We know that many of you are seasoned vegetable eaters and all but this challenge is about sneaking in MORE fruits and veggies: like ten servings. That can be a lot even by our crunchy standards.
So, since we’re all in this together, let’s share our best tips. And while you’re at it, tell us how the challenge is going for you (and tell the truth!). Recipes are always welcome, of course.
If you’re having trouble staying motivated, remember the Japanese farmers (!), and also this sort-of-silly-but-also-awesome “study” of how vegetables actually make you look glowy and tanned.
Here are a few ways I’ve been upping my number of servings, and a few other ways I plan to in the coming days (and weeks and months, because the point of these challenges is to help create better habits, right? Right.) Nothing groundbreaking here, and a few things we’ve harped on before, but voila:
- Salads: This is a total duh but I often make pretty simple green salads. You can get five fruits and veggies into a salad in a blink, watch: cucumber, tomato, avocado, grated carrot, artichoke hearts. Done.
- Smoothies: Another no-brainer, but if you really don’t enjoy eating fruits and/or vegetables this is the easiest way to slam a bunch down in one sitting. Spinach, berries, weird stuff from your CSA box, not much can’t be blended into smoothie submission.
- Soups: A.k.a. winter’s smoothies, especially for this girl who can’t stomach too much raw food in the colder months. Even if you’re all thumbs in the kitchen, you can throw some spinach, cauliflower, broccoli (or all!) into a pre-made tomato soup and call it four servings.
- Omelettes: Onions, spinach, red peppers, zucchinis and any veggies that don’t necessarily sing on their own, can be julienned into an omelette for guaranteed deliciousness.
- Snacks: Precut veggies—especially good when dipped in Dijon—are an easy way to veggie-load. Carrots are delicious right now, and so are radishes and broccoli. When it comes to fruit, don’t forget your old schoolyard friends: apples and oranges. As an adult I’m always surprised by how delicious these are when I think to eat them (not often).
That’s all I got! Now, how are you guys getting more of nature’s treats in your tummies?
I love how Hever pre-washes all her farmers’ market veggies, and prepares a big salad twice a week, keeping it in her fridge so that it’s always ready. Do any of you do this kind of pre-prep kitchen work to save time and ensure healthier choices when you’re on the go?
Onto the piece:
Julieanna Hever has made a career out of helping people understand how to create a healthy diet based on whole, plant-based foods.
Her first book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition, was published this past August, and her second, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Gluten-Free Vegan Cooking, will hit shelves tomorrow.
If that weren’t healthy-foodie credentials enough, she was also a special consultant for the documentary Forks Over Knives, and worked with Dr. T. Colin Campbell, the author of The China Study, at Cornell University.
We peeked in the star nutritionist’s fridge to see what someone who literally wrote the book on healthy eating stocks:
So, you’re obviously a vegan, but are you totally gluten-free as well? I’m allergic to wheat, so I’ve been off it for several years. I’ll have it once in a while, but it gives me a really big stomachache. That’s why I did the new book!
Keep reading here.
Ok, veggies, vegans, and all other foodies, we’re going to make this snappy: We want you to share your favorite Thanksgiving-appropriate vegetarian recipes. Because some of us could use a little inspiration for ourselves, our picky guests, and fussy kids… What veggie dishes are you making?
P.S. We’re just kidding about the turkey. Enjoy every bite if you love it!
What’s a CSA, you may be wondering? Well it stands for “community-supported agriculture” and it’s when a bunch of folks get together to support a local farm by subscribing to a service whereby they receive regular fruit and/or veggie boxes of whatever may be in season. It’s a pretty awesome alternative food system—one we’re both satisfied participants of—especially if you’ve ever stood at the Whole Foods cash cursing the cost of your organic veggies. (For the record I still do, but not as often.)
In short, CSAs are the shizzle. A truly great idea for anyone trying to eat healthy on a budget, and support their local community.
My veggie box, which costs a reasonable $25, is delivered to me every other Friday, making it ridiculously convenenient. While sometimes it’s more veggies than I can handle, which then makes me feel awful about the fact that I don’t compost yet, it usually forces me to come up with new ways to trick my husband into eating vegetables and has been the catalyst behind many an unexpected culinary creation.
Many of you are surely already CSA subscribers and we’d love to hear about your experiences: Do you find it hard to eat your veggies? Has it forced to you get creative in the kitchen? Below are some of my best hits for veggies that could currently be in your box.
- Avocados: You can’t ever go wrong with an avocado, but if you’re looking to cut back on butter or mayo, this fruit-cum-veggie makes for an excellent vegan fat substitute. Try it blended into salad dressing like this one instead of mayo, or spread it on toast instead of butter. So. Good. (Especially with salt, pepper, and some sliced tomato.)
- Beets: Even LA is feeling wintery right now, so while I’m still wild about this skin-loving raw beet soup recipe, I’m craving something warm. Ever had a traditional borscht? Delicious. Here’s a basic vegetarian recipe that is close to what I do, though I recommend vinegar instead of lemon as the acid.
- Brussel Sprouts: To me there is one way to do brussels best, and it’s this way.
- Carrots and Baby Potatoes: This idea came to me last week. I was craving something kind of Greek, so I roasted rough-cut potatoes and carrots in olive oil (same way as the brussels), and when they got good and brown I took them out of the oven and tossed them in lemon juice, salt, pepper, adding chopped green onions and dill. I served them with a garlicky Greek yogurt dip too. Nom nom nom.
- Cabbage: I love cabbage and lately I’ve been treating it as the ultimate wrap vehicle. Trying to avoid gluten or corn? Concerned about spiking your blood sugar? There’s not much you can’t wrap up in cabbage, whether it’s a stir fry, some egg salad, tofu, fish, avocado, taco filling, whatever. Softer stuff pairs especially well with the awesome crunch of the cabbage.
Happy cooking, chickens.
P.S. It’s Siobhan’s birthday today!!!!! Three cheers for Siobhan who is so special and awesome. I know I’m not alone when I say I’m happy this girl was born. :)
I’ve developed a full-blown internet crush on a lady who lives in Copenhagen. Her name is Sarah Britton, she’s a nutritionist, a vegetarian chef, and she does things like make heart-shaped beet ravioli for her husband in her spare time—which she documents charmingly on her site My New Roots.
Also, most of her recipes are gluten-free or easily made gluten-free, many are vegan, and she has gorgeous photos that run along with her recipes, making them ever-more appealing. Poke around her site and I bet you fall for her too.
Then hit command-T and visit Svelte Gourmand, a health-focused site run by two hyphenate-heavy friends of mine, Sara Reistad-Long and Camille Noe-Pagan. They share delicious recipes with a health spin, often pegged to solid research about what we should be eating, when and why.
Then once you have that bookmarked, hit command-T again and go hang out with my friend and colleague Joy Manning at Oyster Evangelist. She’s a cookbook author, cooks a lot at home and her recipes are inspiring, accessible and delicious. She’s also a total crack-up.
So with Sarah as our inspiration, I’d like to know what food blogs you love. The more vegetarian-friendly the better, seeing as it’s Monday, but I’m all ears, really.
Image via My New Roots