If getting your 5-a-day can feel like a challenge, it’s time to bump up the veg in your daily meals. Whether you make the most of clever shortcut products, get creative with veggie swaps in your favourite dinners or blitz up healthy on-the-go snacks, we’ve got all the tips and tricks you need.
Look out for products that do the hard work for you by combining more veg into your regular purchases. Tesco’s new Meat & Veg range combines beef with extra added onion, butternut squash and carrots in meatballs, mince and burgers for an easy way to increase your daily veg intake. Try out the mince in this creamy beef, broccoli and lemon penne for a great family dinner.
If you have more time, have a go at adding extra veg to your meals from scratch. Blitz into soup, add plenty of carrots to a Bolognese or wilt a handful of spinach into a creamy chicken pie. This healthy secret-veg meatball recipe combines turkey mince with carrot, courgette and mushrooms, served with tomato sauce and sweet potato mash – that’s five different vegetables in one meal!
A big bowl of pasta is the perfect weeknight comfort food, but it can lack veg. An easy win is to swap half your pasta for courgetti (or replace it all with courgetti for a light lunch) – try this courgetti and spaghetti with creamy goat’s cheese and sweet red onions. If you don’t have a spiraliser to slice courgettes into thin shreds, use a peeler to peel long, thin ribbons of courgette instead.
Eating vegetables can still feel like a treat if you add it into your favourite dishes. For a clever gluten-free twist, swap out a regular pizza base for cauliflower rice. This spicy chicken cauliflower pizza has a crisp cauliflower and almond crust, topped with spicy chicken and cooling mint yoghurt.
Not just for pizza bases! Use cauliflower rice in place of any rice dish for an easy veggie swap. This egg-fried cauliflower rice uses a combination of jasmine rice and cauliflower and looks just like the Chinese original, making it a healthy addition to your next Chinese feast.
Salad doesn’t need to be relegated to the side of your meal and it can be so much more than a few lettuce leaves and tomatoes. Make salad the main event at dinner time and load up with layers of flavour. This Greek-style lamb and sweet potato salad combines juicy lamb with roasted sweet potato, onions, peppery watercress and rocket for a quick dinner for two.
Don’t just focus on mealtimes – snack smart to add to your five-a-day at any time. Homemade dips are a great way to boost your intake: pack into kids’ lunchboxes or take to work for a mid-morning snack. Guacamole doesn’t have to be just avocado – blitz in peas and watercress for this watercress guacamole, served with colourful homemade vegetable crisps using beetroot, parsnip and sweet potato.
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