Add Variety with Vegetables

Bored with your broccoli but don’t know what to replace it with? There are plenty of vegetables out there to help you mix it up so that you don’t have to eat the same thing everyday.  With summer on it’s way, it gets even easier to add variety to your veggies —farmer’s markets make them more accesible and the use of a grill makes cooking them up a cinch! Here’s a list and even a few simple recipes that we at On Track Training personally love to help get you started:

      • Asparagus – This asparagus salad  recipe is so delicious, even if you’re at a point in your diet where you have to skip the cheese. It’s paired with a quiche recipe, so you’ll just have to scroll to the salad specific parts.
      • Avocado
      • Beets – Wrap them in tinfoil and then throw them under the broiler or on the grill until fork tender. Wait for them to cool and then use a small paring knife to peel them. Then you can eat them as is or throw them in a salad.
      • Bok Choy -This stir fried bok choy recipe is our favorite fast way to prepare bok choy. It’s the best with baby bok choy, but it’s not always available in conventional grocery stores so I’ve made it with regular and it’s just as yummy.
      • Broccoli – steam it, broil it, boil it. Whatever you prefer. This roasted broccoli recipe from our blog is a great simple recipe.
      • Brussels Sprouts – We are huge fans of brussels sprouts at On Track! This roasted brussels sprouts recipe is a great way to add extra flavor if you or someone you’re cooking for is skeptical of sprouts.
      • Butternut Squash
      • Cabbage – This roasted cabbage recipe is a favorite of Christine’s because it gives you a flavorful, crispy wedge of cabbage.
      • Carrots – You really can’t go wrong with roasting or grilling carrots with a little olive oil and salt, but if you’re feeling adventurous, try this roasted cumin-lime carrots recipe. It’s simple and flavor packed.
      • Cauliflower
      • Celery
      • Collards
      • Cucumber
      • Eggplant – The easiest way to prepare eggplant is to slice it into rounds, add olive oil and salt and then roast or grill. One tip: Once you slice the eggplant, set it on a pan, salt it and let it sit for 20-30 minutes. This will release water from the eggplant, so just dab it off with a paper towel, flip the eggplant and repeat on the other side. Also super simple to do under the broiler!
      • Green Beans
      • Green Peas
      • Kale
      • Kohlrabi
      • Leeks – This braised leeks in a creamy lemon sauce recipe is delish. When in a time pinch (or when feeling lazy), I’ve modified by just sautéing the leeks with olive oil, salt and pepper and then just adding lemon juice and fennel fronds at the end and feel it’s just as good.
      • Lettuce
      • Mushrooms
      • Patty Pan Squash – I discovered this roasted patty pan w/ herbed beans recipe last summer and both Christine and I have given it our stamp of approval. It’s delicious with the beans, but you could make it without if you prefer —just pour the dressing over the squash. If making both the beans and squash, I recommend storing separately so that you can microwave the squash without heating the beans.
      • Snap Peas
      • Spinach
      • Sweet Peppers
      • Swiss Chard – I love this sautéed swiss chard with parmesan recipe, while Christine prefers this savory swiss chard recipe. Both are great but the first recipe has a milder taste, so if you’re not sure about swiss chard you might want to start there.
      • Zucchini – Zucchini is another vegetable that’s perfect for roasting or grilling, just slice into rounds and add some olive oil and salt. I also love this braised zucchini with basil and sun gold cherry tomatos recipe because it’s different, easy and yummy.

With produce, it’s often a matter of what’s available at the moment. Eat Seasonably has a fabulous interactive “What to Eat Now” calendar on their website (or if you prefer, you can print it off and keep it with your meal planning things) that will help you determine what vegetables and fruits are in season. The only downside is that it’s a UK website so you’ll have to do some translating —hint: courgette is zucchini and marrow refers to a variety of summer squashes. Another good way to go is to look at the displays in the grocery store, often they’ll place in season items in a special end stand.

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What are some of your favorite vegetables and how do you prepare them?

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On Track Training

On Track Training is run by Christine Bongiovanni-Stiff, Minnesota's first IFBB Pro Bodybuilder. Christine offers diet & training programs, group classes and seminars to help the physique competitor reach all their on stage (or off stage!) goals. On Track Training also promotes the NPC Gopher State Classic, NPC MN State Classic and the NPC North Star competitions.

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