Do your regular vegetable options that you turn to at dinner seem stale? Are you tired of the usual plain steamed green beans or boiled cauliflower? Getting enough vegetables often seems more an obligation at meals than something to look forward to. Here are some ideas to add some inspiration into your vegetable eating routine.
Roast Your Vegetables
There is endless versatility in a pan of roasted vegetables. Long associated with root vegetables and wintertime, roasting has become the new method of choice for preparing vegetables. Roasting is not just confined to roots. Brussels sprouts, all kinds of squash, and even broccoli and cauliflower can be roasted. The caramelization that happens to the vegetables when they are roasting transforms them into a sweet and savory delight.
Roasted vegetables are deceptively easy to make. All they need is to be chopped up and tossed into a rimmed roasting pan. Toss the vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle on some salt, pepper, and a dash of dried herbs of your choice. Roast for about a half an hour at 400 degrees. You can experiment by roasting different vegetable mixtures. The Brussels sprouts you roast will definitely not taste like the ones that you disliked so much as a child.
Get on the Boat
It is always great to find healthy ingredients to use in your creations that save you time in the kitchen as well. The squash boat recipe featured at Hamptoncreek uses their Just Goddess creamy dressing to speed up preparation of the vegetable filling for the squash slices. Their take on condiment classics is plant-based, which helps your meals stay low in cholesterol, unhealthy fats, and sugar.
Get Out the Tools
Make fettuccine, spaghetti, and linguine shaped noodles with a spiralizer tool. There are many of these types of tools on the market, from simple and compact countertop models to mechanisms that can attach to a standing mixer. Vegetables such as sweet potatoes, turnips, broccoli, and all kinds of squash can be spiralized. Fruits that can be processed by the spiralizer include apples, melons, and pears.
Spiralizing encourages seasonal eating of fresh fruits and vegetables and may encourage children to consume more of them. Not only for adding interest or an accent to meals, a spiralizer can help you lower your consumption of refined carbohydrates by turning nutritious vegetables into something you can use in your meals like pasta.
Try Something New
Try taking the time on the weekend to try a new vegetable. This will be easier if you live in a town with a farmers market. Many times there will be a vegetable or fruit at one of the stands that you have not tried. Vendors are usually happy to explain what the produce tastes like and tell you about the proper ways to prepare it. Sometimes a large supermarket will have an expansive produce department that can be a great source of things that you have not tried yet. You can also ask the produce manager about what an unfamiliar fruit or vegetable is used for.
Often a vegetable that is an old favorite can be made new again with a different preparation style. For example, really shake up your breakfast routine with this avocado superfood breakfast toast. No longer relegated to use in guacamole or on top of salads, avocado takes center stage in this recipe for an unconventional yet delicious breakfast. Half of an avocado is mashed on top of a piece of wholegrain toast and treated to a sprinkling of both pomegranate arils and hemp seeds. A small side salad of fresh spinach and blueberries provides a colorful and nutritious accent.
Get inspired to use more vegetables in your meals by utilizing resources in social media. Follow Pinterest boards that have vegetable based recipes you want to try. Instagram is a great source of inspiring healthy food visuals. You may even find a Facebook group devoted to your particular healthy eating interest. Joining an online group means that you can ask others for tips, give your own advice, and find out what food preparation techniques work for others.
Using these tips can help you find new inspiration in eating vegetables and can help you identify how to prepare them in new and appealing ways for you and your family. By diverging from you’re the usual way of doing things and learning from others, you can incorporate more vegetables into your diet.