So You Don’t Like Veggies?

So You Don’t Like Veggies?

Peas in Baby's MouthEveryone knows that vegetables are good for you. But many of my patients at Olivera Weight Loss tell me that, even though they know vegetables are healthy, they just don’t like them.

There are hundreds of ways to prepare vegetables. If you are one of those vegetable haters, maybe you just haven’t had them cooked to your liking.

I would like to give you a little nutritional information on vegetables, and then suggest some different ways to fix them.

Did you know that broccoli has protein?  For instance, ½ cup of cooked broccoli has 1.86 grams of protein and 4.1 grams of fiber, as well as, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, Vitamins A, C, B1, B2, B6, K, E, niacin, and folate.

The same elements are found in carrots, beets, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, corn, cucumber, eggplant, green and red peppers, kale, leeks, lima beans, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, peas, pumpkin, spinach, spaghetti squash, zucchini, sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, and turnips.

I have personally struggled with weight gain since high school, and have tried many different recipes. Here are some recipes I have either found or created over the years. I hope this helps some of you to actually enjoy your vegetables!

  • Carrots: A simple and delicious way to cook carrots is to sauté them in orange juice. Simply slice the carrots, put them in a skillet with about ¼ cup of orange juice and enough water to cover the carrots. Cook on low for 20-30 minutes until the carrots are tender and the liquid is evaporated. Then, let the bottom brown lightly – this caramelizes the sugar in the carrots and orange juice, giving them a natural sweetness.
  • Beets: You can cook beets in a similar fashion. Slice fresh beets and put them in a saucepan. Add ¼ cup orange juice and enough water to cover the beets. Add salt and pepper to taste. Optional additions: Include any fresh herbs you might have – basil, oregano, thyme, parsley; a teaspoon of fresh grated ginger, 1 tablespoon of sugar other than white, such as turbinado
  • Cream of Broccoli Soup: Clean and cut up 2 heads of broccoli. Put in a saucepan with 1-½ cups of fat free chicken broth, two sprigs of fresh oregano, salt, and cayenne pepper to taste ( just a pinch for those who don’t like highly spiced food). Simmer until broccoli is soft, then puree. Return to saucepan, add 1 cup skim or 1% milk, 1 tsp turbinado sugar, and more salt and cayenne if needed.
  • Squash Soup: This is good with butternut, Calabaza or Kabocha squash. Cut squash in chunks and cook in microwave (covered) for about 8 minutes or until tender, then puree the squash in food processor or blender.  In sauce pan put 1 ½ to 2 ½ cups of pureed squash, 2 cups fat free chicken broth, 1 cup 1% milk (or 1 cup evaporated skim milk), ½ – ¾ teaspoon salt (taste it), 1/8th teaspoon pepper, ¼ teaspoon onion juice, a few drops of lemon juice, a sprinkle of ground cloves, and 2 teaspoons turbinado sugar. Mix and heat – don’t boil.


Lastly, here is my favorite recipe for vegetable dip, created by myself. If you are going to a party, and you are worried about sticking to your diet, try bringing this dip with an assortment of raw vegetables. People will love it, and you will have something healthy to eat!

  • Spinach and Garlic Dip


1 head of garlic, peeled and chopped. 3 teaspoons olive oil

1 large chopped onion

1 package of frozen chopped spinach defrosted

1 ½ teaspoon salt

Juice of ½ large lemon

1 tablespoon honey

2 cups of fat free yogurt

1 cup low-fat sour cream

1 8 oz package of fat free cream cheese

Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in skillet. Sauté garlic until it is aromatic, about 20 seconds. Put in food processor. Heat another teaspoon of olive oil and sauté onion until transparent – add to food processor. Heat the third teaspoon of olive oil and sauté the spinach until it sticks lightly to the pan, then add to food processor with the salt, yogurt, sour cream, cream cheese, lemon juice and honey. Mix well. Enjoy!


Check out our blog for more recipes. Even better, send us your favorite healthy recipe. We would love to share it with everyone!


Paula C, BSN-APN

Nurse Practitioner


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