10 Delicious Ways to Work Vegetables into More of Your Meals
Grass fed and pasture raised meat and dairy are our bread and butter (pun intended), but we obviously work vegetables into our diet whenever possible to make sure we’re keeping the body balanced and enjoying natural food of the earth.
Being located in Pennsylvania, Summer has just arrived and we’re entering that time of year where local farms are bursting with fresh produce. The ability to access fresh and nutritious produce right in our backyard is a blessing and one of the reasons we launched our Produce Patch last year. We try to keep it stocked year round with at least some options (we source some organic citrus from down south) but it’s definitely most abundant from June through November. If you’ve made a habit of visiting that section of the store, you’ve probably noticed it’s evolution since earlier this year. At the moment, you’ll find cabbage, onions, cucumbers, potatoes, asparagus, beans, beets, rhubarb, radishes, greens, and more!
Sometimes it can feel a bit overwhelming here in PA when we’re in the high season but one of our favorite ways to make sure we’re receiving a recommended service of vegetables is to incorporate simple side dishes into our meals and/or add vegetables into the main dish even if the recipe doesn’t call for it. You can even dice vegetables or puree them if you’re trying to sneak them into someone’s meal who is not the biggest veggie fan (maybe your kids?).
Here are a few more tips and recipe ideas for incorporating more vegetables into your diet:
- Saute your vegetables until slightly tender in grass fed butter with thinly sliced garlic. Salt and pepper right after removing from the pan. Consider lightly sprinkling with your favorite cheese (or nutritional yeast if you can’t have/dislike dairy), then enjoy!
- Add vegetables to your breakfast! Get a head start and a healthy boost first thing in the morning. If you make a smoothie, add an extra handful of greens to your recipe or consider including beets, a highly nutritious vegetable.
- Use a KitchenAid or mandolin attachment, or a specialized device like the Spiralizer, to turn your vegetables, like zucchini and carrots, into noodles.
- Swap your wraps and bread for big, crunchy leaf lettuce.
- Try pairing your veggies with cottage cheese, yogurt, or a custom dip. You’ll find yourself reaching for veggies more when you’re in need of a snack.
- Make soup! It’s an incredibly simple way to incorporate a variety of vegetables into one delicious meal and it’s also economical if you opt to make extra and freeze or can some for the colder seasons.
- Shred your vegetables with a grater or blender (depending on the vegetable) and use them in place of rice or grains in your recipes. Cauliflower is best known for this method but the possibilities are really endless - carrots, broccoli, zucchini.
- Next time you’re packing ground beef, whether it be into meatloaf or burgers, consider adding in mashed vegetables. Carrots and mushrooms work particularly well for this.
- Make a homemade marinara sauce and don’t stop at potatoes. Carrots, onions, and even pumpkin can make delicious additions to a homemade sauce for your pasta and casserole dishes.
- Make them into fries. Potatoes aren’t the only vegetables worthy or a light breading and fry (or bake for a healthier option). Zucchini and green beans are both tasty options for this method.