Make a new rule — two or more vegetables at your main meal. Serve them on the side, or add extra fresh, frozen or canned vegetables into recipes.
VEGETABLES HAVE HEALING POWER
Eat vegetables of various colors to help manage diabetes and its complications. Each vegetable has its own blend of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.
MAKE A VEGETABLE STOCK
Use extra vegetables from the garden and vegetables from your fridge before they go bad. Boil until mushy, then discard the vegetables. Cool the stock and freeze in containers to use later in soups, gravies and sauces.
MAKE THE VEGETABLES THE STAR OF THE MEAL
Cut a bell pepper or squash in half and remove the seeds. Stuff it with a vegetarian or meat sauce, or beans and rice, and bake it in the oven. Instead of a taco or tortilla shell, use a large piece of iceberg or romaine lettuce and make a lettuce wrap.
INCLUDE A VEGETABLE AT BREAKFAST!
Before cooking, grate raw carrots into oatmeal. Have sliced cucumbers or tomatoes on the side with your egg. Make a vegetable omelet.
VEGETABLE-BASED SMOOTHIES, OCCASIONALLY
Blended vegetables lose much of their healthful whole fiber, but they keep all their vitamins and minerals. An easy recipe is:
1⁄2 to 1 cup of raw spinach
1⁄4 small avocado
1⁄3 cup milk
1⁄3 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
Blend till smooth
SALADS WITH OR WITHOUT LETTUCE
Salads can be made with salad greens or try raw vegetables. Chop green, yellow and red peppers with a sprinkle of feta cheese. Chop broccoli, cauliflower and apple. Add your favorite salad dressing.
SNACKS ON THE GO
Eat mini carrots and mini cucumbers. An old favorite is still great, celery with Cheez Whiz or peanut butter.
Veggies with dip are always popular.
BUY LOCAL FARM PRODUCE
Grocery stores provide us with fresh vegetables all year round. In most communities you can buy local produce in the summer through fall, for the freshest flavor at a good price.
GROW YOUR OWN VEGGIES
If you do not consider yourself a gardener, plant a couple of zucchini or cucumber seeds in a warm sunny spot. Buy a cherry tomato plant for your garden or in a pot. Visit garden centers and ask which vegetables grow best in your climate.
If you do not have the space for a garden, ask about community gardens in your area.