Eat More Vegetables
Let’s face it: Vegetables are not exactly comfort food! But we all know we need to eat more of them. Try these 3 easy tips to eat more vegetables in your family.
1. Go Green
Here’s a hint for multiplying your intake: buy a big bag of spinach, arugula, mustard, chard, kale, or other dark leafy variety – even parsley or cilantro. The minute you get home from the store, toss the whole bag in your freezer (trimming stems may be necessary). After it is frozen completely, crumple the bag, breaking up the leaves into tiny bits. Return the bag to your freezer. Then, every time you’re making food, put some frozen green fragments into your dish. This works for stuffed meats and pastas, sauces, soups, smoothies, sandwiches and stir-fries.
The “freeze-your-greens” trick is how I got 3 cups of arugula into 12 ounces of pizza sauce for this segment on the KPVI Morning Show.
2. Sneak in Some Sulphur
When I say sulphur, I mean vegetables from the cruciferous, allium, and mushroom families.
- Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, kale, spinach, radishes, bok choy, cauliflower, cabbage, turnips, and arugula.
- Alliums are onions, garlic, leeks, shallots, green onions, and chives
- Mushrooms go far beyond the button variety. Shiitake, Morel, Maitake, Portabello, and Oyster are a few popular choices.
Because cruciferous vegetables are the hardest to disguise with their sulphur-y taste, I’m going to to show you how easy it is to hide them. I have 4 sneaky ways to add them to your family meals: pancakes, pizza, fruit salad and chocolate cake!
JAPANESE PANCAKES, known as okonomiyaki, are comforting street food. They are a delicious way to eat more vegetables. Basically, you make a pancake batter, add shredded vegetables, fry them, and top them with sriracha mayonnaise, sesame seeds, and green onions. Try this recipe:
2 large eggs
1/4 c. water
1 Tb. soy sauce or coconut aminos
1 1/2 Tb. fish sauce
2 Tb. sesame oil
1 c. whole wheat or gluten-free flour
1/2 head cabbage, shredded (about 4 cups)
1 carrot, grated
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
2 Tb. coconut oil
Whisk together the eggs, water, soy sauce, and sesame oil. stir in flour until a thick batter forms. Add cabbage, carrots, and half of green onions. Stir until vegetables are evenly coated with batter. Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Pour 3/4 cup batter at a time into the skillet, smoothing with the back of a spoon into a circle about 1/2 inch thick. Cook until golden brown on the bottom (3-4 minutes, flip and repeat. Serve topped with remaining green onions, sesame seeds, and sriracha mayonnaise.
Eat More Vegetables Than That
How about a CHEESE PIZZA, made with 3 whole cups of arugula? Chop your the greens finely (see freezer method above), and stir them into the pizza sauce before spreading it on the crust. Then top with mozzarella and parmesan. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes.
In this colorful CHICKEN & APPLE SALAD, there are chunks of raw turnip. Because they are white and crisp, they blend right in with the apple. Toss the following ingredients and serve over mixed greens:
2 chicken breasts, cooked and sliced into strips
4 cups of spring lettuces
1/2 purple onion, thinly sliced
1/2 c. pecans, broken into pieces
1 red apple, diced
1 raw turnip, peeled and diced
1/2 c. dried cranberries
2/3 c. olive oil
2 Tb. red wine vinegar
2 Tb. apple cider vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tb. Dijon mustard
2 Tb. honey
And Eat More Vegetables Still
Finally, there is CHOCOLATE CAKE Chocolate Covered Katie from . Can you guess the secret ingredient? It’s cauliflower! That’s what makes the cake so moist. But you can’t taste it – even though there’s 4 cups! Here’s how I made it:
2 c. whole wheat or gluten-free flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
4 Tb. ground flax
1 c. coconut sugar or raw turbinado sugar
2 Chocolove Strong Chocolate, Almond, & Sea Salt bars, broken into 1/4″ bits*
1 Tb. pure vanilla extract
2 14-oz. bags frozen cauliflower, thawed but not cooked
2/3 c. milk (dairy or non-dairy)
1/2 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. peanut or almond butter
1/3 c. pure maple syrup
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tb. milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 round 8″ cake pans. Combine dry ingredients and mix well. Puree vanilla, cauliflower, milk, and butter in blender until very smooth. Pour into dry ingredients, and stir just until evenly moistened. Pour into prepared pans. Bake 30 minutes. While cake is baking, whisk together frosting ingredients. Cool cake 15 minutes in pans, then invert onto cooling racks. Ice when completely cool. Store in refrigerator.
*Note: to break chocolate bars, freeze them first, then hit them with a meat mallet.
3. Crank Up the Color
Colors make meals visually appealing. But they taste good, too, and have tons of health benefits. So, you can eat more vegetables and really enjoy them. Choose from as many colors as you can each day! Eat them raw, or eat the grilled, roasted, steamed, or sauteed. Ditch your beige foods and eat a cup of colors every meal!
- Green: (excluding leafy varieties above) asparagus, broccoli, cucumber, green beans, celery, cucumber, artichoke, Brussels sprouts
- Red: sweet red peppers, tomatoes, beets, red potatoes (skin on)
- Yellow/Orange: carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, yellow peppers
- Blue/purple: eggplant, purple cabbage, purple onion, purple potato
- White: parsnips, rutabaga, turnip, cauliflower, garlic, onion, ginger, mushrooms