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 the veggies eaten to see if I reached my 2-pound goal. (I’ve made it every month so far. I think I have a fear of failure!)
By popular demand, I also include nutrition facts for the day (calories, protein, etc.) at the end of the post.
Ready to dig in? Read on for fast, fresh ways to love your veggies!
Breakfast: Chocolate zucchini bake
Veggies consumed: 6.5 oz
- 1 medium zucchini (6.5 oz after trimming and grating)
While this chocolate zucchini breakfast bake-for-one tastes like chocolate cake, it’s actually a balanced breakfast. Gluten free, low fat, and vegan, it’s packed with fiber, iron, and protein to fuel your day. Yet it tastes amazing.
Another fun fact: Nearly all the moisture in this tasty cake comes from the whole zucchini it contains. (Yep, almost half a pound of grated zucchini!)
The best part, though? You can make this single-serve breakfast bake in 10 minutes. Including baking time, thanks to your microwave. Five minutes of prep, 5 minutes in the ‘wave, and boom! Done.
Lunch: Arugula salad with roasted butternut squash, red onion, and tahini drizzle
Veggies consumed: 7 oz
- 1 large handful arugula (1 oz)
- 1 large handful spring mix (1 oz)
- ~1 cup roasted butternut squash (3 oz)
- 6 wedges roasted red onion (2 oz)
Oh man, this salad was so good. The salty-sweetness of the roasted onion and butternut squash (recipe for roasted butternut squash with cumin here) was a lovely foil for spicy arugula and lightly tart tahini dressing. However, I think a dressing made with cashew butter and balsamic vinegar would have better complemented the sweetness of the veggies. Think I’ll play with this salad a little more, and if I get it just right, I’ll post that recipe too!
Note that while beans are a vegetable, I didn’t count them, because I considered them my high-protein food.
Snacks: Ants on a log, more roasted veggies, almond milk hot cocoa, and an apple
Veggies consumed: 11 oz
- 11 celery sticks (7 oz)
- 3 wedges roasted red onion (1 oz)
- ~1 cup roasted butternut squash (3 oz)
All these goodies were actually broken into two different afternoon snacks. (I was on my feet most of the day, and really hungry!)
Snack #1 was almond milk hot cocoa (not pictured) and ants on a log:
If aren’t familiar with ants on a log, brace yourself for awesomeness! They’re a great snack for kids (of all ages, apparently). My mom used to make them for my brother and me when we were little, and I was crazy about them. However, once I grew up I stopped making them—what a shame! They’re as good as they ever were.
Maybe it was making ghost bananas with chocolate sweet-potato dip that brought them to mind, I don’t know. But I’m really glad to have recovered them from my archives, so to speak.
Anyhow, to make ants on a log, normally you’d smear celery sticks (the “logs”) with peanut butter and perch raisin “ants” on top. However, since I try to keep my fat intake low to decrease breast pain, I made an experimental low-fat peanut butter with regular peanut butter and navy beans. (I saw the idea in one of the Happy Herbivore cookbooks.) The resulting peanutty spread was delicious! Yet another recipe I need to post.
Snack #2 was leftover roasted veggies—they are so addictive!—and an apple. (No pictures of either, but I think you know what those look like. 🙂 )
Dinner: Potato pizzas with veggie sausage, cucumber sticks
Veggies consumed: 1 lb 4 oz
- 8 cucumber sticks (8 oz)
- 1 russet potato (12 oz)
Eating veggies doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, I think it’s perfectly legit to cut up a cucumber and call it a side dish. So I did. 🙂
I also made one of my favorites—no-cheese pizza—but with a twist: I used potatoes for my crust.
While the pizza was fine, I should have sliced the potato thinner. Not only would I have had more surface area for sauce and toppings (the good stuff!), but these mini pizzas wouldn’t have been so overwhelmingly, well, potato-y.
Rating: 3/5 stars.
The gluten-free, no-meat, low-fat sausage, though? Yum! Yes, these Sol Cuisine Veggie Breakfast Patties contains soy, which I only tolerate in small amounts. But I only used a little, and it was so tasty I’ll definitely be using it again. (And they didn’t even pay me to say that!)
The final tally
Two-plus pounds, bada-boom, bada-bing! Just goes to show that with a little planning, eating lots of yummy veggies can be easier than you think.
As promised, here’s my nutrient breakdown for the day. Despite being meat-free, I got plenty of protein, along with kick-butt amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, calcium, and iron. Yay!
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…
Veggie on! 🙂
Shared on Healthy Vegan Fridays.