Happy Wednesday everyone! I hope your week is going lovely.
As many of you might know, I have a passion for vegetables. I think they are often overlooked as delicious cuisine, which I find so sad because they really can be delicious. So, I am always on the look out for ways to not just get more vegetables, but to genuinely enjoy them.
So I am officially declaring today Debra talks about Vegetables day. I wonder if I could get that in the history books somehow? Probably not, but I will do it anyway.
Ways To Add Vegetables To Breakfast
In addition to giving tips to simply get more vegetables here today I am sharing creative ideas on how to add them to breakfast over at Kitchen Stewardship.
Note 2: In case you are confused by the that ^ photo, we have been trying duck eggs. So far so good! The plan is to still keep here mostly egg free but I did include some egg based ideas for my post at Kitchen Stewardship.
5 Tips to Get More Vegetables
1. Pick out great vegetables – After throwing out one too many pots of bitter broccoli I finally decided how the produce looks is my number one thing to consider when buying it. Not price, or even if it is on the menu plan. Unless it looks great I don’t get it, or I regret getting it if I do.
By great, I do not mean it could be a decorative piece of plastic vegetable. Some of the best produce is the ones not grown to look great in produce departments. I usually look for signs of bright colors, blemishes that have to do with soft spots (not perfectly smooth exterior or even bug bites on farmer’s market produce). The best produce will be what is in season.
Another facet of this is buying fresh vegetables. Frozen and canned vegetables, while necessary sometimes, just will not give you the same texture or taste as fresh. The one exception I regularly make to this is I buy peas frozen as I have yet to find unfrozen ones fresh enough to not be starchy.
2. Give them time and attention – This one comes from personal experience of not doing this.
When Mark and I were first married I used to give all the time and attention to the protein and starch elements of my dish and just cook a few pieces of frozen vegetables to make the meal “balanced.” We never liked the vegetables, but ate them anyway.
Then one day I actually took the time to add more to my broccoli than salt and butter. Mark proclaimed them “funky” (aka not boring) and got seconds. I was astounded since he never did that. It was the first time I ever really thought to try and get vegetables to where they were enjoyable and tasty, more than just to the table for health reasons.
I began seasoning more and looking at different ways to prepare that would provide different textures and tastes.
Now that I think about it if I were to steam some chicken cut and then sprinkle on a bit of salt, I probably would not enjoy that either.
3. Use vegetable heavy main dishes – We always eat the most vegetables when we are eating a vegetable heavy one pot meal. This can be a stir fry with lots of vegetables, a soup or stew, vegetables and meats in a sauce, etc.
If I am really on top of my game I might add a second vegetable in the form of a complimentary vegetable side dish. Usually simpler than the ones listed above, but still thoroughly seasoned and steamed or pan fried until crisp tender.
Below I am listing some of out favorite examples of this that I have published:
4. Toppings – Toppings such as arugula pesto, green sauce, avocado cream, caramelized onions, chopped peppers, etc. can easily be added to just about anything. Even ice cream, but it probably would not taste good. They do not add a lot of vegetable bulk, but they do add a vegetable value that would not be there otherwise.
For the arugula pesto and green sauce, it is the easiest way I have found for my kids to consistently eat their greens.
5. Serve proteins OVER (or in) vegetables – When we started needing to go gluten free I served many of may favorite pasta toppings and sandwich over or in vegetables. Sloppy-joes baked in peppers, shredded BBQ pork in sweet potatoes, etc. etc.
- Sweet potatoes go well with small pieces of meats (shredded, chopped, ground). I especially like it with slightly sweeter things such as bbq, ginger-y meats, and things with warm spices like with garam marsala.
- Peppers are how I serve the things that do not seem like they will go well in sweet potatoes, such as taco meat. We really like sloppy joe peppers. I simply fill them up and bake until the peppers are crisp tender.
- Salads are usually what I pick when I am in a mood for a salad more than the other two and/or for crispy and sliced pieces of meat.
Below are examples I have published of this:
What about you? What are some ways tips you have for adding more vegetables to your diet? I would love to hear you ideas!
Don’t forget to check out the veggies for breakfast post.