Healthy Veggie Marinades

12 Creative Marinades to Enhance Veggies

1st tip: Don’t boil vegetables. This causes essential nutrients to leach out into the water and where most is 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.

4th tip: Grilling and sautéing veggies make them sweeter. The browning of the outer skins create a sweet flavor to 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 vinegars before steaming to play off their natural sweetness.
  9. Dijon Mustard Garlic Dressing – Place 1 tablespoon whole grain Dijon mustard, 2 teaspoon 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 tbps. of water, stir until smooth. Add 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, ½ clove garlic (crushed), and sea salt to taste. Mix to combine. If necessary, thin with more water.
  11. Olive OilPepper 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 tomatoeslemon 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.

Citrus Vegetables

Put a new twist on classic mixed vegetables with a splash of lime juice, 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.

Makes 4 Servings: 1 cup provides 140 calories, 2 g fat, 24 carbs, 5 g protein

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