9 Foolproof Ways to Eat More Vegetables

7. Think all-in-one dishes

Veggies don’t have to be relegated to a side dish! Keep things quick and easy by choosing one-pot dishes and other meals that incorporate veggies right into the entree. Stir-fries, sautés, and pizzas are great options for this, where it’s easy to throw in whatever veggies you have on hand rather than having to prepare a second dish.

For a more fun, sneaky way to add extra veggies, marinara and other tomato-based sauces are also a great place to hide veggies; these types of sauces have such a strong flavor that you’ll hardly even notice additional veggies in your spaghetti, lasagna, or other pasta dishes. Veggies such as onions, mushrooms, carrots, bell peppers, and zucchini can be sautéed together before stirring in sauce, or you can steam or sauté the veggies and blend them into your sauce for a smooth result.

Similarly, we’ve featured “hidden veggies” in meals like Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese, which uses leftover butternut squash soup in the mac ‘n’ cheese sauce, and Grilled Chicken Skewers with Roasted Red Pepper and Eggplant Pesto Pasta, which blends roasted eggplant and red peppers into the pesto.

8. Plan veggies as snacks

Instead of loading up on chips, popcorn, or other salty snacks between meals, plan to keep veggie sticks in the fridge along with your favorite dip. Garlic hummus can’t be beat, but ranch dip, sour cream and onion dip, guacamole, blue cheese dip, and bean dip are all close seconds. For a fancier dip you can share with guests, consider making your own artichoke and spinach dip and eat some veggies with your veggies!

9. Know your prep times (and choose veggies accordingly)

Let’s be honest: Often veggies languish in the fridge because we don’t feel like making the effort to wash, peel, and/or chop them. When making your weekly meal plan, then, it’s important to choose veggies you’ll actually have time to prep and cook. In other words, save the time-intensive veggies, like butternut squash and sweet potatoes, for the weekends, and instead plan to throw together a quick side salad or other quick-to-prep veggie side while your meal is cooking. Buy a salad kit to keep this extra simple, or just get mixed greens or a head of lettuce, and toss on any additional veggies and other toppings you prefer. (For tips on making better salads, see our article on how to make salads fun.)

And be intentional about choosing other quick-prep veggies, like arugula and cherry tomatoes, to make on particularly busy nights. Staying aware of prep times may also mean buying pre-chopped veggies, whether fresh or frozen. Or you can get in the habit of prepping firmer, longer-lasting veggies first thing when you get home from the grocery store.


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