Vegetable Recipes: Easily Add More Super Veggies to Your Diet

I talk to my patients a lot about food choices. I often find that most of them don’t experiment much with vegetables. So, I’ve pulled together some of my favorite recipes for each of the Super Vegetables that I talk about in the article: 10 Super Vegetables for Better Health. These super-nutrient rich vegetables  should become a mainstay in your cooking repertoire. You’ll notice that the basic cooking technique is simple–steamed, baked, broiled, boiled, etc. It is the herbs and seasonings, however, that takes an ordinary vegetable to a whole new level of super tasty!

Aim to include 5 servings every day. How much in a serving depends on the vegetable:

Serving Size

  • Half a cup of chopped vegetables = One serving.
  • One cup of leafy greens = One serving.


You can jump to a recipe by clicking on a link below:

Roasted Pepper Strips and Onions (Rajas)

  • 2 poblano chiles
  • 2 large bell peppers-1 red and 1 green
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic


  • 1 tablespoon olive or grapeseed oil
  • Salt
  • Fresh lime juice or sherry vinegar

Roast and peel the poblanos and bell peppers as described below. Remove the seeds. Cut the chiles and peppers into strips about 1/2 inch wide, put them in a bowl, any juice created from cutting them, pour over the peppers.

Saute the onion and garlic in the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat just until the onion begins to brown around the edges, about 5 minutes. Combine with pepper strips and season with salt. ‘When ready to serve, add a little lime juice to sharpen the flavors. These will keep in a covered container in refrigerator for several days.

To Roast Chiles: lay them on top of your stove burner, until the skin is black, keep turning the chile to evenly roast. Place in a paper or plastic bag to cool. Use a paper towel and rub off the charred skin. Leaving some charred skin on chile is ok. Remove the seeds for a less spicy dish.

These pepper and onions can be severed as a vegetable or used in quesadillas, enchiladas or omelets.


Tomatoes Glazed with Balsamic Vinegar

  • 1 1/2 pounds ripe but firm tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 plump shallot, finely diced
  • Salt and freshly milled pepper


Instructions (back to top)
Core the tomatoes, then cut them into wedges about 1 1/2 inches across at the  widest point. In a skillet large enough to hold the tomatoes in a single layer, heat the butter until it foams. Add the tomatoes and saute over high heat, turning them over several times, until their color begins to dull, about 3 minutes. Add the vinegar and shallot and shake the pan back and forth until the vinegar has reduced, leaving a dark, thick sauce. Season with salt and plenty of pepper.

Serves 4.


Braised Collards or Turnip Greens

  • 4 bunches collards or turnip greens, long stems and tough ribs removed
  • 1/4 cup Brown Butter, see below
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Instructions (back to top)
Plunge the greens into a large pot of boiling salted water, cook them for 10 minutes, then remove to a bowl. Reserve l/2 cup of the cooking water. Heat the butter with the onion, garlic, and pepper flakes in a wide skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is lightly colored and the onion is soft. Add the greens, their reserved cooking water, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook for 30 minutes and taste again for salt. They use a lot. Serve with the hot pepper sauce on the side.

Serves 4.

Brown Butter: Add a little over 1/4 cup butter to a small pan. Heat on low to medium heat until the butter starts to brown – the milk fats will settle to the bottom of the pan. The more you brown the butter the more intense the nutty flavor, but do not burn it. To use, skim the butter off the top, leave behind as much of the browned milk fat as possible.

Tip: A splash of vinegar or a squeeze of lemon is often the secret element that brings a dish to life by heightening all other flavors. A squeeze of lemon or light splash of vinegar sweetens, softens and sharpens, making everything taste better.

