35 ways to cook unpopular veggies
who knew you could make least-loved veggies this tasty?
Published Aug 11, 2016 5:00 AM
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Honey And Beet Frozen Yogurt Who can resist a food that naturally colors your ice cream THIS vibrant shade of pink? Only five ingredients – including fresh beets – create this amazing frozen treat. Even if you’re not a beet lover, this recipe is totally worth a try. One half cup of honey keeps the end result plenty sweet, and you’ll be surprised at just how delicious frozen yogurt (with beets!) can be.
Detox Salad Super foods and detox salads are all the rage right now, so there’s no better time to introduce some new veg into your diet. This yummy detox salad is packed full of so many flavorful ingredients, you’ll be hard pressed to identify all of them. Kale, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, and carrots are just a few of the veggies happening here. As a bonus, this recipe is super easy to prep. Just pop everything into your food processor – including the dressing – and that’s it!
Rutabaga Fries Root veggies tend to get a bad rap for no other reason than people are often confused about how to cook them. If you find yourself faced with a pile of mysterious rutabagas in your CSA box, never fear. The easiest way to spark a relationship with this unpopular veg is to start with fries. And you’ll be glad to know that they’re much healthier than the potato version, packed full of antioxidants, vitamin C, beta-carotene, potassium, manganese, and fiber — all with the same creamy consistency of their french fried cousin.
Whole Roasted Cauliflower With Butter Sauce Anything that comes drizzled in a butter sauce deserves a chance, and that presentation is seriously tempting, too.
Bacon And Brussels Sprouts Skewers When in doubt, wrap in bacon and crisp.
Beet Bruschetta With Goat Cheese And Basil If you’re not familiar with beets (no, not the canned variety – actual fresh beets) they’re surprisingly sweet and extremely healthful. This recipe is a great jumping off point for a new veg like beets, as it’s simple and the presentation is stunning. Consider this an alternative to a sweet chutney that is often paired with cheese.
Thai Pea Soup This entire recipe comes together in the blender, and can even be served cold or room temp for summertime noshing. There are lots of flavors going on here besides peas to keep your taste buds guessing. If you have trouble sourcing any of the ingredients (like lemongrass paste, fresh ginger, or coconut milk) try the International foods aisle of your supermarket or an Asian specialty food shop.
Cajun Fried Okra Okra is often misunderstood. Southerners are accustomed to eating them pickled or mixed into gumbo, but they’re not as popular in other regions. The best way to get accustomed to this tiny green veg is to fry them – a time honored way to enjoy okra, and impossible to resist.
Turnip And Leek Blue Cheese Gratin When in doubt, cover with cheese and a cream sauce. You may even forget you’re eating vegetables.
Cabbage and Pea Salad This salad makes for a light, refreshing side dish to spring and summer fare. The dressing is simple and mayo-free, making it perfect for take-alongs and outdoor barbecues. Tip: Finely chopping your cabbage is key, so use a food processor or mandolin rather than slicing by hand.
Oven Baked Beet Chips Many veggies are tasty in chip form, and beets are no exception. Their naturally sweet taste comes to life with a sprinkle of salt over top. Tip: Red beets will stain your hands (sometimes for days!) so wear latex gloves as a precaution when handling them directly.
Creamy Baked Parsnips With Thyme Parsnips look like white carrots, but their flavor is much different. Many describe the taste as a cross between a carrot and a potato, but you should decide for yourself. These creamy baked parsnips would be an excellent alternative to your average mashed potato side when you’re ready to shake things up.
Radish Butter Believe it or not, sliced radishes and butter over bread is a time honored French snack. This take on the idea combines the radishes and butter – perfect for setting out as a serve-yourself appetizer for entertaining. Salt is key to bringing out the flavor of these simple ingredients, to don’t forget to season liberally.
Spicy Stir-Fry Cabbage This is a vegetarian take on Chinese stir-fry. While it’s perfectly tasty as is, you could also add in some chicken, beef, or shrimp to turn this side into a one-pan meal.
Watermelon Jicama Salad With Queso Fresco And Honey-Lime Vinaigrette While the name is long, the ingredient list is not. You’ll love the simple flavor of this yummy salad, and may even add jicama to your weekly shopping list.
