Sneak More Vegetables Into Your Diet With These 5 Recipes - Make It Better

We all know that vegetables are good for us, and that most of us definitely don’t get enough of them. Health.gov recommends a minimum of five servings a day, but what does that translate to in real life? Servings are typically measured by the half-cup and cup — for most vegetables, a half-cup is one serving, with the exception of leafy greens. Realistically we’re not all going to start eating salads for breakfast, so here are five great recipes to make sure you get your daily dose without sacrificing flavor.

Breakfast

Skip the sugary breakfast cereal that fills you up for all of 20 minutes and try these nutrient-dense Mini Breakfast Frittatas from the adorable blog Rachel Cooks. Whip up a big batch on Sunday and have quick, portable breakfasts all week long. Feel free to customize with different veggies too.

Lunch

Nobody ever feels sharp and productive after a heavy, grain-laden lunch. Skip the soggy bread bowl and try out this Vegan Portabella Muffuletta sandwich from the Whole Foods recipe app. Top with some provolone for extra protein, and don’t be afraid to add extra veggies like raw peppers or spinach for texture.

recipes-vegetables-Whole-Foods-Vegan-Portabella-Muffuletta

Whole Foods’ Vegan Portabella Muffuletta (Photo courtesy of Whole Foods.)

Dinner

The zucchini noodle craze has been sweeping the Internet for months now, but it’s hard to find a recipe that’s worthy of a weeknight dinner. Try out these Mediterranean Zucchini Noodles from Alexandra Caspero, MA, RD of Delicious Knowledge. Add grilled chicken to round out the meal (nobody ever got full from zucchini alone).

Mediterranean Zucchini Noodles from Delish Knowledge

Photo courtesy of Alexandra Caspero, MA, RD of Delicious Knowledge.

Chef Augie Arifi of Bobby’s Deerfield and Café Lucci in Glenview says there’s no better way to add vegetables to a meal than with a hearty soup or stew. “The simmering process makes the vegetables release their juices and combine to create great flavors,” he says. Try this filling soup (bonus: it’s gluten-free!) and win over adults and kids alike.

Quinoa and Vegetable Soup

serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup raw quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 potato, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 green pepper, diced
  • 1/2 yellow pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped
  • 1 small yellow squash, chopped
  • 2 8-10 ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

Directions:

1. Rinse the quinoa very well in a fine mesh strainer under running water; set aside to drain.

2. Heat oil in a large stockpot. Add onions and salt. Cover and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add drained quinoa, potatoes, bell pepper, coriander, cumin, oregano, pepper, vegetable stock and tomatoes, stir to combine.

4. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add zucchini and squash, (and chicken breast if desired) cover and let simmer for 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

5. Add lemon juice, stir to combine, adjust seasoning and serve hot.

Dessert

Most people think that, aside from carrot cake, vegetables don’t belong in desserts. This recipe for Chocolate Zucchini Cake from Bite Me Blog proves conventional wisdom wrong. A lightened-up batter with applesauce and plain yogurt makes the cake taste far more decadent than it actually is. Carrot cake, your time has passed.


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