Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
16 Nov

How to Eat More Vegetables

vegetables 2It’s been my experience that people rarely have trouble eating more meat when going Primal. Sure, former vegetarians may struggle with the transition, but the average omnivore usually welcomes the opportunity to indulge more often. Vegetables, on the other hand, seem to present more of an issue. We don’t live in a very veggie friendly culture. Vegetables get a bad name from the overcooked, colorless portions served in schools to the tiresome model of bland “house salads” across America. (Can we all just agree that iceberg lettuce is just a handy wrapping agent – for real food?) I get emails and comment board questions from time to time asking how to incorporate more vegetables into a Primal Blueprint diet. Sometimes they’re from self-professed vegetable haters. Other times, folks are just looking for tips to expand their limited horizons in the produce section or in the cooking realm. Fall might not be the height of farmers’ market season, but it’s a good time to up your antioxidant intake. Why put off making a positive change? Let’s dig in.

Train Your Palate

I always tell people you *can* train your taste. Sure, chocolate will probably always taste better than broccoli, but as you distance yourself from a daily onslaught of sugar, salt, and processed additives, you’ll begin to appreciate the taste of freshness in all your food – vegetables included. Be patient with the process (and yourself). Take it as slow as you need to.

Start with the veggies you already like or sort of like. Work more of them into the meal rotation more often. Use them raw in one dish and cooked in another. Chop them finely in one meal and use large chunks for dipping at snack time. Start your own list or cookbook to record your favorites.

Add One Quality Vegetable At a Time

Go to the best farmers’ market or produce department you can. Buy the best quality you can afford. Start with just a little of each new thing. Get plenty of inspiration from your favorite cookbooks and online recipes (like here of course).

Have Fun With It

Host a potluck, have each family member make a dish, or go out to dinner with the weekly veggie theme in mind. That way you’ll get to try a vegetable prepared differently in several dishes. You’re bound to like at least one.

Learn to Cook Each Vegetable

Guess what – no one likes green beans when they’re cooked to an olive-colored mush. The same goes for limp asparagus or soggy eggplant. Here’s where I think cooking shows can come in handy – when they aren’t just carb orgies. (Anyone out there want to bring the Primal Blueprint to the “Next Food Network Star”? I take an oath to actually watch the show from start to finish and post updates on your progress here.) Good cooking magazines and cookbooks often give more detailed recipe instructions or ingredient guides, which can be handy. That said, many vegetables are better raw. Stay open-minded.

Don’t Underestimate Good Seasoning and Accompaniments

Cut yourself some slack early on, and use dips, sauces, and dressings as you need them. As your taste adjusts, you’ll depend on them less. If you’ve been Primal for a while now, use your favorite recipes to your advantage. Dip vegetable sticks into meat juices or mushroom sauces (works great with cauliflower, BTW). Whip up a jar of Primal ranch dressing or tzatziki for some some raw veggies.

Look beyond the typical dip ideas, however. Try the veggies at hand as a hot side dish with an Asian (stir fry!) or Mediterranean sauce. Add some umami with some good quality cheese if you do any dairy. (Gratins aren’t just for potatoes.) Or mix your veggies with some fruit while you get used to the new tastes.

Yes, You Can Eat Vegetables for Breakfast

Now for the nitty gritty of a day’s menu. Like eggs? Throw in diced bits of a single vegetable (or more) when making scrambled eggs or an omelet. Mince it if you’d rather not taste large chunks. Or blend some kale or spinach into a smoothie. Add a splash of fruit juice or a handful of fruit if you need to. As you get used to one, look at adding another.

Envision a Better Salad

First, experiment with better greens. If it’s your least favorite part of any salad, minimize the greens portion and try out alternatives. Baby spinach and romaine, for example have more flavor than iceberg but are still pretty tame. Butterhead varieties and endive are a few of the mildest leaves. For more flavor, try dandelion and other “weed” greens, radicchio, or a peppery arugula. Shred some red cabbage or throw a few kale leaves in there to mix it up. While buying whole heads or loose stock leaves gives you the freshest (and usually cheapest) option, consider trying pre-packaged mixed greens to test out what you like the most.

