- Vegetables are key for weight management and satisfaction in a plant-based diet, and can be incorporated in tasteful and satisfying ways.
- Turning lunch green with soups like gazpacho or minestrone can provide an easy and delicious way to increase vegetable consumption.
- Enhancing your salads with a variety of different vegetables can boost the nutrient and micronutrient content of meals.
- Choosing vegetables as side dishes can be a lower calorie and more satisfying alterative to traditional sides like potato or rice.
- Planning for a weekly vegetarian dinner can help incorporate diverse vegetables and beans into your meals.
- Keeping ready-to-eat vegetables stored in the fridge can promote healthier snack habits.
Vegetables are a must-have for maintaining a robust plant-based lifestyle, yet many of us struggle to incorporate them into our daily meals. Not only are these natural wonders beneficial for weight management, but they also ensure a satiating feeling. Here are some enjoyable and straightforward ways to incorporate more vegetables into your diet.
Turn Your Lunch Green with Vegetable Soup
Creating your lunch around a filling vegetable soup can jumpstart your journey towards a more veggie-centric diet. For the summer months, consider a cold gazpacho, while a warming minestrone would make the perfect companion for the chill of winter. Both these soups are tomato-based, providing that essential lycopene boost.
Up Your Salad Game
Sneaking more vegetables into your meals can be as simple as jazzing up your salads. Lettuces like romaine, red leaf, Bibb, and Boston can offer bases that you can mix and match. Adding different veggies to your salad such as red pepper strips, zucchini, and mushroom slices can add more texture and flavor. For an extra crunch, consider adding lightly steamed broccoli florets and diced carrots into the mix. The more varied the colors in your salad, the wider the range of beneficial nutrients and micronutrients you’ll acquire.
Double Up: Utilize Vegetables as Side Dishes
Rather than opting for potato or rice, why not consider having two vegetables as side dishes. They are both lower in calories and higher in volume, which will keep you feeling satisfied without the extra calorie intake.
Try a Vegetarian Dinner Once Weekly
Plan to have a vegetarian dinner at least one night per week. When preparing meals at home, replace the meat elements with beans and added vegetables. Using a variety of herbs and spices can also enhance the flavor of your meals. When eating out, consider ordering a vegetarian dish, but be cautious of meals laden with cheese.
Be Prepared: Keep Ready-To-Eat-Veggies in the Fridge
Preparing easy-to-grab vegetable snacks beforehand can encourage healthier munching habits. Store a bowl of trimmed and cut veggies in the fridge, ready to satisfy your munchies any time of the day.
Developing the habit of incorporating more vegetables into your diet might take some time to settle in. However, you’ll soon relish the increased portions at fewer calories and appreciate the myriad of health benefits this small change offers.
ChooseMyPlate is a useful resource from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that provides everything you need to know about choosing vegetables, including recommended quantities for every age group.