Green is such a great color, it practically screams HEALTH dontcha think?
I’ve been craving veggies hardcore lately, maybe it’s because I’m still on the Whole30?!? Which makes it day Whole30 #day37 for me. Kind of a long time and I have been craving bold flavors without sacrificing a lot of free time! More on the Whole30 continued saga will be saved for another post when I’m ready to share more details of my life.
But for now I give you 22 additional ways to add those lovely little, healthful, plants into your diet! Scroll to the bottom for the Curry recipe!
Obvious, right? But let’s go beyond adding spinach and kale to make green smoothies and talk about other health-boosting options!
Steamed and then frozen cauliflower, butternut squash, sweet potato and pumpkin are all fantastic additions to smoothies. If you’re worried about adding these earthy flavors to your drinks, don’t worry, you’ll hardly taste them! They are, however, fantastic for adding volume and thickness to your creations!
My favorite smoothies start with 2 tbs. collagen peptides (Vital Proteins brand) + ¼ cup full fat coconut milk + ¼ cup water + 1 tbs chia seeds + 1 tsp. cinnamon + ½ cup frozen berries + 1 cup frozen veggies!
Delish combos include:
frozen pumpkin or squash + pumpkin pie spice + drizzle of maple syrup = fall in a cup!
frozen cauliflower + frozen berries + dairy-free yogurt (either homemade, post coming soon! or this brand) = creamy, dreamy summer treat!
frozen sweet potato + cacao powder + spinach = chocolate lovers dream!
#2 Spiralized Veggies
I talked about this a bit in my meal prep post, but spiralizing zucchini or sweet potatoes makes an amazing base for any tomato or cream-based sauce! Replacing pasta easily and adding a huge nutritional boost! I use a handheld one (this one) but there are much nicer, non-manual ones out there (like this one)!
Other options for creating spirals include butternut squash, carrots, beets and parsnips!
spiralized veggies + sauce + protein = win.
#3 Riced Veggies
So hot right now. Riced cauliflower? I’m convinced it’s one of the best things to happen this decade… Simulating grains of rice, this little swap boosts nutrients, cuts carbohydrate content and can add plenty of flavor!
Other veggies that are easy to rice into little pieces include broccoli, sweet potato and butternut squash.
Simply substitute where you would use normal rice such as in curry, fried rice, under salmon or by itself as a side!
#4 Veggie-Based Soups
Again, so easy!
By blending veggies such as butternut squash, beets or broccoli into a soup base the world is your oyster! Simply add shredded chicken or beef and top with some crunchy seeds on top and you have yourself a filling bowl of nutrients!
#5 Veggie Fritters
By swapping out regular white potatoes with sweet potatoes, plantains, zucchini or carrots you can make a vegetable pancake that will leave you feeling satisfied and energized!
One of my favorite recipes here by Steph of Stupid Easy Paleo. Just add veggies + coconut flour + egg + spices and fry those babies up!
#6 Sweet or Savory Pancakes/Waffles
Now I have your attention, right?! Waffles with vegetables? Easy peasy.
While there are hundreds of clean pancake and waffle recipes out there, my favorites involve sweet potato, pumpkin or squash combined with a little coconut flour, eggs and topped with pure maple syrup!
For a savory version, try shredded zucchini waffles topped with breakfast sausage and some sweetener free ketchup or hot sauce. Delish. Just like having a meat and veggie scramble!
#7 Green Wraps, Taco Shells and Hamburger “Buns”
Collard greens, romaine and butter lettuce are all perfect, easy, swaps for traditional food vessels.
Replacing sandwich bread with a collard green wrap adds a crunchy, feel good swap that’s perfect for holding hearty fillings such as chicken, tuna or egg salad! Watch a really great tutorial on wrapping here.
Try a grass-fed hamburger wrapped in a piece of butter lettuce topped with sauteed mushrooms and onions. Drool.
#8 Cauliflower Crust
Like pizza? Yeah, me too. But traditional crusts (even with gluten-free grains) leave me feeling less than my best and a little lethargic. Enter, the magically transformable cauliflower!
My crust recipe coming soon, but in the mean time, this one is great and crispy and can be topped with whatever combo you love the most.
For me, it’s gotta be prosciutto, fig, goat cheese and LOADS of arugula. Mmmm.
#9 Fries, All. The. Fries.
Think outside the white potato box! Practically any hearty vegetable can be made into a fry.
Sweet potatoes, butternut squash, acorn squash, parsnips, plantains, beets, taro (yucca), leeks, pumpkin and more can all be transformed easily by knife into the perfect crispy fry.
Simply preheat oven to 400°F, line a baking sheet with parchment paper, lay cut veggies down on tray (don’t crowd!) and roast 15-20 minutes each side, making sure to watch for browning.
#10 Vegetable Crackers or Toast
This one is a little less inventive but might be one of the easiest!
Think cut bell peppers, carrots, jicama, broccoli, cauliflower to dip into your favorite sauces like guacamole, salsa, homemade ranch, nut butters and more!
Slicing sweet potatoes or plantains thinly and topping with nut butter, bananas and honey as a traditional toast replacement gives long lasting morning energy without the quick carbohydrate crash. Seriously so many options for toast! Avocado, jelly, plain butter or ghee, the list goes on!
Just run the slices (about a quarter inch thick) through a toaster cycle a few times until cooked through and crispy and voila!
Boom. Veggie intake = level up.
#11 Mushroom Powder Seasoning (BONUS!)
No joke I put this on EVERYTHING! Chicken, yes. Roasted veggies, yes. Kale chips, yes.
It is so good. Dried porcini mushrooms combined with sea salt creates a perfect umami flavor that gives depth and comfort in every bite.
My recipe coming soon but in the meantime, this stuff is also magical.
For more benefits on mushrooms, head here.
Emerald Green Chicken Curry
(PALEO, GLUTEN-FREE, DAIRY-FREE, WHOLE30, 21DSD)
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES COOK TIME: 10 MINUTES
2 tbs. coconut oil
1 cup broccoli, stemmed and cut into florets
1 cup asparagus, in 1″ pieces, woody ends cut off
1 cup zucchini, quartered
1 cup mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
1 tsp. sea salt
2 cups shredded chicken, rotisserie or pre-made
1 – 14.5 oz can. full-fat coconut milk (I like this brand)
2 tbs. green curry paste (this brand)
2 tbs. collagen peptides (again, this brand!!)
1 tbs. fish sauce (this brand)
optional toppings: cilantro, mint, coconut aminos, tamari, soy sauce, sriracha, more lime, sprouts, pineapple, roasted peanuts, avocado, etc.
- Heat a large, deep saucepan over medium-high heat and add coconut oil.
- Once heated, add vegetables and salt and cook until slightly softened, ~7 minutes.
- Combine curry powder into coconut milk in bowl and pour over veggie mixture.
- Add chicken and stir to combine.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer to allow curry to thicken about ~5 minutes
- Squeeze in half a lime and add fish sauce and stir to combine.
- Serve and top with your choice of toppings!
Now you tell me! What are your favorite ways to sneak veggies in throughout the day? My all time favorite is a morning egg scramble with plenty of arugula!