I think we all know that we should be eating more vegetables, but sometimes that’s easier said than done. Vegetables are definitely one of the best foods for us, but they aren’t always considered one of the most ‘fun’ foods to eat. So how can you up your veggie intake without eating salads all day? Try these easy tips:
- Make it easy. Because we’re human, we are all more likely to take the path of least resistance. In the case of veggies, all that shopping, washing, and chopping is the resistance! To easily incorporate more veggies into your meals, make sure you get all that work out of the way ahead of your busiest days. And don’t forget about pre-cut and frozen vegetables, which are great timesavers!
- Include veggies with (most) every meal. Back up, and re-read that as a challenge rather than a recommendation. Make a mental list of your favorite meals, and think of creative ways that you can sneak veggies into them. Pizza? Top it with some sautéed mushrooms or green pepper. Mac & cheese? Stir in some peas or broccoli. The more you open your mind to the possibilities, the easier and more automatic it will become. And don’t forget about breakfast! Try adding spinach and onions to your omelet, a slice of tomato or cucumber to your bagel, or a handful of greens to your morning smoothie.
- Serve veggies as a side dish, and eat them first. Try and think bigger than just your traditional side salad, or steamed broccoli – although those are great too. What about a platter of juicy sliced tomatoes, layered with fresh mozzarella and basil? Or an ear of local sweet corn grilled up with chili lime seasoning? Your sides will be as nutritious as they are delicious.
- Plan meals that pack a punch – of veggies, that is! Try out some new recipes that are veggie centric, like stuffed peppers, grilled portobello burgers, veggie lasagna, or soups. Substituting zucchini noodles (or “zoodles”) for pasta, or cauliflower rice for traditional rice is another great way to integrate vegetables into a meal. Give it a try and you just might find some new favorites.
- When all else fails, pull out the blender. This tip works for even my most veggie-averse clients. Sneak some leafy greens into a smoothie or protein shake, and you won’t even know they are there. Or, cook and puree a variety of veggies to mix into things like pizza sauce, scrambled eggs, soups and stews, casseroles, or curry.
As with anything else, upping your veggie intake gets easier the longer you work at it. Take it step by step, and start by focusing on a few meals per week. Try new recipes, new vegetables, and new ways of preparing them to find ways that work for you. For inspiration and more produce-packed recipes, check out the media library on the app!