Boyfriend approved vegetable side dishes

Disclaimer: This post was written as a part of the GoodLife Fitness Ambassador program. All opinions expressed are my own.

The transition to living with JZ after we moved in together a few months ago has been surprisingly easy.

Without too much difficulty, we’ve managed to merge our lifestyles into a new routine that we’re both happy with. We start our days with a 6:30 am workout at GoodLife Fitness, he makes coffee while I shower, I make breakfast while he showers, and then we sit down to breakfast together before running off to our respective jobs. When I get home around 6 pm I start on whichever dinner is on the meal plan that I created on the weekend.

Okay, I lied, this is where things can get a bit tricky. The food, that is. Because I like vegetables in just about every form, whereas he is a little bit more… selective (aka. picky). Onions, mushrooms, raw tomatoes, and bell peppers are totally out of the question, as is anything that tastes too “green”… whatever that means.

So over our past year and a half together, I’ve tried out tons of vegetable recipes on him – some being hits and some being total misses. But I’ve accumulated a few boyfriend approved vegetable side dishes that I make over and over again. And if he’ll eat it, you can pretty much bet that anyone you are cooking for will eat it, be it a picky 6 year old kid or college aged guy who lives off of Kraft Dinner.

Healthy vegetable recipes that your boyfriend will actually like!

Broccoli with Cheese Sauce and Toasted Pine Nuts (from Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen): Broccoli has a bad reputation amongst vegetable haters, but my parents got me to love it as a kid by serving it with a homemade cheese sauce. I swapped out the cheddar for Gruyère in my version and added some chopped toasted pine nuts for a salty crunch.

Broccoli with cheese sauce and crushed toasted pine nuts

Maple Pan Roasted Baby Carrots (from Fine Cooking): Roasting the carrots and adding a touch of maple syrup brings out the natural sweetness of the carrots. Everyone I make these for loves them!

Boyfriend approved vegetable side dishes - maple carrotsPhoto by Scott Phillips, courtesy of Fine Cooking Magazine, (c) 2007 by The Taunton Press Inc. www.finecooking.com

Zucchini Fritters: Crispy and salty, these almost taste like potato latkes if you close your eyes. They’re the only way I’ve been successful in getting JZ to eat zucchini!

Zucchini Fritters by Smitten KitchenPhoto credit: Smitten Kitchen

Cheesy Baked Cauliflower (from Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen): This recipe is guaranteed to convert any cauliflower skeptics out there. The crispy baked cheese that coats each floret makes you forget you’re even eating vegetables!

Boyfriend approved vegetable side dishes - Cheesy baked cauliflower

Balsamic-Glazed Roasted Beets (from Once Upon a Chef): I’m not going to lie, I didn’t think these would go over well. I know a lot of people just aren’t beet lovers. But surprisingly he really enjoyed them! The balsamic glaze adds an extra touch of sweetness that makes them irresistible.

Balsamic glazed roasted beetsPhoto credit: Once Upon a Chef

Garlic Lemon and Parmesan Roasted Brussels Sprouts (from Cooking Classy): Brussels sprouts get a bad rap, but roasting them brings out the most delicious flavours. The addition of garlic and Parmesan make this recipe even better – and boyfriend approved!

Garlic lemon parmesan roasted brussels sproutsPhoto credit: Cooking Classy

Maple Chipotle Sweet Potato Wedges (from The Healthy Maven): they’re sweet, they’re spicy, and they’re crispy. What’s not to love?

Maple-Chipotle-Sweet-Potato-WedgesPhoto credit: The Healthy Maven

Grilled Corn with Herbed Butter (from Diethood): this one is kind of a no brainer because, well, who doesn’t like corn? But the herbed butter takes it up another notch!

Grilled Corn with Herbed ButterPhoto credit: Diethood

What are your go to vegetable dishes for picky eaters?

18 Comments

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18 Responses to Boyfriend approved vegetable side dishes

  1. My mom probably could have used a list like this when I was little, because I seriously wouldn’t touch most veggies. Now I pretty much love them all, but back in the day? It was only corn, potatoes, and raw carrots — NOT the cooked kind. And forget about tomatoes or anything green. But I find that sweet potatoes done right can covert almost any veggie hater. As can corn. And that baked cauliflower dish? Yeaaaah I’m not sure many people would turn that down.

    • Chelsea

      Sweet potatoes are like the “gateway” veggie that lead people down the dark path to loving other veggies haha.

  2. It’s not hard to convince me to eat vegetables, but it’s nice to have ideas like this for when family comes to visit! That broccoli looks AMAZING!

  3. Loving the look of those carrots! Maple glaze can be awesome, especially with some marshmallow dip – it makes a carrot dessert. I also make my Brussels sprouts with garlic and parmesan :)

  4. I love the concept of this post ;) My boyfriend LOVES broccoli…like it is his favorite food. I find that a bit weird, but I’m not complaning!

  5. JZ is one lucky guy- just look at this spread of veggies..YUM! Like you i can eat them in almost any form but for picky eaters? I find disguising them in a sauce tends to go down well e.g. grating carrots or adding finely chopped pepper into a marinara sauce! Roasted veggies are almost always a hit too, especially when hummus is included as a dipper!

    • Chelsea

      I haven’t tried sneaking veggies into marinara sauce yet but I remember my parents used to do that! They’d actually puree them into it so we wouldn’t even notice them.

  6. With those recipes, how could you NOT approve!

  7. ahhh I want all of these!! Fortunately Chef-friend isn’t a picky eater, and makes vegetables better than I do (although, that usually means a lot of butter and/or bacon is involved…)

  8. Smothering in cheese is AKWAYS a good strategy. I can see my JZ loving both that cauliflower and the broccoli. My only dilemma is which one to try first. :) I’m seeing a trip to the cheese counter tomorrow!

  9. I think herbed butter takes everything up a notch.

    This is a great post. The title cracked me up.

    No tomatoes, peppers or onions. Gasp. Those are staples in most of my veggies because they bring so much flavor to a dish. I say keep trying; eventually he’ll develop a taste for them. Hopefully anyway.

    Also these pancakes are amazing for zucchini. I bet they get the seal of approval. http://www.kissmybroccoliblog.com/2011/07/24/zucchini-bread-pancakes/

    • Chelsea

      I know! Tomatoes and grilled sweet peppers are like the epitome of summer for me. Is it bad that I’m kind of looking forward to JZ being away next Saturday night so that I can make something with tomatoes? Hahaha.

  10. Those carrots look amazing – and so easy to make! They’re totally going on my meal plan this week.

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