It may be difficult to discern what’s actually healthy these days given the constant influx of new studies, celebrity-backed fad diets, and the like; however, it’s inarguable (we think) that vegetables are good for us, and that we should be trying to eat as many of them as possible. This isn’t always an easy (though this video will help) or palatable task, so we’ve assembled a list of creative ways in which you can incorporate more greens and other garden-grown foods into your daily diet without having to sacrifice either taste or satiety. Here, your summer guide to going beyond salads.
Cauliflower Rice or Couscous
We actually don't know how we lived before discovery of this delicious dish. It can be served with absolutely everything—Thai food, Mexican food (it's great stuffed inside a burrito), as its own side dish, et cetera. Trader Joe's sells grated cauliflower, further whittling down the time it takes to make this quick dish to around 2 minutes.
If you're a big pasta eater, spaghetti squash is a great substitute that will offer a similar texture with a much greater number of nutrients. Here's a great recipe for turning spaghetti squash into actual spaghetti. It also goes well under curries and other sauces, as the flavor is fairly neutral.
Grate Veggies Into Meatballs
Parents are usually pretty familiar with this trick for getting their kids to unwittingly eat vegetables. You can grate carrots, squash, cucumbers and other veggies into meatballs, hamburgers, and other such dishes without affecting the taste.
Add Greens To Your Morning Eggs
Almost any veggie goes great with eggs—kale, mushrooms, peppers, onions, minced broccoli etc. We love making egg muffins on a Sunday night, using any combination of veggies you like, for a nutrient-packed grab-and-go weekday morning meal. We're also currently obsessing over this beet hash (turnips and radishes are also a good addition here).
Sneak Them Into Your Baked Goods
Veggies like zucchini and carrots make a lovely addition to morning muffins. It may sound crazy, but you can also add veggies to brownies if you're feeling brave—we swear by this carrot and spinach brownie recipe. On the (non-baked) dessert tip, we also love chocolate peanut butter avocado pudding and chickpea cookie dough.
If a recipe calls for veggies, double the serving size called for—it won't affect the flavor, but you'll get twice the nutrition. Remember, you can also add veggies to recipes that don't call for veggies at all, e.g. macaroni and cheese or other pastas. If you're not always able to keep fresh veggies around, frozen veggies will do just fine in a pinch!