A post from Well Fed to remind us all that we are never too old to be reminded to eat our veggies...
It makes me giggle when I see paleo depicted as running around barefoot, gnawing on a rib in one hand and a rasher of bacon in the other. I’ve eaten more vegetables since adopting paleo than ever before in my life.
I eat more veggies than most of the vegetarians I know!
But that doesn’t mean getting in all the veggies just happens. I’ve got to be deliberate! Over the years, I’ve developed a few tricks that make it easier—and delicious—to get veggies at every meal. And if you need inspiration to expand your vegetable repertoire—you do have a vegetable repertoire, right?!—you might want to read my post Taste the Rainbow.
Now, on to my tricks…
1. A bed of baby spinach.
A few handfuls of baby spinach taste great under just about anything! Spinach is packed with iron, calcium, anti-oxidants, magnesium, and vitamins C, E, A, and K—and baby spinach tastes so mild, you’ll barely notice it under your food. Just place 1-2 cups of fresh leaves on a plate or bowl and top with whatever hot food you’re eating. The heat wilts the spinach to just the right degree. And bam! instant nutritional wallop. Try it under a stir fry, curry, chili, soup, stew, grilled meat… everything.
2. Smooth veggie soup.
Smooth veggie soups are my favorite because you can eat them from a bowl with a spoon, or sip from a mug—any time of day. (They’re really nice at breakfast in the winter!) I cook a batch of my Silky Gingered Zucchini Soupwith homemade bone broth every week, then we eat it as a first course at dinner every night. That’s some serious gut-healing and veggie power! My Golden Cauliflower Soup is also a creamy-smooth option. You might also try Stupid Easy Paleo’s Creamy Broccoli Soup from her brilliant The Performance Paleo Cookbook or Nom Nom Paleo Carrot Cardamom Soup from Nom Nom Paleo: Food For Humans.
3. Snack on raw veggies while you cook.
A bell pepper cut into strips, cucumber slices, some carrot sticks, a handful of snap peas… these are all awesome snacks to nosh on while you make a meal. Just wash and cut your favorite veggie as the first step in making your meal, then snack on it while you prepare your “real food.”
4. Salad for breakfast.
One of my favorite breakfasts is a cold plate of cooked protein—roast chicken, hard-boiled eggs, steamed shrimp, a can of kipper snacks or smoked oysters—arranged with raw veggies, nuts or coconut flakes, a few olives. If I’m feeling fancy, I whirl a batch of Sunshine Sauce for dipping. You might also try a bed of salad greens like spring mix or baby spinach topped with fried eggs (and bacon, for bonus points) and Zingy Ginger Dressing(which is also made of vegetables).
5. The Secret Ingredient in ground meat.
I discovered this trick while developing one of the recipes for our next cookbook, and it’s a winner! To add vegetables to your protein and make a comforting, tender pile of meat, add grated cauliflower to ground meat while you cook it. Just grate the cauliflower in the food processor like you would for cauliflower rice and set aside. Brown and season ground meat, any kind will do: beef, turkey, lamb, pork, bison. I like to season each pound of meat with 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic powder. When the meat is no longer pink, add the grated cauliflower, stir to combine, and sauté until the cauliflower is tender, about 5 minutes. Think about the exponential veggie power you can consume if you then plop that meat on top of baby spinach. BLAMMO!