Including vegetables in your diet is extremely important. Vegetables are incredibly rich in nutrients and antioxidants, which improve their health and help fight diseases.
In addition, they are beneficial for weight control due to their low calorie content.
Health authorities around the world recommend that adults consume several servings of vegetables each day, but this can be difficult for some people.
Some find it uncomfortable to eat vegetables, while others simply are not sure how to prepare them in an appetizing way.
This article will cover 17 unique ways you can incorporate vegetables into your diet, so you never get tired of eating them.
1. Make vegetable-based soups
Soups are an excellent way to consume multiple servings of vegetables at the same time.
You can make the vegetables become "base" by mashing them and adding spices, as in this recipe for tomato soup.
In addition, it is easy to cook vegetables in soups made with broth or cream.
Adding even a small amount of extra vegetables, such as broccoli, to soups is an excellent way to increase your intake of fiber, vitamins and minerals.
For example, this recipe for broccoli vegetable soup contains 1/2 cup (78 grams) of broccoli per serving, which provides a significant amount of vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, and folic acid (1).
Here are some other vegetable-based soups recipes for you to try:
- Carrot soup
- Cauliflower cream
- Simple pumpkin soup with curly kale
- Spinach Soup with Mushrooms
2. Try zucchini lasagna
Another creative way to eat more vegetables is to make a lasagna of zucchini.
Traditional lasagna is a dish made with pasta made by layers of lasagna noodles with sauce, cheese and meat. It is tasty, but it is also typically very high in carbohydrates.
An excellent way to prepare this delicious dish so that it has a lower carbohydrate content and more nutrients is to replace the lasagna noodles with zucchini strips.
Zucchini is a rich source of B vitamins and vitamin C, as well as trace minerals and fiber (2).
This recipe for zucchini lasagna is quite simple to make by combining zucchini with ground beef, cheese and a variety of other vegetables.
3. Experiment with vegetarian noodles
Vegetarian noodles are easy to make and are a great way to get more vegetables in your diet. They are also an excellent low-carb substitute for carbohydrate-rich foods, such as pasta.
They are made by inserting vegetables in a spiralizer, which processes them in shapes similar to noodles.
You can use a spiralizer for almost any type of vegetable. They are commonly used for zucchini, carrots and sweet potatoes.
Once the "noodles" are made, they can be consumed as pasta and combined with sauces, other vegetables or meat.
Here are some vegetarian noodle recipes for you to try:
- Zucchini Spaghetti And Meatballs
- Sweet Potato Roasted Noodles
- Carrot Noodles with Mani Sauce
4. Add vegetables to the sauces
Adding additional vegetables to your sauces is a unique and cunning way to increase your vegetable intake.
While cooking the sauce, like the marinara sauce, simply add some vegetables of your choice to the mix, such as chopped onions, carrots, spinach or peppers.
You can also puree certain vegetables with condiments and turn them into a sauce by themselves.
Here are some examples of salsa recipes that incorporate extra vegetables:
- Very vegetarian Marinara
- Pumpkin sauce with salvia
- Spinach Cream Sauce
- Creamy carrot sauce
5. Make a cauliflower pizza crust
Cauliflower is extremely versatile, and there are many unique ways to include it in your diet.
One strategy is to replace the normal crust of flour-based pizza with a cauliflower crust, like this one, which is made by combining cauliflower with eggs, almond flour and some condiments.
Then you can add your own ingredients, such as fresh vegetables, tomato sauce and cheese.
Substituting cauliflower crust for flour-based crusts is an excellent way to enjoy the delicious taste of pizza, while reducing carbohydrate and calorie intake.
One cup (100 grams) of cauliflower contains only 5 grams of carbohydrates and 25 calories, plus a large amount of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which flour-based crusts lack (3).
6. Mix with shakes
The smoothies are a refreshing breakfast or snack.
