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But how do we get at least seven or more daily servings of vegetables and fruits that health experts recommend? Well, here are 21 creative food ideas on how you can do it!
Simply replace your usual meat or fish portion with a vegetable serving. Or invest in a good cookbook and dabble in the world of vegetarian cooking, in which recipes are developed specifically to make a filling, robust meal out of vegetables and whole grains.
How puréed roasted red capsicums seasoned with her bs and a bit of lemon juice, then drizzled over fish, sounds to you – gorgeous right?
Or why not puree butternut pumpkin with carrots, grated ginger and a bit of brown sugar for a delicious topping for chicken or turkey?
So you see, cooked vegetables are easily converted into sauces. It just takes a little ingenuity and a blender.
Cut hearty root vegetables such as parsnips, turnips, carrots, orange sweet potato (kumara) and onions into 3cm chunks and arrange in a single layer on a baking tray.
Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and fresh or dried herbs.
Roast in the oven at 230°C until soft, for about 45 minutes, turning once.
Potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli-just about any cooked (or leftover) vegetable can be made into a creamy, comforting soup.
Try this simple recipe :
1. In a medium saucepan, sauté 160g of finely chopped onion in 1 tablespoon of olive or canola oil until tender.
2. Combine the onion in a blender or food processor with cooked vegetables and purée the mixture until smooth.
3. Return the purée to the saucepan and thin it with stock or low-fat milk.
4. Simmer and season to taste.
Firstly, mix a large quantity of home-made or shop- bought tomato salsa with chopped raw vegetables such as yellow capsicum and zucchini.
Then, put salsa on everything, for example, you can use baked potatoes, rice, chicken breasts, sandwiches, eggs or even steak.
That’s right, salsa sauce is not just for tortilla chips as it’s so tasty and healthy that it can be used anytime and anywhere.
Not only will it help you to eat more vegetables, but there’ll be just a bit less room for the higher kilojoule items that follow.
A salade niçoise comes to mind: mixed greens, steamed green beans, boiled new potatoes, sliced hard-boiled egg and tuna drizzled with vinaigrette.
Pour a jar of low-salt prepared sauce in a pan and add green beans, peas, sweet corn, capsicum, mushrooms, tomatoes and more.
Like it chunky? Cut them into big pieces.
Like it fine i.e ‘don’t want to know they’re there?’ Grate or pure them with a bit of sauce in the blender before adding to the rest of the sauce.
Although they are higher in salt, vegetable juices provide the nutrition of a vegetable serving. However do note that no matter how much you drink, a vegetable juice drink still counts as only one portion.
Every time you want a clrocolate bar, eat a small box of raisins instead. Raisins are sweet and healthy, and small boxes contain just the right amount to fulfil the need for a sweet treat.
Do you know that one scoop of fruit sorbet contains up to one serving of fruit?