“I want to be healthy, but I can’t have salads 24/7 for the rest of my life. I don’t even like vegetables!”
We feel you. Some of you might struggle to finish your side salad and maybe even avoid getting one, opting for the easier route of fries or rice. But it is important for us to fulfill our daily intake of vegetables to give our body the nutrients it requires.
This means a daily veggie intake of 2-3 cups for adults, and 1-2 cups for children. . It may sound like a lot for a veggie-hater but there are easy ways to consume your greens without putting on an ugly face. Just take a look below!
1. Smuggle greens into your smoothie
If you can’t chew it, drink it. Adding some greens into your usual healthy smoothie will not really change the flavour of your smoothie (just the colour) and you might even feel fuller longer. We have a list of yummy green smoothie recipes here that you could check out! Try adding some spinach, romaine lettuce, or if you have a big budget, kale into your next smoothie.
2. Make soup
Try making some Spinach soup with egg, it’s easy, packed with flavour and Popeye-approved! ABC soup can also provide your dose of vitamins. Carrots, onions, potatoes and tomatoes are cooked with some chicken or pork to make a hearty soup that even children will love.
3. Make veggie chips
Who knew that kale, broccoli, zucchini and other vegetables would make such awesome chips? It is also a great way to help veggie haters warm up to vegetables. To make these zucchini chips, you just need to slice the zucchini into thin slices, coat them in olive oil, put them on the baking sheet and sprinkle some salt and pepper before baking. This easy recipe might even convert you from your love for processed potato chips.
4. Saute greens with your proteins
This hoisin chicken with asian vegetables stir-fry is a great way to make your greens more tender and flavourful. If you want to slowly learn to like vegetables, a neat trick is to eat it together with the meat. Try placing a piece of chicken with a piece of vegetable and eating both in one mouthful. You’ll find that the chicken help camouflage the vegetable’s flavour, while the crunchy veg gives that mouthful a little extra texture.
5. Replace your carbs with greens
Bread, crackers, tortilla wraps, and rice are full of carbohydrates. If you are looking for a way to lower your carb intake, you can replace your usual carb accompaniment with some refreshing lettuce leaves. Just like how the Koreans wrap their barbecued meat with lettuce, you can wrap or use the leaves as cups for your meals like this Chicken Lettuce Cups. Instead of having this dish with rice, have it with lettuce for a low-carb alternative.
6. Include at least one green into your usual meals
Adding more greens into your pasta dishes will not only give it more colour and texture, it’ll also give you more nutrients! In this Healthy Garlic Shrimp Pasta, frozen broccoli and a mix of frozen vegetables are cooked with red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper before being mixed together with the cooked shrimps and pasta. This is one dish with a healthy kick thanks to the greens and the spicy red pepper flakes.
7. Have some greens for breakfast & brunch
Pancakes, waffles, omelettes and baked eggs are the few brunch dishes you can add some greens to without sabotaging its flavour. If you have a waffle maker at home, try this Savory Veggie Waffles recipe! Mix scallions, peppers, spinach, basil and cheese in the batter then pour some onto the waffle iron. You can have it with or without maple syrup. You can add some spinach, peppers and scallions into your omelettes and baked eggs as well.
8. Roast them greens
One of the best ways to make greens more attractive to the palate is to roast them. It’s super easy to do with minimal ingredients but the results are delish! This Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower dish will blow your mind! Just toss the florets with some onions, garlic cloves, thyme and olive oil and bake until slightly cooked then top with some Parmesan cheese and bake again until cheese has melted. Cauliflower may not look green like its popular cousin, broccoli, but it packs a big amount of nutrients as it is part of the cruciferous family too.
You don’t have to buy a lot of vegetables that you don’t like just for the sake of being healthy. Why not try finding your gateway vegetable, the first green that you like. It could be kangkung and that’s a good start because it’s cheap and it is easy to cook too. From there, you can slowly open up to try other vegetables and before you know it, you can’t live without your greens!