The other day, I was thinking I’ve never heard anyone say that eating vegetables is bad for you. Or that we really should be trying to eat less veg. Which is pretty remarkable.
When you think about how much debate and differing-of-opinion there is around healthy eating, it’s a relief to know that there’s one thing everyone (pretty much) agrees on.
Which brings me to…
The number 1 way to eat leaner AND healthier
Simple. Eat. More. Vegetables.
What’s the easiest way to eat more veg?
Wherever possible just replace the grain based foods you normally eat with vegetables. It’s that easy.
I’ve been eating this way for almost 2 years now and the more I do it, the easier and more fun it becomes!
Here are some ideas to inspire you to get more veg on…
11 healthy eat-more-veg ideas
1. cauliflower ‘couscous’
See recipe below. This is a new one for me. Basically you just grate or whizz raw cauliflower in a food processor then saute it in a little oil until soft. Use anywhere you’d normally serve cooked couscous.
2. sweet potato ‘polenta’
Instead of a puddle of oozy corn or maize based polenta, simmer chunks of sweet potato until tender then mash with milk and butter.
3. cauliflower ‘rice bubbles’ or ‘rice krispies’
There won’t be any ‘snap, crackle or pop’ but try finely chopping cauliflower and serving with your favourite yoghurt and some granola. One of my current favourite breakfasts.
4. lettuce wraps or ‘sandwiches’
Break free of you sandwich rut. Serve your favourite sandwich filling wrapped in crisp iceberg or cos lettuce leaves.
5. kale ‘chips’
Perfect for when you feel like a healthier salty snack than potato chips. Toss kale leaves in a little oil and bake on a tray for 10 minutes or until crisp. Also good with parmesan grated over.
6. zucchini ‘noodles’
Shave zucchini into ribbons using a vegetable peeler or mandoline. Layer on a baking tray with some oil and bake until soft – about 15 minutes. Serve anywhere you’d normally serve buttery noodles or pasta.
7. carrot ‘spaghetti’
Use your vegetable peeler to shave thin carotti ribbons. Simmer in boiling water, like pasta until just tender. Drain and serve with your favorite pasta sauce.
8. eggplant ‘lasagne’
The Greeks are all over this with their moussaka – replace pasta sheets in lasagne with grilled or pan-fried eggplant slices.
9. baby spinach ‘pasta’
Works best with hearty pasta sauces or ragus. Serve on a bed of baby spinach leaves. Much lighter than a big bowl of pasta and quicker too – no need to boil the pot.
10. shaved cabbage ‘vermicelli’ or ‘angel hair pasta’
A mandoline works best here. Shave white or savoy cabbage until you have your ‘vermicelli’. Serve with a stew or a pasta sauce. Or toss the shaved cabbage in a lemon juice and olive oil dressing with lashings of parmesan for a lovely main course salad.
11. cauliflower ‘rice’
An oldie but a goodie. I’m still amazed how well raw grated cauliflower works in place of steamed rice. Especially good for soaking up curry sauces. Much quicker than boiling rice and no need to worry about it going ‘gluggy’. The only downside is the extra washing up from the food processor.
Looking for more simple ideas to eat leaner and healthier?
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cauliflower ‘couscous’ with goats cheese
Cauliflower has to be one of the most underrated vegetables. Like its cousin broccoli, it’s chocked full of nutrients. But the lack of green colour means it doesn’t feel as ‘healthy’ as other greens. This can be a benefit though if you’re looking for a ‘stealth’ veggie.
2 onions, peeled & chopped
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 bunch coriander (cilantro), leaves picked
2 handfuls goats cheese
1. Soften onion with a little oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Stirring occasionally it will take between 5-10 minutes.
2. Grate cauliflower using your food processor. Or just whizz the cauli until very finely chopped.
3. When the onion is soft add cauli and coriander to the pan. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally until cauli is soft and starting to brown – about 5 minutes.
4. Season. Serve cauli topped with coriander and crumbled goats cheese.
vegan / dairy-free – replace goats cheese with avocado or roasted pine nuts.
budget – replace goats cheese with ricotta, yoghurt or cottage cheese.
carnivore – serve as a side dish to roast chicken, grilled chicken breasts or lamb cutlets.
green couscous – replace cauli with broccoli.
less serves – feel free to halve or quarter this recipe as needed.
video version of the recipe
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