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Health eating? What are "veggies"? I don't think you mean fried okra, fried squash,..

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Being from the south, we fry everything. I have quit doing that, but I can't think of any "veggies" for side dishes except steamed broccoli or squash. Nobody here will eat that except me. My family will eat green beans cooked in ckn broth, I guess that's ok? It has to be better than when I seasoned them w/salt pork!! Well, there's corn, but I guess not creamed:tongue_smilie:.


What are some good healthy "veggies", as y'all call them?




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We eat zucchini (sauteed, not the healthiest way, but we like it that way) and experiment with different squashes. We like broccoli cooked and fresh. We cook up green beans, too. A new one we try to eat once a month is brussel sprouts. I like to get them from the produce section, wash them and cook them with some butter, garlic and touch of salt and a bit of water to keep from burning... We always used to turn our noses up to this veggie, but we can eat it this way. I look forward to more responses!

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Green beans




Romaine Lettuce

Red Leaf Lettuce

Red Cabbage



Brussel Sprouts (not people's favorite)


Collard Greens

Swiss Chard

Red, Yellow and Green Bell Peppers




Green onions





Bok Choy

Sugar Snap Peas


Acorn Squash

Butternut Squash




All fresh, of course. Frozen peas are okay as fresh peas are hard to find and time-consuming to shell.


Just a sampling of my organic produce co-op ;) I love roasting broccoli with a little bit olive oil and salt -- yummy. I've been known to eat a whole head this way :tongue_smilie:


I also like stir-frying. I steam my peas, or include them in rice, pasta, etc. and they come out delicious. Last night we had collard greens stir-fried with sesame oil, tamari sauce, garlic and onions. Delicious and nutritious. Dh didn't like collard greens before he tried mine :) Believe it or not, my ds loves ratatouille (a veggie stew, no meat) and gleefully shovels kale and collard greens in his mouth. He still thinks he doesn't like vegetables LOL


Tomorrow I'm making Baked Swiss Chard and Rice. Today I'm having a Beech Mushrooms, Tomatoes and feta cheese frittata.


I love veggies (can you tell?) but I wouldn't touch them until I was 20 years old or so. I didn't eat fruit either, but now I'm coming arouns and enjoying any fruits in smoothies I make at home.

Edited by sagira
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Salads are great for mixing in new veggies.


I normally buy:




bell peppers



mesclun (aka spring mix)


green onions



yellow summer squash

Brussels sprouts


I buy most fresh, but some frozen. I like the frozen mixes and I think Gordon's Food Service (GFS) has the absolute best frozen veggies and veggie mixes. I like the green bean mixes, the broccoli/cauliflower/carrot mixtures, too. Steaming and then adding a bit of lemon juice and Mrs. Dash seasonings are good, as well as roasting them.

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Here are some ideas your family will love:


Roasted veggies - cut up an onion, red bell pepper, sliced mushrooms and Brussels sprouts and place in a 9X13 pan. Add about 2 T olive oil and 1/2 tsp salt. Mix and bake 30 minutes at 400 degrees - maybe checking after 20 min. Brussel sprout leaves will start to brown. Califlower, zuchinni and any root veggie will work great too.


Saute spinach - our favorite. Saute a little garlic in olive oil. Add some sesame seeds, (optional) then bag of baby spinach. Add a few splashes of water and cover for 5 minutes. Stir a few times. When done stir in 1/8 tsp or caynne pepper. (We do 1 1/2 bags of spinach on this because the spinach reduces in volume with the heat).


Bok Choy - I love this!!! Wash bok choy well. Cut the stems on an angle and the leaves straight across. Heat a wok or pan. Add 1 T olive oil and 2 slices of fresh ginger for 30 seconds. Add bok choy stalks first, then the leaves. Add 2 T soy sauce, 1 t sugar, 1/4 t salt and stir fry on high for 1 min. Add a few splashes of water and simmer for 2 more mintues. (NOTE: Bok choy is a suger power food for you family so don't worry about the tsp of sugar. It is worth it for this fabulous side dish).


Stir Fry Kale-Follow step one on this recipe and then add the kale with a few splashes of water. Steam and then add bread crumbs, (I use 1/2 cup), and freshly grated parmesan cheese.




