With the year-end festivities just around the corner and the beginning of a new year in sight, it is the best time to start a healthier lifestyle.
By incorporating vegetables alongside your meat dishes this holiday, you can get a head start on improving your family’s health.
There are many intricate recipes that you can choose from when planning for the holiday feast, but here are some simple ones to get you started.
1. Prepare Vegetable-Based Soups
Soups can be as straightforward or as elaborate as you want, giving you many options for base ingredients. This holiday season, consider opting for a vegetable-based soup to change the usual gastronomic rhythm of your home.
Serving vegetable soup is among the best ways to eat different kinds of vegetables in one sitting, so take advantage of it by putting different varieties in your dish.
Also, make sure to put aromatic vegetables like onions and leeks for an enticing smell. Remember to make the base vegetables sweat to extract the rich flavor from them. While many prefer broth or cream, you may experiment with some vegetable puree for a more concentrated taste.
2. Serve Healthy Snack Platters
Charcuterie boards may sometimes be too overwhelming as they are overloaded with meat. You can adopt the same concept and serve vegetables instead.
Remember to pick vegetables that children can enjoy, such as carrots, bell peppers, celery, cauliflower, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes.
Salsa, yoghurt, guacamole, or salad dressing are great complimentary sauces that your family will surely enjoy.
You can also incorporate soft cheeses like brie to get savory flavors without additives, or get a fruit box delivered to add a bit of sweetness to your platter.
3. Make A Vegetable Dessert
Many might still be new to vegetable desserts, but they are certainly an effective way to get your family to eat healthier.
Many restaurants are pushing culinary boundaries by offering unconventional dishes like sweet artichoke and celery sorbet.
Additionally, some chefs create unique combinations of fruits and vegetables to arrive at addicting flavors.
You can also find many dessert recipes that hide vegetables in the batter. Add potatoes in cupcakes or zucchini in brownies.
Add corn to homemade shaved ice or put shred carrots into cookies. You can also add some vegetable puree into a batter for baking. Whichever clever technique you end up doing, remember to be creative!
4. Choose Vegetable Pasta
The holidays won’t be complete without pasta! You only need to make slight alterations to your traditional pasta dishes to make them even healthier by opting for vegetable-based pastas.
If you have a pasta-maker at home, you can substitute zucchini or spinach over conventional ingredients. Step it up a notch by replacing meat with eggplants, mushrooms, grape tomatoes, and basil. Mix them all up with a tomato-based sauce, and enjoy!
Choosing vegetables over meat for your pasta is an effective way to make sure you get the right nutrients in your body while cutting unnecessary calories.
5. Dabble In Meal Prepping
The holidays can make schedules busier than ever, which is why meal prepping can be a time-saver. Making ready-made meals at the start of the week can be beneficial when you are pressed for time for the rest of the week.
When preparing meals in advance, you can minimize the time you spend in the kitchen while also saving money. It also helps you manage the meal portions better.
Cooking on an everyday basis can be time-consuming and expensive, especially if your dishes are primarily meat-based.
By including vegetables in your weekly meal plan, you are saving a lot of time as they cook faster than other dishes.
Moreover, because eating healthy has a reputation for being expensive, meal prepping can also help you save cash by buying food in bulk. When you spend less time and money, you’re more likely to have vegetables often, even during the holidays.
6. Add Veggies To Family Favorites
Families with picky eaters can rely on favorite dishes and alter them a little to incorporate vegetables. For example, if your family likes mashed potatoes, you can still create a similar dish from other vegetables, like sweet potatoes.
Vegetable puree or gratin with cauliflowers, turnips, and parsnips can work great with proteins like turkey or pork. Pairing veggies with protein is often the solution for those not too fond of eating vegetables.
Whether you are meal prepping, altering recipes, or turning them into desserts, incorporating vegetables into your holiday menu is promising.
Not only do vegetables provide you and your family with nutritional benefits but also save you a lot of time and money. So, let the holidays be the perfect time to switch to a healthier diet without sacrificing flavor.