Types of Vegetables

Vegetables, the food source either loved, hated or tolerated by people and animals around the world, are a necessary ingredient in a balanced and healthy diet.

Discussions about their relative nutritional value generally begin by organizing them into five different groups pictured and described in the included slide show.

Nutrition experts suggest eating two and one-half cups of vegetables per day, divided among all the vegetable groups. All great cooks know there exist multiple ways to prepare vegetables that appeal to a wide array of pallets. Serving raw vegetables with a dip of one type or another satisfies many a party goer. Roasted, baked, boils and microwaved vegetables cooked in sauces from the stand by cheese sauces to vinaigrettes sell in households around the world.

Five Fabulous Vegetable Recipes

Today represents the best time to get started on regularly serving vegetables during meal time and snack time. Raw, steamed, baked or fried, vegetables, an integral part of every diet, can be prepared as a side dish or stand-along meal. Click on one of the tabs to read more about any of these five fabulous vegetable recipes.

Couscous and Zucchini

Looking for some variety? Couscous provides a great substitute for you basic rice or potato meal.


  • Couscous
  • Chopped zucchini
  • Your favorite ingredients


The basic idea underlying this recipe is to bring some creativity to the dinner table.

Couscous, a traditional Middle-east grain, normally is steamed and served alone, or with a variety of ingredients.

Add some chopped zucchini and grapes for a sweet and sour taste.

Nuts are also fun topping for all who do not have nut allergies.


Tabouleh, a Middle-eastern twist on the cold vegetarian salad, makes for an easy summer meal.


  • 1 cup of bulgur wheat (No. 3 size)
  • 1 Cups of boiling water
  • 1 1/2 Cups fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 Cup fresh cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • dash of fresh parsley, chopped
  • dash of minced onions
  • 1 Tsp fresh chopped mint
  • pinch of cumin (optional)
  • pinch of salt (optional)
  • 1/4 Cup lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil


  1. Follow the directions on the wheat package and mix until there's a doughy texture.
  2. Add the tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, onions, mint and cumin (optional) to the mix.
  3. Prepare the dressing, (salt and lemon juice in a separate bowl and add to the salad when ready to serve).
  4. For reasons of food safety, be sure to refrigerate the dish until ready to serve.

Seasonal Spinach Salad

Raw spinach, a good source of Vitamin A, with a touch of fiber and iron thrown in for good measure, more often than not, get processed into a spinach salad. Not known for dietary homogeneity, spinach enthusiasts continue to experiment with a core set of four ingredients, dairy, nuts, fruits and dressings, in their search for the outstanding spinach salad.

Eggs and cheese, always in season, provide protein options for the salad, improving its nutritional value. Adding a couple of slices of hard boiled eggs on top of some raw spinach and topping it with a favorite dressing provides a light protein and vitamin packed meal.

Nuts, another protein compliment for a spinach salad also provide additional fiber. Sprinkle some of chopped nuts on the fresh spinach leaves for a variation of the protein and vitamin meal.

Individuals who enjoy a sweet/sour approach to spinach salad need look no further than fruits as the perfect food compliment. Red strawberries on crisp green spinach makes for a very appealing color combination. Adding sliced pairs makes for less contrast in color and more contrast in texture.

Dressing the salad decisions also diverge, with some recipes suggesting fruit based or other light sweet dressing. Other recipes suggest using a heavier, cheese based dressing.

Italian Vegetable Bake

Preparing for a big family occasion? Why not bake some Italian vegetables to compliment any pasta dish.

  • 1 can (28 oz) whole tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1/2 lb fresh green beans, sliced
  • 1/2 lb fresh okra, cut into 1/2-inch pieces or
  • 3/4 C 1/2 10-oz pkg frozen okra
  • 3/4 C finely chopped green pepper
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh basil, or 1 tsp dried basil, crushed
  • 1-1/2 tsp chopped fresh oregano leaves, or 1/2 tsp dried oregano, crushed
  • 3 medium zucchini
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Drain and coarsely chop tomatoes. Save liquid. Mix together tomatoes and reserved liquid, onion, green beans, okra, green pepper, lemon juice, and herbs. Cover and bake at 325o F for 15 minutes.

Mix in zucchini and eggplant and continue baking, covered, 60-70 more minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir occasionally. Sprinkle top with Parmesan cheese just before serving. Yield: 18 servings --Serving Size: 1/2 cup

French White Bean Soup

For a consistent soup blend and color try to use only white color ingredients.


  • 1 cup of chopped onions
  • 2 chopped leeks (only the white parts
  • minced garlic to taste
  • one pound of white beans
  • 3 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 cup of evaoprated skim milk
  • 2 peeled and chopped potatoes
  • recommended herbs: pinch of thyme, parsley, white pepper and squirt of lemon juice


  1. saute the onions, leeks and garlic
  2. Add the beans and potatoes, then add one-half of the vegetable broth and simmer for twenty minutes
  3. Puree the ingredients until there's a smooth texture
  4. Return the mixture to the original frying pan, add remaining broth and evaporated milk and warm
  5. Add the spices to taste

Serve Hot with some French Bread and enjoy.

© 2009-2015 Patricia A. Michaels