Too many veggies - no soup for me!
April 3, 2016 2:54 AM   Subscribe

I have been partially successful at clean eating over the past few weeks. Recent organic veg deliveries have left me with an overload of broccoli, carrots and peppers. Sadly, I cannot stand soups of any variety and have had enough of tomato-based dishes. What can I cook that will not bore me to death after two portions of it? I can be convinced to add meat to if it will make it delicious. Bonus points if it can be frozen or transported and reheated easily for work lunches. Thanks in advance!
posted by joboe to Food & Drink (22 answers total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
roast all of them and make a filo pie? Or a quiche?
posted by idlethink at 3:03 AM on April 3, 2016 [3 favorites]

First your bonus point: Cut veggies into chunks (PEEL the broccoli stems and cube). Rub/mix/toss them with salt, pepper and a good dose of some good-tasting cooking fat (duck, ghee, good olive oil); perhaps add some herbs like oregano, thyme or some such; for broccoli also: nutmeg and/or allspice (very little, though). Spread on oven sheet. Heat oven to medium, roast until done. It's yummy, it's save-able, freezable, reheatable, lunch-at-workable.

Otherwise: Try to get hold of, and mine, the cookbooks by Marcella Hazan. It will become your collection of how-to-cook-veggies bibles.

I sometimes also do a combo of small-cut veggies in a large frying pan. Start them with water and butter or olive oil and some salt, cook them until done and the water is gone and they just begin to sizzle. There might be cheese on something like this.

Broccoli is also good peeled/washed, boiled in lots of water Pasta-style (i.e., submerged, open lid, until just done but not crisp any more). And then, in a frying pan, you sauté finely chopped parsley-garlic for a while and add the broccoli (and enough salt and pepper).
posted by Namlit at 3:10 AM on April 3, 2016 [11 favorites]

([Red]Bell)Peppers: big slices, rubbed with oil, in a hot oven or on the grill until skin blisters. Skin removed as far as possible. Dressed with lemon juice (or good white wine vinegar), olive oil, flaky salt and squeezed fresh garlic (nsfw(ork), obvsl v(ery)sfw(eekend)).
posted by Namlit at 3:14 AM on April 3, 2016 [2 favorites]

I love roasting oil/salt/pepper covered broccoli florets on an oven tray, eat like they're chips.
posted by honey-barbara at 3:14 AM on April 3, 2016

Roast the peppers, or cook them on a gas flame til they turn black and blister. Put them in a bag and then peel them. Then into the food processor with some olive oil, garlic (optional) and salt. Puree until the most unbelievably delicious smell wafts up. Use it on pasta, in sandwiches instead of mayo, as a dip with pita, or unplug the food processor and stand there eating it with a spoon. (Works best with red, yellow, orange, or combination of these with green).
You can similarly play with the texture of the broccoli and carrots. I'd make a broccoli/carrot slaw as an improv on this broccoli slaw from smitten kitchen.
posted by flourpot at 3:27 AM on April 3, 2016 [7 favorites]

I often make a simple carrot salad as s side dish. Make a vinegrette dressing with either lemon juice or red wine vinegar, honey, mustard, and thyme -- I go 2 to 1 oil to vinegar instead of the traditional 3 or 4 to one, you want the dressing a bit tart to counteract the sweetness of the carrots. Take you carrots, peel, and discard the outer peels. Then just keep peeling, creating long thin ribbons of carrot. Toss with dressing and eat. It's a very light and refreshing salad, and unlike lettuce which will wilt, you can dress it ahead and it'll keep in the fridge for a few hours.

Also, I find this method works just as well for broccoli.
posted by Diablevert at 3:32 AM on April 3, 2016 [2 favorites]

Peppers freeze beautifully. Chop them up, blot with a paper towel and freeze. Then you can just use a sprinkle of them in whatever you want whenever you want.
posted by Caravantea at 4:50 AM on April 3, 2016 [5 favorites]

Do couscous made with your favorite broth plus lemon juice in place of the water. I like the big round kind that is called Isreali couscous here but whatever is your favorite kind.

Cube or coin the carrots. Chop almonds and dried apricots. Mince garlic and parsley. Slice scallions. Zest and squeeze lemon. Toast cumin and fennel seeds in a dry pan, crush roughly.

Toss carrots in lemon juice, garlic and olive oil, then either sautee them or roast them until a little browned but they still have a bite to them. (Or as you prefer.) Add the fennel seed and cumin, apricots and almonds about halfway through cooking the carrots.

Reheat your couscous if it is cold, and while everything is still hot add parsley, lemon zest, and scallions. Mix it all up, with maybe a little more olive oil, and of course salt and pepper if needed.

I like this hot or cold and it is better the next day. Lots of texture and flavor differences in each bite as you have more or less carrot, almond, apricot, couscous, or seed/herb/scallion/etc. You can also add spinach or other leafy greens at the last few minutes of cooking, which adds a nice bitterness component. If you have them, pomegranate seeds are awesome on this, but they need to be added right before you eat because they don't reheat well. You can cook the carrot mixture separately and add it to whatever base you have/want at the time, just add the scallions, parsley and lemon zest at the end and let them heat through before chilling. Mint is good with the parsley, too. If you like yogurt sauces a little bit of plain Greek yogurt mixed in right before eating makes it creamy if you like that texture.
posted by Mizu at 4:55 AM on April 3, 2016 [9 favorites]

Make the peppers into a romesco sauce and use it like a pesto to have with pasta, or drizzle it over roasted/steamed broccoli or any other veg, or a topping for potato dishes or....

