If you didn’t grow up eating veggies at every meal, being told to eat more vegetables might conjure up images of lackluster side salads or carrying around little baggies of baby carrots.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
The easiest way to add more vegetables to your diet is to not diet. Just add vegetables to the foods you already love to eat. Minor modifications to the foods you enjoy are much more likely to stick with you than big changes.
If you feed a meat and potatoes guy a quinoa bowl, it’s not going to go over well. Stop forcing big changes and take one little step in the right direction, every day. It all adds up.
Swap out up to half of ground meat with lentils in just about any recipe
From meatballs and hamburgers to soups, this is a tried and true way to sneak some veggies in without changing the texture and flavor of your food. This is also a great way to cut your grocery bill.
Double the amount of leafy greens in any recipe
Leafy greens cook down so much, you can easily add more than the recipe calls for without turning it into a salad.
Add vegetables to sauces and soups. If you’re not a big veggie fan, puree them.
Toss your leftover veggies into pretty much whatever you’re making. If the texture doesn’t sit well with you, throw them in the blender and then add them to your tomato sauce.
Vegetables are so good in omelets and home fries. Get creative.
Breakfast time can be veggie time, too.
Lots of people like adding peas to sauces, mashed potatoes, and soups.
Your mileage may vary with this one. You might be pleasantly surprised.
Swap out mayo for an avocado on sandwiches
Okay, they’re actually a fruit, but who cares? They’re delicious.
Pizza can be loaded with veggies
Have you tried brussels sprouts on pizza? Amazing. Rocket (or arugula, depending on where you’re reading this) adds zing to any other combo of pizza toppings. Try it!
Try vegetarian classics
Veggie lasagna, veggie burgers, zucchini fries…maybe they’re not the poster child for healthy eating, but they’re not to be scoffed at. Just don’t pretend they’e going to taste like meat. They’re like New York pizza and Chicago pizza or ice cream and gelato: both delicious in their own way, but totally different animals.
Use herbs and spices
If you’re eating vegetables on their own, don’t forget to cook them like you cook everything else — with spices!
Frozen veggies are your friend!
Keeping fresh vegetables on hand and planning meals just isn’t always realistic. You can buy bags of frozen vegetables when they’re on sale and toss them into meals without having to plan ahead.