Gratitude, Meals


I still haven’t had time to finalize my 22 for 2022 list, which I started on New Year’s Eve. In a way I’m okay with it, because I feel like I’m sort of having a dry run/ trial week this week. I’ve been floating some of the ideas in my head, but not feeling any pressure to fully implement anything yet, exactly. So, it feels like I can just toy with the thoughts a little and see what feels right.

One family goal we have discussed though is to EAT MORE VEGETABLES. Especially Ivan and the boys. This isn’t on paper yet, but I also have this idea in my head for me to personally “eat a vegetable at every meal I can control”.

(Meaning, if we go out for pizza and garlic bread, I’m not going to go out of my way to order a random side of broccoli or something. Besides, we usually get green peppers and/or black olives on our pizza, so, those are veggies. 😜)

But if I’m in charge of my own meal (which is most of the time), I’ll make sure to add a veggie. Maybe other grown up people already do this naturally?? But I know I often do not have a vegetable. For example, for breakfast I might have an egg with a piece of toast and some blueberries. (no vegetable). Or on a “quick dinner” night, maybe we’ll have cheese quesadillas and some rice and pinto beans. (no vegetable.)

The key, I think, is going to be access to the veggies. If I have a good assortment of veggies that I like in the fridge, I will eat them! But sometimes when the (fresh) groceries start to get low, I stall/ avoid going to the store (because that’s my least favorite chore) and will end up making do with other staples…(e.g. the quesadillas. Cheese and tortillas last a long time.).

So far, doing good with this! I’ve been adding fresh spinach to my eggs in the mornings. I love salads for lunch, anyway, so that’s pretty easy. And then Monday I made a Mexican style chicken + zucchini+ potatoes + pinto beans simmered in salsa verde (a frequent style meal at our house, but I don’t always add a veggie!).

Okay, this isn’t the most appetizing photo, but I swear it was absolutely delicious.

Last night I made a 99% lean ground turkey/ vegetable soup. I added onion, broccoli, carrots and tomato. It was quick, easy and really tasty! Everyone ate it up!

Served with some warm, crusty bread that Ivan popped in the oven…. mmmm….. (we can always find a way to turn the healthy meal into a carb fest. 😁)

The biggest challenge of all with this whole thing: Landing on vegetables that everyone likes. Ivan and I pretty much eat them all (except I hate mushrooms). But Asher is VERY picky about veggies and it’s sooooo annoying. He hates zucchini, won’t eat things like asparagus or brussel sprouts, etc…. Neither of them likes cauliflower. Ethan is better, but won’t eat peas- which is one Asher WILL eat. OMG, seriously. It’s quite frustrating. Carrots and broccoli are two that are safe, so, we have that at least.

(When I ask Asher which veggie he wants for dinner, he always answers, “Corn.” To which I say, THAT’S NOT A VEGETABLE, it’s a grain. (Technically, it’s in the vegetable family, but it’s the carb-iest, starchiest vegetable around. Still has its benefits, but it’s no broccoli or brussel sprout…)

Daily Gratitude Challenge Day 5:

Name 3 Ways to Inject Gratitude into a Current Challenge:

  1. Reframe! Instead of focusing on what is hard/what you don’t have, pick apart the issue and pull out the positive things that are inevitably present underneath or intertwined. Literally make a list.
  2. Think about what you can learn from the challenge. How will it help you, in the long run? Will this challenge or problem even really matter in 5 years? Try to “zoom the lens out”.
  3. Pay attention to who is helping you through the challenge. Who are you leaning on? Who is your support? Who is your sounding board? Think about how lucky you are to have those people/ that support/ etc. in your life.

