One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is to “eat healthier.” But what does that mean and how do you do it?
This week at CHEFS Mix Blog, we’ll look at several ways to build a healthier body by watching what you eat. Today’s topic? How to eat more vegetables.
Vegetables not only help slim your waistline, they are packed with minerals and nutrients that benefit your body in numerous ways. If one of your goals for this year is to start eating healthier, vegetables are essential. Here's a guide to these wonder foods and the different and unique ways you can add more of them to your life.
In later posts, learn more about healthier protein, whole grains, snacks that will help, not hinder, and slowing down to enjoy eating more.
Vegetables are quintessentially healthy foods. Carrots, peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, celery, and spinach are a few of the many you can enjoy that aid in the maintenance of your body. When you eat them, you help your body ward off diseases, strokes, and heart attacks.
How do they do it? Veggies are loaded with nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber. Fiber aids in lowering bad cholesterol and warding off heart disease and keeps you feeling fuller for longer so you don’t overindulge. Depending on the vegetable, you’re getting vitamins A and C, along with folic acid and potassium.
Some people feel vegetables lack taste when consumed individually. If that’s you, you may find it hard to include them in your diet. In order to get your daily dose of vegetables (you should consume about two and a half cups per day) try sneaking them into your diet with these creative techniques to get all of their health benefits without the taste.
Dice up your favorite vegetables and add them to whatever you’re making. Tomatoes, peppers, onions, carrots, and celery all add flavor and nutrients to a salad, tacos, soup, or spaghetti sauce.
Vegetables like kale, spinach, beets, and celery are perfect for adding a whole lot more health benefits to your fruit smoothie. You won’t taste them, but your body will still receive all of the vitamins and nutrients.
By pureeing a variety of vegetables, you can transform greens into a tasty sauce to top off pasta, chicken, or fish. Roasted red peppers are often used in purees for their tasty flavor.
Muffins and vegetables? Absolutely! By pureeing spinach and incorporating it into your muffins (or other baked goods, like brownies), you won’t taste your greens, but you will enjoy their benefits. Add in other ingredients, like cranberries, blueberries, or chocolate, to make your muffins even more flavorful.
Next time you whip up a plate of eggs, throw in some greens, like kale. They can be easily disguised in omelets or scrambled eggs.
Incorporate healthy greens like spinach or kale into your pasta recipes. How? Simply replace basil in a homemade pesto recipe with spinach! You won’t taste the difference, but your body will experience it!
Vegetables are extremely versatile and can be transformed into delicious recipes, like chip dip, tapas, chips, pizzas, and stews. Try any of these healthy and flavorful recipes for your next snack, appetizer, meal, or drink.
This refreshing beverage contains sweet potato, yellow beets, red pepper, and carrots. But there are also fruits added into the mix to give the drink a delicious, fruity flavor.
1 sweet potato
2-3 yellow beets (you can use red beets if you like, but I prefer the yellow)
1 red pepper
1-2 inches of ginger
Process all ingredients through a juicer.
Recipe by Jody Prestine.
For the next big game, whip up this tasty dip that you and your guests will love. It contains plenty of healthy vegetables and is well seasoned.
3 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
1/4 cup red onion, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
2 avocados, halved with pits removed
salt and pepper, to taste
In a medium size bowl, gently toss together tomatoes, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice.
Scoop the avocado meat out and add to the bowl. Gently mash the mixture with a potato masher (or pastry blender).
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve.
Before you order in pizza from a restaurant, think about this homemade creation with fresh tomatoes.
New York-Style Pizza Dough (15 ounces), at room temperature
flour for dusting
1/4 cup New York-Style Pizza Sauce
2 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced thin
3 to 4 heirloom tomatoes, sliced thin
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 fresh basil leaves
Remove dough from plastic bag, keeping the smooth top side facing up. Place it on a lightly floured work surface and lightly dust the dough with flour. Using your fingertips (but not your nails), press down on the dough to flatten it and push it outward into a larger circle. Flip the dough over and repeat on the other side, and then flip the dough back over. (You always want the smooth side up.)
Thinking of the circle of dough as a clock face, make a fist with your left hand and place it firmly at the 9 o'clock position, about one inch in from the edge (this will keep the edge of the dough slightly thicker). Place your right hand at the 3 o'clock position, putting your thumb on top of the dough and your other fingers underneath. Lift the dough and stretch it a bit. Move the dough a one-eighth turn and repeat. Continue until you have evenly stretched the dough into a 9-inch circle with slightly thicker edges.
Dust the pizza peel generously with flour. Using your hands and working quickly, lift and transfer the dough to the pizza peel. Give the peel a few shakes back and forth to make sure the dough is not sticking.
To top the pizza: Spread the pizza sauce evenly over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border. Distribute the slices of mozzarella evenly over the top. Distribute the tomato slices evenly over the cheese. Drizzle the olive oil over the tomatoes.
Give the peel another gentle shake back and forth just to make sure the dough is not sticking. Slide the dough from the peel onto the hot baking stone using a jerking motion with your arm. Work quickly to slide the pizza into the grill and close the top so the temperature doesn’t drop too much. Bake the pizza until the crust is crisp and golden brown, about 8 minutes. Using the peel, remove the pizza from the grill and transfer to a cutting board. Scatter the basil leaves over the pizza. Slice the pizza into wedges and serve immediately. Serves 2
This hearty stew is perfect for winter and has plenty of vegetables.
2 or 3 medium kohlrabi, bulbs and greens
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, cut in slivers
3 medium carrots, cut in 3/4-inch chunks
2 medium potatoes, cut in 3/4-inch chunks
1 cup peeled chopped tomatoes
4 cups vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 teaspoon fresh oregano
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon molasses
Remove leaves from kohlrabi. Peel and cut stem bulb into large chunks. Remove ribs from the kohlrabi leaves and cut into thin strips. Set aside.
On medium setting, heat oil in large pot. Add onions and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Add kohlrabi chunks, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, broth, bay leaf, oregano, salt, pepper, molasses, and mustard. Turn heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Then, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer stew for 15 minutes.
Add kohlrabi leaves and simmer in uncovered pot for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until vegetables are cooked through. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed. Serve hot. Makes 6 servings.
Categories: Food & Recipes