Inspired by the Farmers Market: 5 Delicious Vegetable Side Dishes


My mind swells with culinary inspiration after seeing the beautiful variety of vegetables found at the farmers market in the summer and fall. The vibrant colors call out to me with their nutritious siren song, and before I know it, my market haul is more than I can carry (and possibly even cook that week!) Which makes me think of a meme I saw recently: Should I go ahead and throw out that head of lettuce now, or wait two weeks like I usually do?  Save the veggies!

Experimenting with different vegetable cooking methods and flavors is not only fun (which may help prevent the aforementioned issue of food waste), but an excellent way to encourage variety and improved vegetable acceptance by your children……….and maybe your spouse too!

My hope is that some of these ideas will inspire you to pay your local farmer a visit and then whip up your own delicious vegetable goodness this season. Be forewarned, these “recipes” do not always call for specific amounts of ingredients and are fairly foolproof so they can be easily be adapted to your preferences.

Inspired by the Farmers Market: Vegetable Side Dishes

1) Chili Lime Corn

Younger children may prefer this recipe without the chili powder. Additional variations could include using turmeric, curry powder or freshly grated ginger over the corn. 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Once you have shucked your corn, place each cob on an individual piece of foil (large enough to wrap around the entire cob of corn).
  • Drizzle each cob of corn with a teeny bit of melted butter and roll around to coat evenly.
  • Squeeze lime juice over each corn cob and roll around again to coat evenly.
  • Sprinkle each corn cob with small pinches of chili powder, rotating the corn as you go to spread the flavor around.
  • Wrap each cob up in a seperate piece of foil and bake until tender, approximately 35-40 minutes.

2) Cheesy Squash and Zucchini Bake

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Heat two cloves minced garlic and 2 tbsp. butter or oil over the stove top in a large pan.
  • Slice zucchini and squash (into rounds) and dice a small onion. (*I used one large zucchini and one large squash.)
  • Add zucchini, squash and onion to the pan and saute the vegetables until tender. At this point you can add your favorite seasonings or fresh herbs (*I used fresh oregano and basil).
  • Remove from the heat.
  • In a large bowl, beat two eggs and stir in 8 ounces of shredded cheese.
  • Add the egg mixture to the vegetable mixture and stir well to combine.
  • Add all ingredients to a large pie pan or baking dish (it looks nice to arrange several of the squash and zucchini rounds on top) and bake until the egg mixture is cooked and “set” (approximtely 25-30 minutes).

3) Balsamic Okra, Tomatoes and Peaches

New to okra? The sweetness of the roasted tomatoes and peaches will make you an okra fan for sure!

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Slice your tomatoes, peaches and okra (crosswise). (* I used two large tomatoes, two small peaches and 8-10 medium-sized pieces of okra for this recipe, but you can use any amount of each you have on hand.)
  • Place your sliced vegetables in a baking dish (coated with oil).
  • Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar; add a pinch or two of sea salt and stir.
  • Roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes.

4) Coconut Ginger Peppers

  • Slice several colorful bell peppers into thin strips. Any amount is fine.
  • Heat your desired amount of coconut oil in a pan on the stove top.
  • Add two minced cloves of garlic to the pan and stir.
  • Add the sliced bell peppers, a splash of low-sodium soy sauce, and saute until tender.
  • Grate fresh ginger over the bell peppers (amount to your preference) and stir.
  • Remove peppers from the heat and sprinkle with unsweetened coconut flakes.

5) Eggplant “Chips”

I serve this side dish with fruit salsa on top or with a dipping sauce as it will need a bit more flavor. My son enjoys this recipe and asks for more “bread” with peaches (peach salsa) on top! 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Peel and slice your eggplant (crosswise into circles).
  • Dip your eggplant “chips” into egg whites and then toss around to coat in a mixture of panko or whole-wheat breadcrumbs, ground flaxseed and spices/ seasonings of your choice.
  • Place on a baking sheet in the oven until crispy (*mine took approximately 18 minutes) and serve with your favorite dipping sauce (see above).

What are some of your favorite farmers market inspired vegetable recipes?

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