That said, a good salad is so much more than the greens. (Sometimes, there are no greens to be had period.) Here’s where the veggie of the week idea can come in handy. Use the vegetables you like already and throw in a new one every few days. Don’t limit your salads to veggies only. Just about any salad, if you ask me, tastes better with some meat or even a little cheese on occasion. Do a chef salad, a salmon Caesar salad, or a broccoli, scallion, and carrot slaw with some marinaded beef. Then get bold and add to the mix over time. If texture is an issue, try a chopped salad.

Veggie Snacks Can Be More Than Carrot and Celery Sticks

I personally love a crudite platter, but it can get old if you never mix it up. Invest in a dehydrator and make vegetable “chips” with everything from kale to zucchini. Season generously, and enjoy. Use the leftovers from the previous night’s veggie adventure as a snack, or do a butter leaf wrap with a vegetable-rich tuna or chicken salad. Good readers, I know you’ll have plenty to add here!

Sneak Them Into Your Favorite Dishes and Comfort Foods

One of the best meals I ever had at someone else’s house was shrimp cooked in a Greek vegetable and feta sauce. I never would’ve guessed it was just tomatoes, green pepper, scallions, olive oil, and herbs with feta. The longer things cook, the more the flavors become blended into something wholly new and rich. Use this principle to your advantage. Add minced veggies to your favorite chili, stew, or soup recipe. Mash some root vegetables and serve it with garlic butter, homemade gravy, or plain meat drippings.

Anyone ready to eat now?? Thanks for reading today. Be sure to share your own ideas for enjoying vegetables Primally. I’ll look forward to reading your tips, questions, and recipe ideas. Have a great week, everybody!

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Eating more veggies is not that hard.
    I eat them cooked too, not only raw. Cooked in the oven or grilled, they taste different, so I don’t feel I am eating the same thing over and over again.

    Paul Alexander wrote on November 16th, 2011
    • It should not be hard for most but it can be a challenge for others.

      One of my good friends has lost over 100 lbs eating primal but never ate any veggies or fruits during his whole life. That’s right. NONE. Potatoes, yes but literally nothing else. Maybe just a couple bites.

      He’s been working at it and now enjoys more fruits and veggies but it’s not easy for him. Baby steps works for some!

      Primal Toad wrote on November 16th, 2011
    • I agree Paul. Eating more veggies is easy. Cooked, raw, sautéed, steamed, grilled and even in a slow cooker with meat. These are all wonderful options to incorporate more veggies. I of course love to eat them with melted pastured butter. Mmmm…the best!

      Erik wrote on November 16th, 2011
  2. I really like the chip idea… it makes me want to get out my food dehydrator! I don’t shirk away from vegetables, but sometimes I can be pretty hard for me to get a lot of the “leafy green” variety in my diet. I tend to gobble down more things like peppers and squash.

    M wrote on November 16th, 2011
    • somewhere on this site there are kale chips! The absolute best chips in the world. I do this: take thick ribs out of 1 bunch of kale. wash kale carefully (curly could provide free meat if you’re lax on the washing; lacinto kale is easier to clean-not as many nooks and crannies). Dry it thoroughly (I didn’t at first and it didn’t work so well); use a salad spinner AND some fresh kitchen towels to make sure it’s dry. Turn the oven on to 300F. Rip kale into chip-sized pieces and put in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil; toss to coat all the kale. sprinkle with seasoning (salt, pepper, cayenne, herbs, whatever); toss again. Put parchment paper on a couple of cookie-type pans and arrange kale pieces in a single layer. Bake at 300F for 20 to 30 mins; check the kale often after 20 mins as the time it takes to go from crispy to burnt is very short. Anyway, pile on a platter and enjoy. or, if you’re like me, just eat these off the cookie sheets!!!!

      Mary Anne wrote on November 16th, 2011
      • Kale chips rock! Super-easy to make. I’ll emphasize that it’s important to get rid of the moisture, because soggy kale chips don’t rock.

        Abel James wrote on November 16th, 2011
      • can you store the kale chips? thanks!

        Tracey wrote on November 17th, 2011
      • Kale chips are great but the yield is never enough – those things are gone in our house before they cool down.

