Vegetables Made Easy
With the new and improved Canada’s Food Guide Canadians are realizing they just don’t get enough vegetables and whole fruit in their diet. Need another reason to eat that carrot?
Eating more vegetables and fruit will help increase your intake of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which can help improve immune function and reduce your risk for cancer and heart disease.
Eating more fruits and vegetables will increase fiber intake which can help promote weight loss, reduce constipation, improve digestion and fuel those good bacteria in your gut.
Here are some ready to use convenience vegetables from the grocery store. Simplify and save time with these super nutritious vegetable ideas.
- Zoodles! Try zucchini noodles in place of pasta. Sautee the zucchini in olive oil or steam and top it with a prepared tomato-based pasta sauce. Just heat and serve.
- Love rice? Try cauliflower rice in place of regular rice. Try steaming cauliflower rice and top it with your favourite chickpea curry or butter chicken
- Nourish Bowls. There are so many flavours to choose from. Try the Butternut Kale Risotto or the Cauli Rice Curry. Just take off the plastic seal, cover with a plate and microwave on high for 3 minutes, add the pouch of flavouring and serve. Eat it for lunch as a meal or serve it as a side dish for the whole family.
- Smoothies. Buy a bag of frozen blueberries, frozen sweet potato and frozen spinach. Blend ½ a cup of each with a frozen banana and 1 cup milk or almond milk and enjoy. That smoothie will give you 4 servings and fruit and vegetables so you can easily save half for snack later.
- Vegetable Soups. There are loads of prepared soups on the market. Look for one that is low in saturated fat (less than 5% DV on the food label), low in sodium and contains vegetables as the first ingredient. Happy Planet fresh soups and Pacific Organics tomato and roasted red pepper are delicious ways to add vegetables to lunch or dinner.
- French Cut Green Beans. These are my go-to vegetable in a time crunch. Just steam and eat. To add flavour drizzle with peanut satay dressing or sesame oil and soy sauce.
- Frozen Root vegetables. Roast beets, squash, sweet potato with olive oil and sea salt in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes and voila!
- Bags of Slaw. This is the most nutritious salad you can eat. Try Mann’s Power Slaw with Brussels Sprouts and kale. Toss it with balsamic vinaigrette and add dried cranberries, apple slices and walnuts. Take it to go in a mason jar and save the rest for dinner.
- Washed baby salad greens. Toss spinach in an omelet or pasta sauce, add baby kale to soup or make a salad with spring greens and top with Broccoli Slaw by Mann’s.
- Pre-cut raw veggies. Use guacamole or salsa as a dip for even more veggies. Hummus is a great dip to add some protein and create a heartier snack.
The more convenient and simpler you make eating your vegetables, the easier it will be to achieve and stick to your goals. Keep ready to use vegetables in your fridge in full sight and put the highly processed unhealthy snacks out of sight and inconvenient. Set yourself up for success and remind yourself daily why it’s important to you.