8 Common Vegetables and How to Cook Them

8 Common Vegetables and How to Cook Them - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

Vegetables are essential to cooking slimming friendly meals that’ll leave you feeling full and satisfied. With a reliable stash of familiar veg at the ready, you’ll always have what you need to make family meals go that bit further. From sautéing and boiling to baking and caramelising, there are lots of different ways to get flavour from your veg. 

We’ve put together a list of common veggies from our recipes, along with tasty ideas for cooking them, so you’ll have plenty of inspiration when you’re pulling from your veg drawer.

Onions

Thanks to their versatility, onions offer plenty of options in the kitchen. Famous for their tear-jerking preparation process, you can avoid chopping them entirely by purchasing pre-chopped fridge or freezer bags to save on time (and tissues).

It’s common for recipes to begin with sautéing onions; this is where they’re sliced thinly and sizzled in the frying pan until softened. To give our tasty Caramelised Onion Quiche its signature flavour, the red onion slices are sautéd for a minimum of 15 minutes at a medium to low heat until they’re caramelised.

The key to caramelising onions is not rushing them – let them cook low and slow until their natural sweetness is released. 

Caramelised Onion Quiche - Pinch of Nom Slimming RecipesOnions are just as tasty oven-baked too. Our Onion Bhajis recipe combines raw, thinly sliced red onion in a bowl with eggs and spices to create a tasty blend that has all the flavour of the Indian-inspired favourite, without the calories. With a coating of low calorie cooking spray, the bhajis are ready to bake until they’re crispy and golden.

Onion Bhajis - Pinch of Nom Slimming RecipesYou can find more slimming friendly onion-based dishes here!

Potatoes

Mashed, baked, boiled, roasted or fried, the humble potato can be served up in many different forms. Whether you prefer white or sweet potatoes, there are plenty of methods you can use to get the most out of your spuds. 

Everybody loves Roast Potatoes on their dinner plate. To make sure ours are fluffy on the inside with a crispy finish, parboil them and coat them with low calorie cooking spray before they’re baked in the oven. 

Roast Potatoes - Pinch of Nom Slimming RecipesFondant Potatoes offer a delicious alternative to having roasties, mash or chips with any midweek meal. Rather than boiling potato slices in water, they’re browned in a pan before they’re laid out to be oven-cooked in stock. It’s well worth trying out this method for the creamy fondant finish!

Fondant Potatoes - Pinch of Nom Slimming RecipesFind more tasty ways to make the most of potatoes here.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a great way to add a savoury, filling element to any meal, without the need for meat. We wanted to make a slimming friendly version of breadcrumb-coated mushrooms that has the best parts of the popular side dish (without the calories), and so our Cheesy Mushroom Bake was born. Make sure you pan fry your mushrooms first on a low-medium heat until they’re golden, it’ll help lock in the garlic flavours when you take a crispy, cheesy bite!

Cheesy Mushroom Bake - Pinch of Nom Slimming RecipesAs a low calorie ingredient, mushrooms are ideal for creating slimming friendly snacks or side dishes, like our tasty Balsamic Mushrooms recipe. Roast them in the oven covered in our homemade sticky, balsamic glaze for 40 minutes until they’re browned and good to go. We love them as a side to pasta or potato dishes, or whip up a batch to snack on.

Balsamic Mushrooms - Pinch of Nom Slimming RecipesWe’ve got lots more ideas you can use to cook up mushrooms here.

Carrots

Sweet, crunchy and full of vitamins, carrots brighten up any dish with vibrant colour and flavour. Carrots actually provide more antioxidants when they’re boiled or steamed than they do eaten raw, so it’s well worth making sure you’re enjoying them at their best as part of a warming dish. Recipes like our festive Maple Glazed Carrots are far too tasty to enjoy once a year, and they’re so easy (no need to peel!). Simply scatter whole carrots over a baking tray and spritz them with low calorie cooking spray and the zesty yet sweet glaze – SO good!

Maple Glazed Carrots - Pinch of Nom Slimming RecipesSoups are a double win: they’re a great way to reduce food waste, and they’re a perfect light lunch. Our Carrot, Orange and Thyme Soup recipe is a flavour-packed midday boost that’ll give your leftover carrots a new lease of life. While carrots can be simmered straight up to make soup, our recipe allows them to ‘sweat’ on the hob until they soften and the onions tenderise (the flavours are worth the added step!).

