Vegetable boredom - new ideas please!

(49 Posts)
RockingMyFiftiesNot Fri 30-Apr-21 09:00:04

Following on from the great advice I received on my 'what to do with leftover fennel' thread ...

I wander up and down the veg aisle every week and am all out of inspiration and am BORED with the same old veg. I won't list them as I buy most of the regular veg, a different selection each week. But we cook from scratch most days and always have a few veg (either as an ingredient or sides) so am struggling for different ideas.

Last week I bought fennel for the first time in ages . This week I bought Pak Choi to stir fry along with tins of bean sprouts; water chestnuts, bamboo shoots .
We use the various types of tinned beans in casseroles etc, have also used butter beans in tomato sauce as a side dish.
I bought frozen okra as couldn't find fresh but found it a bit slimy, will buy it again when I see it.

Given I buy a lot of different veg already and scan the aisles for something different, maybe it's more about ideas on how to make veg seem different.

Some ideas of things I do already:
Courgettes and aubergines I usually make ratatouille, but have served them individually, halved lengthways and stuffed
Roast butternut squash as a side dish or eg risotto ingredient.
Added broccoli and leeks to cauliflower cheese.
Stir fried carrots and mangetout with a little soy sauce.
Stuffed peppers

I've also woken up to using some veg I would normally use as an ingredient as a side dish in their own right eg
Baked tomatoes ( whole cherry toms or bigger toms halved and scattered with basil. )
Peppers sliced and roasted or stir fried with soy sauce
Garlic mushrooms
Sliced leeks, cooked then with a little cream flavoured with curry powder, or just cooked in a little butter.

Any ideas along those lines much appreciated.

OP’s posts: |
Fivemoreminutes1 Fri 30-Apr-21 16:29:48

I often swap the potato on a fish pie for celeriac

Grilled asparagus with Parmesan makes a lovely accompaniment to fish

Sweetcorn fritters are good with pulled pork or bbq chicken and wedges

Sweetcorn salsa is good with enchiladas and fajitas

RockingMyFiftiesNot Fri 30-Apr-21 18:35:24

Thank you @Fivemoreminutes1

We have asparagus quite often but adding Parmesan sounds great and makes it a little different.
I've always avoided celeriac as I'm the only one in the family who likes celery - does it taste similar?
I haven't made sweetcorn fritters for ages, thanks for the reminder. Also courgette and feta fritters are lovely.

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2tired2bewitty Fri 30-Apr-21 18:38:06

I’ve taken to roasting a lot of veg - roast cauliflower with curry spices, roast broccoli with sesame oil and garlic, roast cabbage with garlic and fennel seeds

BalancingStick Fri 30-Apr-21 18:54:20

I despise celery but adore celeriac - give it a go!

TheMethodicalMeerkat Fri 30-Apr-21 18:57:11

I think you maybe just need to add different flavours. Eg garlicky greens, peas with sumac and feta, balsamic roasted veg, that kind of thing.
Also consider warm salads and Buddha/fajita bowls as side dishes.

TofuDelights Fri 30-Apr-21 18:58:23

I came on here to say roasted cabbage, it's delicious! Good even just roasted with a bit of spray oil to keep the calories down. I put tin foil over it for the first 20 minutes. Love doing savoy cabbage this way, and I quarter it lengthways. Carrots are also nice roasted with garlic and herbs like rosemary. Cauliflower roasts nicely with Indian spices, and roasted kale, roughly chopped, thick stalks removed is also really good done with spray oil. It really doesn't take long though so keep an eye on it!

I've got really bored with cooking recently so have tried doing different sides, such as lemon and parsley mayo, salsas with raw tomatoes and red onion or cucumber and capers etc, and I made gremolata for the first time the other day which was delicious with seafood but I'm sure it would be lovely with veg too. I used a fine grater and grated the rind of a small lemon, a fat clove of garlic and chopped parsley. I'm sure there are better recipes online than that though!!

RockingMyFiftiesNot Fri 30-Apr-21 21:48:10


I’ve taken to roasting a lot of veg - roast cauliflower with curry spices, roast broccoli with sesame oil and garlic, roast cabbage with garlic and fennel seeds

Yes they take on different flavours when roasted don't they.

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RockingMyFiftiesNot Fri 30-Apr-21 21:51:08


I despise celery but adore celeriac - give it a go!

Ooh will definitely do thank you. Someone told me if you didn't like celery you wouldn't like celeriac so have always avoided as DH hates celery. Will do a taste test and report back

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RockingMyFiftiesNot Fri 30-Apr-21 21:52:57


I think you maybe just need to add different flavours. Eg garlicky greens, peas with sumac and feta, balsamic roasted veg, that kind of thing.
Also consider warm salads and Buddha/fajita bowls as side dishes.

