7+ Delicious Ways to Eat More Veggies with Every Meal

This post is generously sponsored by Spinato's

When I was diagnosed with celiac disease, more changes happened to my diet than just going gluten free. Slowly but surely, my new dietary restrictions inspired me to experiment with more naturally gluten-free foods...which includes plenty of delicious vegetables. Before I knew it, I'd gone from a meat-and-potatoes kinda girl to a veggie addict!

As a result, I can now honestly say that I enjoy eating vegetables and crave several servings of them every day. But I don't just eat raw broccoli and carrots! Instead, in the six years since my celiac diagnosis, I've found creative and yummy ways to incorporate more vegetables into my meals...and with help from Spinato's (home to some seriously ammmmazing certified gluten free broccoli crust pizza!), I'm sharing my top veggie hacks today! Because while I truly believe that everyone thrives on different foods and that "healthy eating" looks different for each person, I don't think most people can go wrong with adding a few more vegetables to their daily eats.

7+ Delicious Ways to Eat More Veggies with Every Meal

So whether you're looking for sneaky ways to up your kid's veggie intake this coming school season or you just want more creative ideas for delicious gluten free meals, keep reading to learn about 7+ easy and delicious ways you can eat more vegetables with every meal of the day!

Breakfast: 

When I was in high school, some of my typical breakfasts were cinnamon raisin bagels slathered in peanut butter or a protein bar eaten in the car on the ride to school. And while those certainly aren't bad options, my breakfasts nowadays are a lot more veggie-heavy. But you might not even realize that upon first glance!

Because here's the thing: I'm not a savory breakfast kinda gal. When I wake up, I want something sweet...but that doesn't have to keep me from getting in some veggies and greens. And if you follow me on Instagram, you can probably guess one of my favorite ways to eat more vegetables with breakfast: smoothie bowls!

7+ Delicious Ways to Eat More Veggies with Every Meal

Veggie Hack #1: Get Sneaky with Smoothie Bowls

In fact, one of the best things about smoothies is that, depending on the ingredients and ratios you use, you can pack them full with vegetables and just taste the sweetness of banana or whatever fruits you included as well. Some of my favorite vegetables to include in smoothie bowls are:
  • Zucchini and squash, steamed and frozen ahead of time to help with digestion. These are my go-to veggies to use if you want a tummy-friendly smoothie that is super thick and creamy but lower in sugar thanks to these additions. And I promise - you don't taste the zucchini or yellow squash at all, especially when paired with flavorful ingredients like berries or cacao powder. 
  • Cauliflower, steamed and frozen. If your stomach can handle cauliflower in larger quantities, this is one Instagram trend you'll fall in love with.
  • Leafy greens, like spinach (which has a very mild flavor) or iceberg, kale, etc. if you don't mind tasting those greens more obviously.

Veggie Hack #2: Add Zucchini to Oats or Porridge

If you wake up craving a warm breakfast but still want something sweet and secretly full of veggies, zoats (also known as "zucchini oats") are another delicious option! I have made my zoats with zucchini and yellow squash, just grated and squeezed to remove the extra moisture. As I've shared in recipes like this one, you can also use alternative porridge grains like quinoa flakes, buckwheat flakes, or chia seeds if you can't tolerate gluten free oats. You can enjoy your zoats cold (and soaked overnight instead of being cooked) or warm, but if you're trying to hide the texture of zucchini, cooked is the better option. I often prep and soak my zoats the night before and then just warm them up in the microwave until everything is soft and gooey that morning!

7+ Delicious Ways to Eat More Veggies with Every Meal

Snacks

My snacks have also changed since I've started to enjoy eating more vegetables. While I still love my protein bars, I often end up having something homemade or fresh instead...and many of my favorite snacks - as you can guess from the topic of this post! - involve some raw or cooked vegetables. 

