Mr. Simpson, you are incorrect good sir: you can definitely make friends with anyone who will bring a salad. Have you ever been to a potluck or barbeque without some quality vegetable representation? It's a colourless array of beige foods. Potlucks are the best when the foods are as colourful as the guests. Filled with colour and healthy benefits, these eight vegetables alone are reason enough to love a loud and proud vegetarian potluck guest:
What makes eggplants purple: It's the nasunin at work, which is a phytonutrient and antioxidant ( which is how PhytoBerry® earned its name ).
Preparation versatility: Coat in oil/black pepper/garlic and grill, bake, saute. Blend the ''meat'' of the eggplant with garlic and black pepper for a dip. Slice, coat in breading, and fry for a crispy option. The eggplant is a nutritious canvas waiting for you to enjoy.
Calories (not prepared): 20 calories/cup
What makes artichokes nutritious: Another phytonutrient chart-topper, with more antioxidants than cranberries and blueberries ( The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition ).
Preparation favourites: Almost too pretty to eat. Actually, most of the artichoke is inedible, but the edible parts are worth all the prep. Boil these beauties, or coat in oil/black pepper and grill 'em up! Enjoy the inside of the leaves with a lemon butter dip all on their delicious own.
Calories (not prepared): 47 calories/100 grams
What makes zucchini green: Nutrient, antioxidant rich alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, which live in the skin of the zucchini. So wash and enjoy the entire vegetable.
Preparation versatility: The zucchini can be spaghettied (as pictured above) to replace noodles, or can be grilled, steamed, baked, or stir fried. There are few limits to this versatile vegetable.
Calories (not prepared): 19 calories/cup
What makes sweet potatoes orange: That's vitamin A, as beta-carotene, that makes that beautiful colour.
Preparation versatility: What can potatoes not do? You can really get crafty with a sweet potato and always end up with deliciousness. Sweet potatoes are perfect for mashing, grilling, baking, deep frying, pan frying, roasting, camp firing, making new friends.
Calories (not prepared): 114 calories/cup
What makes asparagus nutritious: It is packed with vitamins A, C, E, K, and B6. Green asparagus gets exposed to light, creating that chlorophyll colour, and white asparagus remains covered in soil.
Preparation favourites: Coat these beautiful stalks in olive oil, sprinkle with salt and black pepper, and grill them on the barbeque, or roast them in the oven. Asparagus make any potluck plate look really fancy.
Calories (not prepared): 27 calories/cup
What makes chickpeas nutritious: The little legumes are packed with fibre and protein.
Preparation versatility: The chickpea is obviously not a vegetable, but it is vegetarian and a solid go-to to be potluck popular. As pictured above, hummus (chickpea dip) is a great addition to any of the vegetables on this list. Who doesn't like some good dipping action? Chickpeas can also be roasted, dehydrated, added to any salad, or noshed on while preparing hummus.
Calories (not prepared): 364 calories/100 grams
We know that vegetarian doesn't mean ''only eats vegetables,'' but we do know that vegetarian dishes can be as beautiful as the rainbow and jammed packed with nutrients. If an array of vegetables don't quite make it to the potluck, you can always make smoothies with a scoop of the nutrient-rich VegEssential â„¢ All in One!