Baked Sweet Potatoesth

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Choose sweet potatoes of similar size if cooking more than one. Scrub well and bake until very tender when pierced, 50 to 60 minutes for a 12-ounce potato. To serve, slice lengthwise, break up the flesh with a fork, and add the traditional pat of butter, some Chile Butter, see recipe below, or even a little dark sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Chile Butter

  • 1 large jalapeno, 2 serrano chiles, or 1New Mexican long green chile, roasted
  • Finely chopped zest of 1 lime
  • 1/4 pound butter, slightly softened
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice or more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 scallion, including an inch of the green, thinly sliced
  • Few pinches salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

Mince the chiles with the lime zest, then beat into the butter and add the remaining ingredients. Roll into a log, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until needed.

To Roast Chiles: lay them on top of your stove burner, until the skin is black, keep turning the chile to evenly roast. Place in a paper or plastic bag to cool. Use a paper towel and rub off the charred skin. Leaving some charred skin on chile is OK. Remove the seeds for a less spicy dish.

 Tip: Ingredients that go well with sweet potatoes: Butter, dark sesame and roasted peanut oil, ginger, allspice, orange, chiles, nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup, pecans and black walnuts. (back to top)


Steamed Cauliflower

  • 1 cauliflower, 1 ½ to 2 pounds
  • 4 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Chopped tarragon or parsley

(back to top)
Cut through the stems and pull the florets apart. Trim the ends and peel and dice the stems. Chop any leaves into small pieces. Steam everything over boiling water until the florets are tender but firm when pierced with a knife, 5 to 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a wide skillet over medium heat. Add the cauliflower and roll it around in the butter. Cook until the butter begins to smell nutty (this is called brown butter). Season with salt, pepper, and tarragon (or parsley) to taste.

Serves 4 to 6.


Skillet Asparagus

  • 2 to 3 pounds asparagus, trimmed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 to 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter or extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh herbs (try one of these: tarragon, chervil or basil)

Instructions (back to top)
Put the asparagus in a large skillet of cold water with the tips going in the same direction. Bring to a boil, add salt to taste and simmer uncovered until just tender when pierced with a knife, 8 to 10 minutes, depending on size. Don’t wait for a stalk to hang limply when you pick it out of the water, because they continue to cook when removed from the heat. Set the asparagus on a kitchen towel to drain for a minute, and then transfer to a large platter. Dot with butter or drizzle with olive oil, season with pepper and scatter the herbs over. Gently roll the stalks around to coat them. You can at this point add a squeeze of fresh lemon to give it a pop of flavor.

Serves 4 to 6.


Baked Spaghetti Squash with Guyere Cheese and Parsley

  • 1 spaghetti squash, about 3 pounds, punctured with a fork a few times
  • 1/2 to 1 cup grated Guyere
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup parsley chopped with 1 garlic clove
  • Salt and freshly milled pepper

Instructions (back to top)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake the squash until the flesh is yielding and soft, an hour or more. Slice the squash in half and scrape out the seeds. Now drag a fork through the flesh pulling the strands apart. Toss them with the parsley, cheese, and butter. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Serves 4

Spaghetti Squash with Tomato Sauce.
Tomato sauces of all kinds are good with spaghetti squash. After baking, removing the seeds and scraping up the strands, toss the strands lightly with olive oil, salt, and freshly milled pepper, then pile them on a platter. Make a nest in the middle for 1 to 2 cups tomato sauce. Toss then serve. Pass Parmesan cheese at the table.

Note: Fully cooked spaghetti squash will be a little crunchy.

Provencal Winter Squash Gratin

  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds butternut squash
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • Salt and freshly milled pepper
  • 3 tablespoons flour (use Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose Gluten Free Baking Flour as a substitute)
  • Extra virgin olive oil

(back to top)
Preheat the oven to 325°F and oil a shallow earthenware baking dish. Peel the squash and cut it into even-sized cubes, from 1/3 inch to 1 inch. Toss it with the garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. Add the flour and toss again until the pieces are coated lightly, letting the excess fall to the bottom. Pile the squash into the dish and drizzle oil generously over the top. Bake, uncovered, until the squash is browned and tender when pierced with a knife, about 2 hours. When served, the individual pieces will collapse into a puree.

