You know you should eat more green vegetables, but you may be tired of adding them to a salad each day. However, there are other options to use these healthy veggies while you cook or bake.
Consider these ways to include more green vegetables in your meals:
1. Vegetable pasta.
There are two different techniques to use vegetables in a pasta dish:
- Cook regular pasta and simply add healthy vegetables to it. The most popular options include tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, and kale. You can use raw veggies or steam them. Another option is to sauté them in healthy oils.
- Make your pasta noodles out of vegetables. A spiralizer can help you make thin strips out of zucchini or eggplant. You can also use this technique to make noodles out of sweet potatoes or carrots. Another option if you don’t have a spiralizer is to cut thin slices or strips with a knife.
2. Soups, sauces, and dressings.
Soups, sauces, and dressings can be used to hide healthy vegetables. This is a useful method for picky eaters or children who refuse to eat whole or raw veggies. You’ll need a blender or mixer to puree the veggies to hide them in sauces.
- Consider the types of vegetables you can puree: tomatoes, squash, carrots, onions, potatoes, turnips, parsnips, broccoli, cauliflower, and others.
You can hide vegetables inside meatballs, too! This one is GREAT for my kids. I add them into the meatballs when I make spaghetti and they NEVER know. Whether you stick to a completely vegetarian recipe or use meat, you can add green, healthy vegetables to meatballs.
- The key is to add them to the mix before cooking. You can puree the veggies, so they’re easier to mix. Once they’re cooked, it’s usually impossible to see or taste the veggies.
4. Vegetables as wraps and sandwich bases
If you’re trying to reduce carbohydrates or are simply tired of eating bread, you can switch to green vegetables as your base.
- Use lettuce as a wrap for a different take on a burrito or taco.
- Another option is to use a thick leaf of lettuce or kale instead of bread for a sandwich. You can stack your tomatoes, cheese, meat, and other items on top. Many restaurants will offer this as an option too if you are eating out – just ask your server.
Most casseroles tend to be bland concoctions of leftover rice, noodles, tuna, or other bits that haven’t been eaten. If your family dreads the leftovers you put in a casserole, add more green vegetables to kick the flavor up a notch.
- Adding vegetables will not only make your casseroles look more pleasing with a variety of colors, but also have more flavor. You can use an assortment of veggies to make the casseroles bolder. Don’t be afraid to experiment to see what works best for you and your family!
If you hate the taste of green vegetables, smoothies also give you the option of hiding them amid other flavors. Mix veggies with fruits in your smoothies for a variety of tastes. This is by FAR my favorite option because I only taste the sweetness of the fruit and none of the veggies.
- Kale, lettuce, spinach, and other green veggies go well with bananas, strawberries, blueberries, and apples. The mixed results will be hard to distinguish, but the taste will be worth it. You can also add a little yogurt or nuts for protein or even a scoop of protein powder if you like.
Green vegetables have multiple health advantages ranging from fiber to vitamins. If you’re struggling to eat salads, consider using vegetables in new ways. Your health and taste buds will both benefit!