        Kale also works great as a wrap for a burger. Get a big enough leaf or two and it’s way better than lettuce.

        Xenocles wrote on November 17th, 2011
      • Kale chips are a revelation.Better than regular chips or nuts.I’ve served to friends who first looked at me like I’d picked this up from the back yard after a day in the sun, but soon enough, they were wolfing it down and asking for the recipe.

        Christine wrote on November 17th, 2011
  3. I used to struggle with getting enough veggies. Now that I’ve found some good recipes, veggies are my favorite part.

    A year ago I never imagined I’d be so excited by kale or cabbage. Many leafy greens triumph in bacon fat. Cabbage loves curry spices too.

    Dan wrote on November 16th, 2011
    • Totally agree about the bacon fat! My favorite veggie dish is brussels sprouts sauteed in bacon and then simmered in broth and coconut milk. I’m interested in your cabbage curry dish, could you share the recipe? I have no clue how to cook cabbage.

      Spincycle wrote on November 16th, 2011
      • Spouse and I like cabbage cut into fettucini-sized ribbons then sauteed in butter or bacon fat. I add a sprinkle of salt and a bit of slightly-crushed caraway seed while the cabbage is cooking, then finish with a drizzle of raw cream. Yum!

        Mary D wrote on November 16th, 2011
    • Bacon grease makes everything better! :) I never liked Brussels sprouts until I roasted them with some bacon; now I can’t get enough!

      Jules wrote on November 21st, 2011
  4. I used to make stew from pork and cabbage…and a lot of other meals that had a ton of vegetables.
    I also still had lingering digestive issues that hadn’t gone away.
    Come to find out vegetables (esp. the leafy green and fibrous ones) caused me to have hard, slow moving stools that clumped up into giant boulders.
    Since eliminating most vegetables that are too fibrous for me to digest I do perfect in the WC :)

    Now my “veggies” are gently fried squash types and the occassional sweet potato (in lard). Other than that, I’d say I’m a 99% primal eater (occassional pudding) and a 90% carnivore.

    Arty wrote on November 16th, 2011
    • Arty, can you list which vegetables you had problems with. I’m interested in finding out what is causing my digestive tract to be ” off track” so to speak. I eat a lot of vegetables. Thanks, Di

      Dlenore wrote on November 11th, 2012
  5. Since going Primal, I’ve learned how to roast veggies and that has changed my veggie intake bigtime. I’m not sure why I never did this before (its not exactly a secret prep method) but I LOVE roasted veggies now, and have them frequently for after work snacks too. YUM.
    My current faves are broccoli, green beans and quartered brussels sprouts. I toss them with some fat, balsamic vinegar and a bit of seasoning, and roast away!

    AustinGirl wrote on November 16th, 2011
  6. Its all about learning how to cook them. Once I learned how to season them & use the right temperatures I fell in love with veggies.

    Becca wrote on November 16th, 2011
  7. I eat a wide variety of salads and vegetables everyday. Salmon Salad last night with cukes, onions, tomatoes, avocado, romaine, dill, lemon juice and olive oil. Made a salad on Monday and threw in jalapenos, scallions and a few chopped up prunes. I try never to eat the same food more than 2 days in a row and that includes common salad foods like lettuce and tomato. This requires frequent stops at the grocery store but it is worth it for the variety.

    Peter wrote on November 16th, 2011
  8. Roasted brussels sprouts, tossed with crumbled bacon, garlic, pepper, and olive oil are one of our favorite vegis to cook.

    I also started making a carrot-curry soup that has been well received:

    Cut a couple lbs of carrots (organic or farmers market taste best) into chunks, along with one large onion. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and roast until golden, about 45mins at 425 degrees. Add to a food processor or blender in batches with 4 cups of good bone broth, a can of coconut milk, some butter, 2-3 TB of curry powder, 1 TB garam masala (I use Penzey’s), and a bit more garlic. Do it in batches, then dump back into a stock pot to warm up a bit and adjust seasonings.

    With the bone broth it’s super hearty, and goes well with a grassfed beef patty or your other meat of choice.

    Kristina wrote on November 16th, 2011
    • Thanks Kristina, sounds yummy! I’m going to try it this week.

      Spincycle wrote on November 16th, 2011
  9. I used to roast vegetables in olive oil. Now I use a bit of bacon fat. It works and tastes great – then I can grab a half a cup of vegetables out of a bin in the fridge and eat them warm or cold.

    I like to use:
    squash (zucchini)
    squash (eggplat)
    mushrooms
    peppers
    onions

    Over time you learn how much fat/oil is good for you (not much!)

    Daniel wrote on November 16th, 2011
    • One thing I do is put the cut up veggies in a container with the fat, cover it, then shake it up – it helps to put a thin coat of fat on the veggies. Probably helps you to use much less…

      Daniel wrote on November 16th, 2011
  10. Veggies are something I’ve just been thinking I need to up my intake of, so a very timely post for me! During the spring/summer when my garden and farmers markets are flourishing with fresh veggies its not so hard, but I’ve definitely been slacking off lately on big salads everyday. I’m making some soup tonight, though, and this post has inspired me to really add in more vegetables!

    Katie wrote on November 16th, 2011
  11. One word here: FAT.

    One of the biggest points of libertation going primal has, is realizing that not only are saturated fats not bad for you, but they are downright healthy and can be consumed with gusto! Same goes for the use of natural sea salt.

    Butter and salt up those vegetables.
    Saute them in bacon grease.
    Use liberal amounts of primal-based dressings (love that primal ranch recipe, Mark!).

    If you eat cheese, nothing makes veggies more palatable than loads of cheese grated and/or melted.

    Oddly enough, going primal has lead me to eating far more veggies than I used to on the S.A.D. (in which a house salad with crappy canola/soybean/hfcs dressing was my typoical daily vegetable consumption.)

    Keoni Galt wrote on November 16th, 2011
    • This is how I’ve convinced my kids to eat brussels sprouts. How can you resist brussels sprouts sauteed in bacon fat or a boatload of coconut oil??

      Tara wrote on November 16th, 2011
  12. Luckily I grew up in a household where my parents always included two vegetable options per meal and we often ate salads.
    Lately, my favourite breakfast has been to sauté leaks, kale and red pepper and then top it off with a soft-cooked egg (and maybe a few slices of bacon :)
    Another trick is to julienne zucchini and use it as pasta!! I find this helps me curb those spaghetti and meatball cravings without actually eating the pasta!!
    Soups are also a great way to up your veggie intake – I like to make ‘clean out the fridge’ soup – I literally try to use up whatever is leftover in the fridge and add it to some homemade broth.
    As Mark said – start with veggies you know you like and then start incorporating new ones a little at a time. Try different cooking techniques and season and remember that butter and bacon go great with most veggies!!

    ActiveChaCha wrote on November 16th, 2011
    • I just made zucchini “pasta” last night. Tossed it with olive oil, italian herbs, garlic powder, crushed red pepper and leftover pulled pork. And some nutritional yeast (no dairy for me). DH really liked it!

      Kris wrote on November 16th, 2011
  13. I have often thought Food Network needs a primal cooking show and I would love to be the one to pull it off, but that competition is a bit daunting for a home cook. I was watching with that intent in mind in the last go-round and would have been out on the challenges where you need to know how to cook Duck a l’orange!

    Katherine wrote on November 16th, 2011
    • PBS Create Channel (26.2 in the DC area) has a show named Primal Grill with Steven Raichlen. Forget Bobby Flay; this guy is a real master. He grills meats using techniques from around the world on an impressive array of grills. Most of the time Steven adds a veggie side dish. He’s not fully primal because he occasionally grills bread and uses sugar in the meat rubs, but it’s easy to primalize.

      Compare that to the vegan cooking show Christina Cooks. She’s heavily into “health food” like soy faux meat, agave nectar, rice milk, PUFA oils, etc. She also looks like she could lose about 20.

      oxide wrote on November 16th, 2011
      • Here, try this: primalgrill.org. Lots of recipes!

        oxide wrote on November 16th, 2011
        • THANKS!!! YUM!!!!

