5 Ways to Sneak Veggies into Any Meal

Everybody says that we could eat more vegetables in our diet. This may seem easy and simple to some, but difficult for others, especially among picky eaters. After becoming a vegetarian for a moment in time and experimenting in the kitchen, I found that adding vegetables to a meal not only bulks it up, but adds flavor and a boost of nutrition.

Here are a few simple ideas of how to incorporate more veggies into your meals:

  1. Eat veggies for breakfast! Add vegetables to omelets, frittatas, and alongside other egg dishes such as shakshuka.
  2. Add to your smoothie. Make it green by adding leafy greens such as kale, swiss chard, or spinach to your fruit smoothie. Add carrots and beets to give your smoothie a vibrant color.
  3. Puree and add them to sauces. Getting bored of tomato sauce? Roasting hardy veggies such as cauliflower, butternut squash, and sweet potato gives a creamy texture to a sauce without adding heavy cream or dairy. You can always add a bit of cream or coconut milk if you’d like.
  4. Bake with them. Shave, grate, or puree veggies with a food processor and add to batter. Zucchinis, squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, and parsnips are great additions to baked goods. They don’t add too much flavor and can be delicious when paired with chocolate.
  5. Spiralize them. Spiralized veggies taste amazing in pasta dishes or salads. Get inspiralized here.

How do you like to add veggies in your meals? Would love to hear your ideas in the comments below!

-Jenn

5 Egg Recipes with 5 Ingredients or Less

Eggs are one of my favorite ingredients to work with as they are a blank canvas and can be cooked in several different ways. I always like to slap an egg or two on many of my weeknight meals as they are a cheap, filling, and healthy protein. One of my favorite meals to make is the Mediterranean dish, shakshuka- a spicy tomato sauce with poached eggs. I typically like to make this in the summer when ripe heirloom tomatoes are in season, therefore during the winter canned tomatoes do just fine. You can substitute the tomatoes with any seasonal veggies of your liking to this dish. Below is a traditional tomato-based shakshuka recipe. This recipe is not technically 5 ingredients or less, but it can be if you use a store-bought tomato sauce, but I usually prefer to make my own.

Shakshuka

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

shakshuka

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 white or yellow onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 green or red bell pepper, chopped

4 cups diced tomatoes or 2 cans diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons of tomato paste

1 teaspoon teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon za’tar

Pinch of cayenne (or more to taste)

Salt and pepper to taste

4-6 eggs

Directions:

1. Place a large skillet or pan on medium heat

2. Heat olive oil on the pan then add chopped onion and saute until translucent.

3. Add garlic and bell pepper. If using fresh tomatoes, add them

during this time. Continue to saute for 5 minutes or until softened.

4. Add spices and allow mixture to simmer over medium until well reduced. Taste and keep adding spices according to your liking.

5. Crack the eggs directly over the tomato sauce, giving them enough space. My suggestion is to place 4-5 around the edge of the pan and one in the center.

6. Cover the pan and allow mixture to simmer for 5-10 minutes or until eggs are cooked. Cook longer if you like your eggs more well done or less if you like them over easy. I prefer mine over easy so I can dip warm pita bread right into the silky yokes.

7. Enjoy by itself or with pita bread, Israeli couscous, and hummus!

 

Below are our four more egg recipes, cooked four different ways, with less than five main ingredients.

Sweet Potato Cakes with Poached Egg

Lemon Herb Egg Salad

Brussels Sprout and Egg Scramble

Butternut Squash Frittata with Sage and Gruyere

What are your favorite ways to cook eggs? I like mine over easy 🙂

Coconut Ginger Sweet Potato Soup

Sweet potatoes, oh how much I adore you. The nutrient-dense starchy root vegetable gets me through the rough winter with its sweet, yet tough skin. My favorite vegetable is great in soups, stews, or just simply roasted by itself. When cooking sweet potatoes, I like to keep it simple by using ingredients that will elevate its sweet, rich starchiness. The following recipe is quite adaptable as it would be great with other hardy vegetables such as butternut squash, pumpkin, or carrots.