Veggie Hack #5: Top Rice Cakes with Guac and Veggies

This tip is as simple as the name suggests. I know a lot of people enjoy rice cakes with peanut butter and jelly or other sweet toppings, but I'm also a big fan of putting on a layer of guac, avocado, hummus or pesto and adding some spinach, carrots, cucumbers or whatever other veggies I have on hand. If you love a crunchy snack, there's nothing better than this!

7+ Delicious Ways to Eat More Veggies with Every Meal

Veggie Hack #3: Dress Up Veggies with Homemade Dip

Now, I know I said that I didn't just eat raw broccoli and carrots (and these days, I rarely do at all!). However, when I do have a hankering for raw vegetables - especially during hot days when I don't want to turn on the oven to cook something - whipping up a quick homemade pesto or dip can make veggies a lot more of an interesting snack! Feel free to use whatever pesto recipe you enjoy, but my go-to lately has involved a mix of several handfuls of spinach, a few tablespoons of hemp seeds, a squeeze of lemon, heavy sprinkles of oregano and thyme, and enough chicken or vegetable stock (for extra flavor!) to get the pesto to mix in my mini blender.

If raw veggies aren't your thang, you can also roast some and keep them in the fridge for snacking and lunch and dinners (which we'll get to shortly!). One of my favorite pairings with pesto is roasted sweet potato rounds. Just cut a sweet potato up into small coins, place them on a lined baking tray (no oil required) and cook at 425 for 25-30 minutes or until caramelized and soft.

Veggie Hack #4: Replace Oil and Sugar with Veggies in Homemade Granola

If you've checked out my gluten free granola recipes before, you already know that I rarely ever bake mine with oil or refined sugars. Instead, I get all the clumps and sweetness from pureed fruits and grated zucchini and squash. I know it might sound a bit crazy at first, but you don't taste the vegetables at all and they help make the granola extra clustery and chewy. Plus, if you make granola with turmeric, yellow squash and banana, it'll be hard for anyone to notice the squash in the mix!

7+ Delicious Ways to Eat More Veggies with Every Meal

Lunch and Dinner

Now, the grand finale - how to add more vegetables into your lunches and dinners! 

Veggie Hack #6: Cook and Freeze Certain Vegetables and Homemade Fries Ahead of Time

As I already mentioned in the snacks section, roasting vegetables ahead of time so that they're ready when you want to eat is a serious game-changer. I'd also encourage you to experiment with different spices (I'm partial to thyme and oregano) and methods of cooking (for example, baking at a super high temperature for a bit of burnt edges on your broccoli or covering your tray of veggies with tin foil so that they actually steam in the oven) to see what ways taste best to you.

7+ Delicious Ways to Eat More Veggies with Every Meal

Another trick I've learned over my six years of veggie-loving: certain vegetables can handle being frozen and reheated later on for an extra easy serving of vegetables. For example, I often cook an entire spaghetti squash and freeze one half so that I can take out the frozen spaghetti squash the night before, stick in the oven to reheat for a few minutes, and dive in extra quickly later on. And if you love fries but haven't ever made your own, now is the time! There are tons of easy recipes out there, and I've had success cooking big batches of fries, letting them cool, and then freezing them in sealed bags. When I want fries later, I just throw a handful of frozen fries in the oven on high for a few minutes, and wala! Quicker than fast food!

Veggie Hack #7: Take Advantage of Delicious, Secretly Veggie-Packed Alternatives to Your Favorite Foods

And now for one of my favorite vegetables hack lately. I already mentioned that this post is in partnership with Spinato's...and if you're trying to eat more vegetables this year, Spinato's certified gluten-free broccoli crust pizza is about to become your new BFF!

