Five Easy Ways to Get More Veggies in Your Diet

The 19th annual festival was held in October at Roxbury Community College.

Vegetarian Food Festival

A scene from the festival. Photos by Jamie Ducharme

How many servings of fruits and vegetables will you eat today? If you’re like the average American, research says only three—which is less than the recommended five per day.

So how do we incorporate more veggies into our diets without eating like rabbits? We asked the ultimate experts for help: vendors at the Boston Vegetarian Food Festival. The event, which was held this past weekend at Roxbury Community College, is now in its 19th year. Hosted by the Boston Vegetarian Society, the festival brings together vegetarian food vendors, chefs, and educators to show off their goods and knowledge. This year, the well-attended festival featured more than 100 exhibitors serving up samples of veggie-friendly foods such as vegan ice cream, gourmet pumpkin seeds, veggie burgers, and everything in between.

We asked five vendors for some of their best suggestions for working more vegetables into your daily diet—whether you’re a vegetarian or not. Here’s what they said:

1. “My best tip is to stir fry everything together. I do all kinds of vegetables. You just have to know how long they take to cook, put them in all together, and stir fry them with some soy sauce or hot sauce.” — Nathan Kessel, volunteer for the Boston Vegetarian Society

2. “Pick some of your favorite recipes that are not vegetarian or vegan and look for creative ways to vegan-ize them. So to create that transition [use vegan cheeses, meat replacements and extra veggies]—especially for people who say, ‘I would sooner die than give up my steak’—there are so many different ways you can do it.” — Ellen Jaffe Jones, vegan cookbook author and PETA’s “Sexiest Vegan Over 50” winner

3. “For me, on a personal level, convenience is a really important factor. Planning ahead the night before and making sure that, whether it’s packing my lunch or deciding what I’m going to make for dinner beforehand, it’s a way to not only make sure it actually happens, but kind of have it in the back of my mind.” — Maria McGlade, volunteer for Boston Organics

4. “Juicing. Produce is inexpensive and if people shop local and seasonal, it’s super easy. As long as they have a juicer at home, it’s really easy.” — Anna Forkan of Revitalive 

5. “I would say to aim to have at least one salad a day, and if you can make one meal a day a really big, delicious, complex salad, that takes care of a lot of getting your greens in.” — Kate Goldhouse, plant-based chef and cooking teacher at Goldhouse Gourmet


Vegan treats from FoMu

Vegetarian Food Festival

Housewares and jewelry were also on display.