Most Americans today shy away from filling one half or more of their plates with vegetables. That’s especially true of our children. Yet, these nutrient-rich foods should be the high point of your family’s meals. They don’t require much cooking time, and all vegetables offer excellent benefits to the body. In fact, numerous studies show how vegetables improve heart function, increase circulation and even fight cancer.
To increase the amount of vegetables in your family’s diet, try these simple tricks. And don’t be afraid to get creative and look for other ways to incorporate veggies in your favorite dishes.
1. Vegetable Chili –Instead of making chili primarily with beans, substitute additional cooked vegetables. Chopped onions, garlic, broccoli, cauliflower and greens are good options. You can still have turkey, lamb or beef in the chili, but it will now be much richer in vegetables.
2. Vegetable Pizza – Children and adults alike usually love pizza. Try making your own pizza using a thin, wheat-free crust. Add a thick layer of chopped, precooked vegetables. Top it off with spices like oregano, a little tomato sauce and tasty cheese.
3. Vegetable Enchiladas or Tacos – Instead of filling taco shells or tortillas with beef, beans or pork, fill them with chopped, cooked vegetables. You can also add chicken, sardines, cheese, brown rice or other fillings to disguise the cooked vegetables.
4. Thick Vegetable Soups – Adding loads of vegetables to soup is a simple and excellent idea. For fussy eaters, disguise the vegetables by cooking them for 10-20 minutes, then puree the soup so the vegetables are well blended.
Here’s to your health!