How to Eat More Vegetables

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March is Nutrition Month and this year dietitians are encouraging people to consider not only what they eat, but how they eat too.

One example is people often say they want to increase their vegetable intake (what they eat) but it’s often a challenge to put into practice (how they eat). Some reasons include: preparation time, fear of waste, the expense, boredom, family preferences or lack of planning (vegetables are an afterthought).

When looking at how to eat more vegetables, find ways that you ENJOY eating them.  Enjoying the taste of your food is such an important part of healthy eating and creating healthy habits. Eating something you dislike the taste of will not be sustainable. Also, find strategies that work well for you. This may take some experimentation and planning from the beginning but it will be well worth the effort for nutrition and health.

Here are some tips and ideas to help get you started:

10 VEGETABLE TIPS (How to eat):
1. Batch cook and freeze individual vegetable soup, stew or chilli servings for a quick lunch.
2. Use a veggie tray as your pre-dinner appetizer while you are cooking supper.
3. Try growing your own vegetables indoors or outdoors in containers or a garden bed.
4. Have a “build your own” salad bar for a meal (a great way to introduce new vegetables to kids without pressure and satisfy the whole family).
5. Continue to expose yourself and your family to new and different vegetables. Also, try different textures by cutting or preparing them differently. (ie. Cubes vs. mashed)
6. Prepare a variety of vegetables: The more variety you prepare at a meal, the more you will eat!
7. Aim for half your plate of vegetables. It’s an easy visual goal instead of measuring food.
8. Buy vegetables in season and look for stores that sell cheaper “ugly, misshaped or blemished” vegetables that can help cut down on the cost.
9. If you need help time-wise, buy convenience vegetables: pre-cut, pre-washed, bagged salads, frozen, canned, etc.
10. Aim for both green and colourful vegetables. We get different nutrients from the different colours of vegetables.

100 VEGETABLE IDEAS (What to eat):
Soups:
1. Borscht
2. Minestrone
3. Butternut squash
4. Miso-Vegetable
5. Cheddar broccoli
6. Garden Vegetable
7. Tomato soup
8. Pumpkin soup
9. Vegetable Pho
10. Gazpacho

Sauces/spreads/dips:
11. Chimichurri
12. Beet hummus
13. Salsa
14. Tomato sauce
15. Baba ghanoush
16. Pesto
17. Guacamole with tomatoes, peppers, onions and garlic
18. Antipasto sauce
19. Sambal Kecap (Indonesian dipping sauce) with tomatoes, peppers, chiles

Appetizers:
20. Veggie tray with dip
21. Cucumber rounds with whipped cream cheese on top
22. Tomato, Basil, Bocconcini cheese skewers
23. Stuffed mushrooms
24. Buffalo cauliflower bites
25. Stuffed jalapeno peppers
26. Parmesan zucchini sticks
27. Tomato and garlic bruschetta

Breakfast:
28. Omelette with spinach, mushrooms, peppers
29. Scrambled eggs with leftover veggies
30. Shakshouka (Mediterranean egg and vegetable dish)
31. Spinach quiche (or any other vegetable)
32. Stir pumpkin puree into oatmeal
33. Breakfast burrito with eggs, peppers, salsa
34. Veggie savoury waffles: shredding zucchini, carrot, etc. into your waffle
35. Smoothie with spinach or kale
36. Vegetable frittata

Mains:
37. Vegetarian chilli or any meat chilli with extra vegetables
38. Stuffed bell peppers
39. Zucchini boats
40. Buddha bowl with loads of vegetables
41. Lettuce wraps with a lentil/meat stuffing
42. Portobello mushroom with cheese burger
43. Pad Thai with red peppers and extra bean sprouts
44. Collard green wraps
45. Eggplant parmesan
46. Blend veggies into meatloaf
47. Chana masala (Indian dish with a tomato base and chickpeas)
48. Fajitas with any roasted vegetable
49. Stew with extra vegetables added
50. Pile extra vegetables on your pizza
51. Chinese hot pot with lots of vegetables
52. Vegetable lasagna
53. Sheet pan dinners: oven roasted vegetables (and protein) with herbs and oil.
54. Additions to a stir fry: artichokes, sun dried tomatoes, bamboo shoots

Sides:
55. Vegetable curry
56. Cauliflower rice
57. Zucchini noodles
58. Roasted acorn or spaghetti squash
59. Tomatoes stuffed with lentils
60. Baked or roasted beets or turnips
61. Roasted bok choy with peanuts
62. Sauerkraut
63. Chakalaka (South African vegetable relish dish)
64. Kimchi
65. Roasted carrots with honey and lime
66. Roasted brussel sprouts with garlic and parmesan
67. Ratatouille
68. Roasted radishes and asparagus
69. Baked green beans with slivered almonds
70. Minted peas
71. Sautéed kale or spinach with garlic
72. Braised red cabbage
73. Grilled veggie kebabs
74. Cabbage rolls
75. Zucchini fritters
76. Broccoli with cheese sauce
77. Grilled romaine wedges

Snacks:
78. Celery with peanut butter
79. Kale chips
80. Snap peas, grape tomatoes, carrot sticks and hummus
81. Cucumbers and tzatiki
82. Seaweed snacks

Salads:
83. Greek salad
84. Broccoli slaw
85. Caprese salad
86. Coleslaw
87. Spinach salad with berries and pine nuts
88. Beet, goat cheese, balsalmic vinegar salad
89. Tabbouleh
90. Waldorf salad
91. Sliced cucumbers with onion, dill, vinegar and oil
92. Warm arugula salad with quinoa, roasted peppers and squash
93. Seaweed salad
94. Kale salad with apples and sliced almonds
95. Caesar salad
96. Pear, pecan and blue cheese salad
97. Panzanella
98. Nicoise salad
99. Kachumbari (East African tomato and onion salad dish)
100. Taco salad

Check out NutritionMonth2020.ca for recipes, nutrition articles and more!

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