Typically, they are made by combining fruit with ice, milk or water in a blender. However, you can also add vegetables to the shakes without compromising the flavor.
Fresh and leafy vegetables are common additions to shakes, as in this recipe, which combines kale with mango, peaches, ginger and some other seasonings.
Add spinach and kale to shakes is an easy way to get more nutrients.
Only 1 cup (30 grams) of spinach contains 181% of your daily needs of vitamin K and 56% of vitamin A. The same serving of kale provides 206% of your daily needs of vitamin A, 134% of vitamin C and 684 % For vitamin K (4, 5).
In addition, zucchini, pumpkin, beetroot and frozen sweet potatoes work well with smoothies, which you can try with the following recipes:
- Zucchini and Blueberry Smoothie
- Orange Smoothie With Sweet Potato
- pumpkin smoothie
- Beet and berry smoothie
7. Add vegetables to the pots
Including extra vegetables in casseroles is a unique way to increase vegetable intake.
The casseroles are a dish that combines pieces of meat with chopped vegetables, cheese, potatoes and a grain, such as rice or pasta. As expected, traditional stews are usually very high in refined carbohydrates and calories.
Luckily, you can reduce calories and carbohydrates in your stews by replacing grains with vegetables, such as broccoli, mushrooms, celery or carrots.
This casserole recipe incorporates eggs, coconut milk and spices with broccoli, onions and mushrooms.
These vegetables contain a combination of several important nutrients, which include vitamin C, vitamin K, B vitamins, trace minerals and antioxidants (6, 7, 8).
8. Cooking a vegetarian tortilla
Tortillas are a great dish to include in your diet if you want to eat more vegetables.
They are made by frying the beaten eggs with a small amount of butter or oil in a pan, and then folding them around a filling that often includes cheese, meat, vegetables or a combination of all three.
Any type of vegetable tastes very good in omelettes. Spinach, onions and tomatoes are common additions.
You can also add chopped peppers to the tortillas, as in this recipe, which is an excellent way to increase your intake of vitamin C and vitamin A (9, 10).
9. Prepare salted oatmeal
Salted oatmeal is a great dish that will incorporate more vegetables into your diet.
Oats are typically consumed as a sweet food for breakfast, often combined with fresh fruit, raisins or cinnamon.
However, you can also enjoy it as a tasty meal by adding eggs, spices and many vegetables.
This recipe for salted oats includes onions, mushrooms, cabbages and tomatoes, all of which provide a healthy combination of nutrients, such as vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A and potassium (6, 8, 11, 12).
Here are a couple of other tasty oatmeal recipes for you to try:
- Tasty Oatmeal With Greens And Yogurt
- Tasty Mediterranean Oats With Spinach And Tomatoes
10. Try a wrap of lettuce or vegetable bread
Using lettuce as a wrap or certain vegetables such as breads instead of tortillas and bread is an easy way to eat more vegetables.
Lettuce wrappers can be part of several types of dishes, and are often used to make low-carbohydrate sandwiches and hamburgers without bread.
In addition, many types of vegetables, such as portobello mushroom caps, sliced sweet potatoes and sliced eggplant are excellent buns.
Lettuce wraps and vegetarian rolls are an easy way to reduce caloric intake, since a lettuce leaf contains only one calorie. Refined bread is much higher in calories (13, 14).
In addition, replacing flour-based products with vegetables is an excellent way to reduce carbohydrate intake, while consuming many nutrients.
The following recipes are a good place to start with lettuce and vegetarian rolls:
- Wraps of chicken and lettuce
- Breadless Turkey Burger
- Mediterranean Tuna Lettuce
- Aubergine Eggplant Grilled Hamburger
- Sweet potato buns
11. Grill Veggie Kebabs
Vegetarian kebabs are an excellent dish to try if you want to increase your vegetable intake.
To make them, place the chopped vegetables of your choice on a skewer and cook on a grill or barbecue.
