EATING. MORE. VEGGIIIIIIIEEEEEEEESSSSSS!
You know you wanna!
Disclaimer: I am a hard-core veggie lover. Anything I say here can and will be used to encourage you to eat more carrots and cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts, green beans and garbanzos — OK, garbanzos are a legume but they do go nicely with veggies — and all the other earth-grown bounty from your grocer’s produce aisle or farmers’ market.
Now that I have that out of the way.
Of all the things my mama instilled in me growing up, one of the ones I am most appreciative of is her efforts to teach me to eat my vegetables. We had a 3-bite rule at our house. When Mama put something new on the table OR one of those old stand-bys that I despised, I had to take — gulp! — three, count ’em, THREE bites. They could be small ones.
Now I have to tell you that there were a few things along the way that I could not abide, like liver and onions. That’s still not on my ‘yum’ list after these many long years. Ah, but those veggies were a different story!
My aunt and uncle had a huge garden on their farm that yielded luscious produce of every description. We helped gather it, then Mom would prepare and serve it. “Just try three bites,” she would remind me, but usually one bite would do the trick.
I still love my veggies! In the interest of journalistic transparency, I must here declare that I once had a bad experience with some frozen Brussels sprouts. A bite went into my mouth, exited instantly, and was joined in the trash can with those remaining in the bowl.
So how about you? Do you like vegetables? The USDA tells us that vegetables provide a number of nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber; also a bizillion phytonutrients, if you want to take it a step further.
Veggies. They’re good enough. They’re healthful enough.
And doggone it, they’re just yummy!
Thank you, Stuart Smalley!
If you are not a fan of the green, orange, yellow, and purple goodies, what do you do? Well, you could just ignore those little nutritional powerhouses, but gee, couldn’t you give peas a chance? You could bite the broccoli, and decide you were going to eat it come kale or high water. Or you could try some of these suggestions:
1. Make a nice vegetable soup. The internet abounds with wonderfully simple recipes for soups of all kinds. Once you find one you like, get creative. Add some extras. The flavors of the ingredients combine for a gastronomic delight. I eat soup year round. It’s one of my very favorite things in the whole world!
Oh, and if you are short on time, it’s really, really, REALLY ok to use frozen vegetables in your soup. Keep it souper simple, sweetie!
2. Eat salads. Gosh, a salad is so much more than lettuce with a glop of Ranch on top. You can make a lettuce salad, a spinach salad, a kale salad, or just chop up and throw a variety of vegetables in a bowl, toss ’em a bit, add dressing and voilá! Salad!
When we make salad at our house, we wash and tear the lettuce (FYI: in my experience, lettuce and metal knives are NOT simpatico) and put it in a storage container. Then we chop up carrots, celery, red and green peppers, and green onions. These go into separate small bowls, again for storage.
Making your salad is as simple as putting some greens on your plate, adding the other vegetables, some sunflower and chia seeds, maybe a sprinkle of shredded cheese, and a little dressing. So delicious!
You can also toss in dried or fresh fruit, other nuts and seeds, or any other veggie you like. Beans are a great compliment to most any salad.
3. Green smoothies. Now I understand that to many folks the very appearance of a green smoothie is enough to send them screaming for the nearest door. You may be whining,” but Steeeeeeph, they’re SO. freakin’. green.” I know, I know, but friends, a green smoothie is an awesome way to get more veggies into your innards in just a few gulps.
Experiment. Start with just a few items. Add a little fruit to sweeten it up. The recipe to the right (dubbed ‘smoovie’ several years ago by my eldest grandson) is an easy one. If you are a smoothie novice, cut it in half. This recipe makes a BIG smoothie, and we don’t want to overwhelm you right out of the gate.
Again the internet is a garden filled with all manner of smoothie recipes, so check it out.
4. Try a veggie burger, and I don’t mean those frozen frisbees you find at the grocery store. They’re really easy to make and OMG, so yummy. My favorite recipe comes from the fine folks at Engine 2. I’ll tell you up front that they are all about a full-on, plant-based diet, but man, they’ve got some recipes to live for!
I love their plant-strong burger recipe because you can create it just the way you want it — endless variations, and I like variety! Add some lettuce, tomato, onion, and you are all set.
5. Last but not least, you can do what my daughter does and THAT is sneak some veggies into things you’re already cooking. (Yes, I do realize that if YOU are the one doing it, the sneak factor diminishes to, well, zero).
Adding a few peppers, onions, peas, and carrots to a lasagna or enchiladas is delish. You can actually make either of these dishes ALL VEG if you’re feeling spunky and brave. Add some vegetables to a casserole. Make a veggie casserole. The possibilities are endless.
Someone tells us almost daily to eat our veggies because they’re good for us. If you are missing out on these little gifts from nature, I ask you to give one of these suggestions a try. Go into it with an open mind, think about this good thing that you are doing for your body, and plunge in. Let me know how it goes. You just might surprise yourself!
Have you found ways to introduce or keep veggies in your diet that we haven’t mentioned here?
On the veggie express!
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Got veggie recipes? Tips? Tricks? A good story about you and eating your v.e.g.e.t.a.b.l.e.s? Please don’t be shy. Share it in the comments below.
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Real Disclaimer: Information in this blog is here only to educate you and is not intended to serve as medical advice. These are things I have tried or heard about that are beneficial to me or to those who have tried them. The info here is not for the purpose of diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. When starting a new regimen or are in doubt, always consult your health care provider.
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