Veggin’ Out

Veggin’ Out

Rather than thinking about what to take away from your diet to make it healthier, start to think about what you can add in. It’s easy to add more veggies to your day. Try one of these tips each week and in no time at all you’ll be eating better.

  • Start your day right with scrambled eggs (or egg substitute) or an omelet and add in peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions or pico de gallo.
  • Add lettuce, tomato, avocado, onion, and cucumber to your sandwich. You’ll have a nice combination of protein and veggies.
  • Order a side salad or serving of vegetables in place of fries.
  • Keep chopped veggies ready to go so you can toss them in a salad, soup, eggs, or sandwich.
  • Have a veggie burger and top it with lettuce and tomato.
  • Dip ‘em in yummy hummus, guacamole or yogurt dip for a better-than-chips or crackers treat.
  • Swap baked or mashed sweet potatoes for white potatoes or fries.
  • Go for healthy fast food and buy pre-cut veggies. Bagged snap peas are a crunchy snack to eat by themselves or with a little dip for added zip.
  • Start a family tradition by going meatless on Mondays. Try new vegetarian options and include plenty of veggies.
  • Keep frozen vegetables on hand. They retain their nutrition with freezing and insure that you’ll have some good options on hand between shopping trips.
  • Peruse the internet for new vegetable recipes. Ummm…starting with the A’s I found asparagus artichoke salad, asparagus frittata, asparagus risotto, asparagus with hollandaise sauce, asparagus with lime and mint…..
  • For the non-vegetable-loving in your family, hide veggies by grating them before adding to foods.
  • Grilling vegetables with a spritz of olive oil and seasoning is a great option year round.
  • Vegetable soups are delicious hot or cold. In addition to tomato, cream of broccoli or vegetable soup, try pumpkin, chilled cucumber, gazpacho, or black bean soups.
  • Serve fresh veggies as an appetizer. One idea–tomatoes topped with fresh mozzarella cheese, fresh basil and balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
  • You can even drink your vegetables.
  • Vegetable Smoothie

¼ cup broccoli florets cooked and cooled
1 cup frozen mango chunks
1/2 cup carrot juice
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon Splenda

Blend all ingredients on high speed about 30 seconds or until smooth. Pour into glasses. Serve immediately. Makes 2 servings.

  • Double the amount of veggies called for in recipes.
  • Use summer squash in place of pasta. Link to:  (
  • Use spinach in place of lettuce for a nutrition powerhouse.
  • Add mushrooms, onion, peas, green beans or other veggies to marinara sauce.
  • Mix mashed cauliflower in with mashed potatoes, or use it as a substitute.
  • Bag up veggies for a grab and go snack; baby carrots, sugar snap peas, cherry tomatoes, and bell peppers work well and don’t even need dip.
  • Chili season is here. In place of ground meat, use vegetables.
  • Plan a garden for next year. Involve the entire family in the planning, planting and harvesting.
  • Make a breadless sandwich using leafy green wraps in place of the bread, and then fill it with veggies.
  • Fill half of your plate with vegetables. You will automatically increase your nutrient and fiber intake and decrease your caloric intake.
  • Try different kinds of fresh salsa and eat it frequently.
  • Canned pumpkin can be used as the basis for lots of delicious desserts. Link:

About Deb Hart

Deb Hart is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. For the last 28 years, she has been helping bariatric surgery patients reach their health and weight goals. She teaches people how to set up a lifestyle that supports a healthy weight. Deb set up her own lifestyle to include lots of long walks with her furry family members, workout classes at her local wellness center, meal prepping, and finding new ways to enjoy foods without added sugar.
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