Orecchiette With Peas, Pancetta, and Cream Peas love a cream sauce, so throw a handful into your next creamy pasta for a hit of veggie freshness. Tip: Peas are one of the few vegetables that are just as tasty frozen, so look for bags of them in the freezer section of your supermarket all year long.
Radish And Goat Cheese Toast Radishes have a uniquely spicy flavor, and pair perfectly with goat cheese. Consider this the most Instagram-worthy recipe of the bunch!
Grilled Turnips With Dill Olive Oil Foods are simply more tempting in skewer form, so try popping a few chunks of turnip onto one the next time you fire up your grill. And apartment dwellers, never fear – these can also be roasted in the oven.
Berry Beet Smoothie Beets are sweet, colorful, and perfect for smoothies. If the idea of roasting fresh beets sounds too laborious, this recipe calls for canned. Perfect!
Warm Quinoa Brussels Sprouts Salad Brussels sprouts, like cabbage, become quite fragrant when cooked – a smell that turns some off entirely. But, did you know that they can also be eaten raw, and are virtually fragrance-free? In fact, if you’ve never tried raw brussels sprouts in salad before, you might be surprised by their mild, lettuce-like flavor. As a bonus, brussels sprouts resist wilting, making them perfect for make-ahead salads.
Creamy Edamame And Pea Hummus If you burned out on the steamed edamame craze a few years ago, try them in a new recipe like hummus. Here, they pair with peas to create a vibrantly-colored dip that resists browning (unlike guacamole). Take a bowl to your next barbecue for a new take on hummus.
Parmesan-Roasted Cauliflower Anything that’s parmesan-roasted is sure to be delicious. Yes, even cauliflower.
Triple Cheese Jicama Fries Jicama is easy to find these days – just look in the produce section of your local supermarket. Treat these as you would potatoes, and delight in knowing that jicama is higher in iron and fiber than the average spud.
Rutabaga And Apple Mash Despite their ugly exterior, rutabagas are surprisingly creamy and delicious. Use them in place of white potatoes for a healthier take on this mashed fave. This version by Martha Stewart adds a hint of sweetness with the addition of apples. Yum!
Browned Butter And Brussels Sprouts Penne Sometimes all a vegetable needs is a little butter and bit of crispness. (And pasta never hurt, either.)
Balsamic Honey Roasted Cabbage Steaks We’re betting you never thought to turn cabbage into steaks. Add these to burgers in place of lettuce for a healthy and more flavorful topping alternative.
Honey Garlic Baked Cauliflower Trust us – that’s cauliflower, and this photo says it all. Delish!
Red Lentil Soup With Chicken And Turnips Mixing them into soups is a great way to start cooking unfamiliar veggies. While kale has been the hands-down favorite in recent years, try adding in others like turnips, parsnip, peas, or cabbage.
Honey Sriracha Roasted Brussels Sprouts Sriracha is a great reason to cook something new – even brussels sprouts.
Baked Garlic + Herb Shoestring Rutabaga ‘Noodles’ Thanks to the spiralizer, we can make healthy noodles out of practically anything, including rutabaga. Serve these hot or cold, as a salad-meets-pasta dish that everyone will love.
Low-Carb Cauliflower Creamed Spinach Cheese makes all vegetables delicious. This tasty dish combines two unpopular veggies into one seriously tempting side that even kids will devour.
Tortilla Soup With Jicama Noodles Forget zucchini noodles – jicama packs much more fiber and has a fun udon-noodle look, too.
Roasted Potato And Turnip Mash If you’re unsure about diving head-on into turnips, try mixing them into your mashed potatoes the next time they are on the menu. You won’t be able to tell the difference, and might even decide to go 100% turnip next time.
Quick And Easy Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce Ah, alfredo. The stuff of dreams. Take A LOT of the guilt out of yours with this surprising recipe twist that uses cauliflower to replicate the creaminess of the full-fat version.
Jicama Shrimp Salad Stuck in a salad rut? Try mixing in some diced jicama. Its unique flavor and texture will be a welcome twist on the average side salad, and will up the nutritional quotient, too.