Lemon-Maple Butternut Squash




Also the stir fry frozen veggies at costco are great. Just stir fry in a little olive oil and add some soy sauce. Yum!


Don't worry if your family doesn't eat the veggies at first. Sometimes you have to try something 12 times before you like it. Your job is to prepare the healthy food. You can't force them to eat it.


“Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.â€Hippocrates, 400 B.C.

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Steamed/boiled: green beans, sugar snap peas, shelled peas, runner beans, french beans, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, turnip

Sauted/baked: zucchini, egg plant, mushrooms, celery, leeks, bell peppers, spinach

Raw: bell peppers, carrots, celery, salad greens/lettuce, tomato, scallions





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We eat a lot of our cooked veggies plain. I use mostly frozen veggies, as the cost of canned has gone way up, and I'm not good at getting to the fresh stuff before it goes bad in my fridge.


Dh eats mostly corn (not creamed), green beans, peas and carrots. I cook them in water, then drain. The rest of us eat those, plus broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini (I like to fry it, but you can chop it up and boil it), summer squash. Salt & pepper goes on the table so we can season our own.

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We have been eating a lot of spinach lately, esp in salads.


I am eagerly awaiting the green beans in our garden. My kids like them right off the vine.


In the garden I have broc, carrots, chards (all great in stir fry), kale (good roasted, and in soup), peas, grean beans, butternut squash, tomatoes, eggplant, leeks, peppers...it's zone 6, so all we have to eat so far is some kale, spinach, and lettuce greens. But the peas are doing well...


I wash and slice raw carrots for the kids while I am making dinner. They go fast. Carrots seem to taste better when you're waiting for dinner. lol


I also like to add chopped spinach to tomato sauces. They go well together, if your kids don't mind green in their sauce.

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Forgot to add grilled veggies on the BBQ for summer. Brush veggies with olive oil and grill 5-10 minutes per side. We grill whole carrots and zuchinni, (cut lengthwise), red bell pepper, onion, (cut in large slices and hold together with skewer), asparagus and mushrooms (skewer).


If you really want to give your family a treat here is a great veggie marinate:


1/3 c white wine vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup white wine Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp dried tarragon or thyme

1 T honey

1/4 t salt

1/8 t pepper


Mix and marinate veggies for 4 hours or overnight. Grill veggies on BBQ.

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Being from the south, we fry everything. Well, there's corn, but I guess not creamed:tongue_smilie:.






Yep, born and raised here in the south too! But said "no" to frying a long time ago.


I recently found a way for us to eat creamed corn. I put frozen whole kernal in the blender and pulse until it's as creamy or thick as you like. I melt a little butter in a pan, pour my corn in it, add a little skim milk, cook gradually adding water (or milk) for about 30 minutes. It's great! Oh, add salt or whatever seasonings you like. We like Tony's (being from LA).

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I'm trying to suggest some southern-friendly vegetables:


Vegetable soups and stews

Green beans pan fried with almonds

Broccoli pan fried/steamed with garlic (really, really good, infinitely better than plain boiled/steamed)

Baked sweet potatoes, or mashed sweet potatoes (they really don't need marshmallows!)

Glazed carrots

Coleslaw (lighten up on the mayo)

Stuffed vegetables - small eggplants, peppers, zucchini, tomatoes


Since you're a southerner, how about some greens?

Spinach cooked with garlic (fry the garlic gently, then add spinach, cooks in a few minutes; you can add things like sesame seeds if you like them a lot, or a squeeze of lemon)

I love heartier greens (collard, kale, mustard, turnip -- a mix is even better than one by itself -- cut them very fine and take the stems off the thick sorts of greens): fry some onion, then add garlic, then add greens and some water, cover, and cook but don't overcook! You can eat with cornbread. :)



Edna Lewis has a nice cookbook filled with very traditional Southern cooking, but very seasonal and fresh.


Trisha Yearwood's new cookbook has these vegetables in it (she's got fried ones, but I'm leaving them out): various salads including broccoli salad, coleslaws, and spinach salad; a few cabbage dishes, roasted carrots, zucchini saute, collards, green beans, lima beans, baked beans, steamed squash, and asparagus casserole.

