Spending a decent amount of time in the kitchen is not a luxury we all have or want. However, it seems like if we want to create a decent meal, we have to prioritize it above other things. We use a lot of different ingredients so that we are not eating the same thing over and over again. Then it just becomes overwhelming to cook any meal.
But what if we could reduce this overwhelming feeling by simplifying the ingredients we use?
What if we used less ingredients in a variety of ways to create a larger variety of meals without feeling like we are eating the same thing over and over again?
After reading Courtney Carver’s article, Simplify Your Life with The Capsule Kitchen Challenge, I had a thought. If we simplify everything in our home, from the amount of clothes we own to pots and pans we use, why not simplify what ingredients we use?!
One category of food I am learning to cook a variety of ways is vegetables. Now this may not be a novel idea to most, but for someone who only started craving vegetables a couple of years ago, this is BIG! I am not a kitchen connoisseur, but I do love food! Regardless, I want to share with you a few of my favorite vegetables that I cook several different ways.
If you have any suggestions or recipes you would like to share, please leave them in the comments. I welcome the discussion!
Vegetables that Simplify Cooking
1 // Potatoes
Potatoes are probably my favorite vegetable when it comes to experimenting with new recipes. They can be cooked a variety of ways, and taste great with a variety of seasonings. You can bake, boil, mash, dice, slice, or even grill them. Mix them with other vegetables for a variety of crock pot, baking, or grilling recipes. The possibilities are endless.
Two of my favorite ways to enjoy potatoes are:
- Boiled whole – After it cooks, slice it up a bit to add in some butter, salt and pepper. So so good!
- Diced – I love dicing potatoes to put in a crock pot recipe. It is the perfect high carb vegetable to add into each recipe.
2 // Broccoli
Broccoli is a “new to me” vegetable that I am obsessed with now! You can roast, fry, steam, or toss in a soup. One recipe that I am obsessed with currently is from my friend Christina from The Whole Cook. Her Beef & Broccoli recipe is seriously ON POINT! It is also great as a leftover meal, so definitely check it out for me.
Broccoli is a vegetable that pairs great with most things. I love it with all meats, potatoes, vegetable soups, and I believe I have even seen muffin recipes use it. Definitely something I want to try soon!
3 // Onions
Onions are one of the very first vegetables I started craving when my taste buds changed a few years back. I love them raw, fried, sauteed, grilled, pretty much any way you can fix them. They are a staple for 90% of the recipes I cook. My favorite onion is a red onion, because it has the perfect bite for salads, burgers, and chili.
4 // Leafy Greens
I could not decide which leafy green I wanted to include, so why not include them all, right?! Spinach, kale, turnip greens… they all suit my fancy when it comes to cooking. They are extremely diverse and can add great nutrients to whatever meal you are preparing.
Here are a few ways I enjoy my leafy greens:
- Smoothies – Mix them with different fruits, and you will not have any idea that you are getting your serving of vegetables. This also gives a great boost in the morning if you are not as alert as you would like to be.
- Fried – I love frying up my leafy greens after cooking chicken or pork chops. The seasoning left in the pan is a perfect match!
- Salad – Of course, who does not love a fresh leafy green salad?
5 // Carrots
Carrots are one of my favorite things to use in a stew or roast crock pot recipe. I also love them roasted. They are a delicious treat that partner well with many spices, main dishes, and dressings.
My favorite thing about carrots is that they are relatively inexpensive when you purchase them unprocessed, so they are not only worthy of being staple pieces with recipes, but they are pocket book friendly, too! I also love that carrots add a fun bright color to my dish. Most of the time, I cook with neutral/muted colors, and the bright orange really adds pizzazz!
Now that you have a few vegetable suggestions, which ones will you try using as a means to simplify cooking in your kitchen? Comment below and let me know!
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