1.08.2013

5 Easy Ways to Eat More Vegetables

image by Guillaume Paumier

Sometimes I'm overwhelmed at the idea of preparing vegetables.  Sometimes I just plain don't feel like adding one more step to my meal preparation.

When I'm strapped for time, we eat less vegetables. 

But I've found a few ways to sneak more veggies in, even on the busiest of days. I hope they will inspire and enable you to eat more veggies, too!

 5 Easy Ways to Eat More Vegetables


#1: Keep Organic Frozen Vegetables on Hand
As much as I love supporting local agriculture, sometimes frozen veggies really come in handy. I keep my freezer stocked with organic peas, spinach, broccoli, and corn. No washing, trimming, or chopping necessary. They are ready to dump into any meal at a moment's notice.

#2: Make Weekly Breakfast Greens
When I go to the grocery store or, in season, to the farmer's market, I buy a couple bunches of greens such as kale or Swiss chard. I cook them up all together like this, and then I eat them with my breakfast of fried eggs and toast for a few days in a row. It's a few minutes of work on the first day, but then a delicious veggie-packed breakfast comes together in a snap for the rest of the week!

#3: Cook them with Pasta
When we have mac & cheese, spaghetti, or another pasta dish, I throw some greens (kale, swiss chard, or frozen spinach), frozen peas, or frozen broccoli into the pot with the pasta, toward the end of the cooking time. You barely notice that they are there, but they add valuable nutrients to your dinner.

#4: Throw Them into Smoothies
I'm not really into green smoothies made with raw greens, but I do sometimes add a handful of frozen spinach (which has already been blanched) into my smoothie. Pumpkin or winter squash is great to add to smoothies, too, like in my Pumpkin Spice Smoothie.

#5: Make Simple Sides
In the past I tended to shy away from simply steaming or sauteing vegetables. I had this idea that vegetable sides have to be fancy in order to be delicious. But I'm getting over it. Some of favorite simple sides are steamed broccoli with plenty of butter, sauteed mushrooms (in...butter), roasted cauliflower, and baked sweet potatoes.

What are your favorite fast and easy ways to eat more veggies?


See also: Be Inspired to Eat More Vegetables

This is part of: Fat Tuesday, Traditional Tuesday, Real Food Wednesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Healthy2Day Wednesday, Fight Back Friday, Natural Living Monday, Make Your Own Monday, Modern Alternative Kitchen, Keep it Real Thursday, Pennywise Platter Thursday, Thank Your Body Thursday

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13 comments:

  1. Wow! You could have been at my house! Having frozen veggies is one of my biggest time savers.

    I also try to make time each week to chop onions, garlic, carrots, and celery. Even if all I do is peel the onion and cut it in half, I've reduced my prep time at dinner.

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    1. Yes, I am thankful for frozen veggies! Good tip with the pre-chopping. I don't usually do that, but when I'm chopping for dinner anyway, I sometimes do a little extra and throw it in the freezer, ready to go for another meal.

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  2. After reading this post, I made kale following your recipe and added it to my fried egg sandwich. Amazing! Thank you for sharing. I was definitely too intimidated to try kale before but I'm so glad I tried it now. I've revised my New Year's Goal for 2013 to trying new fruits and vegetables. :-)

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    1. Woohoo! Isn't it good? I think my body has been needing something in kale lately, because I've just been gobbling it up. :) Congrats on learning to like a new veggie!

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  3. The pasta trick is one of my favorites! One of the only veggies my husband will eat is sauteed zucchini so I'll stir it in to my pasta before I serve it. Delicious and healthy!

    Also, since I make my own pasta sauce I take all the remnants of veggies I've frozen (those 4 green beans I hate to throw away from dinner, a small handful of carrots that are almost over the hill, etc)I take about a cup or more and put them in my blender. I blend them really smooth and add it to my sauce! No one has ever suspected :)

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    1. Nice, Laura! I love how you're sneaking veggies in, especially for your non-veggie loving hubby. :) Thanks for commenting!

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  4. I rarely keep an assortment of fresh veggies on hand, but I have my staples: 2 types of organic lettuce for a last minute salad (combine with a fruit, cheese, nut/seed, and simple vinegar/olive oil dressing), and onions, carrots, and celery for a simple soup base. I usually have fermented pickles and sauerkraut/cortido on hand for easy lunch vegetables. I need to branch out more and plan to start growing more of our own veggies as well. Once I've got my own greens growing, I plan to dehydrate and grind them up to be thrown into anything!

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    1. Melanie, that's my kind of salad! I do feel like as long as we have salad greens around, we can have a salad by adding a few simple topping and a quick homemade dressing. Do you make your own pickles/sauerkraut? I haven't had any luck with those yet so for now we are using naturally fermented from the health food store. But I'd love to see your recipes if you make them!

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  5. Great tips! I struggle with this too! Thanks for sharing with Natural Living Monday!

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  6. Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures' Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back tomorrow when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)

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  7. I've always felt like I had to do something fancy with veggies too. However, I finally figured out that since my kids prefer to have them raw, and they are so much easier that way, why not just cut up veggies & serve them. Typically a couple time a week I'll serve a variety of veggies, like bell peppers, broccoli, carrots & celery raw.

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    1. Yes, we all have to figure out what works for our families! I just realized that my son loves raw jicama. Why did I never give that to him before?!

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