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S/O of grocery thread. So what do you do with all the vegetables that take up half..

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of your shopping cart? I am going shopping tonight. I have some basic staples on my list and am tackling my grocery shopping with a new approach. I want to shop the perimeter and really cut my budget but also eat healthier and more from scratch. We have a great store called Sprouts that sells cheap cheap produce so I think I can do pretty well if I knew what veggies to buy and then what to do with them once I have them ;)


We are not big veggie eaters (that needs to change). I tend to stick with carrots, celery, cukes (for snacking) peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower for cooking and then various lettuce for salads. I love cabbage but have no recipes in which to use it.


Can you share your veggie recipes (whether they are for main or side dishes) and any sites/magazines where you get your recipes/ideas from? :bigear:

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Vegetable stew with eggplant, potatoes, tomatoes, green beans, peppers.

Stir fried veggies

Green beans simmered in a broth with sauteed onions and chopped tomatoes

Peas same as green beans

A whole sheaf of veggie dishes from Turkey that involve cooking in olive oil and served room temp (Green beans, eggplant, carrots, leeks, celery root, fava,

A whole other sheaf of dishes that use yogurt instead of olive oil

Pureed eggplant with a cheese sauce served with seasoned chicken or beef

Salad made entirely of chopped cucumber, tomato, onion, parsley, and possibly mint, dressed in lemon and olive oil. (Called shepherd's salad in Turkey)


I just discovered Sprouts. I am in love! My budget is much happier too.

Edited by Hopscotch67
Simmered in a broth, not a brother!!
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I sometimes "hide" vegetables so that my kids get a larger serving than what they'd be willing to take plain. This is one of my favorite ways:


I take some sweet peas (not a lot because the gravy will turn green), finely diced carrots, potatoes, onions, and leeks...cook in chicken broth until tender and then run through the blender until smooth. I then add some shredded chicken and bring to a simmer, add some water and herbs so that the consistency is more "soup" than gravy, bring to a boil, and make a small amount of biscuit dough, roll in flour until it forms a ball, then drop a few into the gravy so everyone has one or two dumplings. If I cook chicken soup normally, they'll pick out the peas and leeks.


I can also hide 1.5 cups of cooked cauliflower in 3 cups of mashed potatoes by blending it all together and then mixing with a little garlic and either sour cream or cheddar cheese. My kids are big broccoli eaters but will not otherwise touch cauliflower. This also makes me feel better about the amount of potatoes I use to try to fill their wooden legs.


Whenever I am hiding something in their food, they are banned from the kitchen while I am cooking!


We love stuffed red peppers. I really like it when I can get the mini-mixed yellow/orange/and reds cheaply. Slice the tops off, core, and wash. Saute finely chopped portabella mushrooms, onions, and celery in a little butter or olive oil and when done, mix with a small amount of reduced fat cream cheese and sour cream...add garlic to taste, basil, and a dash of worchestershire sauce. Thoroughly mix, fill the peppers with the mixture, and place in a cake pan (I usually put parchment paper down in order to help contain any overflow that bubble out) and bake at 400 degrees until well heated and the edges are crisping.



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We have a great store called Sprouts that sells cheap cheap produce


By any chance are you in the DFW area? If you aren't a regular Sprouts shopper, I'll warn you about my experience. I buy lots of produce, and have never had veggies turn bad as quickly as those from Sprouts. :001_huh: Sometimes the produce is too over-ripe to even bother purchasing. I do still buy some veggies and fruit there, but I check them closely. Some of it is wonderful, and at a wonderful price. I love their store brand sandwich bread too. It is whole wheat and low sodium.


It is great you are eating more veggies, I just wouldn't want you to end up with a fridge full of veggies that rot before you can get to them. :confused:BTDT :tongue_smilie:

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I use cabbage instead of lettuce for salads very often. Just chop to desired size, add favorites, use favorite dressings, and eat. Now, my dh doesn't care for cabbage this way though.


I also add chopped cabbage to most veggie soups. My favorite soup has chopped carrots, chopped potato, 1 lb smoked/polish sausage, chopped cabbage, and water to cover. Pepper to taste. Cook til potato an carrots are tender. I make enough for a large dutch oven. It is better the next day IMO and we usually eat it with cornbread.

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Apples, oranges, grapes, pears, bananas, lemons, limes, avocado and pineapple go in or beside the fruit bowl. (sometimes grapes get their own bowl) Melons (cantelope, honeydew and mini watermelon) get cut and put into a plastic container in the fridge. Potatoes go in the cupboard. Onions, carrots, garlic, cabbage, "lettuce" and baby spinach, leeks, tomatoes, celery, bell peppers, mushrooms, cukes, and anything else goes in the fridge. Strawberries go in the fridge if I get any.


