Hey Coach, I am looking for some suggestions on how to prepare veggie side dishes (with or without coconut oil). List of suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

I love this request!  At times vegetable prep can seem daunting, or even boring.  Most folks are in a hurry, so saving time in the kitchen is important.  Let’s start with some easy ways to prep vegetables – roasting, stir fry, and salads!  A few simple ingredients can add a lot of great flavor – it does not have to be complicated.


Roasted Vegetables

Roasting is a great way to make a small or large amount of vegetables and utilize them for different meals.  Keep the seasoning basic when roasting, and add different flavors after the fact to match up to your meal.  (See suggestions at the end of the recipe.)

The amount of vegetables depends on how much you want to prepare, the list below is simply a guide.  Add or subtract as you wish!  The veggies do not have to be in a single layer when roasting.  I’ve found that they turn out great even when the roasting pan is stacked full.

You will need:

  • 3 to 4 Bell peppers (red, orange, yellow, green)
  • 1 or 2 medium Zucchini
  • 1 or 2 medium Summer squash
  • 1 Red, Yellow, or White Onion
  • 8 oz. package of Mushrooms (any variety)
  • ½ to 1 bunch Asparagus
  • (Add other veggies that you love, remove the ones you don’t!)
  • Sea salt (optional)
  • Ground black pepper (optional)
  • Coconut oil or butter (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Cut veggies into 1-inch size pieces, place in roasting pan.
  • It is not necessary to add oil, but if desired, add one tablespoon of melted coconut oil or butter.
  • Season with sea salt and fresh pepper, if you so choose.
  • Toss the vegetables to make sure they are coated/seasoned evenly.
  • Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes (give them a stir after 15 minutes). Veggies will be crisp-tender.

Now, to dress them up!  The possibilities are endless.  Think about how your main course is seasoned, and incorporate that flavor into the vegetables too!

  • Add a drizzle of oil if you didn’t roast the veggies in oil (olive oil, walnut oil, macadamia nut oil – experiment!) and/or balsamic vinegar before serving.
  • Add these roasted veggies to salads!  Warm vegetables on a spinach salad are wonderful!
  • Pair the roasted veggies with taco or fajita-seasoned beef or chicken.  Enjoy with salsa and avocado!
  • Add crushed tomatoes, and sprinkle with basil, oregano, or an Italian seasoning blend; add some red pepper flakes for an extra kick!


Simple Stir Fry

You will need:

  • 1 Bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 to 2 cups Broccoli (frozen broccoli florets work great!)
  • 1 medium Carrot, sliced thin
  • 1 Onion (White onions or a few scallions work great!)
  • (Add other veggies that you love, remove the ones you don’t!)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • Seasoning Options: sesame oil, coconut aminos or Tamari, red pepper flakes


  • Heat a large frying pan to medium-high heat
  • Melt 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in the pan
  • Add the veggies and stir to mix with the oil
  • The veggies will cook quickly!  Be sure to watch closely, it may only take 5 to 6 minutes for them to be crisp-tender.  Stir often!
  • Remove from heat
  • Drizzle with sesame oil, coconut aminos or Tamari, and sprinkle of red pepper flakes if so choose.


  • Options for salads go on and on, but too often we see the same ol’ lettuce + cucumber + tomato combo, and not much else.  Add any vegetables you like that are raw, steamed, stir fried, or roasted.  Don’t be afraid to add fruit (pineapple, sliced strawberries, grapes) and a sprinkle of seeds and nuts are a great add too!
  • Be careful with salad dressings!  Many have added sugar and not-so-health ingredients.  Good choices include balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  Walnut oil, macadamia nut oil, and avocado oil are great options to try.  Salsa is a wonderful option as well!
  • I actually love a simple Dijon vinaigrette:
    • Mix 1 tablespoon walnut oil with 1 teaspoon of red wine vinegar and 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard.  Done!  The red wine vinegar packs a tasty punch and a little of this dressing goes a long way.

Let me know what you try and what seasonings and vegetables you experiment with! Soon there will be a wide variety of summer vegetables to choose from!

All the best,