Eat Your Vegetables: 15 Tips for Veggie Haters
Try these easy ways to get more vegetables into your diet.
Eat More Vegetables Tip No. 9: Grill, baby, grill!
After you take your meat off the grill, why waste the hot coals? You'll be
amazed at how great grilled veggies taste. Before grilling, just brush veggies
lightly with canola or olive oil, light Italian dressing, or the same marinade
you're using for your meat (make sure to use marinade that hasn't touched the
raw meat). Large pieces can go straight onto the grill (portobello mushrooms,
zucchini halves, large pieces of eggplant, asparagus spears). String smaller
pieces onto a skewer for a veggie kabob.
Eat More Vegetables Tip No. 10: Know how to cook the stronger flavored veggies.
The strongest tasting (and smelling) vegetables are those in the cruciferous
family, along with some greens, and raw eggplant. Keep in mind that generally,
the longer you cook these veggies, the stronger their odor and flavor will be.
The exception is eggplant, which becomes milder with cooking.
Cruciferous vegetables include cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels
sprouts. Some research has found that people who dislike cruciferous vegetables
tend to have a sensitivity for tasting a substance known as PROP (a bitter
To cut the bitterness of these veggies, there a few tricks you can have up
your sleeve. Add a little olive oil (or other fat) when stir-frying or
sauteing; add something salty or sour (like a drizzle of light soy sauce,
balsamic vinegar, lemon, or shredded Parmesan); or glaze the vegetables with
something sweet (a small spoonful of honey or orange marmalade).
Eat More Vegetables Tip No. 11: Try them where you least expect them.
You might be surprised at how well vegetables can complement the featured
ingredients in many of your favorite foods. Roasted red pepper, roasted or
sun-dried tomato, and/or grilled eggplant all work well in hot or cold
sandwiches. Raw tomato, spinach leaves, fresh basil, grated carrots, sprouts,
sliced or grated zucchini, shredded cabbage (green or purple) go well in
sandwiches, wraps, and pitas. Add grated or finely chopped vegetables to meat
loaf, pasta fillings (such as manicotti), and fillings for Mexican entree
fillings like tacos, enchiladas, and flautas.
Eat More Vegetables Tip No. 12: Be sensitive to textural turn-offs.
If your experience is mostly with canned or overcooked vegetables, give them
a "fresh" start. You might be more willing to eat vegetables prepared
in more texturally pleasing ways (lightly cooked stir-fry veggies, raw veggies,
or veggies lightly cooked in a steamer or microwave, just to the point where
they're slightly tender but still have a nice crunch. Minimal cooking also
keeps the color is bright and appealing. Consider a bright green asparagus
spear, cooked just until crisp-tender. Then think about overcooked or canned
asparagus, which is beyond soft in texture and has an olive green color.