I try to get a fairly green pineapple and when the melons are gone I cut the pineapple. The fruit gets eaten as snacks. Some of it goes into salads - apples, pears or avocado. Lots of salads. Lots of veggies in most dishes. For example, spaghetti gets onion, garlic, tomato, bell peppers, mushrooms, squash (from the freezer), and carrots.


Cabbage gets put into a soup.

Edited by Parrothead
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Every Wednesday our Sprouts offers the old weeks sale prices and the new weeks. You might want to check to see if yours does that as well, (if you haven't already :)).


I use cabbage as a garnish in Mexican cooking. I use it in tacos, tostadas, sopes, on tortas (Mexican sandwiches), and on the side on any plate of Mexican food.


I slice it very thin, you can add: chopped cilantro, salt, lime juice, diced white, red or green onions.

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Answering these questions is sort of difficult...or really easy. I don't know. :) I put vegetables in every single thing. As I cook dinner, I set out carrots sticks. If the kids don't happen to be in the kitchen, I call a child to hand them out, or I hand them out. I can get tons of raw carrots into them daily this way.


Yesterday I made a stew. I used about 1/4 lb stew beef, with about 2 cups of brown rice, and I added a cup of frozen spinach, 2 chopped onions, 3 cloves of garlic, a half small head of finely chopped cabbage, 5 diced carrots, & 1 small red diced potato (all I had). )oops, 11 dd was reading over my shoulder and she said, "You also had all those tiny yellow potatoes." She is right. I'd forgotten, I had about 6 or so baby potatoes I added. Doh. ;) It was super yum.


Tonight I made a skim milk & ricotta cheese spinach sauce over whole wheat pasta. The sauce also had two onions, 5 cloves of garlic, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and I used about 2 dense cups of frozen spinach.


I often add kale, spinach, onions, tomatoes to scrambled eggs. If I make soup, I might add onions, garlic, carrots, celery, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, kale, spinach, cabbage, carrots-- anything I have that I think goes together


I add various items with abandon in whatever I prepare.

Edited by LibraryLover
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I make a carrot casserole, or sometimes mix carrot and sweet potato to make it (you can also use sweet potatoes alone). The carrots and/or potatoes must already be cooked soft and mashed. Just mix in an egg and some orange juice. If you like nuts, you can also put in some nuts (any type) and some cinnamon. If you must have sugar, then use honey or brown sugar. If you like, you can mix sugar, cinnamon and nuts and make a topping that you sprinkle on top of the casserole. Put in a 350 oven for 30 minutes to heat and set up. You could also put marshmallows on top.....


I add carrots to all soups and stews, as well as celery and generally also potatoes of various sorts.


I lightly steam them and spritz with lemon. I do this with lots of vegis.


I like Bok choy, Chinese cabbage, better than regular. I use it in salads. I regularly mix broccoli slaw into Romaine lettuce for salads, too.... I like cabbage best in Sauerkraut and I like it cold, not hot.


Celery is great stuffed with pimento cheese, peanut butter and raisins, for dipping, etc.


I make a thin sliced cucumber salad to go along with oriental dishes.


1 English cucumber (or any is really fine), thinly sliced

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

pinch of sugar


combine all and toss with cucumbers. This is also good with a few pepper flakes added for some kick....

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Best broccoli recipe ever: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/parmesan-roasted-broccoli-recipe/index.html


This one is good, too: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Browned-Butter-Vegetables-with-Almonds/Detail.aspx


This one for cauliflower that I just tried: http://www.food.com/recipe/roasted-cauliflower-with-lemon-brown-butter-404899


Mashed cauliflower is pretty good: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/george-stella/mock-garlic-mashed-potatoes-recipe/index.html


Grilled Asparagus Salad: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Grilled-Asparagus-Salad/Detail.aspx


Grilled asparagus (this gives a vinaigrette marinade that is great, and also directions for roasted garlic toast to go with): http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Grilled-Asparagus-with-Roasted-Garlic-Toast-and-Balsamic-Vinaigrette/Detail.aspx


These are just some recipes that I love!

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I roast a lot of things: broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, sweet potatoes, eggplant, zucchini, squash, asparagus, Brussel sprouts, onions, garlic, etc. I usually toss them in a little olive oil with some salt and pepper. If I have herbs on hand, sometimes I throw them in, too. Then I usually roast them at about 425 and stir once or twice until they're done. Tomatoes are delicious slow-roasted at a low temperature. Since I live far from a grocery store (or in the summer I have too much excess produce from my garden or from neighbors), I sometimes do several meals worth at once. That way I only have to turn my oven on once, and the cooked stuff takes up a lot less room in the refrigerator. The veggies are best right after roasting, but if I'm busy with other things, the convenience is great. My DH also loves snacking on roasted cauliflower and broccoli, which I definitely encourage (better than chips or ice cream!). Plus I've noticed that the veggies go a lot faster when they're roasted versus boiled or steamed. The caramelization from the roasting is delicious.