Carrot Orange and Thyme Soup - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

You’ll find more slimming friendly carrot dishes here.

Broccoli

Broccoli is a reliable mealtime staple, whether it’s boiled, steamed, roasted, grilled, sautéd or stir-fried. You can even enjoy it for breakfast! Our Broccoli and Sweetcorn Fritters are a light, oven-baked way to use small florets. Heat up the broccoli with 2 minutes in the microwave (or by steaming) before it’s added to the mixing bowl to firm up your fritter filling.

Broccoli and Sweetcorn Fritters - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

Some cooking methods, like boiling, can remove some of the nutrients from broccoli before it hits your plate. Methods with less water involved like steaming or stir-frying (with little oil) keep your florets as flavourful and nutritious as possible. 

Our Broccoli and Mushroom Stir Fry goes from wok to table in less than 15 minutes – make sure the broc is thoroughly covered with sauce and cooked through (with a little bite remaining!).

Broccoli and Mushroom Stir Fry - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

Love broccoli? Find even more cooking inspiration here.

Cauliflower

Like broccoli, cauliflower is a veg you can always count on to make any meal more satisfying. You can mash it, roast it, throw it in a soup or use it as a filling meat alternative. Our Air Fryer Cauliflower Hot Wings swap out chicken in favour of fiery, crunchy florets. 

To get the air frying just right, you’ll need to open the air fryer a couple of times throughout – but they’re well worth the effort! Why not serve it up alongside our Cauliflower Madras for a cauli-inspired fakeaway feast?

Cauliflower Hot Wings - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

Cauliflower Hot Wings

Who fancies chicken fried rice for dinner? We’ve used cauliflower instead of rice to bring the calories (and carbs) down in our Cauliflower and Chicken Fried Rice recipe. You can use a blender or a grater to rice your cauliflower – both methods work just as well! 

Once you’ve created a rice-like consistency with your florets, they’re ready to be pan-fried with the other ingredients and transformed into a takeaway-inspired dinner!

Cauliflower and Chicken Fried Rice - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

Looking for a little more cauliflower cooking inspo? We’ve got more recipes here.

Spinach

Like all leafy greens, spinach is packed with filling fibre that’ll leave you satisfied for longer. And thanks to its versatility, it’s so easy to work into your diet. Like carrots, spinach releases even more of its goodness (including calcium and iron) if it’s eaten cooked. 

Adding a few handfuls of spinach to recipes like our Lemon Chicken and Spinach Pasta automatically levels up the nutrients without compromising on taste. Add the spinach to the pan when there’s just over a minute left to go, as it won’t take long for the steamy mixture to make it wilt, and mix in.

Lemon and Chicken Pasta - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

We use fresh spinach as a raw ingredient for our refreshing Spinach and Pesto Dip recipe. By using a food processor to blend the ingredients together, with a dash of water here and there, you can create a consistency that’s perfect for dipping. Serve with wholemeal pitta or cucumber sticks of a nutritious, light snack!

Spinach and Pesto Hummus - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

Find more ways to work this leafy green into your cooking here.

Green beans

Green beans are yet another easy green that’ll add a nutrient boost to a variety of dishes. Like spinach, they don’t need much time on the hob before they’re ready for eating. 

In our Spicy Sausage Pasta recipe, the chopped green beans simmer with the rest of the ingredients for just 2 minutes before serving. How good does that cheesy topping look?

Spicy Sausage Pasta - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

Green beans are best enjoyed crispy, and our Crispy Green Beans recipe is all about adding a cheesy, nutritious crunch to your plate. We love throwing this quick recipe together if we’re after side veggies for a roast dinner or burger. 

We’ve breadcrumbed them so that they’re even crunchier when they come out of the oven. You can crisp them in an air fryer too!

Crispy Green Beans - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

You have to try some of the other green bean recipes we’ve got here for you!

Feeling inspired to cook up veg-filled dishes?

If you’ll be using plenty of veggies to make a tasty, slimming friendly meal, take a picture and don’t forget to tag us! We would love to see it over in our Facebook group

There are almost 1 million members who love to inspire and motivate others – it’s the perfect place to learn new tips and tricks for your slimming journey.

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