_So you want to add more vegetables to your meal plans but don’t want to go full vegetarian? That’s a great way to start and if you prefer to eat meat, it’s a great place to finish!
The best way I can share some of the easy ways to incorporate more vegetables into your diet is to share how I do it. There are web sites all over the place with ideas, but since you’ve landed here, I’ll be happy to share!
A good example would be my lunch today. My husband, a born meat and potatoes guy, isn’t too thrilled with no meat and I do eat fish, so today was a broiled salmon and a salad. The difference between his salad and mine is simple. He likes iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, a few slivers of carrots, and some black or green olives. Then he covers the whole thing in a fat-laden dressing. For the record, he’s only a teeny bit overweight and as healthy as a horse. I, on the other hand, have had high cholesterol, which after changing my lifestyle is now perfect, and to pump up my salad I added a few more ingredients. A word of warning here ... when you have multiple ingredients planned your salad can go from a reasonable size to a monster salad if you’re not careful! Since iceberg lettuce has little healthy benefits, I opted for fresh baby spinach, some fresh pineapple, grated apple (with the skin), shredded carrots, green and black olives, diced avocado, tomatoes, dried cranberries, a few currants, homemade whole wheat croutons and a tablespoon of Ken’s Lite Honey Mustard dressing. Park a beautifully broiled piece salmon and top and enjoy.
It was so filling but I didn’t find myself stuffed and with a tall glass of freshly brewed green tea with honey and lemon I was all set.
When I told a friend about my marvelous salad her response was a bit sad in my opinion. She said it sounded like too much trouble to be worth it. Really? I thought since when are YOU not worth it? I asked her why not and she said it was just easier to pop a box pizza in the oven. Do you feel that way, too? Are you worth the extra effort? I know I am but I have an added benefit - I love to cook and create beautiful and colorful dishes, and if you don’t ... well ... I’m not sure what I can say to change your mind!
Another favorite lunch (or dinner, if your prefer) is a stir-fry. The oriental stir-fry can be filled with some wonderful vegetables. Everything from marinated tofu (or shrimp or whatever protein you love), shredded cabbage, carrots, onion, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, bok choy (or celery if you can’t find bok choy), edamame, mushrooms, baby corn, the list is endless! If you don’t have a great stir-fry recipe is doesn’t get any easier than this:
In a large frying pan or wok, heat about 1 teaspoon of grapeseed oil or olive oil. Add the drained and marinated tofu (dice some firm tofu and marinate for thirty minutes in whatever seasoning you like - teriyaki, Bragg’s liquid aminos, soy sauce). Toss in the drained tofu and cook on high heat for about 3 minutes and remove from pan, setting aside.
Add whatever hard vegetables you have (carrots, celery, bok choy, onion, garlic) to your pan/wok and saute until almost done. Push aside and add the softer vegetables (bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, mushrooms, baby corn). Saute for two minutes or until almost done and push aside.
Add very soft vegetables - those needing to only be heated - (edamame, cabbage); push aside and add the shrimp and tofu. Stir to mix and pour stir-fry sauce over all and remove from the heat.
Serve over steamed brown rice and offer more Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or soy sauce.
Enjoy! There are so many variations one only has to have an imagination to succeed in stir-fry cooking. You can add rice to the recipe above and after mixing, add some beaten eggs for a fried rice variation.
The trick is keeping it heart healthy ... watch your oils and meats, double up on veggies and have a glass of iced green tea! It doesn’t get any better than this!
I am ...
... a former blogger for a health site, which means eating healthy aka heart smart
which has become a passion for me. I will start at the beginning when I first
discovered I had high cholesterol.