30-Day Eat More Vegetables Challenge
Here’s how to fit more vegetables into your diet—and do so deliciously—with fresh, frozen, canned and jarred produce.
Normally for EatingWell’s annual Eat More Veg Challenge, we focus on how to fit more fresh vegetables into your diet. But it’s no secret that things are anything but normal right now. If you are eating less produce than usual with everything that’s going on, that’s perfectly OK. But there are ways to fit more vegetables onto your plate even if you’re limiting trips to the grocery store, including adding canned, frozen, jarred and long-lasting fresh produce to your meals. Here are 30 ways that we’re eating more vegetables right now—join us!
How to Eat More Veg This Month
Here are our calendar tips with more detail for those of you following along with the challenge.
Day 1: Add Frozen Veggies to Eggs
Frozen veggies and fruit sometimes get a bad rap, but they’re often even better than fresh—they’re picked at their peak of ripeness and have all the same nutrients as fresh, are often cheaper and last a long time in the freezer. Thaw frozen veggies like broccoli, corn and peppers and add them to frittatas, omelets and muffin-tin eggs.
Day 2: Try a Veggie-Packed Tofu Scramble
Don’t eat eggs or just want to mix things up? Frozen veggies are great in a tofu scramble as an alternative to traditional scrambled eggs.
Day 3: Make Mac & Cheese + Peas
Whether you are making homemade macaroni and cheese or reaching for a box, add a few handfuls of frozen peas while the pasta is cooking. Try this Quick Stovetop Mac & Cheese with Peas if you want an actual recipe, or feel free to improvise. Frozen broccoli and green beans are also nice additions to mac.
Day 4: Bake with Vegetables
Day 5: Eat Dip for Dinner
Veggie-based dips, like spinach and artichoke, are a creative, fun way to eat more produce. Our Slow-Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip calls for frozen spinach and canned artichokes, so it’s easy to make. Dig right in with bread, crudités or tortilla chips, or turn it into more of a meal with our Spinach & Artichoke Dip Pasta recipe (feel free to use thawed frozen spinach in place of fresh in the recipe).
Day 6: Say Yes to Potatoes
Yes, potatoes are part of a healthy diet. They keep for a long time if stored properly and they are basically the ultimate comfort food. Try this easy and super-popular Melting Potatoes recipe to get your serving of spuds today.
Day 7: Just Add Cheese
Got frozen veggies? There’s a good bet that they’d benefit from cheese. Simply grate cheese over steamed veggies or make this Easy Cheese Sauce.
Day 8: Make a Green Smoothie
Add a handful of frozen kale or spinach to your smoothie—no need to thaw first. Vegetable smoothies are a great way to sneak some produce into breakfast or snacks.
Day 9: Try a New Vegetable
Day 10: Spoon on Some Salsa
You know what salsa’s made of? Vegetables! Scoop it up with chips or spoon it onto beans, tacos, eggs and more.
Day 11: Make It Better with Bacon
We love our vegetables, but it is hard to deny that a little bacon makes most vegetables, and especially frozen and canned ones, taste better. If you aren’t a meat eater, smoked paprika is a great vegetarian substitute for bacon. Try these Green Beans with Bacon & Hazelnuts with frozen or canned green beans (and swap in any nut you have on hand or leave them out altogether).
Day 12: Stock Up on Sauerkraut
Day 13: Reach for Kimchi
Day 14: Don’t Overlook Onions
While you might think of onions as something you add to a dish, don’t overlook them as a vegetable in their own right. Try these Caramelized Balsamic Onions and you’ll see why onions can be the star of your plate.
Day 15: Make Tomato Sauce
If you’ve stocked up on canned tomatoes, this is good news. Outside of about a month or two in summer, canned tomatoes are your best bet for making tomato sauces like this stovetop Quick Tomato Sauce or this Pressure-Cooker Tomato Sauce. Want to bulk up your veggies even more in your spaghetti dinner? Add a handful of frozen spinach or kale to the sauce.
Day 16: Make a Carrot Smoothie
This bright-tasting Carrot Smoothie can be made with cooked fresh or frozen carrots.
Day 17: Roast Some Roots
Root vegetables like beets, parsnips and rutabaga last a long time, so if you see them in your grocery store, go ahead and stock up. Use them to roast a big batch to have on hand for adding to salads, grain bowls, soups and more.
Day 18: Make a Casserole
Frozen veggies might not be the best for roasting, but they’re right at home in casseroles. This comforting Broccoli, Beef & Potato Hotdish Recipe can be made with frozen broccoli and hash browns!
Day 19: Grab a Jar of Roasted Peppers
Veggies in jars count as vegetables too, and they last a long time in the fridge! Try roasted red peppers on sandwiches or in this 5-ingredient, 20-minute Roasted Red Pepper, Spinach & Feta Pasta.
Day 20: Try Cauliflower Rice
Cauliflower rice is well-loved in the low-carb community, but riced cauliflower—which you can make yourself or buy frozen in bags—is also great when you’re just looking to up your veggie intake. Try it in Greek Cauliflower Rice Bowls with Grilled Chicken, Southwestern Cauliflower Rice Bowls with Shrimp & Avocado Crema, Shrimp Cauliflower Fried Rice or anything else you’d serve over rice.
Day 21: Make a Pie-Inspired Smoothie
Canned sweet potatoes or pumpkin puree last for a long time and add great sweetness and a nutrition boost to your smoothie. Try this Pumpkin Pie Smoothie with either one. Canned carrots and beets work well in smoothies too.
Day 22: Grab Some Cabbage
Cabbage is another vegetable that lasts a long time—up to two months in the fridge! Our Sautéed Cabbage recipe has suggestions for four variations, so it doesn’t get boring. Balsamic Roasted Cabbage is another fan favorite.
Day 23: Mix Mushrooms into Meat
Take it easy on your budget and up your veggie intake by adding diced fresh, frozen (thawed) or dried mushrooms to stretch ground meat in meatloaf, spaghetti sauce and more.
Day 24: Stuff Some Peppers
Bell peppers (especially green ones) can last up to three weeks in the fridge, so if you see them at the market, grab them and make stuffed peppers, like these cheesy Cauliflower Rice-Stuffed Peppers.
Day 25: Eat Some Beets
Day 26: Add Something Sour
Perk up frozen or canned vegetables or roasted root vegetables with lemon and other citrus juices or any kind of vinegar. Balsamic is one of our faves!
Day 27: Sweeten Things Up
You know what goes great with sour flavors? Sweet ones! Add a bit of honey, maple syrup or brown sugar to simple vegetables like carrots. Try these Honey & Orange Glazed Carrots, Balsamic Roasted Carrots with maple and Candied Carrots with brown sugar.
Day 28: Heat It Up
A dash of hot sauce or a sprinkle of cayenne is yet another great way to spice up your favorite vegetables. Growing up in North Carolina and Louisiana, I never ate collard greens without several shakes from the hot sauce bottle. Hot sauce also livens up spinach, broccoli stir-fries (try Sriracha) and of course, fajitas, tacos and chili.