I also make a lot of salads (we almost always start with a salad), and I always have 2-3 homemade, lower-calorie/fat dressings on hand in the fridge, and I change up the fruits/nuts/veggies/garnishes depending on what I have on hand. There are some excellent, healthier salad dressings in the America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook (or the same recipes are in The Best Light Recipe from Cook's Illustrated). This shallot vinaigrette has also been a stand-by for me:


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We eat lots of stir-fry over baked brown rice. A little chicken breast or a little skirt steak (we belong to a pasture-raised, organic beef CSA, 10 lbs. per month, so we don't eat much beef but the beef we do eat is GOOD BEEF.) or sometimes just veggies, etc.


We also eat lots of salads and oven-roasted veggies-- broccoli, cauliflower, root vegetables, asparagus, you name it.


Hope that helps a bit.



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This is my favourite cabbage recipe:



  • shred green cabbage into long strips
  • braise with a bit of butter and 1 or so Tablespoons caraway seeds per half cabbage in a large pan over medium, covered for 10 minutes, no stirring is necessary
  • while cabbage is braising, cook egg noodles in salted water
  • put noodles on serving plate, top with cabbage and cottage cheese (preferably near room temperature)


Mmmmmm. The cabbage should have a bit of tooth when cooked, but not much.

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Thank you all again for the great ideas/recipes. Honestly, I have just recently taken an interest in cooking. I have always HATED cooking :ack2:

BUT......recently I've been making some pretty significant life changes and lo and behold, I'm actually finding myself wanting to cook :)


I just need to really figure this all out. I grew up in a home where my mother cooked every. single. night. She was (is) a great cook but most of what she cooked, I didn't care for. I was made to finish everything on my plate, etc. Plus she was pretty abusive so I equate cooking with her moods/abuse/etc.


Anyway, I need to find lots of new recipes that sound good to me but also are healthy, nutrient dense, low fat (for my health issues) and frugal.


I know I've been posting a lot of threads lately :blush::leaving:but I appreciate everyone's input and support :)

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I'm not very imaginative. I stir fry with olive oil, garlic and ginger (cabbage, bok choi..); I steam veggies and dress them with olive oil or butter; I saute them with olive oil and garlic (mushrooms, courgette, aubergine); I roast them with olive oil, garlic and balsamic vinegar (root veg or mushrooms, courgette, aubergine); I make veggie soups of all kinds.



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Some meals that have increased our vegetable intake are:


Risotto (usually with mushrooms and asparagus)

Vegetarian Lasagna (a tin of lentils and a mix of other veggies)

Butternut pasta sauce (butternut squash with onion and tomato)

Pad Thai


Dh likes to think he's having meat so I sometimes use it as a "garnish" - I will roast a chicken, and cut up and freeze the meat. I'll often add a little of that to the risotto or Pad Thai. I sometimes garnish the pasta with crumbled bacon (first fry til crispy, then crush).


We have other meals which consist primarily of pasta, but don't necessarily have a lot of veggies in - a creamy asparagus cause, perhaps with some sliced ham in, or a pasta salad meal with olives, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and thinly sliced steak as garnish.

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We eat a lot of green salad, usually twice a day in warm weather and once a day in cold weather. I make cooked greens of some kind several times a week -- usually kale, but all I have right now are turnip and mustard. I do a combo saute and steam thing with them that involves garlic, onions, olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon juice. I roast tons of veggies and often put the roasted ones right on top of our salads. DH, who is a real fan of meat with dinner, loves a few of the meals where I skip the meat so long as I use lots of mushrooms. He likes a chunky sauce I make with mushrooms, shallots, and fresh parsley that is great over any starch, and he likes fajitas made with mushrooms, onions, and assorted peppers. I like to bake eggplant, and lately I've been doing it in tomato based sauces with either Italian or Mexican spices added in, and topped with cheese. I also add veggies into crustless quiches and omelets, too. My big thing lately has been pumpkin soup. I like using fresh pumpkin but I have to admit that it comes out just as well with the canned stuff. The dc aren't so big on savory pumpkin, but love homemade pumpkin bread. Baked sweet potatoes and sweet potato fries are good, too.

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By any chance are you in the DFW area? If you aren't a regular Sprouts shopper, I'll warn you about my experience. I buy lots of produce, and have never had veggies turn bad as quickly as those from Sprouts. :001_huh: Sometimes the produce is too over-ripe to even bother purchasing. I do still buy some veggies and fruit there, but I check them closely. Some of it is wonderful, and at a wonderful price. I love their store brand sandwich bread too. It is whole wheat and low sodium.


It is great you are eating more veggies, I just wouldn't want you to end up with a fridge full of veggies that rot before you can get to them. :confused:BTDT :tongue_smilie:


It's interesting you mention this. I just discovered Sprouts (DFW area) and have had the opposite experience, but will definitely keep my eyes open just in case.



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