My Favourite Ways to Include Veggies and Fruit into My Diet

Being healthy and eating food that makes you feel good is so important. You can eat pizza, chocolate and cakes in moderation – just as long as you also balance your diet out with healthier options. I am no expert in nutrition, but I would like to share some meal ideas for anyone who finds it hard to think of healthy and tasty meals (or anyone who wants to be and feel healthy).

Personally, I do eat pizza and chocolate as well as the odd fizzy drink. However, at times, this can make my body feel unhealthy. Therefore, I like to make sure that I am feeding my body with the health and energy that it needs. Of course, I understand that not everyone has the same tastes, and so the things I love may not be to someone else’s liking – but I hope that it gives you inspiration to try out different ways to eat healthy!

First things first: think of what you enjoy eating.

There must be a selection of fruits and vegetables that you love to eat – for me, I love kiwi, bananas, melon and strawberries (I love most fruit, but these are my favourite). In terms of vegetables, I love pretty much all of them! My favourite ones being potatoes, sprouts (I know), carrots, broccoli, peppers, and red cabbage.

These are the foods that you need to try and have at least five portions of a day. Remember, from what I have researched, this can be tinned, frozen or fresh. I have found that tinned carrots and baby potatoes are just as good as fresh. The carrots come soft in the tin, so are useful for making soups, quick stews, adding to bolognese, or for having on the side of your meal. As for tinned potatoes, they are also useful for making quick stews or soups, as well as adding to salads or on the side of a meal.

Frozen vegetables, as well as onions and peppers are very useful and are a cheaper alternative to buying fresh. Both work equally as well and although fresh can be better for some meals, if you want or need to save money, I recommend going for frozen – especially for things you don’t use regularly enough to buy fresh. Fruits can be a bit difficult in terms of having fresh or frozen. This is because frozen fruit only tends to be useful for adding to porridge, yogurt, or for making a smoothie. I usually go for fresh fruit as I prefer the consistency of it – but give frozen a go to see if you like it!

Now that we have discussed the many ways you can get and store healthy fruits and vegetables, here are 5 of my favourite meals and snacks that I eat to incorporate fruits and vegetables into my diet:

1. Simple fruit and yogurt

I love to use strawberries or melon when making myself a bowl of fruit and yogurt. Personally, I like to use plain natural yogurt with a little honey to add to my bowl of fruit. This is my favorite choice for breakfast or for a snack at lunch time. This really helps to keep myself feeling healthy and fresh for the day.

2. Healthy Salad or Wrap

When I want to prepare something healthy for my lunch, I always opt for a nice pasta salad or wrap. For a pasta salad, I like to use tinned tuna along with peppers, cucumber, and tomatoes to create a tasty meal – I like to use tuna infused with lemon and herb to give a nice flavour to the pasta as well as occasionally adding chunks of cheese for my dairy intake. For wraps, I use cooked chicken, along with peppers and spinach or green salad leaves. I then add a drizzle of mayo or salsa – depending on whether I have a cold or hot wrap. These meals can easily be created into a vegetarian option by using meat alternatives.

3. Carrots, Cucumber and Peppers with a Dip

This snack is my go-to for when I need to eat a bit healthier. I like to cut up fresh carrots for the nice crunch, cucumber, and red peppers to snack on. Then, I usually buy a pre-made dip, such as hummus, to add a bit of excitement to my snack. You can make your own dips, if you like, and to make hummus, you just need to blend olive oil, chickpeas and a few other things together – here is a couple of links that I found that show you step-by-step how to create the perfect hummus:

https://www.bbc.com/food/recipes/quickhummousandolive_71473 

https://frommybowl.com/best-hummus-recipe/

4. Bolognese 

This has to be one of my favorite meals on earth. It is so easy and relatively quick to make, and you can incorporate so many veggies into it! Also, this is a great way to have a vegetarian-style meal using quorn mince instead of beef mince.

All that you need to create the perfect bolognese is:

  • Two tins of chopped or plum tomatoes.
  • 250-500g of beef or quorn mince.
  • 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar.
  • 1 tsp each of basil and oregano (dried or fresh).
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste.
  • 1/2 tin or a handful of tinned carrots, chopped (can also use fresh, but may need to be boiled to soften beforehand).
  • Celery, chopped.
  • 1/2 red onion, diced (fresh or frozen).
  • Red pepper, chopped (optional, but good to add more veggies).
  • Pasta – 2 handfuls for each person.
  • 1 beef oxo cube (beef mince version only)
  • Olive oil.

Method:

  • Heat a large frying pan on medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil once heated.
  • Add the mince and brown.
  • Add the red onion, celery, carrots, and red pepper.
  • Stir until all mince is completely brown and add both tins of chopped tomatoes.
  • Stir and add the oregano and basil, along with the balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add the pasta to a pan of boiling water along with a drizzle of olive oil to avoid sticking – stir occasionally.
  • Crumble the oxo cube into the bolognese and stir. Lower the temperature to allow the bolognese to simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Once the pasta is soft, drain and serve with the bolognese.
  • Eat and enjoy!

5. Making a soup or stew:

One great way to include veggies into your diet, and how I like to, is by making a good old homemade stew or soup. By using potatoes as the base, you can add whatever vegetables you like to make a stew or soup – just blend it all together with a cup or two of boiled water – give it a go and try out what works the best! For stews, adding chicken or beef if you like meat is a great way to add some protein or a bit more flavour to your stew. By using some stock, you can create a tasty stew. Have a look online for different ways to make a stew or soup.

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