I am trying to become a healthier eater, and I want to eat more vegetables. However, I find that after boiling or steaming them they lack flavor. Can you give me some ideas on making them more flavorful without those rich cream sauces?
You are on the right track by eating more vegetables. You can boost flavor by cooking the veggies with seasoned broths. Either make your own with herbs, spices and aromatics or buy canned, seasoned broth at the supermarket.
You are looking for flavor ingredients. The aromatics I mentioned earlier include sliced or diced onions, minced garlic or grated gingerroot. Any one will add spark to either boiled or steamed veggies. All three combine well with tamari soy sauce and a dash of sesame oil – and blast vegetables out of this orbit with flavor. Prepared horseradish is wonderful mixed with cooked carrots or cooked red beets.
I crave a textural variety in the foods I eat. One of my solutions is to toss dry-toasted nuts and seeds with barely-cooked fresh vegetables. Dry toasting is done in a heavy skillet with no fat or liquid. Purchase raw pepitas, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds or blanched almonds, pecans or hickory nuts. Raw seeds are less likely to be rancid. Vigorously agitate ½ cup of seeds or nuts in a hot, dry skillet over medium high heat for 3-5 minutes. Keep them moving, so they don’t burn. Toss the toasted crunchies with freshly steamed veggies. You’ll want seconds and thirds.
Fresh green herbs are everywhere these days. Get some potent rosemary, chop it and toss with steamed zucchini or yellow squash. Tarragon takes fresh asparagus to new heights on your palate. Dill and chives jump fresh corn over the butter hurdle. Fresh sage surprises everyone when tossed with potatoes or Brussels sprouts. And there’s no better marriage than fresh basil and fresh tomatoes. Add fresh garlic for even more flavor.
Don’t ever turn your nose up at canned foods. Take a gander at the selection of flavored canned tomato products and flavored beans on your local supermarket shelves. Anyone of those handy cans of flavor will enhance a pot of fresh veggies. Check it out.