Vegetables are integral to good health and skin. Being a great source of vital nutrients like vitamins (A, B, C, D , E and K), fibers and minerals, a diet rich in veggies can reduce the risk of stroke, cancer, heart disease and even diabetes. Veggies also reduce inflammation in our bodies and contribute to healthy skin. There’s no doubt – you need your veggies.

That said, I’ve been a vegetarian all my life and I absolutely hate salads. The number of deliciously cooked vegetable options has been on the rise. Yet growing up, it was scarce and I was often served a cold bowl of lettuce and tomato on airplanes as the “vegetarian” meal. I cannot count the number of times I wanted to say that being a vegetarian does not make me want to chew raw leaves like a cow.

So, I’ve curated some vegetable options that are healthy, yet mouth-watering alternatives to salads. And there are some fruits in there too for snacks and desserts of course!

Breakfast

Quinoa cereal with berries and almonds

Quinoa-berries-almonds

For a tasty gluten free breakfast, try this quinoa with berries and almonds option.

Image via www.pickupthewhisk.com

Shakshuka

shakshuka

This is an egg and veggie combo from the Middle East that makes a wonderful breakfast with protein and vitamins to give you a stable energy burn for those long stressful days.

image via: dartmouth.spoonuniversity.com

Baked egg avocado

baked-avocado

Filled with the healthy monosaturated fat, oleic acid – aside from vitamins B, C, E and K, avocados reduce cholesterol and even keep skin supple. If the classic avocado on toast seems too boring, try this avocado with baked egg to kick start your day.

image via nu.spoonuniversity.com

Lunch and Dinner

Avocado and Tofu bowl

Tofu-Avocado-Rice-Bowl

If you want to include this healthy fruit in a meal for dinner then try this tofu and avocado bowl to spice up your evening.

Cauliflower with Parmesan

baked-cauliflower

Cauliflowers are one of the healthiest veggies with vitamin C, B and vitamin K. This easy-to-make cauliflower with parmesan dish is not just healthy but delish!

image via nu.spoonuniversity.com

Coriander-Roasted Carrots

roasted-carrot

I’m generally not a fan of carrots but this yummy coriander-roasted carrot recipe has me enjoying my beta-carotene for healthy skin and hair.

image via cal.spoonuniversity.com

Quinoa Stuffed Bell Pepper

A tasty Spanish recipe for those with gluten intolerance. Get your veggies along with some healthy grains in this easy-to-bake recipe that will surely become a regular in your home.

image via: minimalistbaker.com

Mushroom, Onion and Goat Cheese Crostini

mushroom-cheese-crostini

Amp up your toast with this yummy topping. It makes a great lunch or quick dinner.

image via: nu.spoonuniversity.com

Mushroom Trio Quesadilla

mushroom-cheese-quesadilla

Craving Mexican? This baked mushroom quesadilla is one healthy option to allow you to give in to your cravings while feeling good about the calories.

image via: nu.spoonuniversity.com

Butternut Squash Mac ‘n’ Cheese

butternut-mac-n-cheese

If you can’t wait for the fall to get your fill of butternut squash soups then how about adding it to mac ‘n’ cheese for a fun alternative?

image via michigan.spoonuniversity.com

Creamy Spinach and Mushroom Risotto

mushroom-risotto

Get your greens without compromising on taste with this nourishing spinach and mushroom risotto.

image via: spoonuniversity.com

Snacks and Dessert

Goji Green Smoothie

kale-berry-smoothie

Smoothies make wonderful snacks and meal replacements. The “green” smoothie is all the rave. Make it work for you with this apple and berry filled smoothie with all the benefits of kale – one of the best sources of vitamin K that improves calcium absorption and helps prevent osteoporosis.

image via: goodnessgreen.com

Apricot, Goat Cheese and Almond Bites

apricot-chocolate-bite

Long day ahead? If you think you might be looking for cookies or chips, take this healthy replacement snack with apricot with you and your body will thank you.

image via: bu.spoonuniversity.com

Chocolate, Pomegranate and Ginger Bark

chocolate-pomegranate-ginger

Give in to your chocolate craving without guilt when you make this simply sumptuous dessert that includes pomegranate and ginger in dark chocolate.

image via: finecooking.com

Healthy Candy Apple Wedges (with Chocolate and Walnut)

apple-chocolate-wedges

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. These wedges do more than that – they get your taste buds tingling with pleasure as you savor these chocolate dipped treats.

image via: anediblemosaic.com

Featured photo credit: Dana from http://minimalistbaker.com/ via minimalistbaker.com

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