Even for someone who's a fan of vegetables, I find that trying to eat enough feels more like a chore than it should. More often than not, I end up sticking with the same old green salad or roasted vegetable routine every day at lunch and dinner, which can get pretty boring.
So I reached out to a few food bloggers and writers who spend their days eating mostly vegetables for some tips on how to not only eat more vegetables, but also make it even more enjoyable to do so.
1. Keep your fridge stocked.
"You can’t eat the vegetables you don’t have," says Clotilde Dusoulier, of the food blog Chocolate & Zucchini. "I get a basket of vegetables delivered every Monday from a local producer, which means I start the week with a plentiful and varied supply of seasonal vegetables. My goal is to use it all up by Sunday night to make room for the new Monday delivery in my tiny Parisian fridge."
2. Try new veggies.
"I always get excited about tasting new and different varieties of produce," says Samin Nosrat, cook and food writer. "I recommend subscribing to a CSA as the simplest, most cost-effective way to get bumped out of your produce comfort zone. You'll get exposed to all sorts of new stuff over the course of a season or a year."
It's so easy to fall in a rut when it comes to what vegetables you buy. Instead, make an effort to try something new or simply something you rarely buy.
3. Make time for prep.
It's true that vegetables require a little more prep than, say, a big piece of steak, but if you can carve out a little time on a lazy weekend afternoon to get ahead of the prep, it will make using up the veggies during the busy week that much easier. "Prep, prep, prep. Whenever you have a little extra time, get ahead on the vegetable prep for the next meal or two. Perhaps it’s peeling and chopping the carrots, trimming the scallions, or washing and drying the spinach — anything you can do to make it easier and quicker for you to actually cook and eat those vegetables when you’re hungry and tired!" says Dusoulier.
4. Use your peeler.
Erin Gleeson, of the blog The Forest Feast and cookbook of the same name, is constantly thinking about how to up the veggie consumption in her house now that she has a toddler. "I love mixing ribbons of zucchini and carrots into pasta," she says. A vegetable peeler makes it easy to create long ribbons that mimic the shape of long pasta like linguine or fettuccine, so you'll find yourself twirling them both together in addictive bites.
Get the Recipe: Carrot Ribbon Fettuccine
5. Eat salad for breakfast.
Ditch the cereal and fill your morning bowl with veggies instead. "I'm all about salad for breakfast as a way to pack more vegetables into my day," says Nosrat. "I'm partial to light, crunchy lettuces like little gems and frisée, but it really doesn't matter. I start with whatever I've got and then pile on as many vegetables and crunchy things as I can before working in some smoked salmon or trout, or an eight-minute egg. I'm also partial to creamy dressings, such as yogurt dressing, tahini dressing, or miso-mustard dressing, and have found that having a jar of dressing ready to go in the fridge really makes the whole salad-for-breakfast thing a breeze."
A big salad like this not only jump-starts your daily vegetable consumption, but it's also hearty enough to keep you satisfied until lunch comes around.
6. Embrace cauliflower rice.
"Even my almost-2-year-old will eat it," exclaims Gleeson. If you haven't tried cauliflower rice yet, now's a great opportunity. Pulsing the florets in a food processor quickly turns them into rice-sized pieces that cook up to be as light and fluffy as the grain itself. It's super simple to make at home, but there's no shame in taking the easy way out, like Gleeson does. "I buy already-riced bags of it raw at Trader Joe's and stir-fry it with butter and olive oil, then mix in cooked orzo or quinoa and pine nuts to create a pilaf."
Get the Recipe: Fried Cauliflower Rice
7. When in doubt, spiralize it.
It doesn't look like the spiralizer trend is going anywhere, and that's not a bad thing, since it's an easy way to add excitement to veggies. "Eating carrots like this is way more fun," says Gleeson. Spiralizing zucchini, beets, carrots, and even broccoli stems turns them into long, twistable "noodles" that are definitely a crowd-pleaser.