Day 22 of 25 Days of Christmas: 3 Easy Methods to Cook Your Veggies

By Jennifer Pittman

I live a busy life, as I’m sure you do too. Top our already bustling schedules with the hub-bub of the holidays, and WOW!!!  In order to avoid saying, “I’ll have the #2 with a Coke please”, we need to have quick and easy methods on hand so we can get a healthy dose of fibrous veggies throughout this busy season.

Seems easier said than done, right? Not necessarily….

It’s during these hectic times that I employ three of my best friends: the microwave, the grill and the freezer.Since we could all use more ideas for ways to squeeze in our veggies (especially during the carb-laden holidays), I’m going to share with you three simple, quick and easy methods that I like to use for getting my “veg-on” during my crazy work-week & holiday schedule.

1. The Microwave

The “nuker” is my BFF during hectic weekday nights. You can steam ANY type of vegetable in the microwave with awesome results.

Here’s the method: In a plastic or glass microwave safe bowl, place your prepped veggies in the bowl with whatever seasonings you desire (I like a small pat of butter, salt, pepper and a little minced garlic). Cover the dish with the lid, but DO NOT snap the lid closed tightly (you need to give the steam a way to escape or else you’ll end up with a puddle of water in the bottom of your bowl). Cook on high for 3-6 minutes (the cooking time is just dependent on how crunchy you like your veggies), and BOOM!!! You’ve got a freshly steamed and delicious bowl of veg waiting for you to devour with less than 10 minutes of prep time.

Extra time saver: Buy pre-prepped fresh veggies and you’ll literally cut your prep time in half!

My broccoli from last night ready to go in the “nuker”!

 2. The Grill

My husband and I grill year-round (one of the many perks of living in NC!). So, naturally I’d find a way to cook my veggies on the grill without having to worry about flipping or stirring them every 3 minutes so they don’t burn. Enter another good friend of mine: the tin foil.

Here’s the method: Take a large sheet of tin foil and lay it on your counter. Place ANY type of veggie (or mix of veggies) you like in the middle of the foil. Top the pile of veggies with your favorite seasonings then loosely wrap the veggies in the foil creating a type of “pocket”. Stick the tin foil pocket on the grill and allow to cook for 7-12 minutes. Be careful when you open the packet; as all of the steam will escape quickly and could burn. What you’re left with after the steam evaporates is a pile of awesome cooked veggies that took NO maintenance time while cooking.

Extra time saver: Make multiple individual sized foil packets and have some for lunch the next day!

Quick & easy grill friendly method.

3. The Freezer

Yes folks, you’ve heard it here…I am not ashamed to eat frozen veggies. In fact, I DEPEND on the frozen veggie section during the winter-time. I’ll stock up on steam-in-bag broccoli, spinach, zucchini, etc… and enjoy veggies year-round!

Here’s the method: Look for frozen vegetables with only one ingredient – the veggie! If there are additions to the frozen veggies like “sauces” and “herbs”, just stay away. Follow the instructions on the package for quick steaming using our BFF above (the microwave) and you can have veggies with EVERY meal. Plus, frozen veggies are LOTS cheaper than fresh, so you’ll be saving money at checkout too!

Extra time saver: Carry a steam-in-bag package of vegetables with you to the office and use the office microwave (if you’re lucky enough to have one at work) to cook them. Enjoy along with your lunch!

Frozen veggies make a quick & easy office lunch.

Try employing some or all of these methods in your weekly routine and watch your veggie intake go UP and your waistline go DOWN!

What are some of your favorite ways to cook your veggies?

Comment on our Facebook page and let us know!

Until next time…Peace, love and VEGGIES!

Xoxo, Coach Jen

P.S. (and a Family Pic) – I wanted to take this opportunity to let everyone know how blessed I am to be a part of the Beyond Fit family. It is YOU who makes me want to strive to be a better person and coach. I wish each and every one of you a happy & healthy holiday! 🙂 Take time to enjoy your friends, laugh with family and take some time out for YOU this holiday season.

Focus on your goals for the future and reflect on the joys of the past year. Great things are to come in 2013! Merry Christmas!