Let me first begin by telling you how important it is to cook your vegetables rather than eating them raw, if you want to up your veggie intake.
Of course, don't overcook your veggies to the point when all the nutrients are gone, but cook them down, that way, it's easier for you to consume more vegetables per meal. Also, if you consume more veggies per meal, then that means you will eat less of other stuff, like meats and starches.
I have heard the following quotes numerous times from different people: "I love eating vegetables, I eat so much!" or "You really should eat your vegetables, just like me. They are so healthy for you".
Yet, these folks only graze on a few sprigs of salad during their meal.
If I took the amount of salad that they gnawed on and steamed it, it will be a small coin sized dollop. (And of course, these folks eats their salad with some dressing, which is a no-no as well, but I won't get into that).
Graze all you want.. 30 minutes.. 1 hour...
No matter how much salad you masticate, it won't be anywhere near the amount of veggies I eat per meal because I simply cook it down, which makes ingesting large amounts of vegetables WAY easier.
Now with that said, I have a lovely sauteed vegetable dish to share: Garlic Sauteed Snow Pea Leaves.
This is a very little known dish that I have only seen on Chinese restaurant menus, and I have never seen this dish cooked in anyone's home. Maybe it's because snow pea leaves aren't very affordable... or maybe it's because restaurants do a hell of a better job with this dish since they have their fancy giant woks and high heat.
Eating sauteed snow pea leaves is like eating a tougher version of sauteed spinach, but with a hint snow pea flavor.
I really suggest picking up a bag of snow pea leaves if you ever see them at the grocery store (I've only seen them at Asian grocery stores). I also suggest ordering this dish off the menu next time you are at a Chinese restaurant!
I picked up a large bag of snow pea leaves from Ranch99. When I got home, I pruned the leaves by discarding the coils, since these are a bit tough, and rinsed the leaves thoroughly.
Notice how much snow pea leaves I have in the photo on the right? That is how the veggies looked raw. Imagine someone trying to eat that amount of veggies in a salad? They won't make a dent.
Now, time for the sauteing!
Heat up some olive oil in the largest wok/deep pan that you have.
Add minced garlic to the olive oil (I love garlic, so I used about 5 cloves of garlic).
When the garlic looks golden, add the snow pea leaves into the pan.
Turn the leaves until it is evenly coated with the garlic and olive oil, then add a sprinkle of salt.
Cover the pan with a lid for about 3-4 minutes, then stir the veggies. The veggies should be done, but if they are still a bit tough for you, cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
Now look at the photo of the cooked snow pea leaves.
That giant bowl of raw snow pea leaves cooked down into a small lump that fits in our cereal bowl. Just eating a few bites of this dish would be the equivalent of a week's worth of veggie-intake of a salad eater!