2 Surprising New Ways to Prepare Veggies

Tired of the same old side dishes? Here are two ideas that turn things on their head!

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS
1-minute read

One of the challenges with eating plenty of vegetables is finding ways to keep things interesting.  If you or your family are getting tired of the same old preparations, here are two ideas to shake things up a little: One involves cooking a vegetable that's almost invariably enjoyed raw. The other is a raw salad using a vegetable that's almost always cooked!

Braised Cucumbers

My friends Tom and Jennifer discovered this classic Julia Child preparation one summer, when they were inundated with a particularly abundant cucumber crop. Although you may have your doubts, cooked cukes are absolutely delicious--and couldn't be simpler to make. Peel and seed a couple of large cucumbers and chop into 1-inch pieces. Then, melt some butter in a large skillet and add the cucumbers. Sautee for 5 minutes or so, then season with salt, pepper, a squeeze of lemon, and a sprinkle of fresh mint.

Brussels Slaw

Roasted Brussels sprouts are one of my favorite winter vegetable recipes, but can seem a bit heavy at this time of year. Fortunately, Brussels sprouts are also wonderful raw. Use a sharp knive or mandolin slicer to thinly shave fresh sprouts cross-wise. (Be careful with those mandolins! They have an insatiable appetite for knuckles and fingertips). Dress the shaved sprouts with lemon juice, a good olive oil, and top with toasted walnuts, sliced scallions, grated parmesan, and/or crumbled bacon. Or, simply use your favorite cole slaw dressing.


Cucumbers and Brussels sprouts images from Shutterstock.

About the Author

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS

Monica Reinagel is a board-certified licensed nutritionist, author, and the creator of one of iTunes' most highly ranked health and fitness podcasts. Her advice is regularly featured on the TODAY show, Dr. Oz, NPR, and in the nation's leading newspapers, magazines, and websites. Do you have a nutrition question? Call the Nutrition Diva listener line at 443-961-6206. Your question could be featured on the show.