I don’t recall exactly when I started trying to eat more vegetables. It might have been when I began getting such a load each week from my CSA farm. Or it might have been out of guilt – I preach this all the time when I teach Cooking Matters classes for Share Our Strength, yet I know I often don’t get the daily dose I should. Or maybe it was watching my parents age and thinking that I want to stay healthy for as long as possible. Who knows…but I do know that I try to sneak in extra vegetables all the time now. I’m a meat lover, and I don’t really crave many vegetables – but I must say this is easier and tastier than I could have imagined. Here are my top 5 go to tricks for eating more vegetables:
1. Instead of just eating eggs for breakfast, saute up some veggies (I like red pepper, onion, and Swiss chard) then scramble the egg into the mixture. Finish with some shredded cheese if you like.
2. Think salad bar when you are making a lunch or dinner salad – throw in as many extra diced vegetables as you have on hand instead of just tossing lettuce with dressing.
3. Adopt the philosophy that meat is a condiment – make your soups and stews heavy on vegetables with a smaller portion (1-2 ounces per person) of meat.
4. Make sure your vegetables are clean and ready to go so you can grab them for snacks or cooking. If you have to take the time to scrub, you may opt to skip them.
5. Instead of a basic marinara sauce, add finely diced vegetables to the sauce like I’ve done above and simmer until tender. (If your kids don’t like the chunky texture, puree the whole mixture and they’ll never know what’s in there). I find I also feel satiated with less pasta this way as the fiber in the vegetables fills me up. Almost anything works, really – it’s just a matter of what you have on hand and what you like.
Here’s to our health!