Your Guide to Enjoying Vegetables

Cook Smarts
by Cook Smarts
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Your Guide to Enjoying Vegetables

At Cook Smarts, we love creating infographics that help people cook and live healthier. It’s like having artwork that also teaches you something!

Our most popular infographic by far has been our Guide to Enjoying Vegetables because everybody needs new ideas for cooking up these fiber and vitamin-packed whole foods.

We feature your most commonly used veggies (hope you’ll excuse the veggie categorization of tomatoes), and the best ways to enjoy them from this list of 8: sauteing, steaming, roasting, boiling, microwaving, pureeing into soups, incorporating into salads, and even as veggie noodles.

Cook Smarts Veggie Prep

This is such a great resource to print out and put on your fridge whenever you need some healthy inspiration. Download and print this free, handy graphic here.

We’d love to see you try every combination on this graphic for a year of endless veggie enjoyment!

About the Author

Cook Smarts
Cook Smarts

Cook Smarts creates a range of educational cooking tools and information to empower and inspire home cooks. Visit their website for a range of free cooking resources, simple recipes and delicious weekly meal plans. Follow their adventures in healthy cooking on Facebook and Instagram.

Photo courtesy of CookSmarts. Original recipe can be found on Cook Smarts.


43 responses to “Your Guide to Enjoying Vegetables”

  1. Avatar Just Sayin' says:

    I tend to think the microwave should not be an option at all on this list.

    • Avatar also just sayin' says:

      It does a great job of quickly cooking certain veggies though, and cooks of all levels use it. One shouldn’t ignore a whole method of cooking just because it has an unfair stigma.

    • Avatar Just saying 2 says:


    • Avatar BG says:

      why?…wont your Mummy let you push the buttons?

    • Avatar Mickey Oberman says:

      My family switched to microwave years ago when we had some microwaved corn on the cob.
      The flavour compared, to boiled corn that has all its goodness leached out or BBQ’d that is more often than not burnt was a true revelation.
      A day does not go by that the microwave is not used morning, noon and night.
      My family is all healthy and I am 82 and still breathing.
      It is sad that some folks always have an irrational fear of what is new.
      They miss so much.

    • Avatar Ray Carrender says:

      Actually, I cook mine in a variety of ways. I find steaming one of the more offensive ways to cook a veggie unless you really do just like the taste of a veggie (I do my wife and kids don’t). However, for staples like corn/greenbeans/peas salt + pepper + ~.5-1oz water + 0.1 tbsp of butter @ 3:30 in nuke makes for very delicious cup of fresh veggies. What it does, and why my kids like it this way too, is it takes away the bitterness with the light amount of fat and the salt. But a few sprinkles of salt and a small portion of fat isn’t going to kill you… hopefully (just buy butter without trans fat).

      Anyways, that’s my “why”.

  2. Avatar Angela Marchetti says:

    The microwave is GREAT for sweet potatoes! Easy and fast – and i can do it at work for my lunch. Yum~!

    • Avatar Bananas says:

      It works, but they don’t taste anywhere near as delicious as they do roasted, though. Steamed they just taste watery and less flavorful.

  3. Avatar Rach 1978 says:

    It really is a lovely chart, but I can’t help but find it desperately sad that people need to be told how to cook veg. I may be old fashioned but really this should be a life skill that people learn before the leave home. Its tragic that we seem to have a whole generation of people who don’t know how to cook :/

    • Avatar SusanYounkin says:

      I know how to cook, but there are veggies that I never liked. I always cooked them the way I had been taught. A chart like this shows other ways of cooking them. For example, my mother taught me to boil broccoli and coat it in sauce. I hated broccoli! Then I learned to saute it and OMG It’s now my favorite veggie!

      • Avatar Betty's Baby says:

        Growing up almost all veggies were boiled. That’s all we knew. Who knew back then the various ways of preparing veggies. Cauliflower and asparagus were never my favorites until recently. Roasted garlic cauliflower or mashed garlic cauliflower instead of potatoes are AWESOME! I actually have a binder of veggies only from downloads i discovered and printed. I’m healthier for it.

        • Avatar Crenshaw says:

          Try frying Cauliflower after chopping up real fine use only a slight amount of olive oil. Just like rice. Or spaghetti squash baked for your spaghetti instead of noodles.

          • Avatar Chris Kissinger says:

            Spaghetti squash is an awesome replacement for pasta. We also used to eat chili with noodles but now we use cabbage instead and ground turkey for a low calorie and filling dinner. I make enough for three or four meals.

    • Avatar My own says:

      Pretty sure you weren’t born knowing how to cook. Nothing sad about learning.

      • Avatar Rach 1978 says:

        Of course I wasn’t born knowing how to cook! It was a skill I happily learnt from watching my mum and my gran. There is nothing sad about learning, I never said that. Learning new things is a joy. I merely commented that it was a shame that the basics of cooking seem to be taught or passed on less and less these days. One of the first things I was taught was to experiment! Don’t just read and follow a recipe, try different variations, add things, change things, have the confidence to stir fry your broccoli if the mood takes you, it shouldn’t matter if you have only been told to boil it. It was one of the best lessons I learnt as a young cook.

