed rack – don’t overlap.
  • Spray beans with cooking spray and sprinkle with spices.
  • Bake 20-25 minutes until they shrivel and darken in color. As long as they aren’t burning, leave them in.
  • The flavor just gets better and better the longer they bake.
  • Can also sprinkle with a little popcorn seasoning as soon as you pull them from the oven.

 

Kale Chips

Kale Chips Veggie recipe

Photo courtesy of The Eco-Friendly Family

INGREDIENTS

  • EVOO cooking spray
  • 4 Cups *kale leaves
  • fine sea salt

Total recipe size: 4 portions

INSTRUCTIONS

*Kale prep, if you’re working with a head of kale:

  • Wash the kale very well, discard the woody center stems, and break leaves into med sized pieces (they shrink a lot

in the oven heat).

  • Use a salad spinner, or with paper towels, blot the leaves to remove all of the water (otherwise, the leaves will “steam”

in the oven, which will result in soggy chips).

  • Line a baking pan with parchment paper and spray parchment lightly with cooking spray.
  • Place leaves on the pan – close together, but not on top of one another. Overcrowding also leads to soggy chips.
  • Spray kale leaves lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle with fine sea salt.
  • Bake at 300 for 10 min, then rotate the pan and cook for 10 or 11 more minutes (your oven can be different).

Watch closely to avoid burning.

  • Remove from oven, sprinkle generously with popcorn seasoning – I like cheddar cheese flavor.
  • Leave on the pan to continue crisping. You can’t burn them now!
  • Allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

 

Cucumber Salad

Cucumber Salad - easy veggie recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp EVOO
  • S&P to taste
  • 3 Cups thinly sliced cucumber

Total recipe size: 3 portions

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Stir or whisk together fresh cilantro, lemon juice, EVOO and S&P.
  • Add cucumbers to a bowl, pour dressing over top and combine well.
  • Place in the fridge for a few hours to allow flavors to meld.

 

 

Photo Courtesy of MyRecipes.com

Oven Roasted Tomatoes

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 Cups plum tomatoes, quartered lengthwise
  • 2 Tbsp EVOO 
  • coarse sea salt
  • fresh cracked black pepper

Total recipe size: 4 equal portions 

INSTRUCTIONS

  • 325 oven
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Add tomatoes to the pan, drizzle with EVOO and sprinkle with S&P.
  • Roast for about 90 minutes.

 

Photo Courtesy of AtMyKitchenTable.com

Sesame Broccoli and Cauliflower

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 Cups raw broccoli florets
  • 5 Cups raw cauliflower florets
  • 3 Tbsp EVOO 
  • S&P to taste
  • 3 Tbsp natural almond butter 23
  • 3 Tbsp wheat free low sodium Tamari 6 3
  • 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp coconut flour 1 3 2
  • 1.5 Tbsp water (more as needed)
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp toasted black sesame seeds 2 1 5

Total recipe size: 10 equal portions

INSTRUCTIONS

  • 400 oven
  • Combine broccoli, cauliflower, and EVOO and toss to coat.
  • Spread on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment and sprinkle with S&P.
  • Bake 20-25 minutes, stirring and rotating the pan halfway through.
  • 5-10 minutes before cooking time is up, start the sauce:
  • Combine next 5 ingredients (almond butter through water) in a small saucepan.
  • Heat over low, stirring often and adding add’l water as needed to thin the sauce, then remove to cool slightly.
  • Remove roasted veggies from the oven and carefully transfer to a serving bowl.
  • Toss with warm sauce.
  • Sprinkle with scallions and sesame seeds.

 

 

In Health and Awesomeness,

Travis Merritt, BS, CPT, (and other cool letters behind the name) is the Owner of Rowlett Transformation Center in Rowlett, TX.

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