Eating more veggies doesn’t have to be a chore. With a little creativity and some simple swaps, you can boost your vegetable intake without a second thought.
(Even if you don’t think you like them!)
Here are 17 easy ways to make vegetables a bigger part of your daily routine.
1- Have veggies with breakfast
It’s going to be much easier to boost the amount of vegetables you eat in a day if you start your day with veggies for breakfast!
Start your day with a veggie omelet or a breakfast burrito loaded with peppers, onions, and spinach.
It’s a tasty way to wake up your taste buds and get some fiber first thing in the morning.
2- Have a smoothie every day
Smoothies aren’t just for fruit – toss in a handful of spinach or kale for an extra nutrient kick.
The fruity flavors usually mask the veggie taste, so it’s perfect for those who are a bit veggie-timid.
Here’s a super-quick green smoothie that I always make in a pinch:
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 cup of water
- 2 big handfuls of spinach
- 1/2 an apple
Blend it all together and enjoy! It’s that easy.
3- Use veggies instead of grains
Another way to get your veggies in is to swap out cauliflower rice or spiralized zucchini instead of traditional rice or pasta.
These veggie versions are lower in calories and can offer more nutrients.
For example, a cup of white rice provides around 200 calories and minimal nutrients, while a cup of cauliflower rice has only 20 calories and is high in vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate.
Give it a try and see what you think!
4- Meatless Mondays (or any day!)
You don’t have to go 100% vegan or plant-based to benefit from eating more veggies.
Even starting with one or two meatless days per week can do your body good!
Replace meat with mushrooms, beans, or lentils in your favorite dishes for a hearty and healthy twist.
One of my favorite ways to do this is to make quesadillas with whole grain tortillas, my favorite cheesy sauce recipe, and load them up with sauteed mushrooms and spinach!
5- Veggie casseroles
Another way to get tons of veggies into your day is to create a vegetable casserole!
Layer your favorite vegetables, some cheese, and a sprinkle of herbs into a casserole dish. It’s comfort food with a veggie bonus.
6- Soup, stew, and chili recipes
Add bulk to your soups, stews, and chilis with an array of vegetables. It’s a perfect way to use up whatever’s in your fridge and get your daily veggies in one bowl.
7- Pizza toppings
If you make a pizza at home, that’s great. Load it up with vegetables!
But if you’re eating out you can still make a lighter choice by doing the same!
Load up your pizza with veggies like bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms. It’s a delicious way to make a typically indulgent meal a lot healthier.
And it still tastes great!
8- Veggie snacks
For a quick and easy snack, try slicing up some raw veggies like carrots, cucumber, bell peppers, and celery.
You can also try grilling or roasting vegetables like zucchini, eggplant, or sweet potatoes.
Another veggie snack I stand by is seaweed snacks!
They’re so good, and provide many nutrients to boot!
RELATED: 17 Healthy Grab And Go Vegan Snacks
9- Load your plate with veggies
If there’s a vegetable that you like a lot, commit to making half your plate vegetable-based.
It’s a trick that goes a long way!
For example, if you really enjoy broccoli, why not make half your plate broccoli, and the other half can be whatever you like?
Pour cheesy sauce on top or season your broccoli well and you’ll feel super full while doing your body good.
A quick stir-fry with a rainbow of vegetables tossed in a savory sauce can be a delicious and easy dinner option.
You can really throw any vegetables you have into a skillet as long as you have a good marinade, put the whole thing on top of a bed of rice (or cauliflower rice) and be good to go!
I was so surprised to discover this when I first went plant-based, but many plant-based sauces are made of veggies!
From cauliflower or potato-based cheese sauces to tomato-based marinades and dressings, there are so many options to liven up your meals without sacrificing taste.
You can also try making your own sauces at home with healthy ingredients like nuts, seeds, and nutritional yeast for added flavor and nutrition.
12- Make a bed of greens
One tip that I swear by is to put everything on top of a bed of greens!
I always buy those big 1-pound tubs of pre-chopped and washed greens.
So most meals will be on top of a handful or two of greens. I promise it works!
So if I eat a bowl of pasta or a slice of lasagna, I’ll put greens first, then some sort of sauce or dressing to lightly coat them, then I’ll put the main dish on top.
I’m always so much more satisfied because I’m more full, the greens are antioxidant and nutrient-rich, and it tastes great!
13- Veggie bowls
Grain bowls are a trendy and easy way to get your veggies in.
There really are no limits to the kinds of veggie bowls you can make!
You can add roasted or sautéed veggies, beans or legumes, grains like brown rice or quinoa, and top it all off with a tasty sauce.
It’s an easy and versatile way to get your daily dose of vegetables in a delicious way.
14- Use veggies as toppings
Use veggies like avocado, sautéed onions, or roasted red peppers to add flair to your sandwiches and wraps.
You can also load up your pasta with veggies to make it more robust!
Not only does it add more nutrients, but it also adds different textures and flavors to make your meals more interesting.
15- Experiment with herbs and spices
One of the best things about cooking plant-based is that you get to experiment with a wide variety of herbs and spices.
Try adding fresh herbs like basil, cilantro, or parsley to your dishes for added flavor and nutrition.
Experiment with different spice blends like curry powder, chili powder, or Italian seasoning to make your meals more interesting and delicious.
You can also try making your own spice blends at home using whole spices for a fresher and healthier option.
16- Veggie desserts
Did you know that you can use veggies to make dessert? I was so surprised at how good some of these veggie-based cakes, cupcakes, and pastries can be!
Zucchini, pumpkin, and carrot are great options for adding moisture and nutrients to your baked goods.
You can also make healthier versions of desserts like black bean brownies or chickpea blondies.
Adding veggies to your dessert is a sneaky way to get in extra nutrients without sacrificing taste.
17- Look for veggie-based products
Last but not least, while aiming for a whole food plant-based diet is ideal, sometimes you need or want to buy packaged foods.
I love finding veggie-based versions of things I already use!
So, for example, one of my favorite pasta brands is Banza!
They make pasta noodles out of 100% chickpeas!
Even if you think you hate vegetables, I promise there are ways to make them delicious and appealing.
Experiment with different cooking methods, herbs, and spices, and even incorporate veggies into your desserts.
And don’t forget to explore the many plant-based products available in stores for added convenience.
Embrace a whole food plant-based diet and experience all the benefits it has to offer for your health, waistline, and your taste-buds.