8 thoughts on “Vegetables”

  1. Soups are my favourite way to source lots of veggies!
    I also add lots of things like chili and spaghetti sauce. My best trick (though my kids are surprisingly good about veggies in general) is to blitz things up in the food processor. It makes it a lot less work + things are very small that things like mushrooms (which my kids don’t like) and bell peppers (which only one kid likes) get incorporated in and they don’t mind the taste/texture at all.
    I tend to do a lot of multi-veggie chili’s to use up extra veg as well; 1/2 a zucchini, wilted spinach, a few carrots…I’ll throw it all in the food processor with some onion and then add it to the rest of the mix and simmer in the slow cooker all day! I actually have a blog post all drafted about this, ironically enough 🙂


    1. You’ll have to share some of your favorite soup recipes for the crockpot. I so rarely use that thing but mostly because I don’t have any “go to” recipes that use it! It always sounds so convenient though…. 🙂


  2. We’ve always eaten a lot of vegetables, but in the last year, I made it a point to add more vegetables whenever possible… and I second Elisabeth’s suggestions: soups/stews/stirfrys are GREAT to add multiple vegetables in one meal and grating/shredding vegetables to add to sauces/casseroles, etc. is a great way to add vegetables that kids might not eat “whole”.
    At the very least, spinach or shredded zucchini can be easily be added to a lot of dishes and kids wouldn’t know it 🙂


    1. Yes! My kids do like soups. I think I could sneak more into sauces and such, too… I need to improve meal planning/intentional cooking in general this year, which would probably naturally help the vegetable problem. When I’m flying by the seat of my pants it’s not always the greatest outcome in terms of a perfectly balanced meal.


  3. incorporating vegetable to daily meals is easy for us as we are veggie centered family. For kids it’s harder as they only have a few: carrot, broccoli, beans, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, cucumber.. so anything that’s not leafy greens. I’m still working to have them try others like okra, sprouts, lettuce, etc. It”s work in progress. At least they now know that every main meal (no breakfast) we need some sort of vegetable side. most of the main meals, half of their plate would be vegetable, if they want more of starch (pasta/rice) or protein, they have to finish vegetables first.
    it’s a habit to build over time so small progress and consistency is the key. 🙂 I think this is a great goal for the year.


  4. A couple of years ago, I realized that raw cut up veggies were a perfectly acceptable side with a meal, and that was kind of a game changer for me. I used to think of a veggie side as something I would have to cook and season and it was so much mental energy. Now when I want a low effort side, I just put out carrot sticks, mini peppers, and cucumber slices. Cherry tomatoes in the summer too. The kids always get one veggie something in their lunch too… it makes the lunch packing formula easy. I love carrots because they keep forever so I buy the 5 lb bag and always have them on hand. We also get a veggie box (Hungry Harvest) and that helps with making sure we incorporate veggies in the meal plan because I know they will just show up on the doorstep and we have to eat them. (My husband doesn’t love this as much, but I do most of the cooking, so chef’s choice, I guess.)
    I’m trying to have fewer meat based meals, but I agree it’s easy to go meat free, but carb and dairy heavy.
    Also my kids are kind of fruit bats, so even though it’s not a veggie, I count that as a win.


  5. That soup looks amazing! I’ve set it as a daily habit goal to eat some fresh fruit/vegetables each day, because it’s so easy to grab a sandwich and crisps for lunch, and a baked potato and cheese for dinner! The bizarre thing is that we ALWAYS have fresh food in, and each morning I make A her “Healthy snack” for school – one little tub of chopped fruit, and one of chopped cucumber, peppers, etc. I could so easily make one for myself at the same time but never do. Maybe that should be a habit I start trying to build too!


  6. We very rarely have veggies as a side (exception is roasted asparagus which we have quite a bit), but will include veggies within the dish, like in soups, curries, stirfries, etc. Paul WILL NOT eat vegetables. We have tried and tried and he just refuses. He will eat cauliflower veggie tots but that is it. It’s really frustrating but I’m hoping that as he gets older and is more open-minded he will start to eat more things? I mean he doesn’t even like potatoes! Which is not technically a vegetable but an example of something that you’d think everyone would like! Also won’t eat corn. It’s maddening. I will put carrots, celery and onions in spaghetti sauce – I mince them in the food processor, so similar method as Elisabeth. Sometimes Paul will eat it, sometimes he won’t. I don’t think he can even tell there are vegetables in it. Eating is a real challenge but so far Will seems to be a better eater?

    I do pretty good at including vegetables. I like having salads for lunch and I tried to make recipes with veggies in them. But I want to make an effort to eat more raw veggies as a snack. I did it for awhile when I first started weight watchers and then I got burned out on baby carrots and stopped. But I need to get back to doing that. I have oatmeal with banana for breakfast every day so no veggies at breakfast but I figure I make up for it during the day.


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