Exploits welcomes Shelley MacDonald Beaulieu of One Roast Vegetable. She is helping people add veggies to their meals in fun and creative ways through her website and online cooking classes. I thought Shelley’s simple tips would be a great starting point for anyone trying to dine more compassionately. If you are already enjoying a plant based diet, pass it along to your veggie-phobic friends. Everyone has to start somewhere and Shelley offers practical information that you can incorporate into your life without a complete lifestyle upheaval. Creating change one meal at a time.
Thank you Shelley for sharing with us.
Nothing about vegetables says ‘eat me’
OK, it’s not a big secret. You know it and I know it. You’re supposed to be eating more vegetables. Probably lots more.
You’ve got your reasons. To keep your weight down, to prevent illness, to feel better.
So how are you doing with your plans to eat more veggies? Maybe you’re a bit like Carol in South Africa. She wrote me this lovely note:
“Thanks so much for this site, I can feel that I will soon be a veggie eater, I do not know why I do not like fruit and veg, it is not that I hate them but nothing says ‘eat them’. I am a bad example to my kids. I do want to see veg on my plate, but they remain on the plate.”
Here are my suggestions for Carol, and I’m sharing them here because maybe they’ll help you, too.
1. The easiest way to get more veggies into your diet, starting today, is to add them to things you already like to eat. If you’re making spaghetti sauce — add more than the usual amounts of mushrooms, peppers, celery, and onion. I also like cut up carrots in my spaghetti sauce. If you think the kids will freak out, you can grate the carrots first before adding.
If you’re making a sandwich — add a layer of veggies for crunch, like lettuce, bean sprouts, zucchini, or cucumber.
If you’re making homemade pizza — go easy on the pepperoni (or substitute crumbled cooked turkey sausage), and add more veggies than meat, like grilled peppers, onions, or eggplant. Even if you’re buying a frozen pizza, you can still add a layer of lightly cooked veggies on top before you pop it in the oven. Cooked broccoli cut into small pieces. Mushrooms lightly cooked with a bit of garlic and onion. [OK, now I'm getting hungry.]
2. Skip all the crummy lettuce salads you think you’re supposed to eat, and instead build-a-salad with a lean protein, chick peas, nuts, and dried cranberries.
3. Make my recipe for Roast Vegetable Salad [available here > www.OneRoastVegetable.com]. The onions and red pepper satisfy your sweet tooth, and the dressing has natural sugars (maple syrup). You could even roast a few extra veggies to put them on the pizza in #1 above…
4. Once you’re more comfortable adding veggies to things you’re already eating now, THEN you can slowly add some new “super-veggie” recipes to your weekly menu.
For example, you can make chili that is more beans and veggies, and less or no meat (like my recipe for ‘Almost’ Vegetarian Chili on the membership site “The Veggie Club”). Or you can try a new pasta recipe that has cheese and extra vegetables, like my recipe for Pasta St-Sauver with cherry tomatoes, onions, asparagus, and zucchini. You can try Homemade Vegetable Soup (that tastes better than Campbells), with the little chunks of carrots, potatoes, corn, celery, onion, lima beans, and alphabet pasta.
Well, I hope these ideas have been helpful — and that you can begin to experiment with squeezing more veggies into your meals starting today.
Shelley MacDonald Beaulieu
Owner & Head Tomato