10 Ways to Eat More Vegetables

10 Ways to Eat More Vegetables

Do you want to eat more vegetables but don’t feel inspired or don’t know how? Here are 10 ways to help make eating vegetables fun and tasty! I’ll be sharing many of the recipes on Home Baked Joy soon, so be sure to check back often!

Green spinach smoothie

1. Green Smoothies

The first way to increase your vegetables in a way that kids will love is to make green smoothies. There are hundreds of variations and recipes for green smoothies. I have one almost every day, and it is seldom the same. I like variety and using what I have on hand. That said, there are a few key ingredients I want to mention here. The first key ingredient is obviously your greens. Spinach, kale, swiss chard, broccoli leaves, beet leaves, etc. Rainbow Swiss ChardSwiss Chard on wooden boards

My favorite greens to add are baby spinach (or regular, but it has an earthier taste to it) or kale. The second key ingredient I use in my green smoothies is actually unexpected. A slice of LIME.

key lime green smoothie

Adding a bit of lime to your smoothie (peel and all) adds a freshness that you can’t get without it. Plus, it has Vitamin C which will help boost your immune system. I also like to add orange, banana, and/or pineapple to sweeten my smoothies. From there, the sky is the limit! Frozen grapes, persimmons, apples, pomegranate, peaches, boysenberries, and strawberries are just a few of the many fruit combinations I have added to my smoothies. It is such a tradition now that my daughter (age 6) asks for some every morning, so that is saying something.

Key lime green smoothie

The last key ingredient I like to add is a source of protein. There are several options. You can add a scoop of vanilla flavored protein powder, plain (or honey – that was yummy!) Greek yogurt, kefir (make sure to sweeten your smoothie with fruit or honey – this packs a punch!), or PB2.

2. “Fried” rice

One Pot Hamburger Fried Rice
Another easy way to eat more vegetables is to add them to rice. You can use frozen mixed vegetables, chopped kale, leftovers, etc. This is a really quick way to extend a meal and the get kids to eat them as well. Daikon radish fried rice

Adding vegetables to rice is another good way to try something new. The above dish has a Daikon radish in it and Swiss chard. I am amazed at how sweet the radish became after sauteing it for several minutes. I added a little soy sauce and pineapple and it tasted like a sweet and sour success! My kids all ate it, which was awesome. All it was missing was chicken:)

Ham fried rice

This rice dish had leftover ham, kale and frozen mixed veggies. Add a little butter, salt and pepper, and voila! Dinner is served!

3. Pasta Dishes

Kale Parmesan Pasta
I LOVE adding vegetables to pasta dishes. My husband is quarter Italian, so pasta is one of his love languages. Adding kale to the above dish was a pleasant surprise and super yummy.

Cauliflower macaroni and cheese

In the pasta dish pictured above photo here I used cauliflower as a base for the creamy sauce. It is a healthy alternative to traditional macaroni and cheese and SO tasty!

Cauliflower

Another great use for cauliflower is to use it INSTEAD of pasta. Chop it small and you can make your own cauliflower macaroni and cheese dish.

Cauliflower macaroni and cheese

My kids DEVOURED it. The same vegetable substitution for pasta goes for spaghetti and lasagna. Spaghetti Squash meal

I made spaghetti squash and served it with a rich homemade red sauce and it was a huge hit. I’ve also made lasagna using eggplant or zucchini sliced thin in place of the noodles. The kids loved it, and they ate more vegetables in the process! Oh, and don’t forget sauces!!! I love adding chopped carrots, shredded eggplant or zucchini to my tomato based spaghetti sauces. It adds amazing flavor and a richness you just can’t get without it.

4. Eggs

Broccoli scrambled eggs

Add vegetables to your eggs! Wait, what? If you haven’t tried it, you are missing out! Broccoli and onions, chopped small, are an especially good combination for your eggs.

Broccoli scrambled eggs

Egg Broccoli Potato Skillet

I also love adding jalapenos, peppers, onion, and tomatoes to my eggs. It give them a nice kick and you get your vegetables on top of that!

Scramble eggs with peppers and potatoes

You can also try boiling potatoes, dicing them, and adding them to eggs as well. Super yummy!

5. Stir-fry

Chicken Cashew Stir-fry
Stir frying vegetables is a really quick and fast way to make dinner. Add some rice or noodles and you have a complete meal for the whole family!

