Not everyone enjoys eating healthy food, but eating vegetables and fruit is all part of a balanced diet. If loading your plate with colorful vegetables and leafy greens isn't your thing, there are many ways to add vegetables into your diet without even noticing. Sneaking vegetables into pasta sauce is not only a useful tactic for feeding picky kids — even adults need a little help sometimes. Try out the following suggestions to get more vegetables in your diet that you actually like:
Hiding vegetables in your sauces is an oldie but a goodie. Parents have employed this technique for ages to feed picky kids, but who says you can't try this trick on yourself? Make your previously nutritionally lacking spaghetti and meatballs a nutrient-dense dish by adding pureed vegetables to the marinara. This works well with mashed carrots, finely chopped spinach or kale, red bell peppers and fresh tomatoes. You can either completely puree the vegetables or leave some texture in the sauce as you work your way up to enjoying vegetables on your plate. This recipe for pasta sauce contains five servings of vegetables with onion, celery, carrots, leeks, peppers and tomatoes.
Juice and Smoothies
Green juice and smoothies have come a long way since the green and brown health food sludge of previous decades. When made correctly, they can be downright delicious. With the right combination of fruits and vegetables, you can drink a bunch of leafy greens and other nutrient-packed ingredients without even noticing. Try one of these green smoothie recipes from Greatist to start, and once you get a few down pat, start trying to make your own juice and smoothie creations.
If you hate vegetables and have vivid memories of limp, mushy greens, it's time to try some different cooking methods. Sad, unseasoned boiled broccoli won't encourage anyone to fill their plate with vegetables. As with any type of cooking, the secret to making delicious recipes is in the techniques and seasoning. Roasting vegetables brings out their flavors and creates a crisp, caramelized exterior. Try roasting your favorite dishes with some olive oil, salt and pepper, or add some Italian herbs and spices as an accompaniment to a pasta dish. Other great ways to cook vegetables are on the grill or with your favorite spices and fresh herbs.
Making Vegetables the Main Dish
A great way to enjoy vegetables is to give them special treatment by making a veggie main dish. If eating vegetables is an afterthought to you, change your frame of mind and your eating habits by making dishes that focus on the flavor and variety of vegetables. Try the vegetarian dishes at local restaurants to find out what you enjoy. Saveur has a great collection of exotic dishes and vegetarian recipes to try out that take inspiration from familiar flavors.
If you've been avoiding vegetables because your experience with them comes from bland boiled veggies, try cooking them in different ways and find some new favorite recipes along the way. If you're simply not a fan of eating vegetables but still want to get the nutrition they provide, there are many ways to sneak veggies into your diet. Before long, you'll be loading your plate with colorful, nutrient-dense veggies and enjoying it!
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