It’s no secret that vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet. Most of us could use a few more vegetables in our day. In fact, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) tells us only 1 out of 10 adults consume the recommended amount of vegetables. This is causing a lack of vitamins, minerals, and fiber in the diet which can create an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancers, and obesity. Functional nutrition requires a daily effort of increased vegetable intake for disease prevention and reversal. The problem can be squeezing all those vegetables into one day. And sometimes we just need some new ideas to help us. This post is dedicated to just that, recipes! Recipes that will make all those vegetable servings fit into your day!
Variety, Variety, Variety!
Aim for as much variety as possible when choosing vegetables. Eat a mix of different colors, leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, root vegetables, allium, and squashes.
Fresh Summer Veggies
Carrots, collard greens, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, peas, kale, mushrooms, okra, onions, peppers, spinach, summer squash, tomatoes, turnips, and zucchini.
Grill Your Veggies
Brussel and Beet Bobs
- 12 oz Brussels sprouts, halved
- 2 beets, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1 Tbs avocado oil
- 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tsp dried crushed rosemary
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
Heat grill to high. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss to coat. Thread brussels sprouts and beets onto skewers. Grill for 30 minutes, occasionally flipping.
Drink Your Veggies
Green “Juice” Smoothie
Get the taste of vegetable juice with all the fiber included. Vegetable juicing can have its benefits, but it eliminates all the good fiber naturally found in vegetables. Make this Green “Juice” Smoothie and enjoy the benefits of both!
- 1 handful cilantro
- 1 handful spinach
- 1 small cucumber
- 1/3 grapefruit, peeled
- 1 lemon, peeled, no need to seed
- 1/2 cup coconut water
- 1-2 cups water
Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.
Drink this smoothie with a meal or snack. It is a quick way to add more vegetables to your day but is not a balanced meal on its own.
Hide Your Veggies
It is so easy to hide extra vegetables in a homemade tomato sauce. Since you blend all the vegetables along with the tomato puree, you will never know they are there! Use this Saucy Veggies sauce as you would normally use any spaghetti sauce. Also try it poured over roasted vegetables, mixed into turkey meatloaf, stirred into scrambled eggs, or added to stuffed peppers.
- 10 oz bag frozen vegetable blend of onions, celery, and carrots, steamed
- 16 oz bag frozen butternut squash, steamed
- 2 – 15 oz cans tomato puree
- 1 handful fresh spinach
- 1/4 cup fresh basil
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 Tbs garlic powder
- Sea salt and pepper to taste.
Add vegetable mixture that has been steamed, tomato puree, fresh spinach, and fresh basil to a high powered blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour mixture into a large pan. Stir in oregano, thyme, and garlic powder. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce to low heat and cook covered 30-45 minutes, stirring often. Season with salt and pepper.
Shave Your Veggies
Zucchini and Cucumber Shaved Salad
- 1 zucchini, shaved
- 1 cucumber, shaved
- 1/2 cup green Sicilian olives
- Squeeze of lemon juice
- Drizzle of olive oil
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
Toss all ingredients in a large bowl and serve cold.
Roast Your Veggies
- 2 parsnips, chopped
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 1 sweet potato, cubed
- 2 turnips, ends removed, peeled, and chopped
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 can chickpeas
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 1 Tbs dried rosemary
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Chop all root vegetables the same size and combine them in a large bowl with remaining ingredients. Spread mixture evenly onto lined baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes.
Blend Your Veggies
Pesto always has room for extra green veggies! Try making homemade pesto with the addition of broccoli and spinach. It not only bulks up your servings, but it also bulks up your nutrients too. Enjoy pesto on top of pasta, zucchini noodles, roasted Brussels sprouts, mixed into a pasta salad, or used as a dip.
- 1 head of broccoli, chopped or 8 oz pre-chopped broccoli
- 1 cup spinach
- 1/2 cup packed fresh basil
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Juice from half a lemon
- Pinch of sea salt and black pepper
Steam broccoli until just tender, about 5-7 minutes. Remove broccoli from heat and place on paper towels. Pat broccoli dry with paper towels. Add broccoli, spinach, basil, garlic, pumpkin seeds, olive oil, lemon, salt, and pepper to blender or food processor. Blend until combined and smooth.
Good Morning, Veggies!
I often hear how difficult it is to add extra vegetables into the day. And I get it! One way is to start with the first meal of the day. Make a veggie omelet or egg cups, make a vegetable hash, add vegetables to porridge, stir in vegetables to pancakes or waffles, or throw some veggies in your morning smoothie. Let’s get you started adding vegetables to breakfast each morning!
