Categories: Sustainable Living

Five tasty dishes to include more vegetables in your diet

You might remember the emphasis your parents always laid on eating green and leafy vegetables. Loaded in fibre and various nutrients, vegetables provide our body with the necessary fuel to work and function normally. Unfortunately, over the years fewer and fewer people are including vegetables in their meals. Processed sugar, artificial flavour, excessive sugar winning the battle of taste, as the case of nutritious vegetables is left behind. Some do it because they are too busy, others are drawn towards junk food. Indeed, packaged meals and junk food does serve as a convenient option for professionals who are too busy to cook a meal for themselves every day. Contrary to what people think, cooking a nutritious meal is hardly rocket science. There are several dishes which can be prepared in less than 30 minutes and can even be stored to be had for dinner or could be next day’s lunch. All it needs a bit of planning.

Here are five tasty dishes which are full of vegetables and are easy to make:

Doenjang Jjigae

This is a staple South Korean stew that uses a variety of vegetables and is a wholesome dish. Doenjang which means a soybean paste is the main ingredient of this dish. It uses fermented soya bean and chili paste and can be eaten all year round. It is cooked with vegetables like onion, zucchini, potato, scallion, radish and bell peppers, and brown rice. In some Korean homes, Doenjang Jjigae is cooked using rice water, which binds together the soya bean paste and the broth. Doenjang has long been celebrated in Korean cuisine for its effectiveness in preventing cancer. Plus, the soybean paste and tofu are rich in protein. With vegetables like radish, bell peppers provide your body with some much-needed fibre.

Vinegret

This dish might be Russian by origin, but is a part of the cuisine of several Soviet-era countries like Ukraine. It’s loaded with vegetables like potatoes, onions, beets, sauerkraut, and carrots. One may also add other green vegetables like peas and beans for that extra crunch. Its name is derived from the vinaigrette, which is used as a dressing for the salad. Apart from being a tasty excuse for eating vegetables, Vinegret is also rich in fibre which can aid weight loss and improves gut health. Next, the beets present in the dish are great for boosting your stamina, controlling high blood pressure, and improves blood flow.

Caponata

The origins of this dish can be traced back to Sicily in Italy and it is pretty similar to ratatouille. The difference between caponata and ratatouille is that the former is a sweet and sour version of the latter. Being replete with vitamins and minerals, eggplant is the star of this dish. It’s high in fibre and low in carbohydrates. It also boosts one’s bone health. Caponata is made by cooking eggplant and several other vegetables like onions and celery in olive oil and capers.

Undhiyu

This is a vegetable casserole that is an integral part of Gujarati cuisine, but it has managed to woo people across the country with its delicious flavours. It is cooked by using several green vegetables like green peas, beans and raw banana. These ensure that you get a high dose of protein, fibre, vitamin A and C, and potassium with every serving. Apart from these green vegetables, the dish also uses eggplant or brinjal which gives it a rich flavour. Lastly, the garnishing with coconut and peanuts pack in a powerful punch.

Grilled vegetable lasagne

This is another Italian dish that is eaten worldwide and is especially liked due to the marriage of flavours it espouses. In this dish, layers of vegetables are carpeted with sheets made of refined flour and cheese and, then baked. The best part about this dish is that you can add any vegetable that you may want. Be it eggplant or zucchini or mushrooms or just bell peppers. By letting you add vegetables of your choice, this dish helps you consume a variety of minerals and nutrients, depending on the fresh produce used. Some people also cook a non-vegetarian variant of lasagne by using beef or chicken.

Most of vegetables are low in calories and carbohydrates, which is why they help in weight loss and improve digestion. Also, they are low in cholesterol. They are rich in several nutrients like potassium, vitamins A, C and K and calcium. The vitamin C present in citrus fruits and vegetables keeps your skin healthy and wards of infections.

The vegetables which are rich in folic acid help in the formation of red blood cells and strengthen bones. During foetal development, it reduces the risk of birth defects like spina bifida and anencephaly. There are also a few vegetables that can be simply chopped and had raw on the go. Vegetables like cucumber, beetroot, radish and carrot.

Puskar

Editor in chief @GreenCleanGuide.com

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