Spring has sprung and ’tis the season for produce. It’s so fresh and abundant for the next several months that you have no excuse not to boost your fruit and veggie intake-especially if you’ve been slacking. Take your tots, buddy, partner, or spouse to the Farmer’s Market and have them help you pick out some produce, because here are a few ways you can boost your fruit and veggie intake at every meal.
- Top toast with cooked mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, sweet corn or any leftover vegetables; add an egg or reduced fat cheese for a more substantial meal
- Add sliced tomato, cucumber, and low-fat cream cheese to a (small) bagel or whole-grain toast
- Chop and add your favorite vegetables to an omelet or savory pancake
- Add berries to whole grain waffles
- Fruit is a great breakfast on the go – no cooking required
- Add berries to cereal or oatmeal
- Roll scrambled eggs, salsa and leftover vegetables into a tortilla
- Don’t be limited to “breakfast foods”. Heat up some leftovers or make a breakfast salad!
- Blend frozen berries and milk for a breakfast smoothie
Make a big batch of soup over the weekend with low sodium vegetable broth (preferably homemade with onions, carrots, celery, garlic and herbs), vegetables and legumes and freeze in small portions. Take them out to reheat for quick, hearty weekday lunches!
- Prep raw veggies ahead of time (like while making soup) and keep them in the fridge for a go to snack
- Top English muffins, pita bread, or tortillas with diced vegetables and sprinkle with reduced fat cheese for a quick mini pizza.
- Don’t let your brown bag, veggie packed sandwich get soggy. Rather than adding tomato or cucumber slices in the morning, pack the veggies slices in a separate container and add them only when you’re ready to take your first bite.
- Salads and sandwiches can be more than lettuce and tomato! Add different grated vegetables, like carrots or beets to your favorite salads and sandwiches
- Make your next wrap in a big leaf of lettuce instead of a tortilla. Wraps are great for adding larger veggies, like leftover asparagus.
- Don’t forget about sun-dried tomatoes, pickled veggies, or jarred roasted peppers as these are convenient and can really jazz up a salad or sandwich
- ALWAYS serve dinner with cooked vegetables and/or a salad
- Aim for at least one vegetarian meal per week
- Double the vegetables you prepare for dinner and use the leftovers in meals the next day
- Make meat go further by adding extra vegetables in a stir fry, casserole, or pasta dish like lasagna
- Add veggies (frozen is ok) or legumes (e.g. dried beans, peas or lentils) to soups for added flavor
- Add carrots, celery, and onions to your next meatloaf
- Purée squash, carrots, zucchini, eggplant, and/or peppers into your next spaghetti sauce. Blend smooth for the veggie averse eaters, or chunky for a nice texture
- Try a new twist on mashed potatoes by mashing cauliflower or turnips. If you just can’t get used to the taste, try half potato/ half cauliflower
- Don’t forget about fresh herbs, they add great flavor and boost nutrients without sodium, fat, or excess calories.
- Find a new dressing: Try a new low-fat salad dressing to renew your passion for salads or to use as a veggie dip