Make the other half of the broccoli into a cheesey mustard-y pate and have on toasts as a snack or in a jacket potato.

Both those freeze.

Carrots = carrot cake. Making veg into sweets isn't cheating! It's just, er, efficient cooking.
posted by AFII at 5:19 AM on April 3, 2016 [2 favorites]

First thing I thought was pasta primavera.

Do you like stir fries or curries? Those veggies are all good components to throw into either.

You can mix it up by adding a protein like tofu or chicken and a starch like rice or noodles. Either stir fry with garlic, sesame oil, ginger and whatever sauce you like. Or make a curry with a recipe or jarred sauce. I could eat stir fry leftovers for a week.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 5:23 AM on April 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

I really like broccoli tossed with salt, pepper, oil and Parmesan cheese and roasted in the oven. Once you pull it out of the oven squeeze some fresh lemon over it and it's a nice twist on regular roasted broccoli. It's my toddlers favorite vegetable.
posted by julie_of_the_jungle at 5:46 AM on April 3, 2016 [2 favorites]

You guys rock! I should have have made it clearer that I love most things but my cleanish diet definitely rules out cakes and pasta. I couldn't get enough of them before, they tend to make me feel pretty bad afterwards. Dairy seems to be OK for me, so I like the parmesan - broccoli idea and will try all of those peppers suggestions.
posted by joboe at 5:54 AM on April 3, 2016

Frittata is a perfect vehicle for all kinds of random veggies (and meat, for that matter). It's very portable and good for leftovers -- you can reheat slices, though personally, I prefer to eat them cold the next day. Dairy and cheese are optional (though they certainly make it much tastier). Here's a good frittata base recipe that's adaptable to any number of veggie combinations.
posted by ourobouros at 6:31 AM on April 3, 2016 [2 favorites]

Slaw! Slaws are so easy to make, especially if you have a food processor, and they go really well with lots of other dishes.
posted by xingcat at 6:35 AM on April 3, 2016

This is actually a breakfast recipe, though it works for lunch or dinner equally well, and reheats fine. Not sure what you mean by clean eating exactly, but some egg protein as part of a meal is a pretty good thing:

Broccoli frittata
(4 - 6 servings)

1 - 2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons of a mild olive oil
4 cups broccoli florets
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
salt and black pepper
8 large eggs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a 10 inch oven proof nonstick skillet, cook the garlic in 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderately high heat for 30 seconds. Add the broccoli and red pepper and cook for 1 minute. Stir in 2 tablespoons of water, season with salt and pepper, and cover. Cook over moderate heat until the broccoli is crisp-tender, 2 minutes; let cool.
In a bowl, whisk the eggs with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and black pepper. Stir in the broccoli. Return the skillet to the stovetop and heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Pour in the eggs and cook over moderately low heat until set around the edge, 3 minutes. Sprinkle with the cheese. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the center is just set, 12 - 17 minutes. Serve warm.
posted by gudrun at 6:40 AM on April 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

I adore carrot kinpira. For broccoli, I make a lot of brown-rice pilafs with broccoli ... not sure how rice suits your clean-eating. I usually do it with chicken broth for flavorfulness, but veggie broth is also great! Basically you cook the rice with a little extra liquid, and then throw the veggies in for the last ten minutes or so to steam (depending on how long the vegetable takes to cook to desired limpness/crispness/doneness). I make it with a little fat for flavor but, again, if you're making it in broth you can skip the fat.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:07 AM on April 3, 2016

When I have random leftover veggies, I make a poriyal. Here's one example of a broccoli one, but it's basically a dry fry-up with the right spices of any veg.
posted by cobaltnine at 9:40 AM on April 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

Melissa Clark's Broccoli Salad with Sesame and Garlic is fantastic and definitely not boring. I have to stop myself from overeating it lest there be gastric consequences.
posted by palliser at 9:46 AM on April 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

Veggie risotto? Brown rice should make it pretty clean, and since you say you like parmesan, that might go on top.
posted by LoonyLovegood at 10:11 AM on April 3, 2016

Lemon garlic roasted broccoli with feta added once it's cooked is one of my favorite Greek dishes from a local restaurant. I don't have a recipe, but go that direction and you'll likely be pleased.
posted by limeonaire at 11:01 AM on April 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

Many people are telling you to roast the broccoli or the carrots...I will tell you that they are lovely to roast together. Toss with some toasted nuts and/or some grated parmesan. Totally delicious.
posted by mmascolino at 4:04 PM on April 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

This is my favorite broccoli recipe. It's great over brown rice, then you can throw in some add-ins for a filling meal -- chickpeas, kalamata olives, baked tofu, whatever. A little extra Frank's Red Hot on top goes a long way too.

Roasting vegetables is an often overlooked technique that makes nearly any vegetable taste great. Cut into bite size pieces, toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and maybe a little garlic salt. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast at 425'F until edges are beginning to brown. I would do this with broccoli, carrots or peppers, but maybe not all together at once.
posted by slogger at 8:41 AM on April 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

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