Peppers, onions and tomatoes work well for kebabs. You can also use mushrooms and zucchini, as in this recipe.
12. Enjoy a vegetarian burger
Vegetarian burgers are a delicious and unique way to increase your vegetable intake.
A hamburger is a sandwich consisting of a patty of ground beef, typically made of beef, which is then placed inside a bun with several toppings.
Hamburgers can also be made by combining vegetables with eggs, nuts or nut flours and seasonings. Sweet potatoes, which are an excellent source of vitamin A and antioxidants, are also commonly used to make vegetarian burgers (15).
The following recipes combine sweet potatoes with almond flour, egg and a variety of spices and chopped vegetables, such as mushrooms and cauliflower:
- Cauliflower Sweet Potato Burgers
- Vegetarian Mushroom Burgers
You can take these recipes one step further by wrapping your vegetarian burger in a lettuce wrapper, rather than a bun.
13. Add vegetables to the tuna salad
Adding vegetables to the tuna salad is an excellent way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet.
In general, tuna salad is made by mixing tuna with mayonnaise, but any type of chopped vegetable can be added to increase the flavor and nutrient content.
Onions, carrots, cucumbers and spinach are common additions, as in this recipe.
14. Make stuffed peppers
Stuffed peppers are an excellent dish to include in your diet if you want to increase your vegetable intake.
They are made by filling peppers in half with cooked meat, beans, rice and seasonings, and then baking them in the oven.
Peppers are a rich source of many vitamins and minerals, especially vitamins A and C (9).
You can increase the nutritional content of stuffed peppers including many additional vegetables. Onions, spinach or cauliflower work well, as in this recipe.
15. Add vegetables to guacamole
It is quite easy to add vegetables to guacamole and it is a unique way to increase vegetable intake.
Guacamole is an avocado-based salsa that is made by mixing ripe avocados and sea salt together with lemon or lime juice, garlic and additional seasoning.
A variety of vegetables taste great when they are incorporated into guacamole. Peppers, tomatoes and onions are good options.
This recipe for vegetable guacamole includes onions, carrots, zucchini and yellow squash, which provide a combination of fiber, vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, vitamin C and manganese (2, 8, 16).
You can also make guacamole with roasted vegetables, as in this recipe.
16. Mix the vegetables with the meatloaf
Another way to increase the intake of vegetables is to mix them with the meatloaf.
The meatloaf is a dish made with a combination of minced meat and other ingredients, such as eggs, bread crumbs and tomato sauce. Then it is molded in the shape of a bread, which is where it gets its name.
You can add almost any type of chopped vegetables to meatloaf, such as onions, peppers, carrots and zucchini, as in this recipe.
In addition, you can make "meatloaf" that is completely vegetable based, like this one, which includes chickpeas, carrots, onions and celery.
17. Make cauliflower rice
A unique way to increase your vegetable intake is to eat rice with cauliflower.
It is made by pressing the cauliflower granules in a food processor in small granules. Then you can use it raw or cooked as a substitute for regular rice.
Rice with cauliflower is significantly lower in carbohydrates than regular rice, with only 5 grams of carbohydrates per cup, compared to 45 grams in a cup (158 grams) of rice (3, 17).
In addition, cauliflower is significantly higher in nutrients than rice. It is particularly high in vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid and potassium (3).
This recipe for rice with cauliflower contains step-by-step instructions on how to do it, plus some ideas for additional ingredients that you can add to enhance its flavor.
The bottom line
There are many unique ways to include more vegetables in your diet.
Make "rice" and "buns" with vegetables, or incorporate them into common dishes, such as stews and soups.
By making vegetables a regular part of your eating habits, you will significantly increase your intake of fiber, nutrients and antioxidants.
Eating enough vegetables is also associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and cancer, and may be beneficial for weight control (18, 19).
At the end of the day, you can not go wrong eating more vegetables.
Reference: https: //www.healthline.com/nutrition/17-ways-to-eat-more-veggies