7+ Delicious Ways to Eat More Veggies with Every Meal

I knew I was in for a treat as soon as I got my first boxes of Spinato's; even without opening the box or cooking the pizzas, the scent of tomato sauce and spices got my mouth watering. Spinato's 10-inch broccoli crust pizza comes in four different flavors: Margherita; Aged Asiago, Romano & Mozzarella; Mediterranean Supreme; and Primavera. Besides being certified gluten free (something I LOVE seeing in foods I eat regularly!), Spinato's pizzas are free of MSG and trans fat, and packed with high-quality ingredients like hormone-free chicken sausage and vine-ripened tomatoes from local farms. One of the coolest parts? The Spinato family has been experimenting with pizza recipes and unique topping combos since 1974, so these pizzas are part of a delicious family legacy.

As for my personal experience with these pizzas...first off, I loved how quickly you can cook them! Depending on what appliance you use, you can have your frozen pizza hot and ready in just 8 minutes. My pizza only took around 14 minutes in my oven, which makes Spinato's the perfect secret weapon to keep in my freezer for crazy busy school days this coming semester. And I definitely want to try grilling these pizzas one day, as the box suggests!

7+ Delicious Ways to Eat More Veggies with Every Meal

And now we get to the most important part: the taste. For the particular dinner in these photographs, I went with Spinato's Primavera pizza, which features zucchini, red onion, mushroom and red pepper. I added a lil' bit of greens and avocado (since those are my go-to pizza toppings!), and enjoyed evvery bite. I loved that the sauce, cheese and toppings were evenly dispersed throughout the whole pizza, and that the soft crust was balanced out by crunchy and chewy vegetables. I also enjoyed that the crust looked "normal" despite its broccoli base. If you served this to me without the box, I wouldn't have guessed the crust is packed with vegetables!

My cooked pizza crust did come out of the oven feeling pretty soft and some of the pizza slices were messy to hold - especially since Spinato's pizza crust is pretty thin (just how I, personally, like it). However, once the pizza cooled some, the crust got a lot sturdier and had deliciously crunchy edges with a soft, chewy middle. And at the end of the day, I don't mind a bit of a messy dinner as long as it tastes finger-lickin' good...and Spinato's pizza definitely does.

7+ Delicious Ways to Eat More Veggies with Every Meal

If you want to try out Spinato's for yourself, Spinato's frozen broccoli crust pizzas are now available in over 1,500 stores all over the US. For help finding Spinato's broccoli crust pizza in your area, check out Spinato's handy dandy product locator here!

Before I was diagnosed with celiac disease, I would've never imagined waking up and looking forward to eating zucchini and green beans and all sorts of other delicious veggies. But the more I've experimented with new, delicious ways to enjoy vegetables, the more I've craved them...and I hope the same can be said of anyone who tries any of the vegetable hacks I've shared in this blog post!

And if you need a tasty and easy place to start eating more vegetables ASAP...as I mentioned earlier, Spinato's certified gluten free broccoli crust pizza can be ready in 15 minutes or less. ;)



*I received free samples and monetary compensation in exchange for spreading the word about Spinato's broccoli crust pizza. However, I only partner with brands and products that I personally belive in, and all photographs, opinions and thoughts are my own. Thank you for supporting what supports Casey the College Celiac!*



Which flavor of Spinato's pizza would you want to try first? Margherita; Aged Asiago, Romano & Mozzarella; Mediterranean Supreme; or Primavera? Tell me in the comments!

Comments

  1. Great hacks here. I love my porridge and I never thought of adding zucchini to it. Great idea! I add grated zucchini to pasta sauce and I love adding lots of spinach to my smoothies.

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  2. II’d never heard of smoothies in a bowl until reading this but how clever (and colorful too!)

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  3. The smoothie bowls look amazing. We have had smoothies, but never the smoothie bowls and I am going to have to try making them.

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  4. The pizza looks so yummy! I should definitely look for the Spinato brand!

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  5. I used to really struggle to get in my veggies but now I love them ! Greats tips!

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  6. Veggies are SO easy for me to get into my life because I just love them so so much!! Every one of my meals starts with a PILE of spinach and then I load up! haha!

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