One thing that stands out in the podcast episodes we’ve had with food and nutrition experts is that everyone, regardless of what else they recommend, seem to recommend eating more vegetables. The nutrients and fiber that vegetables provide to our bodies are invaluable. The different colors of vegetables provide different nutrients which is why we’re often instructed to “eat the rainbow.” Chris and I often share vegetable recipes. If you check out our ebook, Fitness Food, you’ll see most of the recipes include vegetables.
Plus, we’re having the One New Vegetable a Week Challenge in the Becoming Elli community. You can either try a new vegetable or prepare one in a new way.
Not to continue to harp on vegetables, but let me share one more post about them. It’s one thing to talk about trying new vegetables or cooking them a new way, but we also need to eat a lot of them. And most of us get tired of doing the same old thing so here’s some ideas on how to work more vegetables into your meals easily and without additional fuss.
Twelve Ways to Eat More Vegetables
- Make vegetable soups. There are lots of great recipes for soup that use lots of vegetables. You can make traditional vegetable soup. Chris provided such a recipe recently. You can also vary things. For example, you can blend vegetables in the broth to thicken the soup and eliminate the need for cream.
- Join the cauliflower bandwagon. You can buy cauliflower “rice” and pizza crust. Of course, you can make your own but sometimes buying the prepared versions is easier. Replace your regular rice with cauliflower. Replace your pizza crust with the cauliflower crust.
- Add veggies to your smoothies. If you like to start the day with a smoothie, be sure to add lots of veggies to the blender. I usually add whatever I have on hand but a typical smoothie for me includes a carrot, greens such as spinach or kale, and maybe some beets or cucumber. I think veggies like broccoli and cauliflower have a pretty strong flavor for smoothies so I tend to avoid them here.
- Roast whatever you have on hand. I love roasted vegetables and they’re so easy to make. I cut up any of the following:
- Brussels sprouts
- bell peppers
- sweet potatoes
- red potatoes
- Sugar snap peas
Once chopped, I coat with oil (olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, whatever you prefer), salt and pepper them, add any other spices I want and then roast in the oven at 425 or 450, stirring every ten minutes or so and cooking until the vegetables are crisp on the outside.
- Include vegetables in your breakfast. You can do this by making vegetable omelets or frittatas. You can also just add vegetables to scrambled eggs. Sometimes I heat up leftover roasted vegetables and serve with a fried egg on top. If you’re more of an oatmeal person, try making a savory oatmeal and include vegetables in it.
- Replace pasta with veggie noodles. You can make your own with a spiralizer or many stores now sell veggie noodles. Experiment with the different kinds and see what you like. I enjoyed making spaghetti with zucchini noodles last summer. It was tasty.
- Add vegetables to your meatloaf or hamburgers. Be creative and add as many different kinds as you can. You can cram a lot of vegetables in with that ground meat.
- Add an extra vegetable to your dinner. Many of us were raised on the “meat, starch, and vegetable” dinner plate. Consider changing that to “meat, vegetable, and vegetable” or “starch, vegetable, vegetable.” I find adding an extra vegetable to dinner to be a great way to get in another serving of vegetables.
- Add whatever vegetables you have to your salad. Be creative! Also, remember that it’s perfectly ok to eat salad more than once a day.
- If you’re making chicken, tuna or egg salad or even potato or pasta salad, add more vegetables to it. Chop up onion and bell peppers and add. Celery and carrots also work well and add some lovely crunch.
- Making a sandwich? Replace the bread with greens. Once you’ve made the tuna or chicken salad mentioned above, wrap it up in a leaf of romaine lettuce or some other kind of green. It’s a great way to serve a sandwich.
- Make snacks out of vegetables. Chop them up and make oven-roasted fries or chips. These can be a great way to have a snack and get in an extra serving of vegetables.
There you have it. Twelve ways to eat more vegetables. I know there’s lots more so I hope you’ll share some of your ideas.