Yes I think you are right, I do a bit of that but maybe need to expand on that a bit

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QueenPaw Fri 30-Apr-21 21:53:18

Stir fry veg but turn it into egg fried rice (I do it a lot) and add spinach at the end
Garlic mushrooms (I just use garlic and cream cheese) on a jacket potato is my new find
Kale roasted in the oven, add some Nando's peri salt after cooking
Grated carrots in a salad or roast them with some butter and honey

RockingMyFiftiesNot Fri 30-Apr-21 21:54:18

@TofuDelights good ideas - will also look at how to make serving veg more interesting

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Cornishmumofone Fri 30-Apr-21 21:58:26

Teriyaki aubergine is amazing. Especially if you use hon mirin to make it.

Autocreateusername123 Fri 30-Apr-21 22:16:34

We signed up for a fruit/veg box. Get a lot of veg we don't usually buy which has made me google recipes to use them up.

Sausage & Fennel pasta
Cabbage enchiladas (cabbage wrap)
Butternut squash risotto
Butternut squash and ricotta cannelloni
Sprout & Stilton soup (even kids ate it!)
Pineapple muffins

Plenty more but that's off the top of my head.

BlueCowWonders Sat 01-May-21 07:54:40

Like @Autocreateusername123 we signed up for a veg box. Only fortnightly so it's not too overwhelming but having different veg turn up at home means we're pushed into creativity! And it comes with suggestions too.

ceilingsand Sun 02-May-21 00:39:04

Aubergine parmigiana

RockingMyFiftiesNot Sun 02-May-21 08:05:01

More fab ideas thank you all.

Aubergine parmigiana is amazing and I haven't made it for ages - will put it on next week's menu! Thanks for that specifically

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Elouera Sun 02-May-21 08:15:15

- An alternate to plain, chopped courgette. I put some greaseproof paper inside the steamer and grate the courgette. Steam, then grate some parmesan over the top.

- When I did keto, I discovered multiple cauli recipes. Roasted and mashed is good. Also roasted, then drizzled with a tahini dressing and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds

- Choy sum and asian greens go very well with a sauce made with soy sauce, sesame oil and oyster sauce. I steam the veg, but leave it all dente and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds

- Green beans/runner beans. An alternative topping. I toast slivered almonds and bacon till crispy, chop then sprinkle over the beans.

- Brussel sprouts steamed or if very small, just in a fry pan. Add butter and marmite. Sounds bonkers, but actually works and is delicious!

theneverendinglaundry Sun 02-May-21 09:10:37

I have a very simple suggestion which is cabbage salad. It's a yugoslavian recipe (although you cant really call it a recipe as it's so basic!)

-sweetheart cabbage
-Red wine vinegar

Slice the cabbage as thinly as possible, put in a bowl with desired amount of oil and vinegar. Leave it to rest for around 30 minutes.

It's really refreshing. Works well with lasagna and stodgy dishes like that.

RockingMyFiftiesNot Sun 02-May-21 09:24:47

Thank you both, more lovely ideas.

I've realised since starting this thread that I'm probably not missing buying any particular vegetable (apart from celeriac but have been persuaded that it's not like celery so probably ok for the celery haters in my family ). More looking at different ways to serve them.

OP’s posts: |
LadyMonicaBaddingham Sun 02-May-21 09:33:46

Celeriac makes a lovely gratin, too.

theneverendinglaundry Sun 02-May-21 09:39:30

No problem, I really need to be more creative with vegetables too so this thread is useful! Definitely going to try celeriac!

onepieceoflollipop Sun 02-May-21 09:51:29

Veggie curry. You can put pretty much any/all veg in. I particularly like cauliflower and potato. Sweet potato and butternut squash also nice. I use pataks curry paste as a base.

I also do sliced up peppers, cucumbers, carrots and serve with tzatiki type dip. My kids like this as part of a light meal along with various things (such as samosas, bhaji, breaded chicken)

Baked sweet potatoes.

Veggie (vegan if you omit the cheese) shepherd’s pie. It is loosely based on a Gousto recipe. Tinned green lentils and veg instead of meat (carrots, onion, chopped tomatoes, henderson’s Relish for flavour). Top with cheesy mash.

Add root veg to normal potato and mash. e.g. carrot or swede.

Roast parsnips and roast potatoes done together.

tentative3 Sun 02-May-21 13:24:23

Shred/finely slice cabbage (I prefer white cabbage in this) and a load of leeks, fry with some chopped up bacon until bacon is crispy and veg is to your liking, mix through some cream cheese and then mix through spaghetti with loads of black pepper.

I like leeks cooked in a little butter, english mustard and sometimes some grated cheddar on toast.

I roast halved cherry toms with oil and balsamic and we use in risotto (added at the end), with eggs on toast, with cheese in sandwiches, with frittata etc, they last ages in the fridge.

Home made coleslaw is nicer than shop bought IMO.

RockingMyFiftiesNot Sun 02-May-21 14:00:21

Totally agree re homemade coleslaw. Loving all these ideas, thank you, please keep them coming!

OP’s posts: |

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