        • Avatar Dingleberry Jones says:

          Also remember that every individual circumstance is inherently different. For one instance, not everyone grows up with the ability to observe ‘mum’ and ‘gran’ in the kitchen. Catch my drift?

    • Avatar adam says:

      growing up…..our vegetable intake was typically limited to ice berg lettuce, russet potatoes. sometimes sweet potates….green peppers on occassion, stuffed green peppers at that….lol. very rarely (family get togethers) would mom get out the serving trays and make her famous Veggie trays, with the spread of cauliflower, carrots, broccoli, cucumbers, pickles, black olives, and green olives……that about summed up our vegetable intake… dad was a meat lover…..haha. so glad i grew up and away from that…..i now ‘eat the rainbow’

    • Avatar BG says:

      thankyou McDonalds..KFC..Red Rooter..H.J’s..and any other purveyor of instant garbage.

    • Avatar Karen says:

      Not everyone knows how to cook . If they choose to then learn good for them. Why judge? Some people don’t have a mother that cooks that they can watch and they grow up never learning anything and have to start from scratch on their own. A chart like that is very helpful.

  4. Avatar adam says:

    i’ve eatn more veggies in the last 2 years, than i have the 28 years prior….lol. partly thanks to the nutribullet my fiance got me for my birthday…….i’ve thrown dang near everything into it……she got me the lowly 600 watt…..and of course, 3 months later they came out with the 800 watt….then the 900 watt…..and now the RX version……but it’s all good, mine works great……i can surely ‘taste the rainbow’ per se…

  5. Avatar Bernice says:

    Not everyone takes an interest in cooking. I have two daughters and a daughter in law that don’t like to cook but my son is a certified chef and my son in law loves to cook.

  6. Avatar John Newell says:

    The chart is a great way to help people keep in mind that there are other veggies besides potatoes, broccoli, carrots, onions and mushrooms.

  7. Avatar John Newell says:

    As popular as cooking is, it shouldn’t be forgotten that most vegetables are at their most powerful in terms of health restoration when raw. Others are more nutritious cooked or steamed. It pays to know which is which if you get sick or have to recover from surgery.

    Another important thing with respect to restoring health is to stay away from dairy and flour products. These products become glue as soon as you swallow them and coat your colons with slime. When that starts happening, constipation soon follows. Since constipation and systemic constipation are the forerunners of heart disease and cancer, it pays to keep this in mind.

    Besides that if you don’t want gum disease, stay away from flour products.

    • Avatar LC says:

      That is absurd and couldn’t be more inaccurate. Glue? You have to be joking.

      • Avatar John Newell says:

        Not at all. Food can be broken down into two different categories; mucus forming and mucus free. Mucus forming foods are dairy, flour, meat, bananas, rice, eggs, nuts, lentils, beans. Mucus free foods are most vegetables and fruit.

        Vegetable origin mucus breaks down way more easily than dairy and flour. Meat mucus decomposes as it breaks down. That causes putrification of the gut. You did not evolve to carry decomposing food around with you. But that is why most people’s poop stinks – it’s rotting inside them. No animal on the planet evolved to do that.

        The protein in milk is casein. It is a heavy duty glue and is commonly used as a component in industrial strength adhesives. Buttons and knitting needles used to be made from it.

        Flour you know used to be used to make wallpaper paste. You learn in kindegarten that flour and water makes paste. Well so does saliva and water.

        Flour has the added benefit of causing gum disease.

        Both of these products once they laminate your colon walls with slime cause constipation which if not corrected eventually causes such dandy events such as heart disease, cancer, contribute to diabetes, and lots more I don’t have time to list.

        Briefly, flour sticks to your bread board and to the gumline where your tooth brush can’t scrub it out. That’s why you have to get your teeth scraped with the metal pick. That is 100% flour stuck to your teeth and crystalized in place. In its crystaline form the flour has a lot of sharp edges just line cinders do. I don’t know if you’re old enough to know how bad that stuff is to fall on in short pants. In your gums, you eventually start to bleed. Once that happens, your immune system has been breached. Your body now has a diverse superhighway for germs of all sorts to penetrate with no restrictions.

        Add red meat and decomposing dairy products and cancer can’t be far behind can it? Of course your body has other defences so you don’t develop cancer in 5 minutes. In the meantime all sorts of equally deadly stuff can happen.

        Something to consider the next time you think a hot dog is a good idea…

        Now knowing all this not being constipated would seem to be a good and life saving idea don’t you think?

        Unfortunately most people have no clue what constipation is, what causes it or how to treat it successfully. Don’t look at your doctor, he hasn’t a clue either – especially since doctors don’t even know what constipation really is. That is because the definition in their dictionaries is wrong.

