By Erin McKenna, RDN, CDN
Vegetables are packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. Everyone should be trying to incorporate vegetables into every meal. However, most people are not getting the recommended amount.
Here are some ideas on how to sneak vegetables into every meal.
- Add shredded carrots, spinach or minced broccoli to scrambled eggs. This does not change the texture or taste and will help you get your first serving of the day.
- Green smoothies. Smoothies are one of my favorite ways of adding vegetables to a meal. Pack your smoothie with 1-2 cups of fresh baby spinach, add some frozen fruit and 100% whey protein powder. You will not taste the spinach but will get all of its health benefits!
- Chili is a great way to load up on vegetables. Throw some peppers, carrots, etc. in the food processor, and place the mixture in the chili. This is great for those picky eaters who don’t want to see the vegetables. They won’t even see it in there!
- Cauliflower EVERYTHING. I’m sure most of you have heard of cauliflower rice, mashed potatoes, and pizza crust. Even if you don’t want to completely replace with cauliflower, substitute half and you will be cutting your carb intake in half for that meal!
- Put the spiralizer to work! You can spiralize just about any vegetable. Squash, carrots and sweet potatoes seem to be the most popular. Sauté with garlic and a little olive oil, top with your favorite sauce to use as an alternate to pasta.
- Vegetable meatballs. Throw extra vegetables into your meatball recipes. Chop up spinach, zucchini or carrots (or whatever vegetable that you want) very finely and mix into your meatball recipe.
- Puree and add extra vegetables to sauces. For example puree carrots, peppers, spinach, kale or squash and mix into tomato sauce.
Erin McKenna is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who is currently working with Bariatric and Medical Weight Management patients. She works with patients to help them achieve their health and weight loss goals.