How to Eat More Vegetables

Monday, February 27, 2017

A few months ago,  I had a conversation with a friend who told me that she has a really hard time incorporating vegetables into her diet.  Then, last week on Instagram, another friend mentioned how she needs more ways to incorporate them into her meals as well.  I felt like maybe we all need a few more ideas about how to make this happen.

I don't pretend to be an expert at this because there are days where our table is woefully lacking in vegetables, but I feel successful many days a week, so here are a few ways I get more veggies into our bodies:

Blend them up: This is definitely the easiest way to get them in your system (especially with kids). You can check out my most recent smoothie post that is full of vegetables. Having a good blender is essential to blending fibrous vegetables into your smoothie.  I love my Blendtec 
(not sponsored... just one of my favorite appliances).

Put them where you can see them.  I am WAY more likely to use veggies if I actually know what I have in my fridge.  When I see that lettuce, and know it will start wilting in the next day or two, I am much more likely to get it out for a side salad with dinner.  Don't let those veggies hide at the back of the fridge.

Make at least one vegetarian meal a week.  We eat about 95% vegetarian, and consequently eat lots of vegetables for most dinners.  That may not be something you want to do, but making one meat-free meal a week is a great way to start learning to incorporate more vegetable heavy meals into your dinner plans.  Check out my "Living with a CSA" series for some ideas.

Menu Plan, Menu Plan, Menu Plan. This really is key for me.  Last minute dinners often end up being quesadillas, cereal, or something equally non-vegetable, so plan out what you are going to make.  That way, dinner with veggies doesn't require any thought the night of.  Even if it is something easy, plan on serving at least two vegetables for dinner.

Eat soups and salads more often.  Soups and salads are the easiest way to incorporate a lot more vegetables.  I am a huge fan, and typically make one salad and one soup for the main dish at least once per week.  I usually serve bread along side to beef it up.  You can also add a meat to either one to make it a little more robust, if you or your significant other balks at the idea of eating soup or salad for the main dish at dinner.

Buy or make a tasty dressing to eat them with: Most food tastes better with a good sauce.  I have a few standards that I love.  Find a few that you like, and keep them around, or have the ingredients to make them quickly.  I love this homemade buttermilk ranch dressing on everything, but I will never say no to this peanut sauce either...

Wash and prep veggies that you will plan on eating in the next day or two.  I am much more likely to throw a salad on the dinner table if the lettuce is already washed.  Most fruits and vegetables can't be washed too far in advance (moisture often makes mold grow faster), but I often wash a few vegetables, and then serve them as often as possible over the next few days.  It works like a charm.

Do these resonate with you?  Do you have any great tips for this?  I would love to hear them!

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