Lo mein with kale and vegetables

This lo mein dish included kale, sun dried tomatoes, peppers, carrots, and onions. The taste was surprisingly good and my kids devoured it. Tons of vegetables!Stir fry vegetables - zucchini, squash, and carrots

Asian Green beans

In addition to complete meals, I also like to stir-fry my vegetables for a side dish like these Asian Green Beans pictured above or fresh summer vegetables.

6. Salads

Raspberry Pecan Avocado Chicken Salad
This one seems obvious but I wanted to mention it. Eating salads is a great way to increase your vegetable intake. Salads DON’T have to be boring. Add some nuts, avocado, meat, fruit, onions…the opportunities are endless!

Orange salad with red onions and walnutsGarden salad

This next salad is one of my favorites!Black bean lime avocado salad

I love taking black beans, corn, lettuce, and tomatoes and combining them together for a fresh Southwest Salad. The secret ingredient? Lime! Take a lime and squeeze the juice all over the top! You can also make your own vinaigrette to drizzle on top. Super yummy and super healthy!Taco salad chipotle bowl

Or make a chipotle inspired taco salad bowl!

Cobb salad drizzled with ranch

Don’t forget about eggs as a source or protein on your salads! Eggs, bacon, peppers, romaine, all drizzled with a light ranch. Yes, I can eat my vegetables served like this!

7. Fajitas

Steak fajitas with guacamole
Fajitas are also another quick and easy way to eat more vegetables. I love adding peppers, onions, tomatoes, and topping it all off with guacamole and Greek yogurt (in place of sour cream). Chicken fajitas are also super yummy. My children are used to fajitas and I’ve had no complaints. They are usually gone before I can even take a photo!

8. Roasted or Raw

Vegetable platter
There is something said for the simplicity of a veggie platter. If you pre-cut vegetables and store them in the fridge, it makes a quick snack when the kids are hungry and a healthy alternative to chips. Celery and apple sticks with almond butter

Another way to present vegetables is to make “ants on a log” with celery, peanut butter, and raisins. Or combine apple slices and celery sticks to dip in almond butter.

Roasted vegetables, Fresh Fruit, and Cashews

Another favorite way I like to eat my vegetables is to roast them. It brings out a flavor that is intense and oh so good!

Roasted cauliflower, broccoli, and zucchini

Just drizzle them with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, and bake in the oven at 400 degrees F for about 30-40 min. So good!

9. Baked

Pumpkin biscuits
I can’t say enough about putting vegetables into baked goods. I made pumpkin biscuits (shown above) and my kids devoured them. You can add pumpkin to your pancakes, zucchini to bread, green tomatoes or carrots to cake. The list can go on and on!

Turkey Divan

I also like baking vegetables into casseroles, like in this Turkey Divan pictured above!

10. Soup

Bean and bacon vegetable soup
Probably my favorite way to eat more vegetables is to add them to soups. There are so many variations I can’t possibly list them all here. I will give just a few examples to inspire you. Above is a bean and bacon vegetable soup with potatoes, carrots, green onions, tomatoes, and chives.

Butternut Squash Soup

Using an immersion blender, like a Vitamix, is a great way to eat a ton of vegetables in a small bowl. This Butternut Squash soup had onions, carrots, fresh organic fennel, and of course, butternut squash!Tomato Basil Soup

I use my Vitamix on a daily basis, sometimes several times a day. Too many tomatoes? No problem, just whip up some tomato basil soup and you are on your way!

Potato Leek Soup

Or how about some smooth and creamy potato leek soup? (It has potatoes, leeks, onions, and chives)

Chili and corn bread

Chili and corn bread has tomatoes, onions, and green peppers!

Beet borscht soup

For the really brave, make a potato and beet borscht soup!

Chicken Gumbo Soup

Finally, my favorite soup, Chicken Gumbo Soup! This soup is SO forgiving!!! You can add okra, eggplant, kale, carrots, celery, green beans, peppers, zucchini, corn, you name it, it can probably go in. The sausages and chicken mask the flavor and blend everything together beautifully! Serve over brown rice and you have a complete meal. My children devour this so that there almost NEVER any leftovers.

As you can see, getting your vegetables can be fun, flavorful, and exciting! Yet, most Americans don’t get close to the 7-10 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Make a goal for the New Year to boost your immune system and improve your health by eating more veggies! Why not today?



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