How to easily eat more veggies when you aren’t a fan
I have a confession to make. Prior to college, the only vegetables I ate were Caesar salads (which let’s be honest are just lettuce and cheese), onions, carrots, and sweet potato. Nowadays, I enjoy pretty much all vegetables and often even crave them. I know, I can’t believe it either. How did I get here you may ask. Well, simply read on for my top 10 tips on how to incorporate more veggies into your diet and learn to love them.
I’m going to make you a quiche you can’t refuse
-The Godfather (probably)
1. (Crustless) Quiche it up
Quiche, not just a great scrabble word. You can add a bunch of veggies - peppers, onions, broccoli, you name it - to a quiche without it feeling overrun with veggies. You can add cheese, bacon, or ham to make it feel even less veggified. Another reason quiche is a go-to in our household is that it helps you use up leftover veggie bits that always seem to accumulate during the week. You can also make quiche ahead of time, cut it into slices, and have it as a ready-to-go breakfast to reheat at work.
2. Add greens or avocado to a breakfast smoothie
To get a good dose of veggies, you don’t have to add huge amounts of kale or dandelion greens. Honestly, including lots of greens is usually more of an acquired taste, especially if you don’t add a bunch of sugar or more sugary fruits to your smoothie. Instead, to boost your nutrient intake and add some interesting flavors to your smoothies, try adding herbs and avocado. Some interesting combos we’ve had in the past include:
Raspberry & rosemary
Lemon, blueberry & thyme
Pear & sage
Blackberry & basil
Mint & banana
3. Bulk up your burgers
Eating a keto diet myself at the moment, one of the hardest things to do is go out to eat. Trying to eat low carb with lots of good fats and veggies is not an easy task! When I do have to go out, my go-to is a bun-less burger with a side salad. I add avocado, mushroom, onion, tomato, and lettuce to that burger to make sure I get my veggies in and the avocado has the added bonus of providing some filling, healthy fat.
4. Learn the many uses of cauliflower
Recently kale has started popping up everywhere: in salads, as chips, in smoothies, everywhere. It is the darling of hipsters around the world. Well, I am here to announce that cauliflower is the new kale. You can make it into a pizza crust, use it as a rice or couscous substitute, bake some cauli rolls, cook a cauliflower chowder with bacon and cheese, fry up some cauli hash, cook a creamy cauli mash, make hummus - I could go on and on. Cauliflower’s mild flavor makes it perfect for all of these uses. Now, these dishes won’t be exactly like the original but, made well, you will find yourself truly appreciating this wonderful vegetable and rejoicing that you can eat such amazing food while also getting all those lovely nutrients into your body.
5. Cook some soup
It’s getting cold now, so this is perfect. Making a soup will not only warm up your soul but is a oft-missed opportunity to eat a huge serving of vegetables. Soup can be made out of any vegetables you have on hand but some personal favorites include:
Sweet potato, pear, and leek
Mushroom, leek, and thyme
Zucchini and coconut
Thai-inspired pumpkin soup
6. Make a sauce
Sauces are a fabulous way to sneak in veggies. One thing we love to eat is bolognese (aka meat sauce) on top of mashed sweet potatoes. That’s not enough veggies for us though so we throw in a bunch of mushrooms and peppers into the sauce as well. Honestly, at the end of the day, the sauce tastes pretty much the same, but we’ve increased our vegetable intake significantly! Another great sauce with many uses is a veggified marinara with onions, garlic, fresh basil, and a mix of other veggies thrown in: mushrooms, eggplant, peppers, squash, carrot, whatever we have on hand.
7. Bake ‘em!
This is my go-to. When done right you get crispy on the outside, soft on the inside veggies. You can do this with cauliflower, broccoli, kale (well that one is only crispy), sweet potato, eggplant, asparagus, green beans - pretty much any vegetable you can think of. Some of the bonuses of cooking this way include: you can do a bunch of things while your veggies are baking; it’s easy (toss veggies in oil and seasonings and throw them in the oven); and it tastes great. You can even make a little dipping sauce for yourself too! Maybe that cauliflower hummus we talked about? If you find yourself craving crunchy things and you aren’t a huge fan of eating raw carrots, this is a great way to satisfy that craving.
8. Chop up some salsa fresca and guacamole
You can buy these pre-made but they are never as good as making them for yourself. Serve your salsa fresca (aka pico de gallo) and guacamole with eggs, fish, whatever you like. These can be flavorful additions to many meals and honestly it won’t even feel like you’re eating veggies.
9. Don’t eat those veggies alone
If you are scared of a certain vegetable or scared of veggies overall be sure to add bacon or other meat. For example, make a chili or a bolognese sauce with tons of mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, and garlic. Maybe throw in some sweet potato or zucchini for good measure! The bold flavors in the chili or bolognese and your spices will really overpower the veggies and you might not even notice they are there.
10. Most important: Be open to trying those vegetables you think you hate
Listen, there are lots of ways to cook veggies and some of them are really terrible (for example steaming broccoli). The veggies taste bland and boring. You have to be willing to try some new recipes and some new ways to eat those veggies - roasted broccoli with bacon anyone? Honestly, if I went by how most restaurant’s make squash, I would never eat squash again. I would refuse to even be in the same room as it. But by trying new ways to cook and serve vegetables I have grown to really love them all in their own way. What I would recommend is to figure out what most appeals to you: creamy mashed veggies, crispy roasted veggies dipped in some sort of sauce, a warming soup, or whatever you like and try the veggies you aren’t sure about in those modalities. As you grow to like the veggies, you can venture out into other ways of cooking them. You’ll likely find (like many others have) that over time you start needing some veggies with every meal to feel truly satisfied.
That’s all! If you have some tips of your own let us know! We’ll add your tip to our next post.
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