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Vegetables: Benefits, Types And Veggie Recipes

Discover types of vegetables, their benefits and vegetarian recipes with the healthiest vegetables.
Discover 16 different vegetable recipes and the benefits of vegetables.

 

Vegetable rice, lentils, and vegetable stew are three examples of quick yet healthy vegetable recipes that you can make for dinner any night.

Vegetarian recipes are a recommended part of a balanced diet since vegetables are jam-packed with vital nutrients that help the body to keep functioning properly.

Below we explain the main benefits of vegetables and share 16 vegetable recipes like roasted vegetables, veggie pizza, vegetable lasagna, and many more.

The benefits of vegetables

Vegetables are a type of plant grown in farms or gardens that are consumed either cooked or raw. These can either be roots, leaves, seeds or pods.

On the other hand, legumes are also included under the vegetable umbrella, although neither fruits nor grains fit in here.

As we mentioned, this type of food is necessary for good health since its nutritional properties are essential for the body's functions.

Veggies are the best source of vitamin C and A that you can find. They have high water content and very little protein, fat, and few calories.

Calcium is the primary mineral that most contain. Besides, they have many micronutrients that act as antioxidants and protect our bodies by supporting immune function.

Finally, vegetables are on the second level of the food pyramid. On top of vitamins, micronutrients, and minerals, they also contain slow carbs and dietary fiber.

Types of vegetables

There are many different ways to classify vegetables. How you eat them and their composition are two ways to separate them into groups.

Also, they can be split up based on color, and in this case, there are usually more green veggies than others. However, they are typically divided into 3 types of vegetables depending on the part of the plant that you eat:

  • Stems (asparagus, milk thistle, etc.)

  • Leaves (lettuce, spinach, etc.)

  • Cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, etc.)

  • Roots (carrot, turnip, etc.)

Using this classification system, you'll also find vegetables that are tubers like potatoes and yams, or bulbs like garlic and onion, or fruits like eggplant and cucumber.

Lentils with vegetables is a highly nutritious dish that is rich in fiber.

 

16 vegetable recipes

According to expert nutritionists, 5 to 6 servings a day of vegetables is the recommended amount for a healthy diet. Luckily there are a plethora of ways to prepare and consume these stems, roots, and leaves. You can eat them raw in salads, cooked, in creamy soups, grilled, or even roasted in the oven.

Whether you eat them on their own or combined with other types of foods, vegetables make for quick and healthy meals. Below we share some easy vegetable recipes with you so that you can make quick, easy dinners.

1. Vegetable rice

Vegetable rice is a dish that's simple and quick to make. You could go the veggie risotto root or do something even less complicated.

You can use all sorts of vegetables like carrots, onion, garlic, leek, zucchini... It's all up to you!

To prepare this first sautée the vegetables and add a little bit of vegetable broth or water so that the rice cooks well. This meal is very quick to make, and it should be ready in between 10 to 15 minutes tops.

2. Lentils with vegetables

This recipe with legumes is a classic when it comes to cheap and healthy eating. You just need 400 g of lentils, leek, onion, carrots, potato, and garlic. You can use laurel, salt, pepper, and paprika to season this dish. Don't forget that you should soak the lentils overnight before you cook them.

3. Vegetable lasagna

This vegetarian meal is healthy, and almost everyone will love it. You can use whichever veggies you'd like -although spinach is the most common. You just have to sautée them to taste and then layer them on top of the already cooked pasta. To add a special touch to this recipe add bechamel to make your lasagna creamy, and then on the top layer add cheese that will melt in the oven.

4. Slow cooked veggies

Slow cooked veggies make for a complete and flavorful meal that's highly nutritious and low-fat. Just sautée the vegetables and let them cook slowly and then put them in vegetable or chicken broth to give them flavor.

5. Roasted vegetables

If you're looking for a healthy, fast, and simple dinner, roasted vegetables are just what you're looking for. You just have to peel and chop the veggies into similarly sized cubes, add a little bit of oil to keep them from drying and then salt and pepper them to taste. Preheat the oven to approximately 200-220 ºC, place the vegetables on the cooking sheet and let them roast for about 20-30 minutes or until they seem well done to you.

