How to Prep and Cook Your Veggies
Four ways to eat your veggies.
While there are many ways to prepare and cook your veggies, here are four simple ones you can try this week.
1. Eat them raw
You can always grab a carrot and start chomping away or pop grape tomatoes into your mouth like candy. But sometimes that gets a little boring. To dress up your raw veggies try the following.
Add them to Super Shakes
Super Shakes are great ways to get your veggies in when you’re on the run. It’s a great way to get a full serving or two of veggies without even thinking about it.
Download this infographic to learn some Super Shake basics.
Super Shake Infographic
Try throwing a handful of spinach or kale into your shake the next time you break out the blender.
Toss it in, hit “blend”, drink up, and smile knowing you’re taking care of your veggie needs.
Need a recipe to get you going? Download this excerpt from Precision Nutrition’s Gourmet Nutrition cookbook for some delicious options.
Gourmet Nutrition Shakes
Make an awesome salad
Forget the bland iceberg lettuce and shredded carrots you’ve been served at Applebee’s. Instead, take some pride in your salad and get creative.
Follow these steps for the perfect side salad.
- Pick a “soft” leaf-like butterhead lettuce, spinach, or mixed greens.
- Pick a “crunchy” leaf-like romaine lettuce or radicchio.
- Pick a fresh herb like basil, dill, or parsley.
- Pick a “topping” like sliced cucumber, tomato, carrots, celery, or bell pepper.
- Pick a light dressing like olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette or make your own.
Chop it all up. Throw it together. Voilá!
2. Eat them steamed
This is another simple and quick method.
All you need is a big pot of water and a steamer basket or a colander that will fit inside. Fill the pot with enough water so that it just barely reaches the bottom of the colander or steamer basket.
To steam your veggies, bring the water to a boil, add your vegetables, and place a loose-fitting lid on top to cover. (If your lid is more fitted over the colander, position it so that one side hangs over the colander just enough to let the steam escape.)
How long should you steam for? Well, it depends on the vegetable.
Broccoli: ~ 5 minutes
Brussels sprouts: ~ 10 minutes
Carrots: ~ 8 minutes (if sliced into 1⁄4″ thick pieces)
Cauliflower: ~ 6–7 minutes
Green beans: ~ 5 minutes
Peas: ~ 3 minutes
Zucchini: ~ 7 minutes
Tip: Try undercooking veggies slightly. You can always pop them back in to boil.
After steaming, try tossing your veg with a little olive oil plus a sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper. Or, if you’re feeling rather daring, try some hot sauce or red pepper flakes.
3. Eat them grilled
Grilled veggies complement any meat dish perfectly and can even be a part of a delicious shish kabob with chicken, beef, or pork.
Brush them with the sauce of your choice, or a little olive oil. Sprinkle some salt or squeeze some lemon, and toss them on the grill or into the oven.
Try out this sirloin skewer recipe from the Gourmet Nutrition cookbook from Precision Nutrition. It’s the perfect blend of protein and delicious veggies.
4. Add them to soups and stews
Sometimes you just gotta take a bunch of ingredients, throw them in a pot, and see what happens.
Creating a healthy, tasty soup or stew is easy, especially with a slow cooker. And if you’re not the greatest chef, a soup or stew is one way to flex your culinary skills. It’s just too simple to screw up!
Your weekly meal prep routine
Eating enough fruits and vegetables comes down to making it easy, convenient, and available. For vegetables, especially, that means making food prep a part of your regular routine.
Integrate food prep into your week in a way that you can keep it a consistent, repeatable, and reliable routine. That could be on the weekend during the day, mid-week in the evening, or a little bit every morning. Where do you regularly have a little extra time that you could dedicate to a meal prep routine?
If you plan it in ahead of time, and stick to your plan, you won’t have to compromise later on eating fresh and healthy food. You’ll be prepped and ready, no matter how chaotic the rest of a busy day gets.
As some examples for your weekly ritual, try washing and cutting up some veggies in advance. Or make a big pot of vegetable soup and refrigerate or freeze for later.
Remember, if it’s ready and available, chances are, you’ll probably eat it.