Although vegetables have never been my “go-to” food, living a Paleo lifestyle has definitely impacted my veggie intake. But when I accepted the challenge to do the Whole 30, where one of the rules is to have vegetables with EVERY meal – I was really pushed out of my comfort zone. What I discovered through that journey was 10 ways to eat more vegetables.
1. Commit to having vegetables with every meal!
If you aren’t a regular vegetable eater, then simply start by making this commitment to yourself. Try it – even for just a week, and you might surprise yourself. Personally, I found breakfast to be more of a challenge than lunch or dinner, so I had to get creative and try new breakfast ideas like Potato Veggie Frittata or the Mediterranean Breakfast Bowl.
2. Cut up raw veggies so they are ready to eat.
A stalk of celery, head of broccoli and a whole cucumber sitting in the bottom drawer of your refrigerator won’t do you any good. When you get home from the grocery store, wash and cut your veggies so they are ready to snack on when hunger hits. Be sure to store them in see through containers at eye level, instead of hiding them in the bottom drawer of your fridge where you’ll forget about them.
3. Grate vegetables into your food.
Try grating carrots, zucchini or sweet potatoes into your Meatloaf, muffins, and more! Not only does it add flavor, but it’s an excellent way to camouflage them from your family if they are veggie resistant.
4. Double the quantity of veggies in your recipe.
5. Replace your favorite carbs with vegetables.
Do you love pasta? Try substituting spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles as we’ve done with our Spaghetti Pizza Pie or Zucchini Pasta. Lettuce leaves can take the place of bread when you want a sandwich, as we’ve done with our Mexican Tuna Boats or Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps. Believe or not, cauliflower can even be prepared to replace Mashed Potatoes as well as rice.
6. Make veggie consumption convenient.
Stock up on frozen vegetables for quick steaming when you have just a little time for dinner preparations. Ready to eat vegetables in the produce section, such as pre-cut salads, grape tomatoes and baby carrots, make it easy to throw a salad together at the last minute.
7. Plan your meal around a vegetable main dish.
8. Drink your veggies – in a smoothie.
9. Experiment and try one new vegetable based recipe each week.
Whether you want to try a veggie side dish like Buffalo Cauliflower Bites or Garlic Green Beans, or incorporate your vegetables into your main dish as with our Baked Stuffed Peppers, challenge yourself to step out of your veggie comfort zone and try something new. Before going Paleo I would NOT eat cauliflower – in any way, shape or form! I still can’t eat it raw, but I can honestly say I now love cauliflower mashers. But I wouldn’t have known if I didn’t at least try it.
10. Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)
If you are ready to bump up your vegetable consumption considerably, you could try growing your own vegetable garden. But if you don’t have the time or space for that, try participating in community supported agriculture where you buy local, seasonal produce directly from a farmer.
The Cavemamas would love to hear from you! Do you have any other ideas on how to eat more veggies?
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