Most people I hear from struggle to eat 7-9 servings of vegetables a day. This is primarily because people think of vegetables as a side dish served with dinner. Vegetables are actually quite versatile and easily added to many dishes you probably already eat.
Here are ten easy ways to add vegetables to your diet:
It all Starts at Breakfast –
1) Add a bit of the green to smoothies! a handful of any leafy green vegetable such as parsley, Swiss chard, spinach or kale to your smoothie increases vitamins and minerals.
2) Add an eye-opening dose of the greens to your eggs! Simply add sauteed Swiss chard, spinach, kale, (in addition to those more commonly eaten tomatoes, onions and peppers) to your omelet or scrambled eggs.
Try these Healthful Snacking Options –
3) Make your nibble more nutritious! Reach for cut up raw celery, cucumber, carrots, red peppers, cauliflower or broccoli. If you’re not big on raw you can always lightly blanch green beans and asparagus (and broccoli and cauliflower too) and serve with a light vinaigrette dressing made with olive oil and lemon juice.
4) Try making kale chips! See my Sweet & Spicy Kale Chip Recipe. Even kids will eat these!
Ways to Sneak More of the Good Stuff in!
5) Use left over cooked vegetables from last nights dinner to top salads at lunch. Grilled veggies on salads are YUMMY!
6) Add finely chopped greens such as kale, Swiss chard, Bok choy, spinach to casseroles, rice and quinoa and soups.
7) Puree cooked vegetables into homemade tomato sauce. See my Marinara Supreme Recipe . This is another kid friendly recipe.
8) Instead of boiling or steaming your vegetables try grilling them! Just about any vegetable taste wonderful grilled. Simply brush with a little olive oil and you favorite seasoning and you have a fast and tasty side dish.
9) Don’t forget to load up the vegetables in soups and stews. A hearty bowl of vegetable soup such as minestrone makes a nutritious, quick lunch or a lighter supper.
10) Make vegetables the “main attraction” with a vegetable curry or stir fry dinner. Contrary to what your might think curries and stir fry can be made with a little or a lot of spice.
Vegetable Marinara Sauce Supreme – (about 6 cups)
3 – 4 tablespoons olive oil – (divided)
1 medium onion finely diced
3 cloves fresh garlic diced
2 medium carrots diced
2 medium or 3 small zucchini diced
¼ cup fresh basil or 2 tablespoons basil pesto
½ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning (or substitute ¼ teaspoon fresh thyme & ½ teaspoon fresh oregano)
2 – (14 ½ oz) cans organic diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon Wheat Free/Low sodium Tamari or sea salt to taste
¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper (optional)
3 tablespoons honey or 2 teaspoons stevia
In a large skillet heat half the oil and sauté the onions and garlic on medium heat for about 3 minutes or until onions are translucent and soft. Add the carrots and sauté for two minutes. Add the zucchini and sauté another two minutes. Add the Tamari (or salt), lower the heat to medium low and cook another 3 minutes until the liquid has been absorbed. Make a space in the middle of the pan moving vegetables to the side and add the tomato paste allowing it to begin to caramelize. Add the crushed tomatoes and some water if the mixture seems too thick for you (I like my sauce thick). Add the seasonings – if using fresh basil or the pesto do not add these until 5 min before ready to serve. Cook for about 10 to 15 more minutes until all vegetables are fully cooked. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Using a food processor, blender or emersion blender carefully blend the mixture so it still has a chunky texture. Return the blended mixture to the skillet and heat adding the pesto or fresh basil.
Tip: This vegetable marinara sauce is excellent on any type of pasta or to top grilled vegetables or meats/poultry. It also can be used to make vegetable lasagna in place of meat based sauce. Kids will devour it! Great on home made pizza too. (Nourish Holistic Nutrition Therapy)
Sweet & Spicy Kale chips
1 bunch kale
2 teaspoons wheat free low sodium tamari
2 teaspoons of honey, maple syrup – or use stevia (15 drops)
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil
½ teaspoon of garlic powder
Added ¼ teaspoon of powdered ginger
Added 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
4 Tablespoons hulled (white) sesame seeds
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Tear kale off of stems and into bite–sized pieces (remember: kale will shrink a lot while baking, so don’t make them too small).
3. Wash kale in a big bowl of water. Drain, and dry very well using a salad spinner and then place on paper towel and wring dry. This also helps break down the kale to make it less fibrous.
4. Whisk all other ingredients together and pour over kale a little at a time in a bowl. Massage the sauce into the kale pieces so that they are well coated. You may not use all of the sauce. Only pour enough to JUST coast the leaves. You don’t want it dripping.
5. Lay the kale pieces out on two parchment-paper-lined cookie sheets in a thin layer.
6. Bake for 15 minutes. Then turn the pieces over and back in the oven for another 5 min.
7. Once crisp, remove from oven and serve in a bowl. If you have any left store in paper bag and then place inside a plastic airtight container to help retain crispness.
Want more great ideas on how to eat better made simple? Give me a shout and let me teach you how easy living healthy can be!