How to eat more vegetables at work

A friend recently asked if I could post some ideas for plant-based snacks to take to work that ventured beyond the raw carrot stick genre.  While I tend to do better packing vegetables into my meals and base my snacks around nuts, fruits, and grains, I thought the challenge sounded fun.  Here are a few of my favorite ways to sneak more vegetables into your diet (Check out my Pinterest board for more ideas):

 

  • Soups

Take leftover soups to work.  If you have a microwave, then they're easy to reheat, but if not, many taste good cold (or you could bring them in a Thermos or Bento Box).  I love butternut squash soup this time of year.

 

  • Roasted vegetables

Roasting almost any vegetable brings out its sweetness, and these too are good cold.  Toss root vegetables or cruciferous vegetables in olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast them at 375 until they are tender.  Add a vinaigrette if you want to get fancy.  A word of warning: your co-workers probably won't love if you bring broccoli, cauliflower, and other smelly vegetables into the office, so it may be best to stick with carrots, parsnips, and green beans.

 

  • Kale chips

Kale chips are delicious, both the ones you bake yourself with olive oil and the ones that are dehydrated after being coated in a nut-based sauce.  You can make your own and bring them in to work, but they don't stand up well to humidity.  I find that it's worth it to splurge on storebought kale chips every so often because they retain their crunch and feel like an indulgence.

 

  • Vegetable-infused hummus

Hummus can be made with so much more than chickpeas!  Vary the legume (edamame, black-eyed peas, and white beans are all good) and add in some vegetables.  Try pumpkin spiced or carrot hummus.

 

  • Green smoothies and cold-pressed juices

I make a green smoothie almost every morning for breakfast (and I promise you can't taste the bitterness of the greens when you add fruit too).  Trader Joe's now sells juices, and they are costly, but for the amount of vegetables you consume, the price really is not unreasonable.

 

  • Bars and nut butters

If you would rather eat something sweet than savory, try a vegetable accented energy bar (like this carrot cake Larabar copycat) or a lightened up sweet bread.  Apples dipped in this pumpkin almond butter is a fun alternative to the quintessential apple and peanut butter combo.

 

  • Sweet potatoes

Pack baked sweet potato halves topped with coconut butter and cinnamon or roast wedges with sweet spices (cinnamon, brown sugar, and nutmeg) or, my favorite, savory spices (smoked paprika, cumin, black pepper, and chili powder).

 

  • Roasted chickpeas

Okay, so this is not a vegetable, but I had to include this legume.  I love the crunchiness of roasted chickpeas, and for the fiber, protein, and convenience they offer, they can't be beat.  They are pretty easy to find nowadays, but you can always order them online too (or make your own).

 

Emily Rowell Brownfood, vegan