If you want to find out more about how to roast vegetables in the oven, click here to see the Minimalist Baker recipe.

Find out how to roast vegetables with this recipe.

 

6. Grilled vegetables

Grilled veggies are something that you often find at barbecues since they go well with all types of meat. You can also roast them on the grill and just add a little bit of salt and pepper, and don't forget the olive oil so that they're nice and juicy.

Using these grilled treats you can also make delicious vegetable towers that you can add goat cheese to if you want to boost the flavor even more.

7. Sautéed vegetables

When sautéeing, don't forget to add garlic to bring out the flavor of the rest of the vegetables and keep in mind the order when you go to put them in the pan. First, it's good to add the cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, then carrots and green beans.

Zucchini and eggplant are usually the last to get added since they contain the most water. After salt and pepper your veggies and keep cooking until you achieve a crunchy texture with the perfect golden color.

8. Vegetable soup

Vegetables can also be added to soups and broths. Think about cold ones like gazpacho or hot ones like a chunky veggie soup. You just have to cook them well in water -or chicken broth- and a little bit of oil.

9. Cream of vegetable soup

Creamy vegetable soup is definitely one of the best kinds out there. All of them are easy to make and full of flavor. In this recipe, you just have to put the veggies in a big pot in boiling water and simmer them for about 15 minutes. You can add cheese to give it a different texture and flavor when you blend the mix until it has an even smooth texture.

10. Vegetable quiche

Quiche is a type of egg dish with a crust that you can add vegetables to. If you make a homemade quiche you can make your own crust or buy a premade one at the store. You've got to cook the veggies first and then add them to the eggs that you should have already beat together with milk and powdered cheese. This is absolutely delicious and it can also work great as an appetizer.

11. Vegetable pasta

Besides lasagna, you can also make other delicious vegetarian dishes like veggie pasta, macaroni or even noodles. There are tons of ways to make this meal and usually, the base is sautéed tomato and mixed vegetables. You can also try grilling these with a bit of olive oil.

Vegetable pasta is the perfect choice for the little ones.

 

12. Couscous with vegetables

Veggie couscous is delicious and healthy and you can eat it either hot or as a cold salad. Curry, black sesame, mixed veggies, and chicken or vegetable broth are usually ingredients in this dish. This is a quick meal to prepare and you can have it ready in about 30 minutes.

13. Veggie tempura

One way to make a semi-healthy fried food is with vegetable tempura. You can serve it with a side of soy sauce and everyone is bound to enjoy it. The dough is the key to making this recipe perfect. To prepare the dough mix flour, egg, and very cold water. Dip the sliced veggies in this mix and then fry each piece in a pan with olive oil at about 170-180ºC.

14. Steamed vegetables

Steamed vegetables can be prepared a few different ways. Steaming veggies is one of the healthiest ways to cook them since they retain the most nutrition -cooking them in a pressure cooker is another good option. You can also add a little bit of vinegar or lemon juice to add some flavor and preserve vitamins.

15. Vegetable stew

Veggie stews with squash or spinach are the perfect comfort food for the winter time. Legumes go great with this recipe as well as green beans. This is a dish that requires slow cooking which requires patience, but the result is truly magnificent.

16. Veggie Pizza

Vegetable pizza is a delightful dish that is popular in everyone's house. You can add whatever veggies you please although it's best to choose the ones that are in season. Red pepper, onion, and eggplant are the types of vegetables that go best with the flavor of the tomato and cheese.

References

Boeing, H., Bechthold, A., Bub, A., Ellinger, S., Haller, D., Kroke, A., ... & Stehle, P. (2012). Critical review: vegetables and fruit in the prevention of chronic diseases. European journal of nutrition, 51(6): 637-663.

Velioglu, Y. S., Mazza, G., Gao, L., & Oomah, B. D. (1998). Antioxidant activity and total phenolics in selected fruits, vegetables, and grain products. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 46(10): 4113-4117.

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