Guide to Perfect Sauteed Veggies
"Health - loving yourself enough to feed your body with nourishment." - Julie Reed
As much as I love to eat out and try new things while traveling, it is not something I can really afford to do every day. It's too expensive and the meals I have found here have mostly been too heavy to eat all of the time.
For me, it has been super important to continue my love for cooking on the road. I enjoy how therapeutic it is for me: chopping the veggies, the sounds - sizzling, crackling, and the smell of the dish soap afterwards. I love it all!
It has been a struggle to cook how I normally do at home. As I wrote about in my post on vegan chili, I have a difficult time finding all of the ingredients and spices that are easily accessible to me back in Arizona. (Can I take a quick moment to whine about missing Mexican food?)
I am grateful that one of my favorite things to cook before traveling is still just as easy to do on the road. I am a big fan of easy, especially when there are adventures calling my name outside and I am looking to spend a lot less time in the kitchen.
Sauteed or grilled veggies are nearly a weekly occurrence in my life! Plus, you don't need a whole lot other than fresh vegetables and a little oil. No fancy spices and no special tools!
What variety of vegetables saute well?
Nearly all of them! I like bell peppers (any color), onions, zucchini, summer squash, mushrooms, broccoli, asparagus, potatoes, carrots, whatever you want really.
My normal blend is a little red and yellow pepper, red onions, and zucchini. Nice and simple!
Step 1: Wash the veggies
Whether you are buying your veggies domestically at Walmart, in a foreign country, from an organic farmer's market, you should really be washing all vegetables you bring home! You never know the kind of pesticides, chemicals, or bacteria may be hiding right on the surface. Your choice on whether you want to use plain ol' water, vinegar, or vegetable wash. Just get those veggies clean!
Make sure the veggies are dry again before sauteing to guarantee the best flavor!
Step 2: Chop the veggies
I personally like doing bite sized cubes, but it is really whatever works for you. I would just suggest not going too big with your pieces. When sauteing, the outside of your veggie is going to cook a lot faster than the inside, so you want to make sure the pieces will cook evenly.
It is also a good rule of thumb to cut denser produce, such as carrots, into smaller pieces, and vegetables that cook easily, such as zucchini, into larger pieces.
Step 3: Cook the veggies
Grab a large, flat saute pan and place it on medium to high heat with whatever kind of oil you like to use. I prefer olive oil for the flavor, but it works great with coconut too.
Add the veggies to the hot pan. You can throw them in all at once if you aren't concerned about texture. However, I do not enjoy my zucchini and summer squash to be overcooked, so I will generally toss those in once the onions start to look translucent.
Stir frequently to avoid the vegetables from sticking to the side. Once the veggies start to brown on the edges, they should be done and ready to go!
Optional spices: Add whatever you like! Traditionally, I just like to toss in a little salt and pepper while they cook.
All done! What do I serve it with?
Sometimes, I just enjoy the sauteed veggies all by themselves. More often, I will serve the veggies on top of rice or quinoa. I prefer quinoa because of the protein and extra nutrients.
I also really enjoy sauteed vegetables for breakfast, sometimes topped with a fried egg and/or serves with fresh toast.
Make enough for the week!
I don't mind reheated vegetables, so I always make enough for a few meals and pack them for lunch. This helps save time and money throughout the week!
Not vegetarian? They still make a great side dish! Serve sauteed vegetables with some fish or grilled chicken for another healthy meal option.
Enjoy this easy, low cost cooking tip! What is your go-to easy meal?