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Recipes That Made Me Fall In Love With Vegetables

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at PSU chapter.

I believe that people who do not like vegetables simply have not found a good recipe for them yet.

Heating up a frozen bag of vegetables has never been my cup of tea (don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with frozen veggies), but when I learned that there is more to life than the boring side of green beans, I suddenly could not get enough vegetables on my plate.

None of these recipes are of my own original creation and have various different versions, but I have altered most of them in some way to fit my personal taste preferences.

Roasted Vegetables

I am convinced this is the easiest side dish one can possibly make for dinner.

First, you have to choose your vegetables, such as carrots, green beans, zucchini, broccoli, etc. The only other ingredients you need are olive oil or avocado oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. You can also add additional spices you may prefer or remove any you do not care for.

You need to preheat your oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Wash your vegetables of choice and peel or chop them if necessary. Then, cover the vegetables in oil and season them however much or little you prefer.

Roast them for about 20 to 30 minutes and they’ll be ready to serve.

Cheese Baked Asparagus

I have to give credit for this recipe to my aunt– when I was little she used to make this recipe and there was almost none left when we were finished with dinner. The only ingredients you need are asparagus, mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees. Then, lay the asparagus side by side across a cookie sheet and cover it with both kinds of cheese. Bake asparagus until the cheese is golden brown, which is about 25 to 30 minutes.

Spicy Vegetable Quinoa Salad

There are many different versions of this quinoa salad recipe out there, but I came up with my own because I am a big fan of spicy food. If the spicy flavor is not for you, you can still make this salad but swap out spicy seasonings for more mild ones when seasoning the vegetables.

The ingredients you will need include red onion, a bell pepper, zucchini, one or two jalapeños, quinoa, olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, cumin and a creamy chipotle sauce (optional).

First, preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Chop all the vegetables, cover them in olive oil and season them to taste.

You will need to roast the vegetables for about 20 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, you can cook the quinoa according to the directions on the package.

Once both the quinoa is cooked and the vegetables are roasted, simply combine everything into one bowl. Top the bowl off with a creamy chipotle sauce or sauce of choice. If you want to turn this dish into a meal instead of a side dish, simply add in chicken or black beans for a source of protein.

Diced Vegetable Salsa

This recipe became very popularized on TikTok this summer thanks to Bria Lemirande under the name “Cowboy Caviar,” which has several variations that can be found online. However, Bria has since taken down the recipe she shared since the name sparked some cultural controversy due to its similarity to the Hispanic dish pico de gallo. Despite Bria’s dish being highly customizable and having over a dozen ingredients, not including a tomato which is the main ingredient in pico de gallo, I am going to refer to the version that I typically make as a diced vegetable salsa.

This recipe is packed with so many vegetables and protein that it makes a great healthy snack or even a meal.

The ingredients that I have chosen to make the base of my customized version of this dish include red, yellow, and orange bell pepper, corn, red onion, fresh jalapeños, black beans, goat cheese and cilantro. The ingredients for the dressing are the same recipe Bria used which includes the juice of three limes, ½ cup of olive oil,  ¼ cup of red or white wine vinegar, a packet of taco seasoning, four tablespoons of hot honey, salt and pepper (Bria’s dressing also uses sugar but I choose not to add that).

I usually start to make the dressing by combining all of the aforementioned ingredients to let the flavors combine. Then I wash and chop all of the produce and combine them in a large bowl.

Once all the base ingredients are added except the cheese, I drizzle the dressing over everything and stir. I put the crumbled goat cheese on last.

You can either eat this dish with chips as a salsa, put it over rice to create a bowl, or even roll it in a tortilla to make a burrito.

Sweet and Sour Brussel Sprouts Stir Fry

This recipe is inspired by a side dish from the restaurant American Ale House in State College, PA. My dad ordered this dish and I can honestly say that they were the best Brussels sprouts I have ever had. I don’t know the exact ingredients the restaurant uses or how they prepare it, so I am sharing my attempted recreation of the recipe.

The ingredients needed for this recipe are Brussels sprouts, red onion, bell pepper, butter, sweet and sour sauce or a thick teriyaki sauce, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes (optional) and pine nuts or sunflower seeds (the original recipe uses pine nuts, but when I recreated it I only had sunflower seeds which work just as well).

Start by chopping the Brussels sprouts in half and slicing the onion and pepper into strips. Place all vegetables in a large pan with butter and season them.

Sauté the vegetables until they start to crisp up and slightly char. Once they have charred, pour in as much or as little sauce as preferred (I usually use slightly less than half the bottle).

Cook until the sauce bubbles a little, then turn the heat to low, cover the pan and let the sauce simmer for one to two minutes. Empty the pan onto a plate or into a bowl and garnish with pine nuts or sunflower seeds.

These are just a few of my favorite vegetable recipes that I have ever eaten. If you don’t like vegetables but are trying to add more to your everyday meals, give one of these recipes a try!

Sydney is a senior at Penn State University majoring in Telecommunications with a minor in Digital Media Trends & Analytics. In her free time, she enjoys reading, trying new recipes, sports, and discovering new places to visit.