Sometimes it seems like an added chore to add vegetables to a meal. Maybe its the prep work or washing and cutting. But There are easy ways to use and reuse veggies that make it easy to add more vegetables to your diet. (get my printable list of veggies here!)
Vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals and each group has more of certain nutrients. It’s important to include a variety of veggies. Let’s face it, carrot sticks everyday can get boring, and you’re missing out on other nutrients. I created a list of vegetables with simple ways to include them in your diet.
There are a variety of ways to prepare broccoli.
- Steamed broccoli with lemon juice may just be the simplest way, it goes great as a side to just about any protein and can be reused later.
- You can also make a teriyaki bowl with a grain, protein and veggies like broccoli (I use leftover steamed broccoli).
- Roasting broccoli is also very easy and can be a nice crispy side.
Carrots can be tricky as not everyone likes cooked carrots.
- I like making a yogurt dip to eat raw carrots for a snack. This yogurt ranch dip is a lower fat option that adds some extra protein.
- I also like adding carrots to cooked meals. I’ll add grated carrots to meatloaf or carrots chunks to chicken vegetable soup. If carrots are starting to go soft, you can cut the ends off and stick them in a jar of water to crisp up. Or I will also cut them and freeze them for later meals.
- Carrot cake is a tasty way to add veggies. These carrot muffins are a great treat.
Leafy greens are great in so many dishes. The one issue is that once they start going downhill they go quickly. I don’t keep leafy greens on hand but rather buy them for a specific dish. I often follow the pattern where I use some for a salad that won’t have too much left over and then cook the rest.
- Steamed or sautéed greens are great reheated to add with a protein or have with eggs.
- You can make a meal with a veggies omelette and you can also use half egg whites, half whole eggs.
- These greens also freeze well, to use later for smoothies.
Who doesn’t love potatoes? They are great to add to soups. But I think my favorite way is roasted.
- It’s easy and you can make easy one pan meals with potatoes, other veggies and a protein. Plus roasted potatoes reheat well to have leftovers for lunch the next day.
- Sweet potatoes are also great in baked goods, like these muffins. You can swap pumpkin in a recipe for leftover sweet potatoes. Either baked, steamed or boiled ones, with no seasoning work best.
Did you know, you can now buy squash noodles already sliced.
- This makes an easy substitute for pasta and makes a great lighter version of spaghetti like this zucchini noodle spaghetti bolognese.
- Squash fritters are a fun way to use zucchini that make great leftovers. If you want to add more veggies to smoothies without the veggie taste, frozen raw zucchini makes a creamy addition to a smoothie instead of ice.
Beets have a stronger flavor but when seasoned right are delicious.
- Beet salads can be made with roasted or raw beets like this citrus roasted beet salad and this
- Kale beet salad with ginger dressing. Beets also make a great creamy soup perfect for a winter time side dish. This beet soup is easy and doesn’t take many ingredients and if you want a lighter version can omit the coconut milk.
We usually have a bag of bell peppers in my fridge. They’re great for lunch, dinner, or a side.
- Taco bowls are one of my favorite dishes to add sautéed bell pepper. I like to keep the bell pepper and onions sautéed separately from the rest of the taco toppings. They keep great and can be added to other dishes like omelet’s, roasted root veggies and protein bowls or served on the side of salmon.
- Stuffed bell peppers are a great pre-portioned meal and can be seasoned in different ways. This recipe for Mexican stuffed peppers or Italian stuffed peppers is a good option if you want tacos without the tortillas.
There are lots of ways to include vegetables in your daily diet, from snacks, sweets, sides to one pan meals. A variety of vegetables can help keep food interesting and provide important vitamins and minerals. And added bonus of vegetables is that most are low calorie and provide bulk with some fiber to help use feel full when trying to eat less calories.
I’d love to hear about some of your favorite ways to include vegetables in your diet.
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