Jazzy Veggies

spinach

So right.  You're trying to eat more vegetables in 2010?  You're trying also to eat them un-creamed, without oozing cheese, etc. because maybe you're also trying to be healthier and/or lose a few lbs.?  But aren't those steamed veggies a little boring???  I think so.  Don't get me wrong.  Sometimes you need to go hard-core and slam down some plain steamed broccoli with lemon juice, but most of the time, no.  If you're counting calories or points, you can budget in a little sauce here and there, and let me tell you, it actually makes eating scads of greens . . . dare I say . . . enjoyable?  Here're some ideas for pepping up your produce.

To Lightly Steamed Broccoli, Add

Dijon Vinaigrette:  extra-virgin olive oil, sherry vinegar, Dijon mustard, Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Sesame Vinaigrette: dark sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce and optional chili oil for heat.

 Curried Mango Mayo:  mayonnaise, Major Grey's chutney, curry powder.

Italian-Style:  Add extra-virgin olive oil to a large skillet and saute the broccoli 'til crisp-tender.  Sprinkle with finely grated Parmesan cheese and hot pepper flakes.  Optional - add a thinly sliced garlic clove to your oil and saute for 30 seconds before adding your broccoli.

To Lightly Steamed Green Beans, Add:

Yogurt & Tahini Sauce:  Greek yogurt, tahini, Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste and a drizzle of lemon juice to finish.

Olive Tapenade:Add a bit of pre-made tapenade to your beans.  Make it a meal by adding fresh mozzarella, hard cooked eggs, roasted peppers, etc.

Herb Butter:  Mix unsalted butter with chopped fresh herbs such as thyme, marjoram, etc. and some Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

To Cooked Carrots, Add:

Chili Butter:  Butter, chili powder, Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Honey Mustard:  Butter, honey, Dijon mustard, Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

To Winter Squash, Add:

Sage Butter:  Butter, chopped fresh sage, Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Harissa: Remember this stuff?  Add a little extra-virgin olive oil and Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Moroccan Spices:  Sweet paprika, cumin, cayenne, olive oil and Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.  If you have them on hand, chip up a bit of fresh cilantro and/or parsley to sprinkle over the top.

Sweet Fix: Maple syrup or agave nectar, pumpkin pie spice, and if you want extra richness, add some butter.