You’re sitting at the dining table, plate full of broccoli. You look over and there’s your mom eyeing your every move. What do you do next?
Well if you’re anything like me, you eat it. Sorry picky eaters, I love my veggies! But I understand that not everyone does, so here are 5 ways to incorporate more vegetables into your diet (For both kids and grown-ups!).
1. Use chopped up veggies to increase volume
This is one of my favorite ways to eat vegetables because it works in almost any situation. For example: add chopped or grated zucchini and chopped red bell pepper to your taco meat (or beans, if vegan), add corn and chopped squash into your chili, add grated zucchini to your burgers (I do this with black bean burgers – yum!), add every vegetable you like into your salad (seriously, salads do not have to be plain and boring), and finally, add a sautéed vegetable medley to your pasta. These are just some examples but I’m sure you can find many more meals to incorporate more vegetables into.
2. Fill half your plate up with vegetables
This one might sound obvious but maybe not to everyone. Before filling up your plate with whatever it is you plan to eat, first add vegetables to your plate that way you know you won’t “accidentally” (I see you) leave no room for them. Yup, grown-up stuff.
3. Eat your bowls
Veggie bowls that is! This is another favorite of mine because it is so versatile. Think burrito bowl, stir fry, even pasta. The idea is to mix all your foods together in a bowl, rather than eating them separately on a plate. In order to make this a satisfying meal, however, be sure to include all the food groups (Protein, Veggies, Grains, Healthy Fat) to ensure a balanced meal. An example of this would be the classic burrito bowl: Beans and/or choice of meat, corn, lettuce, bell pepper, mushrooms, zucchini, potatoes/rice/quinoa, and avocado or an avocado dressing on top. Obviously tailor the bowl to your preferences and the possibilities are endless!
4. Blend vegetables into smoothies and sauces
Self explanatory point here. A lot of vegetables tend to have a “bland” (I’m using this word loosely here as we all have different taste buds) taste or are packed full of water so the flavors are not strikingly robust. “Green smoothies” are a popular way to include those leafy greens, which by the way are very important! You can also add cauliflower, carrots (think carrot cake smoothie – yum), zucchini, cucumber, and any other veggie to your smoothies to add those extra micronutrients to your day.
Sauces are another *awesome* way to sneak in more vegetables, whether it’s in a red tomato sauce, white carbonara sauce, enchilada sauce, or even a cheesy sauce to top your burritos with. Vegan sauces tend to also utilize vegetables to add volume and flavor to the sauce. Just boil the chosen vegetables until tender, blend all the ingredients together in a blender, and there ya go!
5. Prep ahead of time
I love pre-cooking vegetables and grains for myself on a Sunday afternoon in order to ensure quick and easy meals throughout the week. If you’re a busy mom like me, it’s a huge time saver! I think anyone can benefit from some simple meal or food prepping. I usually roast chopped up sweet potatoes and cauliflower to have as either side veggies or to incorporate into food bowls. Roasting, baking, and boiling vegetables are all great ways to prepare them for the week, then simply store in an air-tight container in the fridge and grab as needed.
Well there you go, friends! Those are my 5 fun ways to eat more veggies. I hope you try some of these out if you haven’t already! And if you have, let me know which one is your favorite or if you have other great ways to eat more veggies.