Healthy eating: Easy ways to add more veggies | NevadaAppeal.com

Healthy eating: Easy ways to add more veggies

Patty James
For the Nevada Appeal
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Why should you and your family love veggies and eat more of them?

For starters, vegetables contain high amounts of water and are therefore hydrating. Vegetables contain necessary vitamins and minerals as well as important phytonutrients that provide support for proper function and protection to the cells in our bodies.

Most Americans, kids most definitely included, are woefully shy of the proper intake of dietary fiber needed for proper bowel function and good health and vegetables are an excellent way to add more fiber to your diet.

Besides all of these health reasons, vegetables are delicious. Here are some easy tips to add more veggies to every meal of the day.

Breakfast:

• In a bit of olive oil, saute onions, peppers, zucchini and garlic for a few minutes and then add your eggs or tofu and spinach leaves for a healthier scramble.

• Add cubed pumpkin or butternut squash to your morning hot cereal. Pureed pumpkin is fine as well. Sprinkle with nuts, seeds and cinnamon.

• Cooked chopped kale, peppers and onions in some water in a saucepan and after it’s softened, crack an egg in the center. Cover to poach the egg until it is done to your liking.

• Add shredded zucchini to your next muffin recipe.

• Add pureed pumpkin or other winter squash to your pancake batter in lieu of some of the fat. Less fat, more veggies.

Lunch:

• On your next sandwich or wrap, add some grated carrots and zucchini, sprouts and lettuce. All of them, not just one of them.

• Add pureed peas to your next guacamole recipe.

• Steam the stems of the broccoli, puree and add to hummus or guacamole.

• Add grated carrots and slices of cooked butternut squash to your next grilled-cheese sandwich.

• Add minced red peppers, celery, red onion and shredded carrots to your next tuna salad recipe.

• Add some spinach leaves to your homemade hummus or place store-bought hummus in your blender and add spinach leaves yourself.

Dinner:

• Try to have half of your dinner plate as veggies; some cooked, some raw.

• Marinara sauce used for pasta or pizza is an easy way to add more veggies. Shredded zucchini, finely chopped broccoli, chopped spinach leaves, red peppers, onions and garlic.

• Add peas, chopped broccoli, and grated carrots to your next macaroni and cheese recipe.

• A meat loaf is an easy way to add more veggies to your life. Finely chop and add red pepper, onions, celery, carrots and any other favorite veggie.

• Patty is a Certified Natural Chef with a Master’s degree in Holistic Nutrition.