A great post on 10 strategies on how to use veggies from one of my guest bloggers!
I love veggies! I am not a vegetarian, but I believe that adding more volume of veggies and fruit to my daily intake increases my nutrient density (more nutritional bang for my buck), increases my fiber and satiety, and gives me lots of variety in dressing up my proteins!
Jeanne’s top 10 strategies!
1- Perhaps the easiest way to get in veggies is by tossing them into my morning smoothie! Most of them blend down into something yummy with all of the benefits of the vitamins, minerals and fiber! Spinach and kale work wonders! Although admittedly, until I got my Vitamix, Kale was a no go for me since I didn’t want to chew my smoothie =)
2- Roasting is a favorite around my house. I like to roast root veggies. Cauliflower, onion, carrots, Brussels sprouts, peppers, acorn, butternut, and spaghetti squash all roast nicely and can be eaten straight from the oven or blended with chicken or veggie broth to create a yummy thick soup! Toss all the veggies lightly in Coconut oil, Celtic sea salt, and any spices you like and bake at 425…flip every so often so that they don’t burn! Every oven is a little different, but mine are generally done in about 25-45 minutes, depending on the type and amount!
3- Soups– You can really pack a veggie punch with soups It is hard to mess up a soup because you generally use a base of broth, and then add tons of chopped veggies to create some awesome soups! You can use one ingredient – like French onion soup , or sauté onion, celery, and carrot to anything from tomatoes to zucchini to create a very flavorful soup!
4- Dehydrated– Finely sliced veggies lightly tossed in EVOO and slowly dehydrated in the oven is popular around my house for on-the-go veggies and lunches. A dehydrator usually works at 110 degrees My ovens lowest setting is 170 degrees, so I simply prop the door open with a towel and it works wonderfully! Firm veggies, like sweet potatoes, work well here as well as green leaves like Kale chips.
5- As a pizza crust– Cauliflower Crust Pizza
6- Raw– You can’t beat the convenience of ready to eat raw veggies I love to eat mine with roasted red pepper humus!
7- Oven fries– This is kind of roasting, but my kids love this one, so, I had to add it. Any variety of potato, firm squashes, and carrots….all can be cut into “fry” shapes and bake, lightly oiled and seasoned for a great side dish!
8- Marinades and sauces– I like to use pureed roasted red peppers and tomatoes as a marinade for chicken, or as a soup base!
9- Faux tatoes– My daughter coined this name for “fried”/mashed cauliflower. In the south, we like our “fried potatoes” with onion. I simply sauté onion and cauliflower lightly tossed in EVCO (extra virgin coconut oil) Celtic sea salt and pepper until it is lightly browned and there are brown bits sticking to the pan, I then pour a tiny bit of chicken broth into the pan and use a wooden spoon to gently loosen the bits and allow the whole mixture to reduce this is great just like this or you can blend (thus the name faux-tatoes)
10- Grilled!!! In the summer time especially, I love to hit the Farmer’s Market with the kids and we all explore. One of the things I love about this experience is that we know a lot of the local farmers now. By allowing my kids to connect with the farmer, they are much more interested in trying the food. We also allow the kids some spending money of their own. The only “rule” is that they have to choose a whole food (no pastries, sno-cones, or other “junk” foods) once home, I like to cube the veggies, and pop onto a soaked bamboo skewer and grill them up! I haven’t found any that I don’t like this way! One of my favorites is to grill fresh corn, onion, tortillas, and jalapeno to make fresh salsa!
I can’t wait to hear your ideas! Come tell me about them on Facebook! Until next time… Jeanne