Are you trying to eat more vegetables? You’re in the right place! Once a month I make it my mission to eat at least 2 pounds of vegetables in one day—and share the menu with you. I also tally up my veggies eaten to see if I reached my 2-pound goal.
By popular demand, I also include nutrition facts for the day at the end of the post. That includes protein, iron, and calcium, for people who wonder if vegans could possibly get enough. (Did I make it? You’ll have to read to the end to find out!)
This month is extra special, because you’ll see how to enjoy holiday favorites—all while working in loads of health-promoting vegetables.
Ready to dig in? Read on for fresh and festive ways to love your veggies!
Breakfast: Chocolate-zucchini oatmeal with berries and melon
- 1 cup grated zucchini (5 oz)
- 1 handful of spinach (1 oz)
I figured since my chocolate-zucchini breakfast mug cake was so delicious, chocolate-zucchini oatmeal would be amazing too. Alas, though, it wasn’t. It was still good enough to eat, though—I mean, this is chocolate we’re talking about.
I rounded out my breakfast with a handful of fresh spinach, 1 cup of honeydew, and fresh raspberries from Costco. (I do some damage in their produce department!) I also threw in a tablespoon of chopped pecans for good measure.
Lunch: Sweet potato with sour not-cream and spinach salad
Veggies consumed: 13 oz
- 2 handfuls spinach (2 oz)
- 1 sweet potato (11 oz)
This lunch was quick, easy, and super tasty! I incorporated lots of my holiday favorites, yet it came together in less than 10 minutes. I baked the sweet potato in the microwave (6 minutes), then topped it simply—and deliciously—with vegan sour cream and cracked black pepper. I paired the tater with my spinach, cranberry, and pecan salad. It’s one of my all-time favorites, yet comes together in about 2 minutes. Since I splurged on the sour cream, I drizzled my salad with sweet fig vincotto vinegar instead of a heavier dressing. Yum, yum, yum!
Snack: Rosemary-pumpkin hummus with cauliflower, nut thins, and almond milk hot cocoa
Veggies consumed: 6 oz
- 2 handfuls cauliflower florets (4 oz)
Today was chock full of tasty snacks: cauliflower and nut thins (a low-fat, gluten-free cracker) dipped in my 5-minutes pumpkin hummus with rosemary, along with almond milk hot cocoa sweetened with Truvia. (Crackers and cocoa not shown.) I didn’t count the pumpkin or the beans in the hummus as part of my veggie tally, although I probably should have, because I had half a cup of it! Luckily the hummus low fat and oil free, so I could indulge and still stay on track.
I served the hummus and cauliflower on this cute plate that my mom got me for my birthday back in June:
How fun is that? Apparently I’m fresh and healthy! 😉
Dinner: Holiday quinoa loaf with clove-spiced date sauce, grain-free stuffing, green beans, and cranberry sauce
Veggies consumed: 1 lb 4 oz
- 1 ¼ c stuffing made of parsnips, carrots, onions, and mushrooms (5 oz)
- 1 ¼ c green beans (5 oz)
Man oh man, this was the best! We usually do Thanksgiving with my in-laws and Christmas with my extended family, so if I want to make a plant-based holiday meal, I have to make it for Jeff and me on a non-holiday weekend. Well, this was my dry run!
The holiday quinoa loaf was delicious, as always. I paired it with Megan’s grain-free stuffing from Detoxinista, which foregoes breadcrumbs for sweet-savory roasted parsnips, carrots, and onions, accented with sauteed mushrooms, fresh thyme, and rosemary. It’s really good—even my omnivore Dad loves it!
Also in the lineup: Lindsay’s cranberry sauce from Happy Herbivore. Simple and super tasty! Like all cooked cranberry sauce, though, it likes to jump out of the pot every now and then while it’s cooking. I highly recommend using a splatter screen if you make it.
Then I had some microwave-steamed green beans (so easy) with more fresh thyme to round out a tasty—and seriously veggie-rich—holiday meal.
I didn’t make a holiday dessert, because it was too much effort for just me and Jeff. (Plus, I’m not to be trusted with a pumpkin pie in the fridge, lol!) Instead I had a small handful of cashews and a cup of hot carob milk (not shown). No caffeine before bed for me these days, since I’m working on insomnia.
The final tally
Not only did I get in my two pounds, but I dabbled in all the vegetable groups: dark green, red & orange, starchy, and beans & peas (from beans in the quinoa loaf and hummus, even though I didn’t count them as part of my total). Just goes to show that with a little planning, eating lots of yummy veggies—and nourishing your body with the vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals they contain—is easier than you think.
As promised, here’s my nutrient breakdown for the day. Despite being meat-free, I got plenty of protein (my RDA is only 46 grams, and I got 57 without protein powders or fake meats). I also got oodles of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron. While 2000 calories is more than I normally eat, I still think this was pretty awesome for holiday eating! Not to mention chocolate for breakfast. 🙂
Of course, if you’re not used to eating lots of vegetables, it’s best to increase intake gradually to keep your insides happy. (Interestingly, eating more vegetables is linked to overall happiness as well.) However, if you have a health condition, it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor or dietitian before making big dietary changes. That said, just working in just one extra serving of veggies a day is good for most people. So if 2 pounds of vegetables isn’t your thing, know that every little bit helps.
Hope this has given you some ideas for working more veggies into your day…even during the holidays.
Veggie on! 🙂