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I grill veggies in the summer. Some work better than others. I quarter peppers, halve zucchini & summer squash lengthwise and slice (sweet) onions about an inch thick. It also works with eggplant tomatoes and even some firmer fruits (like peaches).


Just marinate them in Italian dressing (or lightly coat with olive oil) first. You'll need good tongs. They make great leftovers too. I've tossed with with various beans corn (salsa!) etc the next day for cold salads.

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Being from the south, we fry everything. I have quit doing that, but I can't think of any "veggies" for side dishes except steamed broccoli or squash. Nobody here will eat that except me. My family will eat green beans cooked in ckn broth, I guess that's ok? It has to be better than when I seasoned them w/salt pork!! Well, there's corn, but I guess not creamed:tongue_smilie:.


What are some good healthy "veggies", as y'all call them?





The way I've learned to think of the veggies is like so. First, there are the three major 'starches': potatoes, corn, and rice. We all make plenty of at least one of these daily. (If we are eating flour, then flour products could also be included here. Oatmeal is mostly breakfast for us, but we also eat it all day long, sometimes. Beans, too, I suppose. We don't eat so much of those.)


Then, there are the 'green & yellow' veggies. A lot of those are listed in the other posts. These are not as filling as the starches (unless you douse them with fats - oils, butter, etc. - something we opt out of), so remember to add a good helping of starch when you serve these so no one goes away hungry. Think of Chinese food (w/o all the fat, of course). There is usually a huge pile of rice with a bunch of green/yellow veggies thrown on top. Only rice would not be as satisfying. Only green/yellow veggies would not be as filling. Make sense?


Then, there are the fruits. More of a dessert than a meal.


Then, there are the condiments. Store-bought sauces, homemade sauces, agave nectar, honey, sugars, jams, etc. We slather these on just about anything, but they're entirely optional.


And, finally, the drinks. Water works fine. All else is optional.


Another note. It's not necessary to combine certain kinds of food to obtain maximum nutritional benefit, as far as I can tell. I know many veg. cookbooks go on and on about that, but we've never worried about it. We just eat what we want, when we want. Don't even take vitamins ... and never had a problem.




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I am not a huge fam of emeril lagasse, but the recipes from this show are very good.


We had this last week, it is a soup loaded with greens, very healthy & you'd NEVER know it. My 4yo DD ate many servings. You could use collards, spinach or any other green in place of kale. I did not use the kielbasa because i just didn't have any in the house, it didn't matter. YUMMY soup!


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Well, being from the south you probably know all about greens! But rather than cook them in grease, you can boil them in a little water with some salt. You can add a little lemon juice or balsamic vinegar, and/or salt. This is for collards or mustard greens, the tougher ones. For kale, chard, dandelion, endive, I usually saute them in a little olive oil on medium heat. You can add a bit of red pepper flakes, chopped garlic, salt, pepper. Grated fresh ginger root +/- a little soy sauce is also good with greens, especially Napa/Chinese cabbage and bok choy. My kids like sweet and sour greens, with a tsp. of honey in the pan and a tbs. or so of some kind of vinegar at the end of cooking. There are so many ways to do it. Kale is even good with some tomato slice and a sprinkle of feta cheese at the end of cooking.


See if your library has a copy of Mollie Katzen's "Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live without". These are easy and every one I've tried has been yummy. There are even a few in there that have got my kids eating certain things again, that they didn't like before.

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Oh yum. Now I'm hungry for veg.


Check out a veggie cookbook from your library. I got Serving Up the Harvest for Mother's Day, and it's got many fresh seasonal vegetable recipes. We've tried a few already, mostly spinach and salad since that's what we're getting from our garden, and the recipes are delicious. The Best Recipe series has a vegetable cookbook that's got good ideas for basic ways to prepare most vegetables. Vegetarian cookbooks often have fantastic veg recipes even if you're not vegetarian. I'm not, but one of my fav cookbooks is called Vegetarian Planet. I just add chicken or sausage to some of the recipes.


If you've got a farmer's market nearby, go buy your fresh veggies there. They'll be fresher, often picked just that morning, and are more likely to be grown for flavor. As you make your purchases, or if you see something new and intriguing, ask the vendors their favorite ways to prepare that vegetable, or how they might prepare it for kids.


