Including vegetables in your diet is extremely important. They provide nutrients and antioxidants to help fight disease and boost your overall health. Vegetables are also great for losing weight as they are low in calories.
All around the world, health authorities recommend eating several servings of vegetables daily. However, this can be difficult for some people because they may not like the taste of vegetables, find it inconvenient to eat vegetables, or they may not know how to prepare the vegetables to make them more appetizing.
If you’re unsure how to incorporate vegetables into your daily diet without getting tired of them, then find out how to get creative with your meal plans.
Make a Veggie-Based Soup
Soups are a great way of eating vegetables in multiple servings at once.
You can make vegetables the base of your soup by simply pureeing them. An example of a veggie-based soup would be a broccoli spinach quinoa soup.
It is very simple to make and cook vegetables into a broth or cream-based soup. Furthermore, you don’t have to add too many vegetables; simply adding broccoli to your soup will increase your intake of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Other examples of veggie-based soups are:
- Pho packed with bok choy and spinach
- Tomato, kale, and white bean soup
- Kitchen sink soup
- Green papaya fish soup
Zucchini Lasagna & Veggie Noodles
Another great way to incorporate vegetables into your meals is by making a pasta-free zucchini lasagna.
Traditional lasagna is layered with pasta, sauce, meat, and cheese. A very tasty dish but very high in carbs and doesn’t typically include vegetables.
A great way to make a delicious dish such as lasagna so that it is low in carbs and nutritious is to replace the pasta noodles with strips of zucchini.
Zucchini is both rich in B and C vitamins and also rich in minerals and fiber.
Use a vegetable peeler to cut strips of zucchini, add salt, let it sit for 15 minutes, and pat dry with a paper towel to get rid of the excess water.
Veggie noodles are made by inserting vegetables into a spiralizer to process them into noodles. You can also shred them, cut them up, or slice the veggies into a mandoline.
Most vegetables can be used with a spiralizer and are commonly used for zucchini, carrots, spaghetti squash, and sweet potatoes.
Below are a couple of different veggie noodle recipes:
- Peanut chicken zoodles
- Spaghetti squash in mushroom sauce and white wine
- Zoodles with lentil bolognese
Add Vegetables To Your Sauces>
If you have picky kids, adding vegetables into your sauces and dressings is a sneaky way to incorporate vegetables into their diet.
While cooking sauces such as marinara sauce, simply add vegetables and herbs into the mix. For example, add onions, spinach, carrots, and bell pepper.
Pureeing root vegetables can make a rich sauce. To make a rich sauce, use carrots, sweet potatoes, kohlrabi, squash, beets, turnips, and purple yam.
For the most vibrant dish, use roasted beets to make a pesto.
Cauliflower Pizza Crust
Cauliflower is an extremely versatile vegetable. You can make it as rice, roast it, stick it inside a stew, puree it to make it silky, and make it into a pizza crust.
Replacing a flour-based pizza crust with a cauliflower crust is easy. Simply combine finely chopped and drained cauliflower with eggs, almond flour, and seasonings.
A cup of 100 grams cauliflower contains about 5 grams of carbs and only 26 calories. It also has a lot of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
Blend Into a Smoothie
Smoothies are great for breakfast or snacks. Green smoothies are great for hiding loads of vegetables into a delicious blend.
Fresh leafy greens are a common addition to kale, bananas, blueberries, and cucumber smoothies.
One loosely packed cup of 25 grams of spinach contains more than a full day meal of the recommended amount of vitamin K and half of the recommended amount of vitamin A.
Frozen zucchini, beets, pumpkin, avocado, and sweet potatoes blend well. Some recipes to try:
- Avocado, pineapple, and green banana smoothie
- Acai green smoothie
Adding vegetables into your casserole is a great way to incorporate vegetables into your diet. Veggies add taste, bulk, and texture all at once.
Replace the grains in casseroles with broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, and celery.
One cup of raw green beans contains 33 micrograms (mcg) of folate and has an ample amount of vitamins and minerals. Green bean casserole is one popular casserole dish.
Make a Veggie Omelet
Omelets are versatile and easy dishes to incorporate vegetables into your diet. Plus, eggs add a lot of nutrients on top of vegetables.
Any type of vegetable tastes great in omelets, and you can load up on as many as you want to add more nutrients to your meal.
Onions, spinach, bok choy, scallions, bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, and asparagus are common omelet additions, but you can experiment with them and add any type of veggies you want.
Some recipes to try are:
- Vegan chickpea omelet
- Moringa omelet
- Waffle omelet with peppers and tomatoes
- Goat cheese, spinach, and chorizo omelet
Make a Savory Oatmeal With Veggies
Oatmeal doesn’t have to be sweet. Savory oatmeal can add more vegetables to your morning meal.
Oatmeals are great with raisins, fresh fruit, and cinnamon, but you can also add eggs, veggies, and spices.
The savory oatmeal recipe contains kale and mushrooms for a delicious hearty meal.
Mushrooms such as kale are very nutritious. They are high in protein, Vitamin B12, and D.
Veggie Bun or Lettuce Wrap
Lettuce as a wrap or veggies as buns instead of tortillas and bread is a simple way to eat more veggies.
Lettuce wraps can be used with various types of dishes. Portobello mushroom caps, halved yellow or red peppers, sliced sweet potatoes, sliced eggplant, and tomato halves make excellent and delicious buns.
Veggie buns and lettuce wraps are an easy way to reduce calories. One lettuce leaf contains only 1 calorie, whereas bread contains far more calories.
A few veggie buns and lettuce wrap recipes:
- Portobello mushroom bruschetta
- Chickpea taco lettuce wrap
- BLT lettuce wrap
- Paleo lettuce wrap
Veggie kebabs are packed with flavor and make for a delicious party.
Bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, and zucchini work very well with kebabs.
Try a cajun-style bell pepper and shrimp kebabs and layer in any other veggies you want.