Coconut Ginger Sweet Potato Soup:

Serves: 1-4 people

sweet potato soup ingredients.jpg

Ingredients:

3 medium sized sweet potatoes

1 sweet onion

1-2 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped

3-4 cups vegetable broth

1 can of coconut milk (optional)

1 tablespoon coconut oil

Salt to taste

  1. Place a large pot on the stove at medium heat.
  2. Chop and dice onion. Peel ginger root and dice. Chop sweet potatoes into 1/4 inch cubes.
  3. Add coconut oil to pot. Stir in onion until translucent. Add ginger and salt to taste. Cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add cubed sweet potatoes. Cook for a few minutes then add vegetable broth.
  5. Let pot come to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. After cooled, pour sweet potatoes with broth into a blender or food processor. If you have an immersion blender you could use that too. Add additional salt to taste.
  7. Blend until soup is silky smooth
  8. Stir in coconut milk if desired
  9. Eat!

sweet potato soup.jpg

I tasted the soup without the coconut milk and immediately fell in love with the rich velvety texture from the sweet potatoes and the nice bite from the ginger. Adding coconut milk would mellow out the spiciness from the ginger, so do so if you’d like or otherwise enjoy it on its own!

How do you like to cook with sweet potatoes? Let me know in the comments below!

-Jenn

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What’s in Season: February

 

It’s been a while since I last posted so I thought I would revamp my blog and give you some updates!

To summarize the last few months, I started grad school at NYU Steinhardt’s Food Studies program, said goodbye to Atlanta and hello to the Big Apple. Living in NYC has been an incredible experience so far as the city has no limits when it comes to food and culture.

As my second semester begins, I will be documenting my experiences through this blog along with ideas such as how to eat healthy on a student budget, urban gardening tips and tricks, and other things related to the local food community in NYC.

So to start off, here is a guide to what produce is in season in February. Although crops vary from season to season, this is a quick overview of what you might typically find at a NYC farmers market (most from storage) in the last month of winter.

What’s in Season in February:

  • Apples
  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Parsnips
  • Pears
  • Potatoes
  • Turnips
  • Winter Squash

A delicious way to enjoy these cold-hardy root vegetables is to roast them. Below is a recipe that is inspired by one of my favorite salads served at the cafe I work at in Chelsea. I love topping this salad off with an egg to make it more of a delicious and filling meal. I hope you become addicted to this as much as I do!

Roasted Vegetable Salad with Harissa Dressing

Serves 1-3 people

Ingredients:

-1 acorn squash

-1 head of cauliflower

-1 bunch of kale

-1 can of chickpeas (or 1/2 cup dried, soaked and boiled)

-1 red onion

-1/2 cup of almonds

-harissa powder (learn how to make the North African spice mix here)

-olive oil

-1 tbsp honey

-lemon juice

-salt to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400ÂşF. Prepare a large baking sheet by covering in foil.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the harissa, olive oil, honey, salt, and lemon juice. Set the marinade aside.
  3. Cut squash in half, scoop out seeds, and chop into 1/4 inch cubes. Cut the cauliflower into florets, and chop the onion into large sections. Place the vegetables and chickpeas on a baking sheet.
  4. Pour the harissa marinade over the vegetables and use your hands to toss until they are evenly coated.
  5. Roast the vegetables in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until tender and the edges have achieved a nice deep brown color.
  6. Meanwhile, prep kale by cutting stems off and chop leaves into small pieces. With your hands, massage the kale with olive oil and salt. Set aside in a bowl.
  7. After vegetables are done and cooled, toss with kale and almonds.
  8. Serve in bowls and enjoy!

roasted-veg

What is your favorite way to cook winter vegetables? Let me know in the comments below!

-Jenn

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