Veggies. I have a love/hate relationship with them.
For the most part, I feel like vegetables are my friends. Getting lots of them into my diet is one of the healthiest things I can do for myself. They’re packed with vitamins, nutrients, and the complex carbs that our bodies prefer to run on. Roasted? They’re like CANDY. Baked alongside chicken or slow cooked with a piece of quality beef? Oh man! But the dilemma for me has always been this:
We’re supposed to get in a lot of raw veggies, too.
Raw? I mean, okay. I can crunch on a stack of plain ol veg if I really need to. If it’s REALLY going to make me feel great and have vitality and blah blah blah.
But there are some (a lot) of days that I just do not feel like eating raw veg. I mean, ew. I want a cookie. Or some meat. Or toast. Or fruit. And while all of these are great, I’m trying my darndest to make the majority of my diet consist of the veggies that I know my body thrives on.
But hey- I’d like to actually enjoy the things that I eat.
And my feelings are not unique. Many of know that we are supposed to get in a lot of raw veg, and even really want to, but we aren’t fans of the ideas of eating a heap of “rabbit food”.
My theory is this: if you don’t like vegetables, it’s only because you’re not treating your vegetables right. We don’t tend to expect many of our foods to taste good in their most basic form (except fruit… Fruit is nature’s candy). But somehow I think I’m supposed to enjoy plain, raw celery? Uh uh. They need a little help. Adding just a very few other ingredients or preparing veg well can bring out the natural and fantastic flavors they have to offer. And thankfully, I’ve learned a few ways that- for me-turn eating veg from a chore into a treat in just a couple of minutes. If you’re ready to start actually enjoying raw veggies, read on!
For starters… the grown-up way to do carrot sticks: Balsamic Carrots.
The sweetness of the carrot + salt + tang of the balsamic + heat of the fresh black pepper… this is anything but boring! :)
Balsamic Carrot sticks: Just chop a few organic whole carrots longways and shortways, arrange them on a plate skin side down, grind salt and fresh black pepper over them, and drizzle carefully with balsamic vinegar. This always makes me feel like I’ve done something super classy. Don’t ask me why.
Then the one that feels a lot like a fiesta… Mini Bell Peppers with Guac.
Tortilla chips are great and all, but they can’t beat the burst of freshness and flavor that happens when you put a scoop of guac on a slice of mini bell pepper! I threw this guac together easy (half an avocado, squeeze of lime, a bit of diced red onion and salt to taste) but I also love the mini packs of guac from Wholly Guacamole (not sponsored, just love!) because they use clean, real food ingredients. I’m not actually a huge guac fan, but when I’m in the mood, this fits the bill.
Mini Bell Peppers and Guac: Rinse and slice mini (or regular sized) bell peppers, and dip them straight into “clean” pre-prepared guacamole, or mix up some of your own by smashing together the above guac ingredients with a fork and bowl!
Lastly, one more veg and dip combo… Celery sticks with Hummus.
Eating celery can feel like punishment, but it turns out that it’s actually the perfect vehicle for some flavor packed hummus. If you use store bought- PLEASE look for something clean! A lot of pre-packaged hummus comes with some questionable additives- including potential allergen GMO soybean oil and soy lecithin. I found a tahini-free hummus recipe on pinterest and whipped it up in no time… but it wasn’t as smooth as I’d like. Tasty… but not creamy like I’m used to. Learned later that you have to peel the chickpea skins. Oh. Ha! Anyway, for a super simple tahini free recipe that tells you everything you need to know, check out Pinch of Yum’s recipe here.
For celery with hummus: well, you can probably figure out what to do! ;) Just rinse and slice that celery and dip it into some flavorful hummus while congratulating yourself on eating your veggies and enjoying them.
Like this post? Want to see more like this? Have a question, comment, or something to share? Let me know in the comment section below! I want to write what you guys want to read… so tell me! :)