Around two-thirds of us are still not getting our five-a-day, which is a shame because it’s not that difficult to do. Without noticing it there’s some simple things that you can do to incorporate more vegetables into your diet. And that’s perfect, particularly if you’re cooking for a more reluctant vegetable eater.
How to increase vegetables in your diet
I’m going to show you four simple dishes that you can make to increase the vegetables in your diet. First we’re going to make cauliflower rice. Remove the leaves and then cut it into quarters and remove the large stalk so you just have the florets. Put them in the blender, whizz it up until it looks like rice.
Take them into a bowl and then microwave it for a few minutes until it’s nicely steamed. Mix it with some of your favourite herbs and that’s your cauliflower rice. Just serve it as you would rice, with curry or chilli, or your favourite stew.
It doesn’t need to be instead of rice, you can combine it with some standard rice just to bulk out your portion. Next we’re going to cook some pasta sauce which has some added vegetables to it. Every 80 grams you add is another portion.
So to a basic tomato sauce you can add carrots and courgettes. Just grate them finely and then add them in and cook them down, and you’ll hardly notice that they’re there. Serve it simply with some wholewheat pasta and garnish with some basil leaves.
As well as serving vegetables alongside your dips, you can have vegetables in the dips. Broad bean dip is a really good example of this. You take your broad beans and boil them for a couple of minutes. And then just pop them out of their skins and mix them. You can mix them with some low-fat cheese, reduced-fat mayonnaise, lemon zest and black pepper.
Whizz it all together or mash it if you don’t have a blender. And then serve that with some toasted wholewheat pitta bread and some extra vegetable sticks, if you really want to up your veg intake. Here we’ve served it alongside a beetroot hummus and a classic tomato salsa.
Potatoes don’t count as one of your five-a-day but by adding root vegetables like parsnips to them you can up your veg intake. So you take your parsnips and you cook them in the same pan as the potatoes.
Boil them until they’re soft and mashable and then drain them, add a little bit of 1% milk if you like and then mash them until they’re smooth.
Serve garnished with your favourite herb – we’ve used chives here. So there you have it – four simple ways to increase your vegetable intake, and you’ll hardly even notice. .