Are you ready for day packed with delicious vegetables—with minimal effort? If so, this post is for you!
I’ll show you how to eat 2 pounds of yummy vegetables in 1 day with 10 minutes of prep time total. (How’s that for lazy?) I’ll also share 4 easy hacks for veggie-rich meals and snacks.
The inspiration for the “lazy” theme of this 2-pounds-of-vegetables-a-day challenge was the horrible cold I had while I was doing it. I barely felt like getting out of bed, much less cooking! So I had to come up with ways to eat veggies that required approximately zero work on my part. Luckily, I think I succeeded. (If you aren’t familiar with the 2-pound challenge, once a month I try to eat 2 pounds of vegetables in one day. It keeps me from falling into a food rut and spruces up my diet. I got the idea from Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s book Eat to Live, which I highly recommend.)
Ready for 4 lazy ways to eat 2 pounds of vegetables a day? Let’s eat!
(You can find my final pounds-and-ounces tally at the end of the post, along with nutrition facts.)
Hack #1: Blend, my friend
When it comes to eating vegetables, nothing is quite as easy as shoving them in a blender and pushing “on.” For breakfast, smoothies are the way to go, because when blended with fruit, sweetener, and almond milk, ho-hum veggies become dazzlingly delicious. For example, spinach gets all dressed up in this protein-packed blueberry muffin smoothie, while kale adds a kick to this wintry pear and orange smoothie. Other veggies that are great for smoothies: jicama, fresh cauliflower, and cucumber.
With a smoothie, you can easily score ¼ – 1 pound of veggies, and love every sip of it. Bonus: Kids love smoothies, too!
(Never made a green smoothie before? Check out How to Make a Green Smoothie in a Standard Blender and then try out on this Ridiculously Simple Green Smoothie Formula.)
Blending veggies works for lunch and dinner, too. Try a simple gazpacho or cucumber-avocado soup.
For the challenge, I experimented with a green smoothie bowl for breakfast. Not only was it delicious, but I racked up over half a pound of veggies in the process.
Breakfast: Chocolate zucchini smoothie bowl
- 2 oz pre-washed baby greens
- 6.5 oz zucchini
- 0.5 oz sunflower sprouts
The inspiration for this scrumptious smoothie bowl came from Heather at Hungry for Balance. Her recipe was delicious as written, but as we all do, I put my own spin on it. I used extra zucchini, a big handful of SuperGreens from Organic Girl, and Vega protein powder. I also swapped in some raspberries and added vanilla stevia extract and sunflower sprouts. I topped it all off with a dollop of almond milk yogurt and a sprinkle of cocoa powder.
Bonus: Not only was the smoothie bowl yummy, but it was perfect for my sore throat—cool and soothing. I also had a fresh fig (not pictured). I never miss them when they’re in season!
Hack #2: Assemble a no-chop salad (or make someone else do it)
Eating a meal-sized salad for lunch is a great way to get in your veggies. But we’re going for lazy, so be sure to leave the chopping to someone else! Preferably your significant other. (Kidding! sort of…) You can also buy pre-chopped vegetables and pre-washed greens to make prep a snap. Or, best of all, have someone else make the whole darned thing. SaladWorks, SweetGreen, and Chipotle all have filling, delicious salads for a reasonable price.
My challenge-day lunch was chopped salad, for which I did almost no chopping…
Lunch: Chopped salad with lemon-tahini dressing
- 16.5 oz (!) of salad veggies like romaine lettuce, tomato, etc.
The best part of this salad? I didn’t have to make it! Hubby Jeff took pity on my sick self and did nearly all the chopping for me. So all I had to do was toss and go. 🙂
I also had a small handful of cashews, a corn tortilla, and the rest of the almond yogurt from the morning.
Hack #3: Snack on a wrap
Keeping chopped vegetables, sprouts, and tortillas on hand means you’re never more than a minute away from a veggie-rich wrap. (Be sure to label your containers in the fridge at work to keep veggie burglars at bay! 😉 ) Just spread some hummus, light mayo, or mustard on a tortilla, then load on the veggies. For around 150 calories, you’ll end up with a satisfying snack that’ll tide you over ’til dinner—not to mention scoring you even more veggies!
Snack: Open-faced veggie mini-wrap
- 3 oz cucumber
- 1 oz sunflower sprouts
Around 3:30 I got ravenously hungry, so I warmed up another sprouted corn tortilla, hit it with some no-salt Dijon mustard, and threw in some cucumber and sunflower sprouts. Simple, tasty, and kept the nibbles at bay!
Hack #4: Order in and veg out
Ordering in gets a bad rap. Sure, it’s expensive, which makes it a treat at our house. But it doesn’t have to be a health disaster. In fact, it can actually be a painless way to work in more vegetables.
The trick? Stick to Asian food. Chinese, Japanese, and Thai cuisines all tend to place vegetables at the center of the plate, so they’re a great choice. Better yet, most Asian restaurants have a steamer, so you can ask to have your entree steamed and get the sauce on the side. Best of all, these restaurants tend to offer healthier plant-based protein options like tofu and edamame. Of course, if you’re gluten-free, be sure to check with the restaurant to see if they can accommodate you. Soy sauce typically contains wheat, and as always, cross-contamination can be an issue if you have celiac.
Dinner: Vegan sushi and vegetables
- 7 oz steamed mixed veggies (broccoli, carrots, snow peas)
- Veggies in sushi (didn’t count them in my tally)
This is Jeff’s and my go-to meal when we’re too busy or tired to cook. We call our local Chinese/Japanese delivery restaurant, Spring Garden, and order up. Specifically, we get brown rice sushi with cucumber, asparagus, avocado, pickled radish, pickled gourd, and plenty of ginger. On the side we order brown rice and plain steamed mixed veggies, which we dress up with a splash of tamari or cashew dipping sauce.
I had ¾ cup of rice beyond what’s shown in the picture, because I have a healthy appetite. 🙂
I met my 2-pound vegetable goal and then some. (Yay!)
Perhaps most importantly, though, I really enjoyed my food—and barely lifted a finger to make it!
For the curious, here are the nutrition stats for the day from MyFitnessPal, which is easier to use but probably not quite as accurate as the database I use for nutrition facts for my recipes. These numbers provide a ballpark estimate only.
- Calories: 1548
- Carbohydrates: 238 g (60% of calories)
- Fat: 44 g (25% calories)
- Protein: 60 g (15% calories)
- Fiber: 41 g
- Vitamin A: 279%
- Vitamin C: 621%
- Calcium: 88%
- Iron: 114%
While I actually got too much protein (I only need about 50g per day), I still did really well—no multivitamin needed! Behold, the power of vegetables.
Eat more veggies every day the awesome lazy person way
As you can see, eating lots of vegetables is easy as 1-2-3(-4):
- Whiz up a smoothie
- Make someone else make you a salad 😉
- Snack on a veggie wrap
- Order smart take-out
Follow these simple steps, and you too can eat 2 pounds of veggies a day the easy way!
(Of course, if you’re not used to eating lots of vegetables, increase intake gradually to keep your insides happy. And if you have a health condition, do tell your doctor about changes to your diet.)
That said, every little bit helps. So if 2 pounds of vegetables a day isn’t your thing, try shooting for one extra serving. Your body will love you for it!
- What’s your favorite way to work more veggies into your day?