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Easy Vegetable Recipes for Healthy Dining Options Here on the Suncoast

| Angela Naff |

It’s that time of year when the farmer’s markets and grocery centers feature fresh vegetables of a variety of colors and textures. While you might walk and salivate at the great-looking produce, cooking vegetables can seem daunting. We have put together a quick list of ways to make fresh vegetable options for dinner in less than ten minutes. Add some variety and heaps of nutritious recipes to your repertoire this spring.

Chinese Spinach-Almond Salad Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Chinese Spinach-Almond Salad

Mushrooms, carrots and spinich aare the basics of this healthy lunch, or dinner salad option. You can add some pork for additional protein or just a light taste exploding salad without those additives. A simple and quick recipe that is sure to be a crowd pleaser.


  • 6 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • 2 cups cubed cooked pork
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sesame ginger salad dressing


  • In a large bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients.
  • Divide among 4 salad plates; drizzle each serving with 2 tablespoons dressing.
  • Serve immediately.

Quick-Cooked Green Beans with Lemon

Green beans are an amazing vegetable that many people enjoy. Finding new ways to fix these can be a challenge, but this super fresh lemon zesty recipe might be just the option you have been searching for.


  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced (2 tablespoons)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 small lemon, very thinly sliced (about ⅓ cup)


  • Blanch green beans in a large pot of salted water until tender, 5 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large plate or rimmed baking sheet to cool.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high.
  • Add garlic and cook until softened and just beginning to color, 1 to 2 minutes. 
  • Add green beans and season generously with salt and pepper. 
  • When green beans are hot, toss in lemon slices and cook 1 minute over high.

Broccoli Slaw

broccoli salad
photo courtesy of the kitchn

Coleslaw is often a staple of summer picnics and other meals. This is a twist on the old favorite, incoproating broccoli and other amazing fresh ingredients that are sure to be a favorite side dish to your favorite meal, or snacking this summer.


  • 1/3 cup dried currants
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 pounds broccoli (about 1 large head), cut into large florets
  • 4 ounces red onion (1/2 small onion), finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted


  • Place the currants in a small heatproof bowl.
  • Pour the boiling water over the currants and set aside for 5 minutes.
  • Drain off the water.
  • Meanwhile, place the mayonnaise, lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, salt, and a generous amount of pepper in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
  • Using the shredding disk on a food processor, shred the broccoli stalks and florets.
  • Add to the bowl of dressing.
  • Add the currants, red onion, and almonds and toss to combine.
  • Taste and season with more salt or pepper as needed.
  • Let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature or 1 hour in the refrigerator so the flavors can mingle before serving.

Black Bean-Quinoa Bowl

This black bean and quinoa bowl is intended to give southwestern vibes with a taco salad format. While we removed all the fried elements of a true Mexican cuisine bowl, loading up with the pico de gallo, fresh cilantro, and avocado along with an easy hummus dressing to drizzle on top. To make it even better, this vegetable-heavy dish packs a super healthy quotient.

Black Bean Salad
Photo Courtesy of Eating Well


  • ¾ cup canned black beans, rinsed
  • ⅔ cup cooked quinoa
  • ¼ cup hummus
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • ¼ medium avocado, diced
  • 3 tablespoons pico de gallo
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


  • Combine beans and quinoa in a bowl.
  • Stir hummus and lime juice together in a small bowl; thin with water to desired consistency.
  • Drizzle the hummus dressing over the beans and quinoa.
  • Top with avocado, pico de Gallo, and cilantro.

Grilled Chicken Salad with Blueberry Vinaigrette

chicken salad vegetable
Grilled Chicken Salad with Blueberry Vinaigrette Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Add some protein to a mix of your favorite greens and blueberries for a tasty explosion. These sweet, tangy, and other textures are a definite crowd-pleaser. Best of all, the total preparation time is ten minutes for a wondrously balanced meal.


  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup blueberry preserves
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Dash pepper
  • 10 ounces of fresh greens
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup canned mandarin oranges
  • 1 cup crumbled goat cheese


  • Toss chicken with oil, garlic, salt, and pepper; refrigerate, covered, 30 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together vinaigrette ingredients; refrigerate, covered, until serving.
  • Grill chicken, covered, over medium heat until a thermometer reads 165°, 5-7 minutes per side. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.
  • Place greens on a serving plate; top with chicken, blueberries, and mandarin oranges. Whisk vinaigrette again; drizzle over salad. Top with cheese.

Which recipe resonated with you? There are so many quick, easy recipes for wonderful vitamin-rich vegetable options. Whether you make for a main course or to compliment another dish, these are sure to waken your taste buds. From the colorful plating of your meals to a plethora of new tasty options, experiment with your vegetables this spring and add flavor to your world.

Happy cooking, Suncoast!

Feature Photo Courtesy of Deposit Photos

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