Sep 122013
 

Hey there! Today I thought we could talk about something that I think is really important when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle- and that’s incorporating vegetables into your diet!

Everyone knows how important it is to eat a lot of vegetables, but now that I am taking a Nutrition Certification program through my job and Tuft’s University, I am starting to understand more about why it’s so important. Learning about the different vitamins and minerals and understanding how they work in the body just reinforces this habit for me.

That being said, I know a lot of people don’t really like eating veggies which can make it a challenge to work them into meals. I know when I first moved in with Fabio and started cooking dinner for us both he was not a veggie eater, but now things have changed! He always compliments me on my veggies and eats every bite (hopefully he’s not just being nice, haha).

So if you have some picky eaters in your household or you’re just unsure about how to incorporate more veggies into your meals, this post is for you! I’m mostly going to concentrate on how to work more veggies into your dinners, but I’ve listed a couple alternative veggie options at the bottom of this post (even cookies!).

Option 1: Keep it simple

VeggieCollage

Maybe this sounds silly, but my favorite way to eat vegetables is just plain and simple. I love to roast them in the oven with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Sometimes I throw in a few other tasty additions like chopped onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, parmesan cheese, sundried tomatoes, etc.

You can use any veggies you have on hand and even combine a few different ones in one batch. My favorite veggies to eat this way include carrots, broccoli, brussels sprouts, squash, and asparagus. Usually when I’m roasting vegetables I’ll just throw whatever I have into the mix, and I’ve yet to try a combination of vegetables I didn’t like. This method of cooking veggies is a great way to try some local farmer’s market produce that’s in season.

By rule of thumb you can remember that whatever grows together goes together (e.g., summer veggies all taste good together, same with winter ones, etc.)

Here’s exactly how I do it:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a cookie sheet with tinfoil
  2. Prep all veggies by washing/chopping
  3. Toss all the veggies into a large bowl or Ziploc bag
  4. Add olive oil, salt, pepper, and any additions you might want
  5. Pop them into the oven and cook until desired consistency is reached, flipping halfway through (usually 25-30 minutes)

With a little chopped onion and some garlic, you’d be amazed at how delicious these veggies come out. It’s seriously my favorite way to eat them. If you’ve never tried this you really should give it a go!

Option 2: Incorporate veggies into a dinner bowl BowlCollage My second way to incorporate veggies into a meal is by making some sort of “dinner bowl” with a yummy sauce and throw all the veggies into the mix. Here’s how I typically make these:

  1. Start with some kind of base for the bowl (e.g., brown rice, pasta, roasted potatoes/sweet potatoes, or spaghetti squash)
  2. Add in some roasted or sauteed veggies (brussels sprouts, broccoli, and carrots work great for these)
  3. Add some meat (this is optional, but I like to add grilled chicken, chicken sausage, or turkey meatballs)
  4. Pick a sauce. I usually create something myself with Laughing Cow cheese, Greek yogurt, spices, and any herbs I have lying around. Another favorite is a Thai peanut sauce made with Better N Peanut Butter which is delicious! To make this, simply find any Thai peanut recipe (Google and Pinterest are great for this) and replace the peanut butter with Better N Peanut Butter to slash the fat and calories.

Yum. I could totally go for one of these bowls right now (note to self: do not write posts about cooking when you’re hungry!!). These are such good comfort food, can be made with some really good, wholesome ingredients.

Option 3: Work veggies into your main dish

MianMealsCollage

Veggies don’t have to just be stuck on the sidelines at dinner, you can make them the star of the show! A lot of people think of veggies as “just a side dish” to go with your meat, but I don’t think that has to be true. I like to challenge myself to make a veggie the main dish at dinner, and often times it works out quite well!

Some examples to get you thinking include replacing spaghetti noodles with spaghetti squash, stuffing a sweet potato with different veggies (this is filling enough to be  main dish on its own without the need for any meat), or make a giant salad full 0f veggies! Tuna salad and chicken salad count too!

Other Ideas:

Whatever you choose, just eat your veggies! I hope this post has been helpful for any of you picky eaters out there! 😉

Question of the day: Do you eat veggies? How do you cook them? How many times can I say the word “veggies” in one post? Haha.

 Posted by on September 12, 2013

  11 Responses to “3 Easy Ways to Eat More Veggies”

  1. I like to throw my veggies in the bowl or incorporate them into the meal. 🙂 I guess I never grew up because when someone orders a “side of broccoli” I want to giggle a little bit….don’t they KNOW that they could have a sweet potato or something? I do love my veggies though! 🙂 I’m finding myself doing a lot of cauliflower right now as a side too.

    • I went through a huge cauliflower kick a while back, but then for some reason I stopped getting it. I think it might be time to bring it back into the rotation!

  2. Oh my gosh your brussel sprouts look DELICIOUS!! Great tips; thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. Haha I swear Ben has never complimented me on my vegetables ever. He always goes “what, there’s way too many vegetables on my plate”. But he does eat them. I think I’d have to drench them in cheese before he’d love them. I’ve finally gotten him to eat potatoes – but they’re drenched in butter. *sighs*

    • Hahaha Fabio is the same way with cheese! He puts mozzarella on EVERYTHING and then heats it up so it gets all melty. Like, I get it, but it seems so unnecessary!

  4. This is so helpful for a poor grad student trying to be healthy (thanks to your blog and another I read!)!! On an unrelated note, I scheduled my stitch fix and used your referral (I’m really hoping it went through right) so now you have another $25 credit! Happy Friday!

  5. LOVE this post! I was always a pretty basic veggie eater – steamed veggies were like my staple in college. But in the last few years I’ve really been working on branching out and trying new things. Roasting veggies is my new favorite thing! I’m convinced that everything tastes better roasted! My current favorites are broccoli, green beans and kale “chips”. But I’m super pumped for fall veggies!!!

  6. Great post. I am definitely trying to incorporate more veggies into my diet. I’ve been way too into eating fruits and not enough veggies. Great tips! I love the pic of your dog trying to smell the food too 😉 Adorable.

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