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Delicious Vegetables

September 27, 2010 Written by JP    [Font too small?]

When I’m not writing content for this site, I’m frequently consulting with individual clients. One of the first things I tell them is that it’s imperative that they’re 100% honest with me. I need to know the unvarnished truth about how they really eat, exercise, manage stress and sleep. If they binge, I need to know. If they starve themselves, that too. Do they abuse caffeine or drugs to compensate for a lack of rest? Is exercise a daily activity or a monthly exception? It’s all pertinent information that I need to factor in when putting together a comprehensive wellness program. One of the most common admissions I hear is, “I don’t like healthy vegetables” or some variation on that theme. My Healthy Monday tip of the week is to transform healthy vegetables into something that you’ll actually crave.

What I’ve learned over time is that most people who dislike non-starchy vegetables are basing their opinion on bad experiences. A big plate of iceberg salad doused with store-bought dressing isn’t at all comparable to a gourmet Cobb salad or baby mixed greens topped with wild salmon and creamy dill dressing. Likewise, beautifully roasted broccoli and cauliflower are in a completely different league than their often over-boiled counterparts.

The great thing about roasting is that it doesn’t require much more effort than boiling or steaming vegetables. All it takes is a few basic steps: 1) Preheat oven to 350° F; 2) Toss organic broccoli and/or cauliflower (organic fresh or defrosted) in a large bowl with a generous amount of organic, extra virgin olive oil and season with freshly ground pepper and salt or salt substitute; 3) Spread veggies on a parchment lined baking sheet; 4) Roast the cruciferous veg in the oven for about 50 to 60 minutes until tender and nicely browned in spots. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

You can further enhance the flavor to your veggies by adding chopped shallots, onions, garlic and/or red chili flakes. Cauliflower can also be jazzed up by adding curry powder or smoked paprika. You are only limited by your imagination and palate. You can even add exotic cheeses. Goat feta, bleu cheese crumbles and shredded parmesan work especially well.

Cruciferous Vegetables May Promote Cycle Arrest and Death (Apoptosis) in Cancer Cells
Source: Cancer Lett. 2008 October 8; 269(2): 291–304. (link)

Brassica vegetables, which also include Brussels sprouts, kale, mustard greens and turnips are widely known for their anti-cancer properties. But a cursory review of the medical literature paints a much broader picture of their true health potential. In the field of holistic medicine, the term “detoxification” gets bandied around quite a lot. Cruciferous vegetables are the real deal when it comes to supporting the body’s ability to cleanse itself via a “greater induction of phase I and phase II detoxification enzymes in the liver and the lungs“. This class of low-glycemic veggies also shield the digestive system by antagonizing pathogenic bacteria such Helicobacter pylori – the leading cause of ulcers. I’ve even seen current evidence that suggests that cooked broccoli can protect the heart from the harm caused by inadequate blood flow and oxygen, a state known as ischaemic reperfusion. Very impressive indeed. (1,2,3)

Health benefits aside, I find roasted broccoli and cauliflower downright delicious. And let me just assure you that I was not a vegetable lover in my youth. Far from it. In addition, they’re a near perfect accompaniment to virtually any main coarse. Set them next to an omelet in place of hash browns. Serve them with along side a perfectly cooked fish fillet or grilled chicken. You might even adopt my favorite manner of eating them: I make a low-carb grilled cheese sandwich and set a pile of roasted vegetables on the same plate. I eat the crispy veggies just like French fries. Give this recipe a try and I’m sure you’ll soon discover your own preferred way of enjoying this health promoting side dish.

Note: Please check out the “Comments & Updates” section of this blog – at the bottom of the page. You can find the latest research about this topic there!

Be well!


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Posted in Food and Drink, Nutrition, Recipes

12 Comments & Updates to “Delicious Vegetables”

  1. anne h Says:

    I love the cauliflower recipe honestly!

  2. JP Says:

    Thank you, Anne! 🙂

    Be well!


  3. Sue Says:

    JP, Do you have to cover the brocolli or cauliflower to steam a bit in the oven or does it turn out perfect just putting them in the way you describe?