          Jena wrote on November 16th, 2011
      • I have no problem eating lots of vegetables and eating all that meat/fat feels so decadent (as a former Cardiac nurse it goes against everything I have believed and taught…)but I am loving it. Breakfast is the real problem for me. I like variety but everything I read in the Primal diet seems to center on bacon and eggs for breakfast. Yes, I throw in veggies and cheese, but still — eggs. I miss the fiber at breakfast. Please, help me out with some breakfast ideas!

        Peggy wrote on November 22nd, 2011
  14. I second the whole cooking thing. I just take whatever I have and get out the wok, add some coconut oil, butter or ghee and lightly cook. Adding some Himalayan salt and cayenne pepper adds to the experience. And it’s amazing just how much spinach will cook down to what looks like a very small amount.

    Dave, RN wrote on November 16th, 2011
  15. hi all, beautiful markets still thrive in the fall (tons of hardy winter greens!) and indoor ones open in december too. im personally a primal fan and happy to pass along our national Eat Well Guide site to help you find a local market or natural food coop or restaurant serving pastured meat as well. best, Destin

    http://www.eatwellguide.org

    Destin Layne wrote on November 16th, 2011
  16. I thought we were good about eating a lot of different vegetables, and then we joined a CSA. We received so many vegetables that I’d never seen or heard of! Swiss chard, kohlrabi, garlic scapes, rutabagas….these are old friends now, but I only tried them because they arrived in my CSA box.

    Anne wrote on November 16th, 2011
    • Same here! Having a year-round local farmers’ market was a start, but getting the CSA box really opened up my eyes to the possibilities for veggies (and fruit, too). I have learned to cook and love so many different types of veggies now. My favorite thing that’s shown up has been romanesco. Not that tastes all that different than broccoli or cauliflower, but boy does it look like some sort of alien fractal veggie!

      I second all the recommendations for roast veggies – or grilled when you have outdoor grilling weather. I will often roast up a pile of veggies on the weekend, then use them throughout the week – either to snack on cold or warmed up in the microwave, or mixed into a scramble for breakfast, or thrown into my salad.

      My secret ingredient on roast or grilled veggies is cumin … I will often roast with just cumin, salt, and pepper and it’s pure awesomeness.

      KC wrote on November 16th, 2011
  17. Chef Rachel showed us how to parboil vegetables at PrimalCon and how to make nut butter dipping sauces. Parboiling or blanching vegetables makes them a lot tastier (less bitter) but still maintains most of their vitamins. Definitely a delicious way to eat more vegetables.

    Dave Fish wrote on November 16th, 2011
  18. Even as a veggie lover, I used to struggle to get enough of them in my daily diet. Now that I’ve converted to primal, my breakfast alone usually has about 5-6 veggies in it. Every morning I have a stir fry with a mix of bell peppers, zucchini, green onions, bok choy, spinach and kale. Cooked in coconut oil or butter…plated and then topped with two fried eggs. SO much healthier and more flavorful than the oatmeal I used to eat!
    I’ve also tried collard greens (great with bacon) and turnips recently. Looking forward to experimenting with other veggies soon.

    Kathleen wrote on November 16th, 2011
  19. I’m not a vegetarian because I love animals. I’m a vegetarian because I hate plants.

    DrBiscuits wrote on November 16th, 2011
  20. CSA’s are the key! You are forced to eat veggies every day or else you waste your money. You are also forced to eat what is in season. It has really made me creative in the kitchen.

    Favorite tricks (to add to the others):
    Roasted broccoli and green beans (with a little lemon and garlic and olive oil)
    Kale slaw; gah kale has a long season in Georgia

    Shay wrote on November 16th, 2011
  21. Why not go Vilhjalmur Stefansson style and just skip the veggies all together?

    Love a study from 1930 now being considered cutting edge and controversial.

    http://owndoc.com/pdf/meat-only-diet2.pdf

    Noel wrote on November 16th, 2011
    • Yeah. I get rashes and stomach issues from most veggies, so I’m mostly eating meat.

      Sofie wrote on November 18th, 2011
  22. Just last night I did a huge pan of roasted veggies in organic ghee with salt and pepper. I did 1/2 large cabbage, broccoli, carrots, onion, red and yellow peppers and a few small sweet potatoes.
    I use them throughout the week for sides with dinner, or lunch.
    My new favourite breakfast is to throw some of the above veggies in a frying pan, heat them up, add 3 beaten eggs and scramble the whole thing together. It takes literally 5 min, and is a nice hearty breakfast with lots of protein…

    Juie wrote on November 16th, 2011
  23. One of my biggest problems with going primal has been that grains were a vegetable delivery system: homemade tomato sauce or sauteed veggies with pesto on pasta, veggie sandwiches on bread, quesadillas with homemade salsa. I’m gradually figuring out what else to use as the veggie resting spot (spaghetti squash, nut crusts, lettuce wraps, etc.), but it’s not always obvious :)
    Luckily, as someone else noted, I grew up with a huge garden and fresh veggies at every meal. That will REALLY spoil you :)

    Karen wrote on November 16th, 2011
  24. A vegetarian potluck is a good way of finding out how to cook and serve vegetables. As you say ‘stay open-minded’. Nice post as ever.

    Phil wrote on November 16th, 2011
  25. Thanks for this post Mark, there are a lot of good points here!

    Personally, I love veggies but have been in sort of a rut so this is motivation to get out of it :)

    I second your point on training your palate. To all you who can’t stand veggies, it can get better!

    Never underestimate the power of butter and always buy the freshest veggies you can find. If they look appealing (as opposed to wrinkly and brown) you are more likely to enjoy them.

    Ande wrote on November 16th, 2011
  26. I’ve tried almost all of these! Homemade mayo will get almost any vegetable into my toddler. And I like them in soup. You can even blend veggies into your tomato sauce — no one notices!

    This morning I had a pumpkin smoothie for breakfast. YUM! For lunch, meatballs — and you can add shredded carrot or other veggies to meatballs in place of the usual breadcrumbs. Omelets are great with spinach or any other veggie.

    What really gets me eating veggies, though, when I’m in a rut, is wandering through the produce section in search of something I haven’t tried. Then I bring it home and look up the yummiest recipe for that veggie I can find. Never fails to be good!

    Sheila wrote on November 16th, 2011
    • What do you put into your pumpkin smoothie? It sounds like a great idea!

      LeNeen wrote on February 5th, 2012
  27. One of my recently discovered favorites: oven roasted beets with crumbled blue cheese and hazelnuts.

    Keith wrote on November 16th, 2011
    • Oh be still my quaking palate! Yes, yes, yes!!!! FORTUNATELY, my husband doesn’t care for beets; I only have to fight our daughter for this preparation! p.s., sorry for all the !!!! but Keith, you hit on one of theeee best dishes!

      Mary Anne wrote on November 16th, 2011
    • Do tell! How do you prep them for the oven? Are they sliced, diced, whole?

      This kills pizza cravings like nothing else AND you eat an entire zucchini in one sitting. Talk about veggies…

      https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2086449322808&set=a.2086439082552.2102058.1292413845&type=3&theater

      Deannacat wrote on November 16th, 2011
      • Leave whole, trim the greens off leaving a stub on the beets (to avoid “bleeding” of the color. Red or golden, both are good, but golden is less staining). Save the greens for sauteeing. coat w/ a little olive oil and wrap in heavy duty foil, bake at 375 for about an hour or until they are slightly soft. Let cool in the foil, then trim off the tops and peel the outer skin; it will pull off. Slice and use in salads or however you like. My favorite is on a salad w/ goat cheese and toasted pecans or walnuts, with a drizzle of good balsamic. You can also eat them warm w/ lemon and butter.

        Lexi wrote on November 17th, 2011
    • Wow, I have some roasted beetroot in the fridge. I am making this tomorrow! Thanks.

      alley cat wrote on November 17th, 2011
  28. Smoothies! I have found the easiest way to add veggies to my diet is with smoothies. I’ve always made smoothies quite frequently, but it used to be mostly with fruit. Now, I make them mostly with veggies and lesser amounts of fruits and soaked nuts and seeds. I also add other items like dark chocolate or cocoa beans, cinnamon, nutmeg, a little raw honey if I want to sweeten it a little, and for fat I add either coconut milk or full fat plain yogurt. I also use avocados a lot for their fat content and the smoother texture they give the smoothie. For example, the last smoothie I made was broccoli, spinach, asparagus, a little radicchio, kiwi, blueberries, macadamias, almonds, pumpkin seeds, cocoa beans, cinnamon, nutmeg, a little raw honey, and enough water and ice to get the consistency I like. I experiment a lot, and some combinations work better than others, but most are quite tasty and the potential combinations are endless so it never gets old. If I want more protein to go along with it I usually scramble some eggs or simply put two or three raw eggs in the smoothie itself. I can literally make a full meal out of it and it’s always loaded with great primal stuff. These days I do this four or five times a week for breakfast or lunch.

