The latest Australian Health Survey revealed that almost 100% of Australians are failing to eat the recommended number of servings of vegetables each day. This is a huge wasted opportunity to boost your health and wellbeing, not to mention crowding out other less-than-ideal food choices.
The peer-reviewed studies, across decades and continents are incredibly consistent: regular consumption of vegetables is protective against hypertension, stroke, dyslipidemia, heart attack, stroke, and many types of cancer. And it makes sense! Vegetables are rich in protective phytonutrients, fibre (you can read about why I'm a BIG FAN of fibre here!), they are much lower in calories than other food choices and they can fill us up and steer us away from food choices that may over time lead to chronic disease.
So that's why I'm always banging on about wanting my beautiful Healthy Happy Wonderful tribe to look for ways to include more veggies in your diet each day (and mucho bonus points if you include an array of different colours!!).
And I get it. We are working harder and harder than ever. We are time poor and we have myriad competing priorities pulling us in different directions. Preparing nutritious, home-cooked meals is often the first thing to fall by the wayside in many homes. I know it did in mine, back when I was a crazy busy human rights lawyer. And that's why I'm absolutely dedicated to helping you find the recipes you love that are fast and simple to prepare - and which will boost your health and wellbeing over time, not increase your risk for chronic or catastrophic disease.
If you've followed this blog for a while, and through Summer, I hope you now realise that salads are a fast, delicious no-brainer when it comes to boosting your veggie intake - and the rainbow of colours I want you to eat each day! Click here to learn why i NEVER get sick of salad!
But what about when the weather turns cool?
Just throw a tray of winter veggies in the oven.
Now hear me out! I know we associate veggies with chopping and peeling and taking aaaaaages in the kitchen. But it doesn't have to be that way.
Make it fast and simple. Just head on over to the stove and heat it up to 180 degrees celsius. Then grab whatever you have in the fridge. Give it a good rinse in the kitchen sink and just chop and throw into a baking tray with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.
If you are exhausted then don't bother peeling anything. In fact, you could say you are right on-trend if you don't peel anything. All the cool chefs and food bloggers are dishing up all doest of winter veg with the skin on.
And for added protein, we often chop up a block of tofu, toss it in some spices and add that to the baking dish too!
So there you have it. Heat oven. Grab veggies. Rinse veggies. Chop for a few minutes (or if you can't face it, don't even chop), then give up and just shove it all into a baking tray. Toss in a little olive oil, salt, pepper (and if you want to be extra fancy add some chilli or rosemary or thyme or cumin or whatever herb or spice you love).
Then just leave it to cook, while you make something else, or catch up with your loved ones.
As for choice of veggies, there really are no rules. I usually have cauliflower, pumpkin, leeks, sweet potato, carrots and squash in my kitchen throughout winter so that's generally what I roast. But when the garden gives us brussels sprouts or potatoes I add them in too.
In desperation - or exhaustion - I have been known to knock together some pretty unusual roast veggie combinations. And I sometimes even chop up a block of tofu or tempeh, toss it in a bit of olive oil and whatever spice mix I have handy, and shove that in there too for some added protein. No one has sued me, no one has died. And I've even received the odd compliment for a meal or side dish that has involved pretty close to zero effort.
Simple, easy, delicious - and healthy!