Have you fallen into a veggie slump? You know — where you’ve eaten the same old vegetables night after night to the point where you no longer look forward to your meals?
Most of us have our grocery shopping down to a T, but sometimes that can lead to sticking with the same foods every week. With such hectic days, there’s no time to experiment with vegetables whose names you don’t recognize.
Diversifying your vegetable intake doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming though. All you need is a quick overview of a few different FRESH veggies that you can easily add to your shopping list and your meals.
And we’ve got just that for you!
To help you branch out with your veggies list, we’re bringing you our A-Z Veggie Guide: a list of 27 vegetables that we bet you have never heard of before but will love as a new part of your meals.
See what’s right up your veggie ally and get ready to add some new items to next week’s grocery list:
You might recognize this from mixed greens salads that you get when you eat out but never knew it was a very specific type of lettuce that you can pick up at the grocery store.
Simple and easy, bamboo shoots are great sliced up and put into any Asian-style dish as well as soups, stir-frys, and salads.
Chayote is a squash and is part of the gourd family. The entire thing is edible and is best when slightly cooked just like your zucchini and yellow squash.
Daikon is a radish that is usually diced and used as an ingredient in soups, curries, rice dishes, and various condiments. Its leaves can be added to your favorite salad.
A vegetable-type soybean, edamame are usually prepared with a pinch of salt and added to soups, stews, salads noodle dishes or simply eaten as a snack. Edamame is usually sold frozen. You can easily heat them up by boiling, steaming, pan-frying or microwaving them. The soft beans are encased by the green pods you see on the outside, which are not edible. Once warm, the beans can easily be popped out.
With a flavor that sits between green beans and asparagus, fiddleheads are one of the most eye-catching vegetables. Perfect as fun side dishes, fiddleheads are best sauteed with a little bit of butter.
Actually a vegetable, ginger is great when its made into an herbal tea that can be a natural remedy for your body. For tea, slice up the ginger and let it simmer with a cup of water. Drain it and your tea is ready. Ginger can also be added to milk, coffee, stir-fry, soups, and cookies of course.
Many don’t know that this popular sauce is actually a vegetable. You can buy it pre-made or make it yourself and use it as a condiment for salads or as a dressing. You can also grow it yourself in a small home vegetable garden.
With a flavor that is a cross between a potato and a pear, Jicama is very versatile and can be eaten raw or cooked. After removing the brownish skin, the white vegetables can be cut into slices or cubes and be added to salads, fruit salads, hummus, guacamole, stir-fry or sprinkled with spices for a snack.
Kohlrabi makes a great alternative to cabbage or turnips, plus it is high in vitamins and minerals. Smaller kohlrabi tends to taste sweeter. They are great steamed, sautéed, roasted, stuffed, creamed, in soup or stew, or eaten raw. To add them to your meal, you simply have to half them and then thinly slice or dice.
Leeks are best in a soup. They will also arrive in your kitchen looking pretty dirty so make sure to wash them thoroughly before chopping them up.
Peppery leafy greens, mustard greens are very unique in their taste and will add some flavor to your meals. The best way to prepare them, that’s also very easy, is to steam them as you would spinach and add sesame oil or some garlic.
More of a snack than something to eat with your dinner, Nori is Japanese edible seaweed and is fun for someone looking to try something different.
Don’t be intimidated by this “southern” vegetable, it is yummy in any home. Slice as seen in the photo above and saute it with onions and garlic and you can enjoy it as a side dish or mixed with your favorite protein and a starch such as rice.
Not just the gourd you paint and leave on your doorstep in the fall, pumpkin is actually a delicious and fun vegetable. Not only can it add vibrancy to lunchtime, but it also adds such a warm flavor to whatever you cook it with.
Break apart and add radicchio leaves to any salad for a little pop of color and taste.
Another type of unique lettuce, you have probably enjoyed it in salads when you’ve eaten out but never at home.
A Mexican husk tomato, this vegetable is a palate pleaser for many individuals. It also has a complex flavor that adds to both simple and intricate dishes. It also is yummy in your favorite bloody mary cocktail drink.
A type of black bean, you can swap black beans, pinto beans, and kidney beans anytime for these unique urad beans.
Seen as one of the next big superfoods, watercress is a great addition to your kitchen. You can enjoy it by adding it to your favorite juice or smoothie, putting it in an omelette, making pesto sauce with it, put it in a wrap, sandwich, or flatbread or of course, soup.
If you’re interested in vegetables for alternative medicine then yam root is a great thing to add to your grocery list. Great as a tea, yam root has many health benefits.
A vegetable you most likely know, but maybe sometimes forget how versatile it is. Zucchini can be added to or turned into almost anything and with the right seasonings, it won’t even taste like a vegetable! Zucchini can be turned into healthy noodles, baked into fries or turned into bread, pizza, veggie burgers, and even waffles. So make sure to squash them into your grocery list this week.
If you think that your normal grocery store doesn’t carry some of these unique vegetables that you’re excited to try, visit your local farmers market (link to farmers market blog) next week and see how much FRESH you can get locally.
Get something new on your plate this month.