You’re supposed to be eating more vegetables. Probably lots more. You’ve got your reasons. To keep your weight down, to prevent illness, to feel better. So how are you doing with your plans to eat more veggies?
Maybe you’re a bit like Carol who wrote me this note: “I do not know why I do not like fruit and veg, it is not that I hate them but nothing says ‘eat them’. I am a bad example to my kids. I do want to see veg on my plate, but they remain on the plate.”
Here are my suggestions for Carol, and I’m sharing them here because maybe they’ll help you, too.
1. The easiest way to get more veggies into your diet, starting today, is to add them to things you already like to eat. If you’re making spaghetti sauce — add more than the usual amounts of mushrooms, peppers, celery, and onion. I also like cut up carrots in my spaghetti sauce. If you think the kids will freak out, you can grate the carrots first before adding.
If you’re making a sandwich — add a layer of veggies for crunch, like lettuce, bean sprouts, zucchini, or cucumber.
If you’re making homemade pizza — go easy on the pepperoni (or substitute crumbled cooked turkey sausage), and add more veggies than meat, like grilled peppers, onions, or eggplant. Even if you’re buying a frozen pizza, you can still add a layer of lightly cooked veggies on top before you pop it in the oven. Cooked broccoli cut into small pieces. Mushrooms lightly cooked with a bit of garlic and onion. [OK, now I’m getting hungry.]2. Skip all the crummy lettuce salads you think you’re supposed to eat, and instead build-a-salad with a lean protein, chick peas, nuts, and dried cranberries.
3. Make my recipe for Roast Vegetable Salad. The onions and red pepper satisfy your sweet tooth, and the dressing has natural sugars (maple syrup). You could even roast a few extra veggies to put them on the pizza in #1 above…
4. Once you’re more comfortable adding veggies to things you’re already eating now, THEN you can slowly add some new “super-veggie” recipes to your weekly menu.
For example, you can make chili that is more beans and veggies, and less meat (like my recipe for ‘Almost’ Vegetarian Chili on the membership site “The Veggie Club”). Or you can try a new pasta recipe that has cheese and extra vegetables, like my recipe for Pasta St-Sauver with cherry tomatoes, onions, asparagus, and zucchini. You can try Homemade Vegetable Soup (that tastes better than Campbells), with the little chunks of carrots, potatoes, corn, celery, onion, lima beans, and alphabet pasta.
These recipes are available on The Veggie Club, and you can get instant access to all of these recipes starting at $4.95/month. The site is 100% guaranteed to make you super-duper-happy and veggie-inspired… and if not, you can take advantage of the 21-day money back promise.
(c) 2008. Shelley MacDonald Beaulieu is the Owner & Head Tomato of OneRoastVegetable.com, a website dedicated to helping you get more vegetables into your life.