Home » 3 quick, veg-packed recipes to help you effortlessly reach your 5-a-day goals

3 quick, veg-packed recipes to help you effortlessly reach your 5-a-day goals

According to the Association of British Dietitians, most of us are still not eating enough fruit and vegetables in our diets. The five-a-day rule feels as old as time, yet a mere 27% of adults aged 19–64 are meeting this daily target. And we get it – you’re busy. But upping your veg intake doesn’t have to be complicated, and with benefits ranging from decreased risk of cancer to better digestion, the humble vegetable certainly packs a nutritional punch.

With this in mind, we’ve put together three fast and fabulous veggie-inspired dishes that deliver on taste as well as health, all developed by nutritionists. Eating well has never looked so good. 

One-pan roasted veg

“This really is the simplest of dishes,” enthuses nutritionist Thalia Pellegrini. “It’s one of my favourite recipes for getting loads of veg in – it’s totally versatile, as you can use any vegetables you have at home, and it’s also a good way to use up any odds and ends that are past their best.

“While you can use any mixture of veg, I’d recommend the following recipe. If you have a good blender, you can also whizz up any leftovers with some veggie stock to make a delicious soup.

Ingredients

Carrot

Butternut or sweet potato

Red onion

Celery

Mushrooms (bigger mushrooms like portobello work best)

Cauliflower

Broccoli

Garlic

Method

  1. Chop all the veg and chuck it all in a roasting tray in one layer so they cook well.
  2. Season with salt and pepper and any fresh herbs you have.
  3. Pop in the oven at a low heat (around 160ºC) for 45-60 minutes.
  4. Add sliced halloumi, feta or pine nuts for the last 10 or so minutes, if liked. 
Tray of roasted vegetables
A roasted vegetable traybake is an easy and delicious way to meet your nutritional needs

Green mole

“As a nutritionist, I’m forever asking my clients to eat more plants and veggies,” says registered nutritionist Eva Humphries. “Most of us are low on nutrients and adding more veg is a nice way to up those feelgood vitamins and minerals. However, I don’t just want my clients to eat more veg, I would like them to actually enjoy it and the only way to do that is via nutrient-dense meals that are big on flavour – these recipes tick those flavour boxes while being entirely wholesome.”

Ingredients 

Serves 4 

1 medium onion, roughly diced

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced

1” piece of ginger, peeled and sliced

2x medium Bramley apples, roughly chopped and the core removed

1 yellow pepper

1 green chilli, roughly chopped (deseeded if you like less heat)

2 tomatoes, roughly chopped

100g of hemp seeds – I used Good Hemp, available in most supermarkets

1 handful of coriander

1 handful of parsley

2 large handfuls of spinach

2 limes

Sea salt and black pepper

Cooking oil of your choice

For the top:

Black rice, cooked according to packet instructions

4x eggs, hard or soft boiled

4x small courgettes, sliced and roasted

Any soft herbs

A handful of roasted & salted pistachios, shells removed

Method

  1. Put the grill on maximum heat.
  2. Slice the pepper down each side so it forms 4 flat pieces.
  3. Put the pepper pieces on a roasting tray and put under the grill until the skin on the pepper has charred. This makes the pepper pieces sweet and smokey, adding extra flavour.
  4. Set aside to cool.
  5. Once cool enough to handle, remove the skin from the pepper pieces.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  7. Put the apple pieces on a roasting tray, drizzle with oil and roast until you make the sauce.
  8. Put a saucepan on a medium heat and add a splash of oil.
  9. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli and cook until softened (around 5 minutes).
  10. Add the tomato, pepper pieces and hemp seeds to the sauce. Add a couple of splashes of water and cook for 10 minutes or until the tomatoes have cooked down.
  11. Throw in the roasted apple pieces and cook for another couple of minutes, adding a splash of water if it’s beginning to look dry.
  12. Season well with sea salt and black pepper.
  13. Transfer the sauce to a blender, add the coriander, parsley and spinach and squeeze in the juice of 1.5 limes.
  14. Season again with sea salt and black pepper and blend until completely smooth.
  15. Check the flavour and add more lime juice, salt or pepper as required.
  16. To serve, divide the sauce between 4 bowls and top with the desired toppings.
Bowl of green mole and vegetables
This green mole recipe is nutrient-dense and satisfying

Smoky beans on toast

“This recipe was created with iron in mind because low iron can make us feel low – there’s also a good dose of vitamin C, which we need to absorb iron, so it’s win-win,” says Humphries. 

Ingredients 

1 stick of celery, diced

1 shallot or ½ small onion, diced

1 teaspoon of smoked paprika

½ teaspoon of chipotle paste or a pinch of chilli flakes

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1 tin of beans such as butter beans or cannellini

100g of baby leaf spinach

1 tablespoon of smooth peanut butter

sea salt and black pepper to season

a handful of fresh parsley to serve (this is high in both iron and vitamin c)

a tablespoon of sour cream to serve (optional)

Method

  1. Pop a frying pan on a medium heat.
  2. Add a splash of rapeseed oil, the celery and shallot/onion and cook for a couple of minutes until softened.
  3. Add the paprika and chipotle paste. Stir and cook for a minute.
  4. Pour in the chopped tomatoes, season well with sea salt and black pepper and cook for 10 minutes on a low heat to reduce the sauce.
  5. Add the beans and season again.
  6. Add the spinach bit by bit and stir to wilt it.
  7. Stir in the peanut butter.
  8. Taste to check the seasoning.
  9. Serve on some sourdough bread, topped with fresh parsley and sour cream.
Smokey beans on toast with sour cream
Smokey beans on toast are high in iron and packed with veg

Images: Getty; Eva Humphries