30 Ways to eat more Veg­gies

LOOK­ING FOR CRE­ATIVE WAYS TO GET YOUR DAILY SERV­INGS? HERE’S A MONTH’S WORTH OF SIM­PLY DE­LI­CIOUS IDEAS

Better Nutrition - - N- VEMBER2017CONTENTS - BY LISA TURNER

If you’re sick of sautéed greens and salads, and want some more cre­ative ( and de­li­cious!) ways to get your daily serv­ings, just check out th­ese 30 sim­ple tips— some sneaky, some fancy— to get more veg­gies into your diet all month long.

In a re­cent re­port pub­lished in the In­ter­na­tional Jour­nal of Epi­demi­ol­ogy, re­searchers es­ti­mated that nearly 8 mil­lion pre­ma­ture deaths per year could be avoided if we ate 10 por­tions of fruits and veg­eta­bles a day. Fruit’s easy— but veg­eta­bles? Most of us strug­gle to eat even a cou­ple of serv­ings each day. If you’re sick of salads and sautéed greens, try th­ese 30 de­li­cious tips— some sneaky, some fancy— and boost your veg­gies all month long.

1 spinach. Make it su­per stealthy: com­bine 1 cup frozen cher­ries, 1 cup baby spinach or frozen spinach, 2 ta­ble­spoons co­coa pow­der, and 1 cup milk of your choice. Purée un­til smooth, and sweeten to taste with honey or agave. Or freeze in pop­si­cle molds for a su­per- nu­tri­tious frozen treat.

2 broc­coli. Play it small: finely chop flo­rets so the ag­gres­sive fla­vor blends bet­ter with other in­gre­di­ents. Process 1 cup of flo­rets in a food pro­ces­sor un­til very finely chopped, then add to ham­burg­ers, meat­balls, meat­loaf, or veg­gie burg­ers be­fore cook­ing. Add other finely chopped herbs, shred­ded car­rots, or ground flax seed for even more nutri­tion.

3 cau­li­flower. Play off its mild fla­vor and pale color: steam flo­rets till soft, then purée with milk of your choice to make a thick sauce. Sea­son with salt and pep­per, com­bine with shred­ded cheese, and cook over medium heat till melted and smooth. Use as a sauce for mac and cheese, or pour over cooked veg­eta­bles.

4 but­ter­nut squash. Use your noo­dle: in­vest in a spi­ral­izer and turn but­ter­nut squash into udon. Cook in veg­etable broth till ten­der, sea­son with Chi­nese five spice, and top with sautéed mush­rooms, shred­ded spinach, chopped green onions, and roasted peanuts. Or steam in wa­ter, then smother with pesto or tomato sauce and top with shaved Parme­san cheese. 5 col­lard greens. Wrap them up: re­move stems, blanch whole leaves in boil­ing wa­ter for two min­utes, and pat dry. Spread one leaf on a flat sur­face and stuff with cooked beans and rice or parsnip cous cous ( see No. 11), roll up, and driz­zle with roasted red pep­per sauce ( see No. 8).

6 car­rots. Fry them up: com­bine grated car­rots with eggs, flour, chopped green onions, and herbs, and fry as frit­ters. Add grated zuc­chini, parsnips, or chopped kale for even more nutri­tion. Serve with roasted red pep­per sauce or arugula pesto.

7 sweet pota­toes. Cap­i­tal­ize on their sweet, creamy

tex­ture: steam or bake un­til soft, then purée un­til smooth ( with or with­out skins). Add purée to pizza, pasta, or roasted red pep­per sauces. Make ex­tra sweet potato purée, and freeze - cup por­tions for easy, last- minute ad­di­tions to soups, cook­ies, and even smooth­ies.

8 red pep­pers. Get saucy: roast whole pep­pers over an open flame, or broil on a bak­ing sheet un­til charred on all sides. Cool briefly; re­move skin, stem, and seeds; and purée flesh with olive oil and gar­lic un­til smooth. Use as a sim­mer sauce for chicken or meat­balls, or pour over pasta or spi­ral­ized veg­etable noo­dles.

9 zuc­chini. Layer it up: cut large zuc­chini length­wise into thin strips, sprin­kle with salt to re­move ex­cess wa­ter, let stand for 15 min­utes, then pat dry and use in­stead of lasagna noo­dles. Or roll zuc­chini strips around meat, cheese, or ve­gan fill­ing, ar­range in a casse­role, smother with red pep­per sauce, and bake un­til bub­bly.

10 peas. Cel­e­brate the bril­liant color: purée cooked fresh peas or thawed frozen peas with olive oil to make a thick paste, then stir into gua­camole to add vi­ta­mins, fiber, and a bright emer­ald hue. Other uses: add to pesto, stir into soups, or spread on toast.

11 parsnips. Turn them into cous

cous or rice: chop parsnips into chunks and process in a food pro­ces­sor un­til they re­sem­ble grains of rice. Com­bine with chopped toma­toes, diced cu­cum­bers, black olives, and vinai­grette for a cool salad, or sauté in co­conut oil with onions and curry pow­der for an easy side dish.

12 beets. Let them eat ( red vel­vet) cake: steam beets un­til soft, purée them with a lit­tle milk of your choice un­til smooth, then add to your fa­vorite choco­late cake mix. Bake, cool, and frost with cream cheese frost­ing or, for a ve­gan ver­sion, whipped vanilla co­conut milk.

13 let­tuce. Turn it into soup: coarsely chop Ro­maine or other let­tuce, com­bine with chopped pota­toes, onions, and broth, and cook un­til ten­der. Purée un­til smooth, and gar­nish with crème fraîche, puréed peas, or goat cheese crou­tons.

