Whenever I talk to people about our diet (which somehow comes up in conversation a lot!) I often hear people say they would like to eat more vegetables, but don’t really know what to do with them. Though we are encouraged to eat “more,” (specifically a certain number of servings of vegetables every day), we are not really given much help in how to do that, and most people imagine their side of broccoli or side salad and don’t want to just have more of that.
Also, vegetables seem to take more time and effort to prepare. Who wants to spend all that time cutting and peeling vegetables after a busy day at work? And while it may be easy to find a nice recipe for special occasions, cooking with plants on a day to day basis can be hard.
In that past few years I have learned some simple ways of adding a lot of vegetables to my everyday meals. In fact, we have moved to meals with ONLY plants and enjoy our food so much more than we did when we ate meat and dairy. My method is this:
- Use ingredients with vegetables I have on hand to create recipes—rather than find recipes and buy ingredients.
- Cook veggies 1 or 2 times a week and use left overs in new ways.
- Use substitutes for meat, cheese, eggs and dairy
- Use sauces and spices to make food taste good
- Add legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds to add depth to the taste and texture, and to pack a nutritional punch.
I may disappoint some when it becomes clear that I am not very fancy about eating plant based meals.But the truth is, I don’t want to be fancy because I have learned that it has to be simple and easy to be able to make it work. My hope is that you will try some of these ideas and might consider making more of your meals where the vegetables are the main dish rather than the side.
If you would like to learn more on how to cook with this approach, visit the next few pages, and learn about buying and storing vegetables cutting and cooking, using cooked vegetable leftovers, spices and sauces and kids and picky eaters.