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Topic: Need more veggies in daily diet, ...looking for new ways

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Subject: Need more veggies in daily diet, ...looking for new ways
Date Posted: 4/28/2011 1:03 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2009
Posts: 1,620
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I am looking to add more veggie variety and volume to our household diet.  If it were only me, I wouldn't have a problem making a meal of just different veg, since we did that at home before I was married.  Feeding them to my DH, however, is where I am struggling.  First, I should add, we are second shift, so our primary meal is breakfast, or lunch instead of breakfast.  I went to Israel when I was younger, and the breakfast buffets in the hotels always had a variety of salads offered.  I never really ventured into that offering, because I was more in the habit of muesli or oatmeal.  I was thinking of trying to come up with various recipes to use in that fashion.  I thought of maybe making a "coleslaw" more like a Waldorf salad using Greek yogurt, walnuts (or other nut), grapes or raisins, and the cabbage.  I am not sure yet if the cabbage flavor will be too over powering and just ruin the rest.  I would like recipes that incorporate maybe a little fruit, and not too heavy on the fat content. 

I am trying to be proactive in our diets because we have both put on weight over the last few years, and haven't reversed the trend, but the primary urgency is to stem off an eventual type 2 diabetes diagnosis for my husband (as my BIL just got).  It is in his family, and he has the body type, as well as having been careless with his eating habits so far. 

Some years back, when we were being more vigilant, we used to eat veggie omelets, but for whatever reason, he is off of omelets again, so that easy solution isn't possible.

Date Posted: 4/28/2011 4:35 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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Stir-fry is great, and you can tailor them to the veggies that you like.  I do mine with my own sauce that is very simple to make- chicken or veggie stock, a spalsh of soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and a bit of corn starch whisked in for thickening.  If you like it spicy, add some red pepper flakes.  Stir fry your veggies and meat, then add the sauce at the end.  Serve with rice or noodles- to make it healthier, use brown rice or whole wheat noodles.

Soup is also a great way to get lots of veggies.  Pureed soups are great for people not real fond of veggies, because they don't know exactly what they are eating.  Here's an easy one: pureed roasted veggie soup (or as I like to call it, clean out the crisper veggie soup).  Take whatever veggies you have on hand and peel and/or chop into pieces about 1x1 inch.  My favorites: carrots, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, parsnips, sweet potatoes, green beans, cherry tomatoes.  You can use whatever is on hand though.  If I have apples available, I will add one, peeled and chopped.  Toss on a baking sheet with a couple tbsp. olive oil or vegetable oil and roast at 375 for about 30 minutes, or until they begin to brown.  They don't have to be thoroughly cooked at this ponit.  Dump into a pot and add some broth to cover- you can use chicken or veggie broth, whatever is on hand.  Add a peeled and chopped potato to the pot and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.  Simmer until all veggies are tender.  Puree with a hand mixer or in a blender.  Yummy!  Try with croutons and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

I have been known to sneak veggies into other foods, such as chili or spagetti sauce.  Grated carrots, zuchinni, yellow squash, etc. are not even noticible, they just blend right in.  You can make a great lasagna using sauce that has lots of veggies added, and it won't taste any different than regular lasagna.

Take a tip from Subway- when you have a sandwich, load it up with veggies!  Use spinach instead of lettuce- it's so much healthier.  Add cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, pepper rings, and you have a great tasting and healthy sandwich.

Instead of omelettes, try quiche- it can be made ahead for a grab-and-go meal or snack.  I make mine crustless and use cottage cheese in order to avoid using lots of higher fat cheeses.  I also sub egg whites for some of the whole eggs to make it lighter, and add lots of veggies.  Technically it's probably more of an "egg bake" than quiche, but it 's still tasty and full of veggies.

Good luck!

Date Posted: 5/21/2011 6:56 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
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I have been trying to incorporate more veggies in my family's diet also and Lesley has some great ideas which I plan to use.

When a soup or "one pot" recipe calls for veggies I usually double the amounts.

I have also been purchasing a vegetable tray from the grocery store and setting it out while I'm making dinner. The kids and I snack from it and get in a serving or two of vegetables before dinner.

EC V. (ec)
Subject: Juicing
Date Posted: 9/8/2011 10:23 PM ET
Member Since: 2/9/2007
Posts: 6
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We've been studying Jay Kordich "The Juice Man" for the past two years. If you have a juice machine you can make fresh vegetable juice blends and incorporate more veggies in a single glass than most people eat all day. The live enzymes are so good for you. Typically I make for my DH each night: carrot, kale, spinach, parsley, celery. I add an apple to make it taste a bit sweeter. Makes about an 8 oz glass. It really makes a difference. Check out some of Jay's books.
EC V. (ec)
Subject: Juicing
Date Posted: 9/8/2011 10:23 PM ET
Member Since: 2/9/2007
Posts: 6
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We've been studying Jay Kordich "The Juice Man" for the past two years. If you have a juice machine you can make fresh vegetable juice blends and incorporate more veggies in a single glass than most people eat all day. The live enzymes are so good for you. Typically I make for my DH each night: carrot, kale, spinach, parsley, celery. I add an apple to make it taste a bit sweeter. Makes about an 8 oz glass. It really makes a difference. Check out some of Jay's books.
Date Posted: 9/9/2011 6:57 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2008
Posts: 67
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How about a sweet potato hash?  You could add a variety of different veggies to that.  Breakfast is my favorite meal.

