Ah, veggies! Nature’s candy! It’s often easy to get lots of veggies in the summer when things are in season and you can pop out to the garden, but what about in the middle of winter? How can you make sure that you’re getting enough vegetables when all you want is comfort food?
Easy! Sneak ’em in!
(And in case you’re wondering… Yes! That brownie pictured definitely has vegetables in it. Keep reading for the details!)
Even if you’re not a natural lover of greens, there are a ton of ways to up your regular vegetable intake.
- Replace your starches with cauliflower: Cauli mash, cauli rice, cauli pizza crust, roasted cauliflower – it’s all great and it tastes pretty similar to the starchy carbs you’re used to.
- Replace your noodles with veggie noodles – you can use spaghetti squash, zucchini, cucumber or asparagus. Top with your favourite pasta sauce and enjoy!
- Puree veggies into soups – try carrot or cucumber.
- Add greens to your smoothie! Spinach and kale can hide really well in a lot of different recipes.
- Add beets to your smoothie! Chocolate and beets pair really well. You can use the beets raw and diced/grated, or roasted.
- Replace your breads with lettuce leaves. Again, an easy switch that doesn’t make a huge taste impact.
Make fries! Either use a dehydrator or bake (about 425, 10 minutes per side) in your oven. You can season and bake zucchini, carrots, avocado, green beans, asparagus and more!
- Even though it seems like the most difficult meal to add veggies to, breakfast is often a great time to get your veggies. Add them to dishes like omelettes, frittatas, or scrambles. Toss some onions and peppers in with your hashbrowns.
Experiment and see which of your favourite dishes could stand to be veggie-fied!
Here are some awesome recipes that help you to add in veggies in unexpected places:
Easy Carrot Soup (4 servings)
Yummy soups don’t have to be derived from broth, you can use a veggie puree as a base for a tasty, healthy dish.
Ingredients: 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or coconut oil, 1 onion, chopped, 2 pounds carrots, peeled and chopped – 1/2-inch chunks, 1 14-ounce can full-fat coconut milk, sea salt and curry paste to taste, 1 1/2 cups water (or to cover), 1 lemon or lime
Toppings: micro greens, toasted almonds, chili oil
Sauté the onions in butter or oil for a few minutes (until translucent), then stir in curry paste and carrots. Allow them to cook for a couple of minutes, then add coconut milk, salt and water (to cover the mixture in the pan). Allow everything to simmer until the carrots are soft (10-15 minutes), then blend everything with a hand blender. Add water if the mixture needs thinning, adjust for taste if needed. Top with greens and/or nuts, etc. and serve!
Cauliflower Pizza Crust (one crust)
Love pizza? Me too! This crust gives you your pizza fix AND your veggie boost!
Ingredients: 1 head cauliflower – stalk removed, 1/2 C shredded mozzarella, 1/4 C grated Parmesan, 1/2 tsp dried oregano, dash kosher salt, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 2 eggs, beaten
Preheat your oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Break up your cauliflower into small chunks and run through a food processor until fine. Steam it in a steamer, and then drain very well – you can even set it on a towel to dry. Once cool and dry, combine the cauliflower with the cheese, salt, spice and eggs. Transfer to the centre of the baking sheet, and form into a crust shape. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, top with desired pizza toppings and bake for another 10ish minutes.
And what post about adding vegetables to your life would be complete without dessert?
Zucchini Brownies (makes 1 9×13 baking pan’s worth)
Ingredients (brownies): ½ C vegetable oil (or EVOO or coconut), 1½ C white sugar (or sugar alternative like coconut sugar), 2 tsp vanilla extract, 1 egg, 2 C all-purpose flour, ½ C cocoa powder, 2 tsp baking soda, 2½ C grated zucchini, undrained (about one large zucchini)
Ingredients (frosting): ⅓ C milk (cow or otherwise), ⅓ C butter, 1½ C white sugar (or alternative like honey), 1 C chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9×13 baking pan. In a bowl, combine oil, sugar, egg and vanilla and mix well. In another bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir well. The mixture should seem really dry. Stir the zucchini into the mix, stir gently, then pour the mix into your pan. Bake 25-30 minutes.
While your brownies are cooling, combine the butter, milk and sugar in a small pan. Bring it to a boil on medium heat, and allow it to boil for 20-30 seconds before removing from heat. Stir in the chocolate chips until it’s all blended then pour over top of slightly warm brownies. Let cool before cutting.
What are some of your favourite ways to add veggies to your daily meals? Let us know in the comments!