Have you seen theKitchn? It’s probably my favorite website ever. Tons of recipes, ideas, and feisty little attitude. The other day, I saw an article called “10 Easy Ways to Eat More Vegetables” shared from theKitchn by Full Circle Farms on Facebook. (If you don’t know about Full Circle, check out my recent post and their website–they’re great.) It gave me some great ideas and made me examine some of the things I’ve been doing with the intent to incorporate more veggies into my diet. So, here are their tips, with my commentary instead of theirs. Please check out the original article here and let me know what has or hasn’t worked for you!
|Don’t let this happen to YOU!|
- Join a CSA or have a box of vegetables delivered every week – I have tried to do this multiple times with multiple different delivery companies over the last few years and it just doesn’t work for me. I feel sad, and sometimes like a failure, but I just need the freshness and spontaneity that buying everything at the grocery store affords. Oh well.
- Put your vegetables on the top shelf of the fridge – Awesome idea. I’ve been doing this the last few days and as far as I can tell it totally works! Now I just have to figure out what to put in the drawer… Maybe the things that I shouldn’t eat so much of, like fake cheese and bread.
- Prepare a whole week’s worth of vegetables over the weekend – Genius. I need to do this. I always want to, but I never get around to it. I’m always too hungry when I get home from the grocery store, and then I just eat and watch TV. Additionally, I tend to buy my veggies periodically throughout the week. However, I think that if I just do this with stuff I can put into a salad or a wrap, then I’ll have lunch for a week without having to think about it, whether I’m eating at home or at work. I think that’s my goal: to eat a giant salad or salad wrap for lunch every day.
- Ask yourself: What’s my idea of irresistible vegetables? – Honestly, broccoli and cheese sauce. Or potato skins with cheese, bacon and sour cream. How gross am I. But I also love roasted root veggies with olive oil and balsamic, Greek salads, steamed green beans with olive oil, salt and almonds… OK, I see how this works. Touche, Kitchn. Touche. Time to make a list.
- Add (or double!) the vegetables in your nightly meals – This is always a good reminder. I appreciate that eating a plant-based diet makes this pretty easy. I was trying to explain how I usually structure dinners to an omnivore friend the other day, and realized that the components I usually try to include are protein, starch and veggies as three distinct parts, but usually with veggies mixed in with the proteins and sometimes also the starch. Yay veggies.
- Eat vegetables for breakfast – Blerg. Not my fave. But now that I’m thinking/complaining about it, what about savory veggie muffins????? HELL YEAH.
- Drink your veggies! – Yeah, also not my fave. Hey readers, help me out here. I know you all are masters of the smoothie–maybe I’ll have a contest.
- Eat a salad at every meal – As a self-proclaimed salad hater, I immediately balk at this idea, even though I know it’s a good one. Let’s start with lunch and go from there, alright? Baby steps.
- Substitute raw vegetables for crackers, pita, tortillas, and other breads – Or, how about, like half and half? I’ve been doing this with hummus but I’d like to try it with guacamole, bean dip, etc. My problem is that often this is my lunch and, if I don’t have a tortilla or some multi-grain pita chips (I’m obsessed with Trader Joe’s Reduced Guilt ones) I’m a raging, hangry lunatic within minutes. I like the idea of balance here: for every pita chip, I eat a slice of bell pepper or a slab of cucumber. Again, all about the baby steps.
- Don’t forget frozen vegetables! – Done, and done. I love, love, love frozen veg. Here are some of my faves:
- Soycatash: a blend of shelled edamame, corn and red bell pepper. Get it at Trader Joe’s. Steam it, saute it, or add it to taco or burrito filling. Kick it up with some chili powder and cumin. Lots of protein and totally delicious.
- Stir fry mixes: Trader Joe’s has some good ones that come with tasty sauce and are good as a meal with rice or as a side on their own. Cascadian Farms has a Chinese blend as well as a Thai one, and they are both great
- Squash/sweet potatoes: did you know that frozen veggies are parboiled before they’re frozen? You’re supposed to follow the cooking directions before you eat them, but basically that means just get them hot enough so that any residual bacteria dies. I love frozen squash and sweet potatoes because they take practically no time to cook or prepare and are good in EVERYTHING from soups and stews, to pasta dishes, risotto, on pizza, in stir fries and scrambles and in any other capacity you can think of. And they’re super filling as a starch, if you’re wanting to cut down on gluten.
- French fries: OK, not really a vegetable. But still awesome.
- Mirepoix: You may remember be talking about this before, but basically it’s the 1:1:2 mixture of celery, carrots and onion that you use as a base in virtually any French, Italian or American inspired cooking. Chop up your own carrots and celery small, like the size of green peas, and freeze on cookie sheets. Pour in a ziplock bag and you can now make soup in hardly more time than it takes to open a can and heat it up.