Sneak Attack, Vegetables! Recipes for Simple Pico de Gallo, Kale Chips and More
In attempting to get more veggies into my daily diet, I’ve been approaching my stomach with a stealth tactic. I am, admittedly, not a major salad fan. But I do recognize the massive importance that vegetables play in a nutritious diet, especially for someone who’s always traveling and needs all of the vitamins, fiber and water content that comes with veggies to stay as healthy as humanly possible. I’ve started to use a few guerrilla tactics to make veggies a less boring/more appetizing part of my daily diet, and it’s worked shockingly well.
Pico de Gallo:
Playing on my love of any and all Mexican food, we’ve added massive amounts of this Pico de Gallo to pretty much every meal. I plow through ridiculous amounts of it, which means buying it premade would be insanely expensive. Instead, I just rough chop 5-7 tomatoes, add a hefty amount (3-4 tablespoons) of lime juice, a huge handful of rough chopped cilantro, and a bit of sea salt. You can fancy it up with a bit of red onion (I rinse it first, and always chop it super tiny) but I’ve found the more I make this, the simpler I’d rather keep it. Let it sit for a couple hours to bring out the flavors. We use it on everything we eat, from just arugula as a salad to fish to rice to tortilla chips. It’s seriously on the table for every meal, and as someone who really doesn’t care for tomatoes, I’m eating 2-3 per day at this point!
If you have avocados that are slightly too unripe to turn into guacamole, I love chopping one or two up and adding them in to a batch of this and calling it a cold summer salad: it’s been a ridiculous hit at the parties we’ve been at recently!
If you use just the tiniest bit of olive oil for these, they’re actually pretty freaking healthy. Toss the chopped kale in a bowl with a teaspoon or so of olive oil (it does not take much!!) to get the lightest coating on the greens. Then, preheat the oven to 320 F, spread the kale on a cooking tray, and cook for 15-20 minutes until they’re crispy but not burned. A little sea salt, and the kale becomes the most delicious snack ever—and helps when you’re craving regular chips.
OK, this one is admittedly lame. But… did you realize if you steam an entire bag of spinach, you can eat it in three bites? I did not. It’s a pretty amazing way of hitting your veggie needs for the day even if the idea of veggies isn’t overly appealing. I know it’s super basic, but most people don’t realize how steamed down spinach gets!
Use the Grill:
I love a good barbeque, and we’ve been at a bunch in the past month. One of the easiest things we’ve done is to bring a bunch of pre-chopped veggies wrapped in foil with a bit of olive oil, and tossed them on the grill while everything else was cooking. So tasty, and again, it’s an easy way to contribute something healthy to a party! We’ve found sweet potatoes, turnips, tomatoes (cherry or just chopped up), potatoes, peppers, carrots and yellow onions to be an awesome combination.
Let me know in the comments: What are your favorite veggie hacks?