Serves 4 to 6


Steamed or Boiled Carrots

  • 1 1/2 pounds carrots, scrubbed or peeled
  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley
  • 2 teaspoons of chopped fresh herbs (try lemon thyme, regular thyme, chervil, dill, mint or lovage)

Instructions (back to top)
Leave small carrots whole; cut large carrots into round ovals, matchsticks or whatever shape you want. Make sure all pieces are about the same size to ensure even cooking.

Cook carrots, uncovered, in plenty of salted water until tender-firm, then drain. Turn them into a bowl and add butter or oil, season with salt and pepper and toss until butter is melted. Add herbs and toss again.

Note: You can also steam the carrots. Cooking time is a little longer by 2 to three minutes when steaming.

Serves 4 to 6


Broccoli with Garlic, Red Pepper Flakes and Parmesan

  • 1 ½ pound broccoli
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 thinly sliced garlic cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper flakes
  • Parmesan cheese – thinly shaved or grated

(back to top)
Trim broccoli into large florets with stems attached. Peel the stems and cut thick ones lengthwise in half so that the heat gets to them from inside out. Cook broccoli in plenty of boiling salted water until tender, 5 to 7 minutes, and then drain.

Note: You can also steam the broccoli. Cooking time is a little longer when steaming.

Warm olive oil and garlic in a large skillet until the garlic begins to color – light golden. Add ¼ teaspoon pepper flakes, the broccoli and salt and pepper to taste. Sauté until heated through. Turn into a dish and sprinkle with Parmesan. The heat of the broccoli will soften the cheese and bring out its flavor.

Serves 4 to 6

Eggplant Roundseggplant_recipes_full_1332518536

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Large rounds or slabs of golden eggplant, simply seasoned, can be served as a side dish, but they also serve as the foundation for other dishes, such as roll-ups and gratins. Use globe eggplant or small, plump Italian varieties. Keep all the skin on or remove it in strips to make a decorative design. Slice the eggplant into rounds or lengthwise into slabs 1/2 to 1/4 inch thick, sprinkle with salt, let stand for 30 minutes, then blot dry. Brush both sides generously with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

TO BROIL: Broil the eggplant about 4 inches from the heat until browned, about 10 minutes. Turn and broil the second side.

TO BAKE: Bake the eggplant slices on a sheet pan at 425°F until browned on the bottom, 15 to 25 minutes. Tum and bake the second side until browned.

TO GRILL: Cut small, slender eggplants lengthwise in half. Cut larger eggplants into rounds, diagonals, or steaks 3/8 inch thick. Brush generously with olive oil and lay them on the grill. Leave them for 4 minutes, then turn them 45 degrees and cook another 4 minutes. Turn them over and repeat. Remove and season lightly with salt and pepper.

Use these rounds as a base for the more substantial dishes that follow. These make a great filling for a sandwich.

Eggplant Rounds with Gremolata
First make the Gremolata, a simple mixture of 3 to 4 tablespoons chopped parsley, 1 garlic clove (or more if you like more), and grated or chopped zest of 1/2 a lemon. Prepare eggplant rounds using the method you prefer. As soon as they’re cooked, sprinkle the Gremolata over them and serve.

Broiled or Grilled Eggplant with Goat Cheese and Salsa Verde
Cover broiled or grilled eggplant with crumbled goat cheese and broil until softened. Drizzle Salsa Verde and garnish with neatly diced ripe tomato.

Salsa Verde:

  • 1/2 lb of fresh tomatillos (Mexican green tomato) remove husk, rinse and chop
  • fresh garlic – 2 cloves finely chopped
  • fresh cilantro – 1 cup finely chopped or to taste
  • fresh, canned or jarred jalapeno slices – 1/2 to 1 tbsp chopped  (remove ribs and seeds to reduce heat if desired)
  • fresh squeezed lime juice – 1 tbsp or to taste

In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients and toss well. Taste and adjust cilantro and lime juice to taste.

Note: Allow salsa to marinate in the refrigerator for several hours, tossing occasionally.

What’s your favorite recipes for these super vegetables?
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