If you’re looking to transition to a real food whole lifestyle, adding more vegetables to your everyday is a great place to start.
And while we all know vegetables are full of good-for-you fiber, vitamins, and minerals, many of us struggle to incorporate them into our daily routines.
If you’re not sure where to start or feel overwhelmed by starting a real food whole lifestyle, adding more vegetables is the perfect way dip your toe in the water, build momentum, and begin feeling the positive effects real food can bring.
Remember, too, that this is not an all-or-nothing proposition and it's not about perfection. It's about looking for opportunities to add vegetables to whatever you're eating.
Even if you're having one of those days when frozen pizza seems like the only option. Add a side salad and some chopped raw veggies as an appetizer. Because frozen pizza with a side a veggies is better than frozen pizza alone.
And as your tastes change and you realize incorporating vegetables isn't quite as daunting as you originally thought, you may find yourself reaching for frozen pizza less often. But even if you don't, adding vegetables is infinitely better than skipping them altogether.
Whether you are new to real food, or a seasoned pro, I hope you’ll find plenty of ideas here to step up your vegetable game. Read on for 10 Ways to Eat More Vegetables, Effortlessly and plenty of recipe ideas to get you started.
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1 | Sautéed or Roasted Vegetables + Protein
Start the day off right by adding vegetables to your breakfast routine. Sauté or roast your favorites ahead of time, then add them to your protein of choice for a complete meal.
Scrambled eggs are an easy way to start; simply throw a handful of pre-cooked or raw veggies, pour in the eggs, scramble and serve.
Egg cups are a make-ahead way to add vegetables to your morning meal, and are a great grab-and-go option. Use whatever veggies you like and have on hand.
If eggs don’t work for you, try pairing the cooked vegetables with other protein options such as cooked sugar-free chicken sausage or roasted chickpeas.
2 | Green Smoothie
Green smoothies are a simple way to pack in the veggies in a hurry. Try a smoothie with a handful of baby spinach or kale thrown in. Any dark, leafy green counts.
Try it: Revitalize Green Citrus Smoothie
3 | Vegetables to Dip
Add veggies into your snack routine by chopping or roasting your favs and serving with tasty dips.
Think beyond baby carrots to add variety and beat boredom: cucumber, bell pepper, roasted or thinly sliced raw beets, or roasted squash.
Whip up a simple dip or serve with store bought hummus or nut or seed butter.
Try it: Simple Lemony White Bean Dip
4 | Vegetables in the Dip
Add pureed veggies to your dips for double veggie points! Hummus is a great base to start with, since it's simple to make at home and lends itself to so many different variations and flavors.
Pumpkin is a particularly nice add-in, as it provides tons of flavor plus some healthy vitamins and minerals. Use canned pumpkin and there’s no need to chop!
Try it: Creamy Pumpkin Hummus
6 | Salad on the Side
Add a simple side salad to your lunch, no matter what else you’re eating. If you’re at home or work, keep a box of pre-washed greens in the fridge to make veggies a no-brainer.
Or, if you’re eating out, order a side salad, with olive oil and vinegar on the side. Make your own salad dressing to keep in the fridge to keep things interesting.
7 | Raw Vegetables as an Appetizer
If you fall into mindless snacking before dinner, try swapping in raw veggies and a simple dip to keep your hunger in check. Even if you're not up for making a dip, chop a few raw veggies when you get home for snacking.
8 | Sautéed or Roasted Vegetables on the Side
Toss your favorite vegetable in olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and roast on a baking sheet in a 375F oven until browned and tender throughout, flipping occasionally.
Sweet potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, and red onion are great options to get you going. Serve the roasted veggies as a simple side, or as part of a lentil or grain salad.
9 | Quick Slaw
Slaw makes the perfect speedy side dish, is a great way to add more veggies to your plate, and goes with just about everything.
Slaw is really just a matter of thinly slicing some cabbage, and maybe a carrot or two, if you like. Then it's just a quick whisking together of some mayo or Greek yogurt, a squeeze of lime juice, a little salt, and a toss of everything together.
10 | Handful of Greens in Everything
One of my favorite and easiest ways to eat more vegetables is to add a handful of greens to whatever dinner recipe you have planned. Choose a recipe that incorporates veggies in a delicious way to make it painless, then grab a handful of pre-washed baby spinach or kale to the final dish.