Skip to content

5 Simple Ways to Eat More Healthy Vegetables at Lunch

April 20, 2024

In spite of our best efforts, most of us could stand to eat more healthy vegetables. Only about 10% of Americans get the recommended amount every day, even though we all know that vegetables are loaded with nutrients and help with everything from energy, to disease fighting, to metabolism, and glowing skin.

Sometimes it can be tough to get them though, because life.

We’ve found that one of the best ways to get a bunch of those greens (and reds, yellows, and purples) is to incorporate more of them into your lunch. Here are some easy strategies to help you eat more plants in the noon hour — they’re simple, tasty and designed to keep you out of the boring sandwich-and-bag-of-chips trap.

Related: Sign up to receive delicious recipes, expert advice, and shopping tips in your inbox!

1. Swap greens for bread

Usually have a sandwich for lunch? Take those same fillings and have them on a bed of greens instead. Alternatively, make a wrap out of a hearty green like collards.

2. Use healthy vegetables for dips instead of chips

Love hummus or guac or another dip at lunchtime as a meal or side? Skip the chips and use raw vegetables instead. Carrots, celery, and cucumbers are always good go-tos, but you can have some fun by mixing it up. Try jicama sticks (Trader Joe’s sells it pre-peeled and cut), snap peas, endive leaves, radishes, or fennel.

Pro tip: If you absolutely must have chips (we get it!), try making your own out of healthy vegetables.

3. Choose vegetable rice or noodles

Slurping up noodles and spooning up rice can be so satisfying — there’s no reason you have to give that up just to get more vegetables. You can transform all kinds of veg into rice and noodles, including cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, carrots, sweet potatoes, radishes, cucumbers, beets, and more. Make it easy on yourself and buy the ready-made versions. Or fire up the oven or air fryer and make some cauliflower gnocchi.

4. Add vegetables to tuna or chicken salad

Tuna salad is such classic lunch fare; give it an upgrade by adding lots of chopped-up vegetables. Carrots, celery (don’t forget to include the leaves), fennel, scallions — add anything you like. It’s a great way to use up bits of this and that you may have in the fridge. Instead of mayo, mash up half of an avocado and fold it in as a binder. This also works with salmon or shrimp salad, too.

5. Bump up flavor with herbs

Fresh herbs do double duty — not only do they make your vegetables taste amazing, they’re also superfoods in their own right. They’re loaded with vitamins A, C, and K, as well as polyphenols with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers. Use them as seasoning, of course, but also, toss whole leaves into salads and summer rolls, use them in sauces (hello, pesto), add them to drinks (mint lemonade, anyone?), and fold them into fruit salad.

Read next: 5 Easy Tweaks to Upgrade Your Healthy Meals

Good food
people together.
So do
good emails.

What our editors love right now

Good food brings people together.
So do good emails.

  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden