That same evening, she attended a birthday party, came home and announced that she had failed because sausage pizza is just too tempting. Of course, there is more to a vegetarian diet than just vegetables, but it did get me thinking about the fact that we all could use a few more veggies in our lives.
The US Department of Agriculture, recommends that adults age 30+ should aim for 2-3 cups of vegetables each day. A 1-cup portion size is equal to a whole bell pepper, 1 medium sweet potato, 1 large tomato, 2 stalks of celery, or 1 whole avocado. What are your favorite ways to eat vegetables? I like to start my day with an egg sandwich that includes a healthy pile of spinach leaves, a couple large slices of tomato, and onions. My daughters enjoy smoothies and this makes for an easy way to sneak in some veggies like spinach and carrots. At our evening meal, we always have a bowl of raw veggies like cucumbers, celery, pea pods, and peppers with hummus for dipping. Below you will find my favorite dip that is packed with veggies and is great served with even more vegetables or whole grain crackers.
Healthy Spinach and Kale Veggie Dip
2 cups of plain, low-fat yogurt
3 TB mayonnaise
1 cup finely chopped kale
1 cup finely chopped spinach
3 green onions, finely chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped red pepper
¼ cup finely grated carrot
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp smoked paprika (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Adjust seasoning as needed or add more yogurt to reach desired consistency. Serve with veggies, chips, or crackers.