12 Vegetables to Add In Your Diet (no salads involved)

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Red Beets

Beets aren’t commonly cooked in a lot of dishes and the purple colour can be both a delight and a turn off, depending on what you’re cooking. Often eaten in salads, again, that raw flavour of beets isn’t something that most people enjoy. However, red beets are a leading source of nitrates, which is good for blood pressure. So, besides juicing it or eating it in salads, how else can you sneak this into your food?

  1. Bake them till tender and then mash it up together with beef to make homemade burgers. Vegetarian option would be to use feta cheese instead of beef.
  2. Make it into a dip. You can mix it with hummus to give it a sweeter flavour but still makes a great snack or appetiser.
  3. Juice the beets and use it to make pasta. You’ll have gorgeous purple-red pasta that you can serve aglio olio style or with any preferred sauce.

Do note that beets do have higher levels of sugar compared to other vegetables listed here so if you’re diabetic, you may want to restrict the amount of beets you consume.

Watercress

This veggie is quite peppery when eaten raw, which is probably why some people do not like them. However, it’s rich in vitamins A, C and K, together with other antioxidants.

  1. Chinese style soup where you boil the watercress with chicken or pork bones, wolf berries and chinese red dates.
  2. Western style soup where it is puréed.

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Asparagus

Notorious for making some people have foul smelling pee, this vegetable is high in folate and therefore, great for pregnant mothers and those with high blood pressure. It’s taste is almost sweet and the only issue a lot of people have with it is when it becomes too fibrous.

  1. Make fake pasta by shaving the raw asparagus into thin strips. Then cook it and toss it with your pasta (you might want to choose fettuccine or a thick noodle) so that you would think that you’re eating pasta but wouldn’t realise that it’s vegetables until it hits your tongue. This technique works for cucumber and courgette as well.
  2. Chop the asparagus into small bite sized pieces and then either add them into an omelette or a quiche. Tastes great and will definitely absorb the flavours of the seasoning.

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Peppers

Well, technically they’re fruits but once again, we’ll lump it all here because they’re not saccharine sweet when compared to apples. However, peppers are really nice and sweet when grilled or roasted. The fact that they’re very high in vitamin C is also a huge plus point.

  1. Purée the roasted peppers and add them to pasta/ lasagne/ pizza sauce. This is a really good way to bring in a bit of smokey flavour into your tomato-based sauce and also reduces the acidity without compromising on taste.
  2. Dice them and stir fry it with minced chicken or pork and dark soy sauce. Use that as a topping on tofu and you’ve got something that is healthy and delicious!

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Cauliflower

Often overshadowed by its cousin, the broccoli, the cauliflower is also rich in vitamins B, C, K and is a good source of fibre and plant protein. It also makes a great alternative to rice if you’re controlling your sugar intake.

  1. Make cauliflower rice. As mentioned earlier, if you’re controlling sugar intake by limiting carbs, cauliflower rice is a good alternative. Simply shred the cauliflower with a grater so that it resembles rice. Cook it for only 4-5 min either by boiling it with stock or stir frying.
  2. Make a flourless pizza crust. Recipe can be found here.
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