When you start a new diet, you often start by identifying foods to eliminate…cookies, fries, chips, colas, etc. But maybe a better approach is identifying foods that you should add to your diet instead. Here are five creative ways to add more vegetables to your diet:
Veggies for Breakfast
Add vegetables to your scrambled eggs or omelets. If baking muffins or waffles, add vegetables like peppers, zucchini or carrots. Try savory (instead of sweet) oatmeal by adding your choice of steamed or sautéed vegetables. Add pumpkin or squash to your pancake or waffle batter.
Drink Your Vegetables
Juicing your vegetables will allow you to add countless veggies to your daily diet in a short amount of time with no cooking. If you own a blender, but no juicer, make vegetable-based smoothies instead. Start with a handful of spinach or kale and add any vegetables you have on hand.
Eat More Salad
Enjoy a healthy salad at every meal. If pressed for time, start with bags of pre-washed greens, spinach or arugula. After that, any vegetable is fair game in a salad, as long as it’s one you like. Feel free to add peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, corn, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, onions…any and all. Stop thinking that salads are only just for dinner or lunch, have a big salad with breakfast or as your breakfast. Add sliced hard-boiled eggs for a true breakfast salad or add a simple side of arugula next to your cheese and vegetable omelet. Limit the amount of dressing you add and make your own croutons with oven-toasted wheat bread and virgin olive oil to replace the processed store-bought croutons.
Throw Your Veggies On The Grill
If you find yourself using the grill more often, it’s the perfect time to throw your sliced zucchini, mushrooms, or asparagus spears on the BBQ. Brush your vegetables with olive oil or canola oil, add a dash of light Italian dressing and get ready to have your taste buds wowed. As an alternative, prepare and grill your vegetables cubed and kabob style. Try these grilled veggies dipped in a light BBQ sauce or Ranch-style dressing to make them even more delicious.
Use thinly sliced vegetables as snacks or sides to a healthy meal, any crisp vegetables will work. Bake your own kale chips by lightly coating kale in oil, then lightly sprinkle with salt. Homemade crispy kale chips are a healthy substitute for potato chips. You can also make your own “fries” using yams or sweet potato, or slice zucchini, carrots, or green beans, then spray lightly with oil or lightly bread them, and bake until crispy.
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