Sometimes, we just want to come home from work, pop a frozen dinner in the oven and relax. And that’s OK! But, if we’re going to do that, we might as well try to make the meal as healthy and nutritious as possible. That’s where veggies can come in handy, whether they’re fresh or frozen.
Here are some super easy tricks for jazzing up your favorite convenience foods and eating more veggies with your meals.
Start Your Day With a Handful of Veggies
I like to make sure I eat a handful of veggies in the morning. Usually, I have some raw baby carrots with my waffle and peanut butter. Sometimes, I’ll have raw celery or cucumbers instead. Or, if I have toast with hummus, I eat tomatoes and greens. I also like eating leftover roasted veggies from the previous night’s dinner.
Dump Shredded Carrots and Edamame Over a Take-Out Salad
If your drive-thru salad looks more like a sad bowl of lettuce with a couple of veggies, it’s time to add more nutrients. For protein, add some steamed edamame, which I get in bulk bags from Costco. For more Vitamin A and crunch, toss some raw, shredded carrots overtop. You can find shredded carrots at Trader Joe’s, or you can shred regular carrots to save money.
Image: Salt of the Hearth
Add More Frozen Veggies to Stir-Fry Dishes
If you’re about the dump a frozen bag that contains rice and veggies in a pot over the stove, that’s the perfect time to throw in more frozen veggies. I like adding peas, cauliflower, squash or carrots to my Trader Joe’s Vegetable Stir-Fry.
Turn Mac n’ Cheese Into Mac n’ Peas
Mac n’ Cheese is one of my favorite comfort food meals. To satisfy my craving, I indulge with Earth Balance mac. I make it more nutritious by adding equal parts peas, so in every spoonful I get an even amount of pasta and veggies.
For Sandwiches, Forgo the Top Bun and Replace With Veggies
I love bread and veggie burgers. So, to make sure I don’t eat too much, sometimes I compromise when I want a sandwich by using only 1 piece of bread for the bottom half of the sandwich. For the top “bun” I use lettuce and tomato. You can also skip the bun altogether and use veggie burger patties like buns.
Image: Marin Mama Cooks
I hope these tips can help you have a much easier Meatless Monday or any day! The theme that connects all of these tips is to add more veggies to your meals whenever you can. Spot the parts of your day where you typically consume little to no veggies, and see if you can apply any of the above tips.