Want to eat more veggies but don't have the time, patience or energy...

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  • mccraee
    mccraee Posts: 199 Member
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    dinner doesn't have to be a three course, lovely foodie experience every single night. Nothing wrong with fixing scrambled eggs (or omlets) for the family dinner. It's a good way to use up leftovers. Mine can be more veggie centric then theirs.

    Grilled cheese & tomato soup is popular at my house.

    Bean and cheese burritos are my daughters favorite. We've also had a lot of quesadillas over the years. These are also a good way to use up leftovers and make my salad centric dinner more satisfying.

    We also like spaghetti w/ marinara sauce. I buy the cans of marinara from trader joes since we all like it and that and some pasta are great things to have in the pantry. I usually throw some veggies into mine (I like the added crunch so I don't cook them) but the kids will skip that.

    Find one or two things that are flexible or veggie centric that your family does like and put them into regular rotation. Then try a couple of more things that are similar to expand on this.
  • Noreenmarie1234
    Noreenmarie1234 Posts: 7,493 Member
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    microwave frozen veg in microwave takes 4 minutes, top with seasonings and eat!
  • Gallowmere1984
    Gallowmere1984 Posts: 6,626 Member
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    ninerbuff wrote: »
    Frozen vegetables save me so much time. I buy "Steamers" by the cartload. 5 minutes in the microwave and ready to eat. And they aren't that expensive.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

    I second this. There are weeks where I'll go through many many pounds of frozen brocolli, cauliflower, asparagus, and brussel sprouts. Unfortunately my favorite, which is asparagus, is stupid expensive. I swear, frozen chicken breast and tilapia costs less. It's senseless.
  • Evamutt
    Evamutt Posts: 2,381 Member
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    Right now I'm eating dinner consisting of 2.5 oz each baked chicken breast & ham, 7 oz red microwaved potato,1 m/lg squash, butter, all under 500 calories. I love squash. got a good buy on zucchini & the lite green ones. I cut in half, microwave for 2 minutes, cut up & put some butter & Parmesan cheese. followed by large hot cup of tea with 1 tbs honey
  • TonyB0588
    TonyB0588 Posts: 9,520 Member
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    JinjoJoey wrote: »
    It takes me about 5 minutes to boil broccoli or cauliflower in a pot, sprinkle a little salt on, maybe a little bit of melted or shredded cheese and that's that. Or you can get bags in the frozen dept that can be steam cooked in the microwave, which takes, literally, zero effort. And they have a very large variety of different kinds for microwave steaming.

    Excellent comment. Where there's a will, there's a way.
  • TonyB0588
    TonyB0588 Posts: 9,520 Member
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    ninerbuff wrote: »
    Frozen vegetables save me so much time. I buy "Steamers" by the cartload. 5 minutes in the microwave and ready to eat. And they aren't that expensive.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

    Yes. Some well known brands are Dujardin, Emborg, Green Giant, Bird's Eye.
  • debtay123
    debtay123 Posts: 1,327 Member
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    ITA frozen veggies are the way to go if time and money are both short- LOVE the "steamers"
  • Balaru
    Balaru Posts: 203 Member
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    I find prepping on the weekends is what works for me. I get tired of the peeling and chopping too but if I am watching the Saints play football or a good movie it makes the chore less painful. I have n old party tray that I put radishes, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower n to snack on when I get home from work which keeps me from nibbling on chips while cooking.

    I also bring a small container of the same to work with ranch dressing.

    Also having a menu for the week helps stay on track.
  • PaytraB
    PaytraB Posts: 2,360 Member
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    Find a vegetarian cookbook that features stews and casseroles, which can be made ahead of time and frozen. Spend an afternoon making up 2-3 double batches and freeze. That cuts your prep time down tremendously on busy work-days. Cook up some meat (chicken, chops) on the side for the family members who want meat.

  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,874 Member
    edited November 2016
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    eque_price wrote: »
    I don't think I could go full vegan. I don't think I could go full vegetarian, but I am tired of eating meat. Once in a while is fine. My problem is the rest of my family don't have the same point of view. How do you manage cooking and time... My busy life style not to mention shift work leaves me feeling tired and worn out... Meal prep is a complete chore. I HATE making dinner let alone making everyone different meals... Not to mention my sweet tooth! I have always had a terrible sweet tooth... I would like tips and hints on how to go more vegetarian and keep the meals extremely easy and interesting. Is this even possible?

    I eat vegetarian 3-4 days per week and usually on meat days I only eat meat with my dinner. Vegetarian is more than just vegetables...I love my vegetables, but I eat about the same amount I used to eat when I was more of a meat eater. I eat a lot of oats, legumes, lentils, potatoes and sweet potatoes, rice, etc...these things tend to make up my main courses. I also eat eggs and dairy.

    To be honest, my vegetarian meals generally require more preparation than my meat entrees because if I want something delicious and satisfying I'm going to have to spend a little time in the kitchen whereas on meat days I can just throw something on the grill and quickly saute some veggies or something...I happen to enjoy cooking though...working in the kitchen is one of my stress outlets...

    The good news is that if you're making, say, a lentil dish...it's usually going to make 4-6 servings so if it's just you, you have a few meals prepared. Don't know what to tell you about getting your family on board...
  • trisH_7183
    trisH_7183 Posts: 1,486 Member
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    Beans can be a life saver...on tortillas,in stew,on salad,as a side,soup & more soup. You can make meat for those who want it. Beans are super filling & good for you.A neigbor adds them to egg burritos,to lettuce & veggie wraps etc.
  • pebble4321
    pebble4321 Posts: 1,132 Member
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    I'm amazed at how many people are suggesting frozen veggies - I get that they are convenient but you sacrifice so much in flavour and consistency compared to fresh. I see them as an absolute last resort compared to fresh. Frozen never have the texture of fresh, lightly cooked veggies, and I think that most people who "don't like vegetables" have probably only eaten frozen ones.

