Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Change It Up Challenge: Going More Vegetarian, But Not


I don't know what started it, really--maybe it was the fact that we were eating greasy pizza a lot more often, or the fact that I couldn't remember the last time I'd had more than about 2 vegetables in a day. But whatever the cause was, the result was clear: I realized I needed to eat a lot more vegetables. Correction: WE needed to eat a lot more vegetables (this became painfully clear when Matt started keeping a food journal for one of his classes).

So last week, I set out with a goal: I was going to eat 35 servings of fruits and vegetables within the week. I know that's not that much--in fact, it's barely what's recommended. But that just goes to show you how bad we've been at this.

After setting out on this adventure, I realized a couple things: first, I need more ways [read: recipes] that use vegetables as one of the main ingredients. I never realized how many of our meals are based around straight protein and carbs until trying to do this challenge. Second, if beans counted as a vegetable (they don't, right?), we would be doing just fine. Third, I'm pretty sure we didn't *quite* meet the goal last week. I stopped counting after about Day 4, but the failure wasn't for lack of trying or motivation: it was because we kept running out of fresh fruits and vegetables, and I got sick of running to the store.

So, here are my queries that I hope you can help me answer:

-What is a good recipe that is mostly vegetable-based that works as a main meal besides salad?
-How can I incorporate more fresh produce into our diet without having to run to the store every few days? Or going vegetarian?
-Have you ever tried to increase the fresh produce into your diet? How did you do it?
-Once and for all: in what food category do beans fall? Can they please just count as a vegetable?

8 comments:

  1. i have zero advice for you. i'll just tell you that i need to do this exact same thing, but probably even more than you do. seriously. if you're that bad, imagine how bad we are. yikes.

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  2. This is something I've felt I needed to do in my family as well but have had the same struggles as you. I hope you get some wise inspired comments here that you will share so that I can get the advice as well!

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  3. Soups are my favorite for getting lots of veggies (minestrone is my fave, squash bisque, creamy cauliflower, etc). Also you could try a veggie stir fry, homemade vegetable burritos, paninis, or there are tons of quinoa recipes that have vegetables.

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  4. Since coming home from Cambodia we've really tried to eat healthy, so I probably have a bunch of recipies for you to try. I have a really good tomato basil bisque that's easy and really yummy, and I found a fabulous one for acorn squash quesadillas, and we leave out the cheese to make it more healthy and it's still yummy. I don't make the salsa that comes with it, I just use whatever we have around the house. I also have a really yummy sweet potato black bean burrito recipie I could e-mail you. They're all super easy and delish. I just meal plan and make sure I get all the veggies I need when I go shopping for the week.

    http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2008/10/acorn-squash-quesadillas-tomatillo-salsa/

    http://stolenmomentscooking.com/creamy-tomato-basil-bisque/

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  5. Try this one on a special night since it takes a little more work, but it turned out really good.
    http://www.marthastewart.com/355561/spaghetti-squash-turkey-meatballs

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  6. Torrie, I feel the same way. Do you have a steamer? I try to at least just pick a veggie and steam it with our dinner. I have been trying to mostly cook with chicken and fish instead of beef. My sister Bethany would make this thing during the summer where she would cook ravioli or just a little pasta and then a bunch of vegetables like zucchini, tomatoes, carrots, or whatever and put a little sauce over it. Delicious. Also, I don't know if beans are a vegetable, but it doesn't matter because they are super good for you! Full of protein and fiber but low in fat. So it's good that you are eating them a lot.

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  7. Good for you. After watching Forks Over Knives on Netflix (highly recommended) I started cooking a lot of plant-based meals. I only cook meat on Sundays and we eat very little dairy. I recommend doing bountiful baskets or a similar produce Co-op. That way you get a lot of produce for cheap and it's a good variety. Some of my favorite easy meals are veggie fajitas with mushrooms instead of meat, lentil tacos, baked sweet potatoes, vegetable or bean curry, and avocado sandwiches. There are tons of ideas all over the internet too. Good luck.

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  8. Oh and try green smoothies too. They are amazing and a great way to get a lot of fruit plus greens.

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Thanks so much for leaving a comment! I love reading your thoughts :)

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