  4. JP Says:


    No need to cover them. They become perfectly tender on the inside while crispy on the outside just by roasting them.

    Be well!


  5. Sue Says:

    Thank You!

  6. Nina K. Says:

    Good Morning, JP 🙂

    i love the recipe, and i’m a really big veggilover ;-). Love your recipes here, always delicious ☺

    Nina K.

  7. oct Says:

    Wow, I must try roasted cauliflower … they look so good. Thanks JP.

  8. JP Says:

    I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we do, Oct! 🙂

    Be well!


  9. JP Says:

    Many thanks, Nina! 🙂

    Be well!


  10. Dave Says:

    I agree. When I first started trying to transform my eating habits from an acid to an alkaline diet, I despised vegetables. I used all kinds of sauces to disguise the veggies. Your body has to get used to the change. I slowly reduced the sauces and introduced more vegetables and today I love almost any vegetable. I do not need the sauces.


  11. JP Says:

    Updated 03/21/17:


    Nutrients. 2017 Mar 17;9(3).

    Consumption of Fruit or Fiber-Fruit Decreases the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in a Mediterranean Young Cohort.

    Fiber and fiber-rich foods have been inversely associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD), but the evidence is scarce in young and Mediterranean cohorts. We used Cox regression models to assess the association between quintiles of total fiber and fiber from different sources, and the risk of CVD adjusted for the principal confounding factors in a Mediterranean cohort of young adults, the SUN (Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra, Follow-up) cohort. After a median follow-up of 10.3 years, we observed 112 cases of CVD among 17,007 participants (61% female, mean age 38 years). We observed an inverse association between fiber intake and CVD events (p for trend = 0.024) and also between the highest quintile of fruit consumption (hazard ratio (HR) 0.51, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.27-0.95) or whole grains consumption (HR 0.43 95% CI 0.20-0.93) and CVD compared to the lowest quintile, and also a HR of 0.58 (95% CI 0.37-0.90) for the participants who ate at least 175 g/day of fruit. Only the participants in the highest quintile of fruit-derived fiber intake had a significantly lower risk of CVD (HR 0.52, 95% CI 0.28-0.97). The participants who ate at least one serving per week of cruciferous vegetables had a lower risk than those who did not (HR 0.52, 95% CI 0.30-0.89). In conclusion, high fruit consumption, whole grain consumption, or consumption of at least one serving/week of cruciferous vegetables may be protective against CVD in young Mediterranean populations.

    Be well!


  12. JP Says:

    Updated 08/20/17:


    Appetite. 2017 Sep 1;116:239-245.

    Influence of seasoning on vegetable selection, liking and intent to purchase.

    Low vegetable intake continues to be a health concern, and strategies to increase vegetable intake have resulted in only small increases. One strategy that has received less attention is the use of seasonings. This study’s objective was to determine the impact of seasoning on vegetable selection, liking, and intent to purchase. We conducted a 3-week study in a public café on a university campus. Customers buying a main dish could select a vegetable side (seasoned [SS] or steamed [ST]) at no cost. Based on café data and power analysis (alpha 0.05, 80% power), 2 days per vegetable pair were conducted with carrot, broccoli, and green bean pairs randomized 3 days/week 1 and 3, with normal service week 2. Selection was greater for SS vs ST, n = 335 vs. 143 for all 3 vegetables combined; n = 97 vs 47 for carrots; n = 114 vs. 55 for broccoli; n = 124 vs. 41 for green beans (p < 0.001 Chi-Square). Liking responses were similar for SS vs ST and were high for all vegetables. Response distribution was not significantly different for SS vs ST vegetables when people were asked if they would purchase the vegetable that they selected. More customers chose the 'somewhat likely' and 'very likely' (n = 353) than the 'not likely' and 'definitely would not' (n = 121) purchase responses. Regression showed that people who did not often consume a vegetable with lunch while dining out were 1.59 times more likely to select the SS vegetables over the ST (p = 0.007). Given a choice, consumers were more likely to select a seasoned vegetable. With low vegetable consumption as a predictor of seasoned vegetable choice, offering seasoned vegetables may increase intake in those with poor vegetable intake in a café setting. Be well! JP

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