    I suggest you have a look at your supermarket or market to see what options they have for fresh veggies that are ready prepared (like ready to go stir fry veggies or salad ready chopped) or veggies that don't need much prep. Baby carrots or potatoes are ready to roast or microwave in seconds, broccoli only needs to be pulled apart before you steam in in the micro in a few minutes, some veggies can be eaten raw and as they are - cherry tomatoes, snow peas spring to mind. I can make a cauliflower/broccoli puree in minutes (big chunks of both veg microwaved and pureed with the stick blender with a bit of milk or cheese or just with salt).

    Prep can be very quick if you have good tools - I have a little mandolin slicer with a grater attachment and I can grate zucchini and carrot right into a bowl or pot to add to porridge, sauces, fritters, muffins etc. II'm not vegetarian (though I used to be) but I usually bump up the veggie content of just about everything I cook and it really doesn't take much longer with the right veggies and good tools.
  • lynn_glenmont
    lynn_glenmont Posts: 9,994 Member
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    pebble4321 wrote: »
    I'm amazed at how many people are suggesting frozen veggies - I get that they are convenient but you sacrifice so much in flavour and consistency compared to fresh. I see them as an absolute last resort compared to fresh. Frozen never have the texture of fresh, lightly cooked veggies, and I think that most people who "don't like vegetables" have probably only eaten frozen ones.

    I suggest you have a look at your supermarket or market to see what options they have for fresh veggies that are ready prepared (like ready to go stir fry veggies or salad ready chopped) or veggies that don't need much prep. Baby carrots or potatoes are ready to roast or microwave in seconds, broccoli only needs to be pulled apart before you steam in in the micro in a few minutes, some veggies can be eaten raw and as they are - cherry tomatoes, snow peas spring to mind. I can make a cauliflower/broccoli puree in minutes (big chunks of both veg microwaved and pureed with the stick blender with a bit of milk or cheese or just with salt).

    Prep can be very quick if you have good tools - I have a little mandolin slicer with a grater attachment and I can grate zucchini and carrot right into a bowl or pot to add to porridge, sauces, fritters, muffins etc. II'm not vegetarian (though I used to be) but I usually bump up the veggie content of just about everything I cook and it really doesn't take much longer with the right veggies and good tools.

    I'm amazed that someone would recommend microwaving vegetables. I get that it's convenient, but you sacrifice so much in flavor and texture compared to cooking on a stove top or in a standard oven.

    I use fresh vegetables 90% of the time, because that's how I learned to cook, and because I feel like fresh veggies are so much more versatile than frozen -- I can saute, fry, steam, roast, boil, or eat them raw, whereas I'm not crazy about the results with frozen veggies using any other cooking methods than steaming and boiling--although I did once unintentionally roast some frozen broccoli and cauliflower by leaving it in the microwave too long, and it wasn't bad :smile:

    But prepping veggies and cooking them on the stove or in the oven does take more time than grabbing a bag of frozen veggies and tossing them in the microwave. And if people are happy doing that, there's no need to tell them they're doing it wrong.
  • PennWalker
    PennWalker Posts: 554 Member
    edited November 2016
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    pebble4321 wrote: »
    I'm amazed at how many people are suggesting frozen veggies - I get that they are convenient but you sacrifice so much in flavour and consistency compared to fresh. I see them as an absolute last resort compared to fresh. Frozen never have the texture of fresh, lightly cooked veggies, and I think that most people who "don't like vegetables" have probably only eaten frozen ones.

    I agree. Fresh taste so much better. I go the easy route, just slice vegetables and simmer in broth or water or stir fry in a little olive oil. It doesn't take long. I also throw on a little spice.

    To the OP, get your family to help you with meals - tell them you need some hands to cut vegetables.

    FYI, people, baby carrots are not real baby carrots. They are marketed that way. They are peeled waste carrots that the manufacturer couldn't sell because they didn't look good. The maker peels them, treats with chemicals because otherwise they will rot quickly, and then sells as cute "baby carrots." Buy whole carrots and spend 60 seconds cutting them up. They taste better.
  • pebble4321
    pebble4321 Posts: 1,132 Member
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    AnvilHead wrote: »
    pebble4321 wrote: »
    I'm amazed at how many people are suggesting frozen veggies - I get that they are convenient but you sacrifice so much in flavour and consistency compared to fresh. I see them as an absolute last resort compared to fresh. Frozen never have the texture of fresh, lightly cooked veggies, and I think that most people who "don't like vegetables" have probably only eaten frozen ones.

    You DO realize that you're supposed to thaw them before eating them, right?

    Hehehe. Yes, I did realise that! Even cooked as per packet instructions, I think there is a world of difference from fresh and my preference is for fresh. Having said that, frozen peas are pretty delicious straight from the freezer, so I can't say I dislike all frozen veg.

    @lynn_glenmont, I'm not saying people are wrong for liking them, just that it's surprising to me to see how many people say they eat them all the time. I'm also not saying other cooking methods are wrong, but the OP wants quick and easy solutions and, as you say, microwaving is quicker. That was my point, that fresh veg can be almost as convenient as frozen and (in my opinion) more delicious.

    But that doesn't make other people wrong, just different.