Vegetable sauté is a great way to fill up on vegetables. Pick a vegetable (or 2 or 5) and a safe starch, sauté them in your cooking fat of choice, top with a couple of fried eggs and voilà – you have the quintessential nutrient-dense, whole-food meal. It’s simple, delicious, and packed full of nutrients.
There’s endless opportunity for variety with this dish and it’s easy to adapt as the seasons change. Explore the produce section at your local farmer’s market or grocery store to find your favorite vegetables. I typically pick 3-5 of the following; kale, chard, cabbage, zucchini, summer squash, carrots, mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, & bok choy.
Onion and garlic are optional additions but they will help maximize both the micronutrient content and the flavor of the dish. They are both from the allium family which means they are full of allicin- a phytochemical that has shown potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial activity. Garlic is particularly potent but careful preparation is needed to maximize the available allicin. The enzyme alliinase converts alliin into allicin, but this reaction only occurs when the garlic clove is crushed or chopped. Because alliinase is heat-sensitive, I start my meal prep by crushing, peeling, and chopping the garlic to make sure it gets at least 10 mins to rest before cooking it.
Selecting a Safe Starch
Once you have selected your desired vegetables, its time to pick your starches. I like to rotate through my safe starches, so I’ll pick one or use a medley of garnet yams, jewel yams, Japanese yams, purple potatoes, or winter squash.
Let’s Get Cooking
In the recipe below, I selected kale, purple cabbage, broccoli, red onion, garlic, garnet yam, and Japanese sweet potato.
- Make enough of the veggie and yam saute for two meals. When you’re ready for a quick meal, pull out your leftovers, fry a couple eggs, and dig in.
- To make this meal more keto friendly, skip the safe starch.
- You can also make the safe starch on the side to mix and match later.
- Switch up the protein. Vegetable sauté goes great with pasture-raised chicken or grass-fed beef.
Crush, peel, and chop the garlic. Rinse the vegetables and set aside to air dry. Dice the onion. Peel and chop the yam and sweet potato into quarter inch cubes. Remove the kale leaves from the stalks – the stalks are very fibrous and hard to digest and removing them lets you fill up on the more nutrient dense parts instead.
Peel 6 leaves off of a head of purple cabbage. Peeling, rather than cutting, cabbage keeps the unused portion fresh for longer. Chop the kale leaves, purple cabbage, and broccoli.
Place a 12” cast-iron pan or stainless steel frying pan on the stove and turn the heat/flame to medium-low. Add 2 Tablespoons of avocado oil. Sprinkle in about ¼ teaspoon of each spice. Once the oil in the pan starts to sizzle and you can smell the spices, add the onion and yam.
Stir occasionally, until the yam is soft and can be easily cut with the spatula. Add the garlic and remaining vegetables and continue to cook until the vegetables wilt and pick up some color from the hot pan. Remove from heat and set aside.
Fry your eggs in a liberal amount of butter or ghee. Turn the pan onto medium heat and wait until the butter sizzles before cracking your eggs into the pan. Add a ¼ teaspoon of water and cover the pan to help the tops of the eggs cook.
Once your eggs are done, place them on top of your bowl of veggies, drizzle on some cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil and enjoy!