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21 Creative Ways to Eat More Fruits and Veggies (Including a Recipe!)

Hey everyone! I CANNOT believe it’s snowing yet again. Didn’t Maryland get the memo that it’s officially spring? Sometimes I think Maryland should change it’s name to Florida. Maybe that would help with all the crazy weather we’ve been having. Then again, maybe not. Florida has pretty erratic weather too.

bolognese 1 retouched I wanted to take one of these final cold days to make a hearty bolognese sauce that everyone would enjoy. If you recall one of my older posts about making a tomato sauce from scratch that’s loaded with vegetables, vitamins, and other antioxidants, this sauce dovetails a lot from my original recipe. I used the same process of sauteing carrots and celery, the pureeing this mixture with my high speed blender. The main differences here are that I did add some Parmesan cheese and loads of ground turkey.

The Importance of Fruits and Veggies

bolognese 2 retouched I like this sauce because not only is it easy to make, but it’s a great way to sneak vegetables into your diet. This is especially important for children or seniors who might not like certain veggies and fruits. I wrote about this in an article for Aging Care, but I wanted to elaborate more about adding fruits and veggies to your diet. Whether you’re got a picky child, an apathetic senior, or you simply don’t like the taste of fruits and veggies yourself, here are 21 (yes, 21) ways to sneak fruits and veggies into your diet that you probably wouldn’t think of.

Breakfast

  • Top cereal or oatmeal with sliced strawberries or bananas.
  • Mix blueberries into pancake, waffle, or muffin batter.
  • Instead of jam, mash super ripe raspberries and cherries to spread on your toast.
  • Blend fruits and veggies into a green smoothie.
  • Fold spinach and tomatoes into morning omelets.

Lunch

  • Add greens, tomato, onion, sprouts, cucumbers and any other veggies you like into a sandwich.
  • Serve raw vegetables sticks with hummus instead of chips and dip.
  • Make your own granola bars and fill them with dried fruit and nuts instead of buying ones loaded with sugar and white flour.
  • Think outside the box! Bring a hearty, vegetable rich stew from the night before and heat it up over rice.
  • Wrap your tuna or egg salad in lettuce instead of bread.

Snacks

  • Serve apple slices or celery sticks with peanut/almond butter instead of chips and crackers.
  • Mix thawed frozen berries and a little granola into plain yogurt for a creamy parfait.
  • Serve nitrate-free deli meat on cucumber and bell pepper slices instead of crackers.
  • Top English muffin pizzas with mushrooms, olives, bell peppers, and onion instead of just tomato sauce and extra cheese.
  • Microwave a banana for 15 seconds. Top with a tablespoon of dark chocolate chips.

Dinner

  • Grate carrots or zucchini into turkey burgers or meatloaf for an extra moist patty.
  • Add a side salad to your meal every night. I know it sounds boring, but just do it.
  • Sneak vegetables like mushrooms and peppers into tomato sauces for extra vitamins.
  • Double the amount of vegetables you would normally put in casserole or baked pasta recipes.
  • Stuff bell peppers with ground meat and beans, then bake until peppers are tender.
  • Mix tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, and fresh herbs into quinoa or rice pilafs. For a sweet variation, try apples, pears, pumpkin, raisins, and cinnamon.

Try one from each category for each meal, and you’ll definitely be eating more fruits and vegetables than you’re accustomed to. And now, the real reason you visited WTAF: today’s recipe. bolognese 3 retouched

Print Recipe
Pureed Tomato Meat Sauce (Bolognese Style)
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Brown the turkey with a little salt, pepper, and a few tablespoons of water to taste. Drain and set aside.
  2. Saute the onion and garlic in a little olive oil. Add the carrots and celery. Cook on medium heat for 10-15 minutes until vegetables are starting to soften. Add half of the Italian seasoning mix and dried parsley.
  3. Add the crushed tomatoes and continue to let the vegetables cook for 45-60 minutes until softened. You might need to add 1/2 cup of water as needed to keep the sauce from getting too thick.
  4. When the vegetables are soft, puree the mixture in a high speed blender until smooth and creamy. The sauce shouldn't be too watery, but also not too thick.
  5. Pour the pureed sauce back into your original pot. Add the ground turkey/beef, Parmesan cheese, and remaining spices. Season with salt and pepper to your liking.
  6. Let the sauce simmer another 20-25 minutes until all flavors are combined. Serve with your favorite pasta or even crusty bread.
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