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6 Ways to Eat More Veggies (and use up garden produce)

It’s still prime harvest time where I live in Idaho, and everyone is giving away zucchini, squash, cucumbers, and tomatoes. It’s funny how we all plant these things, and then want to get rid of the harvest, ha!  We joined a local CSA this year, so between that and our own garden, and the extra produce of friends and neighbors (who seem to know I’m the fruit and veggie lady), we have had a LOT of vegetables come through our house. We are very thankful and don’t waste a bite.

Anyway, here are some ways we’ve been eating up summer’s bounty.

Pasta Dishes

You can pack so many vegetables into a good pasta dish! We love pesto pasta, like this cilantro-pesto pasta here. I’ve also made basil pesto, but without oil it turns a brown color quite quickly so I haven’t posted a recipe for it. You can buy or make pesto, toss it with cooked pasta and sautéed zucchini, squash, tomatoes, peppers, corn and any other vegetable. Very quick and delicious and universally-liked.

We also love this Saucy Zucchini Basil Pasta recipe, as you all do, too! My favorite whole food plant based Lasagna recipe can also sneak loads of veggies in.

Air-fryer meals

I didn’t plan on buying an air-fryer because I have a small kitchen and didn’t consider it essential. However, I was gifted one and I end up using it nearly every day!

I have gotten a lot of questions about it. The one I have is this Power Air Fryer XLFor lunch, I’ll cut up a couple potatoes, a zucchini, squash, and a block of tofu. I’ll season it with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and herbs (I have this delicious Braggs herb “sprinkle”I have been putting on everything). It takes about 30 minutes in the air-fryer for the potatoes to be tender. We all get full, and it only took about 5 minutes of hands-on time to cut everything up. 

Just cooking zucchini slices in the air-fryer makes yummy little zucchini chips. The air-fryer makes everything crispy with little to no oil. We also love air-fried asparagus, chickpeas, and mushrooms. We mostly use it for fries (oil free or a tiny spritz of oil). Marinated tofu in the air fryer is also amazing! Literally tastes like chicken.

I love the air-fryer because it doesn’t require pre-heating, it’s faster than a regular oven, and doesn’t heat up the house. I use it to heat frozen burgers (like my sweet potato burgers–yum!). Straight from the freezer to plate takes about 10 minutes, and it’s crispy on the outside unlike a microwaved one. When my family is larger, I don’t know what I’ll do, because you can only fit so much food in mine, and I think it’s the largest one.

Stir-fry or Asian Bowl

Whenever I have lots of vegetables to use up, I make this type of meal. Here is an exact recipe, but it’s basically this: I water-saute chopped vegetables of any kind with fresh minced ginger and garlic, then add soy sauce and a drizzle of maple syrup and red pepper flakes. Sweet, salty, and heat. I make rice or pasta to go with it, and sometimes add tofu. My daughter loves it because everything can be separate, just how she likes it! Vegetables, pasta, and tofu all in different sections of her plate. 

My 20-minute Meals e-book also has a super tasty, flavorful, quick Sticky Stir-fry recipe. Perfect for a vegetable-heavy meal that tastes like Chinese take-out!

Salsa and marinara sauce.

This is how I’m using up our plentiful tomatoes. I used this salsa recipe for canning from Delish Knowledge, and this marinara recipe from Daring Gourmet (I left out the oil and sugar, and it was still so yummy we ate it like tomato soup!).

Baked goods

My new recipe for Zucchini muffins have several 5-star reviews already. They have great taste and texture and lots of veggies and whole grains.

We also enjoy these Zucchini Lemon Pancakes with Blueberry Syrup. 

Although I don’t have my own chocolate zucchini bread recipe, I’ve used this Healthy Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread from Ambitious Kitchen recipe a couple times, and loved it. It’s oil-free and vegan.


Smoothies are probably the #1 way I increase my fruit and veggie intake. I make a green smoothie every morning, and lately have been adding some zucchini. We’re really rolling it if you can’t tell, haha! You can’t even taste it.

I try to put vegetables into every smoothie I make, even the non-green ones. This Cruciferous Peanut Butter Chocolate smoothie is my favorite snack/meal.

We also get lots of beets from our CSA box, so I’ll make this Heart Beet Smoothie.


And we didn’t even mention soups or salads! I shared my best tips to make salads yummy in my Instagram post today. There are so many delicious ways to enjoy more vegetables. Enjoy!

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