How to Incorporate Veggies at Any MealBy Nicki Miller
Veggies — we know they’re good for us (and we should eat more of them), but sometimes it can be overwhelming to figure out creative ways to add them to your dinner plate, lunch box or breakfast bowl. That’s why we came up with this foolproof guide — to incorporate more veggies into every one of your meals, while adding more flavor to each bite. If you’re following the Jenny Craig program, rest assured — each one of these options can be incorporated into your plan!
Chances are you have your go-to ideas for working in veggies, such as using a bed of spinach for a base or cutting up some raw veggies to munch alongside a sandwich. These are all excellent choices! But this guide will help you branch out — to some often-overlooked veggies — and we’ll also give you ideas on how to prep them.
Are you having something sweet?
Roast some diced veggies such as carrots and turnips. Just give them a little spritz of cooking spray and cook in a 450-degree oven for about 20 minutes. Give the pan a shake and cook about 10 more minutes until they are browned. These are a more flavorful and perfect substitute for potatoes.
Are you having a sandwich?
Create a colorful salad to go alongside. In addition to your main bed of lettuce or spinach, add cucumber, cauliflower, baked summer squash or zucchini. Not only are these veggies ideal for extra fiber and nutrients, but they also add flavor to your standard salad.
Or something meaty?
Stuff a pepper or make a squash boat for whatever you’re making and not only will you amp up the presentation, but you’ll cleverly incorporate more veggies. If you go with a bell pepper, switch up the color depending on what you’re eating and your mood — red peppers tend to be the sweetest. To make a squash boat, slice a zucchini or summer squash lengthwise and scoop out some of the inner flesh — then bake face-down to desired softness.
Are you having soup?
Cauliflower rice, which you can find bagged at some stores instead of making it yourself, is versatile and tasty. Fry some up with a little cooking spray and some other veggies that go with your soup for a healthy “fried rice” side dish.
Caramelized onions are a unique combination of sweet and savory and go with just about any dish in this family of foods. But there’s no need to stop with onions. Add some chopped mushrooms and Brussels sprouts while cooking the onions — they will all respond well to a long time at low heat to get that caramelization.
Whatever you’re eating, adding more veggies to your plate is always a good idea. For more inspiration refer to our Fresh & Free Additions list, and don’t be afraid of trying something new. It may become one of your new favorites!
Are you looking for guidance to start eating healthier? Jenny Craig can help. Contact us for your free appointment to get started today.
Nicki is a journalist with expertise in healthy eating and exercise. She is the former editor-in-chief of Competitor Running and managing editor of Women's Running magazines and writes articles and crafts recipes for a variety of websites and publications. She also loves cycling, making music and is wild about cats, dogs and other animals.
Favorite healthy snack: anything with nut butter!