Thanksgiving… the smell of pumpkin pie, turkey, stuffing, and all the different types of foods cooking we get to experience while hanging out with our closest friends and family and talking, playing games or watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or football… what great memories! After such wonderful get-togethers, most of us aren’t talking about how delicious the vegetables we had were. Most of us, aside from an occasional green bean casserole or corn*, may not be served any vegetables or choose not put any on our plates. (*By the way, corn really isn’t a vegetable. It’s a grain – we make cereal out of it.)
Top Five Tips to Increase Your Vegetable Intake
1. Use salsa and guacamole as dips
While watching the games, instead of just serving mayonnaise-, cream- or cheese-based dips, why not try offering some salsa and guacamole? You can easily purchase either of these items at your local grocery store, fresh salsa in the refrigerated section is usually the best, but you can make both of these dips at home just as easily. Another way to increase the fiber content of your party dishes is using hummus as a dip. Once again, this is readily available in your grocery store, but cheaper and easier to whip up in your own kitchen.
2. Serve kale chips along with your potato chips and pretzels
Delicious, delicious, delicious!!! I have loved these ever since a really wonderful patient made them for me almost 2 years ago. Here is a recipe for great tasting kale chips!
3. Put some cauliflower in your mashed potatoes
I once went to a Thanksgiving celebration where the mashed potatoes were substituted with mashed cauliflower. As amazingly delicious as these were, I have to admit to being just little disappointed, as I was not prepared for the texture change; it wasn’t as creamy as I had hoped. If you want to try using cauliflower to substitute completely for your mashed potatoes, you will probably find better tasting recipes online, which typically add milk, butter and garlic. But if you would like to just add some mashed cauliflower into your mashed potatoes so that the texture doesn’t change too much, but you’re still getting your guests to eat a vegetable, I’d follow the simple recipe above to make it. You can also try adding mashed yams, sweet potatoes or rutabagas to your mashed potatoes as well.
4. Add vegetables to your stuffing/dressing
Many of us simply drench our stuffing in gravy making it impossible to really taste what’s in it anyway… so why not add some veggies then? Here is a great stuffing/dressing recipe I’m excited about trying this year.
5. Try a New Dish Each Year
Why not start a tradition of having one new dish each year… and then secretly always making it a vegetable-based dish? Here are some great websites with some starter ideas for your new tradition:
Happy Thanksgiving from your AIM family!
By Lisa Gallagher, N.D.