We all know we should be having our “5 a Day”, so I’ve “dug up” the following ideas to help you enjoy the large variety of vegetables that are on offer.

Potatoes and vegetables are really tasty when steamed and should be placed in the top layer of your steamer. If you do not have a steamer, don’t forget the Zip’N’Steam bags which cook poultry, fish and vegetables in minutes. They’re also great for stewing fruit.

Check out all the recipes and ideas on page 48 of your plan for making the most of your vegetables.

***ROAST VEGETABLES Parboil a selection of vegetables i.e. mushrooms, onions, sweet potato, peppers etc. Place on baking tray, sprinkle with your favourite herbs and mist with low cal cooking spray. Roast in a warm oven and serve with any of the meals in your Lifestyle Plan.

***BUBBLE AND SQUEAK Mix potatoes, cabbage, peas etc. spoon into portions in a non stick pan to form patties. Gently cook on both side. These are really tasty served with fish fingers and tomato sauce. Mmmmmm!

***LEFTOVER VEGETABLES Always cook extra carrots – they are convenient for adding to any of the mince recipes. Also, for a quick “5 a day”, cook carrots and swede together, mash and leave for a few minutes over heat to dry out and then freeze into convenient portions. This is great as a jacket potato topper.

***”ROAST POTATOES Make tasty “roast” potatoes by placing in an ovenproof dish. Pour over a beef stock cube made up with water. Bake in oven until all stock has been absorbed and potatoes are crisp and brown.

***ONIONS are a really versatile free vegetable but be careful as when they are fried, just 1oz/28g equals 100 cals. Microwave a Spanish onion and sprinkle with mixed herbs delicious with any meal and negligible calories.

***SPINACH is great for bulking out mince recipes, adding to curries and soup. Also, make a tasty meal simply by making a pocket in chicken breast and fill with spinach and low fat cream cheese, wrapping in foil and cook in hot oven. Mmm  I find  the frozen spinach is both economical and convenient.

***SWEET POTATO – approx 26 cals per oz
Sweet potato is a root vegetable that can be cooked and served just the same as ordinary potatoes and can be counted as one of our “5 a day”. They are also low GI, so will satisfy you for longer.

SWEET POTATO MASH Cook equal quantities of sweet and old potatoes in boiling water with a stock cube. Drain and mash with low fat cream cheese or fromage frais and black pepper.

SWEET POTATO SALAD Boil diced sweet potato with a vegetable stock cube, drain and allow to cool. Mix with Hellmann’s extra light Mayo and spring onions.

SWEET JACKET POTATO Wipe potato with damp cloth and microwave in the same way as jacket potato (one minute per oz). This is delicious topped with extra light cream cheese or low fat cheddar cheese.

SWEET POTATO WEDGES These are a firm favourite with our members and a delicious alternative to ordinary potatoes.

MEDITERRANEAN VEGETABLES. Chop sweet potato, butternut squash, red onion, courgettes, cherry tomatoes etc and place on baking tray. Mist with low cal cooking spray and roast in hot oven. If you want, add flavour with mixed herbs, basil etc. Marie’s tip – the vegetables can be parboiled before roasting.

Take advantage of the ideas for transforming mashed potatoes on page 41 of your Lifestyle Plan. Simply add wholegrain mustard, pesto, Laughing Cow Light cheese triangle or Light cream cheese (the chives, or garlic & herb are Slimtone favourites)

Drain and mash a large selection of free cooked vegetables, cabbage, carrots, swede etc.  Spoon into a non stick pan which has been misted with low cal cooking spray and fry gently until the base is brown and crispy. Turn out onto plate and slice for a calorie free pizza. This is also delicious served with our Slimtone all day breakfast and 5ozs new potatoes.

Have you got a great vegetable recipe? I’d love to hear from you.