You know that you should add more vegetables to your diet, maybe even have a vegetarian dinner once a week. But what can you do if you aren’t a vegetable lover?

These recipes will solve that problem! The vegetables are in the background, picking up the wonderful flavors of the spices and sauces…

Garlic Black Bean Chili

The broccoli is cut into small pieces that absorb the flavor of the spicy sauce.

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 16-ounce can low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium tomato, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup shredded Monterey jack cheese, for garnish

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté three minutes. Add the black beans, tomato, corn, broccoli, chili powder and cumin. In a bowl, mix the tomato paste into the broth, then stir into the chili. Simmer, covered, 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add more chili powder or cumin as desired. Serve the chili over rice, and sprinkle with cheese. Serves two.

Mediterranean Linguine with Fennel Orange Salad

Raisins, pine nuts, olives and grated Pecorino cheese flavor the pasta and kale. The fennel orange salad makes the perfect accompaniment.

  • ¼ pound baby kale, large center ribs removed
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup thinly sliced yellow onion
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • 2 cups canned whole tomatoes, including their liquid
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 2 Tablespoons pine nuts
  • 8 pitted green olives
  • ¼ pound whole-wheat linguine
  • 3 sprigs fresh basil
  • 2 Tablespoons grated Pecorino cheese

Place a large pot with three to four quarts of water on to boil.

Stack the kale leaves, and roll them into a cigar shape. Cut the roll into quarter-inch slices, making thin strands—about four cups total. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and kale, and sauté five minutes. Add the tomatoes, cutting them in quarters in the pan with a spoon. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the raisins, pine nuts and olives. Cover and simmer five minutes.

Meanwhile, add the pasta to boiling water and return to a boil. Cook eight minutes or according to package instructions. Drain and divide the pasta between two plates. Pour the sauce over the pasta. Tear the basil into small pieces, and sprinkle cheese on top. Serves two.

Fennel Orange Salad

  • 1 medium fennel bulb
  • 1 medium orange
  • 1 Tablespoon orange juice (from the orange)
  • ½ Tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt, to taste

Remove the stalks and stem from the fennel. Cut the remaining bulb in quarters, and slice thin. You’ll net about two cups. Peel the orange, and cut it into one-to-two-inch cubes over a bowl, capturing the juice to make one tablespoon. Add the olive oil, and mix well. Add salt to taste. Then add the fennel, and toss again. Serves two.

Wild Mushroom and Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes”

Veggie haters will think they’re having mashed potatoes!

  • ½ head cauliflower (4 cups florets and p_14_istock_63959969_medium-2-mashed-cauliflower-w-mushrms-flatstems)
  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 cups thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 4 crushed garlic cloves
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 2 scallions, sliced (about ¼ cup)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Separate the cauliflower into florets, and chop the core. Place in a steamer basket over boiling water. Cover and steam 15 minutes or until the ­cauliflower is tender.

Meanwhile, heat the canola oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat, and sauté the mushrooms three minutes. Add the garlic, and continue to sauté one minute more. When the cauliflower is ready, remove to a colander and press out any excess water. Add to a food processor, and coarsely chop. Spoon into a bowl, and stir in the mushrooms and garlic. Add the milk, sour cream, scallions and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
Serves two.

Ricotta and Roasted Veggie Soufflé

Roasting the vegetables brings out their natural sweetness. The vegetables are thinly sliced, which helps them roast faster and melt into the dish.

  • 1 cup thinly sliced zucchinip_14_gassenheimers_ricotta_souffle
  • 1 cup thinly sliced carrots
  • 1 ½ cups thinly sliced button mushrooms
  • ½ cup thinly sliced onion
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • ½ cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1 Tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Cover a large baking tray with foil. Spread the zucchini, carrots, mushrooms and onion on the tray. Drizzle olive oil over the vegetables. Mix evenly to coat the veggies. Then place them in the oven for 10 minutes. Watch to make sure the vegetables do not brown.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the basil with the bread crumbs, and add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. Remove the vegetables from the oven, and spoon them into a small lasagna dish about seven-by-10 inches or a 10-inch pie plate. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and a little salt and pepper to taste.

Mix the ricotta cheese and egg together, and spread the mixture over the vegetables. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture evenly over the top. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
Serves two.

Five-Spice Stir-Fry

This colorful dish has a tasty Asian sauce that masks the vegetables. If there’s a vegetable in the recipe that your veggie hater really despises, you can substitute a more palatable one (most people like some veggies). You can substitute most vegetables including green beans, corn kernels, peas, bok choy, even ­cucumbers.

  • ¼ cup vegetable broth
  • 1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 3 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 Tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons slivered almonds
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • ½ cup thinly sliced yellow onion
  • ½ cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
  • ½ cup thinly sliced celery
  • ½ cup thinly sliced carrots
  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch
  • ½ Tablespoon water

Mix the vegetable broth, vinegar, ­Chinese five-spice powder, garlic and soy sauce together. Set aside.­

Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add the almonds, and toss until golden, about 30 seconds. Remove to a plate, and set aside.

Add the oil to the wok, and heat until it is smoking. Add the onion, red bell pepper, celery and carrots, and stir-fry three minutes. Remove to a bowl. Add the sauce to the wok, and boil one minute. In a bowl, whisk the cornstarch with one-half tablespoon of water. Add that to the wok. Boil about 30 seconds to thicken the sauce. Remove from heat, and return the vegetables to the wok, tossing with sauce to coat the vegetables.

Divide the stir-fry between dinner plates, and sprinkle almonds on top. Serve with rice, if desired. Serves two.

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