Green Egg Breakfast Cups
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup arugula
- 6 cherry tomatoes, sliced
- 1/2 avocado
- 1/2 cup goat cheese
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- Sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin tin, a large muffin tin works best, by rubbing olive oil in each cup. Crack one egg into each muffin cup. Sprinkle each cup with nutmeg, sea salt, and pepper. Divide the arugula into each muffin cup. Divide the cherry tomatoes into each cup. Evenly distribute the goat cheese into each cup. Either bake with yolk whole or lightly whisk each cup with a fork. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for a few minutes before serving.
Carrot and Kale Hash
- 2 Tbs avocado oil
- 1 sweet potato, very thinly sliced and chopped
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 carrots, shredded
- 1 apple, cored and cubed
- 2 cups kale, stems removed and chopped
- Pinch of sea salt and black pepper
Add oil to large pot or skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add sweet potato, onion, carrots, and apple. Cook for 15 minutes or until tender, reducing to medium heat if needed. Add kale, seasonings, and a small drizzle of oil and cook for 5 more minutes.
Cauliflower Cooked Cereal
- 1/2 cup oat milk, or non-dairy milk
- 10 oz bag of frozen cauliflower rice
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 2 T oat bran
- 1/4 cup cashew butter
- 1 tsp cinnamon
Pour milk and cauliflower rice in a medium saucepan. Warm over medium heat for 5 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and allow for the mixture to come to a simmer, about 5-10 more minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in chia seeds, oat bran, cashew butter, and cinnamon.
Scoop into a bowl and eat as is or pour additional non-dairy milk over cereal. Top with berries, banana, coconut flakes, or nuts as desired. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator and enjoy cold or reheated.
Carrot Cake Pancakes
- 1 cup oats
- 3/4 cup non-dairy milk
- 1 banana
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 2 Tbs whole flax seed
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup pecans
- Coconut oil for cooking
Mix all ingredients in blender except pecans. Blend on low to begin and increase to high as ingredients are incorporated into the mixture. Scoop batter into a small bowl and stir in pecans. Heat skillet to low medium heat. Grease skillet with coconut oil. Scoop pancake batter onto hot skillet 1/4 cup at a time. Cook for a few minutes on each side. Makes 6-7 small pancakes. Serve with additional pecans and cinnamon sprinkled on top if desired.
FEEDING MAXWELL CHALLENGE
Try a new vegetable each week this month!
Have you ever had garlic scapes, bok choy, jicama, napa cabbage, rutabaga, rainbow chard, purple cauliflower, white asparagus, bamboo, or fiddlehead fern? I will be trying daikon radish, lotus root, dandelion greens, and celeriac!
For an extra boost of nutrients, consider adding a greens powder to your whole foods diet already chock-full of vegetables! We recommend Creating Health’s Green NRG Supplements.
Good Morning Greens!
- 1 cup non-dairy milk
- Handful of spinach
- 1/2 banana
- 1 scoop Espresso Green NRG Powder*
- 1/2 cup shredded zucchini
- 1 Tbs almond butter
- 1 Tbs flax seed
Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth.
The Food Initiative
Want to help spread the word about growing and eating more veggies? The Food Initiative allows you to locally experience the food system first hand. As a volunteer you can help support youth that grow organic seasonal produce and share it with the community through hunger relief organizations. Check out The Food Initiative here!
Gan, Y., Tong, X., Li, L., Cao, S., Yin, X., Gao, C., Herath, C., Li, W., Jin, Z., Chen, Y., & Lu, Z. (2015). “Consumption of fruit and vegetable and risk of coronary heart disease: a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies.” International Journal of Cardiology, 183, 129–137. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcard.2015.01.077
Lee-Kwan SH, Moore LV, Blanck HM, Harris DM, & Galuska D. (2015). “Disparities in State-Specific Adult Fruit and Vegetable Consumption — United States”. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2017, 66,1241–1247. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6645a1
US Department of Health and Human Services; US Department of Agriculture. (2015). 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th ed. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services; US Department of Agriculture. https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/
Feeding MaxWell nutrition emails are produced for informational purposes only and brought to you by MaxWell Clinic, LLC. The information is provided by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist that has been trained in providing dietary advice backed by nutritional science and research. The nutrition information is not to be construed as medical advice or medical nutrition therapy. The information is not to be used as individualized nutrition counseling or used to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any medical problems. The content of these emails should not be used as a substitute for medical treatment from your medical provider. Any information, examples, recipes, foods, or stories presented do not constitute a warranty, guarantee, or prediction regarding the outcome of the individual using the material. The reader is responsible for working with a qualified professional before beginning any new dietary program or plan. The writers and publishers of this nutrition information are not responsible for any adverse reactions, effect, or consequences resulting from the use of provided information, recipes, foods, or suggestions.
*Please speak with your doctor or medical provider before taking any supplement.