4 Ways to Get Creative with Vegetables

Pack in the veggies and the flavour, with these five creative ways to boost nutrients in your meals,
drinks and snacks.

Feeding your body certain foods may help keep your immune system strong. If you're looking for ways to prevent colds, the flu, and other infections, your first step is to switch up some of your comfort foods with these nutrient-rich and low-calorie dishes made with greens. 
For those of you who think you don’t like vegetables, it’s probably because you haven’t tried the right recipes. Besides getting creative with these four recipes, this is also one way to encourage your child to eat vegetables — by letting the kiddos see you having fun preparing, eating and enjoying greens yourself.

A green smoothie a day keeps the doctor away

Get your fruit and greens in, with this delicious and healthy smoothie!
We live busy lives that more than often causes us to forget about how important fruits and vegetables are to our overall wellbeing. By starting your day with a green smoothie, you are already consuming a lot of fruits and vegetables, thus upping your daily intake of these essential food types.
Unlike some other smoothie recipes, you do not need any sweetener to make this simple green smoothie. The fruit imparts all the sweetness necessary for even the youngest members of your family to enjoy!
Green smoothie recipes like this one are super popular, and for good reason. They're quick to make and are an easy way to deliver a lot of nutrients to the body.

  • 1 medium ripe banana, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup of ice cubes
  • 1/2 cup of fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup of water, or milk substitute 
  • 1 cup of fresh spinach

  • Tightly pack leafy greens in a measuring cup and then toss into a blender.
  • Add water, or milk substitute, and blend together until all leafy chunks are gone.
  • Add fresh blueberries and sliced bananas, and blend again until smooth.
  • Pour into a mason jar (or cute cup of your choice).
  • Gulp or sip for your boost of energy! 

Reimagine noodles for a carb-free dish 

 The best way to get the most al dente noodles? Make them out of raw zucchini!
Have you ever tried zucchini noodles, also known as zoodles? They are basically noodles that are made from raw zucchinis that have been spiralised or cut into long, thin strips until they resemble noodles.
The next time you walk into any large supermarket, you might just find a selection of pre-packed ready-made zoodles. The popularity of these vegetable noodle-shaped alternatives has positively skyrocketed over the past year, with fans of recently trendy low-carb diets (like the raw-vegan, paleo and keto diets) going absolutely bonkers for the noodle alternative. 
But zoodles need not be specifically consumed by those on a particular diet. Because when properly prepared, zoodles can be totally delicious and enjoyed by everyone!

  • 4 medium zucchinis (about 900g)
  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic (3-4 cloves)
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes, depending on how spicy you like the dish
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes (about 340g)
  • 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1 cup of basil leaves, torn into pieces
  • Salt, to taste

  • Slice the ends off the zucchini and place it on your spiraliser. Turn the spiraliser to create curly zucchini noodles in seconds. If you don’t own a spiraliser, you can use a vegetable peeler for thick, flat slices of zucchini noodles.
  • Add olive oil, garlic, and the red pepper flakes into a large, deep pan. Sauté for 30 seconds over medium heat.
  • When the oil begins to bubble around the garlic, add the zucchini noodles. Toss the noodles with pasta tongs for about 5-7 minutes.
  • Stir in the tomatoes, basil, and parmesan cheese. Cook for 1 minute. Use pasta tongs to transfer the noodles, tomatoes, and basil to a serving dish.
  • Finish with more parmesan cheese on top and serve!

Crunch on chips of a healthy snack

Satisfy your craving for something crispy and crunchy with kale chips!
Many people are turning to this popular snack with the crispiness and saltiness of a regular potato chip, but made from a vegetable that contains less carbs and more vitamins. Whether it's the shape or unique colour, veggie chips are the ideal blend of taste and nutrition. Kale chips, for example, are all the rage these days, and are the perfect way to shake up your snack options.
As a superfood, kale boasts a range of health benefits, and their chip version has been taking over the snack market. So the next time you feel yourself reaching out for a bag at the supermarket, consider making your own at home with this handy recipe. 

  • 1 large bundle of curly green or purple kale
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • Seasonings of choice (i.e. pinch sea salt, 1 teaspoon of cumin powder, 1 teaspoon of chilli powder, 1 teaspoon of curry powder, etc.)

  • Preheat the oven to 107 degrees Celsius. Use convection bake to speed up cooking time and help chips crisp up even more.
  • Rinse and thoroughly dry the kale leaves, then tear into small pieces and discard any large stems.
  • Add to a large mixing bowl and drizzle with oil and seasonings of choice. Toss thoroughly to combine, use your hands to distribute the oil and seasonings evenly.
  • Spread the kale leaves over 2 large baking sheets. You want the kale leaves to bake evenly, so be sure to place them side by side without overlapping.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, then lightly toss/stir kale to ensure even baking. Bake for 5-10 minutes more, or until kale chips are crispy and turn slightly golden brown. Watch closely as it can burn easily.
  • Remove from the oven and let them cool slightly — the chips will crisp up even more once out of the oven.
  • Enjoy immediately! 

Wrap it up with veggie sandwiches for a light meal

Ditch conventional wraps! Instead, spoon ingredients into a wrap made of lettuce leaves.
Veggie wraps are popular recipes and for good reason. They’re super cheap to make with basic ingredients, and perfect to throw together when you’re in a hurry. 
Start eating in a healthier way by making a few small switches here and there. One example is substituting regular tortillas for lettuce leaves! They work well for something like this as they wrap nicely, and add a nice fresh crunch to the wraps as well. It's a fun spin on any meal, and an easy way to add more vegetables to your day. So, wrap up your favourite sandwich fillings or get inspired by our mouth-watering Thai-style minced chicken lettuce cup recipe!

  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame oil
  • 450g of ground chicken
  • 1 packet of shiitake mushrooms (100g), diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic (3-4 cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger
  • 1/4 cup of hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of chilli garlic sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 bunch of lettuce

  • Heat the vegetable oil and sesame oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add ground chicken, mushrooms, diced carrot and minced shallot. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, making sure to crumble the ground chicken as it cooks.
  • Stir in garlic and ginger for about 1 miniature, or until fragrant.
  • Stir in hoisin sauce, chilli garlic sauce and fish sauce for about 30 seconds, or until heated through. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.
  • To serve, spoon several tablespoons of the chicken mixture into the centre of a lettuce leaf, taco-style!
When it comes down to it, many of us fall short of our quota of fibre and vitamins. And if you think it’s just adults that have trouble getting our daily intake of vegetables, imagine urging the kiddos to eat the recommended amount of fruits and greens each day. 
So, give these four creative recipes a shot. Not only are they easy and fun to prepare, they are also delicious, while offering a variety of health benefits to help you and your loved ones get through the day, whether at work or at play!