Eating more vegetables is something we all aim to do, these nutritional powerhouses are so good for our health- but are something that many of us neglect for one reason or another. If you know you want to eat more of the good stuff but aren’t sure how to realistically go about it, here are some easy tips to follow.
Prepare ahead of time
We all lead busy lives, and even if you’re a keen cook, chances are there are at least some days in the week where you want something quick and simple. While most veggies aren’t difficult to cook by any means, they do take some time to prepare meaning that if you want something you can have on the plate in a matter of minutes you might decide to forgo them. However, if you spend a few minutes a week prepping, cooking and carefully storing some veggies and keeping them in the fridge they’ll be ready to throw onto the side of any meal. You could cook some frozen peas and mix it with some microwave rice for a speedy snack or lunch. You could add cooked broccoli to your quick-cook noodles, or look into how to make roasted peppers and onions since these can be added to lots of dishes to flavour them.
Finely dice and mix with ground meat
Adding vegetables to minced meat is a great idea, not only is it healthier but it also saves you money too as it stretches your meat further. Use a food processor to dice onions, mushrooms, peppers, courgette, just about anything you fancy. Cook with your minced beef or pork and use this as your base to make lasagne, chilli con carne, spaghetti bolognese and other ground meat dishes. A good handful of lentils is another great addition, it’s a fantastic way to get fussy eaters to eat more veggies too since once everything is cooked together and seasoned, you cant really tell it apart from the meat.
Cook into sauces
Cook, cool and blend vegetables to make everything from soups to pasta sauces to curries. You can then add whichever seasonings you like, plus extras like natural yoghurt, cream or creme fraiche if you like to make it more creamy. Since you’re in control of whats going into the sauce, its a good way to reduce your salt and sugar intake too compared with buying shop bought sauces and soups. And you can pack it full of lots of healthy veggies.
Make veg the main attraction
Instead of making meat the main attraction on your plate, why not use veg instead? Even if you do this a couple of times a week you’ll reduce your food budget, help the environment and save money compared with buying meat. Look at recipes for things like mushroom wellington (an alternative to beef wellington), and veggies like roasted celeriac can replace joints of meat on a Sunday roast. Some meals you can simply skip meat all together and focus on cooking and seasoning veg with grains, pasta or potatoes.
This is a contributed post