Vegetables, veggies, greens! Our parents always told us to eat them. However growing up most of us felt repelled by the thought of brussel sprouts or broccoli. Maybe until today you still feel the same. Not really because you inherently dislike vegetables, but rather because you were never taught how to eat them or make them tasty.
Especially if you had all kinds of processed foods filled with sugar, oil and salt as a kid. A raw carrot can’t compete with that. But even if you don’t like vegetables, they are needed for a healthy diet. Vegetables are rich in fiber, water, vitamins and minerals we all need. Therefore I gathered some information on how to prepare vegetables in fun, tasty and creative ways to help you eat more of them.
1) Fill half of your plate with vegetables.
Have your plates filled with 25 percent carbohydrates, 25 percent of protein and 50 percent of vegetables. Filling half of your plate with some of your favorite veggies makes you become more conscious of eating them. It also will make you feel full quicker and improve your health.
2) Prepare your veggies in a way you love to eat them.
Covering half of your plate with vegetables might not sound so appealing when they’re not your favorite. A solution to this is preparing the vegetables in a way you prefer to eat them.
If you are still eating animal products, then prepare the vegetables in the same way you would those animal products to make them tastier. Season them, marinate them, drench them in any kind of your favorite sauces. Try out various ways to cook them like grilling, steaming, oven baking or stir frying. Learn about how to pickle your veggies. Trying things out will make you discover what textures and flavors you like.
If drenching vegetables with BBQ sauce makes you eat more of them, awesome! Just make increasing the amount of veggies you eat your main priority. Eventually you want to reduce the salt, sugar and oil so you can get used to and enjoy the natural tastes veggies have.
3) Invest in kitchen tools.
Invest in kitchen tools that can help you cut up vegetables in any kind of shape to create fun and easy meals. Use a spiralizer to make zucchini or cucumber noodles and a grater for grating carrots. Add grated carrot or zucchini in cupcake batters or through your oatmeal. It will almost be unnoticeable! A good quality sharp knife will also come in handy together with a wet stone to keep it sharp. The possibilities with good kitchen tools become endless and are really worth it.
Cold pressed vegetables juices contain a ton of nutrients. Just think about how much more celery juice you can drink than you can eat in its whole form. The nutrients are easily absorbed by the body and don’t undergo much trouble digesting. Those are some of the reasons why I find juices superior to smoothies. I suggest drinking vegetable juice in the morning to reap the most benefit from it.
Try to not to go for the pasteurized store bought juices. But if you do read the labels to see if they are cold pressed, fresh and without any additives. Getting a juicer nowadays is not that expensive. See it as a big investment for you health in the long run.
Smoothies are another amazing way to sneak in the vegetables. Especially when you blend them together with fruits. You won’t even taste the veggies, but will still benefit from them. Smoothies still contain all the fiber unlike juices which will keep you full for longer. You can basically call it mushy food. A good way to get in high amounts of calories.
Combine some of your favorite fruits with a hand full of spinach or swiss chard to start off with. Eventually add in more and more veggies to your taste. Bananas and spinach go very well together as you barely taste the spinach. You can also use dates to sweeten things up some more.
When buying smoothies in store try to avoid the pasteurized ones. In the end having a blender at home will be cheaper. You’ll be able to make anything you want in the quantities that you want.
6) Stews and soups
Hot stews and soups during the winter months are one of my favorite things. Getting all comfy and cozy with a big bowl on my lap, slurping the soup while feeling the inside of my body warm up. Mmmm.
You can make a healthy soup without spending much time in the kitchen. Just get a bunch of vegetables and maybe some starches like potatoes or yams, throw them in a pot with sufficient water, add herbs and spices and turn on the fire. Let it boil. Then bring it down to a simmer for a while. All the flavors will mix in with each other and a tasty hearty soup will be created. Blend the soup if you want to make it thicker.
A stew requires less water and more chunkier ingredients. You can add in some tomato sauce to make the consistency thicker for example.
Some of my favorite soups are lentil soup with a bunch of spinach and Vegan pot a feu. Vegan pot a feu is incredibly simple to make. It only requires you to cut the vegetables in to large chunks together with the soup base and some other spices. Find a lovely pot a feu recipe here.
