Sorry, meatheads, this one isn’t for you… If you love your veggies but are struggling to get the amount of iron you need daily, take a look at the list below to capture some ideas. These foods are rich in iron and can easily kick meat’s butt to the curb:
1)Spinach (iron) + red bell peppers (C)
There are plenty of ways to pair these two. Raw, minced peppers in a spinach salad works, as does spinach cooked into a stuffed bell pepper. Or try sliced peppers sautéed with spinach. I love this combo with olive oil, garlic, and crushed red pepper.
2)Broccoli (iron) + tomatoes (C)
Toss steamed broccoli florets in sundried tomato pesto. Or to put together dinner in minutes, sauté broccoli and tomatoes with onions, mushrooms, olive oil, garlic, and Italian herb seasoning. Complete the meal with a lean protein (like chicken breast, salmon, or white beans) and a small serving of a healthy carb (such as quinoa or brown rice pasta). To get an iron boost at breakfast, add broccoli and tomatoes to an omelet or frittata.
3)Black beans (iron) + cabbage (C)
One of my favorite ways to combine these two is in black bean tacos, each topped with a generous portion of vinegar-based slaw. Black bean-stuffed cabbage rolls are another great option. Or simply add whole, chilled black beans to a slaw.
4)Dark chocolate (iron) with strawberries (C)
If you didn’t know that dark chocolate is a good source of iron, I’m thrilled to deliver the good news. Melt and drizzle it over whole strawberries. Or add chopped dark chocolate and sliced strawberries to your morning oatmeal, whip them together in a smoothie, or fold them into protein-packed Greek yogurt. For a fun and healthy dessert, try frozen pops—pour almond milk, chopped dark chocolate, and minced strawberries into molds, along with seasonings like fresh grated ginger, chopped mint, or ground cinnamon.