Ways to Incorporate More Veggies Into Your Diet
Eating vegetables each day is one of the most important ways to maintain good health. The vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants found in vegetables help you fight off diseases and stay healthy. Getting enough veggies in your diet helps control your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, protect your bones and keep your arteries flexible while benefiting your brain, eyes, digestive system and overall health.
While experts recommend getting five servings of vegetables per day, many of us struggle to fit that many veggies into our daily meals. If you want the health benefits of eating veggies but aren’t sure how to cook with them, keep reading to find out how to get more vegetables in your diet while enjoying every bite.
7 Ways to Incorporate Veggies Into Your Diet
Check out these seven tips on easy ways to add veggies to your day:
1. Make Veggie-Based Soups
Soup is a tasty and easy way to get multiple servings of veggies in one dish. Cooking vegetables into a broth or cream-based soup is simple and makes the veggies softer and easier to chew while surrounding them with other delicious flavors. Stirring in even a small number of extra vegetables, such as cauliflower or broccoli florets, can up your daily intake of vitamins, minerals and fiber.
You can even make vegetables the base of your soup by pureeing them and adding seasonings to give the soup more flavor. Pureed veggies will also give your soup a thicker texture, making it more like a creamy bisque.
2. Sneak Veggies Into Sauces
Similar to soups, sauces are the perfect blank canvas for slipping in some veggies. Finely grating vegetables like carrots or zucchini and mixing them into sauces and dressings is a sneaky way of cooking with more vegetables, especially if you’re trying to please picky kids. The strong spices and herbs already in the sauce should cover up the taste of the veggies quite nicely.
You can also use pureed roasted root vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, beets and squash, as the base of rich sauces with an Alfredo-like feel. Whipping up a batch of homemade pesto with roasted beets blended in is another great way to get more veggies in your family’s condiments while giving the pesto a slightly sweet note.
3. Blend Veggies Into Your Smoothies
Green smoothies are a delicious way to sip your veggies. Blending leafy greens like spinach or kale into a smoothie is the perfect strategy for disguising the slightly bitter taste of these veggies with the sweet taste of fruit. With so many other bold flavors in fruit smoothies, you likely won’t even be able to taste the handful of veggies you toss in.
In addition to fresh, leafy greens, other veggies like frozen zucchini, avocado, beets, pumpkin and sweet potatoes perform well in smoothies. These more sturdy vegetables will give the smoother a thicker texture without compromising its taste.
4. Grill Your Veggies
Tossing your veggies on the grill is an easy way to bring out new flavors in them. You can have a delicious side dish ready in minutes just by putting a bit of a char on vegetable kebabs. All you have to do is place some chopped veggies, such as bell peppers, onions, zucchini, mushrooms or tomatoes, on a skewer and place them on the grill until they start to get grill marks before removing them.
You can jazz up your vegetable kebabs by adding other ingredients like chicken, sausage or pineapple — just be sure that any meat you add gets cooked through. You can also douse your veggie kebabs in seasonings, spices, sauces, a marinade or a specialty oil like coconut or sesame oil to give them a more powerful and unique taste. Although delicious all on their own, veggie kebabs also pair well with a salad or sandwich.
5. Turn Veggies Into Noodles
Veggies make the perfect low-carb substitution for a pasta dish. If you have a spiralizer, you can easily turn your carrots, zucchini, sweet potatoes and other vegetables into spaghetti-shaped strands that you can cook and combine with sauces just like you would pasta. From meat sauces to creamy pestos, the sauce options for your nutrient-packed veggie noodles are endless.
If you don’t have a spiralizer, you can also shred, cut or slice your vegetables with a mandoline to create noodle-like shapes. For example, cutting long strips of zucchini with a vegetable peeler is a great strategy for making pasta-free zucchini lasagna. You can also cook spaghetti squash to serve as noodles, which naturally takes the form of pasta when scraped from its outer skin.
6. Trade Bread for Veggies
Anyone wondering how to incorporate more veggies in their favorite meals needs to look no further than the classic hamburger. Using lettuce in place of a bun to support your burger is a simple way to get more veggies. You can also use other veggies like portobello mushroom caps, tomato halves or sliced sweet potatoes as buns.
Why stop at burgers? These veggie buns also work great for bundling up other sandwiches and wraps, such as a BLT or tacos. Using vegetables instead of bread or a tortilla provides you with a meal that is lower in calories and carbs as well as higher in nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Double your dose of vegetables by stacking your sandwich high with veggie toppings like lettuce, tomato, onion and avocado.
7. Stuff Your Veggies
Stuffing vegetables with ingredients like cooked meat, grains, beans and seasonings and then baking them is a delicious way to enjoy your veggies. One of the most popular examples of this is stuffed peppers. Bell peppers are the perfect blank canvas for fillings of all sorts. You can customize your stuffed peppers with different types of meat, such as sausage or chicken; grains, such as rice or quinoa; and other veggies like spinach and onions.
In addition to bell peppers, zucchini is a delightfully stuff-able vegetable. You can easily create zucchini boats by slicing a zucchini in half, hollowing the halves out and filling them with a blend of quinoa, black beans, corn, ground beef and cheese. In the fall, consider making stuffed acorn squash with barley, farro, walnuts and dried cranberries to warm yourself up on a chilly evening.
Delicious and Easy Recipes That Incorporate Veggies
If you’re still wondering how to get vegetables in your diet without sacrificing taste, try making one of these flavorful and veggie-packed recipes:
- Grilled vegetable sausage rigatoni: Perfectly balance your pasta dish with a hearty helping of veggies by following this grilled vegetable and sausage rigatoni recipe. Grilling zucchini, yellow squash and eggplant before combining them with pasta, mild Italian sausage and marinara creates a savory dish that’s both delicious and nutritious.
- Roasted chorizo, garlic and vegetable farfalle: If you prefer a lighter pasta salad, you’ll love this roasted chorizo, garlic and vegetable farfalle recipe. Brimming with roasted veggies and bursting with flavor from zesty chorizo sausage, this dish is fresh and flavorful.
- Grilled barbecue chicken sausage and vegetables: There’s hardly an easier way to get your veggies than following this grilled barbecue chicken sausage and vegetables recipe. By simply wrapping delicious ingredients like asparagus, bell peppers, zucchini and chicken sausage in tin foil packs and placing them on the grill, you can have a tasty and nutrient-rich dinner in no time.
- Sausage and vegetable stuffed peppers: This sausage and vegetable stuffed peppers recipe is a tried-and-true, delicious way of getting your daily veggies. Filled with sweet Italian sausage, zucchini, tomatoes, parmesan cheese and black olives, this recipe takes stuffed peppers to the next level. You’ll have to taste it to believe it!
Purchase Premio to Make A Veggie Recipe Tonight
Ready to whip up a veggie-packed recipe? Make sure you stock up on ingredients from Premio first. Using Premio products is the perfect way to provide your veggie-based dishes with some extra protein and flavor. Our sausage is always made with fresh ingredients and no fillers, so you can be confident you’re putting a nutritious meal on the table.
Use our store locator to find Premio in the store nearest you and get cooking today!