6 Easy Ways to Eat More Vegetables

It’s a foundation of a healthy diet. Eat more vegetables! I advise nearly all of my patients to eat more vegetables. Imagine that you’re sitting around a big table of food with 9 of your friends and relatives. Of the 10 of you, who’s eating their veggies? According to the CDC, only 1 in 10 adults eats the recommended 2 – 3 cup of vegetables daily. Are you that 1?

Pizza Mushrooms

These veggie-heavy “pizzas” are delicious. And fun to eat too! The recipe is below.

My goal is to show you just how easy it is to eat more vegetables.

Tip #1: Add vegetables to the foods you’re already eating

What’s easier than sneaking in a handful of spinach, a few slices of tomato or some lefotver green beans to a dish that you’re already planning to eat?
  • Making a sandwich? Stuff it like it’s a salad between two slices of bread! Add tomato, spinach leaves, onions, cucumber, bell pepper, even jarred artichoke hearts and leftover roasted vegetables. You can still include the meats and cheeses, smother them with veggies.
  • Pasta salad or potato salad? Dilute these starchy and other favorite starchy vegetables with non-starchy vegetables like broccoli florets, baby spinach leaves, cherry tomatoes, red onions, carrots and more. Check out Veggie-Stuffed Potato Salad and Bean and Barley Salad.
Potato Salad with Resistant Starch

This recipe is found in Prediabetes: A Complete Guide

  • Soup? Add some frozen or canned veggies to the pot.
  • Eggs? Try a veggie omelet. For something even simpler, pour your favorite salsa over scrambled eggs.
  • Casseroles? Add diced cauliflower, broccoli or tomatoes to lasagna or mac and cheese. Here’s one way that I veggie-up my macaroni and cheese.

    Healthy Comfort Food

    Healthy Macaroni and Cheese: This one is Greek inspired.

  • Spaghetti sauce? Saute onions and mushrooms with your browned meat. Simmer zucchini, eggplant or green beans along with your sauce. I give a more detailed recipe for this in Prediabetes: A Complete Guide.
  • Meatballs or meatloaf? Add shredded carrots or summer squash to ground meat before shaping.

Tip #2: Seek out veggie-focused recipes

Try out this delicious and fun-to-eat personal pizza stuffed portobello mushroom.

Portobello Pizza

You can make this in any number of ways to suit your own tastes. Feel free to use your favorite pizza toppings. The mushrooms in the photo were filled with Trader Joe's brushetta and Trader Joe's mozzarella balls. Then I sprinkled them with reduced-fat cheddar and some fresh basil and parsley. And they were DELICIOUS!
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Course: Main dish or side dish
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Author: Jill Weisenberger MS, RDN, CDE, FAND

Ingredients

  • Large or medium-sized portobello mushrooms
  • Tomato bruchetta or jarred spaghetti sauce
  • Cheese
  • Fresh or dried herbs or a combination of both

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Remove the stems from the mushrooms. Scrape the gills out with a spoon. Gently wash the mushrooms and pat dry.
  • Place each mushroom on a rack inside a roasting pan. Fill with your choice of tomato sauce or brushetta and cheese. Sprinkle with dried oregano or other herbs if desired.
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until the mushroom is softened and the cheese is well melted. If desired, sprinkle with fresh basil or other herbs after removing from the oven.
You’ll also enjoy Chunky Gazpacho and Chicken Stew.
You can get 2 servings of vegetables without having to prepare 2 different vegetables. Just make twice as much. Then eat twice as much.

Tip #4: Plan for leftovers

I always cook enough vegetables at dinner to have some leftover for lunch the next day.

orange-scented roasted carrots and parsnips

These Orange-Scented Roasted Carrots and Parsnips are oh my my delicious!

Tip #5: Cook ahead

Get your oven going with pan after pan of roasted vegetables. Try cherry tomatoes, broccoli, asparagus, red onion, carrots, etc. Use different herbs and spices on each one. Now you’ve got side dishes for the week or the base of a nourish meal bowl for lunch or dinner. Typically, I roast veggies at 425°F. Big pieces of broccoli or cauliflower may take about 20 – 25 minutes. Turn each piece over after about 15 minutes. Smaller, softer vegetables like green beans might be done in about 10 or 15 minutes. Stir the pan or flip the vegetables just a bit beyond the midpoint.
Here are some delicious and easy ways to eat more vegetables.Click To Tweet

Tip #6: Buy the right amount

If you live alone or with someone who doesn’t share your love of vegetables, get more variety without buying more than you can eat by visiting a salad bar. Pick up just enough shredded carrots, cauliflower florets, cherry tomatoes, etc. Use them in all types of recipes – salads, casseroles, sandwiches and more. And stock frozen vegetables, so you can cook up just the amount you need and return the package to the freezer.

I know that there are lots more easy, delicious ways to eat more vegetables. Please share your tips.

Jill-Weisenberger_about-image-2
Jill Weisenberger

I'm Jill, and I believe simple changes in your mindset and health habits can bring life-changing rewards. And I don't believe in willpower. It's waaaay overrated. As a food-loving registered dietitian nutritionist, certified diabetes care and education specialist and certified health and wellness coach, I've helped thousands of people solve their food and nutrition problems. If you're looking for a better way to master this whole healthy eating/healthy living thing or if you're trying to prevent or manage diabetes or heart problems, you'll find plenty of resources right here.

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Hi there! I'm Jill, a nutrition & diabetes expert and the author of 4 books.

Jill Weisenberger

I believe simple changes in health habits can bring you life-changing rewards.

And I believe willpower is way overrated.

Right here is where you can discover the mindset and habits to stick with healthy lifestyle choices most of the time - and drop the guilt when you don't.

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