Improving your diet doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming. Check out my simple tips on how to increase your veggie intake while saving time in the kitchen!
As a dietitian and mother (who enjoys spending most of my time OUTSIDE of the kitchen), I am consistently trying to provide balanced, nutritious meals while spending as little time in the kitchen as possible. Since I started working outside the home this year, time is even more precious which is why I am thrilled to partner with Lean Cuisine to talk about how to increase vegetables without spending extra time in the kitchen.
If you’ve been around Chocolate Slopes for a while you know I try to focus on healthy meals, but I’m also about being realistic which includes taking shortcuts like combining food groups into easy one pan meals and using frozen and canned foods often. With that said, I thought I’d put together a list of how I focus on offering enough vegetables to my family without a lot of extra time involved.
1 – Offer raw vegetables as snacks and right before dinner.
I will buy an assortment of bell peppers over the weekend, chop them into slices and place them in the fridge. Then when it’s snack time or the kids are looking for something to snack on right before dinner, I’ll put the peppers out on the kitchen table (typically with hummus) so everyone can help themselves.
2 – Add extra vegetables to the main dish such as casseroles, chili, and pasta.
This might be a no-brainer but sometimes you don’t think to add extra veggies to dishes – like onions and bell peppers to red pasta sauce, extra vegetables in chili or spinach to pasta dishes.
3 – Choose more vegetarian meals as the main meal.
This might sound like a simple idea, but many people who are not vegetarian find it hard to make vegetarian meals because they are so used to serving a meat (as the protein) alongside vegetables and grains. Although I am not a vegetarian, I still enjoy vegetarian meals since they are not only nutritious, but are also a simple way to increase veggies besides just adding them as a side dish to main meals.
And vegetables are not only a good source of fiber, vitamins and minerals, but also protein. Products like the Lean Cuisine Origins line are all vegetarian (along with a few vegan meals) to help make eating more vegetables pretty simple and satisfying. I recently tried the Farmer’s Market Pizza from the Lean Cuisine Origins line that contains 14 grams of protein and pairs perfectly with a side salad. There are a ton of ideas using the #BalanceYourPlate educational program that shows simple ways to incorporate convenient foods while adding plenty of fruits and vegetables to your plate.
4- Make a variety of non-lettuce salads and serve them as a side dish to any meal.
5 – Order side salads at restaurants
Ordering a side salad before the main entree at a restaurant can give you at least two servings of vegetables.
If you’re looking for more inspiration and ways to incorporate frozen or refrigerated entrées into your meals, check out this Balance Your Plate link. I hope this list inspires you to add more veggies to your diet without stressing about it!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Lean Cuisine.
This How to Increase Your Veggie Intake While Saving Time in the Kitchen post first appeared on Chocolate Slopes.