September is probably my favorite month in the whole year. It’s starting to cool off but still warm enough to play outside, it’s socially acceptable to eat pumpkin flavored everything again and, most importantly, the garden and farmer’s markets are chock full of the most delicious vegetables you’ll ever eat.
I’m partial to veggies, but in case you’re not wild about them but still want to sneak them into your life somehow, here are some easy ways to eat more vegetables.
- Steam carrots, cauliflower, squash, even pumpkin; puree and add to the tomato sauce the next time you’re serving spaghetti. You’ll get a bunch of extra veggies for very little change in the flavor of the sauce. You can do the same thing with chicken noodle soup – it will thicken the soup and add a nice flavor.
- You’ve heard of zucchini bread, but have you tried zucchini cookies? My sister-in-law makes them and they’re delicious. And then there are pumpkin cookies. Yum.
- Replace the pasta in homemade mac and cheese with steamed cauliflower. The texture is about the same and it’s much lower carb.
- When making hamburgers or sloppy joes, replace up to half the meat with chopped mushrooms.
- Add grated carrots or zucchini to meatloaf to make it moist.
- Have you tried spaghetti squash? When you cook it and run a fork through the flesh it comes out in strings just like spaghetti noodles.
- Kabobs are one of our grill staples. For some reason everything is more appetizing when it’s eaten off a stick. Chicken (cubed and marinated in Italian dressing), bell peppers, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes are our usual mix.
- Another of our favorite recipes lately has been roasted beets sliced thin and served over arugula with goat cheese and walnuts. We drizzle a little olive oil and honey over it with a pinch of salt and pepper.
If you think you don’t like vegetables, keep trying them different ways. If you’re not a fan of mushy steamed or boiled carrots, roast them. (Actually, roast any kind of vegetable – everything tastes better roasted.) If you don’t like vegetables by themselves, make a habit of chili or vegetable stew or zuchini-infused meatloaf this fall. Go to the farmers’ market and ask the farmer how he or she recommends preparing the veggies they grow. You’ll be glad you did.