Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Food & Recipes

Font Size

Eat Your Vegetables

Think you hate veggies? These tips could change your mind
By
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Expert Column

We know they're good for us. Just like it was yesterday, we can hear our mothers urging, "Eat your vegetables!" as we sat at the family dinner table. But growing up doesn't automatically turn us into vegetable lovers. To many of us, it still seems next to impossible to eat several servings of vegetables a day.

Still, there's no denying we need vegetables. They're rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and important phytochemicals, and they're generally low in calories. So what's a vegetable hater to do?

Here are some tips to get you on the road to enjoying vegetables. Just choose those you think will work for you:

  • Add veggies you almost like to dishes you already love. Layer zucchini slices into lasagna. Stir broccoli florets into macaroni and cheese. Toss tomatoes into an omelet. Slide peppers into a cheese quesadilla. You get the picture.
  • Try them in soup. Embellish your favorite soups with added veggies. Many commercial soups already contain a nice serving of vegetables. I love adding carrots to chicken noodle or fresh green beans to minestrone. Just add raw or frozen vegetables while you're heating or cooking the soup.
  • Tuck them into salads. Load your salads with as many raw veggies as you can: cucumber, grated carrots, zucchini, green beans, onions, radishes, jicama, tomato, etc. Or try spinach leaves instead of lettuce.
  • Serve them raw. Raw can bring out the best in vegetables that have a strong taste when cooked, such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, or spinach. And when you have some delicious low-fat dip in front of you, a platter of raw veggies seems to disappear. Use bottled light ranch or Italian dressing, or make your own.
  • Sneak them into spaghetti. Add finely chopped zucchini, mushroom, onions, eggplant, or yellow squash to spaghetti sauce. The smaller you chop them, the less likely you are to notice they're there.
  • Have fun! Certain vegetables are just more fun to eat than others. Try corn-on-the-cob wheels (slice cooked corn into 1-inch thick disks), fill celery sticks with peanut butter or light cream cheese, or enjoy a zucchini or bell pepper with a savory filling.
  • Drink up. Try V-8 or carrot juice. Or blend some carrot juice with a fruit juice you enjoy, such as orange or tangerine.
  • Pizza pizzazz. Top your pizza with any combination: tomato, onion, bell pepper, mushroom, zucchini, and artichoke hearts.

More Veggie Tips

  • Grill them. After the meat or fish is taken off the grill, why waste the hot coals? You might be surprised how great grilled veggies taste. You can probably use the same marinade you're using for your meat. (Just marinate the veggies separately, using marinade that hasn't touched the meat.) Make a kabob with chunks of vegetables (eggplant, carrot, bell pepper, mushrooms, zucchini, and other squash). Soft vegetables won't need precooking, but firm ones such as sweet potatoes will benefit from steaming or microwaving before they hit the grill.
  • Fast food vegetables. You can even get your vegetables at a fast-food chain -- as long as you like salads. Wendy's, for example, offers a Caesar side salad (with 70 calories and 4 g fat, not including dressing) or a side salad (35 calories, 0 g fat). Ask for the fat-free French, low-fat honey-mustard, or reduced-fat creamy ranch dressing. Use half the packet and you'll add about 50 calories and from 0 to 4 grams of fat.
  • When all else fails, there's always cheese sauce. Drizzle it over broccoli or cauliflower, and suddenly it's a whole different ball game. Here's a recipe for a lower-fat version.

Today on WebMD

Four spoons with mustards
What condiments are made of and how much to use.
salmon and spinach
How to get what you need.
 
grilled veggies
Easy ideas for dinner tonight.
Greek Salad
Health benefits, what you can eat and more.
 

WebMD Recipe Finder

Browse our collection of healthy, delicious recipes, from WebMD and Eating Well magazine.



bread
Recipes
soup
Recipes
 
roasted chicken
Recipes
grilled steak
Video
 
vegetarian sandwich
Recipes
fresh vegetables
Recipes
 
smoothie
fitArticle
Foods To Boost Mens Heath Slideshow
Slideshow