Registered dietitian Tanya Zuckerbrot says many vegetables other than zuccchini can be spiralized and used in salads and recipes, such as carrots, cucumbers, onions, sweet potatoes and beets. Spiralized sweet potatoes are a good swap for french fries because they are lower in calories and carbohydrates and can be baked instead of fried, Zuckerbrot says.
A pizza topped with peppers and onions can brighten winter menus and appeal to diners craving the color and crunch of vegetables after a season of heavy foods. Light, California-style pizza is an ideal backdrop because the vegetables don't have to compete with a heavy red sauce.
A USDA report found tomatoes and potatoes are the vegetables Americans eat the most, but much of the consumption comes in processed foods such as french fries, chips, canned tomato sauce or ketchup. Registered dietitian Dana Angelo White commented that eating a limited variety of fruits and vegetables is better than nothing, but it can make it difficult for people to get enough essential nutrients.
Expand your vegetable repertoire by picking up unique varieties at the farmers market and experimenting with them at home. Veggies such as kohlrabi are great for slaws and salads while mizuna can be cooked into stews and stir-fries.
The decision by Congress to continue to count pizza sauce as a vegetable for school nutrition programs is flawed because tomato sauce is a small part of pizza, which overall is very high in sodium and fat, says Indiana University registered dietitian Chris Schaub. Instead of taking pizza off the menu, however, Purdue University associate professor Sibylle Kranz suggests adding some vegetables to it to make it healthier.