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The A to Z of Vegetables: Part 2

Enjoy the second instalment of the 'A to Z of Vegetables', which offers up tips and tricks from the Family Centre's dietitian and diabetes educator Amy Rush! Missed last month's instalment? Click here to read it now. N is for No Fresh Veggies No fresh veggies, no stress. Frozen vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh ones and can still be tasty. Thawed and heated, frozen veggies don't have the crispness of fresh ones, so making them shine is all about adding flavour. It might sound unusual, but dips are a great option here, as they add flavour, bulk and texture. Stir a dollop of crunchy pesto dip through broccoli, or French onion dip through cauliflower, to take frozen veggies to next level. O is for Onion Caramelised onion is delicious but most recipes come with a lot of sugar. Try this ‘caramelised’ onion hack: place sliced red onion in a small pot with a generous splash balsamic vinegar and some water. Let it simmer on low heat, stirring often until all the balsamic and water evaporate. At this point, add a sprinkle of xylitol to taste. You’ll get loads of flavour without sugary carbohydrates.  P is for Peas Pea mash, please! Boil peas with diced garlic cloves until extra soft. Drain and mash with thickened cream. Keep the garlic cloves in when you mash for extra flavour. Q is for Qukes AKA baby cucumbers! As delicious as these are on their own, they can also be taken to the next level yum with some indulgent additions. Halve them and spread with French onion or cheese and chive dip, then top with chopped fried bacon bits. R is for Red Capsicum We love using capsicum in place of bread for the ultimate burger! Halve and deseed large red capsicums, lightly grill on the grill pan or BBQ, then fill them with grilled chicken breast, cheese, salad and aioli. S is for Snow peas Grill these on the BBQ for the perfect side to marinated meats. Drizzle with a generous amount of sesame oil and grill, turning, for just a few minutes. Don’t overdo it, you want them nice and crunchy! T is for Tomato Roasted tomatoes are a delicious side to any protein. Choose large plump tomatoes, halve them and top with parmesan cheese and dukkha. Drizzle with olive oil and roast until cheese melts and the tomato softens.   U is for Uncooked Have you ever tried raw broccoli or raw cauliflower? If not, give it a go! It is deliciously fresh and crunchy. Try mixing through a creamy salad dressing or dip and add a sprinkle of chopped nuts. V is for Vegetable Vermicelli You can spiralise a variety of veggies to make creative, healthy noodles. Try zucchini, carrot, eggplant, white cabbage, celeriac or even broccoli stems! Zucchini noodles work well with a chunky tomato mince sauce and carrot noodles go well with a saucy chicken stir-fry. W is for Water chestnut Buy them fresh, in their shells, or canned and pre-sliced. Add them to stir-frys for extra crunch, or eat fresh ones straight from the shell for a low-carb snack! X is for X-tra Veggies Try to make veggies the main component of your meals where you can. Make veggies the meal base, then add protein and top your meal with some satiating fat, such as a drizzle of olive, avocado or walnut oil, and you have a nutritious and vitamin-packed meal. Y is for Yellow Capsicum Eat the rainbow! Grill baby yellow and orange capsicums whole on the BBQ for a delicious, crunchy summer side dish. Z is for Zucchini Sprialised zucchini noodles are fun to make and make a great low-carb pasta substitute for your next bolognaise sauce. Mix them with carrot, celeriac, daikon radish or even butternut squash noodles for a colourful twist on a pasta night!

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