How to Eat Your Vegetables, Part II
Hello veggie lovers. Or haters. Or, at least, veggie blog post readers.
In Part I of this series, I shared a general framework on how to incorporate more vegetables into your diet. This time, we’re talking specific add-more-veggie tips and techniques, sneaky veggie resources and a few of my favorite recipes.
Generally speaking, you can add a wealth of vegetables to your diet by pureeing, mincing and blending. Here are some ideas:
* Add pesticide-free or organic frozen chopped spinach to smoothies and blend well. You get a green color without a scary taste.
* Add mashed carrot or canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie!) to pasta sauce. Steam/boil first, as necessary. Canned pumpkin is also an ingredient in “Pumpkin Bread in a Bowl,” a winning breakfast recipe in the houses of my clients with toddlers (see recipe below)!
* Add pureed or mashed cauliflower to potatoes for a lower-cal, more nutrient-dense mashed potato combo (see recipe below).
* Add minced kale, bok choy or other greens to soups, and let sit 5-10 minutes to soften before serving.
* Add pureed edamame to pesto for sauce, either to use with pasta or grilled goods (see recipe below).
* Add chopped, sliced or minced vegetables to scrambled eggs or tofu, chicken or tuna salad, or pasta. I love including spinach right into the pasta as it cooks (add it in the last minute or so), and then drain all together. It’s a great “filler” that helps bulk up your plate with veggies… and, you avoid pasta portion distortion. Double bonus!
* When all else fails, make juice! If you have a juicer, add greens to your fruit juice. The color will be different, but so will the nutritional content.
Also, if your kids think they hate vegetables, make sure that they see you eating vegetables (imitation is the best instruction!) and have them help with veggie preparation and cooking. You’re not really sneaking things in since they’re seeing the process, of course, but little ones often want to eat their own creations.
- The Sneaky Chef cookbook series
- The Kitchen Skinny meal planning
- Six O’Clock Scramble meal planning
- Momme Meals fresh-to-freezer delivery service (Washington, DC metro area)
- Snack Girl
- VegNews Magazine
- Vegetarian Times Magazine
- Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition
- GoVeg.com Starter Kits
- Cooking Light’s 12 Ways to Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
- Food Rules, Michael Pollan (also check out his Unhappy Meals article for a glance on his style and focus)
Also check out the resources listed in Part 1 of this blog post!
SOME OF MY FAVORITE RECIPES
Roasted Veggies (my kitchen)
This is one of my staples during fall and winter. And spring. And summer. Even when it’s warm, I love these roasted veggies, chilled and ready for an outdoor picnic!
1 sweet potato, washed and cubed
1-2 parsnips, peeled and chopped into chunks
1 bell pepper, any color, seeded and chopped into big chunks
1/2 lb golden beets (I like the golden — they’re so incognito, they turn beet haters into beet lovers), chopped into chunks
1/2-1 vidalia onion (or sweet yellow), chopped into chunks
1 T olive oil
Line a roasting pan with foil and add all ingredients. Toss with your hands to coat, then bake at 425 for 25-30 minutes. Stir/flip veggies and then bake another 20 minutes or so, until golden and carmel-y.
3-Bean and 3 Million Veg Salad (my kitchen)
This salad is one of those things that you make and eat and think “wow, I’m taking such awesome care of myself right now.” I love foods that help us say that often, especially when they’re delicious (because calories are too expensive to waste on something that doesn’t taste good). Also, note that the veggies are totally up to you (this is why it’s “3 million veg salad” — add as much as you like!).
2-3 cans of beans (I like a mix of white, black and garbanzo)
3-4 radishes, finely chopped
1/2 – 1 bell pepper (any color, or a mix), chopped
1/2 red onion or a few scallions
2-3 ribs celery, chopped well
1 handful of halved grape tomatoes
1 bunch fresh parsley, minced
1 cup of frozen roasted corn
1 tblsp fresh oregano, or 1 tsp dried
1 tblsp fresh dill, or 1 tsp dried
A dash of cayenne, for punch
Olive oil, about 2 T
Balsamic or red wine vinegar, about 4 T
Coarse salt, fresh black pepper to taste
Drain and rinse the beans well. In a large bowl, mix beans, veggies and herbs. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill for about 30 minutes before serving, perhaps over peppery arugula, if you can wait that long. I usually cannot.
Breakfast Milkshakes (my kitchen)
Pumpkin Bread in a Bowl (from the couldn’t-be-cuter Chocolate-Covered Katie)
*note, for cereal, I prefer the gluten-free Mesa Sunrise
Caulipots (from vegan goddess, Isa Chandra Moskowitz)
Edamame Pesto (also from ICM)
Photo credit: www.cafepress.com