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Easy Ways to Add More Vegetables

February 22nd, 2012


MyPlate nutrition guidelines recommend that half of your plate should consist of fruits or vegetables. Think back over your last meal and consider whether your hit that mark. The answer is more than likely “no”. A recent study found that only 1 out of 10 Americans are meeting fruit and vegetable intake recommendations1.

Below are some easy ways to fit vegetables into a busy schedule.  Also check out easy ways to add vegetables at the MU and in UHDS.


  • Add broccoli, peppers, spinach, onions, shredded carrots or tomatoes to make an omelet
  • Top poached eggs with spinach
  • Make pumpkin or zucchini bread
  • Add peppers and onions to potatoes


  • Have a garden salad topped with seasonal vegetables
  • Add tomatoes, spinach and onion to your favorite sandwich
  • Make a hearty vegetable soup
  • Add a slice of avocado to a sandwich in place of mayonnaise
  • Fill a whole wheat tortilla with beans and vegetables
  • Top a salad with your favorite protein
  • Add raw vegetables as a side
  • Use hummus in place of dressing


  • Make side dishes vegetable based
  • Add frozen vegetables to rice, quinoa, or pasta
  • Incorporate vegetables into the main dish such as onions, eggplant and tomatoes in your spaghetti sauce
  • Serve a salad as an appetizer
  • Add a few slices of tomato on a grilled cheese sandwich
  • Add celery, onions, carrots and tomatoes to meatloaf
  • Add diced tomatoes and onions to pasta sauce
  • Top a baked potato with salsa or broccoli
  • Blend cauliflower and add to mashed potatoes
  • Add broccoli or diced tomatoes or peppers in macaroni and cheese
  • Whole wheat pita half stuffed with vegetables and vinaigrette
  • Layer frozen spinach or eggplant in lasagna
  • Top a homemade pizza with mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, or black olives


  • Raw vegetables and hummus are a great “feel full” snack
  • Ants on a log is a tasty snack (celery, peanut butter and raisins)
  • Top whole wheat crackers with hummus and vegetables
  • Slice a sweet potato, toss with olive oil and bake for sweet potato “chips”


1. Kimmons J, Gillespie C, Seymour J, Serdula M, Blanck HM. Fruit and vegetable intake among adolescents and adults in the United States: percentage meeting individualized recommendations.Medscape J Med. 2009;11:26.

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