We all need to eat more fruits and vegetables! Did you know over 2/3rds of Americans don’t meet the recommendations for fruit and vegetable intake?! We typically throw away spoil fruits and vegetable two times a week on average, which translates into about $42 a week! I am not saying you need to sacrificing taste or flavor or have to eat salads at every meal, I’m hear to say “you can’t mess it up”! Just add in fruits and vegetables to any dish you’re making. No matter what the recipes says, you can always add fruits and vegetables to any dish to help bump up the nutrition. Include a variety of fresh, seasonal fruits and veggies in your meals. They tend to cost less and since they’re at their peak they tend to be more flavorful and nutrient-rich. Below are some simple ways to help bulk up your diet with more fruits and veggies.
1. Blend meat with mushrooms. The trend is to blend! Blend finely chopped mushrooms into any of your favorite ground meat dishes, like meatballs or meatloaf (I like to do about 50% meat 50% mushrooms). You’ll increase the amount of fiber, vitamins, and minerals in your meal while decreasing fat and calories. The finely chopped mushrooms blend so well with the ground meat that you’ll barely notice the difference. Plus, substituting mushrooms for meat is a smart choice for your wallet, too!
Try this delicious and festive Red, White and Blue “Stuffed” Burgers Recipe:
1-8 ounce container fresh mushrooms
1 red bell pepper
½ cup Mazola corn oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
3 teaspoons Weber Gourmet Burger Seasoning
4 oz. blue cheese crumbles
¼ cup fresh parsley, minced
1 ½ lbs. ground beef, 90% lean or greater
6 whole wheat burger buns
Make the Vegetable Filling:
Fast prep tip: You can marinate these veggies ahead of time and grill later, or instead of stuffing the burgers you can also mix in the filling throughout the patty.
Slice veggies and marinate in Mazola with balsamic vinegar, and seasoning for ~ 1 hr.
Remove veggies from marinade and discard remaining liquid.
Grill veggies in a vegetable grill basket on high heat until lightly charred, about 8-10 Minutes at 400 degrees. If you do not have a grill basket you can grill the veggies on foil, for 10-15 minutes.
Note: If you are not using a grill pan to sauté your veggies on the grill, make sure when cutting your veggies, leaving large enough to place on grill
Once mushrooms and peppers are grilled, dice and mix in blue cheese and parsley, and then set aside while you form meat patties.
Make the Burgers:
You’ll need to make two 2 oz. patties for each burger. Form 12-2 oz. patties (2 oz. ground beef is just a little larger than a golf ball).
For each burger, take one patty and top with 3 Tablespoons vegetable cheese mixture. Then place the second patty on top. Press together and pinch the ends to seal your burger so the filling can’t escape. You may also use a fork to help seal the two patties together.
Grill to your desired doneness, about 5-7 minutes on each side for medium well doneness.
Enjoy this flavorful burger hot off the grill on a hearty bun and toppings of your choice – lettuce, tomato, onion, etc.
2. Bust out the slow cooker
You really can’t beat a meal that cooks itself. The basic ingredients are protein (whatever kinds your family loves) and vegetables. Use water and herbs to add tons of flavor without a lot of sodium. Find an easy, delicious recipe you can follow like my General Tso’s Slow Cooker Chicken. The cost of making it at home is a fraction of what it costs to order take-out. My version costs about $13.00 and feeds 4 people whereas you’d pay that much for 1 entrée at a restaurant/for take out. Not only that, but you get to control the quality of ingredients that are used to prepare it. It’s a win-win!You really can’t beat a meal that cooks itself. The basic ingredients are protein (whatever kinds your family loves) and vegetables. Use water and herbs to add tons of flavor without a lot of sodium. Find an easy, delicious recipe you can follow like my . The cost of making it at home is a fraction of what it costs to order take-out. My version costs about $13.00 and feeds 4 people whereas you’d pay that much for 1 entrée at a restaurant/for take out. Not only that, but you get to control the quality of ingredients that are used to prepare it. It’s a win-win!
Photo From: ohsheglows.com
3. Add veggies to a DIY smoothie
If you’re not crazy about eating your greens, incorporating them into your smoothies is a great way to disguise them! It might sound weird, but you can use green vegetables like spinach, celery, and even kale and it can taste good! When you pair it with fruit like green apple or green grapes, it provide sweetness and I promise it does not taste like you are drinking veggies. This Peppermint Green Patty Green Monster Smoothie is kid-friendly and packed to the brim with deliciously minty and chocolatey flavor, with the added bonus of masking the spinach, you’re family will never know what hit them!
4. Go meatless burger
Don’t think you can have a meatless BBQ? Think again! Grilling isn’t just about meat, try adding something new to your barbecue spread. Veggie burgers can be made with chickpeas, black beans, white beans, potatoes, lentils, and pretty much any other vegetable that can be mashed and formed into a patty. Try this delicious Vegetarian Black Bean Burger recipe that’s perfect for your next gathering. This veggie burger is a crowd-pleaser that even your carnivore friends will love.
5. Pack in the Fruit
Fruit is an essential part of a healthy diet, delivering many essential vitamins and minerals, carbohydrates for energy and fiber for a healthy digestive tract. It makes for a smart snack, easy to drop in lunch bags or grab when on-the-go.
Take a break for some “afternoon energy” with portable good-for-you snacks, like blueberries! What’s easier than picking them up from the store and eating them right out of the container? Or you can make a portable snack ahead of time and bring it with you to work, like this Gluten-Free Spicy Blueberry trail mix.
Stay cool with this healthy and fun kiwifruit pops dessert to make with your kids. They are so simple and really something the whole family will love. It’s just diced kiwifruit and 100% pineapple juice. This cold snack is so much healthier for you than your typical summer frozen treat.
I’d love to hear your tips and tricks to eating more fruit and veggies! Feel free to share your comments and favorite recipes below!