How to eat enough vegetables without swallowing a garden

Compared to the high-fat, high-sugar, high-salt tastes of the modern world, celery isn’t that stimulating. However, vegetables don’t need to be boring. With a bit of creativity, we may find ourselves not only tolerating veggies, but enjoying them.

Using tinned and frozen products is as easy as popping open a can or slicing a packet. For example, if you’re making tacos, substitute a can of rinsed kidney beans for half the mince.

A tin of tomatoes or corn kernels instantly bulks out the nutrient levels of any dish while bags of mixed, frozen vegetables such as carrot, corn and peas, go with just about anything savoury.

A tin of Minestrone soup contains up to 4 serves of veggies.

Try broccolini, a more delicious version of broccoli. Boil it a little, then drizzle it with butter, honey and walnuts before grilling it, for a restaurant-quality dish.

Hate capsicum? Halve it, removing the seeds and white bits, add oil and pepper, then blacken the skin in a very hot oven. Cool it in the fridge, then peel away the black. Roasted capsicum is delicious and can be used in almost anything.

“Mirepoix” (pronounced mirror-pwa) is a French term for using diced onion, celery and carrot, as the base of a dish. You’ll instantly add three kinds of vegetables.

Steam your veggies instead of boiling, or lightly oil and bake them instead of deep frying.

Try mashed sweet potato. It tastes especially good with paprika! Sweet potatoes are delicious, nutritious and generally very inexpensive.

Aim to “Eat The Rainbow” with vegetables. The more colours you consume, the broader the nutrients you’ll take in.

Use veggie sticks for dipping. Better yet, use a homemade veggie dip! Hummus or Greek yoghurt dips are very easy to make.

Ground seeds (such as Chia seeds) are a great addition to any meal. You won’t notice them!

If you want to avoid feelings of guilt at the buffet, pile your first plate with vegetables, garden salad, and beans. It is also best to view ‘all you can eat’ as an offer, rather than a challenge!

Opt for red sauces based on tomatoes instead of white sauces based on heavy cream, and sneak grated veggies into them.

When making burgers, go easy on the patty, cheese and sauces. Load them with lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickle, beetroot and avocado.

Smoothies retain all the goodness of the raw ingredients used. They are made with three parts vegetables, a serve of fruit for sweetness, and a liquid such as plant-based milk or coconut water. There are a million smoothie recipes online to satisfy every taste.

By Grant J Everett, Panorama magazine


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