7 Ways to Eat More Vegetables

Pack your meals with healthy produce using these 7 tips.

Research links diets rich in fruits and vegetables with a lower risk for heart disease, but The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that most Americans eat less than half the amount of recommended vegetable servings. Meals packed with produce can help you lower the risk for heart disease, lose weight and add more fiber, nutrients and antioxidants in your diet. If you're finding it difficult to get your daily servings of vegetables, try these seven tips that make eating more vegetables easy.

Watch: See how to sneak veggies into meals.


Tip 1. Top Proteins with Sautéed Vegetables

Instead of topping cooked fish (or meat or poultry) with a sauce, use sautéed vegetables, such as peppers, onions and tomatoes. They’ll add plenty of flavor and nutrients—and at the same time, boost portion size without adding a lot of calories.
Get the Recipe: Tilapia & Summer Vegetable Packets


Cheesy Broccoli-Potato Mash

Pictured Recipe: Cheesy Broccoli-Potato Mash

Tip 2. Replace Carbs with Vegetables

Lighten carbs with low-cal veggies. If you love cheesy mashed potatoes but not all the calories they deliver, replace some of the potatoes with vegetables, such as broccoli You’ll get fewer calories and more disease-fighting antioxidants. (Another twist on this trick: replace some of your pasta with veggies.)
Get the Recipe: Cheesy Broccoli-Potato Mash


Tip 3. Use Lettuce Leaves As Bread

The next time you make a sandwich, consider lettuce leaves as a virtually calorie-free alternative to a bread slice or wrap. Just about any filling works beautifully. Try tuna or chicken salad, a stir-fry or even a burger.
Get the Recipe: Five-Spice Turkey & Lettuce Wraps


Southwestern Tofu Scramble

Pictured Recipe: Southwestern Tofu Scramble

Tip 4. Stock Up On Salsa.

The low-cal condiment is long on flavor and fiber—and it packs a whole vegetable serving into every 1/2 cup.
Get the recipe: Southwestern Tofu Scramble


Tip 5. Add Spinach

Add spinach to soups, stews and casseroles. It pumps up the volume—so you feel like you’re getting more—for virtually no additional calories.
Get the Recipe: Spinach Salad with Japanese Ginger Dressing


Basic Saut?ed Kale

Pictured Recipe: Basic Sautéed Kale

Tip 6. Dress Up Your Vegetables

Eating vegetables simply steamed—plain—gets old fast. Add just a little olive oil plus big, bold “no-calorie” flavoring (garlic, sherry vinegar), and you’ve got a delicious proof that low-cal eating doesn’t have to be boring. You can do it forever.
Get the Recipe: Basic Sautéed Kale


Tip 7. Eat Edamame

Get edamame—green soybeans—into your diet. They have satisfying protein and fiber. Try adding them to salads, stir-fries or soups.
Get the Recipe: Provencal-Style Edamame Sauté