By: Revanche

Finally Friday: tales of the veggies

August 25, 2017

Have I complained before about being terrible at side dishes and vegetable dishes? If I haven’t, here’s my declaration – I absolutely struggle to get a side dish on the table for every dinner for balanced meals. I hate cooking veggies. Too often, the effort required to make a GOOD side veg is more than I can manage, and the plain veggies are yukky. So I’m proud to share 4 quick and easy veggies that I’ve made the past few weeks!

All of them involve a dash of garlic salt and onion powder, and a saute pan, and pretty much the same cooking style.

Broccolini or fresh veggies


Half pound broccolini


This was my first time cooking broccolini so the timing is a little iffy, but here goes: Heat oil in a saute pan at medium heat. Toss the freshly washed broccolini in and cover with the lid for about a minute. Note: I deliberately toss the veggies in when they’re still wet, I like the nice blackened bits effect it has.

Flip the broccolini over, cover again and leave it to steam itself for another 2 minutes. If you like your veggies softer, leave them in longer. I like mine to have some crunch. Plate the broccolini and sprinkle with both the salt and powder.

I’ve done this with: snow peas, regular broccoli crowns, and Chinese broccoli with shredded bamboo shoots. ALL GOOD.

Frozen veggie medley


All frozen:
Green beans
Bell peppers


When you have nothing fresh on hand, only frozen, this works pretty well! Heat oil in saute pan on medium heat, throw in all the veggies except peas and cover immediately. Give it about a minute and half, toss the veggies. When they look like they’re softening, toss again and add the peas for a minute.

Spice with a light hand, these veggies are lovely when they’re allowed to shine.

:: Does anyone do better than I do with vegetables? Please share! 



10 Responses to “Finally Friday: tales of the veggies”

  1. Sense says:

    Great tips! I will be trying the onion powder (if I can find it here in NZ…I’ve only seen onion salt or big onion flakes; may have to import it!).

    I’ve found that the mixture of:

    really good olive oil
    garlic salt
    fresh-squeezed lemon juice

    works absolute magic on any hot veggie dish! I think the heat helps the garlic salt dissolve into the lemon? Whatever the cause of the taste, it is divine.

    I actually have a few cooking posts coming up. 🙂 Me giving cooking advice, who would have thunk it?!

  2. I’m a big fan of tossing green beans or asparagus with salt and olive oil and maybe some garlic and roasting. 350-400F for 20-30 minutes. We don’t really boil those vegetables any more. Just roast them. We also don’t do a lot of prep other than trimming woody ends of the asparagus or the tips off the beans.

    • Revanche says:

      I knew that was a great prep for asparagus, but didn’t occur to me to try it with green beans. Must add that to the list!

  3. Love broccolini…which is weird, because I’m not fond of broccoli.

    Stir-frying or oven-roasting is wonderful for just about any veggie fresh or frozen. I like to roll asparagus spears in olive oil and — when the oven was working — roast them at a fast heat. But you can do as well or better simply by putting them on the propane grill. After oiling, tie them together with a piece of clean white cotton string, and on the grill you won’t even have to put them on a pan or piece of tinfoil. Same for corn on the cob.

    Many veggies can be heated on the grill, either in a pan or — if you don’t have aluminum-foil paranoia — wrapped in a package of tinfoil. Place fresh or frozen (undefrosted) veggies in the middle of a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Season with whatever you like (herbs, cumin, chopped green onions, garlic, butter, olive oil, sesame oil, whatEVER) and wrap tightly. Let these cook on the grill while you’re cooking the meat. This will steam them much as you describe in your stovetop method. Just watch that they don’t overcook.
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    • Revanche says:

      Honestly, I didn’t know that broccolini was substantially different than broccoli but it really is! Wish there was a better, cheaper way to get it than $3 per half pound.

  4. Taylor Lee says:

    I’ve recently signed up for a pseudo-CSA, so having a half crate of vegetables dropped off at my house every week has helped me prioritize incorporating them into meals.

    I agree with everyone else that stir fried and oven roasting are the easiest ways I’ve found to incorporate vegetables. I’ll also make the occasional puree or soup. Doing the prep work once a week also helps since at mealtime I’ll just have the veggies ready.

    The biggest thing for me is changing up spice mixes so that the flavors don’t get too repetitive. So, for instance, I might roast the same pan of broccoli with a fennel seed-lemon-dill combo if I want something springy, sesame oil-green onion-miso or sesame oil-green onion-soy sauce if I want savory Asian flavors, cumin-paprika-oregano-chili powder if I want more TexMex, etc.

    • Revanche says:

      That’s awfully tempting now that we’re so pressed for time but I really hope that this will all pass soon. I’m experimenting a little bit with soups, would love if you’d share your favorites.

      Thanks for the spice combinations – I don’t do a good job of mixing those up but this guide is great.

  5. Quick and easy! My favorite type of recipe 😛

    I cook vegetables on a daily basis so I’m always looking for ways to whip up something quick, rather than spend hours in the kitchen.

    When pressed for time, I either fry veggies in oil or butter, like you described it, or simply boil them (no need to toss them around, just wait until they’re tender).

    Because the taste is somewhat bland in some cases, I prep a really quick garlic dressing, by mixing chopped garlic with some olive oil and plain yogurt. And salt. That’s it.
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