Intimidation: (adj) the state of being afraid.
Intimidation: (adj.) the state of being afraid to cook “simple” vegetables.
You hear about how “simple” eating “real food” is—meat and veggies. Throw some butter or coconut oil in there, maybe some salt and pepper. And “boom”: easy peasy.
At least it sounds that way.
When it comes to actually preparing them though: different story.
The idea of “sautéed greens”, roasted Brussels sprouts, cooked beets, steamed broccoli, pan-fried zucchini or homemade sweet potato chips sounds like a deliciously good idea, but when it comes to actually making them…You’re like a deer in the headlights (Googling “How do I do it?”).
Listen up. You’re not alone.
It’s safe to say that every 1 in 2 people I speak with about nutrition says something like this:
- “I want to eat healthy, BUT it’s so much work.”
- “I want to eat healthy, but I hate long recipes.”
- “I eat well—real food—when someone else makes it for me (i.e. I don’t make it as good).”
Whatever your feelings are about meal prep and cooking, let this post put you at ease and repeat after me:
“Cooking is easy.”
One more time.
“Cooking is EASY.”
Cool. Glad we got that squared away.
Without further ado, 5 simple side dishes (i.e. veggies) you can make in a snap:
- 1-2 heads of Greens of choice or boxed/bagged greens (Power Greens, Kale, Spinach, Collards, etc.)
- 1 Tbsp. melted Ghee or Coconut Oil
- Sea Salt and Pepper
Wash and dry lettuce if need be. Heat oil on stove on medium heat. Toss greens into pan, season with sea salt and pepper, and throw in a splash of water (2-3 tbsp). Cover with lid. Allow to sautee for 4-6 minutes, until cooked and wilted to preferred consistency.
- Veggies of choice
- 2 small Broccoli Heads, cut into florets
- 1 head Cauliflower, cut into florets
- 2 Zucchini &/or Yellow Squash, sliced in rounds
- Asparagus, ends chopped
- 3 Beets, diced
- 1 entire bulb Garlic, cloves separated and peeled
- Olive Oil
- Sea Salt, to taste
- Ground Black Pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Line a large baking pan with parchment paper (not foil).
- Place all veggies on the prepared baking sheet/jelly roll pan. Pour some olive oil evenly over the veggies (don’t drench them, just a light coating).
- Salt and pepper to taste, then mix everything together to evenly coat everything with the oil, salt, and pepper.
- Place pan in the oven on the middle rack and roast for 50-60 minutes, stirring veggies 2-3 times.
- You’ll know they’re done when the edges are crispy and brown (and smells amazing).
- 1 Large head of Cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 tbsp Ghee
- Head of Garlic (or garlic powder to taste)
- Fresh Chives, chopped
- Sea Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
- Place a couple inches of water in a large pot. Once water is boiling, place steamer insert and then cauliflower florets into the pot and cover. Steam for 12-14 minutes, until completely tender. Drain and return cauliflower to pot.
- Add ghee, garlic, pepper and sea salt to the cauliflower. Using an immersion blender or food processor, combine ingredients until smooth.
- Top with chives and freshly ground pepper.
- 1 Spaghetti squash
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Using a sharp knife, cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and discard.
- Place the halves with the cut side up on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and oregano.
- Roast the squash in the oven for 40-45 minutes, until you can poke the squash easily with a fork.
- Let it cool until you can handle it safely. Then scrape the insides with a fork to shred the squash into strands.
Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges
- 4 Smallish Sweet Potatoes (we prefer garnet), 6-8″, 2-3″ in diameter
- 2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Avocado Oil, Ghee (this amount is not an exact science, enough to make sure all your sweet potatoes are coated and glossy but not drowning!!)
- Sea Salt, to taste
- Optional seasonings
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees and lightly grease 2 cookies sheets, or line with parchment.
- Peel your sweet potatoes, but do not rinse them, you need them dry so the oil adheres.
- Slice your sweet potatoes into wedges
- In a large bowl, toss the fries with the olive oil, and any seasonings if you so choose (sea salt, cinnamon, paprika, etc.)
- Spread the fries out in a SINGLE LAYER on a cookie sheet
- Sprinkle the fries with salt.
- Bake for 30-45 minutes (the longer you cook, the crispier they are)
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