14 arugula. Show off its

spici­ness: in a blender, com­bine baby arugula leaves with olive oil, gar­lic, pine nuts, or chopped cashews, and a squeeze of lemon. ( Cut the spici­ness with basil, spinach, or pars­ley, if de­sired.) Purée un­til smooth, and driz­zle over pasta, or add vine­gar for a zesty vinai­grette.

Trans­form leaves into sa­vory

snacks: mas­sage kale leaves with a mix­ture of al­mond but­ter, olive oil, lime juice, honey, and a dash of cayenne pep­per. Spread on a bak­ing sheet in a sin­gle layer, and bake at 300° F for 35 min­utes, un­til crispy.

Get sloppy: finely chop egg­plant and mush­rooms in a food pro­ces­sor, then sauté in olive oil with onions, gar­lic, and jalapeño pep­pers; stir in ketchup, tomato sauce, or roasted red pep­per sauce, and serve on buns for a veg­gie al­ter­na­tive to Sloppy Joes.

Make ’ em with

ba­con: the smoky fla­vor is the per­fect foil for their pun­gent taste. Cook ba­con, turkey ba­con, or ve­gan ba­con un­til crispy. Trans­fer to a plate. Add shred­ded Brussels sprouts, chopped onions, and gar­lic to the same pan, and cook un­til lightly browned, 8– 10 min­utes. Top with ba­con, and serve.

Pair it with a bean- y

dip: the creamy tex­ture of this of­ten- over­looked cru­cifer blends beau­ti­fully with hum­mus and bean dips. Roast a rutabaga, purée with white beans, olive oil, and gar­lic, and gar­nish with pars­ley. Or com­bine with chick­peas, tahini, olive oil, and lemon, and purée for an an­tiox­i­dant- packed hum­mus.

Make a re­fresh­ing

mock­tail: peel cu­cum­bers and purée in a blender un­til smooth, then strain. Mix cu­cum­ber juice with lime juice, honey or agave, and sparkling wa­ter, and gar­nish with a slice of cu­cum­ber. Freeze them: toma­toes have a nat­u­ral sweet­ness and lovely color that makes them per­fect for a re­fresh­ing sor­bet. Sim­mer chopped toma­toes with tomato juice, un­re­fined cane sugar, and a few sprigs of basil for 30 min­utes; purée, strain, chill overnight, then process in an ice cream maker. Turn them into tacos: chop a va­ri­ety of mush­rooms and sauté in olive oil with red onions, gar­lic, jalapeño pep­pers, and cumin. Stir in cilantro, stuff mix­ture into taco shells, and top with Cotija or ve­gan cheese, salsa, gua­camole, and slaw. . But­ter them up: lightly cook­ing in but­ter soft­ens their ag­gres­sive fla­vor and brings out the nat­u­ral sweet­ness. Halve small radishes and sauté in melted but­ter un­til ten­der; toss with thyme leaves and coarse sea salt, and serve hot.

Stuff it: slice a yel­low sum­mer squash length­wise, scoop out the flesh, sauté with toma­toes, chopped greens, olives, and herbs, then stuff fill­ing back into the shell. Top with cheese, and bake un­til ten­der and melty. Turn it into a treat: add shred­ded cel­ery, grated ap­ples, raisins, and cin­na­mon to a ba­sic sugar cookie recipe. Or make a sor­bet: purée cel­ery, lime, and agave un­til smooth, then strain through a fine mesh strainer, and freeze in an ice cream maker ( if you have a juicer, start with cel­ery juice for eas­ier prep). Bun­dle them up: green beans are much more fun when they’re served in lit­tle pack­ets. Trim and steam green beans; dur­ing the last minute of cook­ing, add one bunch of green onions, green tops only. Tie one soft­ened green onion around a bun­dle of 8– 0 green beans; ar­range bun­dles on a plat­ter; and driz­zle with melted but­ter, pesto, or roasted red pep­per sauce.

Make it a milk

shake: in a blender, com­bine pump­kin purée with ice cream of your choice, ground cin­na­mon, ground nut­meg, and a pinch of clove. Purée un­til smooth and creamy; serve in tall glasses, and top with whipped cream or a driz­zle of caramel sauce. Sweeten them up: cube small, young turnips ( they’re milder in fla­vor), and sauté in melted but­ter or co­conut oil un­til just be­gin­ning to soften, then add maple syrup, salt, and black pep­per; cover and steam un­til ten­der, and serve with toasted wal­nuts.

Pickle it: shred red cab­bage and pack in a wide- mouth pint jar. Com­bine ½ cup wa­ter, ½ cup ap­ple cider vine­gar, and 3– 4 ta­ble­spoons sugar or honey in a small pot; heat and stir un­til sugar or honey are dis­solved; then pour over red cab­bage. Re­frig­er­ate overnight, and serve with tacos, burg­ers, or salads. Bake it up in a pie: it's a riff on tourte de

blettes, a clas­sic French tart pop­u­lar in Nice. Steam a large bunch of Swiss chard leaves un­til they’re just wilted; chop and com­bine with golden raisins soaked in brandy, pine nuts, cubed ap­ples, sugar, a cou­ple of eggs, and some mild cheese. Pour into a pas­try crust, top with an­other crust, and bake till golden.

Shave it: us­ing a sharp veg­etable peeler, shave thick as­para­gus stalks into long strips. Toss with minced shal­lots, red wine vine­gar, and olive oil, then add crum­bled ri­cotta salata or feta cheese. Top with ed­i­ble flow­ers for an el­e­gant touch.

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