How to Sneak More Vegetables into Your Diet
1. Double the Veggies: following a recipe? Put more veggies in that casserole you’re whipping up, or add them to a can of soup or a pizza.
2. Ditch the chips or bread in favor of veggies. Use cut carrots, cucumbers, or peppers instead of pita chips to go with that hummus. And try lettuce instead of bread or taco shells. I enjoy tuna or taco fixings wrapped in a huge, crispy leaf of lettuce.
3. Drink your veggies. Smoothies are great for breakfast or a snack and they’re a great way to pack in servings of vegetables. You can find some recipes here.
4. Be sneaky: grate vegetables into your sauces. Marinara sauce can be enhanced with grated zucchini, mushrooms, or eggplant. Meatballs or burgers can also be enhanced with grate zucchini or carrots, which add moisture and flavor.
5. Be sneaky in a different way: blend vegetables. You can mix butternut squash with a little bit of water, blend, and use the mixture in place of almost half the cheese in macaroni and cheese or grilled cheese. Puréed cauliflower can be mixed into mashed potatoes. Your favorite comfort foods just got healthier and creamier!
6. Start participating in Meatless Mondays! This will force you to get creative with your veggie consumption. MeatlessMonday.com is a great resource. To start off, try something like a quinoa salad with vegetables. It makes a great main dish, and it works well in a wrap (or a leaf of lettuce) for a mid-week lunch!
7. At the beginning of the week, prep veggies ahead of time. This will encourage you to eat them on the go during the busy weekdays. Yes, this advice might be contrary to the idea that veggies should be consumed immediately upon purchase, but I’ve found that having a stock pile of washed, chopped veggies (placed at eye level in the fridge) encourages everyone to snack away all week!
8. Have a salad with every meal. I try to start my meal with a huge salad and cut down on huge servings of meat or pasta.
9. Veggies for breakfast? You bet! Try adding spinach, mushrooms, onions, or tomatoes to your eggs for a delicious omelet (or in my case, a pile of scrambled eggs with veggies in them…omelets aren’t my strong suit).
10. Finally, for added variety, try a new vegetable each week. Find recipes that feature vegetables you haven’t yet tried. If you need help, see what’s in season here.
Your turn: What are some things you do to make sure you (and your family members) eat more vegetables every day?