I just found this site: Seasonal Vegetables at Southernfood.com :D


You can slice and stir fry just about any vegetable. Or saute and toss with pasta. Or serve raw. Scramble mild greens (spinach, for example) and other veggies into an egg scramble. Make a gratin with greens or a quiche using just about any vegetable. Or....oh, I could go on and on. We love our veggies here! I'm going to go make a spinach salad.





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Thanks for the great replies! You've given some really great sounding things to try. Its funny bc I was thinking about when we go out to eat and they automatically put the steamed broc/caul/squash mix on your plate, we just think of it as a granish, a plate decoration, NEVER something to actually EAT!!!


My dh and I were talking about eating healthier last night and trying to think of "veggies". I mentioned okra and we couldn't even think of another way to prepare it except fried! He said, "Well, fried okra is all there is, isn't it?" I do think I've heard of people boiling it, but that doesn't sound that good. I guess adding it to soup.


I guess we've got a lot of changing to do. Hopefully, it will be easier with the yummy sounding suggestions you all have given.


Thanks again!


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Great thread...I, too, come from the land of fried....


Another veggies to roast or grill.....I've come to LOVE roasted asparagus. Prep just as you normally would. Then toss with a touch of olive oil and dash of salt. Lay out in a cake pan or on a cookie sheet. Roast for 20 minutes at 375. Excellent.


Grilled or sauteed tomatoes are great, too. Sometimes for lunch I'll saute (in my cast iron skillet) some sliced squash, a thickly sliced onion, and a thickly sliced tomato. Keep them in there until they carmelize a bit.


Fresh tomatoes with fresh mozzerella cheese and some basil is a fine lunch.


Fresh tomatoes on bruschetta are wonderful.


I still think the best way to eat okra is fried, but I consider that a seasonal treat and indulge a few times a summer.

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You're in familiar company with me - my family isn't a huge fan of tons of veg. What I do for my meat-n-potatoes crew is this:

Crock pot roasts: Throw in a chicken, turkey breasts, lean roast, etc. meat; add chopped potatoes; add veg. (usually carrots, zuchini, squash)


When I cook chicken breast or other lean poultry on the stovetop in a pan (I guess that's called pan-frying, but it's not really fried) sometimes as it cooks I add some lemon juice and Italian salad dressing - then once it's thoroughly cooked I add some butternut squash, diced, and some liquid (water or broth) until it's soft. Even my kids love this.


Acorn squash as dessert: slice in half, bake in the oven, then slather with cinnamon and brown sugar.


Fresh spinach can replace part of lighter greens in salads & on sandwiches - spinach and kale hide very ewll in Italian food and soups. :) For lasagna, just put a large layer of spinach where the meat would go - or if you want both, add it b4 or after the meat. Sometimes I put it in the food processor and mix it into the white cheese mixture of the lasagna - the kids think it's just herbs. Dark greens and blues (like blueberries) in small amounts can be hidden in something brown, like brownies or cake. Oh wait, we were talking about healthy eating, huh? lol Make those brownies with agave nectar and applesauce! lol


Add avacodo and tomato slices to sandwiches.


Homemade salsa. That is where the bulk of my dh's veg. intake comes from. Make it w/ fresh produce in the blender or food processor.


Fresh corn on the cob boiled for about 10 min. is a treat for us - we only get that in the summertime here. It's so much tastier than the frozen kind that we don't even put butter on it.


Just start adding things in little by little and you'll get there. As you can tell from my suggestions, I'm still working on it too. :)

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Also fruits like kiwis and blueberries are very nutritious (and kiwis are green!), so try to work in healthy fruits too. The book Miracle Foods for Kids: 25 Super-Nutritious Foods to Keep Your Kids in Great Health by Juliette Kellow and Sunil Vijayakar has some great ideas, although they're not all fruits/veges (includes things like milk, oatmeal, and beef).

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Oh I am a deep south girl

tonight supper

fried chicken

steam squash/onion right out of the garden


salad right out of the garden



I haven't fried chicken in forever. I did combine it with healthier sides


I like to roast vegetable but okra just needs that southern fried


Oven fried is easy, taste good if you want the fried crunch. It is not as good as the traditional but it is healthier.

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