Love Thy Vegetables

Quick Veggie Stir Fry Bowl
Quick Veggie Stir-Fry Bowl – 2 Guiding Stars

It’s probably cliché for a dietitian to say this, but vegetables could really use some more love. They provide key nutrients like vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber and most are low in calories. Those are enticing benefits to consumers for any food, and it’s why vegetables typically earn 3 Guiding Stars, as they are some of the best foods for us to eat. By eating enough vegetables (and fruits) as part of an overall healthy diet we can reduce the risk of many chronic diseases, like cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and obesity. Unfortunately, less than 10% of adults in the U.S. meet the recommended intake of 2 to 3 cups per day.

So why do most us eat fewer vegetables than the recommended amount? Barriers like cost, availability, access, and perceived lack of cooking time play a role. But many of us admit that within our means we could still do better. For this Nutritious Nudge, I want to share some recipes and strategies to fit more vegetables into our day.

Quick Veggie Stir Fry Bowl

Quick Veggie Stir-Fry Bowl

Two Guiding Stars iconTwo Guiding Stars indicate better nutritional value. Topping a quick stir-fry with an egg is a great way to make sure it’s a filling, satisfying meal. Any combination of vegetables you have on hand will pair nicely with your favorite hot sauce–use this recipe as a basic template to use up your leftover veggies nicely.

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Sweet & Sour Veggie Dumplings

Sweet & Sour Veggie Bites

One Guiding Stars iconOne Guiding Stars indicate good nutritional value. These dumplings are a wonderful vegan main course that eats similarly to classic sweet and sour meatballs. Serve them with a heaping pile of steamed veggies and brown rice for a well-rounded and scrumptious meal.

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Slow Cooker Vegetable Beef Soup

Slow Cooker Vegetable Beef Soup

One Guiding Stars iconOne Guiding Stars indicate good nutritional value. The flavorful secret of this soup is that the broth comes from the liquid of the canned tomatoes. Mix and match your favorite vegetables and herbs to tailor this healthy recipe to suit your family’s preferences.

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Warm Hummus Flatbreads

Warm Hummus Flatbreads

One Guiding Stars iconOne Guiding Stars indicate good nutritional value. You will love this variation on pizza any night of the week. If you’re looking for something fun and different, this recipe is perfect! Cook the veggies in a cast-iron skillet then throw it all in the oven to toast your breads and melt the cheese.

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Kale Pesto Pasta

Kale Pesto Pasta

Two Guiding Stars iconTwo Guiding Stars indicate better nutritional value. Pesto made with kale adds another delicious option for consuming this popular green. If kale isn’t your jam, reach for your favorite in-season green. Spinach would be mild in flavor. Arugula would offer a nutty spice. Beet greens would provide a pleasant parsley-like bitterness. The important thing is to enjoy more green, leafy vegetables.

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