In changing up your eating routine for overall health or weight loss, it is most important to incorporate more vegetables into your daily routine.
But, getting started on eating plain vegetables when you never have can be so...ugh. Eating healthier doesn't mean you need to only chomp on some celery for a snack though--incorporating more vegetables can be an easy and delicious process.
1. Make a Shake
Make a protein shake or smoothie at some point during your day and incorporate some new veggies to make it thick and creamy! While you can just throw a handful of greens in (spinach or kale work well), try using frozen, or steamed and then frozen vegetables, and add them directly into the blender. Frozen cauliflower, frozen beets, peas, steamed + frozen zucchini or cucumbers add some bulk to your shake without adding too much veggie taste.
2. Mince/Chop and Add into Your Normal Dishes
Chopped up veggies add nice volume into regular dishes and also don't alter taste too much.
Pasta: Add chopped broccoli, spinach, kale, peas or zucchini to either your sauce or boiling pasta water.
Rice: Add riced cauliflower, onions, carrots, celery, peas or water chestnuts
Potatoes: Roast butternut squash with your roasted potatoes and mix together or mash it into sweet potatoes. Try roasting carrot fries or turnip fries alongside regular fries.
Oatmeal: Shred zucchini or add riced cauliflower for extra volume and no taste.
Meatloaf/Burgers: Add shredded zucchini into your meatloaf for extra moisture.
3. Prioritize Adding Vegetables to Your Meals
When you prioritize vegetables over other aspects of the meal, it makes it easier to eat them. Focus on vegetables first, then add other things.
Breakfast Ideas: Omelette filled with sauteed vegetables, frittatas, steamed vegetables with chicken sausages
Lunch: Salad with lots of vegetables, some fat and protein, stir-fry, vegetable based pasta
Dinner: Roasted vegetables with protein and a carb source, salad with protein, large sides of vegetables
4. Don't Be Afraid of Seasonings
One of the reasons vegetables often get a less than stellar review is because they're plain and boring. Season up your veggies and light up your taste buds.
Use salt and pepper, everything but the bagel seasoning, chili powder, soy sauce, nutritional yeast--play around and see what you like!
5. Snack On 'Em
Snacking on vegetables doesn't have to be boring. Add some condiments or make it fun to really enjoy eating more vegetables.
Try Ants on the Log (PB, Celery + Raisins), Cucumber Sandwiches, Making caprese skewers, dipping in hummus, ranch dressing or salsa, making fresh rolls with rice paper-so many possibilities!
Whatever your goals are, adding more vegetables to your day is certain to be beneficial! Aim for at least 4-5 servings per day in a variety of colors!