Is there anyone who doesn’t like pizza? I doubt it! They can be so versatile and yet require minimal effort to make. A pizza bottom can be found in any supermarket. Making the bottom yourself is also an option. The same goes for the tomato sauce.
Figure out what kinds of vegetables you like on your pizza. Some people don’t like broccoli on pizza, but I love it! So I encourage you to experiment.
Smear out the tomato sauce over the pizza bottom, cut up all the vegetables into small pieces and add them on top as well. Set the oven at the correct temperature and bake your pizza. Add vegetables that need less time to bake for the last couple of minutes. Don’t be afraid to throw on as much veggies as you like. Use some nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor.
Pasta dishes are hard to go wrong with. A simple and healthy pasta dish is created by boiling your pasta of choice, cooking your favorite vegetables cut into bite sized chunks in a pan and then mixing it with a pasta sauce.
When the pasta sauce and veggies are ready and your pasta is al dente place them on a plate. First the pasta and then the pasta sauce on top. Add some basil or pepper to taste.
I once made a delicious Vegan Alfredo sauce with loads of spinach together with spaghetti. I will never forget that meal. On the internet you can find a lot of good pasta recipes so I encourage you to find one you like and see how you can mix and match more veggies then the initial recipe states.
The name casserole itself sounds fancy, but don’t let that resists you from making it. With the help of an oven and a big heat resistant bowl you can make a wonderful, high class looking casserole without much effort. Get some types of root vegetables and cut them up into medium sizes chunks. Add zucchini, tomato, celery, green beans, spinach or kale. Marinate everything together with your desired spices and herbs. Maybe mix in some home made sauce before popping it into the oven. Wait for about a half hour and you got yourself healthy, yet tasty meal.
Take a look at some vegetable filled recipes here.
I don’t know about you, but I love eating food with my hands! Wraps are perfect for that. Corn or whole wheat wraps, nori sheets and rice paper sheets are all ways to wrap up vegetables in a presentable and fun way. Use whole wheat wraps for tortillas or burritos, use nori sheets for sushi and rice paper for spring rolls.
For this you have to cut up the vegetables into appropriate sizes to make them fit into the wraps. Preferably as small as possible so your wraps won’t be overloaded making it more difficult to eat.
Salads might be one of the least exciting thing to eat for the majority of people. But in my opinion it really doesn’t have to be. Salads don’t have to consist out of a couple of wet leaves with some sliced tomatoes and cucumber, no. You can make insanely, delicious, mouthwatering, spectacular salads that will actually fill you up and completely satisfy you.
Chop up your lettuce leaves to make it easier to eat. Add your favorite vegetables on top, they can be raw, steamed or cooked into your favorite blends of spices and herbs. Sweet potatoes are an amazing addition to salads too. Throw over some nuts or seeds for that extra crunch.
Create a good tasting dressing, no dairy needed. A simple one that I love is mustard and maple syrup, it is like a honey mustard dressing. Also using tahini, garlic, soy sauce and lemon juice can make a great simple dressing. The internet has tons of recipes, so explore and try them out.
12) Raw vegetables with dip
Making raw vegetables a big part out of your diet is going to be very beneficial for your health. But like I said in the beginning, not many people are so fond of them. The taste of raw vegetables is something most people might need to get used to.
To help you enjoy them more it is a great idea to make a colorful platter with equally cut vegetables and have a tasty dip next to it. With hummus, a spicy salsa or your favorite home made dipping sauce. Replace this with the bag of chips you would have while watching a movie for example and eat as much as you want.
One thing that I wanted to add to this…
Make it fun for yourself! It all comes down to how you perceive it. Saying that you don’t like veggies and you feel repulsed by their taste isn’t going to make it any easier for you. Try to be curious about all the kinds of vegetables there are in the world. Be creative with finding out how you like to prepare them. Be aware of what grows in the upcoming seasons and look for where you can buy your veggies cheaply. See it as a fun challenge. A way to get out of your comfort zone, learn and expand your knowledge.
Let me know what kind of vegetables you will be cooking tonight in the comment section. Feel free to leave me some recipes and your favorite vegetables. I would love to read it. Share this post with someone who you think needs to eat more vegetables to help them out!
Thank you so much for reading. Have a beautiful day.