07 May 2012 10 Comments
Eat your vegetables! You need three to five servings of vegetables a day! I have been hearing this for as long as I can remember. The problem is…I hate veggies! Ok, I don’t hate all veggies, just most of them. But I do understand the importance of them in our diets, especially since I am now trying to eat healthier and lose weight. So what’s a veggie hater to do?
Over the years, I have found or devised some little tricks to get my daily-recommended allowance without having to make funny faces trying to choke them down.
Probably the easiest way I’ve found to get at least one serving of veggies each day is the good old salad. There are so many things you can do to salads, and so many delicious foods, dressings, and other types of toppings that you can add to them. Unless you absolutely hate every type of vegetable that exists, there’s probably some salad ingredients that you can find palatable…possibly even delicious.
Another easy trick is to add veggies, like lettuce, tomatoes, and onions, to a sandwich or burger. Or even to put extra veggies in your tuna salad, egg salad, potato salad, or whatever other types of summer side salads you like to make.
You might be wondering: What about cooked veggies? Well, that one stumped me for a long time, because I dislike them cooked even more than raw. Though, I can’t stomach carrots either way. So this past year I’ve made it a priority to find ways to eat more cooked veggies, especially with dinner, and yes that includes carrots. UGH!
Fortunately, I like to make a lot of stews, chilies, soups, and pasta dishes during the cooler months. So what I’ve been doing is finding ways to sneak them in. I’ve found that by cutting the vegetables very small (I grate carrots for these recipes) and then putting them in my chili, split pea soup, and black eyed pea soup recipes, then cooking it in the crockpot all day, they basically disappear. You really can’t taste them, and all that’s left is their nutritional value.
When I make a pot of spaghetti or mostaccioli now, I sauté several different vegetables like green peppers, onions, and mushrooms first, before adding in the sauce. This not only helps me to get more veggies in, but it makes it go further because I now have a bigger pot of pasta.
The only problem now is that the weather is warming up, and I’m not making those types of dishes very often. Plus, I recently started the South Beach Diet, which requires eating a lot of healthy vegetables, much more than I was already subsiding on.
Then about a week ago, a good friend taught me a little trick for cooked vegetables that I want to share with all the veggie haters out there: Roast them! Though, before I give you the recipe I must warn you: roasting your vegetables could turn you into a veggie lover. Yes, they’re that delicious!
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
- Line a 9×13 pan or baking sheet with aluminum foil
- Grease aluminum foil with 1 to 2 tbsp of olive oil
- Cut bigger vegetables (like sweet peppers or onions) into large bite sized pieces
- Spread them out on the foil
- Season with salt, pepper, or your favorite seasonings.
- Bake, stirring every 10 minutes or so for about 20 to 30 minutes until they are a little charred on the edges.
That’s it! You can use all kinds of vegetables with this recipe: Sweet peppers, onions, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, brussel sprouts, carrots, and the list goes on. You can use fresh or frozen vegetables with this recipe.
My favorite so far has been a combination of red peppers, onions, zucchini, broccoli, and cauliflower. The first time I tried this I was floored by how much I really liked it. I even called my mother and told her I now like veggies. And it only took me 52 years.
What are your favorite ways to get your daily allowance of veggies? Do you have any little tricks that you use? If you do, I would love to hear them!