Today is National Eat Your Veggies Day!
Here are some trendy ways to get more vegetables into your daily meals and snacks! There are a lot of veggie-based swaps for starchy carbohydrates, which is a great way to enjoy your favorites for fewer calories and more fiber, vitamins, and minerals!
Swap #1 – Try cauliflower rice instead of white rice!
Regular white rice can be bland, but it is a great “base” in lots of meals. Rice easily absorbs the flavors and spices of the dishes. Brown rice is a great alternative to processed white rice, but if you are looking to increase your veggies, try cauliflower rice! Lots of grocery stores sell it pre-riced in either the freezer or produce section, or you can make your own in a blender or food processor. Just like white rice, cauliflower, which is a relatively bland vegetable, easily takes on the flavors of the other ingredients to tie together the whole dish.
Recipe ideas? Use cauliflower rice in stuffed peppers, in a rice bowl topped with beans, veggies, and salsa, or blended up with some Greek yogurt, Parmesan cheese, and seasonings to make mashed potatoes.
Swap #2 – Try butternut squash instead of sweet potatoes!
Rich in vitamins, both sweet potatoes, and butternut squash are great to include in the diet. However, sweet potatoes are starchier, so they have more calories. So if you are looking to slash some calories but still get that great bite, this swap is for you!
Recipe ideas? Puréed for a sweet potato mash replacement, sliced and roasted for a make-shift French fry, or cubed, baked and sprinkled with ground cinnamon for a warmed treat.
Swap #3 – Try spiralized veggies instead of pasta!
While I am also an advocate for whole wheat pasta, which is a healthy carb high in fiber, it is also a food that is easily overeaten. Instead of making a traditional pasta with marinara sauce, try spiralizing zucchini, carrots, or squash for a vegetable-packed swap! These vegetables easily absorb the flavors of the sauce and make the dish extra delicious. Most grocery stores sell pre-spiralized veggies in the produce section, and you can also find some packaged frozen veggie spirals too!
Recipe ideas? Noodles with ground turkey and red sauce, noodles topped with a Greek yogurt alfredo sauce, or for an Asian dish, noodles with a peanut sauce and sliced chicken.
What’s your favorite way to incorporate more veggies?
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