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Veggie Marinades & Recipes


Healthy Vegetable Marinades and Recipes

Incorporating healthy vegetable marinades and recipes into your diet is easier when they are prepared properly and have a zesty flavor. As part of the Life After Bariatric Surgery healthy diet plan, try these tips and marinades to give your vegetables an extra zing!

  • 1st tip: Don’t boil vegetables. This causes essential nutrients to leach out into the water and be lost.
  • 2nd tip: Limit the amount of butter or oil being added to veggies.
  • 3rd tip: Get creative! Try different colored veggies. You never know what you’ll like unless you experiment.
  • 4th tip: Grilling and sautéing veggies make them sweeter. The browning – also called “caramelization” – of the outer skin will create a sweet flavor in most vegetables (mushrooms, bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, Brussel sprouts)

1. Fresh herbs – Toss whole sprigs of fresh herbs like parsley, thyme, or dill, over the steaming vegetables, or chop up the leaves and sprinkle them over the vegetables after they’re cooked.

2. Garlic – Add sliced or chopped garlic to any vegetable, but leafy greens like kale really benefit from this extra zing. You can also sauté garlic with olive oil and toss it with vegetables after they’re steamed.

3. Ginger – Place thinly sliced ginger at the bottom of the steaming basket and cover with butternut squash or other winter root vegetables. Like garlic, sauté ginger in olive oil first before tossing with steamed vegetables.

4. Lemon – Add a few slices of lemon or lemon zest to vegetables, like broccoli, green beans, and summer squash. You can also add lemon juice to the steaming water or add after they are cooked.

5. Olive oil – Before steaming, toss vegetables in the classic combination of olive oil, salt, and freshly ground black pepper.

6. Sesame oil – Toss Asian vegetables, such as bok choy, with toasted sesame oil, salt, and white pepper before steaming.

7. Fish sauce or soy sauce – Add a couple tablespoons of fish sauce or soy sauce directly to the steaming water.

8. Vinegar – Toss sweet vegetables, like sweet potatoes or carrots, with a splash of balsamic, red wine, or Italian, balsamic, & other kinds of vinegar before steaming to play off their natural sweetness.

9. Dijon Mustard Garlic Dressing- Place 1 tablespoon whole grain Dijon mustard, 2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar, ½ clove garlic (crushed) and 2½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a jar and shake well.

10. Tahini Sauce- Combine 2 tablespoons tahini and 1 tablespoon water, and stir until smooth. Add 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, ½ clove garlic (crushed) and sea salt to taste. Mix to combine. If necessary, thin with more water.

11. Olive Oil, Pepper, and Lime- Place 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 4 teaspoons fresh lime juice, 2 teaspoons finely sliced scallions, pinch sea salt and pinch freshly ground black pepper in a small jar and shake well.

12. Chop together some sundried tomatoes, lemon zest, and parsley. Add a small amount of olive oil and then toss your vegetables (steamed broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, bell peppers, or whatever you enjoy most) in this mixture.

Marinades can also include:

Lime juice (fresh or bottled)

Low sodium Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce

Dijon mustard/Yellow mustard

Orange juice


Different kinds of vinegar (Many flavors on the market, and dry wine vinegar

Light Italian Dressing


Healthy Recipes to Try

Balsamic Vinaigrette Chicken and Veggies


Servings:  4

1/3 cups Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

1 purple onion (large, cut into 1/4-inch-round slices)

1 zucchini

1 red bell pepper (large, cut into thick strips)


Pour Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing over chicken and vegetables in large, shallow nonaluminum baking dish or plastic bag; turn to coat. Cover, or close bag, and marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes.

Remove chicken and vegetables from marinade, discarding marinade. Grill or broil chicken and vegetables, turning once, 12 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked and vegetables are crisp-tender.


Citrus Vegetables

Makes: 4 servings- 1 cup each

Put a new twist on classic mixed vegetables with a splash of lime juice, some olive oil, and fresh oregano.


2 tablespoons lime juice (fresh)

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon oregano (fresh, chopped)

4 cups mixed vegetables, sliced and steamed (such as zucchini, corn, and tomatoes)


1. Slice vegetables and steam in a small amount of water.

2. Drain, and place in a bowl to cool.

3. Mix lime juice with oil. Add oregano and combine.

4. Pour lime juice mixture over cool vegetables and mix well.

5. Serve.

140 calories, 2 g fat, 24 carbs, 5 g protein