Date Posted: 1/22/2012 7:24 PM ET
Member Since: 11/10/2011
Posts: 17
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You could always check raw food or vegan cookbooks...I have found great recipes from those cookbooks that are available at my local library.  :)

Date Posted: 1/23/2012 5:39 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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One thing you can do is change the shape of the veggie . . . . . instead of always making carrot sticks for the kids to find in the fridge after school, I used my Wearever salad maker to make ":carrot coins"....that is, I used the "waffler" cone to grind up the raw carrots, and then plunged them in ice water to crisp.  That way, a kid could take a bowlful of them and munch on them as though they were chips.   Sometimes, for salad, we would have "finger salad"---a radish rose, a green pepper rting, a coupla cucumber rounds, a carrot 'curl' or two, a celery stick, etc.  I put little salt cellars on the table when we did that.  If your family will eat hummus, strips of sweet red pepper are great for dipping in the hummus.

Last Edited on: 1/23/12 5:41 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 1/27/2012 5:17 PM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2011
Posts: 2,353
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Do you like a hot breakfast?  I do, and I am not really into traditional breakfast foods like cereal or sweet things.  I like to bake tomatoes stuffed with rice or bread crumbs topped off with cheese.  I also like portobello mushrooms (and guys think they taste like meat).  You could saute them with some onion, wrap it up in a tortilla with or without eggs and voila, a breakfast burrito with veggies.  Any of the winter squashes would work as breakfast too, especially butternut and acorn squash, just bake them then treat them just like a baked potato.

Great topic, BTW!!  Love to see how others might handle more breakfast ideas with veggies.

If you are trying to stave off diabetes, however, be careful with simple carbohydrates like fruit (moderation is the key).

Last Edited on: 1/27/12 5:19 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/19/2012 2:21 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,372
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Oatmeal makes a really good breakfast, and you can mix fruit into it.

I often increase the veggies and drop the meat content in casseroles.  Stir fries are good, too (fortunately my hubby likes to make them since I don't like any cooking that involves standing and stirring).

Beans are another good way to go.  I picked up a couple good bean cookbooks and they often are veggie-heavy even if they aren't vegetarian.   I often cook for a meat-preferring person, and he admitted the bean dishes were nice and hearty and usually acceptable. (Since it's an experimental group, usually acceptable is about the best we hope for. :))

Date Posted: 3/20/2012 11:25 AM ET
Member Since: 4/2/2006
Posts: 1,443
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Smoothies, add spinach or other greens, that plus a variety of fresh and/or frozen fruits are a good filler.  I will also tend to add tofu/ yogurt, peanut butter/ cocoa powder, flax meal, raw oatmeal, plus almond or coconut milk.   The peanut butter/cocoa poweder tends to hid the taste and color of the greens.


Date Posted: 5/10/2012 7:23 AM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2011
Posts: 1,662
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I made enchiladas with ground turkey - the recipe came from a fitness magazine. I shredded 2 zucchini in the meat. yummy.

Date Posted: 5/11/2012 4:29 PM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2007
Posts: 13,991
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If you like stir-fry, you can mix all those same veggies---almost any veggie---up with brown rice, or pasta, or any grain, and use a variety of sauces to change the flavors.

The quiche idea is also good, you can mix veggies with eggs and cheese.

Also (I did this when traveling) a small glass of V8 juice counts as one veggie serving. I used to drink 2-3 of those a day. As long as salt is not an issue for you, that was about the easiest way I ever found!

Barb S. (okbye) - ,
Date Posted: 5/11/2012 6:43 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2011
Posts: 5,767
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Low sodium V8 is awesome and I drink quite a bit of it. It tastes salty but it's not so when I have a craving on this low sodium diet I'm on I can have some V8 and take care of it. It's really low in calories too. 

I've been eating a lot of roasted root vegetables, potatoes, radishes, carrots, beets. It really brings out the sweetness and changes the flavor into something better. Just a little olive oil and whatever seasoning you like, I usually go with garlic, and there you go. Simple, low calorie and tasty. You can use a little low fat yogurt instead of sour cream as a condiment too. 

Date Posted: 5/20/2012 5:50 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2009
Posts: 8,022
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We put a lot of different vegetables in our "spaghetti" sauce, which gets used for other dishes throughout the week.  Peppers, onions, and garlic are the staples for us.  Squash, eggplant, and a lot of other things can be put into things like lasagna to liven it up.

Date Posted: 11/16/2012 8:30 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2012
Posts: 266
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Pumpkin Soup - I don't do the sage, I use the spices recommended for Libby's Famous Pumpkin Pie instead.  The guys love it.

Macarroni, Canned Diced Tomatoes, Carrots, Onions, Celery, Canned Peas and just enough browned hamburger that they think they are getting a meat dish. 

Veggie Croquettes

Baked Acorn Squash in a honey glaze.

Potato and Leek Soup

Quiches are wonderful as long as you can handle the amount of eggs.  If cholesterol is a problem you may want to limit the number of these you serves a week.

Good luck with your meal planning.  I love a meat and potato diet too but being diabetic I had to make some changes.