Wow, here we are at part three of this first series already! Time flies. To review, I’ve discussed why people don’t like eating vegetables and offered a few suggestions about how to included more in your day. I’ve also shared two of my favorite recipes that happen to contain loads of vegetables. Have you tried them yet? They are simply divine and for my US readers perfect for this time of year when the weather is so cold. As a bonus, they are both light, filling and nutritious options after Thanksgiving where maybe you ate more than you wanted to.
For part three I would like to show you what a day’s worth of vegetables looks like. It’s all very well and good to be told to “eat five servings of veg a day” but what does this look like? I’ve seen many images that show you what a serve of broccoli looks like but what I’m interested in is, when we cook what does 5 serving of vegetables look like on our plate? When I cook for my family, what does this look like?
Ideally, we would spread our vegetable intake over the entire day, starting with breakfast.
One thing I forgot to mention: if currently you don’t eat many vegetables and want to eat more, it is very important that you start upping your intake very slowly! Don’t go from zero to beans at every meal. You will probably experience some uncomfortable tummy problems and no one wants that!
So for Breakfast I would recommend baked beans, frittata or some scrambled eggs with veg on the side or mixed in. Even poached eggs with some spinach and roasted tomato is a good option (Just skip the KJ loaded sauces). The idea is to get at least one serve in here.
Lunch should contain at least two serves of veggies! Salad sandwiches packed full to the brim, a lovely big plate of salad and stirfries all work well here. Beans or lentils are a great option for your salads as not only do they contribute to your veggie quota, they contain good amounts of fibre and protein and are a good low-GI addition. You can even use last nights left overs and add some steamed veg or a side salad.
Salad sandwiches are a great, portable option for lunch. The idea is to pack them full to the brim to maximize the amount of salad in there. Oh, and I find it best to pack wetter items like tomato, canned beets etc in the middle of the sandwich and pack either side with dryer options like lettuce. Some options for your sandwich include: lettuce, cucumber, tomato, carrot, capsicum, beetroot, alfalfa, avocado, there’s lots to chose from!
Dinner is traditionally the meal where the days vegetables are eaten. You can see if we leave it to one meal to cover an entire day’s worth of vegetables, its difficult to do!
For stirfries, I find it a bit easier to cook all the vegetables together and then top my stirfry with meat, so I can easily see how many vegetables each person is getting. For a family of four, I would make a stirfry with 1 capsicum, 3 carrots, 1 zucchini, generous handful of snow peas, 1 bunch of broccolini, and half a dozen button mushrooms. I might throw in some baby corn or spinach for good measure.
As I mentioned, whenever I make pasta dishes that are light on vegetables, I just add more! So if you have spaghetti, don’t be shy about adding in a heap of veg or even some lentils.
And for any other meal, a good rule of thumb is to make sure your plate is half full with vegetables.
If you are struggling to meet your quota, why not include vegetables in your next snack? You can cut up carrot, celery, capsicum and serve with a home made bean dip for a filling and nutritious snack.
So there you have it, that’s a wrap for the first block! If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment otherwise I’ll be back next week with a brand new topic.