        Reality is this: one bowel movement at least per meal. Less than that is proof you have not eaten enough vegetables. Especially raw vegetables. If you eat enough vegetables, you can’t be constipated unless you have an obstruction in your bowels or your colon has died or you have so much muck stuck to the walls of your colon that your colon can no longer tell when food that needs to be expelled is present. So your food that took 12 hours to digest sits there for a day, two days, a week, two weeks or a month. By now you’re writhing in pain and wondering why. Well now you know.

        • Avatar Deb says:

          Thx for all the info.

        • Avatar BG says:

          well how ’bout was I being told that ‘poop’ (for want of a different 4 letter word) stinks because of Bile added to it during the trip thru the digestive system

          • Avatar John Newell says:

            Yes bile contributes to the smell of fecal matter in all mammals. But in humans, when a diet in dairy, flour, sugar and meat mix, that is a whole other story and here in a nutshell is that story:

            Dairy and flour products slow down the action of the large colon delaying the passage of food through your body from the normal 12 hours to as much as three weeks or permanently. Chronic constipation is endemic in western society.

            Once the slime from consuming foods you didn’t evolve to eat laminates the inner colon walls, meat particles and the dairy in particular start to rot or putrify. That is where the smell comes from unless you are a vegan.

            Vegan poop doesn’t contain decaying food products because it can’t. There is too much fibre. So their poop is moved out of the body on a 12 hour cycle that is at least one movement per meal. Since there is no rot only a faint odour is detectable from their poop and that dissipates quickly.

            If this weren’t true, our wetlands, woods and forests would be stinky hell holes to walk through. All the animals, birds, insects, reptiles and amphibians are pooping in there constantly. But no, wetlands, forests and woods are highly oxygenated and a pleasure to breathe in.

          • Avatar Stephanie says:

            So you’re literally saying vegan shit doesn’t stink.

            Hah. I know some vegans who would disagree hardheartedly with you, but you’ve already got your mind made up. 🙂

          • Avatar John Newell says:

            Sent wirelessly from my BlackBerry device on the Bell network.
            Envoyé sans fil par mon terminal mobile BlackBerry sur le réseau de Bell.

          • Avatar John Newell says:

            It isn’t a matter of making up my mind. It’s a matter of how clean your colon is or isn’t. If it’s clean the only odour is from the bile and bile isn’t that smelly and it’s odour doesn’t last long. If I were wrong, you couldn’t walk around in the woods, fields and wetlands without gagging. All animals eat the same things we do and their foods go through the same or similar digestive process. They are having dumps at all hours of the day and night yet the air there is fresh.

            There is no magic involved.

            The smell from human fecal matter comes from bacterial decomposition when the factors of time and material are considered. If meat, dairy (including eggs) or flour (grains) were involved there is going to be fermentation – and smell.

            It’s that simple.

  8. Avatar Lisa Candigurl Morton Weston says:

    Hello everyone I’m new to the group my name is Melissa what’s the best way to start cutting back on certain foods

  9. Avatar Coach Levi says:

    I love vegetables so no one needs to convince me to eat them, but having a bright colorful chart to remind me doesn’t hurt! I can certainly see myself hanging this in my kitchen.

  10. Avatar Amelia says:

    Microwaves actually keep in more nutrients, who’s to say it’s any different to steaming!

  11. Avatar Matt says:

    Why, when this handy guide created was grilling ignored? To make a simple ‘how to’ of veggie eating and not talk about a gas or charcoal grill as a great way to prepare them is a huge oversight for someone not in the know.
    About a 1/3 to 1/2 of what’s listed is perfect for the grill…

  12. Avatar margaret sheppard says:

    im not keen on brussel sprouts but ive been shown to cook them cut in half then fry!! them and almost let them catch, so tasty now

  13. Avatar Elizabeth chauvin says:

    I am from the South and by the time we finish cooking our vegetables, they aren’t what I would categorize as “healthy”. But since I am learning to eat healthier, I’ve learned that instead of using bacon or other salt meat in my mustard, turnip or collard greens, I use a little olive oil and a teeny tiny bit of liquid smoke to give it a slight smokey flavor. There are healthy ways to cook a lot of things. You just have to dig in and try. Now, can somebody just help me make a healthy cornbread to go with my greens? Lol

  14. Avatar Pixie says:

    Where is the pumpkin??

    • Avatar adam says:

      pumpkin was left out……cause imho, the best, one and only places for pumpkin, is in a pie……lol. and that wouldn’t quite fit into the ‘diet’ crowd of myfitnesspal would it? lol. well. no in all seriousness, that is a good point….im curious though how else or where else can pumpkin be used….? lol…..cause i honestly never used it other than in pies…..hah

      • Avatar Pixie says:

        Pumpkin roasted the same way you would do potatoes is divine. You can have it with your roast dinner or put in it a salad. Or you could boil it and mash it with some rosemary and garlic. And pumpkin soup is the king dingaling of soups

  15. Avatar Katie Humburg says:

    Ummmm…. why aren’t you making noodles with spaghetti squash?? It’s kind’ve the obvious (we use the microwave then ta-da!)

  16. Avatar Luke Weng says:

    Thanks so much! I was looking all over it until I found your post.

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