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Get healthy with veggies!
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December 19, 2008

We all know that veggies are good for health and nutrition experts recommend having three to five helpings of vegetables a day -- but there are quite a few among us who can't stand the thought of eating roti-bhaaji on a regular basis. We'd much rather have our tandoori chicken and kheema pav, with a side of sliced onions being the only vegetable in sight. 

However, increasing your vegetable intake doesn't have to be a difficult undertaking at all. To help you introduce some healthy greens into your diet without giving up your meat, here are some easy ways to sneak in some veggies. 

Fresh salads
Most of us welcome a healthy crunch to our meal and what better way to do that than to ditch the wafers and pick up a few carrot or cucumber sticks. Toss in a few slices of tomato, onions, capsicum, lettuce mixed with a squeeze of lemon juice and salt and pepper and you're good to go. You could even alternate that with a salad of alfalfa sprouts (or any other sprouted pulses) and tomato. These are not just good for a side dish with your lunch or dinner but also go down well as a mid-morning snack.

These work well if you are trying to cut down on your meat intake as well. Start your meal with a large salad, which will leave less space for your non-vegetarian meal, thus effectively reducing your meat consumption without too much heartache.

This is a great way to sneak in all the veggies you love to hate. Just throw them all together in a saucepan and boil. Puree them to get a thick broth and add in a couple of cubes of chicken or vegetable taste-maker (available at any grocer) to give it some added punch. You won't be able to tell one veggie from another, yet you get the nutritional benefit of them all.

Again you don't need to ditch the meat, just make sure you add a bit of green -- lettuce, tomato, onion -- to give your sandwich a healthy bite. This works for pizzas too. Just add a few more veggies to your pizza pie to make sure its not a totally non-veg affair.

There are a variety of pre-packed vegetable juices now available offering a range of combinations. These also come with added sugar or flavourings or preservative-free. Pick up two or three different types to give yourself a change.

Sauces or gravy
This is another way to up the nutritional value of your meal without having to munch through actual vegetables. Just puree a few of pieces of melon or carrot or any other veggie to your regular gravies to give them added body and vitamins. This way you don't have to deal with the full-on taste of the veggies but still gain all the nutrients you need.  

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