    Also for dinner, Steamed veggies of various types combined with my meat of choice also works well for dinner, especially if I drizzle plenty of butter or coconut oil over it.

    Greg wrote on November 16th, 2011
    • I totally second the smoothie concept. We learned this from some friends that stayed with us a few months and brought their own Blendtec with them. And now we are the proud owners of a Blendtec, which is just about the only way to SERIOUSLY make smoothies on a routine basis. Veggie smoothies will burn up regular blenders QUICK. Plus the ease of cleaning the Blendtec is VERY appealing over a regular style blender.
      I make our smoothies with a general formula: 2 bananas, 1 handful of fruit (anything from strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, mango, orange, grapes, apples, pineapple (including the core!), nectarines, plums, etc), 1 large handful of greens, and one small handful of a second type of green. I prefer kale and spinach, but just about anything green will do just fine. I add water or juice to help make it smooth, and sometimes if I don’t think it will be quite right, I’ll add some honey or other natural sweetener. If I discover that the flavor is just off I’ll go for the maple syrup cause it fixes anything :) Everyone here at work has finally gotten used to my strange green drinks. I love it because I can get more veggies into my diet without a lot of work, and for me that is huge.

      Ginny B wrote on November 16th, 2011
      • I’m not familiar with Blentec, but I have a Vitamix which can blend anything in any combination and has lasted me for years of intense usage with no problems at all. They’re not cheap, and it appears Blentec’s aren’t either, but if they last forever it doesn’t matter. I’ve gone through enough cheap blenders in the past that aren’t up to the task and are more aggravating than useful.

        I’m glad you mention kale because it works great in smoothies and is packed with nutrients. You can literally put any kind of green into a smoothie with good results. Watercress works well too and gives it a nice fresh flavor. I’ve also tried some root vegetables like beets, celery root, carrots, etc. with lots of success. The potential list of veggie ingredients is literally endless. One nice thing about it is that if there’s a veggie that’s really good for you that you don’t particularly like by itself, you can blend it in with everything else and not notice it much but still get the benefits.

        Greg wrote on November 16th, 2011
      • OH GOD YES to the Green Smoothies. If it weren’t for them, I doubt my partner would eat many greens at all. And I know I wouldn’t eat anywhere near as many as I should. Salads are great, but after a while I get sick of all that chewing, you know?

        If anyone’s new to trying them, I’d recommend starting with small handfuls of greens like lettuce or baby spinach, as they have the least intense flavour, then moving on to others/bigger handfuls as you get used to the taste. Coconut milk and nut butter works great if you’re like me and can’t afford many bananas/avocados to smooth out the smoothie. Raw egg yolks are an easily hidden protein hit, too (it’s the only way I can get my partner to eat them – he hates the taste of eggs, but he needs the nutrients in them). And at some point, try a few cups of cabbage in a smoothie. Works really, really well.

        Phoenix wrote on November 19th, 2011
  29. Truffle oil. It adds a great, earthy flavor to broccoli and asperagus.

    Zuccini, cut into thin discs, sauteed in a little garlic and olive oil, and add some parmesian cheese at the end. It’s the BOMB!

    Rob Petkus wrote on November 16th, 2011
  30. Whipped cauliflower tastes better than mashed potatoes, and takes less than 10 minutes to make. I indulge and add plenty of grass-fed butter, salt, and pepper.

    Jennifer wrote on November 16th, 2011
    • You can also make “potato” salad out of this cauliflower mash. I add one small red potato to the mashed mixture as it cooks. Then chop pickles, onions, and a boiled egg and celery and stir in mustard. Delicious!

      Tracey wrote on November 17th, 2011
      • I used diced turnips in vegetable soup in the place of the potatoes I used to add. I also make “potato” chowder with lots of diced turnips and maybe just one large diced potato instead of a whole bag. No one ever even questions the difference!

        Christi wrote on November 18th, 2011
        • well, i normally hate salad (esp. in winter; i’d rather go hungry ); but i adore vegetable soup (in bone broth),

          i suppose i’m a soup girl rather than salad girl. haha.

          cheers,

          PHK wrote on December 20th, 2011
  31. Baby spinach has really helped me. For breakfast I saute some spinach in butter, add two eggs, and serve with Parmesan cheese and avocado over the top. This never gets old. For salads I use baby spinach and dress with yogurt with dried dill. I love romaine lettuce, but the prep requires too much activation energy and I avoid plastic packaging so I can’t buy it already prepped.

    Anne wrote on November 16th, 2011
  32. Best way to eat veggies is the also the best way to eat meat – Grilled! With the right seasoning, they are as good as the chicken breast, or steak on the bbq.

    Starvan wrote on November 16th, 2011
  33. I’ve used my WOK but not Asian. BBQ pork and veggies stir fried are BADASS! A little Cajun flavor is always welcome too. And for forget sriracha or a chipolte sauce. Blending the ethnic foods is a great week to flavor veggies and everything else for that matter.

    Rob Petkus wrote on November 16th, 2011
  34. Seasoning is king … my favorite dressing is Paul Newmans Olive Oil & Vinegar. It is fun to go to the store and find new spices if you have a few veggies you like and do not want to branch out and try new veggies … not to mention, herbs are very good for you on top of the fact that they taste good.

    Grok on!

    Primal_Clay wrote on November 16th, 2011
    • Don’t be fooled by the Olive Oil title … the second ingredient is still a ‘bad’ vegetable oil.

      “Ingredients: Olive Oil Blend (Olive Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil), Vegetable Oil (Soybean Oil and/or Canola Oil), Water, Red Wine Vinegar, Onion, Spices, Salt, Garlic, Lemon Juice and Distilled Vinegar”

      I have yet to find a commercial salad dressing with only olive oil and no Soy/Canola/Sunflower/Safflower oil.

      Candice wrote on November 16th, 2011
  35. as a paleo beginner, I confess that this is one of my biggest problems. But I am trying. I like to go on-line and find new vege recipes to try. And yes please!! Bring Paleo to the food network!

    Michelle wrote on November 16th, 2011
  36. What really helped me is finding a reliable vegetable cookbook and cooking through the entire thing. No avoiding the vegetables you don’t usually like or the recipes that aren’t what you would normally pick. I’m about 1/3 of the way through a cookbook called Fast, Fresh & Green, and I’ve already learned a lot.

    Ella wrote on November 16th, 2011
  37. I find the food processor invaluable for adding tons of fresh veggies to tuna and chicken salad, as well as rich marinara or really any sauces. I often serve these over veggie noodles made from zucchini with a mandoline slicer. This is a great way to get my kids (2 and 5) to eat tons of eggplant. Also TJ’s sells great veggie chips for those without dehydrators. And Fall is a great time to expand the menu with spaghetti squash, another great pasta substitute that tastes great with just salt and butter, though my wife likes it with a little bit of honey as well.

    grant wrote on November 16th, 2011
    • spaghetti squash with browned butter, minced garlic, shredded parmesan and fresh pomegranate seeds sprinkled over it, Yummy!

      lunasma wrote on November 16th, 2011
  38. Mark, according to wikipedia,
    green beans
    are podded vegetable (legumes), and you recommend avoiding legumes in your latest book (great job, by the way). And although peas
    are legumes as well, peapods are botanically a fruit.How bad are these really?

    Jeff wrote on November 16th, 2011
  39. I totally need to invest in a dehydrator!

    Dani wrote on November 16th, 2011
  40. You totally forgot soups! You can make them entirely out of veggies (Tomato soup is FANTASTIC!) with some of the bone stock you’ve made before, and they can be fantastic, and meaty, but still heavy on the veggies!

    Ghost wrote on November 16th, 2011
    • My thought exactly! I love soups throughout the winter.

      mommaofmany wrote on November 16th, 2011

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