A new survey finds that most Americans would be willing to try new foods if they learned how to cook them correctly.
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seared beets with turmeric-tahini broccoli and salmon
Credit: Ryan Liebe

If you often find yourself making the same meals over and over again with little variation, you're not alone. A new survey of 2,122 Americans found that many Americans won't try a new vegetable because they don't know how to cook it.

For the study, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Bolthouse Farms, researchers explored the motivations behind people's cooking habits, as well as their relationship with vegetables. Their findings show that 62 percent of respondents always buy the same vegetables when browsing the produce section of their local market, with the top picks being potatoes, lettuce, onions, and carrots.

While the survey shows that many Americans understand the importance of eating vegetables, they often consume the same ones week after week. Most Americans are open to change, however, reporting that they would give select vegetables a second chance if they learned how to cook them correctly. To help, we're provided a handful of delicious ways to incorporate new foods into your diet. If you need a change, consider picking up some of these ingredients on your next trip to the market!

Vegetables

One way to work new vegetables into your diet is to treat them the same way you would a piece of meat—make them the star of the show. Take our Seared Beets with Turmeric-Tahini Broccoli & Salmon, for example. The high fiber, antioxidant-rich food is cooked like a juicy piece of steak in this recipe by cutting it into thick slices and searing it on both sides until the vegetable's exterior is crisp and the center is tender. We also love reimagining meat-based dishes with a vegetarian spin. Our Grilled-Eggplant Parmesan skips chicken and instead tops halved eggplant with mozzarella and a quick sauce made from flame-kissed tomatoes and shallots. Or pack in a bunch of produce by making a hearty stew. In our Cauliflower-and-Lentil Stew with Onion Relish, vegetables are on full display. Fire-roasted tomatoes, cauliflower, and baby kale are studded throughout, while our onion relish adds a welcome zest that brightens the entire dish.

Fish

Making fish at home doesn't have to be intimidating, especially if you take the stress out the equation by making a one-pot dinner. Our colorful Roasted Sea Bass with Sweet Potatoes, Spinach, and Salsa Rustica requires minimal preparation. The sheet-pan dinner elevates sea bass by spooning salsa rustica made from parsley, capers, vinegar, and oil over top and roasting it alongside sweet potatoes tossed in garlic and shallot. Looking for something that's ready in less than an hour? Turn to our Salmon-and-Corn Chowder. The omega-3 rich fish is cooked alongside corn and added to a homemade clam broth for a tasty summer chowder. It's an efficient way to work a nutrient dense food into you diet when you're short on time.

Fruit

You can do more with fruit than add it to a bowl of yogurt for breakfast or serve it as a side with lunch. One way to do this is by making our Eggplant, Pistachio, and Pomegranate Pizza. Pomegranate seeds—which are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber—are sprinkled overtop baked pizza dough with thinly sliced eggplant, pistachios, tangy feta, and cilantro leaves. Another fruit that shouldn't be overlooked when shopping for produce is figs. Not only does its honey-like sweetness lend itself well to a variety of dishes, but it's also known for reducing inflammation and keeping you fuller longer. We love it alongside beets in our Pickled-Beet and Fig Salad, where the fruit complements acidic pickled beets, spicy mustard, and peppery watercress.

Legumes

Not only are legumes a great way to pack protein into a meal, but they're also known to reduce blood pressure, and decrease the risk of being diagnosed with diabetes. One tried-and-true way to incorporate legumes into your diet is by making soup or stew. Our Creamy Lentil Stew is a filling vegan dish that's slightly creamy thanks to the addition of coconut milk as the broth's base. But you don't have to rely on warm bowls of stew to get your fill of legumes, you can also enjoy them as a side dish. Our Harissa-Roasted Green Beans recipe tosses the legume with chile pasta, adding a smoky bite to the oven roasted side.

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