Welcome back to Flawed yet Functional! As a Type 1 Diabetic on the Autoimmune Protocol, I know a thing or three about eating vegetables. I eat them all day, every day, and at every meal. It is a hard transition from the standard American diet to one that is vegetable heavy. Would you like some tips to make it easier? I thought you might! Today, I’d like to share 5 tips to make cooking and eating vegetables easier.
First, we all know prep of vegetables (washing, peeling, chopping, smashing, dicing, etc.) takes a chunk of time. If you aren’t using sharp knives or are new to the kitchen, vegetable prep can take an eternity.
Spending a ton of time on something new that you aren’t even sure will taste good, well that’s just not very rewarding, is it?
Next time you are planning to use one type of vegetable more than once in a week, prep a bunch of it at one time. That way when you need it again, it’s washed, chopped, and ready to go into the dish!
- Chop broccoli heads into florets then store in air-tight containers in the fridge.
- Peel and dice sweet potatoes then store in meal-sized portions in the fridge.
- Peel, seed, and chop butternut squash then store in the fridge or even the freezer!
Use Frozen Vegetables
Second, make use of frozen vegetables. Frozen vegetables are picked closer to ripe than fresh produce and frozen immediately. They are still full of good nutrients and often have much of the prep done for you (washing, chopping, etc.)!
Next time you shop, take a gander down the frozen veggie aisle. You might be surprised by what you find! For the last two years, I’ve barely bought any frozen vegetables, so I was shocked by the variety I saw!
- Peeled, chopped butternut squash
- Riced cauliflower (kind of pricey at the local grocery but VERY reasonable at Costco)
- Organic vegetables near the same price as regular!
Last I checked, the frozen vegetable aisle was filled with corn, peas, and carrots! There’s so many more options now. Look for plain frozen vegetables, and use up these healthy, convenience foods!
Buy Bagged Vegetables
Third, take advantage of fresh but pre-prepped vegetables. One word of caution: these are likely high in chemicals to keep them fresh, but in a pinch, I would wash them well and use them!
- Broccoli florets ($6 for a 3 pound bag at Costco!)
- Julienne carrots – perfect for crock-pot curry!
- Salad mix – don’t salads look easy but take forever to make?
- Shredded cabbage – summer salads can be quick and easy!
Cook Extra for Leftovers
I know. I know. She’s talking about leftovers again!
If you want to save time at breakfast and lunch but still get those veggies in, then cook enough at dinner to have enough for the next day.
For me, there’s nothing easier then grabbing a container from the fridge and popping the veggies in the microwave or under the boiler for a quick, tasty addition to lunch.
Try New Ones (But Not Too Many!)
Finally, if you want to make cooking and eating vegetables easy, then eat a variety. We all get tired of the same foods, and veggies are no different.
However, some vegetables take new skills or practiced prep (artichokes, winter squash), so don’t fill your menu plan with new vegetables. Try one or two a week. Enough to keep your palette happy but not so much you are overwhelmed at the thought of cooking them all.
I love vegetables, and I hope you are inspired by some of these ideas to begin making vegetables a regular addition to your plate. While not always easy, eating a lot of vegetables is the right thing to do for your health. Try these 5 tips to make cooking and eating vegetables easier today!