This week is National Nutrition Week – a really important campaign to encourage Australians to increase their vegetable consumption to at least the recommended 5 serves per day.
Unfortunately, the majority of Australian’s are not consuming adequate veggies. This is despite knowing that veggies form an important part of the diet. There are many reasons for this such as taste, preference, food access, budgets and time factors.
However, with a little inspiration and knowhow, I believe it’s something all of us can start to make positive changes on.
With that being said, here is my cheat sheet on adding more veggies to your diet including a delicious crumbed cauliflower recipe.
First and foremost, what exactly is a serve of vegetables:
Standard serve is 75g=
- ½ cup cooked green or orange vegetables (broccoli, spinach, carrots, pumpkin)
- ½ cup cooked dried or canned beans, peas or lentils
- 1 cup leafy green or raw salad vegetables
- ½ cup sweet corn
- ½ medium potato or other starchy vegetable (sweet potato, taro or cassava)
- 1 medium tomato
5 is a good initial target to aim for, but if you can consume beyond this, then you are doing even better.
Here are my tips and tricks to get you there:
No Brainer Additions
Adding veggies to your meals can often be a no brainer but we just need the reminder to do so. Here are some prime examples:
- Handful spinach or kale added to smoothies
- Silver beet, spinach, kale or rocket added to scrambled eggs
- Grated zucchini and carrot added to fritters/patties
- Sliced tomato + cucumber added to cheese and crackers
- Vegetable sticks added to crackers and dip
- Handful rocket/spinach added to sandwiches and wraps
- Diced tomatoes and cucumber added to avocado on toast
- Diced tomatoes and cucumber added to guacamole
Simple Meal Tweaks
Meat often features as the “hero” in many dishes. However, here are some easy swaps to make veggies the real hero:
- chicken/beef/pork stir-fry >> mushroom and cashew nut
- scrambled eggs >> scrambled tofu, kale and tomatoes
- chicken parmigiana >> eggplant parmigiana
- mince tacos/burritos >> minced mushrooms and walnuts
- chicken/lamb curry >> chickpea, pumpkin and cashew
- mince Bolognese >> lentil and walnut Bolognese
- chicken schnitzel >> cauliflower schnitzel
- pasta/ noodles >> zucchini noodles or lentil pasta
- roast lamb/pork >> whole roasted cauliflower or broccoli
Make Friends with Sauce
Instead of gravy, standard mayo or mustard, adding veggies to sauces is not only a delicious way to flavour food but also a way to tick off another serve of veggies. Here are some ideas:
- mushroom sauce using sauteed mushrooms, garlic and onions.
- make a pesto using rocket and herbs.
- puree avocado with maple syrup, ACV/lime, garlic, EVOO and chilli.
- add grated or roasted carrot into hummus.
- Yoghurt sauce with grated cucumber and diced tomatoes.
- Finely grated carrot added to EVOO, Dijon, garlic, lemon and salt/pepper as a fresh dressing.
- Leftover roasted veggies pureed with tomato passata as an easy pasta / red sauce.
- Romesco sauce – roasted peppers, garlic, almonds, red wine vinegar.
Coconut and Ginger Crumbed Cauliflower Steak with Avocado & Edamame Salsa
Pre: 15 minutes
4 x cauliflower steaks (approx. 3-4cm thick)
1 cup wholemeal breadcrumbs
½ cup shredded coconut
2 tbsp. fresh grated ginger
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp. coconut milk
½ lime, zested
2 tbsp. coconut oil, for cooking
Lime wedges, to serve
Avocado & Edamame Salsa
1 ripe avocado, skin and pip removed, diced
½ cup edamame beans, de-shelled, cooked and cooled
½ small red onion, finely chopped
½ bunch coriander, washed and finely chopped
½ lime juiced
2 tbsp EVOO
1-2 tsp. sesame oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Pre-heat oven to 180C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
To make the salsa, combine all ingredients in a small bowl, mix well and season to taste. Set aside in the fridge.
In a bowl mix the dry ingredients – breadcrumbs, shredded coconut, ginger, lime zest and smoked paprika. In another bowl, mix the eggs and coconut milk.
Dip each cauliflower steak in the beaten egg mixture to coat all over then transfer to the coconut-breadcrumb bowl and cover with the breadcrumb mixture, patting gently to help the crumbs stick firmly.
Place on the prepared baking tray and bake for 30-45min or until tender and lightly golden.
Serve the cauliflower steaks alongside the salsa and some green leaves.