5 Ways to Trick Yourself Into Eating Vegetables

That's not cauliflower on your plate ... or is it?

Missing all the winter comfort foods? Us too. But just as we were about to hit order on Seamless the temps rose to 70 degrees and we were forced to dig through a bin of shorts and tank tops that were made for a body of summer’s past.

So we’ll be sticking to a healthy diet. Bye burritos.

It’s about that time of year where we start googling “detox” and sifting through a million results cluttered with dandelion tea and 500-calorie diets. But we’ve established the fact that if you’re feeling sluggish and in need of a reboot, all you really need to do is give your body the nutrients it needs to function properly, and it’s got this whole eliminating toxins thing on lock.

The way to do that? Pack in the vegetables (and all of the antioxidants, flavonoids and phytochemicals that come with them).

But what we won’t be doing is eating veggie sticks and hummus for lunch and a reincarnation of the same exact veggies over a bed of lettuce for dinner. Luckily, we don’t have to resort to rabbit food to increase our intake of vegetables (and the benefits that come with them).

Even those of us of who love veggies know that a typical side of them steamed or sautéed beside your piece of chicken can get old. So mix things up by thinking outside the box, and reinventing the wheel when it comes to veggie-based dishes. Here are five recipes to get the creativity flowing in the kitchen.

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10-Minute Healthy Cauliflower Rice

Is it rice? Look a little closer, and you’ll realize it’s actually cauliflower that has been grated to resemble the refined carb-laden favorite (genius, we know). After pulsing cauliflower in a food processor so that it reaches a rice-like texture, use it as a base for a healthy take on fried rice, tossed with (gasp!) even more veggies, egg and a sauce made from soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger and white pepper.

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Carrot Fries

Fries aren’t inherently bad. Making them at home by tossing in just a bit of olive oil and baking actually makes for a pretty nutritious side dish. But if your appetite for French fries is insatiable (and really who’s isn’t?), consider swapping in carrots every once in a while. Just three ingredients—carrots, olive oil, and salt and pepper (plus any other spices you like)—bake up to a golden-brown snack. Try sprinkling on garlic, rosemary, cumin, or paprika for a boost of flavor.

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Cauliflower Crust Pizza

This one is really going to have your tastebuds in a state of confusion. It tastes pretty damn close to real pizza (you know, the flour-based kind). Don’t believe us? You’ll have to try it for yourself. Maybe twice. Or three times. Go to town, the vegetable-based crust won’t show up on your waistline.

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Zoodles Marinara 

Yet another carb-heavy favorite made over using a low-calorie vegetable as a substitute. This time it’s zucchini helping us out. Simply spiralize into noodles (or use a veggie peeler to make ribbons). Toss in a chunky tomato sauce and top with cheese, and you’ve got your bowl of comfort food (without the next-day bloating).

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Broccoli Bites

These broccoli bites are good. Really good. Throw them on top of pasta (or zoodles) as a meatball replacement, eat them like tator tots, or just grab them straight off the pan. The broccoli is combined with carrot, garlic, cheese, egg and breadcrumbs, and then baked for 20 minutes. The little balls are addicting, but with 8 grams of protein and only 120 calories per serving—that’s okay.