March is National Nutrition Month (and this Wednesday is Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day!). It's a perfect time to celebrate delicious, nutrient-rich vegetables. Eating veggies helps fill you up, plus they're so tasty and provide vitamins and minerals that help keep you healthy. These dietitian tips to make vegetables taste better will have you wanting to whip up veggies at every single meal!
I love to prep shiitake and oyster mushrooms by sautéing them in low-sodium broth, then turning off the heat when most of the liquid is absorbed, If you let them sit a moment, the mushrooms drink up the remaining heat. Yum!
I wanted to gather even more delicious veggie ideas for you, so I asked ten of my dietitian colleagues to share their best tips for eating veggies. I hope these inspire you for some healthy cooking this week!
1. Roast ‘em.
“I love my veggies a bit on the scorched side—roasting at a high heat brings out their natural sweetness. I cut all types of veggies in similar sizes. I add a handful of nuts for some crunch, some Turkish or Moroccan seasoning, paprika, and avocado oil. Roast at 450° F for around 40 minutes. But keep on eye on them, and turn veggies as necessary.”
—Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, author of Read It Before You Eat It
2. Sautée ‘em.
“I love veggies sautéed with marinara sauce! Add your favorite protein and some whole-wheat or veggie noodles, and you have a complete meal.” See more healthy meal hacks to steal from dietitians.
—Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN, author of The Protein-Packed Breakfast Club
3. Steam ‘em.
“My go-to method for preparing veggies couldn’t get any easier—I simply steam them in a microwave, making sure not to overcook them and lose important nutrients. Since I like to make half my plate veggies at dinner, I don’t have to worry about adding too many extra calories; plus, there is always room for seconds.”
—Keri Gans, RDN, author of The Small Change Diet
4. Grill ‘em.
“With spring and summer approaching, my go-to is the grill. Grilled vegetables require minimal prep work and deliver a huge flavor, color, and nutritional boost to any grilled menu.” Get a list of 40-plus kitchen gadgets for healthy eating.
—Robin Plotkin, RD, nutrition blogger at RobinsBite.com
5. Puree ‘em.
“I love pureeing root vegetables like sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and pumpkin—and adding them to sauces, soups, and even smoothies for an extra nutrition punch!”
—Kara Lydon, RD, RYT, blogger at The Foodie Dietitian
6. Process ‘em.
“Change up the texture of vegetables that you eat often to avoid boredom. For example, instead of plain steamed cauliflower, I steam a cut-up head, then put it in the food processor with some milk and Parmesan cheese.” Check out the cooking tools that dietitians love.
—Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD, author of Expect the Best
7. Shred ‘em.
“Shred them in your food processor so they become like grated carrots. Add these to your stir-fry pan with a little soy sauce, rice vinegar, and powdered peanut butter, and bam—you have a tasty side that can double as an entree with some lentils on top!”
—Elizabeth Shaw, MS, RD, CLT, co-author of Fertility Foods Cookbook
8. Spiralize ‘em.
“I love spiralizing sweet potatoes and making my own hash browns for breakfast! Since they're cut so thin, the cooking time is decreased quite a bit so you have a delicious meal that much faster!”
—Angie Asche, MS, RD, owner of Eleat Sports Nutrition
9. Load ‘em on pizza.
“That's how I learned how to cook vegetables, back in my post-college days.” Get a list of 23 cheap, healthy, and quick meals.
—Elana Natker, MS, RD, owner of Sage Leaf Communications
10. Make ‘em into a salad.
“A lot of people who may not like cooked vegetables may like salads. So make the most of salads by including super nutrition veggies, like deep green leaves, radishes, avocado, tomatoes, broccoli, and more. A drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice tops it off beautifully.” Find out the best and worst salad bar toppings.
—Sharon Palmer, RDN, author of The Plant-Powered Diet
A version of this article originally appeared on WeightWatchers.com.
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