There are so many reasons to pump up the volume on veggies, but so few people are taking full advantage of them. Here are my favorite tips for boosting those precious servings of vegetables to at least six servings a day.
- Mix onions, mushrooms, and bell peppers into a morning veggie burrito, omelet, tofu scramble, or breakfast pita.
- Try sliced tomatoes or a baked tomato half at breakfast – it’s a favorite in the United Kingdom.
- Pile lettuce, spinach, sprouts, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, peppers, and/or onions into your whole grain sandwich, pita, or wrap.
- At least weekly, put a vegetable stir-fry on the menu. Sauté cabbage, broccoli, celery, snow peas, bell peppers, carrots, onions, and/or mushrooms with tofu or nuts and your favorite spices and serve with brown rice or other whole grains such as wheat berries.
- Make your own vegetable pizza packed with spinach, zucchini, onions, and mushrooms.
- Have a veggie burger once a week, topped with lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, and avocado.
- Make a hearty chili with beans, fresh or canned tomatoes, onions, and peppers.
- Double up on cooked vegetable servings at dinner.
- Add chopped vegetables, such as mushrooms, green peas, broccoli, carrots, summer squash, green beans, and red peppers, to broth-based soups.
- Include a garden salad or broth-based vegetable soup at every dinner.
- Mix vegetables into your favorite casseroles – try peas or squash in your macaroni and cheese or broccoli and kale in your lasagna.
- Use leftover chopped, cooked vegetables (broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, bell peppers, green peas) in soup, stew, or a casserole the next day.
- Use low-sodium tomato juice as a base for soups.
- Make a big pot of vegetable soup and freeze in individual containers for a quick, microwaveable lunch.
- Try a variety of leaves, from red oak lettuce to arugula, in your salads and top them with a rainbow of veggies, including cucumbers, carrots, broccoli, cauliﬂower, peas, corn, peppers, tomatoes, and jicama.
Reprinted with permission from The Plant-Powered Diet by Sharon Palmer, RD.