One of my biggest challenges as I made changes to my everyday eating habits as I entered phase 3 of the hCG Diet and then into phase 4 was learning how to cook vegetables in a way that I actually liked – enough to want a goodly portion of it. I just didn’t know how to do this.
There are so many blogs out there with recipe after recipe telling us how to make low-carb, sugar-free, paleo versions of donuts, eclairs and girl scout cookies. I know because I have an entire pinterest board full of pinned sugar free grain free dessert recipes. There’s a way to make chocolate chip cookies out of sawdust now. Just kidding on that one.
Anyway- I’m all for these recipes because it really IS good to have healthier alternatives to desserts for those times when you just have let loose a little. That’s what keeps the “damage” to a minimum.
I recently began really upping my veggie intake however, and I actually have a pretty tough time finding recipes and ideas for just cooking plain and simple vegetable dishes, without too many pots, too much time, and too many ingredients involved.
I have had to learn through trial and error what makes me enjoy vegetables in large quantities. And by large quantities I mean a hefty portion- the pic below? NOT how much I eat in a sitting- if you triple or quadruple it, then you’d have it about right- yep I enjoy them that much now, when prepared the following way.
So I’m starting with green beans and I’ll go from there as time goes on. You might be like, I KNOW how to cook green beans – and it’s true none of this is earth shattering material, but these simple things do make the difference between:
me craving a huge bowl of green beans vs.
me thinking “hmmm I really should eat some green beans but I really feel like googling ‘sugar free calorie free donut recipe’ right now….”
The basic things with green beans that make this difference for me are:
1. Cut them to bite-sized pieces. Cut the green bean ends off (might be a given for some of you but my hubby likes to be “quick” and leaves this step out- I never end up eating much of his version), and cut them in half so they are smaller- something about the texture/size really make a difference for enjoying them for me.
2. Put enough fat! The taste and feel on the palate is completely different when you don’t put enough butter or olive oil- seriously- even an extra tsp. can make a difference- I actually also learned this from dear hubby- this time because he did it right- while I tend to skimp on this, my husband is a very liberal olive-oil pourer and I came to notice how good they were made his way. Please don’t skip this or you might be destined to a missed opportunity for a buddy-buddy relationship with green beans.
3. Add enough salt! I probably like things saltier than the average person, but seriously- when it says “salt to taste”- seriously add some till it tastes good!
4. Keep it simple! There is actually another green bean dish I absolutely LOVE- one day I’ll post the recipe- but it takes at least twice as long to make as this simpler one, so guess what? I’m just too lazy or busy to make it most the time when I love this simple dish almost as much. Additionally- whatever takes up the least number of dishes to cook is my idea of smart as well- whatever you can do to eliminate mind blocks to cooking like less cleanup.
If you think that you just don’t care for veggies that much and you haven’t tried doing all four of these things together, please do give it another try! It made the difference for me.
All this “recipe” really is:
Cut green beans into bite sized pieces (see video for how I do it pretty quickly)
Steam for around 12 minutes
Add copious butter and salt
If you missed it last week, check out my 2 minute video for mashed cauliflower – a phase 3 hCG diet recipe that’s divine!
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