I'll be back after a little summer break. I really hope that you have a wonderful summer and that you can enjoy it to the fullest.
As some of you may know, I started changing my diet about 7 years ago for health reasons. I was amazed at how much impact nutrition has on well-being and so my creative journey started in the kitchen. I've started to find ways for myself to eat my favorite chocolate, cake, ice cream or other things without using white sugar, white flour or any additives. I was amazed at how little effort it takes to create delicious and nutritious food, so it was my passion and mission to share it. With my creations, I want to inspire and motivate people to eat more nutritious foods and at the same time I want to show how delicious and easy it can be to conjure up something healthy and nutritious, not just for yourself; but for the whole family.
In today's blog post, I want to share ways you can incorporate more fruit and veg into your daily routine without spending a lot of time and effort.
1. Small Steps - Plan an extra meal around a vegetable
Going «cold-turkey» might work for a few, but I always say: small steps create big changes. If you start small, you get the ball rolling and so other small changes will automatically follow. In addition, you don't feel overwhelmed and can enjoy and celebrate the successes and stick with it in the long term.
One step that has personally helped me a lot is to plan a meal around a specific vegetable. For example, my kids and I are big fans of broccoli. So I almost always have it at home. Broccoli may sound a bit boring to some and only as a side dish, over time I got bored of eating it. So I got creative and thought about how I could also use broccoli. For example, I have already made broccoli / cauliflower casserole, broccoli almond salad or, as mentioned, I mix them with a wide variety of ingredients. I mix it into the tomato sauce that I cook with the pasta, I put it in a coconut curry that I cook with the rice or I put it in the soup that I cook, puree the whole thing or I bake it in the oven.
2. Smoothies - Mix and be creative
Personally, I start almost every day with a green smoothie. They are full of important nutrients and give me energy for the day. Smoothies are quick to make and you can be very creative with them. My kids love smoothies too. I often let them choose the ingredients and this makes them love and enjoy the smoothie even more afterwards. What are ingredients you like to eat? Pack them into your smoothie. If necessary, prepare your smoothie the night before, so the next day you can just open the fridge and have a healthy breakfast without any effort.
3. Plan around a specific plant
I already mentioned it in step 1, this step was a mindset change for me and helped me a lot in my own journey. I often base my meals around a vegetable or two. I try to shop seasonally as often as possible and I often go to the supermarket and see which vegetables are in season. I then build my dish around these vegetables.
Another way to include vegetables in a meal: STEW
I personally love stews, you can add all kinds of vegetables to them. Whatever the fridge has to offer. Stews are a perfect way to use up leftover vegetables. Simply add some vegetable stock and cook until soft, season with spices or use coconut milk or even tomato passata instead of the vegetable stock and cook everything nicely in a pot. Whatever your heart desires, rice, pasta, potatoes or even a salad goes with it.
4. Start with a small salad with your meal
In my opinion, this is the easiest, fastest way to eat more vegetables, especially in restaurants. Serve a small green salad as a starter and enjoy. Green leafy vegetables are very nutritious and provide the body with many important vitamins and nutrients. Just add some herbal vinegar or organic balsamic vinegar and virgin olive oil and you have a small, simple green salad with your meal.
5. Nourishing Salad Bowl - turn your salad into a full meal
Salad is often the starter, but what if you let it take the lead in the meal? Personally, I often make a delicious salad bowl, especially in summer. I use whatever the fridge has to offer. The basis is always green leafy vegetables, followed by tomatoes, corn, cucumber, carrots, pepperoni or even cooked vegetables of your choice. I like to use any leftovers from the day before to fill me up, such as some cooked rice, quinoa or pasta. I add these to my salad bowl, top them with seeds or nuts and a delicious sauce and my meal is ready.
I have attached a classic simple salad recipe for you. You can enjoy this as a side dish or spice it up with all your leftovers from the fridge.
Classic green salad with a light lemon vinaigrette and superfood topping
Ingredients (for 2 people):
- 120g lettuce
- 6-8 sprigs of chives
- 1/3 cucumber
- 2 tbsp hemp seeds
- a handful of goji berries
- ½ juice of a lemon
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 10ml water
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
Divide the washed salad between 2 plates. Wash the cucumber and cut into small pieces and arrange on the plates. Then wash the chives and chop very finely with a knife and sprinkle over the two plates. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce and pour over the two salads. For the superfood topping, optionally roast the hemp seeds in a frying pan. Then put the goji berries and the hemp seeds on the two salads and serve.
I wish you a lot of fun imitating the salad.
All the best