need a sauce for vegetables

Joined Jan 8, 2011
One of my 1st clients in my personal chef business does not like vegetables unless they are in some kind of sauce.  That's sad, but I'm not here to change her.  However, one of her reasons for hiring my service is to lose weight.  SO....any ideas on how I can get her to eat fresh vegs...sauced or not?  Would love your ideas....
Joined Jan 8, 2010
I was going to suggest a coconut milk based sauce, but that's not really helping with the weight loss part!

I suppose your best way is to find out what she does like to eat and then maybe "hide" the vegetables in there....

Thinking of things like peas with fried onion, bacon bits, some garlic and maybe a bit of soy.

Or a pasta sauce (pasta primavera). maybe even bolognesa, but high in tomato and low in mince?

Can you give some more info about the type/style of food she likes?
Joined Aug 21, 2004
Toss vegetables in in a marinade, syrup, vinaigrette, etc. and saute or grill, examples charmoula, red chile pesto, tapenade, tequila lime salsa, white miso chevre, balsamic reduction, carrot chipotle syrup, honey balsamic vinaigrette, green tea vinaigrette, apple cider sauce, date hummous, tamarind pineapple, pomegranate molasses, green grape garlic, chimichurri
Last edited:
Joined Apr 3, 2010
Just try salt ,sugar ,pepper and butter saute them in this.  Saute in a pesto oil. saute with a bit of diet italian dressing.


Founder of
Staff member
Joined Oct 5, 2001
Try grilled vegetables and then add one of the following:
  • smoked tomato salsa. 
  • small amount of pesto
  • Tapenande
If they are deadset on a sauce then to keep the fat down why not use chicken stock plus whatever additions you think would compliment the vegetables then thicken with corn starch or arrowroot.

Foams are a great option to. 
Joined Jan 8, 2011
I meet with them on Monday for the interview but she had already told me that she doesn't like vegetables by themselves.  something about the texture.  I suspect she is used to eating overcooked or unseasoned vegs.  I really like the suggestions in the responses, so hopefully after I talk to her, I'll be able to come up with something to satisfy her.  Thanks everyone!


Staff member
Joined Oct 7, 2001
Vegetable lasagna

Grilled Vegetable Bolognese (grill off a variety of vegetables, grind them and use them in place of the meat in a traditional bolognese sauce)

Toss vegetables in Pesto (you can make a variety of different "pestos")

Make a simple sesame soy vinaigrette (using sesame oil, you won't need much oil in the mix)

You could even start out by sauteing the vegatables with garlic, adding just a little butter sauce and fresh herbs.  As she starts to warm to that slowly decrease the amount of butter sauce and up the amount of herbs until they are barely sauced and most of the flavor is coming from the fresh herbs.

Ultimately, what I think you are going to need to do is slowly wean her off the heavy, calorie laden sauces.  I think if you try too much too quickly she will be turned off. It think this is going to be a slow process.  She didn't develop her tastes overnight and it won't take overnight to change them, especially if she is wanting to make a lifestyle change to lose weight and to keep it off.
Joined Aug 13, 2006
Does she like garlic and strong flavors?

One way to do greens (spinach, swiss chard, what we call broccoletti - broccoli rabe? rapini? ) is to blanch and drain them well, then heat olive oil and some slices of garlic and some hot pepper flakes in a frying pan till the garlic just begins to cook, then toss in the greens, stirring till they get the flavor all through them. 

Spinach does well if you do the same thing with butter and garlic and anchovies (or anchovy paste)

Swiss chard does well with olive oil, garlic and gaeta olives and raisins or pinenuts

Butter/lemon sauce is good on some veggies, like asparagus - you can probably use a little starch (flour or cornstarch perhaps) and broth to get thickness without too much butter.  (normally i would beat lemon juice into hot melted butter till it;'s thick, but if you made, say, a very thin veloute' with some chicken broth, and beat in a little butter and some lemon juice it would be glossy and thickish enough to coat the vegetables. 

What about something based on buttermilk? 

A lot of kids (and adults) who won;t eat vegetables will eat them in a creamed soup - and creamed soup doesn;t need to have cream in it.  You can cook a little rice or potatoes in the soup (like spinach soup, but also any vegetable mix: peas, onions, zucchine, spinach, swiss chard,, celery, etc)  and then when it;s all soft you can run it through the blender and it comes creamy without added fat. 

Oh, and i forgot.  I don;t like stuff this way, but it 's a very common way to cook veggies in tuscany and other places (Greece for sure, sicily, etc), to use tomato sauce.  Make a light tomato sauce with garlic and parsley, add string beans and cook till tender.  Or brown some sliced and cleaned artichokes (so every part is edible) in oil, add garlic and fry a bit till tender, add some wine, deglaze, then add some tomatoes, and cook it till the artichokes are done.  It's quite unusual, and lots of people love it this way. 
Last edited:
Joined Jan 6, 2011
As an alternative to sauces, you should try roasted veggies for her.  A lot of people who "don't like vegetables" or "don't like Vegetable X" REALLY like them when they're nicely roasted.  Carrots in particular take on a natural sweetness that's almost akin to glazing them, without the added sugar/fat.  Cauliflower is another ho-hum veggie that becomes almost addictive when simply roasted with a bit of oil, salt, and pepper.  Roasted parsnips make a good "french fry" substitute (most people who "don't like vegetables" DO like potatoes).  Ditto butternut squash.  If you roast them properly, you get a nice crunchy outside and creamy middles, which appeal to a lot of people.  

I'd suggest gently guiding her and providing some vegetable options, rather than just going along with "sauce all my veg".  Often once a client gets to liking your food, they stop caring what you make and are more open to trying things if you think they'll be liked.  Maybe introduce some roasted veg slowly (with plenty of other options if they AREN'T cared for) and see if she takes to the healthier prep.
Joined Feb 26, 2007
What you could do is make vegetable purees, as you would for a soup (or babyfood for that matter), for example butternut squash, leek and potato, then put thru a fine sieve.  Spice them up to match what you're cooking and just add the suitable cooked veggies.  Maybe a dash of low fat greek style yoghurt swirled on top or you could mix it in.

There's a recipe around the place for braised peas and shredded lettuce which does have quite a bit of liquid in it.  I think there are onions (pearl preferably) and diced bacon.  I think it has chicken stock involved too.

You can do the same using sliced french beans just leave out the lettuce.  With both, a little cornflour slurry can be used at the last  minute to thicken the juices.  A touch of made mustard could go nicely in it too.

Good Luck with the interview!
Top Bottom