Author: Lynn Sheffield

veggies

Tasty Ways to Eat Your Veggies

kids-eat-vegetablesLet’s face it! We all struggle with eating the proper amount of vegetables on a regular basis – not just kids! However, it is very important to ensure we are getting the proper amount of nutrients in our diet, whether through what we eat, or supplements. With that being said, there are some easy helpful ways to make your veggies delicious! Here are some tasty ways to eat your veggies, and not lose all the nutritional value.

Simple Tasty Veggies

Sometimes the simple solution is just that – be simple. It’s easy to over- season, cook, or prepare, simply in an effort of not tasting them. However, often times a little salt, pepper and olive-oil can be all it takes. Here’s a tasty recipe, from allrecipes.com, that is a great example of how a veggie can be simple and fantastic:

Baked Kale Chipskale chips

Prep: 10 min

Cook: 10 min

Ready In: 20 min

Recipe By: Lucy DelRey

 

Ingredients:

1 bunch kale

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a non insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner. Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt.
  3. Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2015 Allrecipes.com

Paired Delicious Veggies

Often times the solution to delicious veggies is to pair them appropriately with something that complements the flavors of each other. For example, a classic Caprese Salad, like this one found on foodnetwork.com by Rachel Ray:

Caprese SaladCaprese Salad 1

Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray

Total Time: 10 min

Prep: 10 min

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

 

Ingredients:

3 vine-ripe tomatoes, 1/4-inch thick slices

1 pound fresh mozzarella, 1/4-inch thick slices

20 to 30 leaves (about 1 bunch) fresh basil

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Coarse salt and pepper

 

Directions:

  1. Layer alternating slices of tomatoes and mozzarella, adding a basil leaf between each, on a large, shallow platter.
  2. Drizzle the salad with extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

© 2015 Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Incognito Scrumptious Veggies

Obviously, the best way to hide veggies is to make them incognito – hidden! There are lots of great recipes out there that give great options for how to hide veggies in your food, but sometimes, it’s fun to make your veggies into a scrumptious desert! Here is a great recipe from Rita on food.com:

Red Beet Chocolate Cakebeet_cake

By Rita

Prep Time: 15 mins

Total Time: 40 mins

Servings: 16

 

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups unbleached flour, sifted

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 large eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

1 -1 1/2 cup beet, pureed ( 15 ounce can of beets in water, drained and pureed is 1 cup)

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate ( Melt and cool the 2 1-oz squares of baking chocolate.)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

confectioners’ sugar, sifted

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Grease 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  4. Combine sugar, eggs, and oil in a mixing bowl.
  5. Beat with an electric mixer set at medium speed for 2 minutes.
  6. Beat in the beets, cooled chocolate, and vanilla.
  7. Gradually add dry ingredients, beating well after each addition.
  8. Pour into prepared baking pan.
  9. Bake for 25 minutes or until cake tests done.
  10. Cool in pan on rack.
  11. Cover and let stand overnight to improve flavor.
  12. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.
seasons_eatings

Holiday Cooking Substitutions

gingerbreadEating during the holidays, and even year round, can be challenging. We want to enjoy all of our favorites, but are constantly faced by the challenge of maintaining our health and wellness goals. Rather than eliminating or abstaining from all the decadent holiday treats, try modifying the recipes. Often times, by simply reducing the amount of sugar or fat in a recipe can make all the difference in the world. Below are some cooking substitutions to help you reduce the impact of your holiday favorites without sacrificing the flavor!

COOKING SUBSTITUTIONS…

holiday_baking

Baked Goods

  1. Reduce the butter or oil by half – simply substitute applesauce or another pureed fruit that will complement the flavors of your baked good.
  2. Reduce the sugar by 75%! – add some extra spice and use pure cane sugar (instead of refined sugar). Adding extra cinnamon, vanilla, or nutmeg will help intensify the sweet taste, without all the extra sugar.

Main Dishes

  1. Consider using leaner, less fatty meat options – the leaner, the better (i.e. Canadian bacon rather than bacon.)

    Wok-Cooking

  2. Ensure there are more veggies than meat and carbohydrates on your plate.
  3. Always eat green greens – iceberg has no nutritional value; consider other great options that are often robust with flavor (i.e. arugula, romaine, green leaf, red leaf, kale, spinach, etc.)

Additives

  1. Add seasonings to your food that contain no salt – often times our favorite seasoning shakers are pre-mixed with lots of added sodium. Consider creating your own blend of seasonings in a convenient shaker that has little to no salt included. Utilizing herbs, spices and citrus juice can accentuate the flavors of your food without adding unwanted sodium.

    spices2

  2. Sauces and creams – always oft for the low-sodium options on sauces whenever possible, and replace creams with options that are naturally lower in fat as reduced-fat options tend to have more sodium and sugar (i.e. substitute sour cream for plain yogurt.)

“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces –

just good food from fresh ingredients.”

-Julia Child

holiday_waistline

Holiday Waistline

holiday-cheerLet’s face it; the holidays can be a bit overwhelming. From parties to hosting family and friends, the holidays can be stressful and hectic. Not only are the holidays hard on an already full calendar, they can be especially challenging on our waistlines. It’s important to participate in all the holiday cheer and enjoy yourself with all the delicious foods. Equally as important, is being mindful of what we are consuming, and how much. Below are four simple tips that will help you maintain that waistline you’ve worked so hard on, and still enjoy all your favorites of the holiday season.

Trim the Trimmings

Keep the excessive trimmings where they belong – off your waistline and on the tree! This doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in some of the trimmings, simply take a bit less than you normally would. When it comes to creams, gravies, cheeses and butters, be sure to use moderation. Instead of going for that third spoonful of gravy, stick with two. Enjoying some of the trimmings will provide you with all the flavor without all the extra calories. Do not skip your favorite trimmings, this will result in eating everything else available to satisfy that one craving.

holiday_portionsControl Your Portions

A simple trick to controlling your portions is to not allow your food to touch on your plate. If your food is touching, there is too much food on your plate. According to Health Magazine, a 2004 study of 329 overweight people found that 38% of those who practiced portion control (as the sole means of weight management) for two years lost more than 5% of their body weight. Whereas 33% of the participants who did not exercise portion control gained 5% or more of their body weight. Brian Wansink, PhD and author suggests putting only two items on your plate at a time. You can go back as many times as you would like, only getting two items each time. This will allow your body the opportunity to recognize you’re full, as well as, prevent you from “cleaning off your plate” of excessive food.

christmas-buffetBe a Picky Eater

During the holidays there are so many delicious items to choose from! That’s why it’s important to only eat what you really want. Don’t bother with the items that don’t “ring your bell,” so to speak. Avoid filling your plate with a “little bit of everything” as this will quickly fill up your plate. Additionally, when you have a wide variety of foods, it can stimulate the appetite, making it more difficult to put down the fork. Eat what you love, skip what you don’t.

meal_skippingNo Skipping Meals

If you are starving, you will overeat – plain and simple. For most people, stick to your three square meals and some snacks. Yes, it is a special day, but when it comes to eating, it’s just like any other day. Katherine Tallmadge, MA, RD and author states that “eating sensibly throughout the day will take the edge off the appetite and empower a bit of restraint.” Do not set yourself up for overeating, approach the meal like any other and you will be golden!